If someone claims that bikes are becoming more and more alike, then the GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 is the best proof that they’re not. This bike has a very unique character! Read on to find out what marks it out and what makes this bike, with its coil shock and revised components, so special.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2021 – 13 models in review

GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 | 170/146 mm (f/r) | 14.28 kg in size L | € 8,285
Manufacturer’s website

Is that even an enduro bike? If you like categorising bikes based on a few key numbers, there’s one on the GIANT Reign that will have you scratching your head: 146 mm. No, this is not a new axle length standard, but the amount of travel at the rear. This is combined with a seemingly mismatched 170 mm up front. The Reign rolls on 29″ wheels and features GIANT’s signature, virtual pivot point Maestro suspension. For the new season, the bike benefits from an improved chainstay protector to make it even quieter. The soft down tube protector and especially the beautiful paintwork are nice touches too. However, the seat tube length limits the dropper post travel and the cable routing looks a bit rudimentary.

The components of the GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 – It’s all about the details

For 2021, GIANT have made the switch from SRAM to Shimano for the € 8,280 flagship Reign, speccing only the finest XTR components. Braking and shifting are taken care of by the Japanese brand’s top groupset. The 200 mm rotors are non ICE-TECH versions, not to cut costs, but because GIANT’s in-house tests showed them to be quieter both in a laboratory and in the real world. Unfortunately, the bite point of the rear brake wanders heavily. At 14.28 kg, the Reign is the second lightest bike in the test field. This is certainly also due to GIANT’s own TRX0 carbon wheels which are shod with MAXXIS tires in the EXO+ casing. If you’re going to ride a lot of rocky trails, you should think about installing tire inserts to protect the rims. As is typical for GIANT, the head tube on the Reign is quite short, which explains the tower of spacers under the 40 mm stem. GIANT were one of the first manufacturers to deliver their bikes set up tubeless. The wheels come with the valves and the rim tape already installed, so all you have to do is add sealant – brilliant!

For the new season, GIANT have revised the chainstay protector, making the Reign even quieter. Brilliant!
Anyone who thinks GIANT chose to rely on budget rotors to save money is wrong. In-house field and laboratory tests have shown that the standard rotors expand less than their ICE-TECH counterparts and therefore rub less and make less noise.
Due to the short head tube, it’s advisable to ride the Reign with a lot of spacers under the stem. This also shortens the reach and makes the bike more balanced.

Giant Reign Advanced Pro 0

€ 8,285

Specifications

Fork FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DHX2 Factory 146 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 4-piston 203/203 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 34/10-51
Stem GIANT Contact SL 35 40 mm
Handlebar GIANT Contact SLR TR35 Carbon 780 mm
Wheelset GIANT TRX 0 29 Carbon
Tires MAXXIS Assegai MaxxTerra EXO+/Maxxis DHR II MaxxTerra Exo+ 2.5"/2.4"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 14.28 kg
Wheelsize 29"


GIANT rely on oversized press-fit bearings for extra stiffness. However, the rear end is rather soft overall. We would have preferred a threaded BSA bottom bracket for easier maintenance.
The crank on our test bike rubbed against the chainstay protector. However, they should have fitted a model with a lower q-factor on our test bike. According to GIANT, this problem won’t occur on production bikes.
Overall, the GIANT Reign is designed more for having fun than always being in control. Its rear end is very poppy but it reaches its limit when the descents get rough.

The geometry of the GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 – Long, longer, Reign

The most striking aspect of the GIANT Reign’s geometry is the huge jumps in reach between sizes medium and large. According to GIANT, they wanted to prevent smaller riders from sizing up, but in our opinion all they have achieved is making it harder to find the right size. The Reign Advanced Pro 0 was either too long or too short for our 180 cm tall riders, but more on that later. The head angle of the Reign isn’t overly slack at 64.6° and the seat tube angle is a moderate 76.4°. GIANT combine the long reach with short, 439 mm chainstays.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 431 mm 431 mm 464 mm 496 mm
Top tube 574 mm 601 mm 640 mm 666 mm
Head tube 100 mm 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm
Head angle 64.6° 64.6° 64.6° 64.6°
Seat angle 76.4° 76.4° 76.4° 76.4°
Chainstays 439 mm 439 mm 439 mm 439 mm
BB Drop 27 mm 27 mm 27 mm 27 mm
Wheelbase 1,191 mm 1,220 mm 1,262 mm 1,289 mm
Reach 423 mm 451 mm 488 mm 511 mm
Stack 622 mm 622 mm 631 mm 640 mm
Helmet Troy Lee A1 | Glasses 100% Glendale | Jersey Volcom
Trousers ION SCRUB Pants | Shoes FiveTen Freerider Pro

Good acceleration, challenging on steep terrain – The GIANT Reign on the climbs

The front centre of GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 is very roomy, even going uphill. The riding position is significantly more stretched than on some of the other bikes in the test. This allows you to ride fast on flat terrain and makes easy work of longer transfers. Thanks to its low weight and light wheels, the Reign is lively and accelerates quickly. However, when things get steep, you have to lower your upper body in an attempt to weight the front wheel and keep it planted. If you’re going to tackle long, steep climbs, you’d do well to push the saddle far forwards.

Going downhill, you’ve got plenty of space to throw your weight around aboard GIANT Reign and this is something you will have to do. True to the motto that long is stable, it instils you with confidence from the start. However, when things get faster and the hits get bigger, the rear end will eventually run out of reserves, passing blows on to the rider.

Let’s get loose! Riding the Reign is like riding a wild bull.

It never does so harshly but in such a way that the bike generates less traction than the best models in the test. In return, the Reign Advanced Pro 0 offers a lot of feedback and responds to rider input with immediacy. The long front centre combined with the short rear end leads to an unbalanced weight distribution. If you throw your weight forward to generate more grip on the front wheel, the rear end gets very light and tends to slide out. On the other hand, with a more passive riding style, keeping your weight at the back, the bike has a tendency to understeer. Don’t get us wrong, that’s not necessarily bad, though if you find yourself between sizes, the larger bike is a lot more demanding. If you can take advantage of this characteristic and adjust to it, giving up control up to a certain point can also be a lot of fun. Thanks to the capable rear suspension, the Reign rewards an active riding style with agile handling. You’ll only notice the bike’s length in tight sections. Bonus point: the Reign is super quiet.

How does the GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 compare to the competition?

The GIANT Reign Advanced Pro is comparable to the Transition Sentinel. However, thanks to its relaxed riding position, the latter is a much better climber than the GIANT despite weighing more and rolling on aluminium rims. On the descents, both bikes require an active riding style, the Sentinel because of its head angle and the GIANT because of its length. The Sentinel scores for its clever details on the frame and the shorter seat tube. If you compare the GIANT with the Nukeproof, the differences couldn’t be greater: the Mega 290 Alloy remains absolutely composed through the roughest terrain while the GIANT demands constant vigilance.

Tuning tips: if necessary, fit tire inserts or thicker tires

Riding Characteristics

12

Uphill

1
  1. sluggish
  2. efficient

Agility

2
  1. cumbersome
  2. playful

Stability

3
  1. nervous
  2. confident

Handling

4
  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Suspension

5
  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

6
  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

7
  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use

XC

8

Trail

9

Enduro

10

Downhill

11

Conclusion

You can have a lot of fun aboard the GIANT Reign Advanced Pro! However, you have to be prepared to ride the bike actively. You’ll also have to come to terms with the fact that you won’t always have everything under control. If you like drifting and ride a lot of steep trails, you will love this bike. However, it cannot keep up with the best bikes in the test when it comes to climbing, high speeds and tight sections.

Tops

  • good poppy suspension
  • a lot of fun with an active riding style
  • its length adds stability in steep terrain

Flops

  • suspension reaches its limit on rough tracks
  • requires an active riding style
  • sizing excludes a lot of riders

You can find out more about at giant-bicycles.com

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2021 – 13 models in review

All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR (Click for review) | COMMENCAL Meta AM 29 Öhlins (Click for review) | GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 | Ibis Ripmo V2 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Mega 290 Alloy Pro (Click for review) | Propain Spindrift CF Mix Custom (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90 Rally Edition (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 Coil RSV (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Nomad CC X01 RSV (Click for review) | Specialized Enduro Expert (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO (Click for review) | Transition Sentinel XT (Click for review) | Trek Slash 9.8 XT (Click for review)

Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Christoph Bayer, Valentin Rühl, Markus Frühmann

About the author

Christoph Bayer

When work doesn't feel like work, then you've probably done everything right. Luckily, that’s exactly what Christoph did. He loves biking and the tech talk surrounding it (to the detriment of his girlfriend Toni), photography and travelling the world. He has been with ENDURO almost from the start and as editor-in-chief, he's responsible for making ENDURO the most progressive and exciting magazine in the industry. Of course, he still writes a lot of content himself, reviews almost 100 bikes a year and rides his bike almost every day. The alpine trails around his hometown serve as the perfect testing grounds. He doesn't have a classic 9 to 5 routine – sometimes he's in the office, sometimes he'll take his laptop to sit in the garden and sometimes you'll even find him working remotely from his van parked at one the best riding spots in the world. For Christoph, work-life boundaries are fluid and he likes it that way.