Last year, while the other members of the Big Three had not fully committed to the 27.5″ wheel size, Giant proclaimed that this was the future of the sport, and launched an extensively redesigned lineup that featured dozens of new 27.5″ models.
At Crankworx, we took the opportunity to visit with the company and take a closer look at the Carbon Trance and all new Reign.
Roughly two years, Giant introduced a new headset standard called Overdrive that specific to their own bikes. Rather than having a 1 1/8th inch diameter, these forks has a diameter of 1 1/4, and tapered down to 1.5″, which they claimed resulted in a 30% increase in stiffness at the handlebar.
The new standard created a headache for customers, so the rep we spoke with stated that going forward all of Giant’s bikes will just use the industry standard for tapered head tubes.
The Trance is available in two different versions. A SX trim which sports a 160mm Pike up front, or the Advanced pictured above which has a 140mm fork. Both bikes have 140mm of rear travel.
The fanciest trim of the Trance Advanced retails for $7,750. That kind of money nets you a 25 lbs 13 oz (11.7 kg) bike, but prices for a complete start at $3,600.
The Reign 27.5 2 retails for $3,400 and is the entry level version of Giant’s new Enduro race worthy platform. With 160mm of travel front and rear, high quality suspension, and a Deore level build kit throughout, it’s a pretty solid build for the money.
All of the Reign bikes, regardless of price point, will receive a dropper. In the case of this entry level build, it’s the Giant Contact SL. The cool thing about this post is that the internals can be flipped, so that the dropper cable can be routed externally or internally.
Like the other bikes in Giant’s line up, the Reign utilizes the much heralded Maestro Link suspension platform.
Weight for this bike, with aggressive tire tread front and back, plus lots of room for upgrades is 32 lbs 9 oz (14.7 kg).
On the other end of the spectrum, the Reign Advanced 27.5 0 Team model represents Giant’s top of the line offering. Retailing for $8,250, it’s sports a carbon front triangle, and the best of the best.
Giant bikes have been rather beige in the past, but this year the graphics have been carried subtly throughout.
Spec’d with a wide bar, short stem, and a top guide with a lower bash, the Reign is ready to shred right out of the box.
Despite the huge 2.35″ Schwalbe tires, there is still plenty of breathing room in the rear triangle.
Weight for the bike is a respectable 27 lb 10z (12.5 kg ).