Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro 2020 Review Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bike

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Is the Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bike Good Enough to Sort out Rough Trails in 2020?

The Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro is the latest improvement of the Trance range.

The geometries, suspension set, the quality of the motor and battery are just the right combination to get a high performance when doing mountain biking.

I know there is a lot of electric mountain bike competitors out there offering good stuff. Read our review to find out the improvements on this Trance model.


Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro Technical Specs

MOTOR- Class: Pedal Assisted - C2.
- 36v, 250W.
- 80Nm torque.
- Yamaha.
FRAME- Material: aluminum.
- Type: high step.
- 155 cm (XS) to 198 cm (XL).
BATTERY- EnergyPak Smart 500.
- Range (av): between 25 miles (40 mk) to 62 miles (100 km) a single charge.
- Chemistry: Li-Ion (500Wh).
- Volt & Amp: 48v; 14Ah.
- Charging Time: between 5 to 6 hrs to 100%.
DRIVE-TRAIN SYSTEM- SX Eagle series.
- SRAM.
- 11 to 50 teeth in 12 sprockets (12 speed).
TOP SPEED- 15 mph (25 km/h) before motor cuts off.BRAKES- Tektron Orion quad-piston hydraulic braking disks.
CONTROLLER- RideControl One (read the controller section for details). OVERALL WEIGHT- With battery: 25 kg (55 lbs).
RIDING MODES- Technically four (4).
- One walking mode available for a total of five (5) modes.
TIRES AND SUSPENSIONTires:
- 27.5" Maxxis.
- Minion DHF (front), High Roller II (rear).

Full Suspension:
- RockShox 35 Gold RL (front).
- Fox Float DPS Trunnion (rear).

Frame and Design

Material

The E+ 3 Pro 2020 is crafted with ALUXX SL-grade aluminum. It also features an advanced forged composite, which adds stiffness when needed.

Stiffness aside, you will also have smooth movements thanks to the dedicated suspension system (140 mm Maestro – rear), as well as the front fork offering enough compression (150 mm).

What makes the frame also beautiful is the way the cables were routed internally. The less think you want to have is cables getting tangled going downhill.

The geometry

At first glance, you will see a simple frame strong enough to tackle single track trails, but what makes it interesting is the top tube.

The top tube design is there to improve and support the rear suspension when in action.

Another thing to highlight is the available frame sizes. It will range from XS – 155cm (61″) to XL – 198cm (78″). Of-course, you have to evaluate the reach length and the stand over height too.


Tires and Rims Performance

The Trance E+ Pro 2020 rolls exclusively on 27.5″ diameter and 2.6″ wide tires. This is for both, front and rear tires.

Giant knows that for an electric mountain bike for hard trails, the performance of the front and rear tire needed to be different.

27 inch Maxxis Minion DHF and high roller II emountain bike tires

The front tire

The front tire is a Maxxis Minion DHF, basically designed to provide traction when taking corners so they perform best at high speed (mostly due to the large blocks along the edges).

NOTE

The maximum tire pressure recommended is 50 psi. However, it is advisable to lower the pressure (not too much) before going onto loose ground for additional grip and control.

The tread is good enough to penetrate the soil without loosing to much energy transmitted by the motor.

Lastly, you will see the front tire has a kind of “rounded” shape, which increases the control when changing direction.

The rear tire

Of course, the rear tire is also Maxxis. In this case, the Trance E+ 3 Pro was fitted with the High Roller II reference.

Why not to have the same reference for both tires?

You could’ve had the same reference for the front and rear tires but it is important to note that you need higher traction at the rear one.

Having said that, the High Roller II was built with mud clearance in mind. This means the treads are going to cave into the soil, providing higher traction and performance at acceleration.

NOTE

In terms of tire pressure, the maximum recommended is 40 psi. Make sense that the rear tire has lower pressure than the front one, again for better grip and control.

Note that the design is more flat and the tread along the edges stick out more than the front reference.

The rims

Another factor to consider is the quality of the rims. Knowing you will be putting all you got on the tires, the rims needed to be up to the task.

In this case, the 35 mm Giant AM rims were the best fit for the Maxxis tires as they provide strength for jumps.

In terms of the spokes, these are maid of stainless steel, a material that works well mountain bikes but adds to the overall weight of the bike (it is minimum really).

Lastly, maybe one of the most important factors in terms of rims, these are tubeless ready, so you won’t have to worry about having a spoke leaving you hopeless.


Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro Full Suspension eBike

Aside from the motor and the battery, the suspension is a vital part of any other high performance e-MTB.

Giant not only knew that a full suspension electric mountain bike was the answer to sort out hard trails but also that safety was paramount providing stability and comfort.

RockShox 35 Gold RL (Front Suspension)

Utilizing the experience and technology of RockShox, 35 Gold RL front suspension will easily sort out most aggressive bumps on the trail.

I’ve seen that some front suspension models are usually soft, thinking that it may be better for a riding experience.

This is not entirely the case.

The Gold RL is stiffer than the general models in the same category. This is as result of the DebonAir™ technology, that is meant to offer a more consistent compression when loaded.

This technology will work well when the motion control damper (MCD) is in locked mode, absorbing small bumps.

In addition to the above, the MCD responds a bit smoother, which will give the extra control you need.

You can adjust how much travel you want the internal air to move freely (locked (good for climbing) or wide open (good for downhill)) along the tube suspension. In this case, this ebike has a 150 mm front travel.

Lastly, what I love about this fork is the possibility of adding tokens, which gives the opportunity to adjust the air setting to your riding style.

NOTE

The locked setting will improve the efficiency when riding on non-bumping terrains.

Fox Float DPS Performance

Now, the other piece of the suspension puzzle for improved comfort and control – the middle suspension.

The Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro is fitted with the Fox Float DPS Trunnion model. It is not uncommon to see top trail ebikes with this suspension technology.

This Fox Trunnion damper has the ability to be adjusted with three (3) settings: open, medium and locked.

The open (more traction) and locked (for flat terrains) modes will operate the same way as the front suspension does.

but,

the advantage with the medium setting is that you can have more support and performance when climbing.

This is something I find very interesting with this Fox series as it will be easily adjusted to control your jumps, corners and smashing moments.


Yamaha Motor

For many, when choosing an e-bike, the motor makes all the difference. Powered by YAMAHA, you will count with a reliable powerful motor, so the riding is as smooth and seamless as possible.

Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro SyncDrive Pro

The E+ 3 Pro motor features a custom-tuned technology known as the SyncDrive Pro. This system has taken Giant to a new level.

Basically, based on your riding setting, the system will figure out how much output the motor needs to deliver so that you get the right assistance – no more, no less.

I’m impressed about the technology. It will both enhance the riding experience and will give the most of the battery juice.

Speed and Torque

This ebike is classified as Pedal Assisted – Class 2. It means that the max speed you can reach before the motor cuts off is 20 mph (32 km/h).

It may not be the fastest ebike but you don’t need more than that.

In terms of the power, the motor will give up to 80Nm of torque. Of course, the amount of power is controlled by the SyncDrive technology.

Good to note that the torque can be slightly affected by the tire pressure you have selected and the full suspension settings.


Giant EnergyPak Smart 500 Battery

This electric mountain bike was designed to perform highly in any rough terrains. Regardless of the quality of the other elements, the EnergyPak Smart 500 technology will deliver what you require.

To improve the balance when riding, the battery was positioned at the most possible lowest point of the frame’s down-tube.

This creates a low center of gravity, resulting in steady handling for the rider.

Aside from that, there is a couple of things also to discuss about: chemistry and range.

Battery Chemistry

The EnergyPak Smart system uses Li-ion chemistry for delivery of an optimal voltage (36V).

In addition to the voltage, the cells distribution have been improved to reduce overheating when in full operation.

This is important so the performance of the battery doesn’t decrease specially in summer time.

Range and Charging times

The range will be variable depending on the assistance mode you setup for your ebike and riding style.

Regardless of the settings, you could expect a minimum of 40 km and a maximum of 100 km.

It is actually not bad for an 25kg trail ebike.

Now, charging the battery is another story. This energy pack will be charged between 1.45 hrs (60%) to almost 4 hrs to get to 100%.

What is more important about charging the battery is the Battery Management System (BMS) integration.

This type of system will be mostly found on top class ebikes.

The BMS will ensure the battery performs correctly during both operation and idle times, improving the lifespan.

If you want to find out more about BMSs, please read our battery guide.

Double Locking System

One of the things that Giants has always ensured is the safety of the rider and protection of the vital elements.

I’m honest, when I saw the battery sitting on the downtube, my first thought was, “could the battery fall of the frame when landing after several jumps?”

To fulfill the above, the battery was designed with a double locking system. In order words, to remove the battery you will need to first, use the master key followed by pressing the silver inner hook.

This is awesome since you could be confident the battery will stay in place and second, this will prevent to drop it when unlocking it with just a key system.

Lastly, there is more to offer. At the top of the battery, there will be a couple of screws that can be tightened to reduce any rattle when riding.


RideControl Technology

As with every e-bike, the controller of the Trance E+ 3 Pro is central to its performance.

You can think of the controller as the heart of the electric bike. Electronic parts such as the display, pedal-assist, battery, motor are all connected to the controller.

Thanks to the minimalist RideControl ONE head unit (mounted on the bicycle’s bar) design, you can adjust any of the setting on you go.

Supporting Modes (in action)

Here is where you can feel the best of the motor and the battery.

The whole system was built to deliver five (5) different support modes: Eco, basic, active, sport and power.

Each mode can be adjusted to find the right support ratio based on your riding style.

  • Eco: 50 to 100%. This mode is used commonly when you are just cruising on flat terrain.
  • Basic: 125 to 175%.
  • Active: 175 to 250%.
  • Sport: 200 to 300%.
  • Power: 300 to 360%. Mainly used when climbing uphill.

The best way to change the motor’s power output is by using the Giant RideControl App.

WalkAssist Mode

In addition to the five (5) modes above, this smart system also includes the Walk-Assist mode.

The Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro lands on the heavy side – 25 kg (even with the use of lightweight materials). On this note, this mode will give just the most minimum motor’s power to support you if walking.

The Controller

This full suspension electric mountain bike comes with a very easy to use controller – the RideControl One.

The RideControl one will give you access to the basic elements while in action. These are headlight, support modes and battery level.

I find this control model excellent because of the minimal distractions available while riding.

Of course, there is other metrics and adjustments you can access but you will need to use the dedicated app.

About the Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro e-bike App

The Giant e-bike App enables your smartphone to function as a display.

You can:

  • Adjust the motor power (level of support per mode).
  • Read stats such as distance traveled and battery remaining range.
  • Access stats from different trails you have tackled, and last but not least,
  • You can run diagnostics on the motor and battery condition. You will need to update the firmware for accuracy.

It is advisable to adjust any required setting before doing the route.

The app looks cool but based on other users experiences, it requires a lot on improvements. This is surprising considering the reputation of this big bike brand.


Drive-train and Braking System

The same as the other parts of this ebike, the shifting and braking system come from well-known manufacturers.

Drive-train system

The drive-train and shifting system uses SRAM technology with the SX Eagle series. This will allow you to get 12 speed levels at most.

This is supported by the cassette system with a great gear ratio of 11 to 50 teeth in 12 sprockets.

Lastly, what I find interesting is the roller clutch feature that allows you to remove the rear tire much easier in case of a break down.

Braking System

Not only you will need power when going uphill but also to cool down that power when going downhill. For that you will need an outstanding braking system.

The Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro has Tektron Orion hydraulic braking disks. Both, front and rear brakes will count with a quad-piston system.

This is known to be the right configuration for downhill activities since it will help to reduce overheating the braking pads.


Should you Buy the Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro?

The Trance E+ 3 Pro 2020’s full suspension electric mountain bike technology makes it an ebike to go over other candidates.

I know a high performance e-MTB will have an outstanding set of elements to give you peace of mind, however, the motor and battery are another story.

The technology behind these two (2) important elements is impressive, which will make climbs much easier.

But, these 2 elements won’t be much without a good set of tires, suspension and braking system.

On the other side, the E+ 3 Pro comes with its fair share of cons.

For one, it is not a lightweight ebike. As mentioned before, Giant integrated the WalkAssist mode, which enables you to push it along the way.

In addition, it might not be the cheapest to buy in the market for 2020. Regardless, this is a high performance electric mountain bike model, so it is more than fare.

All in all, the pros far outweigh the cons of this e-bike, making it a top choice, among others.

With it’s upgraded YAMAHA SyncDrive Pro motor, the Maestro suspension system, the superb Maxxis tires, battery chemistry and minimalist central RideControl One, the Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro could be the best full suspension electric mountain bike in 2020.

Images courtesy of Giant.


What do you think about this full suspension e-MTB?

Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro 2020

4.5

Frame & Components Quality

4.8/5

Braking Performance

4.8/5

Speed & Torque (motor)

4.8/5

Controller & Assistance

4.8/5

Battery Range

4.6/5

Overall Weight

4.0/5

Portability & Maneuverability

4.0/5

What we like

  • ✅ Built up with well known manufacturer parts.
  • ✅ Powerful braking system.
  • ✅ Minimalist controller to reduce distraction.

What we do not like

  • Seems to be only designed for man.
  • Expensive but worth every dollar.
  • A bit heavybut make sense considering all the elements involved.