Editor and photographer Christoph was one of the first of the team to receive his new long term test bike, the Giant Reign 1. With its long and slack geometry it looks perfect for his frequently steep and washed out local trails in Garmisch Partenkirchen.
We’ll keep you informed on how the bike performs over the season.
Here’s the first look.

Ein Lichtblick im tristen bayrischen Winter: das knallorange Giant Reign 1 für 4.299 €.
A ray of light in the drab Bavarian winter: the bright orange Giant Reign 1 for € 4.299

The Frame

The basis of the Giant Reign 1 is a chic aluminium frame boasting 160mm travel. The suspension is based around Giant’s already well-known Maestro-system.

Both the brake hose and the gear cable are routed through the front triangle and appear just above the bottom bracket before heading off to their respective destinations. The brake hose is mounted above the chainstay and the gear cable below it.

Die Bremsleitung läuft oberhalb der Kettenstrebe zu ihrem Bestimmungsort
The brake line is mounted above the chainstay heading to its destination

Giant has mounted an MRP chain guard to the ISCG 05 frame fitting whilst the hose for the RockShox Reverb Stealth seat post is through the frame.

Details such as the X12-thru axle and tapered head tube are pretty much standard on modern frames as is the mounting point for a direct-mount front derailleur which however stays unused as this bike has a 1×11-drivetrain.

The Specification

The specification on the Reign 1 can be described as “race ready” without hesitation. Straight from the shop to the start line – not a problem with the Giant. The suspension is provided by a RockShox Pike RCT3-fork and the RockShox Monarch Plus Debon Air shock and they feel just as harmonious as the Schwalbe Magic Mary and Hans Dampf tyre combination. In-spite of the climbs in the Alps Christoph is convinced that the gear range of the SRAM X1-drivetrain with a 32 tooth chainring and 10-42 cassette will be enough.

“If it gets really steep with a 32 tooth ring you either have to dig in deep for a while or you just get off and walk. You aren’t much faster on the bike anyway. Either way I’m not prepared to miss out on the advantages of a 1×11 drivetrain.”

Kettenführung, Dämpfer mit Ausgleichsbehälter – das Reign scheint für die härtere Gangart gewappnet.
Chain guide and a shock with piggyback – the Reign seems prepared for the tougher terrain
Der Schwalbe Magic Mary-Vorderreifen hat sich als aggressiver Rennreifen etabliert und bietet massig Grip und viel Traktion
The Schwalbe Magic Mary-front tyre is firmly established as an aggressive racing choice with tons of grip and traction.
Die leichten DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline Laufräder haben Christoph bereits in der Saison 2014 begleitet. Ob sie auch am Giant überzeugen können wird sich im Lauf der Saison zeigen
The lightweight DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline wheelset has already accompanied Christoph through the 2014 season. Whether it will also perform aboard the Giant – we’ll show you throughout the course of the year.
Verzögert wird das Rad von einer SRAM Guide RS-Bremse mit einstellbarer Hebelweite. Die Druckpunktverstellung habe ich persönlich noch nie vermisst.
The bike is slowed down with a SRAM Guide RS-brakes with adjustable lever reach.“I’ve never really felt I need an adjustable bite point.”

The Geometry

A few years ago the geometry of the Giant Reign would have made it a pureblood downhill race bike. Nowadays a head tube angle of 65° and a wheelbase of over 1200 mm (size large) is normal and this is just what you’ll find on the Reign.

“Personally I’m a big fan of bikes with a long front centre and a short stem as they give you loads of confidence at high speeds and on rough trails. Compared to the agile Canyon Spectral, which was my long term test bike last year the Reign is a complete contrast. I can’t wait to see which concept feels better at the end of the season.”

Der schicke Aluminiumrahmen verfügt über innenverlegte Züge
The chic aluminium frame has internally routed cables

Here’s the geometry of the Reign at a glance

Size S M L XL
Top tube Length 584mm 620mm 640mm 665mm
Chainstay length 434mm 434mm 434mm 434mm
Head tube angle 65° 65° 65° 65°
Seat tube angle 73° 73° 73° 73°
Reach 409mm 444mm 458mm 480mm

577mm 577mm 595mm 604mm

Planned changes

Even though the Reign 1 is specced absolutely coherently and changes aren’t actually necessary there are still to small changes that I will make before beginning the test: one is setting up the wheels for tubeless use, i.e. without inner tubes and the other is modifying the cockpit to my personal wishes.

Das Cockpit wird noch an die Bedürfnisse von Christoph angepasst. Kürzer und breiter soll es werden.
The cockpit will be adapted to Christoph’s wishes: shorter and wider.
"Let's get ready to rumble!"  Dem Reign steht keine leichte Saison bevor.
“Let’s get ready to rumble!” The Reign isn’t going to have an easy season.

What the Giant and all of the other long term test bikes experience during the course of the season will be documented for everyone to see in our Long-Term test timeline for everyone to see.

Here we’ll show you all of the wear, report on any modifications and upgrades and take you along on our rides – so it’s worth taking a regular look!

For further information on the bike: giant-bicycles.com

Words: Aaron Steinke, Christoph Bayer Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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