The Giant Reign E+ is Giant’s first long travel eMTB. We’re told the new bike’s prime discipline is steep and fast climbs, followed by even steeper and faster descents. We put the brand new Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro through its paces in the French Alps to find out if it can live up these expectations.
Giant have gone all-in with the new Reign E+: shortly after introducing the Reign 29 Enduro bike in Canada, they’re now following with the electrified counterpart. Just like its unmotorised sibling, the brand new Giant Reign E+ is designed for hard use on the most demanding trails. Unlike the Reign, the Reign E+ comes exclusively in aluminium and with 27.5″ x 2.6″ tires, but with 160 mm travel at the rear and a 170 mm fork, it shouldn’t be any less potent. As usual, Giant rely on Yamaha’s support for the motor, basing their Sync Drive Pro on the new Yamaha PW-X2. With the help of a lot of new sensors, the Smart Assist mode dynamically adapts the support level to the riding situation. However, the new Yamaha PW-X2 motor is neither smaller nor lighter compared to the previous model – as some erroneously claim. We put the € 7,499 Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro to the test on the super steep and dusty trails around the French mountain bike mecca of Morzine.
The Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro in detail
As Giant have always done, the world’s largest bike manufacturer relies on Yamaha’s motor expertise for the Reign E+ 0 Pro. The SyncDrive Pro draws its electricity from an internal 500 Wh battery, which can be extended by an additional 250 Wh with the external range extender. The € 399 EnergyPak Plus should be quick and easy to attach to the bottle cage bosses in the front triangle. Besides the motor, you’ll find additional electronic helpers on the flagship Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro in the form of SRAM’s wireless X01 Eagle AXS drivetrain and RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post, bringing the bike to a total of 24.23 kg (size L, without range extender). The cockpit is super tidy as a result and Giant deliberately avoid a display and use the Ride Controle One Remote instead, which is now compatible with Garmin and other bike computers thanks to ANT+.
The remaining componentry shows that the Giant Reign E+ was designed for downhill performance. On the rear wheel, you’ve got a MAXXIS HighRoller II with the super stable Double Down casing, paired with a 2.6″ wide Minion DHF in the lighter EXO+ version up front. There’s nothing to fault on FOX Factory 36 fork and FLOAT X2 shock. A particular highlight are the SRAM CODE R brakes paired with the huge 220 mm rotor at the front.
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP 2 170 mm
Schock FOX Float X2 Factory 160 mm
Motor/Battery Giant SyncDrive Pro/EnergyPak Smart 500 Wh
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
Brakes SRAM Code R 220/200 mm
Seatpost RockShoy Reverb AXS 100-170 mm
Stem Giant Contact SL 35
Handlebar Giant Contact SL 35 Trail 800 mm
Wheelset Giant E-TRX 27.5″
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF EXO+/HighRoller II Double Down 2.6″
Weight 24.23 kg (Size L)
Permissible total weight 150 kg
Price € 7,499
The Giant Reign E+ models
Giant are offering the Reign E+ in three spec levels ranging from € 4,799 to € 7,499. All three models feature the same motor, battery, frame and tires, and all models come 170mm travel up front and 160mm at the rear, controlled by FOX suspension. Both the € 5,499 Reign E+ 1 PRO and the entry-level Reign E+ 2 Pro are equipped with aluminium in-house components for the cockpit and wheels, as well as their in-house dropper post. Unfortunately, neither of the lower-entry models have the large 220 mm front rotor which we so enjoyed on the flagship Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro. Taking care of the shifting, the Reign E+ 1 PRO and Reign E+ 2 Pro feature mechanical 12-speed SRAM and Shimano drivetrains.
The geometry of the Giant Reign E+
|Seat tube||406 mm||445 mm||482 mm||507 mm|
|Top tube||595 mm||620 mm||645 mm||670 mm|
|Head tube||100 mm||110 mm||120 mm||130 mm|
|Chainstay||469.5 mm||469.5 mm||469.5 mm||469.5 mm|
|BB Drop||15 mm||15 mm||15 mm||15 mm|
|Wheelbase||1223 mm||1249 mm||1276 mm||1303 mm|
|Reach||430 mm||452 mm||475 mm||497 mm|
|Stack||592 mm||602 mm||611 mm||620 mm|
The Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro on the trail
The riding position on the new Giant Reign E+ is balanced, central and comfortable. Long days in the saddle won’t overwhelm your bum or your wrists, and thanks to the relatively steep seat tube angle, you’ll remain centrally positioned on the bike no matter how steep the climbs. When riding on even terrain, the Maestro rear linkage bobs slightly. When things get steeper and the motor pulls on the chain, the rear suspension calms down a bit but remains active. It manages to absorb the smallest bumps on the trail and together with the grippy HighRoller II on the rear, it generates a lot of traction. Thanks to the super robust DoubleDown casing, you can run the tire pressure relatively low without risking punctures. The new Sync Drive Pro is much quieter compared to its predecessor, but it still surges forward as soon as you get on the pedals. In the progressive Smart Assist mode, the new motor responds very sensitively but with more than enough power. However, if you try switching from Smart Assist mode to another mode, you will inevitably switch the system off, making it impossible to quickly change to one of the higher support modes on steep climbs. Annoying – but we found that once we were in Smart Assist mode we usually didn’t feel the need to change to a different mode.
As is typical for Giant, the front end of the Reign E+ is relatively low, which is why we put all the spacers under the stem to lift the cockpit. With that done, the Reign E+ positions the rider in the middle of the bike. The long front triangle (475 Reach in L) gives you lots of freedom of movement, which, unfortunately, is too often limited by the long seat tube and the resultingly short 150 mm dropper post. Despite this limitation, the Giant Reign E+ instils you with confidence no matter how steep the terrain, thanks to its slack head angle and supple suspension. The SRAM Code R brakes with the 220 mm rotor up front also add to the feeling of confidence. They offer enormous amounts braking power while being easy to modulate, and the braking performance remains consistent even on very long descents: finally! On flowing trails, the Giant Reign E+ 0 corners excellently, with balanced weight distribution and equal amounts of grip on both wheels. However, the bike comes into its own on rough, fast trails: simply let go of the brakes and steam-train over everything in your path. The plush FOX Factory suspension and the buttery smooth Maestro linkage absorb large bumps without rushing through the available travel. As the rider, you benefit from plenty of traction and tracking stability without being isolated from the ground. However, the feedback you get in the form of chain slap is unnecessary: too bad!
With the Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro, Giant have made a successful debut in the segment for big-hitting, long-travel eMTBs. If the trails are steep, rough and demanding, the Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro will shine. Its plush suspension delivers an impressive performance, especially at high speeds. Glossing over small weaknesses such as the undersized chainstay protector or the counter-intuitive function of the remote is easy when considering the otherwise very sensible and robust componentry.
- excellent suspension
- super powerful brakes
- robust tire combination
- chainstay protector not effective
- counter-intuitive arrangement of the support modes
- long seat tube
More info at: giant-bicycles.com
It's finally here: The 2019 E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition, our timeless annual issue! Consisting of around 240 (!) pages, the 2019 E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Editon offers a ton of inspiration, buyers advice, and eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the hottest bikes of the year. Our premium magazine is aimed at experienced eMTBers and beginners alike. Click here for more information (new window) or order it directly in our shop or on Amazon.de!
Words: Felix Stix Photos: David Schultheiß & Felix Stix