Bolstered by 6.7 inches of active Maestro Suspension travel and a burly but beautiful ALUXX SL aluminum frameset, you’ll conquer rough allmountain terrain like never before. Stable geometry, a tapered OverDrive headtube and air or oil shock-compatible shock mounts make Reign X the master of all terrain.
Fox 36 Vanilla R with 20mm thru-axle, 160mm travel, tapered steerer tube suspension fork, Fox RC2 rear shock
SRAM X.9/X.7 componentry with Avid Elixir 5 disc brakes
Giant Contact AM handlebar and stem with Giant Connect SL seatpost
Strengths: This review is for a 2012 reign X2 i bought in europe. Rides like on rails with a great balanced frame.
Climbs every mountain, pedals great and bombs downhill, light for a strong frame and they fixed the lower link problem which is awesome. With an extra $ 150 i changed the stock lyric to a DH mission control lyric and this one rips.
The Rockshox Kage rear shock is better than my old Fox van R.
I know Overdrive 2 is new but i hope it becomes standard because it is really stiffer then OD1, try it out it feels amazing.
Weaknesses: Brakes are to weak.
i've been riding Giant bikes for a while now and i love the meastro link, the only thing i regret that i sold my 2010 reign x to fast when i started downhill riding in 2010 and exchanged it with a glory, so i had to get another one, i won't sell this one
Strengths: A great jack of all trades bike, climbs well while seated, descends, pumps and jumps well. I've ridden everything from epic xc to full on dh, and it has handled everything pretty well. Fun bike turns everything into a playground
Weaknesses: QR rear axle, could be a little easier to get to the shock in the 07 model. A little heavy, and could be a little more snappy pedaler. Lots of bearings to replace. People on the front range don't like me descending as fast as I do
I bought an 2007 frame about a year ago and built it up. I've ran it with a full size dhx coil, and a 10mm shorter DHX air, and I'll talk about both of these throughout the review. I was coming off a haro xeno, and I have to say that this bike took a little while to get used to its lower, slacker in the bike mini-dh feel. But, once I did this bike started to rip. When it gets up to speed it becomes a playful turns every little bump into a lip, and eats up rock gardens. It doesn't have harsh bottoming like some other frames out there, and still has pretty goof small bump performance. Pedaling up hill is uneventful, the bike is fast enough, and does pretty well when seated or if you have quiet body language.
After owning it for 6 months I decided I wanted something a little different so I borrowed a shorter air shock for it, and I have to say it rode amazingly. It dropped the bb about a .5 in and dropped the head angle to 66. This gave the bike an incredibly planted feel, and definitely ripped corners and steeps harder, but still not a full on dh. It was a easier to bottom, but 15 foot drops were still smooth if you were. It did drag the pedals when climbing through the rough stuff, but nothing too bad. I did end up switching back because I got a dh bike and I didn't need it to pull dual duty any more.
Now for the issues. I know everyone is saying this descends like a dh bike but it does not, it can make it down, but there is a huge difference between this and a modern dh bike, especially when it gets steep and technical. Its also not a very lively climber, it doesn't make me want to attack the ups, but if you sit and spin it does fine. Also I would have liked a 142x12 rear to make it a little stiffer, but that wasn't around in 2007 so I can't complain too much. Really its a middle of the road bike, it could be your only bike and you could ride everything, and if you like smoother less techy dh trails you probably will never need anything more.
Similar Products Used: Haro Xeno, Transition TransAM 29, Bandit, Covert
Bike Setup: 36, dhx 3.0 coil, spank 777 low rise bars, thompson 50mm stem, deore 180mm disks, X9 drivetrain, saint cranks, bionicon guide, thompson post, Dt swiss EX3300 front, WTB speed disk/deore rear, Minions, flats or clips depending on how I feel
Date Reviewed: December 15, 2012
Strengths: Downhills like a downhill bike. Throw an air shock on there and it will jump like a slope bike. Rides uphill like an AM bike. Rails corners. Overall great pedaler. Not too heavy. tough as $H1T!
Weaknesses: I have the 08 and people say those gen Xs are hefty. They aren't that bad. My linkage has a very small amount of play in it.
I have the 2008 X1 size S that I bought as a frame. It's been built up with pretty good parts. It is the perefect bike for a lot of riding that I do. It handles the rough stuff like a master. And pedals amazingly. I also had it set up as a slope bike for a while and it rode flowy jumpy trails amazingly. The frames go for pretty cheap on Pinkbike nowadays aswell. They are totally worth the low prices.
Strengths: Review for 2012 reign X2 bought from Sweden. Sweet looks. Really light for what it can take. Perfectly balanced rigidity. Tapered headtube. 135*12 rear axle. Normal BB mount. Surprisingly good shock & tune with X2. Frames paint is tough. ISCG-mounts. Low toptube.
Weaknesses: Mayby the looks? Not for me though.
For heavy use the small bearings need to be changed fairly often - this is expected thought.
X2 model has Lyrik R, for which has only rebound controls and almost no compression.
X2 model comes with Giant P-AM2 wheels, which are pretty rigid, wide and fairly light, but flatspot a lot.
Biggest weakness in 2012 models is the Overdrive2 system. This means no angleset or short stems for a while, without changing the fork.
As I had ridden a giant glory for half a year and thought the maestro to be the best linkage system I've ever ridden, right next to dw-link, so I had to get either one since glory was too heavy for my everyday trails. I was thinking hard whether to get a pivot (better linkage?) or giant reign x (better looks!). But as it happens, right on a trip to a large bikepark in Sweden I got the sweetest deal for Reign X2 2012 and had to get one on the spot. Haven't regretted a day - It's definately the best do-it-all bike I've ever ridden. Climbs and descents really well - definately get adjustable seatpost to get everything out of this bike! The suspension feels spot on even in a bike park, but you can still pedal hard XC / aggressive trails seemingly without penalty. The frame has taken some hits and I'm amazed it's still intact - I wonder how far I can push it....
Strengths: This review is for a 2011 Reign X2 bought in Canada. Same frame as the X1, lesser components. Strengths - it does it all with only a few minor tweaks from stock. Very solid frame. Also very little pedal bob when going up hill while seated. Like any bike, stand up pedaling works the suspension. I don't have lockout in the front and my fork is 170mm. Rides like my old Kona stinky on the way down. The bike was easy to adjust to. Its light for what it is, an aggressive AM, a free ride, an all in one.
Weaknesses: Some of the stock components were weak. Firstly, the seat is awful. Fisik something or other. Swapped it out fast. Also the 70mm stem was a little long for my kind of riding. Swapped it for a 50mm. The Giant Contact 750mm bars are fine. I just picked up a 40mm stem and 780mm bars. I am slanted a little more to FR/DH. I bought a large and the coil in the front was the Med stiffness. I am 190lbs and found it too soft. I also swapped the rear coil to a 550lb stiffness. Only because I felt some clunck front and back on some smallish drops. Small tweaks but you would think that on a large frame they would have spec'd it on the heavier side. Small potatoes. From what I've read about Avid brakes with G3 rotors, I think they all suffer from the moose call squeal. Mine are no different. The Race Face chain tensioner is a little loud on the small ring up front.
Overall, a solid ride. I had bought a 2011 Rocky Mountain Slayer that was stolen two weeks later. I could't get another one in that size in my area so I went with the Reign X2. Not at all disappointed. Like any bike, you'll want to make some fitting adjustments. I ride this bike downhill hard. Whistler bike park, north shore, no problems. I live at the top of a mountain so I have no choice but to ride up. It pedals well. Again, I am set up more for FR with 170mm in front rather than the 160mm stock. A fun bike to ride. I am not the smoothest rider and the bike hasn't complained yet.
Similar Products Used: This is my 1st AM bike. I came from a FR/DH ride.
Bike Setup: 170mm Rock Shox RC2DH, elixir 3 brakes (weak), 2ply Kendal Nevegal tires 2.5 F, 2.3 R. 60 mm truvativ hozfeller stem, 750 giant contact bars, WTB Race V saddle, all else stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Wales, UK
Date Reviewed: December 18, 2011
Strengths: The review is for a Reign X1 2010 UK model.
Great all rounder. Just about light enough to manage a long xc trail and great at descending the smooth or gnarly. I've ridden my bike at most of the trail centres in South Wales and spent 2 weeks beating the life out of it at Whistler. I think this says alot about its broad ranging abilities. There were some issues though.... see weaknesses.
The geometry will have it shaking its head and wandering on a steep technical climb but has it feeling pretty planted on fast singletrack or anything downward facing. My bike is built up at 34lbs so I feel the weight when going up the hils, but this thing feels like it'll handle pretty much most things on the smaller side of 10 ft drops or a heavy handed rider.
Weaknesses: The stock X1 comes with SRAM drivetrain and brakes which Im told are ok. Ive always liked the feel of Shimano gears so I swapped the drivetrain over straight away.
The Fizik saddle is awful. Sat on it in the shop and howled with discomfort. It even manages to look uncomfortable! They changed it for me there and then and Ive been a happier bunny since.
The bars and stem werent really to my liking. The stem too long and the bars too narrow. Shortened the stem and got some wider bars on it and it felt much more nimble and fun off the jumps. Can really dig it into the corners and berms now.
The Van 36R forks arent bad once youve got the right spring and compression dialled in. Ok, they arent the best forks out there but theyve given me no grief and have handled all the lousy landing Ive done without squealing too loudly.
I had a bit of an issue with the lower suspension link which seems to be well documented amidst the forums. Ok, Im not the smoothest of riders and Im around 190lbs riding weight, but still, this bike was meant to be designed for the rough stuff! The link snapped on the drive side. Ok, I was in Whistler giving it some pretty tough landings to deal with, but I'm no Steve Peat and I wasnt landing from a particularly big height. Well, bugger all really when it finally snapped - was warming up on B Line of all tracks. Thankfully the boys in the Bike Co in Whistler village had a spare on the shelf (think this might tell you how many of these things are snapping) so was back on the hill the next day. Better still, they fitted the upgraded version of the link. Love those guys. Much respect to the Bike Co.
Ok, still in Whistler and anly a few days after getting the link fixed.... my Fox RC2 shock blew. The low speed compression knob blew out and left me with a pogoing rear end. Apparently this is a known fault on the earlier Fox RC shocks, so not exactly a Giant problem, but worth knowing if youre thinking of getting a RX with the RC2. Unfortunately I couldnt get that fixed until I got back to the UK so was on a hire bike for the rest of my Whistler trip. A Wilson and a V10. Could've been worse I suppose.
I'm running Hope ProII hubs on the bike and the Maxle Lite with the narrowed mid section doesnt do them any favours. My hub spindle snapped because the Maxle Lite doesnt give it any support under one of the main loading areas of the hub. Rockshox have now reverted back to a non diameter reduced design to address this, so if youre looking at using this bikes potential to anywhere over 50%, you might want to look at changing the axle to a full diameter type.
A minor gripe is me not being able to get the seat height range I need. I'm 5'11" and can't get the saddle low enough or high enough with the stock seatpost. Its not far off though. I can use it for general riding but swap it for a cut down post when I go downhilling. I can see why Giant fitted the X0 with an adjustable post. Its certainly on my wishlist.
I initially ran the bike without the chain guide and found it used to drop its chain quite a bit so I refitted the chain device. The Race Face chain guide roller is noisy. I replaced just the roller with a Blackspire roller and a few washers and its been great since. Dont think Ive dropped the chain in many miles of riding, dropping and jumping.
The basic bike is a cracking all rounder. Ok, a few minor issues that will exhibit themselves on bikes in this price range, but overall this bike rarely fails to put a smile on my face. Ive upgraded bits and pieces buts thats more to do with my personal preferences rather than failings in the bike or stock components (apart from linkage of course). This bike will take you up the hill and boy oh boy it will get you down the hill fast enough to make your eyes water. Its definitely biased towards the more aggressive AM/less aggressive DH riders but the great thing is that it can still be thoroughly enjoyed on the longer XC trails too.
If I had the money to buy more bikes, I'd still keep the Reign X. It wasn't a bank buster (when I bought it as least, but that was before the manufacturers got stupid with their prices), I reckon it looks great and most importantly, it rides virtually all terrains well enough to get you home with a stupidly satisfying grin on your face. If its one bike you're after and you're not loaded with cash, there aren't many bikes that can give you what the Reign X can. I can't wait to get out on it again.
I'm not going to give it the full chilli rating because of the linkage failure and the price these bikes now retail at. It comes damn close though.
Bike Setup: Reign X1 2010, stock Van 36R forks with firm spring, Fox RC3 shock (low compression knob that blew out was replaced with RC4 compression valving unit), updated lower suspension linkage, Shimano XT drivetrain, Hope ProII hubs with Mavic 721 rims, Kenda Nevegal 2.35" tyres for general riding, Minion DHF 2.5" with Dh tubes front and rear for downhilling, 8" rotor on front, 7" rotor on rear, Spank stem with Funn bars, Spoon saddle, Blackspire roller instead of noisy Race Face item on chain guide.
from Brevard, N.C.
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2011
Strengths: This bike can really do it all. I can clime decently, and I can bomb the DH. I have a 2008 and the bike is amazingly in good shape. DHX 3.0 is awesome,and Frame is amazing
Weaknesses: The Van 36 is ok. I've got to rebuild the Van 36 which sucks. The bike is a little heavy but I can't complain because I like the workout.
I'm absolutely in love the with this bike. I used to ride once a week, and now I ride to work then straight to the trail every day. This bike can really do it all considering a few things. Of course Reign could loose a few lbs, and I've got to rebuild the Van 36. But this bike can bomb the DH, and climb considering the rider has the legs. If you can find this bike, and buy it. You will not regret it.
Bike Setup: Juicy five front, Avid Code rear, Van 36 fork, Fox DHX 3.0, ETC.
a Weekend Warrior
from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2011
Strengths: BEST Bang-for-buck value: Solid Frame, Decent components (for the price), perfect all-round rig
Weaknesses: Front Hub, Seat Clamp, Saddle, Stock Springs
I LOVE THIS BIKE. It fits the bill PERFECTLY for me; I'm an amateur downhiller, XC rider, and enjoy technical single track. It's perfect as an all-mountain/freeride bike.
It already needs mods: The front hub already has side-to-side play, in less than 10 XC rides. The seat post has a tendency to slip 5mm almost every ride. The stock saddle is VERY uncomfortable, and the springs are setup for a 200lb rider (I weigh 150). I got the right spring, and it's GREAT now.
As for Upgrades; all it needs is an adjustable seat-post. Overall this bike comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me.
from williamsport, pa
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2011
Weaknesses: Rear derailure grommets/routing
The addition of the Race Face bars made all the difference, besides the Nevegal out back. This bike, as set up does not like to climb- i can deal w/ it, I'll walk it or shuttle it, the way back down is that fun. With the addition of a spring appropriate to my weight, it soaks up the drops, and springs like a dream...Performs great at the local parks- (Vertical Earth/Diablo)and is burly enough to handle the local "FR/AM" trails here in central PA. Great bike.
Bike Setup: Switched to Code 5's, dropped the small ring and added a MRP G2 chainguide, Race Face Atlas FR Bar, Crank Brothers 50/50X Pedals, upgraded to metal ferules for the cable guides, ODI Ruffian MX lock-on grips, Kenda Nevagal 2.5 out back, working on getting a Maxxis Minion DHF, or another Nevagal for the front, and a spring for the shock appropriate to the rider weight.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hillsboro Nh
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2010
Strengths: Awesome all purpose bike. Light enough to ride in the woods but strong enough and plenty of suspension to handle the mountain. If you are an aggressive rider this may not suit you,but for the average rider this bike will do everything you want it to and more.
Weaknesses: If I have to pick a weakness I would say could be a pound or two lighter. Nothing that I can't fix myself with a few upgrades
I absolutely love this bike.Everyone complains about suspension bob on a big travel bike. And this was big question in my mind. I don't find it to be a problem. Their is a trade off and I would rather have a little bob for the comfort that I get riding over everything. If you are a smooth sit down type of rider this works. I feel I go at a faster pace because I roll over obstacles I normally would struggle with.All in all it is such a fun bike to ride. The front suspension is Known to be soft thru the travel but you want to make full use of the travel you have. So if you are aggressive it wont work. If you are casual all around type of rider this bikes for you.
Similar Products Used: Reign, Stinky, glory and numerous ht:s.
Bike Setup: Stock suspension, k24, saint/slx/hone, ex721 on hopeII, sunline bars etc..
from San Diego, CA
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2009
Strengths: New Frame design saves alot of weight, Fork, Shock and Wheels
Weaknesses: SEATPOST is CRAP, wouldnt stay tight on the seat. Would be nice to have X9 shifters instead of X7. Chain tensioner is really noisey.
This bike is just plain badass! I needed the one do it all bike and this is it. It absolutly flys downhill handles drops and jumps like a full downhill rig and is light enough to use on long XC rides. This bike gives you loads of confidence going into gnarly rock gardens and lets you just float over just about anything. The only thing I would take over the X1 would be an UZZI but for $2000 less, you cant beat it. If you dont mind lagging behind on the climbs and flying past your buddies on the downs, this would be a great bike for you.
Similar Products Used: GT Force, Kona Coiler, Older Reign X1
Bike Setup: Fox Vanilla 36r FiT, DHX RC2, DT Swiss EX500's
from Atown, OR, US of A
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2009
Strengths: (2008 model) This bike makes you want to ride a lot. Corners very well. Good on jumps. Feels very in control at high speeds and on steep technical terrain. No brake jack. Climbs reasonably well. The frame seems very strong and the welds look a whole lot better than many other more expensive bikes(i.e. Commencal, Santa Cruz, Intense). Now about components. The Fox 36 VanR fork is not perfect, but is by far the best fork I have ridden. It is very good at small bump sensitivity and yet I rarely bottom it out. The shifters and Sram X9 derailleur work great. The Hayes Stroker Trails work good after some upgrades. The wheelset is a cheep one but is holding up just fine and isn't very heavy, just make sure you tighten the spokes after you ride for a bit.
Weaknesses: The Race Face cranks keep coming loose even with locktight. Also the spacers on the cranks compressed and had to add two new ones. The chain guide kept moving as well, not sure why the chain guide didn't use the iscg mounts, I ended up drilling some holes. The stock headset is awful, started creaking and clunking after a month of riding. Replaced it with one that had sealed bearings. The Fox fork is great but the spring does slap the inside of the stanchion and rubbed a bit, so I flipped the spring and added a bit of extra oil to that leg. The tires and tubes are a joke. The lightweight Nevgals and lightweight tubes belong on an xc bike. I probably had 15 pinchflats in the first month of riding. The brakes are exceptionally noisy, fixed with any other pads than the stock sintered metallic ones.
You have to stay in the 36ring if standing, otherwise you do get a crazy bob going(The suspension design seems to like the 36ring).
This bike is awesome. I love it and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a versatile bike. I chose this bike because I needed a bike that I could shuttle and one that I could ride up some hills. I like to jump my bike, and ride some fast singletrack. This bike does all these things well. Some of the components are very lacking, but if you can get a good deal on the bike you won't regret it. Ride it until the cheap parts act up and then replace them.
Bike Setup: Pretty much stock so far. Running a 2.3 WTB Timberwolf up front for the winter and a Dissent in the rear. Added some NS Ariel pedals and sealed headset. Moved the 7 in rotor to the back and put a 8 in up front. Plan on getting a different crankset and adding some bling when I get money.
from Louisville Ky
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2009
Strengths: Good components for the $, climbs ok, very comfortable at speed, jumps well,
Weaknesses: THE DOWN TUBE, fox 36, needs adjustable seat post to be the bike it is,mine came with juicy 5 brakes that faded badly at snowshoe mtb park
I rode this bike for a year and was very happy until the down tube cracked for no apparent reason. I was just riding a mildly tech trail. giant would not warranty it since I bought it online and didnt have a sales receipt from a giant dealer. I weigh 190 and the fox 36 bottoms on any drop over 4 ft. I live in ky so it is important that it get me to the hill and be fun on the ride down. It will climb just very slowly.
Bike Setup: all stock 210 pound spring in fork and 550 pound in the rear oh and x9 rear shifter
from San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2009
Strengths: Low center of gravity, good top tube clearance, excellent climber in the saddle, great small bump sensitivity if suspension is dialed, can handle almost any size jump, drop, gap, does pretty well in the DJ park if you've got a travel adjust on the fork,... great all around bike! Meastro suspension works very well.
Weaknesses: Pivots suck (I've had to replace mine too often), lateral flex in the rear end, pierced downtube, integrated headset, problems 1/4 bash guards, customer service sucks at Giant.
Good bike if you're an all around rider spending most of your time on aggressive trail. If you're riding lift access a lot, this is not your bike, you will destroy it.