2023 GIANT TRANCE X ADV. E+ 29 Review

Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic

Giant’s Trance X Advanced E+ is their take on a trail eBike, with 140mm of rear travel, 150mm fork and a pair of 29” wheels. Featuring Giant’s own Syncdrive Pro motor powered by Yamaha; Fox’s eBike integrated Live Valve suspension, and an Advanced Composite frame with their classic Maestro dual-link suspension, there’s a lot of unique and interesting elements to talk about with Giant’s premium full-power trail eMTB. We were excited to put it to the test as part of our 2023 eMTB shootout, and after plenty of riding, we’re ready to share our thoughts.

2023 EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – This bike was one of 13 that our staff thoroughly tested with absolute objectivity in mind. From different types of riders to terrain, our goal is to present the best and most honest information possible to help you make your best decision. Of course, we’d love to thank Fox Racing and Schwalbe Tires for being invaluable partners to this series and making it happen.

Check the rest of the series out here.


• 140mm MAESTRO Suspension
• 29” Wheels
• SyncDrive Pro Motor
• 625Wh Battery
• Fixed Geometry
• HTA 65.8
• STA 76 (effective)
• REACH 482 (Large)

Price: $7,200 (E+ 2) – $15,000 (E+ LTD)
Website: Giant-bicycles.com


Frame and Features – The Trance X Advanced E+ is the carbon fiber full-power trail eMTB in the Giant electric mountain bike range. Out back, 140mm of rear travel is delivered by their Maestro dual-link suspension system and is paired to a 150mm fork to cushion the 29” wheels. The higher tier models add further tech in the form of the E-bike integrated Fox Live Valve suspension control, which controls the damping of the rear suspension to increase the pedaling support when required.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 Profile Shot

The Giant Trance X Advanced E+ is available in three build specs from 2 to the top-tier 0 reviewed here. All models use Giant’s “Advanced Composite” carbon fiber frame, including an Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker to increase stiffness and minimize weight. Giant continues to use their signature Maestro dual-link suspension system on the Trance X Adv E+, with a solid rear triangle connected to the frame by two co-rotating links, and the shock driven by the upper rocker and fixed on the same axle as the lower link. Giant says their Maestro system allowed them to produce the “Most active, efficient and independent suspension system on the trail,” and when combined with the Live Valve electronic suspension damping control it takes efficiency to another level. In the upper rocker, a flip chip can be used to tailor the geometry between a High and Low position, tweaking the ride characteristics to the trail.

Cable routing on the Giant is all internal, with bolt-on ports helping to clamp the various cables in place to reduce the chance of rattling. Within the front triangle is ample room for a water bottle; the lower portion of the downtube and the chainstay are given ribbed rubber protectors to prevent damage and noise; and there’s a full-length plastic removable hatch on the downtube to give access to the battery. The Live Valve control center sits on the underside of the top tube, just above the rear shock, and sensors are located on the fork crown and at the rear brake to feed the crucial information.

Drive Unit and Electronics – The Trance X Adv E+ uses a Giant-exclusive SyncDrive Pro drive system, powered by Yamaha and produces 85Nm of torque with up to 400% power output. Powering the system is a 625Wh EnergyPak removable integrated battery. More juice can be provided by the optional 250Wh EnergyPak Plus range extender. The battery is secured into the frame with a T25 Torx key, which features an inbuilt torque limiter to prevent damage or the battery from being under torqued.

The RideControl system controls the Syncdrive Pro motor, with a neatly integrated RideControl Go control center in the top tube, and the RideControl Ergo 3 handlebar control button integrated into the lock-ring of the grip. The RideControl App is used to connect to the Giant, allowing your phone to display ride data; to tweak the various assistance of the five different power modes (Eco, Tour, Active, Sport and Power), and to update the system with the latest firmware.

The Trance X Advanced E+ features Giant’s Hybrid Cycling Technology concept, which Giant claims to produce a “Smart, natural and powerful E-bike riding experience”. Giant wanted to ensure there was no delay in the assistance kicking in, so they worked with Yamaha to ensure there was high torque at very low cadence. Smart Assist uses six sensors to precisely measure the power applied at the pedals, helping the motor to generate the desired level of assistance to create a natural ride feel. This gives the power needed when it’s asked for, and helps to save energy when to maximize battery life.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 Geo

The geometry of the Giant Trance X Advanced is largely on-par with more XC/Trail focused 140mm bikes. It has a stability-inducing long wheelbase produced by the relatively long rear end. A steeper head angle and lower stack height than many in the class helps to retain some agility at low speeds, but removes a touch of composure at the highest speeds.

Geometry – Giant gave the Trance X Advanced E+ a flip chip to allow for the geometry to be tailored to the terrain on the menu of the day. Generally the geometry sits in the aggressive trail category, with numbers that should be equally happy on the way up as the way down. To obtain the most stable and aggressive handling on the way down, we spent most of the time in the low setting of the flip chip. Consistent across the Small to Extra Large size range are a 65.8 degree head tube angle; 30mm bottom bracket drop and very long 473mm chainstay. The effective seat tube angle is 76 degrees for the largest three sizes, and 77.2 degrees for the size Small. The size Large has a 482mm reach, 621mm stack, 450mm seat tube and wheelbase totaling 1268mm.

Models – Giant offers the Trance X Advanced E+ in four build specs: 2, 1, 0 (tested) and LTD. Each of these share the same frame and drive system (though the LTD gets an 800Wh battery) but differ in the components attached. All builds feature a Fox suspension package, with the 1, 0  and LTD builds coming equipped with Live Valve and the 2 build a conventional suspension system. The 2 build comes in at $7,200, and the LTD tops out at $15,000, with the 0 tested retailing for $9,500.

Jumping up to $9,500 gets you the Fox Live Valve E-integrated suspension control system to tailor the damping of the Fox Factory Float 36 150mm fork and Float X Trunnion shock to the trail. The drivetrain and brakes are Shimano’s Deore XT, with a 10-51t 12-speed cassette and four-piston brake stopping on a pair of 203mm rotors. There are Praxis Carbon cranks with a steel 36t chainring; a KMC e.12 Turbo e-bike optimized chain, and an MRP HD2 chain guide with bash guard. Giant supplies the majority of the finishing kit. The wheels are their e-TRX alloy 29ers with 30mm inner width; there’s a Contact SLR carbon bar; Contact SL 35 stem; Contact Switch dropper in size-specific lengths from 125mm-170mm; and a Giant Romero SL saddle.

As standard the Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 comes with a pair of 29×2.6” Maxxis tires, with the Assegai EXO MaxxTerra up front and Dissector EXO+ 3C in the rear. For this year’s shootout Schwalbe supplied their Magic Mary and Big Betty Soft Super Gravity tires, so that we could equip each bike with a consistent and reliable tire spec that would provide us with an even playing field on the ground and allow for an easier comparison.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 Action


SETUP | Getting the Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 setup was a bit more time consuming than other bikes because it has a bit more high-tech gadgetry on-board. For some of the dinosaurs, like Drew, the need to download another app, calibrating suspension and walking through more steps before hitting the trail was a headache. For tech-nerds like Nic and Robert, the potential for maximizing efficiency, electronic tuning and uniqueness of the Live Valve-equipped Trance E was welcomed. Although pretty much our whole crew agreed it wasn’t an upgrade we’d personally pay for, but perhaps we’re just not that hardcore XC.

Other notes during the setup process came from the steerer tube spacers. The Giant has a pretty low stack height, that works with the long rear stays to make this bike a climbing beast. However, the steeper head tube angle and low front end had our testers feeling a little less confident on steeper or faster downhill segments, so we put the stem as high as possible. If this were our bike, we’d likely fit a higher rise bar to further increase cockpit comfort.

ELECTRONICS AND INTEGRATION | This is actually the first bike we’ve ridden with the Yamaha-powered SyncDrive Pro drive unit. With 85Nm of torque, it’s on par with many other competitors and offers a pretty awesome all around feel. Acceleration from a stop wasn’t overly powerful, which can have pros and cons, but once on the move, the drive unit delivers solid power across the range. Robert, our 220lb tester, especially noted that on steep pitches when his cadence (RPMs) dropped, the Yamaha still delivered and helped him get up quickly. When at rest, the Syncdrive Pro motor can “surge” if you have your foot rested on the pedal, which was annoying.

Our crew agreed the downtube on the Trance X Adv E+ is a bit bulbous, but we enjoyed the 625Wh battery and felt it was a solid size option. Even with all the extra electronics, Giant did a nice job integrating the Live Wire and other bits of tech products, namely the controller. The display in the top tube simply displays tick marks signifying battery life, and they change color based on the power mode. We really like the sleek power-selector button, which stealthily sits beside the lock-ring of the grip.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 Climbing

CLIMBING | Without a doubt one of, if not the best climbing eMTB in the shootout. Giant’s Trance X Advanced E+ 0 delivers traction and power through a combination of XC-conscious geometry and the SyncDrive Pro drive unit. On more flowy XC trails, out of saddle efforts or sweeping sections of trail, the Trance X E+ feels more like an XC-race rig than other bikes in our group test and will likely be loved by more cross-country type riders. The Live Valve system does a great job at delivering a firm platform to maximize efficiency for smoother pedaling efforts, and opening up when the terrain gets rougher to improve traction.

When it came time to tackle overly technical bits of trail, the power and pedal clearance were impressive, however if things got very tight or required us to thread the needle, the long rear end started to present some issues. The long rear end prevents the Giant from being easy to maneuver.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 Descending

DESCENDING | If you haven’t picked up on it yet, our crew puts the Trance X Advanced E+ more in the cross-country niche than the all mountain or aggressive trail category that other 140mm eBikes typically find themselves in. On the gnarliest of downhills, the Giant fell a bit behind, and we think the lowest stack height in the test had a bit to do with that. Compared to a bike like the Marin Rift Zone E or SCOR 4060 Z, the Giant was pretty competitive on most trails, but it wasn’t until we really wanted to charge that the others pulled ahead just a bit with a slacker head tube and more lively, playful feel.

Where the Giant excelled was on flowy descents where nice quick corners needed some push to change directions or pump in and out. The Live Valve suspension, while needing time and attention to tune, worked impressively well in stiffening up on smoother bits of trail to maximize speed and pumping rollers. It also opened up pretty well and helped keep the bike composed in most situations, but we all agree if we regularly were hitting rough terrain, we’d prefer a non-Live Valve bike.

FINISH AND VALUE | While $9,500 is far from cheap, compared to current market offerings, Giant has put some fancy and high tech bits on the Trance X Adv E+ 0 to deliver a reasonable value proposition overall. Of course, more affordable models are available, and would probably be what we’d recommend to all but the most discerning riders who really feel they’d eke out the benefits of the Live Valve kit.

The Wolf’s Last Word

Giant has done a nice job with the 2023 Trance X Advanced E+ in offering a general trail-riding eMTB that rides like a more traditional trail bike that favors efficiency, speed and open trails. Our crew doesn’t typically love Live Valve-equipped bikes, but were all in agreement that it suited the general character of the Giant. The Electronics and Integration are executed well, with a solid drive unit and relatively clean looks overall.


For riders who are looking for a 140/150mm 29er electric mountain bike that’s more pointed at XC and general trail riding, the Giant Trance X Advanced E+ is a pretty competent offering. Our crew feels that it definitely favors more cross country type riders and the geometry and power of the SyncDrive Pro will help riders haul ass on lots of local trails. If you’re looking for a more aggressive ride, we think there are options with geometry better suited to those demands, but the Giant is more than willing to roll down whatever you’ve got the nerve to point it down.

Price: $9,500
Weight:  51.7lbs
Website: Giant-bicycles.com


Advanced-grade composite Frame, Rear Triangle, Rocker; 140mm

Fork: Fox 36 Factory Live Valve | 150mm | E-bike tuned
Shock: Fox Float X Factory Live Valve 

SyncDrive Pro, powered by Yamaha | 85Nm

Battery: EnergyPak Smart | 625Wh
Display: RideControl GO | frame integrated LED display

Shimano Deore XT 4-piston | 203F/203R Rotors

Bar: Giant Contact SLR 35 Carbon | width: 780mm | clamp: 35mm
Stem: Giant Contact SL 35 | length: 50mm 
Seatpost: Giant Contact Switch dropper | S: 125mm | M: 150mm | L/XL: 170mm
Saddle: Giant Romero SL

Giant e-TRX

Rims: Giant e-TRX 29”
Front tire: Maxxis Assegai 29×2.6” | EXO | 3C MaxxTerra
Rear tire: Maxxis Dissector 29×2.6” | EXO+ |3C

Shimano HG-M71000 | 10-51T | 12spd

Cranks: Praxis Performance Carbon e-crank arms | 165mm
Shifter: Shimano Deore XT | 12spd 
Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT | 12spd

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ 0 Review

We Dig

SyncDrive Pro Drive Unit
Stealthy remote
Pleasant pedaling
Fast trail rider
Climbing performance

We Don’t

Geo can be limiting for aggressive riders
Long chainstays
Low stack
Steepish HA not for everyone


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