REVIEW: 2010 Giant Reign X

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dino Brown, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Dino Brown

    Dino Brown Sir Smack-Alot

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    Many know me for my undying devotion to the dw-link! What most people do not know is the (Maestro-equipped) Giant Reign finished a close second. Had it not been for a few minor pedaling and weight issues, I would be riding one today.

    When news came that Giant’s unofficial theme for 2010 was “lighter and more efficient”– let’s just say I took notice!

    While I am quite pleased with my current bikes, I have been PATIENTLY waiting for someone to build a 6” frame that suits MY (very specific) needs!

    What are those needs? 6” travel, 67-degree head angle, LOW center of gravity, lightweight, nimble, razor-sharp handling… I’m basically looking for something that handles like my 5” bike and descends like my 7” bike.

    Overview
    The Giant Reign comes in two flavors. The standard model boasts 6” of travel, a 68 degree head angle, and a 73.5 seat tube angle - ideal specs for a bike that excels at both AM and (all day) XC riding. The Reign X boasts 6.7” of travel, 67 degree head angle and a 72.5 degree seat tube angle. The more aggressive geometry of the Reign X is geared towards riders who seek additional descending capability.

    [​IMG]

    The heart of the Reign X is the acclaimed MAESTRO suspension. The easiest way to explain the design is by using the 4-2-1 principle. Four pivot points (i.e. red dots in the picture) plus 2 strategically placed rocker arms create 1 floating pivot point. Giant claims the end result is a suspension that neutralizes braking and pedal forces while remaining fully active throughout its entire range of travel.

    [​IMG]

    Specs: Fox Talas 36, Fox DHX 5.0 Air shock, Crank Brothers Joplin-R Adjustable seat post, Avid Elixir CR brakes, SRAM XO rear derailleur, DT Swiss EX1750 wheels…

    Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

    Warranty: Lifetime frame. One year on components.

    Weight: 30.2 pounds

    New for 2010

    One of the issues I had with previous models of the Reign X was the heavy (and ugly) pierced down tube. For 2010, the Reign (Faith and Glory models) switched to a Co-Pivot design. The benefits of this change are: a cleaner look, high strength, simplicity as well as a half-pound reduction in (the Reign’s) frame weight!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Another notable change for 2010 is Giant’s liberal use of hydro-formed tubing. This cost-effective method of “metal shaping” allowed designers to build a frame that is lighter AND stronger than bikes made with standard tubing. In layman terms: stronger in areas that need it, lighter in areas that don’t!

    [​IMG]

    Yet another change for 2010 involves (of all things) the head tube. For years, the industry standard was 1.125.” As bikes grew, 1.5” head tubes became more commonplace. Realizing the benefits of both sizes, frame and fork makers decided to combine the two. In theory, a tapered head tube is stronger than a 1.125” design but lighter than a 1.5” design. The best of both worlds!

    [​IMG]

    What do I think of the changes?

    Climbing: As long as I remained seated and pedaled smoothly, the bike climbed EXCEPTIONALLY well - so much so that I did NOT bother reducing travel (even on the steepest or sandiest of climbs). I did not notice any bob. The rear tire had tons of traction. Where I was less than impressed was on standing climbs. To many, this is a non-issue. For those of us who “mash” the pedals, the geometry and long legs can tire a rider on extended (standing) climbs!

    Comfort: I immediately felt comfortable on the Reign X. I was expecting an overly raked, slow and sluggish freeride bike. What I got was a bike that can only be described as “lively.” On the flats, the Reign X behaved like my 5” bike. So confused was I that a riding buddy checked-to-see if the Talas fork had been (accidentally) lowered to 100mm! Even after he inspected the fork, I re-checked to make sure I was not riding at 4 or 5" mode. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Cornering/Handling: In a word - AMAZING! The first thing I noticed was how “balanced” the bike felt. No matter what I did (or how I leaned), the bike always kept me comfortably over center. While it may sound cliché, the bike “disappeared” below me. There is no doubt in my mind the LOW center of gravity played a role in how the bike handled!

    Descending: No matter the circumstances (i.e. low speed, high speed, rocky, super steep) the Reign X handled everything with absolute ease. The bike felt light. It felt stable. The rear wheel felt planted. I never once veered off line. Cliché #2: It felt like I was riding on rails!

    [​IMG]

    Rather than attaching the wheels to the frame via a standard quick-release, Giant opted to use a 20mm front axle and 12mm Maxle-Lite for the rear. The end result is a noticeable improvement in overall stiffness.

    [​IMG]

    Braking: I was BEYOND impressed! The rear end remained fully active under all braking conditions. I felt supremely confident in all conditions. Much of this “confidence” was due to the 180mm Avid Elixir CRs. First time using these brakes – 100X better than my Juicy 7s! :clap:

    [​IMG]

    Interrupted Seat Tube: If there was one thing about the 2010 Reign X that truly concerned me it was the interrupted seat tube. Would I be able to lower/raise the seat to my liking? It only took a few minutes to realize the Joplin seat post had everything under control.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cable Management: Most manufacturers deal with cables by welding tabs to the top tube and chain stays. Giant has taken a different approach. They prefer to route cables under the bottom tube. Secondly, the rear derailleur cable is routed inside the chain stay. No doubt this arrangement “looks” clean. My main concern is how dirt, dust and rocks will affect cables that are mounted on a down tube. Thumbs up to Giant for thinking outside the box...:clap:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What didn’t I like about the bike?
    I would start with the DHX Air shock. Maybe it wasn’t set-up correctly (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t)… What I do know is: I would have preferred a coil.

    Saddle: The Fizik saddle was less than comfortable. #-o

    Conclusion
    To say I was impressed with the 2010 Reign X would be an understatement. If asked what I liked most about the bike, it would be how well “it all” came together. Every bend, component, pivot and tube is on the bike for a reason- and it shows. Anyone in the market for an aggressive (do-everything) bike would be wise to add this frame to his or her very short list…

    :beer:
     
  2. g-dub

    g-dub Member

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    Nice review.

    I really dig my '09 X0, and the '10 looks to be more of the same, only lighter and better looking. Rear maxle is sweet.

    I concur regarding the DHX. If the '10 X1 has coils, it might be worth it for folks to buy the cheaper bike & upgrade to the X0 price point as they see fit.
     
  3. Drum n MTB

    Drum n MTB Member

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    Except for the cheaper bikes are horrible colors compared to the X0 IMHO


    Awesome review Dino...I wish I had the money to buy one!
     
  4. Sprockethead

    Sprockethead S.T.U.P.I.D.A.S.S. Member

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    So when you getting one or are you still thinking about the Firebird?
     
  5. Marshall Willanholly

    Marshall Willanholly Active Member

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    That doesn't sound like the Fully Loop I've ridden! :lol:
     
  6. dft

    dft Member

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    looks good. i'm looking at a trail bike and would of seriously considered this. but the seat tube is a deal brekaer for me (i like to drop 6-7 inches for descents). the total amount the post can go in is 6 inches. (don't want telescoping), so probably going with good old fashion foo-bar, the new revamnped transition covert.
     
  7. Pho'dUp

    Pho'dUp Spam Musubi MasherSS

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    I have to admit. I owned an '05 Reign with the pierced downtube from WheelWorld. Slack with a lowish bottom bracket. It was probably the best suspension bike I've ever owned (FSRs, Faux Bars, Single Pivots..) I had climbed up Poles in El Moro on that bike but still it was super plush going down over the bumps. I'm more of an XC guy and sold it to fund a lighter bike. Regret it still.

    I'm sure after 4+ years to tweak the suspension that bike is even better now.

    Nice RR, thanks.
     
  8. Chewyeti

    Chewyeti Circus Bear

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    so did you order one?

    and how much did giant pay you for the RR? LOL
     
  9. Bryguy17

    Bryguy17 A little Shaggy

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    blasphemy! the reign hole is NOT ugly! :protest:

    in fact, I believe the older style of reign to be one of the more asthetically pleasing frames made. clean lines, nothing out of place, no unnecessary bends and dips.

    but yes, now you've seen why I like my reignX so much. they're GREAT all around bikes. even with an almost full DH setup on mine (1x9, big fork, heavy components), I'm still able to climb it up a lot of things.

    aside from appearances (I'm not personally a fan of the new hydroformed design), I'm happy to see the improvements that they did make. lighter (though it really didn't need to be. 9lbs for a large with a steel coil is still respectable)

    they beefed up the bearings, which is a big deal (the old one's eat bearing-O's for breakfast)

    that maxle is pretty trick (though limits your wheelset choice).

    so has the mayor been converted to something other than the lofty DW link? or are you just going to settle for a strong second and wait for the RFX to come out?
     
  10. ahimanic

    ahimanic Victim of Karate Monkey

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    Yadi, yadi, yada. I don't believe a word you say until I see you trade in your IH for the Reign! [-(
     
  11. sfmoto39

    sfmoto39 New Member

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    Dam that means i have to buy 2 frames this year.Anthem advanced sl to replace my 09 anthem x and a 10 reign x to replace my 08.Better start saving.
     
  12. bMANNY

    bMANNY New Member

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    GREAT REVIEW

    I have an previous gen X1. I haven't ridding the '10 yet but just the fact it's 30lbs like the Trek Remedy and Spesh Enduro makes me want to upgrade to the new frame. I love my X1 and I expect nothing less from the '10. My good riding buddy is thinking about getting the new X0 and I will be very pissed if he does. #-o
     
  13. scruffylooking

    scruffylooking Stuck up, half witted...

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    Nice write up. Well done, Dino.
     
  14. TURNERob

    TURNERob Get your own avatar idea

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    30.2 lbs is VERY reasonable for a bike with those travel/geometry specs. My 5 Spot weighs in at exactly 30lbs with all high end parts. I'm sure the Reign X could probably loose some weight also if you really wanted. Nice write up Dino! Any MSRP on that bike yet?
     
  15. bMANNY

    bMANNY New Member

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    not to mention I like the '10 because you can adjust the shock on the fly. I have the X1 and I would just buy the frame and swap over. But if you're seriously looking into getting this bike just buy the frameset and spec it out yourself. There are good prices on mint parts out there.

    XO $5650
    X1 $3600
    X2 $2250
    SX $3600
    frameset $1450

    I really don't get the SX model. It's just the X1 with a coil and heavy duty parts.
     
  16. Dino Brown

    Dino Brown Sir Smack-Alot

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    Marshall- The bike was tested once on the Fully Loop... I rode 30 miles at Turnbull (including 5 bomb runs on A-Line).... I also rode a "secret-trail" that can only be described as STEEP and technical!

    Sprockethead- While I was impressed with both the Firebird AND the Reign X, there is a better than 50% chance I won't be purchasing a 6" bike until I test ride a certain "dw-link" bike that is scheduled for release in 2010..2011..2012... #-o
    (If anyone can arrange a test ride... PM me!)

    Ahimanic- The IH "ain't" going anywhere.... Of all the people on STR, you know how much I want a 6" bike! Had IH not run into difficulties, I would have added a 6 Point to my stable...

    bManny- If I decide on a Reign X, I will most likely start with a frame.. Build-up from there!

    Chewyeti- How much did Giant pay me for the review? Uhhh...THEY DIDN'T!
    Bottom line: I have been patiently waiting for Giant to release this bike for quite some time. A friend had just finished purchasing a cyclocross bike at a local dealer.... He called (from the shop) to inform me he was LOOKING at a Reign X... I drove to the shop... Pretty-much took the bike at gun point...

    With regard to the review...
    Did I "tip-toe" around any potential weaknesses (as most reviewers do)? NO!
    I feel as though I was informative, honest and thorough! Can't please everyone...
     
  17. Nagaredama

    Nagaredama New Member

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    Is the fork tapered or 1 1/8"?
     
  18. jahsun145

    jahsun145 Phat Ninja

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    Great write up Dino. I wish more str users would post up reviews as thorough as yours.
     
  19. mfoga

    mfoga Intense Whore

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    Not everyone is anal as Dino when it comes to bikes.:lol:

    But it makes for great reviews.
     
  20. CPATCRASH

    CPATCRASH Enjoy the ride!

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    I just hear that Giant bikes was purchased by the holding company for Wallmart and will be sold there and also at the 99 cent store before the brand is discontinued all together. ;)
     

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