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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm confused about the intentions of the 2019 Reign SX 1. 180mm fork and no climb mode on the shock, but 12 Spd eagle. Can it climb?

The SX 2 has a 9 speed 11-28 cassette, so it seems like this is their DH bike. It's $1000 less though, so if I got the SX 2 I could upgrade it however I pleased.

I'm comparing it to the Commencal Clash. I want a shredder that can still pedal uphill.
 

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The current Reign is quite dated in mtb terms and will likely get a redesign soon. You might not be getting enough bang for your buck if you choose it over other brands.

The Clash is a burly bike that's mainly for park riding. It can pedal fine but you will need a lock out on the shock.

You might also want to consider the YT Capra AL build since, for the same price as the Clash and the Reign, has far superior components and a more up to date geometry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Reign SX 2 is on sale for $2268, and the SX 1 only $3190 with DVO suspension and eagle. Thats a pretty good deal considering the lifetime warranty and my local bike shop support. I agree that there are more modern bikes, but that doesn't always mean better (for me). Sometimes on the bikes with steep seat tube angles make me feel a bit more forward and unnatural. So then they have to lengthen out the front center quite a bit, and then the rear center needs an increase or else too much weight bias differences, and then the bike is just flat out feels long. I don't like super long feeling bikes. The Reigns I'm looking at are actually pretty long though, 1240mm wheelbase, I dont want anything longer or lower, or more modern if that's the case.

I live in the mountains, and need a bike that can climb up comfortably, albeit slowly, then bomb the downhills. I also live 10 minutes from a lift served bike park, and I'm sure it will see a couple days there, even though I have a DH bike. My last all mountain bike like this was a Transition Sentinel and Commencal Meta SX, I'm thinking the Reign SX and Clash will be a bit burlier, but only give up a little on the climbs
 

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What I'm about to say is my opinion, formed by riding a 2018 Reign with a coil shock. But first... the Reign is Giant's Enduro bike. The downhill bike is the Glory. Without even looking at the component spec on the bikes, the components on the SX 2 are probably junk if it's 9 speed. It's not spec'd with the components you'd otherwise find on a downhill bike. A bike designed for Enduro racing is going to be heavily biased towards downhill, but still pedal reasonably well for transition from stage to stage. But I'm sure you know that.

So my experience on the Reign was one of curiosity, I wanted to see how well the Maestro suspension pedaled in this long a travel. I rode the bike on a pretty cool trail that has 2 good climbs and two good descents. Make no mistake - the bike will climb. But it climbs best when you select a gear that allows you to sit down and spin. The moment you get in a hurry climbing on this bike, you're going to start wasting energy. The flip side is, you point it down hill, and it suddenly becomes a something akin to one of those rocket sleds. It descends really, really well. So, yeah. I wouldn't have it with anything other than eagle on it. And I might have it with a 28 tooth chain ring. Because I wouldn't get in a hurry pedaling it at all.

In short, the 9 speed stuff on the SX2 is there to meet a price point. This bike is probably designed to work well with 11 speed, based on the age of the frame, which means 12 speed should be able to achieve something like the optimal climbing setup for this bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have been riding the SX 2 a lot, and it is so much more nimble and playful than I anticipated. A lot of the reviews of the smaller Reign say the opposite. I thought it was going to be super racey feeling, but it feels more like a big trail bike to me. It can handle the steep, rough stuff well, but I wouldn't want to race enduro on it. There are bikes that pedal better and are more monster truckee at the same time.

It seems like a jumpers bike, if I had to categorize it. The suspension design even feels more progressive than all other Giants I have ridden. Still like riding on a cloud, but a firmer cloud. The frame itself reminds me more of a Kona Process or my old 2014 Meta SX, than a racier geo bike like the Patrol. It's easy to chuck around.

I love it. I didn't want some race bike right now, I just wanted an easy going ripper. I feel like the Reign is that. I just need make a few cheap modifications and it will be perfect.
 
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