In a somewhat inevitable and not wholly unexpected move, Giant’s long travel enduro race bike, The Giant Reign 29, will be rolling on 29in wheels for 2020. The new Giant Reign is a direct replacement for the previous model and sits above the Trance 29 at the pinnacle of the Giant range (if you exclude the Glory DH bike).
27.5 fans don’t need to worry unduly though, as there will be two aluminium 27.5 Reign models kept in the range.
Developed with input from Giant Factory Off-Road team riders Adam Craig and Josh Carlson, the Reign 29 is designed for aggressive trail riding and all-mountain terrain. It’s an undisputed fact that bigger wheels roll faster especially over chunky terrain, and for flat out enduro racing speed is king, so this jump to bigger wheels makes perfect sense.
The new Giant Reign 29 range is split into two distinct series; The ‘Giant Reign Advanced Pro 29’ is a full carbon affair (both mainframe and rear swingarm), while the more affordable ‘Giant Reign 29’ is crafted entirely from aluminium.
Both series feature 146mm of Maestro suspension out back and 160mm of travel up front. A third option is also available – the Reign SX 29, and this comes with a 170mm fork as stock for even more focus on maximum descending capability on the rowdiest trails.
If you want a carbon frame, you have three models to choose from – the Reign Advanced Pro 29 0, 1 or 2. The carbon layup is the same on all three models, the only differences are in the component specification. There are then three alloy models to choose from – the Reign 29 1 or 2, and finally the longer travel Reign SX completes the range.
Giant Reign Pricing
Pricing starts at £2,899 for the Reign 29 2, climbing to £7,499 for the chi chi Reign Advanced Pro 29 0, and as of today (August 7th, 2019), the bikes are in a container somewhere between here and the Far East, with bikes hitting the shops in late September. All models come in S, M, L and XL sizes, with the exception of the Advanced Pro 29 0 and 29 SX where no small size is available.
Geometry is the same whether you choose the alloy or carbon frame – 65° head angle, 76.8° seat angle, 30mm BB drop, and the reach runs from 428mm on the small up to 516mm on the XL. All the sizes have a low seat tube with plenty of standover clearance, so you can size up for a longer cockpit if you want, but unlike some brands chainstay length is a constant 439mm. Wheelbase comes in at 1188mm, growing to 1265mm on the XL. The longer fork on the SX model kicks the head angle back to 64.5° and raises the BB a fraction. Geek out on the full geometry chart below at your leisure.
Naturally, the frame has a boost rear end for increased stiffness and clearance for 2.5in tyres, and it’s single ring-specific with a maximum chainring of 36T. The Advance Pro Carbon frame hits the scales at 2380g for a size medium (frame and shock hardware, no shock), with the top of the range Reign Advance Pro 29 0 coming in at 13.1kg or 28.9lbs (without pedals). And that’s with sensible and tough Maxxis Exo+ tyres, not featherweight rubber that flatters the scales but need to be removed before riding anything even remotely gnarly. Impressive.
Through three rounds of prototypes and working with feedback and input from racers, Giant settled on 146mm of rear travel delivered through its updated Maestro suspension platform. Although there isn’t as much travel on offer as on some 29er enduro race bikes, Giant prioritised high quality suspension travel and have designed the kinematics so the suspension is active through the whole stroke with no spikes in the progression curve. Helping with this is the new trunnion mount shock with a longer stroke, and a relocated pivot point also allows the seat post to be inserted further into the frame so you can run a longer dropper. Having said that, Giant conservatively spec a 125mm dropper on the small and medium sizes, and a 150mm dropper on the large and XL sizes.
Thanks to the compact layout of the Maestro suspension platform, all the weight is low down in the frame, and there’s room for a water bottle within easy reach.
Now sit back, relax, and click here to read our first ride review.
Giant UK’s website can be found here: giant-bicycles.com/gb
Disclaimer: James Vincent’s travel and accommodation were covered by Giant Bikes.