2015 Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1

The Ride

The trails I rode the Reign Advanced 1 on weren’t steep enough to let me test the bike in the ways I wanted to. (Bootleg Canyon has its share of steep, rocky trails that would be a great test for the Reign, but unfortunately it was late in the day and I didn’t have the opportunity to get into that more interesting terrain.)

With that said, I can say that the Reign Advanced 1 doesn’t hide the fact that it’s big, long bike. While it wasn’t horrendously inefficient while pedaling, it doesn’t feel like a bike that wants to scamper uphill. The slack head angle is quite apparent, and among other bikes with similar travel, it certainly wouldn’t be my first choice if I was faced with a long climb.

I commend Giant for putting some legitimately meaty tires on the bike—I’d be pretty excited about them if I were riding somewhere in British Columbia. But the tires on the Advanced 1 felt sluggish on the faster-rolling XC trails at Bootleg.

When I was able to hit some descents on the Reign, it performed as expected. It was very smooth and stable, and it took quite a bit of rattling before I even had to start paying attention to what I was doing on the bike. Of the bikes I rode at Interbike, the Reign Advanced 1, along with the GT Sanction, were the most stable and felt the most like mini-DH bikes. Both bikes felt big and stable, and took a fair amount of rider input to get them to deviate from a straight line.

Compared to the Sanction, the Reign Advanced 1’s suspension felt a bit more supple and did a better job of smoothing out smaller bumps along the trail without getting overwhelmed on larger hits. The Advanced 1 was more inclined to plow through chunder, while the Sanction was a bit more poppy.

Bottom Line

The Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1 is a strong contender in the all-mountain category, and will definitely appeal to someone who spends a lot of time running gnarly descents, particularly those that don’t require a difficult climb.

The Reign Advanced 27.5 1 would also make sense if you’re looking to do the occasional day of lift-served riding, in addition to some everyday, easy pedal-accessed riding.


7 comments on “2015 Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1”

  1. What,is the weight of the bike?
    How does it climb and pedal?
    Is the price($4750) good for what you pay for it?
    Okay thanks

    • Hey JP,

      I wasn’t able to get a weight on the bike, but according to Giant, the frame comes in right around 5.5 lbs without a shock, so somewhere in the neighborhood of 6.5 lbs with a shock. That’s on par with most of the competition in this travel category. Depending on the build, I’d expect a full bike to be in the low 30 lb ballpark, or the high 20’s if you throw some money at the parts.

      If you didn’t see it, I spoke briefly about the climbing and pedaling efficiency on the second page of the review. Basically, the Reign will climb if you really want it to, but it wouldn’t be my first choice if I was spending a lot of time going uphill.

      As far as whether the price is good, I suppose that’s all a matter of perspective. For that price, I don’t think the Reign is out of line with other comparable bikes in terms of what you get. There will be plenty of other bikes at roughly this price that will come with slightly nicer parts hung on an aluminum frame, which leaves you with the question – which is more important, nicer parts or a nicer frame? That’s a lengthy discussion, and a lot of it revolves around what your long term plans for the bike are (i.e. keep it for years and upgrade things over time, or ride it for a season and sell it).


  2. What other bike can i look at that is carbon, Good parts for the money, must be available in the USA and the price must be under $5000

    • Well, I suppose that depends a bit on what you’re looking for, but if a carbon frame is a must and you’ve got a $5k budget, you’ve got quite a few options. Somewhat comparable to the Reign, I’d probably be looking at the Devinci Spartan Carbon RC, a Pivot Mach 6 with an SLX build, or a Norco Range Carbon 7.3. But those are just three options off the top of my head, and I wouldn’t necessarily say any of those are better or worse than the Reign – it just depends on what you’re looking for and what fits you best. I’m sure there are also other options out there that I’m not thinking of at the moment.

  3. What is the two things that i must first upgrade on this bike to make it lighter and better??? I was thinking of wheels and bracks?? And what is the weight of this wheels?

  4. I enjoy these reviews, they seem like an honest reflection of your experiences, no fluff.
    I’m toying with getting a reign as my enduro race bike and it will also be used for all day rides. I had a 2013 lapierre spicy. The giant is one of these new longer slacker bikes and I’m sure will handle differently to the spicy, and perhaps more importantly require a different riding style.
    You said the Reign wasn’t too poppy, is that to the extent of it feeling dead? Was it still fun to ride? Or just a bit too planted?

  5. Hi Noah,
    Im about to purchase a new reign team or gt force x pro( pike front )
    In NewZealand i cant demo either as they dont sell those models, so mate will bring
    one over from aussie, where i live we ride a lot of dwn hill tracks and often we ride and
    Push our bikes to top, sometimes cpl hrs to get up,,our tracks are rough, and sometimes not very flowing, i am 6ft2 and 103kg
    which bike would you recommend, i was thinking a large size my current butcher is large feels good fit

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