The Escape series have been one of the few benchmark hybrid bicycles in the market over the last few years. This touring labelled Escape 3 is the last among the 4 Escape series bicycles which was launched in 2016. Mostly following the same technology from its predecessor, there have been some crucial changes in this year's model. We got the opportunity to test ride the Giant Escape 3 (2016) and here is what we thought.
Once upon a time aluminium would have been frowned upon as a material for a touring frame, but alu touring bicycles at this price range are plentiful these days, so Giant's own brand aluminium alloy frame in the Escape 3 (2016) is a good buy in terms of performance and should give you many happy hours pedaling around on commutes and on tours. The bicycle did not feel that heavy, mainly due to its flattened top tube which is the standard design on the all the bicycles in the Escape series. There are four frame size choices available in India; xsmall, small, medium, and large. The high tensile chromoly steel fork helped to take the sting off rough roads and paths and kept me in control during the test ride.
The Escape series from Giant have been known for their top notch designs and the Escape 3 (2016) does not disappoint. The usual flattened top tube is as much as a design feature as it is a performance factor. This bicycle is designed with keeping in mind of making a sleek bicycle. The forks also follow the same sleek design with a neatly treaded tire. There is not much bulking in the frame or anywhere else. The bicycle we test rode came in a full black colour with no real secondary colour. The pitch black colour makes the bicycle look more sophisticated. The branding is minimal and is not all over the bicycle.
The Giant Escape 3 (2016) comes with a full Shimano Tourney groupset. The 21 speed (3x7) gearing provides an impressive gear range, the high range rear derailleur being well suited to all but the steepest climbs, even with some touring load. Tourney is the cheapest gearing component in Shimano and that is evident in the obvious lag in gear shifts and the delayed transfer time for the speed change to take effect and be felt on the legs. These can be bigger negatives while on tours but not an issue to worry about for commuting. The Shimano trigger/thumb 21 speed shifters felt comfortable on the hand but the thumb shifter needed an extra push than usual for the gear change to happen. This might be uncomfortable when there is a need for quick and constant gear shifts during commutes.
Giant have stuck with lightweight Tektro V-brakes on the Escape 3 (2016), to handle the stopping and they worked just fine during the test ride. Although there weren't any complaints on the braking components on dry conditions during the test ride, wet conditions braking might change the experience over all mainly due to the smaller size of the brake pads. A larger brake pad is an upgrade to consider if you live in a wet region. Tektro brake levers were comfortable and confidence inspiring to grab, and in a good hand position as well.
The Giant connect handlebar were longer and sleek. This thin handlebar was lighter and that made handling in traffic an easier affair during the test ride. But a bulkier pair of grips would have bettered the steering experience.
The semi_slick Giant SX-3 puncture protect 700C x 32C tires on the Escape 3 (2016) will handle modest off-road conditions such as rubbles on tarmacs and flat mud roads, and allow you to maintain speed when back on the tarmac with their 85psi rating. The only reason you might want to upgrade is if carrying very heavy loads and/or going on rougher surfaces where larger width tyres with beefier puncture protection or tire liners may help. There is plenty of frame width to add substantially wider tyres if you want to go down this road. The Giant Connect saddle are sensibly designed. They are not heavily padded, yet the thoughtful shape goes a long way in providing comfort for the rider. The overall ride quality on the Escape 3 was smooth and fast on tarmacs.
The Escape 3 resembles a versatile touring bicycle with commuter spirit. It is lighter and faster than a full-blown commuter bicycle. It does both tasks really well and would suit you if you are looking to get into bicycle touring with the possibility of a bit of commuting as well. Priced at Rs.30,900 the Giant Escape 3 (2016) is the ideal all-rounderÎ¾hybrid bicycle.