From mud and slop-fests in Scotland to never-ending Alpine descents via some beastly jumps on home trails, our long-term test bikes haven’t had it easy! They’ve stockpiled a ton of kilometres and even more vertical metres on some gnarly trails and lung-burningly tough races. Now that the new season has crept up on us, it’s time for the testers to slam down the lawful fist of justice on these bikes and reveal how their test bike fared, and whether it’s convinced them of its value.

Christoph’s Giant Reign 1

Even though I had no intention of getting an enduro racing bike at the start of last season, I still found myself riding one a few weeks into the season. The Giant Reign reads like a list of must-haves for a race-focused bike: long and slack, with super-plush suspension. Fortunately, I still had a hell of a lot of fun far removed from the competitive scene! Saying goodbye was ten times harder than I’d expected.


As I’m 180 cm tall, I usually fall somewhere between a medium and large frame. As usual, I went for the bigger size, and it proved to be the right decision. The Reign immediately got me thinking about racing. Thus, even though the production spec is more than decent, I still made a few select changes: more powerful brakes, a shorter and higher cockpit, as well as Schwalbe PROCORE for the tires – yep, it pushed the weight up, but it did make the bike even more lethal.


Everywhere from the TrailTrophy in Latsch to the Specialized SRAM Enduro Series in Treuchtlingen, the Reign dished up the goods, winning me over with its super-smooth handling and plush suspension. It took some coaxing to change direction quickly, but I got used to it. You wouldn’t describe the Giant as agile and playful.


I was surprised to see so much wear and tear to the paintwork on the downtube and chainstays as we neared the end of the long-term test. According to Giant, only the first batch of test bikes suffered this, and the production bikes shouldn’t suffer the same fate. Towards the end of the test period I swapped the rear shock for a coilover version (for purposes of testing), and the rear pivot was still in good form and the bearings were free of play – nothing really stood in the way of another season on this damn quick bike.

Price: € 4.299
Weight: 13.34 kg
Travel: 160/160 mm
More info: Giant Website
KMs ridden: 1,243 km
Downhill metres: 59,824 m

  • Massive paint loss on downtube and rear end
  • SRAM X1 derailleur hanger snapped

Would I buy the Giant Reign 1?

If I was targeting races and looking for a potent bike with a great spec and value for money, then I wouldn’t think twice before putting my offer in for the Giant Reign 1. But personally, I’m after a more agile bike, as I’m less into racing the clock and more into having a good time.

Here you can find Cristoph’s First Look and the full review of the Giant Reign 1.

If you want to follow our test crew check our Timeline.

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