Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup




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

Giant’s Trance X Advanced E+ Elite is a lighter weight and more versatile addition to their heavier, large-battery-equipped Trance X Advanced E+ that we tested as part of our 2023 eMTB Shootout. The Trance X Advanced E+ Elite, reviewed here uses the same 85Nm Syncdrive Pro motor found on the “full-fat” version, as well as a 140mm travel Maestro suspension platform, but drops battery capacity and the size of the rear wheel to offer a lighter weight and more maneuverable package for the eBike Light, or SL market. There’s plenty to talk about on the Trance X E+ Elite, but what makes it stand head and shoulders above the other bikes in our eBike Light / SL Shootout is the powerful drive unit. With other bikes offering 50Nm or 60Nm of torque, this 85Nm beast had us questioning if it really belonged in this group test or not. Thanks to some unique battery cell technology and other design features however, this incredibly capable mid-weight eMTB was only slightly heavier than other contenders, like the Trek Fuel Exe, so in contention it remained.


• 140mm Maestro Suspension
• Syncdrive Pro Motor
• 400Wh Battery
• 2-pos Geometry Flip Chip
• HTA 65.8
• STA 76 (effective)
• REACH 480 (Large)

Price: $6,000 – $14,000

2023 SL EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – The Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 was one of the eight eMTBs we tested in our inaugural lightweight eBike group test. We’ve seen a rapid and impressive growth in this category and after fielding so many requests and comments in our well established, annual full-power EMTB SHOOTOUT series, it only seemed natural to give this category the attention it deserves.

This group review was made possible thanks to the amazing support of Schwalbe Tires and their brilliant new Tacky Chan tires, which we outfitted each and every bike with for a consistent test platform.

We’d also like to thank Ninja MTB and Glade Optics.

Our crew did plenty of testing around Central Oregon before heading down to one of our favorite places to ride, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Thanks for the hospitality Discover Klamath and the beautiful Running Y Resort.

2023 eMTB SL Group Review: Logo List


The Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 is designed to be the sporty little sibling to their efficient full power Trance X Advanced E+, offering reduced weight and increased agility. There’s a lot to talk about with this Giant eBike, so let’s dive into the details of this mixed wheel all trail, 140mm/150mm eMTB. We’ll be fairly brief below, but if you’d like to dive in and learn more about the exciting battery tech and more features found in this bike, check out our Dissected Episode and write up here.

DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | The Trance X Advanced E+ Elite range uses the Giant SyncDrive Pro drive unit, powered by Yamaha, to deliver a torque of up to 85Nm to the rear wheel at a weight of 2.7kg. This is the same drive unit as used in Giant’s full power eMTB offerings but is powered by a smaller 2.3kg 400Wh EnergyPak battery to reduce overall weight. The system has six sensors inbuilt to detect rider input and tailor the level of assistance, offering Smart Assist to maximize battery life and speed. Range can be boosted by 200Wh with the EnergyPak Plus range extender, letting you obtain a similar range and power as a typical full power eBike. Recharging the EnergyPak battery is done with the EnergyPak 4A charger, which provides a 60% charge in 105 minutes, and has a “storage” function to allow for the battery to be charged up to the optimum level to stay healthy when not being used.

The drive system is controlled with the RideControl system, using the RideControl GO integrated top tube LED display to show the battery life and mode selected, and the RideControl Ergo3 grip-integrated remote to offer control of modes and functions from the bar. The RideControl system connects to the Giant RideControl app to allow for tuning of power assistance in each mode and to access various other settings and information, and the unit will connect via ANT+ to a cycle computer to display elements such as speed and mode.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

FRAME AND FEATURES | Giant bikes with the “Advanced” moniker use their Advanced carbon fiber composite technology, using high performance grade carbon fiber to obtain a high stiffness-to-weight ratio when manufacturing the frame in their own composite factory. The front triangle is a one-piece monocoque construction, and the rear end and even the upper rocker of the Maestro suspension system are carbon fiber on the “0” and “1” level builds. The “2” and “3” level builds feature an alloy rocker, with the “3” build also receiving an alloy rear end.

The Giant Trance X Advanced Elite E+ bikes all feature the same internal cable routing with clamped ports to minimize rattle, including routing for the integrated Live Valve suspension control wires. The drive unit features an MRP HD2 chain guide to keep the chain in place and has a plastic integrated skid plate on the bottom. There is a flip chip in the upper rocker, which can be used to tailor the geometry between a High and Low position. The battery is fixed within the frame, requiring the removal of the motor to access it. The Maestro suspension system ensures that a full-size water bottle can fit within the front triangle without issue, or the range extender when being used.

SUSPENSION | As you may expect, the Trance X Advanced Elite E+ uses Giant’s signature Maestro dual-link suspension system to control its 140mm rear end, with its floating pivot point giving the “Most active, efficient and independent suspension system on the trail”. They then equip this model with the Fox eBike Integrated Live Valve suspension damping control system to further boost the efficiency and performance.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

GEOMETRY | Unlike its full-power sibling, the Trance X Advanced Elite E+ has well balanced geometry that tends towards the more agile end of the spectrum. Mixed wheels let the chainstay length come in at a middling 447mm with that Maestro suspension system, but the front end is tied for the steepest on test in the slack setting, and can go even steeper if the user desires thanks to the adjustable flip chip.

BUILD SPECS | Giant offers four build specs in the Trance X Advanced Elite E+, from the entry-level “3” build kit at $6,000 to the top-end “0” spec we tested at $14,000. All of these models share the same Advanced carbon fiber front triangle but differ in the materials used elsewhere on the frame and the build kits. Fox’s eBike integrated Live Valve suspension system is fitted to the “1” and “0” models, to double down on agility and maximize range.

The “0” build kit we tested has a no-holds-barred spec list to match the high price tag, tipping the scales at 44.5 lbs. The suspension is a Fox Live Valve-equipped Factory 36 150mm up front and Float factory in the rear. Giant equips this bike with their Contact SLR Trail Integrated cockpit, with a unique 5-position adjustable spacer and wedge system to offer the integrated aesthetic and weight savings while retaining some angle and length adjustability to help to offer the rider a comfortable cockpit setup. Drivetrain and braking duties are handled by Sram’s XO1 Eagle 12spd and Code RSC models, with big 220mm front and 200mm rear rotors on the brakes to maximize power and heat dissipation.

The wheelset is the Zipp 3MOTO, with the unique shallow rims designed to offer compliance to maximize grip and comfort, and they’re fitted with the Quarq TyreWiz units to help to ensure tire pressures are optimized at all times. Rounding out the spec is a pair of Praxis carbon fiber e-crank arms and Fox Transfer Factory dropper post. As standard this bike is equipped with a Maxxis Dissector EXO front tire and Rekon EXO+ rear tire, but for this shootout we outfitted all bikes with the new and impressively grippy Tacky Chan tires from Schwalbe.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup


SETUP | More electronics and gadgets mean more setup time and more apps to download. While we know we may sound a bit contrarian since we are big fans of ebikes, sometimes less is more. That said, this is the top-of-the-line model and those who are tech-hounds will love all the integrations, customizations and features the Trance X Elite offers.

With all the apps downloaded we went through the setup and registration process, which we’ll admit was fairly painless once we accepted it. The Fox Live Valve setup is likely the most crucial to get right. It’s also the one that’s easiest to mess up, and could negatively affect your ride. We took the extra time to ensure we had everything dialed in for calibration, measured sag to the mm and it paid off as our first ride on the bike delivered that “at home” feeling.

One thing that we couldn’t quite gel with however is the one-piece bar and stem combo. For some reason it’s a trend we keep seeing more of in the mountain bike world and we haven’t yet figured out why that is with so many different size and styled riders out there. Although this Giant cockpit offers five positions to choose from, we’d still rather see a bar we can roll to our liking and a stem we can easily swap for something shorter or longer. Some may appreciate the cleaner looks, but we’d still opt to run separate units.

ELECTRONICS & INTEGRATION | As mentioned above, the Giant Trance X Advanced Elite E+ 0 is the top-of-the-line offering, which means even more electronics than some of the more affordable models. Even with all the extras on board, the Trance X Elite does a good job of keeping the clutter organized. Fox’s Live Valve wiring is the only real eye sore when you look at the fork. Beyond that, Giant have done a great job with keeping the Ergo controller slim and the LED top tube display discreet. Giant’s app was one of our group’s favorites when it came to tracking rides and data.

One thing to note on the electronics is that we had two instances where the LED hub in the top tube seemingly froze, rendering our bike powerless until it timed out and shut off. We could not get power from the drive unit, change modes, turn it off manually or do anything besides hope that it would time out and shut down quickly and come back online after the restart.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

MOTOR POWER & RANGE | During our testing we sent all the bikes out on an established 10.5-mile test loop that had just under 1,500 feet of climbing. The Giant was absolutely the fastest if we kept the hammer down and tried to “race” the rest. We were a bit uncertain of how the exclusive new battery cell technology would offset the full power 85Nm drive unit and its thirst for lithium ion Watt hours. Much like when you bury your foot in the gas pedal vs keeping your vehicle at 55MPH on the highway, we found our mileage could vary quite a bit on the Trance X. Full power mode was tempting us all the time, but it did use more battery than Giant’s Smart Mode or a lower power selection, which was still capable of hanging with other bikes.

Overall, we were impressed by how the battery held up to the powerful drive unit and depending on your mentality for the day, you could Boost your way through the battery with sprints and vertical self-shuttles or stretch out the mileage for a large epic. Combine that with the optional range extender and you’ve got a bike that could really do it all from a power to range perspective.

CLIMBING | When it came to get up the mountain, there wasn’t a bike in the roundup that could hang with the Trance X Elite. Of course, it’s a bit of a sandbagger considering it’s got an extra 25Nm to 35Nm of torque in its belly. The 85Nm drive unit means you’ll drop the competition when it comes to other SL or lightweight eBikes.

Power aside, the climbing position, pedaling efficiency and general handling of the Trance X Elite are equally impressive. It is a very capable, comfortable and well-rounded eMTB.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

DESCENDING | Unlike Giant’s full power Trance X Advanced E+, yes, we know it’s a confusing naming structure, the Trance X Advanced E+ “ELITE” is a blast to ride everywhere. It’s a comfortably planted bike that can be slammed, snapped and pushed around much easier than their full fat eMTB.

Some of our riders thought the steeper head tube angle would be more of an issue than it was, nevertheless, we’d love to see it slacken up by ½ or even 1 degree. Although we’d likely just up the travel if it were our personal bike, by equipping a 160mm fork up front instead of the 150mm. This would give us that ½ degree and make the bike even more capable for heavy duty sending. Even without the fork swap however, our entire crew felt beyond confident pushing this bike hard at speeds well over 30mph.

The suspension, handling and general sense of confidence combined with playful geometry makes the Trance X Advanced Elite E+ 0 a very awesome bike.

FINISH AND VALUE | While some riders loved the purple hues and marbled looking paint, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. No matter what your color palette is, however, the paint is unique and has held up to some solid abuse. The hardware has remained tight, Giant took the extra time to spec oil slick hardware on the brakes, which complement the colors of the frame, and offer that little extra touch of care. It’s hard to say $14,000 is a value, but considering what other bikes in the market are going for and what technology is coming on this bike, then we’d have to say it is in line with others, if not a touch better. If you look at bikes like the S-Works Levo SL which do not have the costly Fox Live Valve upgrade, whether we like it or not, then it seems you’re getting a lot of top tier offerings for a relatively competitive market price.

Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

The Wolf’s Last Word

Even with the electrical issues we had over the course of our testing, the Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 0 was a pleasure to review. It absolutely stands out amidst a sea of very capable eMTBs and a growing eBike Light category. The full power drive unit gives it a major advantage in the speed and climbing departments but it’s more than just the powerful drive unit that makes the bike stand out. It’s a very well-rounded and capable all mountain eMTB that will take the challenges of your trails in stride. Whether you’re going super-fast on moto trails with braking bumps and chatter, or dodging it up in tight, twisty corners, this thing is a blast. We’d love to see Giant change what we consider to be the most confusing and unnecessarily long naming convention in the bicycle world, but outside of that this is a bike we’d certainly recommend to riders looking to cover ground and have fun.


Riders who don’t need the slackest, lightest or most aggressive 140/150mm eMTB. If you want a bike that mix it up with full power, full fat eBikes with the addition of their range extender, or drop the weight and simply run the 400Wh internal battery and have a lighter, more playful bike to hit the trail with the SL/ eBike Light riders, this could be the best of both worlds. Well-rounded and ready for a wide variety of trails and riders.

Price: $14,000 (EL 0)
Weight: 44.5 lbs (large)


Frame: Advanced Carbon | 140mm
Fork: Fox Factory 36 Live Valve E-Tuned  | 150mm
Shock: Fox Factory Float Live Valve | 185×52.5mm 

Motor: SyncDrive Pro powered by Yamaha | 250W | 85Nm
Battery: EnergyPak Smart 400 | 400Wh | Integrated
Display: RideControl GO | LED
Remote: RideControl Ergo3 | 3 Buttons | Grip Integrated

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 220F/200R
Handlebar+Stem: Giant Contact SLR Trail Integrated | 800mm | 40-50mm Length
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory | S: 125mm, M: 150mm, L/XL: 175mm
Saddle: Giant Romero SL

Wheels: ZIPP 3MOTO 29”/27.5”, Quarq Tyrewiz
Front Tire: Maxxis Dissector | EXO | 29″ x 2.4″
Rear Tire: Maxxis Rekon | EXO+ | 29″ x 2.4″

Cassette: SRAM XG 1299 | 10-52T
Cranks: Praxis Performance Carbon | S: 160mm, M/L: 165mm, XL: 170mm
Shifter: SRAM Eagle AXS Rocker Paddle | 12s
Derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS | 12s

We Dig

Confidently stable, despite our geometry notions
Corners and moves well
Well-rounded do-it-all eMTB

We Don’t

One-piece bar and stem
Giant’s long and confusing naming convention!
Lots of electronics can be daunting/time consuming
“Freezing” of the electronics rendering our bike powerless until it powered off and was restarted.


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