When Giant’s new “lifestyle-inspired” electric bike sub-brand Momentum unveiled the Voya E+ 3, it did so at a positively mid-range price of $2,400. That brought it in below the fancier mid-drive e-bikes in most bike shops but well above the value-oriented direct to consumer e-bikes. Considering it has one wheel solidly in each camp, let’s see how it competes against the rest of the industry.
I had the chance to get some hands-on testing with the bike when Momentum agree to let me go nuts on one of their demo models for a couple of weeks. Having never tested an e-bike from this brand before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect after I covered the bike’s original unveiling.
On the one hand, it’s a fairly low-powered hub motor e-bike and thus isn’t going to knock anyone’s riding socks off in the power department.
On the other hand, Giant knows their way around a bike, and thus the bike is well made with mostly good-quality parts, and so I knew this one would be better than a fresh-off-the-boat white-labeled electric bike directly from China, so to speak.
You can come along with me on my rides in my testing video below, then keep reading for the rest of my complete review.
Momentum Voya E+ 3 video review
Momentum Voya E+ 3 tech specs
- Motor: 250W rear hub motor (30 Nm torque)
- Battery: 250 Wh
- Top speed: 20 mph (32 km/h)
- Range: Up to 45 miles (72 km)
- Weight: 39.7 lb. (18 kg)
- Frame: Aluminum
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
- Tires: 700 x 38c
- Extras: Streamlined frame-integrated display, 9-speed microSHIFT transmission, fast 4A charger, two frame sizes, three frame sizes, mounting hardpoints for accessories, kickstand
A bit of both worlds
The Momentum Voya E+ 3 is part comfort bike, part commuter bike. It’s not as forward-leaning as it might look (see my ride video above for reference), but also isn’t a totally upright, cruiser-style ride either.
Between the comfortable touch points in the saddle and handlebars, it’s a much better feeling ride than some ultra-lightweight commuter e-bikes out there, that’s for sure.
It’s also only borderline “ultra-lightweight.” At just under 40 lb. (18 kg), it’s definitely a lighter electric bike than we’re used to seeing. But it’s also not going to blow away in the wind. Again, that’s the first of many compromises you’ll see in this e-bike.
Part of the lightweight design comes from the lower power drivetrain. That rear hub motor is just 250W and 30Nm (though I’ve also seen Giant literature that lists it as 25 Nm, so I’m not sure which to believe). Anyway you slice it, it’s a modest assist motor, not a powerhouse.
It’s fine for getting you up to the bike’s top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), but not quickly. This is very much a cyclist’s type of e-bike. It’s for someone who enjoys cycling – as in pedaling – but wants a constant tail wind in the form of some light electric assist.
If you punch it up into the highest assist mode, then you’ll feel some nice power, but it’s never going to feel overpowered. The Momentum Voya E+ 3 just ain’t that type of e-bike, folks.
The battery isn’t huge either at just 250 Wh, but that’s actually quite appropriate for the bike’s design. With an energy-sipping motor and controller, you can make that battery last all afternoon.
Giant says it will stretch itself to 45 miles (72 km) in the lowest assist setting. I’m not sure if it will or not, as I just couldn’t bring myself to ride around in pedal assist setting 1 all the time. It’s such a light level assistance that I kept giving into the urge to bump up the power level by a click or two. I like a bit more power than that, what can I say?
But when it does come time to recharge, the 4A charger will get the battery mostly filled in barely two hours. Between a lower-than-average battery capacity and higher-than-average power charger, it’s a bit like filling a bucket with a fire hose: It happens quickly.
On the user interface side, there’s a nicely integrated “display” in the top tube that takes the place of the kind of digital displays we’re used to seeing on the handlebars. You’ve got a pair of LED bars to indicate battery level and pedal assist level. There’s a multi-function button for turning the e-bike on and for making power selections. It almost disappears into the top tube, which is a snazzy and low-profile way to do it. You can’t fault the Momentum Voya E+ 3 for having too much gear in your face, that’s for sure. And I’ll take a nice, clean pair of handlebars any day of the week.
The other more mechanical interface points are nicely spec’d as well. The hydraulic disc brakes are punchy and confidence inspiring. The 9-speed MicroSHIFT transmission gives plenty of room to run through the gears. And the fairly narrow bars make this a nimble ride that cuts a nice compromise between twitchy and responsive.
There’s of course no suspension on the bike, it’s a commuter after all. But the 38c tires in 700c diameter are a bit bigger than you’d see on a purely urban ride, so there’s a tiny bit more forgiveness there. Even so, this isn’t the bike for someone that has major back issues or just doesn’t like feeling the topography of the road.
While I’m mostly happy with everything I see here (even if I could always do with a little more power), I’m a bit surprised by the polymer pedals. They just jump out as cheap looking, and I didn’t expect to see plastic pedals on a $2,400 e-bike. They may be lighter, but they scratch up quickly and they just don’t look the part for such a classy and stylish e-bike like this.
Ultimately though, for a mid-priced e-bike, I think the Momentum Voya E+ 3 results in a mid-level ride. It compromises nicely between the fancier bike store e-bikes and the direct to consumer rides. You can get higher end parts with the former and you can get more power and battery with the latter. But if you’re looking for a Goldilocks option in the middle, I can see this falling into that niche.
I may forever fault Momentum for not giving us built-in lights, which I think are a necessity on a true commuter e-bike, but I’m happy with the rest of the bike. It’s a higher-end and more nicely refined machine that I typically see from direct-to-consumer companies, and it wouldn’t look out of place sitting next to a $3,000-$4,000 bike store e-bike.
But it also saves you several thousand dollars with a simpler drivetrain and modest component selection.
Plus with three different frame sizes to choose from, it goes way beyond what we normally see from e-bikes at half its price range.
The Momentum Voya E+ 3 won’t be for everyone, but it might be the missing link between the good and the great that is sorely lacking in this market. If that’s what you’ve been on the hunt for, then I’d recommend checking it out. If you don’t want a low-power electric bike for light assistance, then I’d skip it in favor of higher-power models with more bang (and power) for your buck.
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