- Good frame design with great features – including standover clearance and internal cable routing
- Excellent brakes
- Triple crankset will get you up and over anything
Price as reviewed:
The Giant Escape 1 Disc is Giant’s city slicker, disc equipped do-it-all hybrid bike that would be a great choice for anyone looking to start riding leisurely or wants to get to work in comfort.
A lick of paint and some slight component changes has brought the 2018 version of the capable bike to life, which for £625 is offering great design features and good performance.
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Giant Escape 1 Disc: Plenty of neat frame features
The frame itself is made from ALUXX-grade butted aluminium, traditionally a material seen to give a good balance between weight and comfort. This Giant has paired to a composite fork with an alloy steerer and it claims this should help dampen any road vibrations coming through the front end.
It’s a comfortable bike, and on my commutes around the mean streets of London I’ve not been in any discomfort when bobbling over the pot holes and broken roads.
The frame’s geometry helps elevate this comfort to another level. The frame’s boxy style is in line with Giant’s compact road bike offerings such as the Giant Defy Advanced 2 and it puts the rider in a comfortable upright position without the strain on the neck and shoulders associated with classic racing bike design. Pair this with a riser stem and plenty of spacers on top of the head tube you’ll never feel any neck ache at all.
What I particularly like about the Giant Escape 1 Disc is that Giant has endowed the bike with an enormous amount of standover clearance. It’ll be a welcome relief to those who usually ride in jeans as it makes hopping on and off the bike a whole lot easier.
I was happily surprised by the inclusion of internal cable routing. It’s not something you often see on this type of hybrid bike, and it does make for a tidy looking front end.
Watch: Hybrid bike buyer’s guide
Good brakes make for a good bike
A nice touch are the hydraulic Tektro disc brakes, and it’s pleasing on this type of city bike not to have cable operated ones – the difference in feel is immediately noticeable. Considering the aforementioned weight it’s also great to see Giant provide 160mm rotors, and the bigger diameter discs add a level of power and control that compliments the weight of the bike.
Out on the commute, I’d always opt for disc brakes. The assured stopping power and increased control are a must have in heavy traffic, especially when you throw rain into the mix.
Elsewhere, and as you might expect, Giant largely provides its own brand components for the Giant Escape and that extends to the stem, seatpost, saddle and handlebar. The last two of which are actually quite important, making up two of the three contact points on the bike.
The Giant Connect Upright saddle was a comfortable enough perch for my commutes (the longest of which was 6km). However, if you intend to push the distance on this bike it could be worth swapping in a saddle you know you get on well with.
The Giant Connect Low Rise handlebars are also up to scratch and provide a nice little lift at the front end, again adding a little bit of elevation and comfort to the ride. They measure either 640mm on the the small or medium bikes and 690mm on our large test bike and the extra large model.
The important part, though, is the Shimano Altus drivetrain. As with most Shimano products, it has proven itself bombproof, and its shifting hasn’t skipped a beat. It’s a triple setup, which means you’ll have the use of three rings at the front (in a 26/36/48 guise paired with a nine speed cassette on the back) which makes winching yourself up any hills relatively painless – a big relief considering the fairly hefty weight of the bike.
Out on the road, the Giant Escape 1 Disc with wide 32mm tyres drag quite a lot, but once you’re up to speed the bike trundles along, although is certainly not nippy. Of course, speed isn’t the aim of the game when commuting or leisurely riding, and the flip-side is the increased comfort that comes with increased tyre width and they certainly helped dull the choppy roads. It’s a specification choice that will come down to exactly what you want to use the bike for.
Giant has also done its best to create a bike that can do it all and while we wouldn’t want to do long road rides on it – for that we’d always recommend a purposely design road bike – it’ll handle canal paths and the like without problem.
The Giant Escape 1 Disc is an impressively specced city slicker that'd be more than happy on gravel paths and the like. Plenty of standover clearance makes the frame comfortable while the geometry, riser stem and bars makes getting comfortable very easy.