RELEASE & FIRST RIDE
GIANT LAUNCHES REIGN E+
AN ALL-NEW E-BIKE RANGE FOR AGGRESSIVE TRAIL AND ENDURO RIDING
Words Cole Gregg; Photos Courtesy of Giant Bikes
When Giant Bikes reached out about an upcoming media camp unveiling their brand new Reign E+, we knew it was going to be a good time. Giant always puts on amazing media camps and when we found out we’d be exploring the trails around Les Gets France, we started playing Rock, Paper, Scissors for who got to attend. As it worked out, we were all booked so the last minute invite meant one of our Patron supporters and faithful fans who has contributed and helped us review products would be the one riding the new Giant Reign E+. Cole Gregg’s first media camp was a success and his experience and report can be read below.
Days before the trip Giant emailed me a jam packed itinerary for the three day event. There was very little down time and I knew it was going to be a lot of work and fun. Arriving in Les Gets after an easy trip across the pond I was greeted with a “giant” (pun intended) plate of cheese, warm bread, meat and more than enough coffee to cure my jet lag. Little did I know the one hour wait for my room to be ready was the last bit of down time I would have for the next few days. After dropping my bags off and changing into riding gear I headed back behind the hotel. When I rounded the corner I felt like a full factory racer with an impressive Giant Off Road tent set up.
I was greeted by more of the Giant staff and a long line of 2020 Giant Reign E+ bikes. One of them stood out among the pack. What made it special? Well, it literally had my name on it. How freaking cool is that?
Immediately I was drawn to the bikes flowing color scheme of green and black. Upon closer inspection I saw that within the greens was a slight hint of gold that really stood out in the late morning sun. It is not often you see a classy two-tone bike paint job, and this one instantly won me over.
Keeping in tune with Giant’s Reign line of pedal bikes, the Reign E+ packs 160mm of Maestro suspension out back. The supple yet supportive travel of my E+ 0 Pro is managed by a custom tuned Fox Float X2 Factory shock. Up front sits a 170mm Fox 36 Float Factory with the Grip2 damper specially optimized for the extra weight an e-bike brings down the trail.
Giant aims the bike squarely at riders looking for a burly, all mountain e-bike. The 469.5mm chainstays and 64.5 degree head tube angle give the bike confident feel. My size large sports a 475mm reach which was both comfortably and urged me to let off the brakes and charge therough stuff. While the bike is definitely on the longer end of the spectrum with a wheelbase of 1,267mm it felt very active and lively thanks to the bulk of the weight being very low and centered on the frame. During our 35 mile loop I never found the length to be an issue on the trail however if you love to manual, be prepared to yank ‘er extra hard.
While the bike may look similar to the non electric version, the suspension layout has been completely overhauled to make room for the power plant. The Reign E+ uses the SyncDrive Pro motor, powered by Yamaha. The motor puts out a whopping 360% of tunable pedal assistance with a crank twisting 80Nm of torque. With the bike in the two top levels of assistance (Sport and Power) this motor can make you feel like a super hero with no power loss up to 170rpms. What does this really mean? It means 100% of the time you have 100% of the power ready to deploy. Those long chain stays are now your new best friend when it comes to hill climbing challenges with the crew.
Selecting power settings is easy thanks to Giant’s RideControl ONE system. RideControl ONE has a seamless, easy to use and see, (even in direct sunlight) thumb pad that can be connected with Giant’s e-bike app to control motor tuning, fitness data and navigation. There are two large buttons that control the power output of the motor. There is also a navigation button that doubles as your headlight switch when combined with Giant’s range of riding lights if you’re a commuter or finish your favorite trail rides after dark.
While having full power ready to go may sound like a great idea, on a long ride you really do not need to have all 80Nm of torque boosting you down the trail. Not only will this leave your fingers glued to the brakes, it’ll also eat up your battery. Giant’s solution is Smart Assist. Smart Assist is a 6-sensor technology adapting power output based on real time automatic calculations to help deliver the power you need. The system takes torque, pedaling cadence, slope and speed into account so riders get all the power they need and none of the boost they don’t.
I kept the bike in Smart Assist mode 95% of the time we were on the trail. It was seamless, the computer did all the thinking for me and I could really just focus on riding the bike. This was by far my favorite feature on the bike and took the worry out of the next hill climb or steep decent. I did have a play around with the highest level “Power Mode” on some of the fire roads just to see what the bike’s full unleashed potential really was. Let’s just say, I’ll never look at fire roads the same.
The E+ 0 Pro model we were given for this test featured Giant’s EnergyPak Smart 500Wh, 36V, 13.4Ah battery. The battery gives you the confidence to head out all day and still have juice left for a beer run. The 6A fast charging system gives you 80% power in just 1.45 hours. If that is not enough for you the Smart 500 is also compatible with the EnergyPak Plus, a 250wh add on, giving you an additional 50% extra battery capacity.
Housing the battery and Yamaha power plant is Giant’s ALUXX SL frame. The battery is integrated into the frame, which allows for very easy removal and a tight fit to ensure it does not pop out on the trail. The battery is locked in place with an all new system that uses a T25 Torx key, a staple ingredient in any trailside tool kit. We did take a gondola that required the removal of the battery, within 90 seconds I had the locking mechanism undone and the battery in my hand ready to go. Installing the battery back on the bike was just as simple. I found that because of the heavy duty weather seal it was easiest to get down on one knee and use both hands to guide it back into place. With a secure click the connectors were engaged and all that was left was to tighten the Torx locking bolt back up.