Giant Reign Advanced 29
Words by Justin Serna | Photos by Nic Hall
The Giant Reign has definitely reached an iconic status after 15 years of service. Although Giant hasn’t historically offered that lust-worthy image or boutique vibe in the past, they are swinging big with their latest offerings. Giant has given the Reign updates over the last decade, but they’re usually received as being too little too late. Furthermore the brand’s bikes were hindered by lackluster graphics and paint. In short, the Giant Reign has always been a solid bike but never really set the world on fire – until now.
As the former owner of a 2017 Reign Advanced 0, I couldn’t wait to ride the latest version of this newly minted classic. The 2020 Reign is shod with 29-in wheels, which is slightly ironic after Giant’s push to promote 27.5-in wheels the last several years. Without beating that horse to death we’ll just say that we’re glad Giant has embraced 29ers with their new bikes, like the Trance 29 we rode in the Italian Alps last year. While the new Trance was impressive for an all-around trail bike, more aggressive riders, like Giant’s enduro athletes, were looking for something a bit more capable on rowdy terrain.
After nearly two years of R&D and testing three distinctively different versions of the Reign 29, the engineers at Giant concluded that sometimes less is more. The end result is a bike with larger wheels and less travel. Giant reduced the Reign’s travel from 160mm to 146mm. Up front however, Giant opted to keep a 160mm fork to give the bike a 65-degree head tube angle, something that certainly makes the bike more than capable.
GIANT REIGN ADVANCED 29 DETAILS
The Reign Advanced is now entirely carbon except the aluminum lower link. Giant continues on with their Maestro suspension design, which consists of a floating pivot point multi-link system claimed to create a “near-vertical” axle path and a linear spring curve. The revised kinematics give the frame a 16.6% leverage rate and will allow you to run either an air or coil sprung shock. The detail of seat tube length that has plagued some brands has been addressed by the engineers at Giant. They have moved the seat tube pivot forward to create extra insertion depth for dropper posts allowing riders the ability to fully insert their post. The included MRP chainguide and bash guard are also nice additions and show the bike’s true intentions.
The Reign 29 is available in three carbon models ranging in price from $4,000 to $9,000 USD. There are two aluminum models, the Reign 29-2 at $3,000 and the all mountain slayer, Reign SX equipped with a 170mm Fox 36 Performance Elite fork and , DHX2 Performance Elite shock at $4,000.
• Wheel size: 29”
• Travel: 146mm / 160mm fork
• Maestro suspension design
• 60mm stroke length on a trunnion-mounted shock
• Boost axle spacing front and rear
• Downtube and chainstay protection
• Internal cable routing
• 29×2.5-inch tire clearance
• 44mm (FOX) or 42mm (Rock Shox) offset fork
• 36-tooth max chainring
• Standard water bottle fits inside of the frame
• FOX Live Valve compatible with frame mounts
• Weight: 28.9-pounds (13.1kg, Advanced Pro 29 0, size medium, no pedals)
• Lifetime warranty on frame
• 65° head angle
• 439mm chainstays
• PF92 bottom bracket
• Price: $3,000 – $9,000 USD
For 2020, the Giant Reign 29 gets bigger wheels as well as some much needed geometry updates. While keeping the same 65-degree head tube angle, the engineers steepened the seat tube by 3.8-degrees, bringing it up to 76.8 degrees. This greatly improves the climbing position on the bike. The overall length of the bike has grown in all but the size small and the reach has been extended on all sizes ranging from 428mm on the small to 516mm on the XL. The increased front-center numbers are easily managed by the shorter 44mm offset fork.