Giant Escape 2 Review

Cannondale bills the Giant Escape 2 as an all-around bike designed for fitness, commuting, and on-road versatility which gives it a lot of latitude in the specs and the features that it will emphasize in its geometry. We’ll take a look at how the manufacturer has fared with other bikes in its lineup as well as comparable models in other brands.

What is the Giant Escape 2 Designed to Do?

Stack (556mm)
Reach (410mm)
Price

Versatility is the primary purpose of the Giant Escape 2. It ticks off those boxes along with affordability in a ride that delivers comfort and showcases some of Cannondale’s latest technologies. It is an entry-level bike that doesn’t promise more than that price point promises with some hits with component choices and a few misses that smack of shortcutting

Who is the Giant Escape 2 Good For?

This bike is ideal for the beginner in the sport who wants to experience an upgrade from a steel frame and its issues to something more comfortable with components that introduce the user to the possibilities of the technology. It’s not a performance ride in the classic sense, but rather provides the recreational cyclist with a more comfortable experience on the road. It is, after all, an on-road bike meant for pavement and light trail use.

  • Frame
  • Groupset

The Giant Escape uses an ALUXX-grade aluminum frame and fork with low-rider rack mounts.

It is the entry level of this technology with 6061 alloy for optimized strength-to-weight ratios and single butting that brings the weight in check. That’s an excellent feature given the fact that some of its components add to the bike’s overall weight.

Pros

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    It’s a clean design that looks slick with hidden cables, a flatbar handlebar, and non-glossy paint.
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    It handles hills well which adds to its versatility.
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    The Giant Escape 2 is a faster and lighter ride for a commuter bike at this price point.

Cons

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    It rides a bit rough on rugged terrain where you’ll likely feel every bump and hole.
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    It shifts a bit rougher than we’d like considering the components.
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    The pedals leave a lot to be desired with a cheap, heavy quality about them.

Expert Quotes

"It has a much more traditional design now which I think looks better." - Tim S.

"The Giant Escape is ideal for cycling everywhere from busy city streets to quiet country lanes. Each one features a high-quality, lightweight ALUXX-grade aluminum frame. It gives a comfortable and supple riding characteristic." - Tredz Bicycles

How Does Giant Escape 2 Compare to Other Bikes from Giant?

Giant markets the Giant Escape 2 as an all-around bike built for comfort and longer rides. It’s on the lower-end of its offerings for on-road bikes with just the basics in materials and entry-level components. Let’s see how it stacks up with other models in the manufacturer’s line, including the Simple Single, Defy Advanced 3, Fastroad SLR 1, Cypress DX, and the Contend 1.

Stack/Reach


The Escape 2 comes in on the lower end of the stack measures at 538.48mm along with the Fastroad SLR 1 which gives them the edge for comfort versus speed. The Simple Single and Cypress DX, on the other hand, make speed and aerodynamics the priorities with their longer lengths. All of the bikes including the Escape 2 with its 406.14mm strike a balance with these features in their reach.

Wheelbase


Wheelbase = the length between the front and rear axles of the bike

There are two divisions within this group with the Escape 2, Cypress DX, and Simple Single leaning more toward a touring model with their longer wheelbase lengths for a more relaxed ride. The others have the profile of a road bike with a lively ride. The Escape 2 at 1079.5mm provides a comfortable ride, but it comes at the price of aerodynamics and speed which some may find makes for a less exciting experience.

Chainstay Length


Chainstay length = the length of the tube connecting the bottom bracket to the real wheel. 

The same polarization is evident with the chainstay length too with the Escape 2 at 452.12mm. What the Simple Single, Cypress DX, and Escape 2 missed out on stability with their wheelbase length, they make up for it here with their longer measures. That’s where your riding style comes into play because chainstay lengths on the high side mean more heel clearance for using panniers.

Price

The Escape 2 is on the lower end of the price scale. Some of the differences come down to the frame material for which all the bikes under $1,000 have the basic ALUXX-grade aluminum material. The Fastroad SLR is the highest grade which gives it 20 percent lighter tubes whereas the Defy Advanced 3 uses advanced-grade composite.

Component Differences

The Escape 2 has a triple crankset versus the double set-up with the other except the Simple Single which has a single-ring. That impacts the weight of the Escape 2, making it heavier than the others. All of the groupsets are entry-level models even in the higher priced Fastroad SLR and Defy Advanced 3. 

The Cypress DX has a sub-compact set for more precise gearing. The Simple Single with its single set-up makes it a good choice if you do touring with panniers, but you will have to work harder on the hills, especially if you’re laden down with the extra weight.

How Does Giant Escape 2 Compare to Similar Bikes on the Market?

Manufacturers vary on how they define this style of bike whether it’s called city, urban, or fitness which is evident in the geometry and specs with each one. Here, we'll compare the Escape 2 to the Cannondale Quick 7 and Adventure 3, the Diamondback Trace ST, the Trek FX 1, and the Specialized Ariel.

Head Tube Angle


Head tube angle = the position of the head tube relative to the ground

All of the bikes have a steeper head tube angle which we would expect with a road bike for better maneuverability and climbing ability. The Escape 2 fits in with this profile at 70.0 degrees. The Cannondale Adventure 3, as the name might imply, favors stability at higher speeds at the cost of making climbing hard.

Head Tube Length


Head tube length = the length of the tube mounting the front fork steerer. 

All the bikes have a shorter head tube length that makes up for some of the losses in aerodynamics with other aspects of their geometry. The Escape 2 is in the middle of the pack at 11.43cm. The Specialized Ariel Mechanical Disc leans more toward the stability end of the scale because of its emphasis on control and handling.

Wheelbase


Wheelbase = the length between the front and rear axles of the bike.

All of the bikes fall into the touring range with their longer wheelbase lengths including the Escape 2 at 1079.5mm. That makes sense in a bike marketed for longer jaunts. The Ariel Mechanical Disc again stands out with its preference for a more nimble ride indicative of its branding.

Chainstay Length


Chainstay length = the length of the tube connecting the bottom bracket to the real wheel.

Here it’s evident that the Cannondale Quick 7, Trek FX 1, and Specialized Ariel Mechanical Disc favor a snappier ride with a shorter length. That can make a difference if you want a more nimble experience, or if you like to hop around on your bike with the greater control it provides. The longer measurements of the Adventure 3, Trace ST, and Escape 2 at 452.12mm give them the edge for climbing traction.

Component Differences

All of the bikes have a Shimano triple crankset which adds to the overall weight of the bike. The Escape 2 uses an SR XCE-T318 which is a lower-end model in the Suntour line. The Ariel is the only bike with mechanical disc brakes which gives it a huge advantage of more precision and stopping power over the others, albeit, at the cost of added weight.

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