Our 2016 SDURO FullNine RX Haibikes served us so well. They were our first ebikes - I have been mountain biking for about 30 years, in fact, probably around the time that mountain biking was just getting going. My first bike was pretty much a commuting bike with "knobbly" tyres. No suspension at all and terrible V-brakes that barely worked. Pat, on the other hand, didn't take to mountain biking at all. Marathon running, yes. But mountain biking? Never!

Friends, Howard and Debbie, had ebikes. Both of them, Haibikes, and after some considerable nagging I managed to get Pat onto one of them, just so she could see what it was like... 8 500km later I have no idea what our lives would have been like without them! We have ridden through remote parts of the Karoo, over mountain ranges, through the lush forests of the Karkloof in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, through Germany and into Austria, from Switzerland to France, through fields of flowers in Namaqualand and along the rugged coastal cliffs and in the forests of the Garden Route in the southern Cape. They have changed our lives! Wonderfully!

But the Haibikes had been getting a tad old and so we felt it was time to take advantage of the technical developments that have happened over the past couple of years and perhaps enjoy the luxury of a larger capacity battery, a somewhat more powerful motor and, well, just something more up to date.

The Giant Trance  E+ 1 PRO 29 with all our "goodies" fitted - bar bag, GPS Mounts, lights etc. Camera mounts will come later.

The Giant Trance E+ 1 PRO 29 with all our "goodies" fitted - bar bag, GPS Mounts, lights etc. Camera mounts will come later.

The big issue was what to replace them with? And so the big investigation began. We talked to people, watched YouTube videos and built spreadsheets containing vast numbers of columns, comparing everything from head angle to price. Then we needed to sort out what was relevant to us. Considering the type of riding we do, would a 10mm difference in rear travel make that much difference to our lives? And would we even notice the effects of a change of 0,5° in head angle? Range was important, but so were motor power and torque, backup, the local dealer, wheel size (we wanted 29" wheels) and motor type (we really loved the Yamaha motors with their torque sensing feature).

Shimano brakes work well.

Shimano brakes work well.

Love the big, 203mm disc brakes with 4 pot callipers - nice stopping power and lots of control.

Love the big, 203mm disc brakes with 4 pot callipers - nice stopping power and lots of control.

We tested out many bikes to see which we liked and which we didn't. In the end, we decided on the 2020 Giant Stance E+ PRO 29. The local dealer (Ride Life George) had been fantastic through all of this, answering a myriad of questions, guiding us through the whole process.

What we liked about the 2020 Giant Stance E+ PRO 29

- The 29" wheel shod with 2,4 tyres - not too wide, not too narrow. Just right (for us).

- The 500Wh battery. We would have preferred more (we tested bikes with up to 720Wh batteries) but some of the other features outweighed this.

- As above, we like the Yamaha motors (on this bike in Giant's SyncDrive Pro guise) and their torque sensing feature.

- The Sram 1 X 12 drive system

- You have to stop sometimes, so the 230mm Shimano MT520, 4-piston brakes appealed.

- At 130mm and 120 rear the suspension travel was a vast improvement over the Haibikes but not "over the top".

- Backup from all reports was excellent and we have only had excellent service from Ride Life in George where we stay.

- Really good value for money

Giant RideControl ONE with its little white LEDs gives a clear indication of the power assist level on the left and battery power on the right. We still prefer to have a display and these are on order.

Giant RideControl ONE with its little white LEDs gives a clear indication of the power assist level on the left and battery power on the right. We still prefer to have a display and these are on order.

What we like less

It's early days yet but initial feelings are:

- We miss the displays we had on the Haibikes as standard. Yes, the RideControl ONE with its little white LEDs works a treat but we like to have speed, distance, time and a bunch of other things available. We have ordered displays and they should be here soon.

A bigger battery would be wonderful - say 600Wh...

- Ummmm...

Powered by Yamaha. The Giant SyncDrive Pro has a Yamaha motor in the background and its torque sensing feature is a delight.

Powered by Yamaha. The Giant SyncDrive Pro has a Yamaha motor in the background and its torque sensing feature is a delight.

Specifications

Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Colors:Metallic Navy
Frame:ALUXX SL-grade aluminum, 120mm FlexPoint suspension system
Fork:RockShox Recon RL, 130mm travel, Lockout, 110x15mm MaxleLite
Shock:RockShox Monarch RT, High Volume, 184x44mm, custom tuned
Handlebar:Giant Connect TR Riser 31.8x780mm
Stem:Giant Contact
Seatpost:Giant Contact Switch, dropper, 30,9mm (S:100/M:125/L:150/XL:170)
Saddle:Giant Contact, Neutral
Shifters:SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed
Rear Derailleur:SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed
Brakes:Shimano MT520, 4-piston brakes, 203mm
Brake Levers:Shimano MT501 Hydraulic Disc
Cassette:SRAM PG-1210, 11-50T, 12-Speed
Chain:SRAM SX Eagle PowerLock, 12-speed
Crankset:SRAM X-Sync Eagle 38T 104BCD chainring Praxis e-Cadet+ custom forged crankarm set (Q-factor=168, S:160, M/L:165, XL:170)
Bottom Bracket:   N/A
Rims:Giant XCT 29 Tubeless Ready 25mm e-bike optimized
Hubs:Giant eTracker Boost, Sealed cartridge bearing, 6-bolt, [F] 110x15 [R] 148x12mm Thru-axle
Spokes:Sapim E-Lite [r] Race [f], e-bike optimized
Tyres:Maxxis Ardent 29x2.4" foldable, 60tpi Dual Compound EXO, Tubeless Ready
Extras:Giant EnergyPak 6A Smart charger and Tubeless kit (liquid, valves, levelrs, manual, tool)
Motor:Giant SyncDrive Pro
Sensors:Giant PedalPlus 6-sensor technology
Display:Giant RideControl ONE
Battery:Giant EnergyPak Smart 500, 36V 13.8Ah integrated Lithium-Ion

Geometry

  XSSMLXL
A. Seat Tube Length (mm) (inch)380/15406/16432/17482/19507/20
B.Seat Tube Angle (degrees)73,5°73,5°73,5°73,5°73,5°
C.Top Tube Length (mm) (inch)565/22,2580/22,8600/23,6625/24,6650/25,6
D.Head Tube Length (mm) (inch)100/3,9100/3,9110/4,3120/4,7135/5,3
EHead Tube Angle (degrees)67,0°67,0°67,0°67,0°67,0°
F.Fork Rake (mm) (inch)51/251/251/251/251/2
G.Trail (mm) (inch)106,9/4,2106,9/4,2106,9/4,2106,9/4,2106,9/4,2
H.Wheelbase (mm) (inch)1147/45,21162/45,71183/46,61209/47,61236/48,7
I.Chain Stay Length (mm) (inch)465/18,3465/18,3465/18,3465/18,3465/18,3
J.Bottom Bracket Drop (mm) (inch)20/0,820/0,820/0,820/0,820/0,8
K.Stack (mm) (inch)590/23,2590/23,2599/23,6608/23,9622/24,5
L.Reach (mm) (inch)390/15,4405/15,9422/16,6444/17,5465/18,3
M.Stand Over Height (mm) (inch)715/28,1731/28,8746/29,4778/30,6781/30,7
N.Handlebar Width (mm) (inch)780/30,7780/30,7780/30,7780/30,7780/30,7
O.Stem Length (mm) (inch)50/250/250/250/260/2,4
P.Crank Length (mm) (inch)160/6,3160/6,3165/6,5165/6,5170/6,7
Q.Wheel Size 29"29"29"29"29"
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