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Thursday by Three – 2012 Giant Reign 1

A preview of the 150mm 2012 Giant Reign trail bike.

Quick intro. Dirt Magazine’s bike tester Steve Jones has been given a challenge (like what Anneke Rice used to do).

Every Thursday before the clock strikes thrice (3pm in normal speak) Jones will be posting up brief thoughts and feelings of bikes that may or may not appear in the magazine.

First up the Giant Reign 1 which will be reviewed in full in Dirt #119.

2012 GIANT REIGN 1

Words and photos: Steve Jones.

Here we go then, one of the best 150mm trail bike combo’s I’ve ridden this year.

WHY?

-Sensible price
-Good componentry – especially like the Maxxis tyre choice for dry conditions, workmanlike gears and adjustable seatpost
-Great angle combination

IS THAT IT? STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, NO EXTRAS?

Yeah I put on a 35mm Easton stem and Havoc bar 240mm. Slid on a pair of Panaracer Trailrakers and I’ll tell you about the shock later

MUST BE MORE TO IT THAN THAT SURELY?

Well the rear shock was rotten, nothing terminal just a bit of internal malfunction or something. Anyhow it coincided with the SRAM boys coming over and….well I don’t know if they looked after me on this one but its hell-of-a-good. Smooth, supple, progressive with silky transition through the stroke. The Monarch Plus/Maestro combination is as close to the Orange Five/Monarch E tune that we’ve ridden, just with a bit more progression yet not losing the grip.

WHAT ABOUT THE RIDE?

Pretty slack at 66.5 degree on the head tube, not far off 47 inch wheelbase and even though we were running low profile tyres, what appears to be a bottom bracket absolutely bang in the right place; the short stem also helped. Had kind of thought the stem might hinder climbing but not at all I’ve just done a weekly climbing run only thirty seconds off fastest on a trail bike.

Over roots the rear action on this one has everything required of a trail bike of this travel – it provides support, precise cornering and enables rapid acceleration out of corners. Maestro design or the Thorben Borrowy (Sram boffin) tune on that shock, it works, particularly in the middle ring with the compression tune on middle to high setting for the fast stuff.

MUST BE SOME BAD POINTS?

Yes there is, I hate the triple chainset that’s only contribution is just making a noise. I’d be looking to get a mechanic to rig up a single if possible, but difficult with the bloody push fit BB. The seatpost is kind of OK but not exactly Reverb smoothness. Bar and stem – bin. Cable routing – shockingly out of date and a messes the bike up. The Revelation has started leaking and the Monarch needs servicing.

SURELY THAT’S A LOT OF NEGATIVES?

You have to give the benefit of the doubt on the shock and fork, it could simply be bad luck, and it should also come under warranty. Still, for a few hundred pounds of upgrade on a bike that’s a pretty good price.

THAT IT?

That’s it. Fast, balanced and not stupidly priced, needs some minor upgrade and a mate who can work a shock and you are fully sorted. This bike is a ripper.

RECOMMENDED? (YES/NO)

Yes

Reign 1 – £2399
www.giant-bicycles.com

ALTERNATIVE 140-150 HIT LIST

Trek Remedy 8 – £2495
BMC Trailfox TF02 – £2899
Orange Five Pro – £2859
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO – £2500
Last Herb AM – £3999
Commencal Meta AM3 – £2500
Lapierre Zesty 514 – £2899
Canyon Nirve 9.0 X – £2779
Mondraker Foxy

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