2020 Giant Trance E+1 Pro - Review? Sort of- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2020 Giant Trance E+1 Pro - Review? Sort of

    I just picked up a 2020 Giant Trance E+1 Pro. I had been looking at several other bikes and narrowed it down to the Giant or Haibike. I posted up to get some feed back and help me sort through what I was seeing, feeling and thinking about those two bikes.

    That thread can be seen here:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/e-bikes/opin...a-1125019.html

    As mentioned I decided on the Giant and since I did not find a specific thread on it, I thought I would start one to share my observations and hear what others thought.

    Disclaimer(s):
    If you are reading this you are probably:
    fitter than me
    faster than me
    younger than me
    have better bike handling skills than me
    have fewer metal plates and screws holding your bones together
    lighter than me
    taller than me

    Also, it is a safe bet that you are probably nicer and for sure better looking than me.

    I don't "send it" or ride gnarly chunky terrain. I don't do doubles or back flips or 360s.

    I'm an old roadie. I had a custom Paramount built for me back when they were made by hand in Chicago and I rode the crap out of it in hills. As a result, I loved that bike and I learned to hate flex in frames and then ultimately dislike FS bikes. I bought one about 20 years ago (GT LST3) but never fell in love as it was just too bouncy and squishy for me.

    So I'm a hardtail guy. So much so that I converted one bike to ridged forks and then run the other bike with the forks locked out all the time.

    Initially, when it came to ebikes I was looking at the Yamaha YDX Torq or several other HT ebikes.

    But every single person I spoke with told me to get the FS.

    RIDE REPORT
    I picked up the Giant on Thursday, brought it home, plugged in the battery and spent the rest of the evening swapping over my handlebars, seat, and pedals from my most comfortable HT. I also repositioned some cables and got the controls set the way I like them. Pumped up the shock and fork, maxed out the dampning and checked tire pressures.

    The bike came with two lights out of five indicating the charge level. It took SEVERAL hours for it to get a full charge.

    Then waited for the next day.

    First ebike ever and first FS bike in decades so the plan was a 30 mile ride on mostly residential streets, parks and horse trails. Places that would be easy to get to in case any of this fancy electronic stuff quit or I had any other problems. This initial ride was also an experiment in range and how the "auto" function performed.

    So I set the control to auto and took off to the steepest street in my neighborhood. I can't give you a comparison as how this bike performed vs one of my other pedal bikes because I have never even attempted it on my pedal bikes. I already know how to walk and bikes are for riding.

    Well this hill was no problem at all on the Giant. Even in auto mode. I am sure that if I selected max power I could sprint right up it.

    The controller really seamed to adjust the power assistance to my cadence and effort giving me more help when I needed it and backing off when I didn't. I noticed a change in my riding style, where before I would constantly bang through the gears to find just the right one, on the ebike I often decided to just suck it up, pedal a bit harder and let the motor give me than little extra bit to make it up the hills. That's right, I found myself riding a bit harder on the ebike. I think it had to do with the knowledge that I for sure could make it up the hills I was trying to ride.

    At just over 10 miles the first light went out and I stopped to make adjustments to the cockpit. I continued on and rode through a couple of parks and horse trails. No big jumps, just small bumps, pot holes and curbs. But it was clear that even in these mild conditions with the suspension near fully stiff, the ride was buttery smooth.

    I was a tiny bit concerned during my test rides at the dealer as the bike actually felt a bit twitchy to me. I figured I could work through it but also suspected in was due to suspension settings and tire pressures.

    I was right, since I had set the suspension and tires for my weight the night before, the bike felt SUPER stable to me yet easily controllable as well.

    Also, I am so glad I got the medium. I'm right between a medium and a small and the dealer told me to get a medium for sure. Glad I did. The reach was not nearly as long as I thought it would be by looking at the numbers. I could probably go for a bit more stack but over all this bike just fits great. (I'm 5-7 FWIW)

    At about 19 miles the second light went out and at about 26 miles the third light went out leaving me with two out of five. When I arrived home after 30 miles I still had two lights of charge left.

    I plugged it in and it showed fully charged after about an hour, maybe 90 minutes. I did not time it exactly only to look down and notice it was fully charged and thing, "Wow that was fast." For sure this bike can recover quicker than me.

    This was the very first ride with the very first charge and I let the bikes computer make all the decisions for me. My route included a lot of starting and stopping. I think my range in auto is about 45-50 miles. Almost for sure further if I take control of the unit as I know I would spend most of my time in the lowest or second lowest power setting.

    The bike is QUIET. I mean the tires make more noise on the road than the motor does.

    So after my 30 mile ride - the longest in literally decades, I got home and I felt great. Comfortably fatigued. I felt like I had a great workout but I did not feel like I damaged myself in any way.

    NEGATIVES
    So far the only negative I can think of is that the bike did not come with any documentation at all. No owner's manual, no instructions, no service recommendations. Nothing but a receipt. The LBS did a great job explaining everything to me but still, I would like some documentation.

    CURRENT THOUGHTS
    Well, I am a big fan of the N+1 formula for buying bikes. This Giant makes for SEVEN (7) bikes right now. And that is only because I recently gave one alway. I am now thinking I might come up with a new formula that looks like this:

    (E-all other bikes = the correct number of bikes to own).

    I can honestly see myself trimming the herd down to a single bike. I feel like I could do anything, ride any trail I care to ride and go anywhere on this Giant. I am VERY pleased with it.

    Any other owners out there?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwfxd View Post
    I just picked up a 2020 Giant Trance E+1 Pro. I had been looking at several other bikes and narrowed it down to the Giant or Haibike. I posted up to get some feed back and help me sort through what I was seeing, feeling and thinking about those two bikes.

    That thread can be seen here:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/e-bikes/opin...a-1125019.html

    As mentioned I decided on the Giant and since I did not find a specific thread on it, I thought I would start one to share my observations and hear what others thought.

    Disclaimer(s):
    If you are reading this you are probably:
    fitter than me
    faster than me
    younger than me
    have better bike handling skills than me
    have fewer metal plates and screws holding your bones together
    lighter than me
    taller than me

    Also, it is a safe bet that you are probably nicer and for sure better looking than me.

    I don't "send it" or ride gnarly chunky terrain. I don't do doubles or back flips or 360s.

    I'm an old roadie. I had a custom Paramount built for me back when they were made by hand in Chicago and I rode the crap out of it in hills. As a result, I loved that bike and I learned to hate flex in frames and then ultimately dislike FS bikes. I bought one about 20 years ago (GT LST3) but never fell in love as it was just too bouncy and squishy for me.

    So I'm a hardtail guy. So much so that I converted one bike to ridged forks and then run the other bike with the forks locked out all the time.

    Initially, when it came to ebikes I was looking at the Yamaha YDX Torq or several other HT ebikes.

    But every single person I spoke with told me to get the FS.

    RIDE REPORT
    I picked up the Giant on Thursday, brought it home, plugged in the battery and spent the rest of the evening swapping over my handlebars, seat, and pedals from my most comfortable HT. I also repositioned some cables and got the controls set the way I like them. Pumped up the shock and fork, maxed out the dampning and checked tire pressures.

    The bike came with two lights out of five indicating the charge level. It took SEVERAL hours for it to get a full charge.

    Then waited for the next day.

    First ebike ever and first FS bike in decades so the plan was a 30 mile ride on mostly residential streets, parks and horse trails. Places that would be easy to get to in case any of this fancy electronic stuff quit or I had any other problems. This initial ride was also an experiment in range and how the "auto" function performed.

    So I set the control to auto and took off to the steepest street in my neighborhood. I can't give you a comparison as how this bike performed vs one of my other pedal bikes because I have never even attempted it on my pedal bikes. I already know how to walk and bikes are for riding.

    Well this hill was no problem at all on the Giant. Even in auto mode. I am sure that if I selected max power I could sprint right up it.

    The controller really seamed to adjust the power assistance to my cadence and effort giving me more help when I needed it and backing off when I didn't. I noticed a change in my riding style, where before I would constantly bang through the gears to find just the right one, on the ebike I often decided to just suck it up, pedal a bit harder and let the motor give me than little extra bit to make it up the hills. That's right, I found myself riding a bit harder on the ebike. I think it had to do with the knowledge that I for sure could make it up the hills I was trying to ride.

    At just over 10 miles the first light went out and I stopped to make adjustments to the cockpit. I continued on and rode through a couple of parks and horse trails. No big jumps, just small bumps, pot holes and curbs. But it was clear that even in these mild conditions with the suspension near fully stiff, the ride was buttery smooth.

    I was a tiny bit concerned during my test rides at the dealer as the bike actually felt a bit twitchy to me. I figured I could work through it but also suspected in was due to suspension settings and tire pressures.

    I was right, since I had set the suspension and tires for my weight the night before, the bike felt SUPER stable to me yet easily controllable as well.

    Also, I am so glad I got the medium. I'm right between a medium and a small and the dealer told me to get a medium for sure. Glad I did. The reach was not nearly as long as I thought it would be by looking at the numbers. I could probably go for a bit more stack but over all this bike just fits great. (I'm 5-7 FWIW)

    At about 19 miles the second light went out and at about 26 miles the third light went out leaving me with two out of five. When I arrived home after 30 miles I still had two lights of charge left.

    I plugged it in and it showed fully charged after about an hour, maybe 90 minutes. I did not time it exactly only to look down and notice it was fully charged and thing, "Wow that was fast." For sure this bike can recover quicker than me.

    This was the very first ride with the very first charge and I let the bikes computer make all the decisions for me. My route included a lot of starting and stopping. I think my range in auto is about 45-50 miles. Almost for sure further if I take control of the unit as I know I would spend most of my time in the lowest or second lowest power setting.

    The bike is QUIET. I mean the tires make more noise on the road than the motor does.

    So after my 30 mile ride - the longest in literally decades, I got home and I felt great. Comfortably fatigued. I felt like I had a great workout but I did not feel like I damaged myself in any way.

    NEGATIVES
    So far the only negative I can think of is that the bike did not come with any documentation at all. No owner's manual, no instructions, no service recommendations. Nothing but a receipt. The LBS did a great job explaining everything to me but still, I would like some documentation.

    CURRENT THOUGHTS
    Well, I am a big fan of the N+1 formula for buying bikes. This Giant makes for SEVEN (7) bikes right now. And that is only because I recently gave one alway. I am now thinking I might come up with a new formula that looks like this:

    (E-all other bikes = the correct number of bikes to own).

    I can honestly see myself trimming the herd down to a single bike. I feel like I could do anything, ride any trail I care to ride and go anywhere on this Giant. I am VERY pleased with it.

    Any other owners out there?
    Iím with you brother, my analog bikes are just collecting dust, Iím up to 3 ebikes and will probably add a few more. I seriously question whether I need to keep the clockwork bikes for any reason other than: ebikes will get banned (unlikely) or an apocalypse will make electricity unavailable, unless of course I go solar and off the grid.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Funny you mention that, I was just wondering what would be involved in building a panel to solar charge the ebike. I have no idea how many watts or amps or volts or squirrels it takes.

    You sound like a few other ebikers I have met. They all have multiple ebikes now.

    Maybe I am doomed as well. LOL

  4. #4
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    Awesome, man. I hope you enjoy your new ride for a long time.

    Have fun!

    Sent from my SM-J710MN using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renzo7 View Post
    Awesome, man. I hope you enjoy your new ride for a long time.

    Have fun!

    Sent from my SM-J710MN using Tapatalk
    Thank you Sir. More riding should lead to better health which should lead to a longer life which should lead to more riding......

  6. #6
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    SECOND RIDE OBSERVATIONS:

    Today I went out for a short 10 mile ride and ended up doing 20 miles. I think that is kind of the point with an ebike, they help you go farther than you normally would.

    I was experimenting with the power levels today. I initially set it on "automatic" and rode about a 2.5 mile loop. I then rode the same loop in the second power level and again in the third power level.

    I already said I really liked the automatic mode from my first ride. It really feels like the computer and motor are working with you, feeding off your lead. It provides more power when you need it and then backs off with you don't.

    The second lap was in level two. Meah. Level two was kind of like riding a tandem bike with a person who is just fit enough to carry their own weight but not fit enough to add anything to the trip. Level two made up for the extra weight of the battery and motor but other than that, I did not feel like it was helping out very much. I felt myself shifting a lot as I would on one of my other bikes.

    I did not ride the loop in power level one. I can only see myself using one or two on the way home from the beach with a tail wind to help me pull a gear or maybe two taller than I normally would but not being in a hurry.

    So the third lap was in level three. Bike says you are getting level three power whether you want it or not. L3 too weak to pull this hill the way you want? Tuff. It's all you get. L3 too much for this down hill? Tuff. Cover your brakes. Just kind of felt like I was shifting to please the motor for the given terrain.

    So I did not try level one. Level two I was shifting for the terrain. Level three I was shifting to match the motor and terrain.

    Levels four and five are for making time, at least for me. They definitely allow me to pull taller gears and ride faster than I normally would. They make the bike feel "serious" like OK guys, it's been a fun ride but the sun is setting and we need to get to our camp so it is time to grind. Let's go!

    So now that I have ridden a bit with all of the power levels except One, I have pretty much confirmed my first impressions, I will be riding this bike primarily in the Auto mode. It gives just enough help when I need it and backs off when I don't.

    Range to day was about the same. First light went out right after I hit 10 miles and second like went out at about 19 miles. This was not a really long ride so it is tuff to just range. I have to assume that if I rode 40+ miles in L1 I would use less battery than if I rode the same 40+ miles on the same day in similar conditions in L5.

    BICYCLE STUFF

    I am REALLY happy with the Shimano drivetrain. Most of the time the only sound it makes is the click of the shifter. The chain moves from cog to cog both up and down silently. Of course I let off slightly when I shift.

    Front fork is perfect.

    I need to add some additional air to the shock. I rides great and does not bounce while I sit and spin but I can tell it would bounce a bit if I were standing and grinding. I'm talking tuning here, not a weak or inherently bad part.

    I know it has only been 50 miles but I am THRILLED with this bike. It just feels right for me.

    YMMV

    Ride Safe

  7. #7
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    I'm glad you like the Trance and thanks for doing this review. I'm currently saving up money for an e-bike and the one I've decided on is the Reign E+ 1 Pro, which shares a lot of the same components as your bike. Matter of fact, I think about the only real difference between the two bikes is geometry and an extra 20mm of suspension travel. I had initially put your bike on my list, but decided on the Reign because I'm a bigger guy who could use the extra 20mm of suspension, and I like the red color better than the yellow/green combo of the Trance. If you don't mind, keep the reviews going on this bike as you get more miles on it and get more used to it. Thanks.

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    Will do. I'd be out on it right now but life gets in the way. I am stuck at home at least for a little bit today.

    I was/am a HUGE fan of the blue on last year's TE+2. I wasn't too keen on the yellow/green combo and basically bought the bike on feel and components. But I will tell you now, I LOVE the paint on this thing.

    Kind of like the girl who you think is sort of cute but once you get to know her she looks beautiful to you. So you marry her and have kids and the next thing you know 30 years have gone by. :-)

  9. #9
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    Yeah, the color isn't the main reason I chose to go for the Reign over the Trance, it was just one of the reasons and probably the least important reason. I just wish I could find a Trance or Reign somewhere close to me to take for a test ride. My local shops don't really keep any ebikes on the floor. The Trek store keeps an ebike marketed toward bike cops, but that's it. The local giant store has no ebikes on the floor, so I can't really test ride one before I buy it. I just have to choose the one with the closest reach and stack to my current bike, buy it, and hope I like it.

    Can you tell me what length stem your Trance came with? The specs on Giant's website says both the Trance and the Reign come with the contact SL 35, but the stem looks longer than a 35mm stem to me on some of the videos I've seen on the bike.

  10. #10
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    Mine came with the Contact SL35. I took it off and replaced it with a Bevel 30mm in 31.8mm diameter. I have ordered a Giant Contact SL40 in 31.8mm diameter which I will install once it arrives so I can keep the bike as "Giant" as possible.

    I did/do not want a longer stem but I use 80 mm rise bars and no one makes those in a 35mm diameter. If anyone ever does, I will buy new bars just so I can go back to the original Contact SL35.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwfxd View Post
    Mine came with the Contact SL35. I took it off and replaced it with a Bevel 30mm in 31.8mm diameter. I have ordered a Giant Contact SL40 in 31.8mm diameter which I will install once it arrives so I can keep the bike as "Giant" as possible.

    I did/do not want a longer stem but I use 80 mm rise bars and no one makes those in a 35mm diameter. If anyone ever does, I will buy new bars just so I can go back to the original Contact SL35.
    So is that stock stem length actually 35mm on the contact SL 35? I swear I saw a review video of the bike, and in the closeup shots they got of the cockpit, the stem on the bike looked to be quite a bit longer than 35mm. Maybe this shop had put a longer one on it for someone to ride with before they shot the review video, but it definitely didn't look short enough to be a 35mm stem.

  12. #12
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    Yes, the stock stem was for a 35mm diameter bar and it was 35 mm long.

    You might consider going to your LBS and test riding the ebikes they have. Even though they are not what you are looking for, you might at least get a feel for the motor and controller.

    I don't know if you read my other thread where I was looking at Giant and Haibike but I was able to ride 19 Haibike, 19 Giant and 20 Giant and I could definitely feel and hear a difference between each one. The 2020 Yamaha in the Giant was sooo much smoother and quieter. Now the 2020 Bosch might step it up even more. But I am happy with my purchase.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwfxd View Post
    Yes, the stock stem was for a 35mm diameter bar and it was 35 mm long.

    You might consider going to your LBS and test riding the ebikes they have. Even though they are not what you are looking for, you might at least get a feel for the motor and controller.

    I don't know if you read my other thread where I was looking at Giant and Haibike but I was able to ride 19 Haibike, 19 Giant and 20 Giant and I could definitely feel and hear a difference between each one. The 2020 Yamaha in the Giant was sooo much smoother and quieter. Now the 2020 Bosch might step it up even more. But I am happy with my purchase.
    Man I'd love to do that, but there's no LBS that carry them around here. I did ride the one trek police electric bike, and the bosch motor felt really fast to me. It was a police bike in the parking lot, but I could tell having that kind of power in a mountain bike on a real trail would be a blast.

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    ANOTHER UPDATE:

    I just returned from a ride on my local "trail" Fullerton Loop. For those not familiar it is not really a MTB trail but more of several hiking and horse back riding and park paths that someone connected and mapped out years ago. It is about 90% dirt with a little pavement. No real rocks but some good climbs and decents.

    I have never been able to actually ride the whole thing. I am just not fit enough to make the climbs and have to do a bunch of walking.

    NOT TODAY BABY!!!!!

    Rode the whole thing. A few spots I was in max power and lowest gear but I spun right up. I am loving this bike.

    From a handling standpoint there were a couple of spots that were only several feet in length in which I felt the steering head angle was a little steep. And there were a couple of climbs in which I was seated on the VERY front of the seat. But remember, I SUCK as a MTB rider and I am running 80mm rise bars.

    Range dropped a bit. I noticed the first light went out right at 7.4 miles but remember, I was using max power to climb some very steep hills. I also used the max to climb some lesser hills that were part of the rout. Most of the time I still tried to keep it in the auto mode which is still my favorite for general riding.

    The whole loop is only 12 + miles long so I am still showing four lights or 80% of battery charge.

    I for sure need to add air to the rear shock.

    I am loving this bike.

  15. #15
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    Hey OP,
    You mentioned you could not hear the motor on the road (you heard the tires)

    What about on dirt climbing?

    and......

    did you hear the motor on dirt at the different power levels?
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    Hey OP,
    You mentioned you could not hear the motor on the road (you heard the tires)

    What about on dirt climbing?

    and......

    did you hear the motor on dirt at the different power levels?
    Great question!

    Yes, I can hear the motor on the trail. The sound / volume does not change at all with the power level. It is very consistent. But the tone of the sound seems to change based on the gear that I select and the strain I put on the motor. I felt like the sound was actually helping me select the most efficient gear both for the motor and for me.

    Overall, it is VERY quiet.

  17. #17
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    ANOTHER UPDATE WITH RANGE INFO

    So yesterday I rode 12+ miles in the hills and parked it last night. I did not charge it. Today I had an errand to run so I took the ebike. I have never taken my other bikes to do this before so having an ebike is already getting me to move more and pollute less.

    Anyway, it was a short errand and I knew I would ride some more afterwards but wasn't sure where. I decided to hit the train tracks and use that route to get close to home and play with the suspension. More air in the rear shock is much better for me. I'm fat. Think a dude who already lost 40 pounds but is still 100 pounds over weight. So stiff shock works well for me. I also played with the adjuster on the fork. Turning it down definitely softened the ride along the tracks.

    After that, I just hit the streets near my house racking up the miles. These are all gentle hills with about a 300 elevation change from one end of a street to the other.

    Well I predicted that I would have a range of about 30-40 miles and I was right on the money. At a combined mileage of right at 32 miles the last of the white battery lights turned red. I kept riding but headed home and just as I was riding up my street, the little red light started to flash and the computer cut my power down to level one. Near as I could tell this was just as I hit 35 miles of riding between the two days.

    I'm going to give it a rest and then recharge it later tonight and hit the trails again tomorrow.

    FWIW I've had it for a total of seven days, I have ridden it four of those days and have put a total of 85 miles on it.

    I am getting all of my mileage from my Garmin watch.

  18. #18
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    NEGATIVES:

    Went out on another ride today and decided I would spend some time trying to think of the negatives of this bike. I set out to ride 10 miles but then rode 15. It that a negative? It could be. I know I am kind of neglecting some stuff around the house. I keep thinking there is time to do everything but biking comes first. Then I turn a one hour ride into a two plus hour ride. Not sure it is a negative but something to think about.

    You definitely have to plan your ride(s) around battery life and charging cycle. Unless of course you don't mind riding home on a dead battery. But I'm not sure this is much different than riding an analog bike. I'm not going to do Fullerton Loop on my analog because I can't climb the hills so I have to plan a different ride etc....

    Of course while it is easy to charge the battery, it is one more item of very regular maintenance that must be done.

    Absolutely do not regret the purchase.

  19. #19
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    I went to the local Specialized/Giant bike shop today to see if they had anything in on the floor. The last three times I went by there last year they had no ebikes in the store. To my surprise, they had a Spesh Levo on the floor today, and I got to take it for a spin. Holy smokes that bike was fast on the second and third power levels!!!! I'm hooked now. Going to get a Reign E+ or Trance E+ soon. Can't decide which bike would bike or size I need though.

    I'm 6'2" tall, which is right in between a L and XL frame size. I'm currently riding a large Timberjack, but I had to move the stem up the fork about 20mm from stock and get 35mm rise bars to make it more comfortable. Wondering if I should get which ever one has the closest top tube length as my current TJ.

    Wondering if I should go with the Reign E+ since I do like to hit every jump or drop I come across on the trail. Then again, where I normally ride, the jumps and drops are really not that big and there isn't a ton of them, so maybe I should go with the Trance E+ since it's closer to an AM bike, which is what I'd consider most of the riding I do. Decisions.....

  20. #20
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    Well one thing I have NOT found - a person who bought an ebike and then decided they hated it and went back to analog.

    FWIW I am between a SM and a M. I was leaning towards a small and the LBS owner said no way. Medium all the way. So I reluctantly got the medium and boy am I glad I did. Small would have been too short and cramped when turning.

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