The Giant Reign E+ 3 packs a hefty punch. It’s long, low, heavy, and slack. The 160mm of Maestro suspension does an incredible job of making bumps both big and small go away. It’s one of the smoothest monster trucks of a bike I’ve ever ridden. So is it the big burly ebike for you? Stick around to find out.
giant reign E+ 3 Geometry and Details
The Reign E is Giant’s enduro ebike. It has 160mm of rear travel and 170mm up front. It rolls on a mixed-wheel setup with a 29” front wheel and a 27.5” rear wheel. The geometry is fairly long with the XL coming in just under 1300mm on the wheelbase. The head tube angle is either 64.5 or 63.7 degrees based on the flip chip setting. The .8 degree change is rather noticeable and makes a decent impact on how the bike rides. I ended up preferring the high setting, but more on that in just a bit.
The Reign E uses Giant’s SyncDrive Pro motor. The first time I rode this updated motor was on the Trance X E+. It quickly became one of my favorite ebike motors to date. It’s smooth, quiet and on par in terms of power. The power delivery is some of the best in the game. It falls somewhere between the on/off feel of the Shimano EP8 and the dimmer switch feel of the Rocky Mountain Dyname 4.0.
While the battery is bigger than your standard 540Wh ebike battery, it doesn’t seem to last all that much longer. It could be that the Reign is heavy and needs a little extra juice to get up a mountain, or it could be that I have an obsession with boost mode these days and the dirt bike feeling reign begs for a little throttle going uphill. Either way, I’d put it in the average category when it comes to range.
The Reign comes with 5 power settings as well as an automatic mode. I tried using the automatic mode and couldn’t get it to mesh with my riding style. The response felt a little too slow. If I needed a little extra oomph to get over an obstacle, I felt the motor didn’t respond to my extra effort until it was too late. I preferred to set the power myself for a more predictable and consistent feel.
giant reign E+ 3 Review
The Reign is better at climbing than the numbers would make it appear. It provides gobs of traction and offers a good seated position. In an all-out race, it’s probably not getting to the top first, but it’s definitely not going to be last.
The Reign’s suspension is some of the gooiest, plushest suspension I’ve ridden. It does wonders for keeping the rear wheel on the ground and moving forward. It smooths out trail chatter, rocks, roots, and ledges very well. During our test, I was able to clean sections on the Reign that proved rather difficult on some of the other bikes. I think it simply came down to the traction available. It’s far from what I’d call efficient, but when it comes to ebikes, that’s way less important than traction and control.
I struggle to believe that the effective seat tube angle is only 77.5 or 76.7 degrees. It very well could be, but it feels quite a bit steeper. I think it comes down to the actual angle being very steep so as the saddle gets higher for my baby giraffe legs, it doesn’t get as slack as on some other bikes. Can’t we just get a standard for measuring seat tube angles already? All of this is to say that the seated position on the Reign feels very balanced. In the low mode, I did feel the front end wandering from time to time, but it’s surprisingly planted for a 63.7-degree head tube angle. The high mode makes it even better.
My biggest complaint with the Reign E, especially in the low mode, was pedal strikes. If you’ve been around the channel for any time now, you’ll know that I’ve probably never once complained about pedal strikes on a bike. It’s just not something I tend to have an issue with. With the Reign in low, however, I found myself smacking pedals left and right. The trail we tested on, amounted to being a deep moto rut for the most part which led to a higher rate of pedal strikes. Still, the Reign had way more than any of the other bikes in our test. I’ve since ridden the Reign on a much wider variety of terrain and still found the BB to be too low in the low geometry setting. The high mode solved the issue for me.
Overall the Reign is a rather capable climber. It doesn’t wow in efficiency but it provides a mind-blowing amount of traction. It makes technical climbing about as fun as it gets on an ebike.
If you’re a fan of magic carpet bikes, stick around. You’re really going to like the Reign.
We may as well start with the best thing about this bike. The Reign’s suspension is some of the best I’ve ever ridden for smoothing out the trail. I’m a pretty big fan of Maestro suspension in the first place, but on an ebike, it gets even better. Giant also seems to lean heavily on the traction and control side of things on their ebike tunes as well. Both the Reign E and the Trance E are some of the smoothest bikes I’ve ever ridden. The Reign makes short work of rocks, roots, and rough descents. Our test trails were the perfect place to highlight the Reign’s strengths. They were fast, loose, and rough — nothing overly technical nor any large features. Some of the top speeds achieved on the Reign were silly, easily falling into the “no regard for human safety” range. If going fast through rough terrain is your jam, then look no further.
It doesn’t offer a ton in terms of pop, however. The Reign prefers to stick to the ground for the most part. I’d imagine it’s a combo of the weight, geometry, and gooiest suspension on the planet. I did struggle to bunnyhop or unweight the bike. If there’s a jump to do the work for you, the Reign does just fine as it carries a lot of speed and momentum. Just don’t plan on going “slow and popping” to clear any big jumps. You’ll likely find yourself in a bit of trouble.
The Reigns handling is on the slow, steady and deliberate side of the spectrum. It makes for a very stable bike, especially at the speeds it likes to go. When the trails get slower and tighter, it does begin to get a little unwieldy. It’s not what I’d call a quick and lively feeling bike. Go fast, however, and the stability is more than appreciated.
While I started my testing in the low geometry setting, I ended up switching to high and staying there. It not only fixed a lot of things on the climbs, but it also helped on the descents in my opinion. I gladly gave up the extra degree of head tube slackness in favor of a more responsive ride quality. It helps the bike get in and out of a corner, helps with slow-speed handling, and gives the bike a bit more balanced feel. With how well the suspension handles the bumps, I don’t feel like the bike needs to be in the low mode in order to let you ride difficult terrain. It’s plenty capable in the high setting. The benefits of high outweigh the cons for me on this bike.
Overall the Reign is one of the burliest, plushest ebikes I’ve ridden. It’s great for tackling rough trails at high speeds. It’s not the most playful bike, but if stability is at the top of your priorities, it’s an excellent option for you. I know it’s not in our comparison, but it feels quite a bit like the Rocky mountain altitude Powerplay we reviewed a while back. Except, it’s plusher and smoother somehow.
giant reign E+ 3: Value Score
As you know, we don’t normally talk about components as we don’t normally review individual builds or prices. This time it’s different. The Reign E+ not only packs a punch out on the trail, but it packs a hefty haymaker in the value department. It takes the top honors with a 5/5 for value. At $5500, it leaves very little to be desired. Sure, nothing about it is high-end, but everything about it works. In my mind, once you’ve hit a certain threshold in component quality, everything above that point is just gravy on top. The Reign’s build hits that threshold. The brakes are powerful enough for the bike, although lacking a ton of adjustment, the suspension works wonderfully, the tires are appropriate for the use case (a Double Down rear casing is always nice to see on any ebike), and the drivetrain works without a fuss. My only complaint is that the dropper post is much too short for my liking, especially considering there’s a ton of room in the frame for a longer one.
Who is it for?
The Reign E is the perfect bike for somehow who values traction, stability, and control over everything else. You can’t really beat it for riding rough trails at speed. If you’re looking for a more playful and lively feeling ebike, then look elsewhere. It screams big, heavy, ebike everywhere it goes. Although, you won’t hear it over your hysterical laughter down the trail.
giant reign E+ 3: The Bottom Line
If a tree falls in the woods, the Reign E just runs it over.