climbs or blasting fast descents. After a few mid-ride tweaks to
the suspension, our bike felt dialed and ready to take on any trail.
Climbing: The Reign’s plush suspension worked in its favor
during the climbs, maintaining traction while providing a supportive
pedaling platform that didn’t bob or bounce while powering up the
trails. The slack head angle and short stem, on the other hand,
caused our front end to wander a bit during steep, slow climbs,
but testers found placing more weight over the front end helped
resolve this issue. Overall, the Reign is made for the rider who isn’t
afraid to work a little harder on the climbs so he can be rewarded
heavily on the descents.
Cornering: Modern enduro bikes have wider tires, stiffer
frames and even more active suspension, which has resulted in
bikes that can shred corners harder than ever before. The Reign is
no exception. Our test riders found themselves confidently sliding
this bike around turns and railing berms. The 2.5-inch Maxxis
Shorty tire up front wasn’t a perfect match for our loose and dusty
local trails, but with tire pressures as low as 23 psi, we managed
to get the Shorty to hook up. The Reign could use a slightly longer
dropper post to give riders more clearance above the bike, but,
other than that, we were more than pleased with the Reign’s ability
to tackle the twists and turns of our favorite trails.
Descending: The Reign prides itself on its descending
prowess, and while it has been known as a capable descender
in the past, this new version is the most capable Reign to date.
The updated geometry, reworked suspension design and modern
components make the Reign an excellent descender, turning the
gnarliest terrain into a fun flow trail. Many trail riders will likely
get along better with Giant’s shorter-travel trailbike, the Trance,
due to the Reign’s overly aggressive styling, but if you’re a rider
who truly wants to push the limits of speed, then the Reign is a
great tool for the job.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
The Reign Advanced 1 offers a nice balance between performance and value, but a few upgrades could further improve this
awesome machine. First of all, we swapped out the Reign’s inner
tubes for the included tubeless valves and tire sealant. We then
folded up these tubes so that we could easily carry one as a spare.
Taller riders may feel the need to get a longer dropper post to have
maximum mobility over their bikes. For our local trails, we would
recommend swapping the front tire, but riders who live in areas
that get wet and muddy may find this tire suits their trails well. And
last, we strongly advise you head to Fox’s website for tuning tips.
Their guides will provide you with air-pressure charts and give you
a base setting for rebound and compression adjustments.
Full enduro: The Reign’s cockpit features a short Truvativ
stem and a wide Giant handlebar, which together provided
our riders with great comfort and control.
Ready for gnar: An MRP chain guide gives riders added
insurance knowing their chain will stay securely in place over
the gnarliest trails.
Take on the trails: SRAM’s 12-speed Eagle drivetrain offers
a wide range perfect for tackling the steepest climbs or
charging the fastest descents. Our Reign came with a 32-tooth
chainring which will suit most riders well; however, some may
feel the need to swap the front ring for a larger 34-tooth.