Giant Trance SX E+ 0 Pro 2019
Melbourne Bikes - Electric Bikes
Giant Trance SX E+ 0 Pro 2019
In this review of the 2019 Giant Trance E+ SX, we cover everything you need to know before buying the bike. Click here to start learning.
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GIANT TRANCE SX E+ 0 PRO 2019
On any analogue bike (can I use that term now?), more suspension travel means harder to climb and, generally speaking, a real pain the backside to ride anything else but long, steep descents.
But here’s the kicker:
Not on an E-bike (or E-MTB).
Do you want more travel? Go nuts. You see, there are no penalties to pay for having that extra amount of suspension. Because the motor (the assistance) does a lot of the work on the climbs for you.
And that’s exactly what Giant had in mind when they delivered the Trance E+ SX 0 Pro; a more aggressive version of the Trance E+ for those who plan to ride steep and technical terrain, or just love the feeling of a stable, plush mountain bike. So in this preview, I’m going to go through the details you need to know before buying the Trance E+ SX.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TRANCE E+ SX AND TRANCE E+
These are the key differences between the two platforms:
1. 10mm more travel on the Trance E+ SX.
2. The transition from air to coil rear shock on the SX.
3. Slacker seat tube angle (by 0.5 degrees) on the SX.
4. Slacker head tube angle (also by 0.5 degrees).
5. The SX has a slightly higher bottom bracket (by 4mm).
6. 113mm of Trail (SX), compared to 109mm for the Trance E+.
So, looking at the numbers above, the Trance E+ SX is going to be more stable at high speeds (slacker head tube angle). It will deliver more confidence through rough and raw trails, due to a higher Trail number. It has slightly more ground clearance. And the addition of a coil rear shock will deliver exceptional small bump compliance and traction.
On the note of coil shocks:
Even though the Giant Trance E+ SX and Giant E+ have 140mm of rear wheel travel, they are going to feel significantly different.
Giant has used a coil shock on the Trance E+ SX because it delivers unmatched performance, compared to an air shock. Coil shocks have this amazing ability to completely absorb small impacts and force the rear tyre to grip. And because there’s no air, coil shocks are unaffected by heat.
Ever felt your air-sprung rear shock after a descent? It’ll be hot. This heat affects the shock from delivering a plush feel.
The rear shock bolted to the Trance E+ SX is the new Fox DHX2. This shock needs to set at 30% sag. Unlike an air-sprung shock where you can adjust the sag easily with by adding/removing air using a suspension pump, with a coil shock you need to remove the spring itself and replace it with the correct spring rate.
Always, this means taking the rear shock out of the bike and installing the correct spring.
If you’re interested in learning more about the DHX2, the read the Fox DHX2 Tuning Guide.
THE MOTOR AND APP BEHIND THE E-BIKE
At the heart of the Trance E+ SX is the Yamaha SyncDrive Pro.
There are 5 modes with different support levels:
There are 3 things the SyncDrive Pro does really well:
If you need to pedal up a lung-busting climb, the Yamaha’s 80Nm of torque can be reached easily and quickly. Unlike some units, the Yamaha will deliver this torque up to a pedalling cadence of 120RPM (in the Active, Sport and Power modes).
Power gets delivered every 14 degrees of crank rotation (compared to 22 degrees for the Yamaha Sport model). This means pedal-kicking up rocks, climbing steep switchback corners or accelerating out of corners is both responsive and instinctive. In less than 19 milliseconds, you have access to full power.
There an app too:
It’s called Giant Ride Control. And it’s available for both Andriod and iPhone.
How does it work:
Via Bluetooth, the Ride Control App connects to the bike seamlessly.
This is what it does:
1. Set Ride Goals (riding time, distance or calories burned).
2. Ride History (records distance, speed, calories and more).
3. Motor tuning (change the power output in each mode).
4. Diagnosis (for error checking and battery charge).
5. Bike Updates (helps keep software current).
For more information browse through the Ride Control App Owners Manual.
You might be wondering:
“How is the power delivery controlled?”
Through the new Ride Control One handlebar-mounted remote.
You don’t have to use the Ride Control App. And riders may not want to use it either, preferring an absence of phone-based technology during their mountain bike ride.
So, the Ride Control One remote keeps things simple and shows 2 things: battery usage (range) and assistance level. There are 2 buttons; toggle up or down and an on/off button.
GIANT TRANCE E+ SX 0 PRO COMPONENT SELECTION
With all the electronics aside, what about the bike components? Here’s a thorough rundown:
For 2019, an SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain is used. X01 Eagle stuff is 2nd tier - so it’s very damned good. There’ are 12 gears to select from on the cassette, ranging from a tiny 10-tooth sprocket to a massive 50-tooth sprocket.
Gear changes are superb and it will probably be one of the best, if not the best, mountain bike drivetrain you’ve ever owned.
Unlike Shimano, both the up/down shift paddles are thumb operated. The return speed of the paddle is much faster than Shimano shift levers. Every shift feels precise and accurate, with distinctive mechanical feedback. The larger X01 Eagle shifter paddle rotates on a bearing, for better longevity and smoother operation.
FOX FLOAT AND DHX2 SUSPENSION
The top of the range Fox Factory suspension kit on the Trance E+ SX is without fault. It is the best money can buy and it’s the exact same stuff 99% of the pros are riding.
Here’s the deal though:
You’ve got to spend the time learning and adjusting it. See those small red and blue dials? They are placed there by Fox, so you can tinker with them.
Before you do, it’s best to set a ‘starting point’. This is where the Fox Tuning Guides are priceless - they cut out months of testing time.
Aim for 20% Sag for the Fox 36 Float FIT4, and 30% on the Fox DHX 2 rear shock.
Here are the adjustments:
The simpler Float FIT4 damper has air pressure, rebound and 3-position compression.
And out the back, the top of the range DHX2 features preload spring adjuster, high and low-speed compression, high and low-speed rebound and 2 position compression (firm or open).
SRAM CODE BRAKES
The new Code hydraulic disc brakes use a quad piston caliper. 2 piston sizes are sued; 15mm and 16mm (an increase of 15% over previous generation brakes).
The fluid reservoir has increased by 30%. More fluid equals less heat effect on that fluid. Equals more consistent stopping power and long descents.
200mm discs are used front and rear - the biggest the SRAM make. On the lever body, there’s also a reach adjustment dial. Short fingers can reach the brake lever too.
1. Electronic equipment is 2 years and includes:
- Ride Control One display.
- Yamaha SyncDrive Pro motor.
2. Frame: Lifetime (not transferrable to another owner).
3. Fox Suspension: 1 year.
4. SRAM: 2 years.
5. Wheels: 2 years.
6. Other: 1 year.