Electric bikes

Find the right e-bike to get you zooming from A to B.

electric bike on hill

Giant

LaFree E+ 2

recommended

75

Avg price

$3299

Member Reviews

  • Type

    City

  • Frame type

    Low step

This step-through Giant looks and rides like a bike costing much more than its modest price.

The Syncdrive Life motor is smooth and responsive up to 32km/h, with lots of torque available for hill climbing – though the rear rack-mounted battery means the steering gets a bit light on steeper climbs. There’s no controller display, just LEDs on the thumb shifter to show battery life and assistance setting. Some testers enjoyed being cut free from data, particularly when using the neat “auto” power mode that selects assistance to suit speed and rider effort. Others missed having the speed and distance information, though.

There’s no suspension fork, but the big-volume tyres absorb road “chatter”, and the wide but firm saddle and backswept bars were very comfortable. The Giant comes with hydraulic disc brakes, a rear rack and a full set of mud and chain guards (but you’ll need to pay extra to get built-in lights fitted).

Overall, the LaFree+ isn’t perfect, but it’s a great-value urban e-bike.

Test results

  • 74
    Motor system
  • 76
    Bike style
  • 78
    Motor - Responsiveness
  • 70
    Motor - Hill climbing
  • 75
    Motor - Speed assistance
  • 70
    Motor - Interface
  • 77
    Bike - Slow speed
  • 75
    Bike - Riding fast
  • 70
    Bike - Rough terrain
  • 85
    Bike - Practicality

Why is this free?

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Good points

  • Good motor responsiveness.
  • Good motor assistance climbing hills.
  • Good motor assistance at speed.
  • Motor assists to 32 km/h.
  • Good display and controls.
  • Bike is good to pedal quickly.
  • Bike has good slow speed balance.
  • Bike copes well on rough surfaces.
  • Has rear rack, metal mudguards and a rear-mount kickstand.
  • Has hydraulic disc brakes.

Bad points

  • Built in lights are an extra-cost option.
  • Doesn't have a suspension fork.

How we test

Each e-bike was taken on a test route by two riders. The 5km route in and around Wellington’s CBD included city traffic, fast flat roads, hills, kerbs, wooden bridges and a busy waterfront path shared with pedestrians.

We also put the e-bikes through a gruelling 20km route around Wellington’s Wadestown and Northland suburbs. The main challenge was climbing a 2km-long hill five times at a steady 20km/h (a kilometre of vertical ascent) and descending the same twisty narrow road between climbs. It also included a short, steep section of rough path with a narrow barrier negotiated at walking pace, an undulating 5km of suburban streets, and a steep descent requiring brakes to keep the e-bike to the 50km/h speed limit.

Our riding tests, along with a static assessment of the features and functions of each e-bike, were used to score the performance of the motor system and the bike. Overall score includes:

Motor system (50% of overall score)

  • starting, stopping and responsiveness (40% of motor system score)
  • hill climbing assistance (30%)
  • controller and display (20%)
  • high-speed assistance (10%).

Bike (50% of overall score)

  • uphill and slow riding performance, ease of mounting and dismounting, off-bike handling (50% of bike score)
  • downhill and fast flat riding stability, safety and comfort (30%)
  • comfort and safety on bumpy and rough surfaces (20%).

Model

  • Avg price

    $3299

  • Type

    City

  • Frame type

    Low step

  • Alternative frame type

    No

  • Sizes available

    S / M / L

Specifications

  • Motor brand

    Yamaha

  • Motor model

    Syncdrive Life

  • Motor location

    Mid

  • Power

    250W

  • Max assist torque

    60Nm

  • Max assist speed

    32km/h

  • Assist settings

    6

  • Walk mode

  • Thumb throttle

  • Battery size

    400Wh

  • Battery location

    Rear rack

Features

  • Wheel size

    26"

  • Tyre width

    60mm

  • Tyre tread

    Road

  • Mudguards

    Metal

  • Kickstand

    Rear mount

  • Rear rack (l x w cm)

  • Gears

    8 / Trigger

  • Suspension fork (travel)

  • Suspension seatpost

  • Lights

  • Brakes

    Disc (hydraulic)

More info