Wednesday, September 13, 2006




I've been the proud owner of the Giant Reign for a couple of months now and it has seen action in Afan, Cwncarn, QE, major downhill routes in Les Get & Morzine and most recently some sweet air in Bracknell!!

First impressions were a little mixed as it is my first full bouncer, even hopping off kerbs was a major effort. I've now got used to the way you need to ride the beast and I am very impressed.
First the frame; The rear triangle is super stiff and doesn't look like it'll ever break, even when you land something really sideways there is no noticeable flex from the rear stays. The main frame is also burly enough whilst keeping weight down so hills aren't too much of a problem. The most impressive thing though is the Maestro suspension system, without even adjusting the SPV (platform) pressure you can go straight from technical uphills to major rocky downhills. If you really want to lock it out for the ups you can pop a little more pressure (40psi) in but I'm not one for major cross country slogs so it appears to have been the perfect bike choice for me. Only complaints really are the cable routings (they bulge out with the suspension action) and the fact that the chain can get jammed between the granny ring and frame, although I am working on some mods to prevent this.
Components; OK then this is a real mixed bag as my budget dictated that I buy the Reign 3 with the basic spec. Major complaint is the fork, the Manitou Splice is cheap, the action is poor and tends to lock up after hard use (damping issues me thinks) and they have bags of play in the bushes. I always planned to upgrade these though and they got me through a week in the Alps so I shouldn't be too harsh! The LX groupset is superb, no problems there and reliable slick shifting. Hayes sole brakes are also reliable and simple, the front could do with a bigger rotor for the big downhills though.
All told this is a hell of a lot of bike for £800 that truly can be used for 'All Mountain' and the frame alone RRP of £800 means I can spend a few hundred quid on making it into exactly the kind of bike to suit my riding style (erratic!!!)

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