Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro Review

Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Electric Bike Review
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Control Pad Sram Eagle Shifters Flick Bell
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Fox 36 Suspension Fork
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro High Step Frame Bottle Cage Bosses
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Maestro Floating Point Suspension 140mm Travel
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Maxxis Minion Dhf Front Tire Sram Code R Hydraulic Disc Brake 200mm Rotor
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Maxxis Rekon Rear Tire Sram Eagle Derailleur
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Sram X Sync Eagle 36 Tooth Narrow Wide Chainring Praxis Crank Arms
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Syncdrive Pro Mid Mounted Motor Charging Port
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Energypak 500 Battery
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro 6 Amp Charger And Adapter
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Electric Bike Review
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Control Pad Sram Eagle Shifters Flick Bell
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Fox 36 Suspension Fork
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro High Step Frame Bottle Cage Bosses
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Maestro Floating Point Suspension 140mm Travel
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Maxxis Minion Dhf Front Tire Sram Code R Hydraulic Disc Brake 200mm Rotor
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Maxxis Rekon Rear Tire Sram Eagle Derailleur
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Sram X Sync Eagle 36 Tooth Narrow Wide Chainring Praxis Crank Arms
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Syncdrive Pro Mid Mounted Motor Charging Port
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro Energypak 500 Battery
Giant Trance E Plus One Pro 6 Amp Charger And Adapter

Summary

  • A beautiful full-suspension electric mountain bike with quality components, excellent warranty and dealer support, and four frame sizes to accommodate riders of all sizes
  • Color-matched components look great along with the seamless downtube integration of the battery and internally routed cabling
  • Huge range of 11 to 50 teeth on a 1x12 SRAM drivetrain, proprietary Giant SyncDrive Pro mid-drive motor and powerful SRAM Code R hydraulic disc brakes
  • Battery charging port is in the path of the left crank arm, and charging the battery off the bike requires a separate dongle that could get lost

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Giant

Model:

Trance E+ 1 Pro

Price:

$5,565

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2019

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

54.6 lbs (24.76 kg)

Battery Weight:

9.4 lbs (4.26 kg)

Motor Weight:

6.6 lbs (2.99 kg)

Frame Material:

ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)17.5 in (44.45 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Medium 17.5" Measurements: 17.25" Seat Tube, 22.5" Reach, 28.5" Stand Over Height, 34" Minimum Saddle Height, 31" Width, 76.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gloss Metallic Black with Gloss Metallic Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Fox 36 Float Performance 27.5+ Air Suspension, 150mm Travel, Compression Adjust with Lockout, Rebound Adjust, 34mm Black Anodized Stanchions, Boost 110mm Hub Spacing, 15mm Thru-Axle with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

Fox Float DPS Performance Air Suspension, 140mm Travel, Compression Adjust (Climb, Trail, Descend), Rebound Adjust, Extra Volume Sleeve, 185/52mm Trunnion Mount, Custom Tuned, Boost 148mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Thru Axle with Quick Release

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

12 Speed 1x12 SRAM GX Eagle Type 2 Derailleur with Roller Clutch, SRAM PG-1230 11-50 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

SRAM GX Eagle on Right (Single-Click), SRAM GX Eagle Type 2

Cranks:

Custom Forged Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, 104 Bolt Circle Diameter, ISIS Splined Bottom Bracket Interface, SRAM X-Sync Eagle 36 Tooth Aluminum Alloy Narrow-Wide Chainring

Pedals:

VP-896 Plastic Platform

Headset:

FSA, Sealed Cartridge Bearing, Integrated, Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"

Stem:

Giant Contact SL 35 Trail, 50mm Length, 0° Rise, One 10mm Spacer, Two 5mm Spacers, 35mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Giant Contact Trail, Low-Rise, Aluminum Alloy, 780mm Width

Brake Details:

SRAM Code R Hydraulic Disc with 200mm Rotors and Quad-Piston Calipers, SRAM Code R Two-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Giant, Flat Rubber, Locking, Neon Orange

Saddle:

Giant Contact, Neutral

Seat Post:

Giant Contact Switch, Aluminum Alloy, Remote Height Adjust (120mm Dropper)

Seat Post Length:

200 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Giant AM 27.5, 584x35mm, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 28 Hole Front, 32 Hole Rear, Reinforcement Eyelets

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 15 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Front: Maxxis Minion DHF, 27.5" x 2.6" (66-584), Rear: Maxxis Rekon, 27.5" x 2.6" (66-584)

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

20 to 40 PSI, 1.4 to 2.8 BAR, Foldable, Tubeless, EXO, Dual Compound

Tube Details:

Presta Valves

Accessories:

Heavy-Duty Rubber Slap Guard on Right Chainstay, Flick Bell on Right

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-Mounted Battery Pack, SRAM GX Eagle PowerLock Chain, Maximum 120 RPM Motor Support, 3.1lb 6 Amp Charger with Dongle Adapter

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Giant SyncDrive Pro, Powered by Yamaha PW-X

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

80 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Giant EnergyPak

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

13.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

496.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Giant RideControl One, Fixed, Adjustable Angle, White LED Console, Buttons: Up, Down, Power, Lights (NA on This Model), Walk Mode

Readouts:

Battery Charge Level (5 Dots), Lights Indicator, Pedal Assist Level (5 Dots)

Display Accessories:

Optional Bluetooth App (RideControl), Readouts: Battery Percentage, Motor Tuning, Map, Ride Statistics, Trip Planning, Goal Planning

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Triple-Sensor: Rear Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, +Eco 50%, Eco 100%, Standard 190%, High 280%, Extra Power 360%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Fullerton Cycles. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Giant products.

Giant is a big name in the bicycle industry and that includes electric bikes, which they’ve actually been making for over 20 years! That experience means they have some serious expertise and unique designs which I got to check out first-hand with the Trance E+ 1 Pro. This is simply a beautiful bike, the sleek downtube integration of the battery and unobtrusive RideControl One control system make it quite stealthy, and the color-matching of components with the frame is really top notch… but it does only come in the one color combination of orange/black, so hopefully you like that combination! You do get your choice of four frame sizes from small to extra-large, and just for the record the bike I worked with here was the medium frame size. The components and features on this bike are high quality, and while we’ll talk about a lot of them in detail later in this review I want to spend some time talking about the suspension here. Up front we have a Fox 36 suspension fork, with a large 150mm of travel and black anodized stanchions which help to prevent stiction. In the back we have Giant’s proprietary Maestro suspension, a floating-point suspension system that gives 140mm of travel and really does a tremendous job to help riders maintain control in bumpy and/or braking situations. It has more of a vertical travel path (instead of “rainbowing” out) and helps to prevent squat, so that the suspension stays active while braking. I also appreciate the clearance for the top of the suspension fork, you can turn the handlebars sharply to the side without worrying about the top of the fork hitting the downtube (which is a problem some other electric mountain bikes have, especially those with a downtube-integrated battery). This is a really solid suspension setup that can handle high-intensity trails, and fortunately we’ve also got tires that are up to the task courtesy of Maxxis. Something I think is very cool here is that we have different tires with the Minion DHF on the front for better steering and control, and then the Rekon on the rear for better grip and climbing performance. These tires are also tubeless ready and have great built-in puncture protection, and are on the lower end of plus sizing at 27.5″ at 2.6″. This works in tandem with boost hub spacing to provide great strength and stability while still being fairly nimble.

One of the things you get when using a Giant bike is a lot of proprietary components, and the motor here is no exception. This mid-drive motor, billed the Giant SyncDrive Pro, is based on the Yamaha PW-X motor, but it’s not just a PW-X with a new label slapped on it; it has further design modifications courtesy of Giant that reduce the weight by 13% and bump power output up to 360%, as well as reducing the chance for slippage under high load. This motor puts out 250 watts of power and peaks at 500 with a solid 80 newton-meters of torque, plenty of power for climbing steep hills. These motors measure a combination of torque, cadence, and rear wheel speed, which means impressive responsiveness for when you start and stop pedaling. This is especially useful if you stop and need to start again on a steep hill, something that is bound to happen when mountain biking! Something to call out for the rear wheel speed sensor is that it’s positioned a small distance off the frame, reading data from a spoke-mounted magnet as the wheel rotates. This is a common setup but it is vulnerable to getting bumped out of alignment, especially on a mountain bike, so keep an eye on that. Mike let me know that the 2020 version of this bike will see some improvements in that area with the sensor itself integrated into the frame, so that will be exciting to see! Since this is a mid-drive motor its effectiveness is influenced by which gear you are in, and fortunately we get an absolutely monstrous range of gears in the back with the SRAM GX Eagle cassette. This cassette has 12 sprockets with a range of 11 to 50 teeth, a wide range that fits well with the Eagle name. It gives you a lot to work with and makes it easy to have only one chainring up front. That chainring is another SRAM component, the X-Sync Eagle with 36 narrow-wide teeth, an ISIS splined interface, and an MRP chain guide that will keep it from bouncing off on bumps. the GX Eagle derailleur also has a roller clutch, which you can use to lock the chain in a loose position to make trail maintenance easier. The crank arms here are custom-forged aluminum alloy with a standard length of 170mm, and it’s worth noting that the Trance E+ 1 Pro does not come with pedals, so you’ll have to supply those. I would have preferred to see at least some generic pedals ship with the bike, but the reality is that no matter what pedals come on here a lot of riders will be swapping them out for whatever their exact preference is, so the lack of standard pedals makes sense.

The battery here is yet another Giant component called the EnergyPak. If you’ve read our recent review of the Liv Intrigue this is the same battery here, and it offers some unique features, such as smarter cells that are individually controlled so that one can fail without causing a total battery failure, more spacing between cells for safety, and longer cell life thanks to the included 6amp “smart charger.” Giant doesn’t provide any specific numbers for how much longer of a battery life to expect compared to other manufacturers, so your guess is as good as mine there… but I definitely appreciate the safety considerations and the charger here. 6 amps is really impressive and can charge the battery very quickly, but it does come with some trade-offs. The obvious one is weight, the charger weighs in at 3.1 pounds and that is in my opinion a bit too heavy to easily throw in a bag and carry with you while you ride. Of course, this bike is a full suspension mountain bike… so you probably aren’t going to want to bring your charger along anyways, as there aren’t many opportunities to plug in while you’re out on the trails. Another tradeoff to mention on this charger and battery combination is that the charger cannot interface directly with the battery when it is removed from the bike. To do that you need a separate adapter, which does come with the bike, I just wish we didn’t have to have a separate component which is just one more thing to keep track of and transport. I’ve already mentioned the sleek downtube integration of the battery, and something else I appreciate is the two-step release process: step one is unlocking the battery with the key which will cause the top end to drop out about an inch, and then step two requires you to press a release button at the top of the battery to fully remove it. This is a nice feature that helps prevent accidentally dropping the battery out and damaging it. As is the case with most full-suspension mountain bikes the Trance does not have any integrated lights, as you can imagine there aren’t a lot of riders going mountain biking in the dark and lights are vulnerable to getting damaged or broken if you crash or bump into something.

The cockpit here is aggressive and minimalist, with shifters and a flick bell on the right, and the control pad on the left. The control pad is called RideControl One and is another of Giant’s unique designs, it is a rubberized button pad with large up/down buttons on the left for changing assist level, a button for power on the right side, and a “walk mode” button on the bottom. Quick note on the walk mode here, it activates very quickly, so be ready for that! Also since this is a mid-drive bike the speed of walk mode will be affected by the gear you are in, so you’ll want to shift down to a low gear before using it. Back to the control pad, conspicuously absent here is any sort of an LCD screen, with the pad itself having white LED indicators to show battery charge and assist levels. Battery level is shown on the right in 20% steps and assist level in the center-left, with five different levels of assist available. I’ve used this control system on other Giant bikes and I especially like it on a mountain bike like this, because it’s small and durable, and no LCD screen means no fragile component mounted on your handlebar where it is in risk of damage or destruction (similar to lights). It’s also worth mentioning that this control pad helps with the “stealth” factor, combined with the sleek battery integration, so a lot of other riders probably won’t realize this is an electrified bike without close inspection. I do want to mention that these white LED indicators are very bright, I had no problem at all seeing them in direct sunlight. That’s awesome, but it does make me wonder if they would be too bright and distracting when riding at night… although you can adjust the angle on the control pad a bit and point them away from you to mitigate this, and as we mentioned before you probably wouldn’t be doing much, if any, night riding on this Ebike. If having an LCD screen and more information than what a few LEDs can provide is your jam, Giant has got you covered with their RideControl smartphone app available for both iOS and Android. The app pairs with your bike over Bluetooth and shows you a lot more info (such as a battery level as a percentage), as well as having more utilities for things like motor tuning and trip planning. Unfortunately, using the app requires you to register a bike, so we didn’t get to actually test it out beyond looking at some promotional screenshots. If you have any experience with this app, we would love to hear about it in the comments! Moving on to the rest of the controls here we have SRAM Code R brakes, these are hydraulic disc brakes with 200mm rotors and hefty quad-piston calipers front and rear – awesome stopping power! The shifter is the GX Eagle (another SRAM component), and it is Ebike specific, which mostly boils down to being a single-click shifter that doesn’t allow you to dump a bunch of gears at once. This is designed to help protect your chain and sprockets, since shifting several gears at once while under high load can be really rough on your equipment, especially since these mid-drive motors don’t have any sort of software shift detection. Even though this is just a single-click shifter it’s still a good idea to ease off the pressure on the pedals while shifting to avoid putting too much stress on the drivetrain.

The Trance E+ 1 Pro is an impressive bike with top-notch components, and that shows up in the $5,565 price tag. There are a few things we haven’t mentioned yet that are included, one of which is the presence of bottle cage bosses on the downtube – love to see those, and I do recommend a side-release bottle cage if you are going to add one otherwise the bottle might be difficult to remove due to the proximity of the top tube. We also get a dropper seat post, a must-have component for the avid mountain biker! Of course, with the Trance being a Giant bike you get the support and warranty you would expect, with a large network of dealers around the world and a two-year comprehensive, lifetime frame warranty. Giant has impressive history and expertise with both mountain bikes and electric bikes, and it certainly shows in the sleek and cohesive design of the Trance, as well as the smooth and powerful ride experience. I actually got to take this bike out on the Fullerton Loop for some proper trail riding, which was a lot of fun (and we have some footage of that in the video review).

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the EBR forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • A premium full-suspension electric mountain bike that comes in four frame sizes and offers a solid warranty and dealer support network
  • Maestro floating point in the rear and Fox 36 suspension fork in the front work great an provide 140mm/150mm of travel
  • Very stealthy thanks to clean downtube integration of the battery and the minimalist control pad
  • 6amp “smart charger” means extremely fast charge time and also helps to prolong battery cell life
  • Beautiful visual appearance thanks to color-match components and internally routed cabling
  • Puncture-Resistant and tubeless-ready tires from Maxxis with the Minion DHF on the front for improved grab and control, and the Rekon on the rear for better traction and climbing
  • Boost spacing combined with the lower end of plus sizing at 27.5″ x 2.6″ means great stability and strength while still being fairly nimble
  • SRAM Code R hydraulic disc brakes do a fantastic job of stopping with 200mm rotors and quad-piston calipers
  • SRAM shifting components provide a massive range of 11-50 teeth across 12 sprockets, narrow-wide teeth on the chainring with an MRP guide, and an Ebike-specific single-click shifter
  • Giant SyncDrive Pro mid-drive motor is powerful, responsive, and fairly quiet, and pairs well with the simple and intuitive RideControl One control system
  • Optional RideControl smartphone app pairs with the bike and offers better more detailed readouts, motor tuning, trip planning, and other features

Cons:

  • Charging the battery while removed from the bike requires an extra adapter, it is included just make sure not to lose it
  • The 6amp charger is quite large heavy at 3.1 pounds and thus more difficult to transport in a bag or backpack, but it does charge the battery very quickly
  • The charging port on the bike is directly in the path of the left crank arm, so be careful that the bike doesn’t get bumped or moved while charging to prevent damage to the electronics
  • There doesn’t appear to be any way to adjust the brightness of the white LED indicators on the control pad, they work great in the day but it would be nice to dim them when riding at night or trying to be stealthy on the trail

Resources:

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Comments (2) YouTube Comments

Quick E+ 2019
3 months ago

I have a Quick E+ 2019 and although I am a big fan of the bike and the Syncdrive motor, the App is pretty terrible. A lot of the features in the promotional literature simply aren’t implemented. Firmware updates aren’t there. The trip planning doesn’t allow you to do anything more then enter a destination, it doesn’t seem to preference cycleways or allow you to tweak the route – this is particularly disappointing if you have the RideControl EVO which actually works quite well at displaying directions.

Also, disappointing if you have an EVO display is that notifications don’t work on Apple devices at all – Giant do not tell you any of this in their promotional material. My other weird bugbear is that the EVO display will not show you a clock, unless you have navigation active, even though the clock part of the screen isn’t used for anything else. Bike computers have been able to do this since my first Cateye in the 80’s.

Also the fitness data is very basic, simply displays heart rate and calories if you have a bluetooth heart monitor, but no Apple Health or Google Health sync. On the plus side it does sync with strava, but no live segment support or anything like that.

Bottom line, is the Giant App isn’t really usable for anything outside customising the assist levels, and most people are going to want to run another app in parallel, which makes it pretty useless. Giant also need to come clean and stop promoting features that the App doesn’t have – notably firmware updates and IOS notifications.

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Thanks for the feedback and real-world perspectives! Hope the bike holds up for you and maybe they introduce an app update at some point ;)

  Reply

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