The Giant Reign is a classic amongst enduro bikes. It has earned itself the reputation of an utterly reliable companion, ready to take on anything. In a direct comparison with the competition, the bike looks a bit old-fashioned despite the facelift – does the same apply to the handling?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Love at first sight – 8 enduro bikes under € 4,500 in Review

Giant Reign SX | 15.10 kg | €4 3,799

Optically, little has changed on the Giant Reign over the last few years. If you compare the test bike with our long-term test bike from 2015, you will hardly see a difference. Only when you take a closer look at the frame, do you realise that Giant has revised the rocker and now uses a Trunnion mount shock. On top of that, the geometry of the already slack bike has become even slacker, and the reach has grown by 15 mm. The RockShox suspension consisting of Lyrik RCT3 fork and Super Deluxe Coil shock stands out above the rest of the componentry on our € 3,800 test bike.

The in-house 150 mm dropper seat post also works smoothly and reliably, and the combination of a MAXXIS Shorty in front and HighRoller II at the rear offers good grip. The cockpit is less promising; although the 800 mm handlebar is nice and wide and the stem length is fine too, the gear indicator is out of place, and the remote lever of the shock isn’t convincing in either look or feel.

  The Giant Reign’s favourite line is called straight line!

Helmet iXS Trail RS Evo | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Jersey ION Tee LS Traze_Amp | Shorts ION Bikeshorts Traze_Amp

The Giant Reign SX in detail

Fork RockShox Lyrik RCT3 170 mm
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RT 160 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RS 200/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano SLX
Seatpost Gaint Contact s 150 mm
Stem Truvativ Descendant 40 mm
Handlebar Gaint Contact SL DH 800 mm
Tires Maxxis Shorty 2,5″ / Highroller II 2,4″
Wheels Spank Oozy 350
Weight 15.10 kg
Price € 3,799

Stack ‘em
To compensate for the short head tube, we mounted some spacers under the stem. Giant seems to be aware of the problem and supplies the bike with a sufficiently long fork shaft.
Super plush
The Maestro rear linkage of the Reign is still in a class of its own and performs impressively
We were glad about the remote lever for the shock. However, it’s very exposed on the handlebars.
The MAXXIS Shorty 2.5 WT is a great front tyre. It provides massive amounts of grip and good braking performance. On really hard packed ground the knobs tend to bend over though.

The geometry of the Giant Reign SX

Size S M L XL
Top tube 600 mm 635 mm 655 mm 655 mm
Head tube 95 mm 95 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head angle 65.0° 65.0° 65.0° 65.0°
Seat angle 73.0° 73.0° 73.0° 73.0°
Chainstays 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB Drop 10 mm 10 mm 10 mm 10 mm
Wheelbase 1174 mm 1209 mm 1232 mm 1258 mm
Reach 424 mm 459 mm 473 mm 495 mm
Stack 575 mm 575 mm 593 mm 602 mm

The Giant Reign has never been particularly good at climbing, and the latest version of the bike is no exception. Uphills are only a means to an end on this bike; we were very happy to use the climb switch on the shock to prevent unnecessary rocking and sagging. Also, the saddle needs to be pushed far forward to get into a comfortable pedalling position. The Reign reveals it’s true potential when the trail begins to point downhill. More precisely: rough, high-speed descents. With its long and slack geometry and plush rear end, it smooths out roots more efficiently than an iron smooths out a silk shirt. The only limiting factor is the SRAM Guide brakes, which lack both power and reliability. Your weight is balanced centrally on the bike, helping you to generate equal amounts of grip on the wheels. However, tight sections and manuals require a lot of strength – compared to the other bikes in the test field, the Giant can’t be called agile.

– SRAM CODE RSC instead of Guide


The Giant Reign remains a bike for rough terrain. With its plush rear suspension and stable geometry, it’s predestined for the toughest trails in the world. Due to a lack of agility and the poor climbing performance, however, it can no longer keep up with the competition on daily trail rides – for this, it’s time for a major update.


+ magnificent rear linkage
+ tremendous composure
+ very quiet
+ good value for money


– cumbersome
– sluggish climber

Uphill Downhill Stability Agility Value for money 

For more information head to:

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Love at first sight – 8 enduro bikes under € 4,500 in Review

All bikes in test: COMMENCAL META AM 29 Team Replica | CUBE Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 | Giant Reign SX | Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory | ROSE Pikes Peak 2 EN | Trek Slash 9.7 | YT CAPRA 29 CF PRO

This article is from ENDURO issue #034

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