Longer, Slacker, Faster?
If you're anything like me, you tend to scroll right past the PR mumble jumble at the beginning of any press release informing punters and racers alike of the hottest new mountain biking product. New industry wide 'standards', bigger wheels and updated geometry were all predictable updates to Giant's flagship Enduro bike to ensure it stayed up to date with industry trends and gives their racers the edge they need. After wading through the hype and seeing what I considered to be some noteworthy updates to both geometry and construction, I decided to pull the trigger and get on board a 29” Giant Reign. Was my money well spent? Read on to find out.
- 29” wheels
- 146mm rear travel, 160mm front
- ‘Maestro’ linkage design
- 65 degree head angle
- Carbon and alloy models available
For 2021 the Giant Reign 29er comes in an array of options with the Alloy Reign 2 29er starting at RRP $4299.95 and the top of the line carbon Giant Reign Advanced 0 29er going for RRP $11,499.95. I’ve been on the Giant Reign Advanced 1 29er (RRP $7,799.95) which I’ve customised to fit my personal preferences, see the bike in detail here.
Some much-needed geometric updates flank the wheel change for the new Reign 29”. The most noticeable change is the steepening of the seat tube angle from 72.5 to 76.8 degrees. The improved seated position, particularly on long fire road climbs is a welcome update putting me in a more comfortable and efficient pedalling position. It’s still a 146mm rear travel Enduro bike that prefers a descent over a climb every day of the week but life is easier on the up than it was before. The reach has also been increased across all sizes, with more room to position my body on the bike. Thanks to this I feel as though I’ve gained greater control in steep terrain making for a safer yet faster ride. The chainstays are 4mm longer than the previous Giant Reign to accommodate for the 29” wheels and match the larger front centre, balancing the bike out nicely.
The bigger wheels and geometry updates give the bike a more ‘racey’ feel than ever. The 29” wheels do admittedly take more effort to manoeuvre around tight corners but do roll noticeably faster and are smoother in the rough. Riding faster, loose terrain the bike comes into its own giving me more confidence than my previous Reign. This confidence naturally led to an increase in speed as I navigated the familiar local Brisbane MTB trails with newfound excitement and gusto.
The Little Things
Although Giant have made a host of big updates to the Reign’s suspension, geometry etc. there are some other refinements that are well and truly appreciated. The rear triangle is now carbon along with the front triangle and rocker link. Apart from looking ace and keeping things light the new rear triangle has better clearance and has so far avoided unwanted damage from rock strikes. Another welcome update is the addition of a drain hole in the bottom of the maestro link in the front triangle. Gone are the days of water pooling up around the bearings in this location on wet rides or while washing your bike. Hallelujah!
Who’s It For
Simply put, the Giant Reign 29er is made to go down rough trails as quickly as possible, and it takes an aggressive riding style to get the most from it. If you thrive on the prospect of going faster, riding hard and taking on challenging terrain then the Giant Reign 29” should excite you with the potential to shave down valuable seconds off your times.
If you're looking to swing a leg over the Giant Reign 29" check out the options here or better yet stop in at our Brisbane mountain bike store, talk to our team and see the bikes in person.
Words by Hayden Wright
Action and lifestyle imagery by Gerard Lagana.