Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer Giant has unveiled two new e-bike models. The Stormguard E+ fall into the category of VAE qualified as “SUV” because of their versatility, which makes them usable both on a daily basis for commuting and for outings in the countryside. The Giant Stormguard E+ 1 and E+ 2 are thus at the crossroads between full-suspension e-MTB and well-equipped urban electric bike. Resolutely top-of-the-range VAEs, which benefit from interesting technologies.
The Stormguard E+ retains an aluminum frame and mountain bike geometry, with a lowered top tube for easier step-over and less complicated stops. Nevertheless, this electric bike is indeed a full-suspension model. Up front, the E+ 1 is fitted with a Fox 34 AWL fork offering 100mm of travel. The E+ 2 model switches to a slightly less expensive solution from Suntour, but with equivalent travel. At the rear, both versions of Giant’s VAE are equipped with Fox Float DPS shock absorbers. A rather rare comfort for an electric bike of this type.
When it comes to comfort, the new Stormguards don’t stop there. Giant opts for a telescopic seatpost which will find its interest as well for the ascents and descents of the saddle as for the passages a little technical in the paths. Dropper posts also provide a quick and easy way to share a bike within a household by quickly adjusting the saddle height.
Giant does not skimp on the tires with Maxxis Rekon rubber in 27.5 inches. Notched tires that will be more suitable for paths, even bumpy, with their 2.6 inches wide. The Stormguard E+ clearly leans more on the off-road side than on the urban side with this choice, which will limit performance on the road. Braking hasn’t been overlooked, with a pair of Shimano Deore four-piston hydraulic disc brakes and 203mm rotors.
Powerful engine and automatic transmission
The electric assistance is the same as on the brand’s top-of-the-range eMTBs (Trance X Advanced E+). Giant develops its own engines in partnership with Yamaha and offers here an “in-house” version of the PW-X3, called SyncDrive Pro 2 in Taiwan. This central motor develops 85 Nm of torque and remains quite light (2.75 kg). It is associated with an 800 Wh Energypak battery housed in the frame. With this equipment, Giant promises between 70 and 250 km of autonomy. An additional 250 Wh battery can be added and attached to the bottle cage. Giant also has the good taste to provide a 6 A charger to quickly fill its battery.
To control everything, a rather elegant 3-inch screen is integrated into the stem. The controls are deported on a small box falling under the left thumb. The latter even accommodates a USB-C port for fast smartphone charging while driving, for example. Everything can be connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone to fine-tune the settings via the Giant application. The handlebars of Giant’s new e-bike are equipped with ergonomic Ergo Max Plus Lock On grips.
An eMTB sprinkled with an urban bike
Until then, one could clearly think of the technical data sheet of a VTTAE. Nevertheless, the urban aspect of the Giant Stormguard E+ stands out more on other points. The transmission, for example, is ensured by a carbon belt. A belt tensioner system allows the belt to maintain constant tension, even when the rear shock is crushed. The E+ 1 and 2, on the other hand, differ on one notable point. The first benefits from an Enviolo automatic variation hub, like that of the iWeech 24 S+. The second is content with a Shimano Nexus 5 internal gear hub. A slightly more questionable choice for extra-urban use, this model often being limited in its development.
The Giant Stormguard E+ benefit from equipment that will be very useful: a pair of mudguards, a kickstand or even a luggage rack. The latter can support only 15 kg, probably because of the rear suspension, a criterion to take into account if you plan to transport a child. The lighting is also neat, with a Supernova M99 Mini Pro front light that offers no less than 450 lumens. Urban use will however be restricted by the use of a 720 mm wide handlebar. Not ideal for weaving between cars, but much more pleasant for precise trajectories and rock-solid stability.
Given this profusion of very well-made components, the price of the Giant Stormguard E+ 1 and 2 is high. The range starts at €6799 with the E+ 2 and even reaches €8000 for the most advanced model in the family. Prices reflect a market hit by supply difficulties, while demand remains very strong.