We rode with the new electric bikes of the urban brand of Giant: between “lightness” and robustness

Known for its mountain bikes and road bikes, the Taiwanese firm Giant is arriving in France with a new brand, Momentum, and two electric bikes that we have taken in hand.

In the major brands of bicycles, it is impossible not to mention Giant. The Taiwanese manufacturer is a large group and owner of several brands. But its reputation exists mainly in the leisure, road or all-terrain bike, less in the electric city bikes.

This is what prompted Giant to import Momentum, its global urban brand that has existed for 10 years, on French soil.

A duo of electric bikes to start

We discovered the Momentum brand in a Giant point of sale in Paris, one of the 50 that will be available in France. Only doing electric bikes and for city (or daily) use, this brand comes with two bikes:

  • The Voya E+, a lightweight, sporty, closed-frame classic city bike;
  • The Pakyak E+, a heavy-duty, well-equipped recumbent cargo bike.

Other bikes will undoubtedly expand the catalog. Giant France has confirmed to us that a third model will arrive in 2024. Will it be more comfortable and practical? The future will tell.

We know that a Transend E+ exists outside Europe, with a central engine and a removable battery, existing in closed and open frame, just like a Vida E+ cruiser. The Lafree E+, more Dutch-style, open and with a rear battery, would be a good accessible alternative. A Pakway folding bike, a Vida cruiser and the non-electric UX/Street urban bikes are among the lot, but are uncertain for Europe.

In the meantime, the two current bikes will be available online only, but deliverable in the 50 Giant outlets (and not at home). In these places, it will also be possible to discover them and obtain information.

Momentum Voya E+, the lightweight urban sports car

The Momentum Voya E+ is the type of cycle adopted by lovers of classic or muscle bikes. Those who want to do more kilometers, with a little less effort, for pleasure or for commuting known as “velotaf”.

It adopts a diamond-type closed frame, less easy to step over than an open frame, with a non-removable integrated battery, combined with a very discreet rear motor. The Voya is therefore typed light – we could speak of a hybrid -, practical for keeping an electric bike easy to transport, here with 18 kg on the scale. Which doesn’t make it a featherweight either.

Momentum Voya E+

The SyncDrive motor – reworked by Bafang – delivers 25 Nm of torque. “It’s more of a muscle bike with occasional electric assistance, for those wanting to ride electric or not as they wish”, confirms Sandra Robles, Giant France marketing manager. The battery is rated at 250 Wh, which is low but sufficient for 72 km with minimal assistance.

There are also many attachment points – fork, frame, trailer hitch – enough to transform this VAE into a tool for bikepacking. Without a kickstand, lighting or basic mudguards, the Momemtum Voya E+ starts at 2,200 euros, or 2,342 euros with the elements installed. You can also add a rear (129 euros) and front (109 euros) luggage rack, or even in XXL format (128 euros with side reinforcements).

It is therefore suitable, especially considering the Shimano Deore or belt transmission, for the same price. The colors are limited to red or ink blue, in three sizes, but white will arrive soon (seen in store) just like the yellow of the Pakyak E+.

Riding the Momentum Voya E+ bike

Although the heatwave was at its peak in Paris at the beginning of September (35°C), we rode these new electric products. The Momentum Voya E+ surprises with its weight, which provides from the first meters the light feeling of a muscle bike. It is part of the fashion for hybrid bikes, like an Ellipse E1, a Lemmo One, or even an Origine Help to name a very high-end reference.

Momentum Voya E+ driving

The bike is therefore agile, perfect for twirling between cars stuck at intersections, with a touch of heaviness in the steering. The small section wheels and their Kenda tires are correct for comfort, but are however not suitable for all Parisian roads, especially cobblestones. Remember that the electric bike is rigid, without any suspension. Comfort is therefore limited, especially on the firm saddle, but there is an optional Selle Royal gel (39 euros).

As for the engine, it is energetic despite its low torque of 25 Nm, so much so that the intermediate level (out of 3) is enough to have fun. With the torque sensor, you stay on a sporty bike. It is therefore necessary to pedal with a minimum of force, when the Auto mode is the most pleasant to use, since it varies the assistance according to the elevation and your needs.

This is even more true on the belt model, where you have to give a bit of your own at the start, with the inconvenience of spinning beyond 20 km/h (single speed). The derailleur version – the top of the range Shimano Deore 10 speed – is more progressive and versatile. And we can exceed 30 or even 35 km/h without problem. It remains an interesting idea to offer both alternatives to the general public.

Momentum Voya E+ belt

The pedals also exude sportiness: they are notched, with a paid option for flat pedals (79 euros). The Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic brakes – 160 mm front and 180 mm rear discs – are a bit tight for the bike, probably because they weren’t run in. To be verified on a longer test.

In short, we had a good first contact with this sporty bike, pleasant to ride, which we can’t wait to ride during a “real” test.

Momentum Pakyak E+, the reassuring recliner for families

The Momemtum Pakyak E+ draws its name from the set of equipment – ​​Pack – as well as the opulent – ​​even beastly – appearance of a yak. Indeed, the electric cargo bike wants to reassure families, with voluminous tubes, large sidewall tires, with the 46 kg rear luggage rack (MIK compatible), and even a large front luggage rack capable of supporting 15 kg, series. In total, the cargo would accept 164 kg, cyclist included.

Momentum Pakyak E+

The SyncDrive Pro motor, designed by Giant but assembled by Yamaha, is designed to perform well on all occasions. Its battery integrated into the tube can receive an optional second, to be installed in the trunk between the saddle and the rear wheel. This accommodation also serves as a secure place – with key – for small items.

The Pakyak E+ starts at 4,700 euros, in one size and in yellow or ink blue colors. An attractive price compared to an equivalent O2feel Equo or the new Cannondale Cargowagen Neo 2. However, there is a small downside to the battery: it is only 500 Wh (excluding additional battery), the Momentum cargo bike indicating 97 km of Theoretical autonomy in the best case (and 50 km estimated in practice, varying depending on the load).

Momentum Pakyak E+ accessories

Bravo to the 6 A charger, restoring 60% energy in just 1 hour 25 minutes: it’s extremely fast. Several options exist in the catalog: seats, footrests, wheel protectors and support bars increase the bill to 5,176 euros. But also: rear basket (199 euros), bag (139 euros) or additional battery (908 euros with support) are extra.

A powerful and reassuring Momentum Pakyak family bike on the handlebars

The Momemtum Pakyak E+ exudes solidity in all its components, far from the finesse of the Voya. We stop short with the Tektro with 4 pistons and 203 mm discs. The double stand is also very stable, and the luggage racks feel robust. The large frame with integrated battery and the rear bin serving as a trunk also add to the imposing side.

On the other hand, the bike is not a pachyderm in use, helped by its medium-sized 24-inch wheels and a weight of 37 kg. The longtail electric bike is easy to launch, thanks to the Yamaha motor with a torque of 80 Nm, enough to reach 25 km/h in a few seconds.

We check the speed via the small screen: the latter is a little slow to browse but it provides various information including the estimated autonomy depending on the mode. The chain transmission and the Shimano Alivio 9-speed derailleur are, after all, classic. A less accomplished version than the Deore of the Voya E+.

Momentum Pakyak E+ driving

Five levels of assistance are available, the last ensuring a maximum speed of 25 km/h even on sustained climbs (we tested). We won’t be taking this longtail bike on dirt roads, however, because the Maxxis Hookworm tires are designed for urban use, and the lack of suspension limits the range to town.

The comfort of the balloon tires is however superb, and will not shake the children too much in the back. The parent benefits from a suspended saddle with small springs, to put their feet flat if necessary. The Momentum cargo bike is therefore reassuring in all respects for daily journeys, to be tested over the long term with loads or children, to fully understand it.

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