Currently, you could divide electric mountain bikes into two main categories. One category of e-bikes is equipped with a powerful motor and a large battery with a capacity of 600-900 Wh. The second category is e-bikes, where the emphasis is on the lowest possible weight, and batteries with a capacity of 300-400 Wh and the smallest possible motor are logically used here, even at the cost of reduced power and torque. Today I have an e-bike from a brand that took it in its own way and equipped its model with a powerful drive and a battery with a capacity from the segment of light e-bike concepts. Let's take a look at the Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 2.

The basis is a full carbon frame with 140 mm of travel with the Maestro suspension system. It is a system working on the principle of a virtual pivot. The narrowly cut lower frame tube hides an integrated EnergyPak battery with a capacity of 400 Wh and removable only after disassembling the drive unit.

The model is powered by a SyncDrive Pro 2 drive unit with a torque of 85 Nm and a weight of 2.7 kg. This drivetrain for Giant is manufactured by Yamaha of Japan. The firmware part was developed by Giant itself, and thanks to this, you can, for example, supplement the system with other peripherals such as displays, smart GPS computers or pair it with a mobile app. Giant calls this whole system Smart Gateway. I've personally tried pairing the bike with my Garmin watch and when you install the data fields you can see things like battery level in %, level of support, cadence or power.

You can set the drive unit using the RideControl app on your mobile phone, you might be interested in setting the onset of power, i.e. Louch, twister of individual modes and support in %. Using the app, you can also record your rides, plan a trip in the form of navigation and then share all of this to, for example, Strava or other sports applications.

The entire system is controlled by a compact controller on the grip, which is also ergonomically tuned so that you can use it on either the left or right side. Basically, the bike is equipped with a simple diode indicator on the upper frame tube, where you can see the gear and battery status. You can then recharge the battery with the included 4A charger, which also has a trick in the form of a charge button for long-term storage. If the battery capacity is not enough, it is possible to buy an external battery with a capacity of 200 Wh from Giant, and thanks to the USB-C connector, the user can also charge a mobile phone from this external battery.

The driving characteristics are fundamentally changed by the position of the flip chip on the rear structure. For fast "aggressive" terrain, the Low setting is ideal, the High setting creates a more XC-oriented riding position. I liked the "LOW" position, when the fork is more laid and the bike is more stable in technique.

The Elite 2 is the second lowest trim of the 4. You'll find air suspension from Fox, specifically 36 Performance forks with 150mm of travel and a trunnion spec Fox Float Performance shock. Here we have a 12-speed gear system with a Shimano SLX derailleur, a Deore cassette with a range of 10-51z. The component equipment is then completed by a cockpit from Giant and a Praxis handle. The integrated cabling is also worth mentioning. A telescopic seatpost is a matter of course. The braided wheels are from Giant in a mullet descent and are shod with Maxxis EXO-spec tires.

The Giant impressed me mainly with its driving characteristics, the perfectly tuned performance of the SyncDrive Pro 2 drive unit and its processing. Excellent suspension and a weight of 20.5 kg only increase the agility of this bike. So, if you are looking for an ebike with great driving characteristics and you don't mind a smaller battery capacity, the Trance X Advanced E+ Elite 2 is a great choice. This bike definitely made my list when choosing a lightweight e-bike concept.

Author: Marek Bělovský, camera of ridding: Jiří Fikejz.