Trail and Enduro Bikes

Giant Reign Advanced 0

This year we could walk up to the Giant Reign without any trepidation. The bike we tested (and eventually included in the 100) last year, sent out mixed messages.

Wide bars, hefty discs, a chain guide and burly tyres all pointed to an enduro bike but DT Swiss XM1501 wheels seemed to point at a more trail style offering . This was then combined with a strange custom 46mm off-set fork on the lesser performing dual position RockShox Pike RCT3 (over the solo air version) – in truth, it was a spec sheet that made us wince.

Our worries were unfounded. The wheels held up well to a beating (albeit on soft UK terrain, not rocks). In fact, this was a bike that excelled on the steeper tracks.

This year we knew the workhorse frame was matched with as good kit as last year, a much improved fork and some of Giant’s own carbon wheels. Confident from the first ride, we knew Giant were only improving a consistent winner.

“The best use of a Monarch Plus we’ve found”

Driven by the stellar Maestro suspension system, this is a bike that just looks “up for it”. An 800mm bar as standard and a low bottom bracket offers a confidence inspiring position on the bike. We really like the shock tune as well. There are very few rides where you won’t feel like you have brought wasted travel, but also you’ll never feel out of your depth with it either – both lively and supportive, it’s the best use of a Monarch Plus we’ve found.

The Lyrik on the front offers that little bit more support on the front and allows you to dive into techy sections with that bit more composure. Combined with the 800mm bar, there’s very little that can knock this bike off course.

The wheels still provide a zippy feeling – almost trail bike esque – and they’re standing up to our abuse again.

Giant Reign Advanced 0

This is a bike that hunts out the steeps. On flatter terrain there’s a slightly vague feeling but no where near significant enough to put us off. A top bike and a worthy entrant into the 2017 Dirt 100.

For a look at the 2018 Reign, see our feature HERE.

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Selected for Dirt 100 2017

View the full 100
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