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NEW Giant Reign 29er | Setup and First Impressions

Bike reviews have become ridiculously popular on this site…

The bike reviews are now AS POPULAR as the training columns, educational articles and even the 12 Week Full Fitness Plan!

You can check out the review of my 2019 Trance 29er, which was an awesome bike. For some sad reason this review has been read almost AS MANY TIMES as the article on WHY YOU NEED TO BE FIT FOR GRAVITY RACING. What?!?

To me, the greatest value on this site is the education, but I do get it that you want to make an informed choice before spending money on a bike. And you want an honest review, too.

That Trance 29er review has a lot of views (wonder if the data logger helps?)

As for my Trance 29er, the bike still gets ridden, and BrakeAce videos are still trickling out with that steed. I’ve even just serviced the suspension yesterday. Who would have thought it would make such a difference…

There Trance 29er is a great bike and I will not be selling it any time soon.

You can also see my older review of the Anthem Adv 27.5. Another great bike.

You see, I’ve been searching for THE ONE BIKE–a bike I could do it all on, and do it all well. Some say it is impossible.

It probably is.


The Trance 29er was about as close as I think a bike can ever get. You can do XC racing and all-mountain adventures by just swapping tyres. Check out the review and you’ll see the same setup being used as a singlespeed XC race bike and in the NZ Enduro on some of the rowdiest terrain for 3 days.

But I wanted a bit more for when I was trying to keep up with the FAST fellas down the FAST trails. The Trance 29er was good, but got in over its [my] head at mach [for me] speeds.

In comes the Giant Reign 29er Advanced 1

View this post on Instagram

Full death grip at all times is not a great strategy….☠ But it was fun to try on this trail! . Went 1 for 2, and have all the data plus crash video 🙈 Hilarious 😅 . Anyone ever try the death grip challenge?? #brakeace #powermeter #bikes #mtb #newzealand #donttrythisathome

A post shared by MTB PhD | Dr Matt Miller (@mtb_phd) on Mar 19, 2020 at 5:17pm PDT


29 inch wheels are the only size for me.

And I’ve tried them all.

I had the Reign 26 and both Reign 27.5 designs.

The 26 was…. a 26 inch bike. Just OK. I loved it, and used it at some Big Mountain Enduro races, but also in some adventure XC races. It was like 25 pounds or something silly with XC tyres! Even managed a cheeky win at a backcountry XC race on that thing…

But by today’s standards, it might be a bit small and have those small wheels…