Six inches of aggressive Maestro Suspension offer maximum control when it’s needed most. With a balanced ALUXX SL aluminum frame, including a super-stiff OverDrive front end and 15QR thru-axle fork for maximum control, you’ll master technical climbs and flow down rough descents on the all-new Reign.
Strengths: Lightweight, available shock choices, very efficient climber, excels on technical ledgy type climbs. Keep you butt on the saddle and traction is pretty much limitless. Well balance and agile, while still having a playful feel on the trail Mine is setup as more of an AM ripper, but if XC were you thing with lighter parts you could build an amazing XC machine as well.
Weaknesses: 2010 had long head tube making it difficult, perhaps impossible to add an angleset. For my preference, I wish it was another degree slacker.
Chain noise and no ISCG tabs to mount chain retention device. This however is no longer an issue, since finding out about the Bionicon C-Guide. Never really have a problem with dropping a chain, but a fair bit of noise from chain slap on the Reign on fast and rough terrain. Enter the C-Guide, this clever little device all but eliminates chain slap and the noise from it, along with also keeping the tension on the chain consistent. It would be pretty tough to drop a chain with this thing on.
Frame doesn't play well with all air shocks, especially those not specifically tuned for the Reign's suspension. Again easily overcome with getting the proper shock on the bike
2010 Reign 0 Frame - built up with components from past bike and added new gear along the way. I weigh about 190lbs and ride this as my AM bike on the shore in Vancouver, so it is built fairly study.
2010 Talas 36 RC2, Rock Shox Monarch Place RC3, XT brakes 203f/160r, Stylo cranks 2x9 - 22/32 with 11-34 cassette. Single Ringle Charger Expert tubeless with Schwalbe Muddy Mary 2.4f / Hans Dampf 2.35r tires, Dirty Parts flat pedals, KS-i900 dropper post.
Bike weighs in at just over 31lbs and a 66.5/67 degree head angle with the Talas at 160mm. I wanted to the three position Talas so that really steep climbs are doable in the lowest setting, fast flowy trails on the middle setting, and steep and techincal trails at full travel. Works perfectly in this application. That said I still wish I could have the bike about 1 degree slacker for really techinical and steep terrain.
Started with the RP23, which was ok, had it tuned for the bike. This made the bike feel damn nice over most terrain, especially fast and somewhat rough terrain. It didn't feel that great over larger hits or g-outs. I changed over to a stock Monarch Plus RC3 with a low volume sleeve and Medium tune. This feels equal to the tuned RP23 on most stuff but way more controlled over big hits and g-outs. I could get it tuned and would likely feel even better, but I don't think it is required.
It seems that everybody is now running either single ring up front and either 9 or 10 speed out back. I don't feel the need to run 10 speed right now. With the 32/22 and 11-34 setup I have a very low bottom gear and tall enough big gear to work in all conditions that I ride this bike in. I could change out the 32 to a 34 or 36 if I was to ride more fast and open terrain.
XT brakes do what is required, nothing flashy with them. Might change the back out to a 7" rotor from the 6" that is there now. The bikes suspension is not noticeably affected by braking and stays active, so braking even on steep and rough terrain is very predictable.
I have had a KS-i900 dropper post for about 3 years, it makes bikes like the Reign far more capable by being able to full drop or raise the seat to match the terrain. Mine is the non-remote version as when I bought it I used to swap it between bikes. If I was buying one now I would want the new 6 inch version where the cable is fix to the post and not the seat post clamp and definitely a remote.
Running a 40mm riser bar that is about 680 or 700mm wide. Have tried a couple of different flat and low rise bars but didn't feel comfortable to me. Might try a 25mm riser and go a little wider, who know. For now it is working for me on both the climbs and the descents.
I am running some reasonably big 1.5 ply tires both front and back with a 2.4 Muddy Mary on the front and a 2.35 Hans Dampf on the back. Running at around 28 PSI getting loads of traction and yet it still rolls along quite nicely. If I was to do a more extended ride of 3-6 hours or something less technical, I would consider putting on some lighter tires.
I am having so much fun riding the Reign with it in the way the bike is setup that my FR bike is getting dusty. I am able to ride the Reign on most of the same trails as the big bike, just a little slower in some cases and not hitting up the bigger jumps.
What could be improved on the bike? For me, a slacker head angle or shorter 1.5 headtube that would allow riders to tweak the head angle to their tastes easily with an angleset. Newer Reigns have the press fit BB. Never tried them as yet so no comment. ISCG tabs are not really an issue for me now that I have the C-Guide. Carbon would be cool as well. Not so much for the possible weight savings as the change in ride and damping characteristics (or so I have been told). Maybe a 29’r version. I am told the 29’r Cool-Aid is very sweet.
The value is there if you compare the cost of the Giant Reign bikes or frameset as against the more offerings that are more expensive and really don't provide anything more (less in some cases). Not certain as to what the bike would need to get to 5 chilis on the overall, perhaps if the bike could pedal uphill for me.
a Weekend Warrior
from Moscow, Russia
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2011
Strengths: Quality light frame. Very stiff if used with 10 mm rear axle (DT swiss Thrubolt). Upgraded to Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 (m/m tune) with high volume can and it transformed how the bike handles. It now works superbly in midstroke, buttery smoth on small bumps and optimal on big hit stuff. The best way to improve this frame! RP23 is piece of crap compared to Monarch and costs less in stock.
Weaknesses: It has no ISCG! What a shame... Doesn't work with hammerschmidt and has kinda steep headtube angle. Weired cable routing.
But it doesn't spoil overall performance of this brilliant frame. Actually, it's little outdated.
Very inspiring and lively frame. Lighter then Trance X 2008. Very stiff everywhere and looks business. Used it in mountains and it shines on downhills. Suspension is very supple (especially with monarch Plus) and doesn't bob on seated uphills. Does't need propedal stled platforms.
Superb frame. Recommend!
Strengths: I love this bike, Climbing isn't bad with the RP23, It does NOT come with the DHX, yet it is very supple and cush for the Downhill, the bike corners well at speed and keeps great traction through all conditions, Its Great on the Rear End (Pun Intended).
Weaknesses: Rp-23, Its personal preference but I feel like it lacks in the mid stroke and bottoms out to quickly, but its great for climbing (who wants to do that??), No ISG mounts. The Color isn't bad, but not great. It'll grow on you..
To say I Love this bike would be an understatement, but I will be switching the RP-23 out too a Fox Coil at some point soon, the frame it's self i think is an amazing balance between trail and all mountain. I am able to climb as efficiently as my buddies with Trance X and Anthem X's but am able to eat up a lot more terrain faster than them on the Down, which is where the real fun is at. I can't complain on the price Free (christmas present from the GF who works there), Definitely the best Christmas present I have ever received and the most expensive after. I am definitely a Giant fan with the Maestro Suspension over the Trek's stiffer suspension. It does wheelie a little bit on a steep incline but the Talas definitely helps in that regard. I love this Frame and am definitely Happier i went with the longer travel of this frameset over the Trance (which my Buddy Built up at the same time. I think the 6" is a bit over kill for the area but its an inch more of confidence that i wouldn't trade.. If you buy This Frameset i know you WON'T regret it!!