It beats around the bush, but we don’t: the new Giant Reign Advanced is the best enduro bike on the market.
The 2017 Giant Reign Advanced is the best enduro bike on the market. Perfectly balanced handling, sizing and flex.
Need to know
- Race-ready enduro bike with 160mm travel
- Advanced Composite front end saves 500g over alloy version
- RockShox Lyrik fork and SRAM Eagle 1×12 drivetrain added for 2017
- Selected models now available in XL size
Giant Reign Advanced 0
Nothing grates on me more than reading a first ride or a review and having to second-guess whether the tester thought the product was actually any good or not. Worse still, it finishes on a cliffhanger and you have to wait another couple of months to see how it stacks up against the competition.
I’m no mind reader, but if you’re reading this there’s every chance that you want to know exactly what I think of the 2017 Giant Reign Advanced 0. So I’ll tell you, straight up… I absolutely love it. In fact, if I were to do a full test on this bike tomorrow, I’m confident that it would score a perfect 10 rating.
How can I be so sure of its pedigree after just one ride? Well, bar some changes to the specification, which I’ll get to in a minute, it’s the same as the Reign Advanced 0 that I used as my benchmark enduro bike for testing products on last year.
Also, as the bike test editor at mbr I get to ride the lion’s share of bikes, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s hot and what’s not, and no other enduro bike has impressed me as much as the Reign. It won our enduro test two years running, but the double-digit rating eluded it on both occasions. So what’s changed?
First up, the fork has been upgraded from a RockShox Pike Dual-Position Air to the more capable Lyrik Solo Air. Travel remains at 160mm, to match the rear end, but the fork now has Boost 110x15mm dropout spacing.
Giant has also made revisions to other aspects of the specification. Out go the DT Swiss XM 1501 alloy wheels; in come Giant’s composite TRX 0s. The drivetrain also gets another gear, shifting from SRAM XX1 to the new XO Eagle.
All solid changes, and given that the price hasn’t gone up, you’re quids in. In fact, the only indication of cost saving is that the RockShox Reverb dropper post has been replaced by Giant’s Contact SL Switch Trail dropper; an added bonus being that the amount of drop has increased by 25mm to 150mm.
The weight of the bike has also crept up, however, and while the new build better reflects the demands of modern enduro racing, the range-topping carbon bike is now only 500g lighter than the full alloy bike we tested last year.
One major change, that’s long overdue, is that the Reign Advanced 1 and alloy Reign 1 will both be available in XL versions for the first time in the UK. That’s great news for riders over 6ft tall looking for an accomplished enduro bike that actually fits.
What the 2017 Reign Advanced 0 hasn’t got is Boost rear dropouts, the latest metric size shock, or a carbon rear end. Does it really matter? Not one jot. And while I’m sure that some of these features will be added when it comes time to give the Reign a refresh, my biggest concern is that, in the process of making it better, Giant could mess with what I consider to be the best enduro bike on the market. Fingers crossed.