Tom de Bruin reports back from his recent Transatlantic adventures…
The design pixies have been busy this year at Giant. They were very happy with their Meastro suspension system, which features on all their suspension bikes, and have concentrated on getting the weight down. The linkages on the Maestro suspension are slimmer to cut weight whilst whilst keeping their stiffness. What they’ve achieved is impressive.
Giant were keen to point out that they own all of their own manufacturing facilities. Therefore they have complete quality control across the entire range. They even make their own carbon fibre filament and mix their own resin.
Each bike newly launched bike features an ‘OverDrive’ headtube – 1.125″ to 1.5″ tapered fork steerer – as is becoming the norm on bikes these days, particularly the longer travel offerings.
Always a popular bike on the trails, the 2010 model, as before, features 6.7″ of travel but cuts the frame weight to 3100 grams (including the shock). Thats a saving of 675 grams! Stiffness has not been sacrificed and has actually increased by 5%.
There are no geometry changes with the head angle remaining at 67 degrees. While at rear of the bike you’ll find a 12×135 Maxle Lite. This is on all the Reign X models. As are cable guides for a droppable seatpost with some models offering a Crank Brother Joplin as standard. It has a 73mm bottom bracket shell.
As with all the models fluid forming has added some nice touches to the frames. On the Reign X the seatstays look particularly sweet as their profile changes along their length.
A medium Reign X0 weighs in at 30.2lbs.
I spent an afternoon riding the Reign X and came away impressed. It felt big, like you could really hammer into stuff, but equally it was perfectly able to climb, much like the Reigns of old, just lighter and more refined.
It went away for a while and the Freeride gap was filled with differently specced Glory DH bike. But no more, the Faith is back with a massive 1100 gram weight saving on the frame over the original 2005 model. The 7″ travel frame now weighs in at 4060 grams (inc. shock). Again, the fluid forming gives it some swoopy lines.
Out of the box you’ll receive two sets of rear dropouts. The 12mm dropouts accept standard Saint or Maxle axles and adjust the head angle, chainstay length, and bottom bracket height. Head angle is therefore 66.75 or 66.24 degrees while the BB height is adjusted by 6mm. It has a 73mm bottom bracket shell. A Faith 0 weighs in at 36.8lbs.
As Keystone bike park in Colorado was the venue of the bike launch there was plenty of opportunity to get the most out of this bike. A gondola to the top followed by 30 minutes+ of downhill runs of black and double black grade trails. I haven’t much experience with a gravity bike but it wasn’t long before I was putting more and more confidence into the bike and riding stuff that I wouldn’t have dared in the past.
One of the complaints of the previous Glory was its weight. The 2010 model has gone on a massive diet and dropped 1500 grams off the frame alone. A Glory 0 in medium now weighs 38lbs. Which is almost a 7lbs saving over the previous model. Impressive indeed.
A 65.5 degree head angle takes care of the steering.