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2021 Giant Trance X E+ review

 
Here’s my video on the 2021 Giant Trance. A capable 29er trail based ebike with the Yamaha PWX2 motor.

  1. I assume that the 2021 software is the same as the 2020 bikes.

    I agree with you about the auto mode, it seems to give too much power when you dont need it, and not enough when you do.

    A big part of that is probably me not using the gears correctly / how the bike expects me to.

    I’ve also learnt that it likes a higher cadence, rather letting me be lazy in higher gears.

  2. Rob,
    Great review.

    I’d like a Carbon version weighing 4 or 5 pounds less.

    Did the motor feel any different than the Hiabike you reviewed a few months ago?

    Sounds like the shifting was good.

    I vote for you testing a new Ydx-Moro next😎

    And a Kindernay too please. Lol.

    Thanks for great videos.

  3. Rob,
    Great review.

    I’d like a Carbon version weighing 4 or 5 pounds less.

    Did the motor feel any different than the Hiabike you reviewed a few months ago?

    Sounds like the shifting was good.

    I vote for you testing a new Ydx-Moro next😎

    And a Kindernay too please. Lol.

    Thanks for great videos.

    Honestly didn’t notice too much difference between this and the Haibike, other than it having a far neater bar control (I don’t like the big Haibike display). I was hoping the Smart Assist might be a bit better, but it felt a bit less natural than what I was expecting.

    I like the 80Nm power in the lower modes (the Haibike ONLY allows it in Extra Power mode), so I appreciated having the full 80Nm on tap on steep climbs even when in mode 3 or 4.

    They (Yamaha) need to sort out the pedal twitchiness in modes 4 and 5. I totally get the benefits of the instant torque, but other motors manage almost identical instant on performance without the twitchiness…

  4. I like the 80Nm power in the lower modes (the Haibike ONLY allows it in Extra Power mode), so I appreciated having the full 80Nm on tap on steep climbs even when in mode 3 or 4.

    Rob, there is no doubt you are correct.

    Is "80nm power in lower modes" a Giant syncdrive spec? I cant find it in the brochures.

  5. Rob, there is no doubt you are correct.

    Is "80nm power in lower modes" a Giant syncdrive spec? I cant find it in the brochures.

    I took a few of the stats from a Giant Product & Training Manager, here’s a verbatim part of quote of some detail I was sent (y)

    "We are the only brand that can source just the motor from them and pair it with our battery of choice and importantly our own firmware. One significant difference between this and the Yamaha version is we don’t restrict the torque, 80Nm in all modes not just the top one."

  6. I took a few of the stats from a Giant Product & Training Manager, here’s a verbatim part of quote of some detail I was sent (y)

    "We are the only brand that can source just the motor from them and pair it with our battery of choice and importantly our own firmware. One significant difference between this and the Yamaha version is we don’t restrict the torque, 80Nm in all modes not just the top one."

    Thanks, I know I’ve heard this before, but for the life of me couldn’t find it.

  7. They (Yamaha) need to sort out the pedal twitchiness in modes 4 and 5. I totally get the benefits of the instant torque, but other motors manage almost identical instant on performance without the twitchiness…

    The surging when not moving,
    but with pressure on the peddles,
    never bothered me. But, I’ve read enough from folks who dont like it, to agree, it’s a problem.

    I’ve always thought this twitch was a Giant syncdrive thing… I guess I learned two things today. :)

    What do you think about this bike as mullet?

  8. I think mulleting this bike will drop the motor too low and will result in many motor strikes.

    Once my warranty replacement wheel arrives (my trance19 OEM hub stripped the freehub threads after 4K), I will install it on the TranX, and measure the difference, between running a mullet in high mode, and a 29er in low mode.

    For me, It’s not so much about handling, as it is about spare parts and tires. I’ve already got the parts laying around, and an almost ridiculous collection of 27.5 tires, tubes and liners that need to be used.

  9. Once my warranty replacement wheel arrives (my trance19 OEM hub stripped the freehub threads after 4K), I will install it on the TranX, and measure the difference, between running a mullet in high mode, and a 29er in low mode.

    For me, It’s not so much about handling, as it is about spare parts and tires. I’ve already got the parts laying around, and an almost ridiculous collection of 27.5 tires, tubes and liners that need to be used.

    I have not tried running in low mode yet, probably will not either as I get quite a few rock and log rolls that strike the motor.

    I am actually going to up the fork to 160 with an air shaft and leave the bike on high. This should then closely match the geometry of the standard bike on low, and hopefully help clear more log and rock rolls.

    My trails can be tight and twisty and the added agility of high mode seems to suit these trails better.

  10. Yamaha was always a great motor. But his centered pedal axis don’t allow some geo and suspension schemes.
  11. Yamaha was always a great motor. But his centered pedal axis don’t allow some geo and suspension schemes.

    I think it is not about Yamaha motor.. see f.e. Haibike or even hardtail Fathom. IMHO the limit is Maestro suspension. Lower short link connected to bottom point of rear shock forced to set the engine angle at almost horizontal…

  12. Wasn’t sure where to put this and didn’t want to clog the forum with a new thread so I’ll try here.

    Just had my first ride on this bike yesterday and I love it!

    Quick question if the more experienced of you don’t mind as I’m a complete newbie to ebikes.

    I noticed when pedalling, as I stop pedalling the chainring seems to continue to turn for a second or so. Is this normal and meant to help with gear changes?
    When the bloke dropped it off, he did mention something about being mindful of quick gear changes as it’s an ebike but I wasn’t sure what he meant?
    Changing seems a bit clunky too so thinking I may need some more lube.

    Hope this makes sense.
    Thanks.

  13. Greetings.
    A little run-on is normal with the pwx2, as well as other motors I’ve riden, though it’s never seemed excessive on either of the Yamaha/Giants I’ve owned.
    You can certainly use the run-on to assist gear changes, knowing the motor will carry on a bit. A minor pause while peddling, timed simultaneously with a single click of the shifter, should yield a very nice quick shift.

    Which groupset is on your bike? The Shimano 12 speed on mine shifts quickly and consistently, unless choked with mud or debris. The highest level pro1 as tested above has an XT shifter, with the ability to shift multiple gears. Don’t use this feature until you understand it. If your new to this sport, I’d suggest a single click, single shift, method for a minute.

  14. Hi,
    That’s great, thanks for the response.
    I had another blast this morning and like you say, timed well it does aid for some smooth shifting.

    Mine is the middle of the range so it’s the blue one as opposed to the one reviewed above.
    SLX shifters and Deore XT mech.

    Been riding for years so used to it all, I’d just not read about the run on and it confused me yesterday!

    Used to the multiple shifting on my analogue bike, just seemed a touch clunky yesterday.

  15. Hi,
    That’s great, thanks for the response.
    I had another blast this morning and like you say, timed well it does aid for some smooth shifting.

    Mine is the middle of the range so it’s the blue one as opposed to the one reviewed above.
    SLX shifters and Deore XT mech.

    Been riding for years so used to it all, I’d just not read about the run on and it confused me yesterday!

    Used to the multiple shifting on my analogue bike, just seemed a touch clunky yesterday.

    Cool! I’ve got the same bike. (y)Took delivery of mine over a month ago and still have studded tires on it. It’s been a long winter and there’s still ice on our trails.

    Here’s footage from my ride today….

  16. Cool! I’ve got the same bike. (y)Took delivery of mine over a month ago and still have studded tires on it. It’s been a long winter and there’s still ice on our trails.

    Here’s footage from my ride today….

    Cool! Where are you based? Trails look good.

  17. Cool! I’ve got the same bike. (y)Took delivery of mine over a month ago and still have studded tires on it. It’s been a long winter and there’s still ice on our trails.

    Here’s footage from my ride today….

    Absolutely gorgeous trails. Beautiful place to live. Jealous I am.

  18. @tomhollywood and @DrStupid – I’m located in Alberta, Canada, one of three prairie provinces. The trail is in my backyard and ‘I’m able to access it and many others riding the Trance to the destinations.

    We’re over 3 hours drive away to the Cdn Rockies so it’s nice to have these single track runs close at hand. Our winters are long up here (6 months) and I hope it won’t be much longer so I can swap the studs over to the stock knobbies.

    Here’s another video of a recent ride along the east side of our local tributary, the Red Deer River.


    I’m new to the e-MTB scene and have been riding a vintage rigid Trek 970 up until I acquired the Trance. BTW, it’s exceeded all of my expectations and look forward to riding more trails in the summer. My riding buddy shown in the footage has been taking me around the local trails and rides a 2020 Turbo Levo Comp Carbon.

  19. I’m about an hour drive or so south of Edmonton. I haven’t had a chance to explore the trails there but I’ve heard that the North Saskatchewan river valley is beautiful anytime of the year. Plus he’s not far from the mountains himself as Jasper Nat Park is a gorgeous spot to ride!

    Like you, this is my first FS bike and it’s such a departure from riding my 30 yr old Trek which sported 26" wheels. It took a while to get accustomed to the bigger bike but the torque from the Yamaha power plant is so addictive I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to my old school ride. Okay, maybe on those frigid days when the mercury dips to below -30C. 🥶

    BTW, congrats on acquiring your Trance and I have no doubt that you’ll have a great time riding the trails with it as I have. 👍

    View attachment 56721

  20. I’m about an hour drive or so south of Edmonton. I haven’t had a chance to explore the trails there but I’ve heard that the North Saskatchewan river valley is beautiful anytime of the year. Plus he’s not far from the mountains himself as Jasper Nat Park is a gorgeous spot to ride!

    Like you, this is my first FS bike and it’s such a departure from riding my 30 yr old Trek which sported 26" wheels. It took a while to get accustomed to the bigger bike but the torque from the Yamaha power plant is so addictive I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to my old school ride. Okay, maybe on those frigid days when the mercury dips to below -30C. 🥶

    BTW, congrats on acquiring your Trance and I have no doubt that you’ll have a great time riding the trails with it as I have. 👍

    " I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to my old school ride."

    No you won’t

    😆

  21. I have not tried running in low mode yet, probably will not either as I get quite a few rock and log rolls that strike the motor.

    I am actually going to up the fork to 160 with an air shaft and leave the bike on high. This should then closely match the geometry of the standard bike on low, and hopefully help clear more log and rock rolls.

    My trails can be tight and twisty and the added agility of high mode seems to suit these trails better.

    I also ride in places where a high BB is a nice feature. I ordered one 2021 and plan tu use 2.8 tires and the highest position, maybe even a 3.0 in front. From my search the fork has plenty of room. I am supposed to get it in june.

  22. I picked mine up yesterday.

    First Impressions:

    It feels a bit lighter than it’s 2020 predecessor and a lot more chuckable.

    For something that looks very similar with similar geometry the riding position seems slightly more upright…still need get seat right though.

    Motor seems noisy when in high gears but it’s only done 23km.

    Cable routing 100% better, battery protection 100% better and colour scheme 100% better.

    Shifting is super slick as you’d expect on a new bike (XTR vs XT rear derailleur may help)

    Picked up a few Strava PRs (by 10 secs on one) on my regular 23km circuit I’ve ridden 40/50 times and also a KOM.

    Starting battery was 93% and finished at 64%. Same ride on the 2020 would have been 50% battery left from 100%…..albeit in colder conditions.

    EDIT – battery came 93% charged, I managed 78km with 6% remaining. Mainly ECO/ECO+ but hit POWER a few times.

    So far very chuffed. Hopefully it will be as reliable as the 2020 I did 2300km miles on. And it stayed clean after its maiden voyage [emoji41]

    Out:

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    In:

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  23. I picked mine up yesterday.

    First Impressions:

    It feels a bit lighter than it’s 2020 predecessor and a lot more chuckable.

    For something that looks very similar with similar geometry the riding position seems slightly more upright…still need get seat right though.

    Motor seems noisy when in high gears but it’s only done 23km.

    Cable routing 100% better, battery protection 100% better and colour scheme 100% better.

    Shifting is super slick as you’d expect on a new bike (XTR vs XT rear derailleur may help)

    Picked up a few Strava PRs (by 10 secs on one) on my regular 23km circuit I’ve ridden 40/50 times and also a KOM.

    Starting battery was 93% and finished at 64%. Same ride on the 2020 would have been 50% battery left from 100%…..albeit in colder conditions.

    So far very chuffed. Hopefully it will be as reliable as the 2020 I did 2300km miles on. And it stayed clean after its maiden voyage [emoji41]

    Out:

    View attachment 57641

    In:

    View attachment 57642

    View attachment 57643

    View attachment 57644

    View attachment 57645

    View attachment 57646

    I’ve been too lazy to actually make a study of the geometry between the two bikes (in my case a trance19e and tranceXe), but it seems odd that the bike which offers the better cornering, is also the bike which suffers less from peddle-strikes, the longer bike is more playful, yet goes faster pretty much everywhere.

  24. I picked mine up yesterday.

    First Impressions:

    It feels a bit lighter than it’s 2020 predecessor and a lot more chuckable.

    For something that looks very similar with similar geometry the riding position seems slightly more upright…still need get seat right though.

    Motor seems noisy when in high gears but it’s only done 23km.

    Cable routing 100% better, battery protection 100% better and colour scheme 100% better.

    Shifting is super slick as you’d expect on a new bike (XTR vs XT rear derailleur may help)

    Picked up a few Strava PRs (by 10 secs on one) on my regular 23km circuit I’ve ridden 40/50 times and also a KOM.

    Starting battery was 93% and finished at 64%. Same ride on the 2020 would have been 50% battery left from 100%…..albeit in colder conditions.

    So far very chuffed. Hopefully it will be as reliable as the 2020 I did 2300km miles on. And it stayed clean after its maiden voyage [emoji41]

    Out:

    View attachment 57641

    In:

    View attachment 57642

    View attachment 57643

    View attachment 57644

    View attachment 57645

    View attachment 57646

    Oh yeah. Congrats on the new bike!

  25. Update – 34km ride today from 47% battery. About 8 mins of full power on climbs the rest was ECO/ECO+. One full recharge so far.
  26. Hi ROB, thank you for the work you are doing for us! For about two weeks I have been the owner of this bike in the PRO 2 version. I am 174cm tall and I bought a size M (how did it look for you during the test?). I wonder if you checked the flip-chip settings on HIGH? Because from what I saw you had it set to LOW. The bike came to me with the original settings on HIGH and so I drove about 300 km. However, I am thinking of switching to LOW which will shorten REACH, or rather, I need it with my height. Also in another group test "HIGH" was not recommended
    By definition HIGH suits me better, but it’s probably only in theory … because the bike is generally big. But on LOW, the bike will be shorter and have a 10mm smaller REACH (and will come closer to my RAD).
    Also on LOW, the bottom bracket will be 10mm lower and on HIGH I often had contact with the roots during climbs and turns. I will be grateful for your response. How do you see it, do you feel it, etc. What will be the benefit of seting to LOW? Is anyone ride this bike on LOW? (I add this comment on YT, I delete it after response) Greetings!

    I have crazy long legs. You can shorten just about any bike, i do. Pull your saddle forward, use a shorter stem. You can probably win some mm in 3 ways even if they are small they will add up. Try sliding your brakes levers closer together. First test than you might be able to cut your bar. For where i ride using low is not an option. Maybe a riser bar will suit you better?

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