Giant Reign 2 2019
Melbourne Bikes - Giant Reign
Giant Reign 2 2019
In this preview, I'm going to explain the key points about the new 2019 Giant Reign 2, Giant's Enduro bike. Reading this, you'll know if it's the bike for you.
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GIANT REIGN 2 (2019)
When you are riding at your limits - at the very limit of traction - all the time. This is where the Giant Reign is most comfortable - it doesn’t like going slow.
In this preview I’m going discuss the details. If you’re not into details then don’t read this content. If you want to learn a bit more about what you’re intending to buy then you’ve come to the right place.
THE REIGN’S FRAME
Made from ALUXX SL. It’s the top of the range aluminium frame that Giant use on their mountain bikes - so it’s not the cheap stuff. The Reign 2’s frame is double butted. This means the frame has 2 wall thickness; slightly thinner in areas where force and loading are minimal and slightly thicker in places where stresses are much higher.
So you get a frame that’s lighter and stiffer than a standard single butted aluminium frame - exactly what you need for the Reign.
Internal cable routing and smooth, clean welds enhance the Reign’s immaculate appearance.
All pivot bearings are sealed. So riding in varied and extreme trail conditions will still keep the rear end reacting smoothly to trail impacts. On a side note though; never use a high-pressure hose on these important pivot areas. Otherwise, you’ll need to replace these bearings and that’s not cheap.
THE REIGN’S GEOMETRY UPDATES
There have been a couple of tweaks tot he Reign’s geometry for 2019.
1. HEAD TUBE ANGLE (E). For 2019, the Reign’s head tube angle has been slackened by ½ degree (from 65 degrees in 2018 to 64.5 degrees).
2. TRAIL (G) is the self-centring effect that the front of the bike has. More trail means more stable and a less twitchy front end - especially at high speeds over roots and rocks.
For 2019, the Reign’s Trail number has increased to 120mm (from 117mm). And yes, that’s enough to make a difference.
3. BOTTOM BRACKET HEIGHT (J) has been lifted up by 3mm, compared to 2018. This should help prevent pedals strikes against trail obstacles.
These changes make the Reign a better gravity focussed mountain bike.
However, you can’t have the unicorn bike - something’s gotta give! And that is usually pedalling efficiency. If your content to pedal the bike up a smooth climb at your own pace and leisure then that is absolutely fine. If you’re planning on doing tight, technical and steep climbs then you will need to be a stronger climber and fitter.
If you're riding does consist of technical climbs or you're just not fit, then you will be better off considering the Giant Trance bikes or if you don’t mind spending a little more, the Rocky Mountain Instinct.
REIGN 2 AND ROCK SHOX
A Rock Shox Yari RC DebonAir is tuned to deliver 170mm of front travel. As promised I’m going to go through the details of the Yari RC and its adjustments.
A more affordable version of the Lyrik, the Yari is nevertheless a proper performance product. It’s designed for the serious amateur to intermediate rider. The ‘RC’ stands for Rebound and Compression. Both of these adjustments are basic but crucial to getting the most out of your Reign 2’s front end.
Constructed from magnesium and aluminium, with Air as the mainspring, the Yari is a lightweight fork and uncomplicated to set up.
It also uses the new DebonAir spring. This is a big deal for 2019. Riders and bikes for that matter, are most sensitive to the first third of travel (the first 57mm in this case).
So, RockShox has tuned the new DebonAir spring to feel softer in this travel range. Meaning, there’s no harsh initial hit when your front wheel hits a rock or root and both the front and rear wheel stay glued to the trail - increasing traction and control.
The main adjustment with the Yari RC is Air. This determines Sag - how much the fork compresses when you sit on it. More Air equals less Sag. We recommend that you aim for 30% Sag.
Clear Sag markings on the fork’s upper tubes really help with initial setup.
Rebound is controlled using the red dial. Rebound adjusts how quickly the fork returns after it’s been compressed. Directly above the dial is a symbol of a turtle and rabbit. Rabbit equals fast and turtle equals slow.
Generally, Rebound should be set fast enough so that the suspension fork is able to respond quickly enough to multiple impacts without slowing you down.
A compression dial on the right-hand side of the fork controls how soft or firm you want the Lyrik to feel. And you can adjust it in clicks. Every click you make makes the fork feel firmer - until it gets to full lockout.
The Rock Shox Deluxe RT uses the same DebonAir spring I mentioned earlier for better traction and a smoother feel in the first third of its suspension travel.
And the same adjustments apply; air pressure, rebound and lockout.
Shimano Deore is engineered as affordable performance. It’s still part of the top-end mountain bike family of components but doesn’t use the expensive materials and manufacturing techniques that you pay for at the top-end.
A single chainring and crankset eliminates derailleur adjustment and significantly reduces maintenance.
A new wide range Shimano cassette delivers a wider range then you would otherwise receive with 10-gears on the back. The large 42-tooth sprocket delivers a super easy gear for riders who are building their fitness.
A clutch or stabiliser unit on the Shimano Deore rear derailleur minimises your chain coming off and keeps the drivetrain quiet on rough trails.
The MT500 hydraulic disc brake is a twin piston system that has the new 2 finger brake lever. Although, 1 is more than enough.
MAXXIS MINION TYRES
When you buy the Reign 2, it is already set up tubeless. So there is no tube inside the tyres.
If you’re new to tubeless tech, there are some key benefits.
1. If you pinch flat, the sealant inside the tyre will seal the cut instantly, though for larger cuts (3mm) then it may take a minute.
2. Tubeless tyres deform easier over the trail and create more surface area, also increasing grip and traction.
The downside? You will need to replace the sealant inside the tyre every 6-9 months. Because the sealant is latex based and will dry out over time and become a light foam.