The very first Giant Full-E+ and the most recent model that Giant launched last year are worlds apart. Both visually and technically, the bike has undergone substantial development – but is it enough to keep pace with its peers?

Note: In the meantime, Giant has updated the Full-E+ with a new Yamaha PW-X Motor. All details in our First Ride article of the new Giant Full-E+.

GIANT FULL-E+ 0 SX | € 6,799 | 22.58 kg | Yamaha

Last year, Giant landed one of the rainiest days of the season to launch their latest Full-E+, but the bike developers were undeterred and on top form, proudly unveiling their new and improved battery integration approach, and – even more smugly – the fact that they were able to adopt the legendary Maestro rear suspension design on an E-MTB. This bike largely comes with the same well thought-out spec, consisting of an adjustable-travel RockShox Lyrik fork, DT Swiss EX1501 SPLINE ONE wheels, and SRAM EX1 drivetrain. The house-brand cockpit sports a frustratingly long 70 mm stem. The Full-E+ relies on a Yamaha SyncDrive motor with a torque of 80Nm and a 500 Wh battery.

If anything, the Full-E+ is comfortable to ride, which is largely thanks to the noticeably high front. It’s worth removing the spacers under the stem if you don’t want to be wiggling your way awkwardly up the climbs, and we’d also drop the fork’s travel using the dual position mode when the terrain gets steep. The Yamaha motor is nice and powerful providing you keep your cadence hovering around 75 rpm – any higher and you’ll experience noticeable dips in its performance. The 2.6″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires team with the sensitive nature of the Maestro back end to add to the bike’s comfort, although we noted a lack of grip from the tires. That long stem is a burden on descents, and it’s the only really limiting factor on the Full-E+ SX, which handles with great generosity otherwise. It’s almost too easy to get complacent on this bike as it breezes over technical sections, but it doesn’t urge you to break any speed records.

Helmet TSG Trailfox | Jersey Specialized Enduro Comp-Jersey | Shorts Enduro Pro Shorts Details

The GIANT FULL-E+ 0 SX in Detail

Fork RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Dual Position 160 mm
Rear shock RockShox Super Deluxe 140 mm
Motor / Battery GIANT SyncDrive Sport / 500 Wh
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC
Drivetrain SRAM EX1
Seatpost GIANT Contact SL
Stem GIANT Contact 70 mm
Bars GIANT Contact 800 mm
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2,6″
Wheels DT Swiss EX 1501 Spline One

Light and stiff
Giant have given their bike a carbon rocker arm, which both reduces the weight and increases the stiffness. The trunnion-mount, metric-sized rear shock comes with much improved damping characteristics.
Not-so-ergo
In order to keep continuity with the positioning of the remote lever, Giant have integrated it into the handlebar grip, which is unfortunately too far from your thumb and therefore hard to use.
Exposed
The Yamaha motor’s display can be connected to other devices using Bluetooth, but its position on the bars is pretty vulnerable.
Too narrow
There’s nothing amiss with the Yamaha SyncDrive motor’s power, but it’s only at its best within a slim cadence spectrum.

The geometry of the GIANT FULL-E+ 0 SX.

Conclusion

One of the kindest E-MTBs on the block, the Giant Full-E+ 0 SX is wonderfully predictable to ride. It doesn’t meet its full potential because of certain elements in the spec and the fact that its motor’s output is so cadence-dependent. Fortunately, Giant have heeded our feedback and claim to be working on a solution right now.

Strengths

– Brilliant rear suspension performance
– Generous and predictable handling
– Sorted geometry

Weaknesses

– Steep price
– Front lifts up on the uphills
– Cadence-dependent motor

For more information head to giant-bicycles.com!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What is the Best E-MTB of 2017? – 14 Models in Test

All bikes in test: BULLS E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team | FLYER Uproc7 8.70 | FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 | Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+ Carbon | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | NOX EDF 6.7 Hybrid | ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO | SCOTT E-Genius Tuned 700 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie | STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES | Thömus Lightrider E1

PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away prizes worth more than €20,000 among all participants of our reader's survey! Win E-MTBs from Focus, Moustache and Thömus and more! Click here to take part now!

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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About the author

Christoph Bayer