Our Top 14 Bikes From The 2020 Giant & Liv Mountain Bike Range

The 2020 Giant & Liv mountain bike range has just been unveiled, and as far as we’re concerned, there’s a lot to get excited about for this coming year! Both Giant and its women’s specific offshoot, Liv, have brand new models for 2020, and there have been some substantial updates to existing models too. Shimano’s latest 1×12 SLX and XT groupsets will be debuting on several bikes, while DVO suspension is nowhere to be seen.

Check out the video for our highlights from Giant & Liv for 2020

New Models, Less Boring Paint Jobs & $10K+ Bikes

Some of the other big themes for this year? In our opinion, the whole range has taken a huge leap forward in terms of aesthetics – you’ll be seeing fewer boring blacks, and more sparkly metallic paint jobs and dashing two-tone fade colourways, which we think are fabulous. You’ll also notice that Giant and Liv have invested heavily in e-MTB development, with significant updates to battery and motor systems, along with the introduction of several key new models for 2020. And finally, we were struck by the fact that both Giant and Liv have several models pushing well beyond the $10K barrier – a significant move in the mountain bike world, and one we’re eager to see just how well it will be received by Australian riders.

To check out the new bikes in the flesh, err, raw metal and carbon, Flow was invited up to sunny Queensland to Australia’s very own mini-Las Vegas, Surfers Paradise, to check out the 2020 Giant & Liv range. Here are 14 bikes that we reckon stood out from the pack!

2020 giant reign 29 2
It may be the cheapest Reign 29er, but this single alloy model is bloody well-appointed for $4K, while featuring exactly the same geometry and suspension platform as the full-carbon bikes.

2020 Giant Reign 29 2

Launched mere weeks ago, the new Reign 29 arrives as Giant’s longest travel 29er to date. But as we found out during the Reign 29 launch, this isn’t just a big-wheeled version of the existing Reign – there are actually a load of differences between the two.

The bike that we tested at the launch was the full-noise carbon fibre model, which will be selling for a bit over ten grand. Wowsers! That’s some serious coin, and likely only an option for the most well-heeled of enduro frothers. For those with a more modest budget, it’s the single alloy model that caught our eye at the Giant 2020 dealer show – the Reign 29 2.

2020 giant reign 29 2
Giant is moving towards offering more carbon fibre bikes across a wider price bracket, while also producing fewer alloy models. We reckon that’s a shame though – the polished hydroformed frame on this Reign 29 2 is so very nice.
2020 giant reign 29 advanced pro 29 1
It’s one step down from the top-of-the-range Reign 29, but the price drops by over $3K!

2020 Giant Reign Advanced Pro 29 1

If you do want a carbon fibre Reign 29er, then chances are you’ll be looking very closely at this one. Sitting one step down from the top-end Reign Advanced Pro 29 0, the Reign Advanced Pro 29 1 (so creative these Giant model names eh?) strips back over $3K off the price tag while subbing in a stealthier paint job, all-black Fox suspension and a workhorse SRAM GX Eagle groupset.

The Reign 29 is coming in a big way – in more ways than one. There’ll be four models coming into Australia for 2020.
2020 giant reign 29 sx coil
This is one of the most oddly-spec’d models in the 2020 Giant lineup – the Reign SX.

2020 Giant Reign SX

Fans of little wheels fear not! The Reign 27.5 is carrying through for 2020, with Giant bringing three models into Australia for this season, including this slightly whacky Reign SX model. Notice the 9-speed cassette on the back? The lack of a dropper post? The enormous 180mm travel fork and coil-sprung shock? This is basically a park-rat’s dream, with all of the hard-hitting components designed to survive a season of abuse while being pummelled at somewhere like Maydena, or Whistler Bike Park. We’re not sure how popular this bike will be, but it looks rad, so who cares!

praxis cranks
The Reign SX gets a full complement chain guide that wraps around the Cadet crankset from Praxis Works – a brand that we’re seeing spec’d on a lot of Giant (and Specialized) bikes for 2020.
2020 giant reign advanced 27.5
There will be just one carbon fibre 27.5in-wheeled Reign for 2020, but it does get a very snazzy metallic-fleck paint job with a sleek parts package.

2020 Giant Reign Advanced

For those wanting a more conventional enduro race bike with 27.5in wheels, then that’s exactly what you’re looking at right here – the only carbon Reign coming into Australia for 2020. When numerous carbon enduro bikes are going for well over $10K these days (including some of Giant’s own), the price on the Reign Advanced makes it look like a relative bargain – especially given the GRIP 2 Fox 36 fork, Float DPX2 rear shock, 4-piston SRAM Code R brakes and 3C Maxxis tyre combo. What more could you need?

Carbon fibre mainframe paired to a burly alloy swingarm on the 2020 Giant Reign Advanced.
2020 giant reign e+ pro 0 e-mtb electric bike
Giant rolls out its biggest, and baddest, e-MTB to date; the 160mm travel Reign E+ enduro brawler.

2020 Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro

Another brand new model from Giant for 2020 is the Reign E+. Stepping up from the current Trance E+, this hefty beast punches up the travel dial to 160mm in the back, and 170mm up front. The ‘+’ in the name refers to its rubenesque 2.6in wide tyres, which feature a heavy-duty DoubleDown casing on the back, and the EXO+ casing up front for loads of puncture (and impact) protection. As with all of Giant’s high-end e-MTBs for 2020, the Reign E+ is running the newly revamped SyncDrive Pro motor, which is 380g lighter and 13% smaller than the previous version. It’s got more sensors too, all of which are said to make it smoother and more powerful than the pre-2020 model. It’s worth noting that there are two cheaper Reign E+ models for 2020 – for more information on those, check out our full story on the Reign E+ here.

2020 giant reign e+ electric bike e-mtb
Giant is throwing a tonne of R&D to its e-MTB product, and it shows in the new Reign E+, with its smooth hydroformed alloy frame, integrated battery pack, and low-profile electronics.
2020 giant stance e+ e-mtb electric bike
Not so keen on spending over ten grand on an e-MTB? Giant has you covered with the full suspension Stance E+.

2020 Giant Stance E+ 2

Coming in at less than half the cost of the flagship Reign E+, the new Stance E+ 2 hits a much more accessible price point. This is less for the advanced enduro riders, and more for those who are perhaps looking to get into mountain biking for the first time. For this type of rider, it’s all about comfort, confidence and ease of use. But despite costing $4,999, the Stance E+ 2 still manages to give you air-adjustable suspension front and rear, hydraulic disc brakes with big 203mm rotors, along with high volume Maxxis Rekon tyres that are designed to offer loads of traction and comfort.

giant yamaha stance e+
The Stance E+ uses an updated SyncDrive Sport motor that features the new 6-sensor technology, just like the more expensive SyncDrive Pro motors.
2020 liv embolden e+ e-mtb electric ebike
Liv is also offering a killer-value package with the Embolden E+

2020 Liv Embolden E+ 2

There’s also a women’s specific version from Liv, which is built upon the same fundamentals as the Giant Stance E+. That means you’re getting the same 400Wh integrated battery pack, the 80nM SyncDrive Sport motor, and a relatively good-looking hydroformed alloy frame. For those who want to explore singletrack while getting a little extra assistance for the climbs, this looks like a comfortable and competent option to ease you into the world of mountain biking.

Liv gives you air-adjustable suspension and big 2.6in wide Maxxis Rekon tyres for comfort and traction.
2020 liv pique 29 2
Liv will be offering four Pique 29 models for 2020, including this lovely alloy model that comes spec’d with 12-speed Shimano SLX.

2020 Liv Pique 29 2

Another new model for 2020 is the Liv Pique 29 – the brand’s first ever 29er mountain bike, which we tested and reviewed here. In essence, the Pique is the women’s specific version of the Giant Anthem, so it’s a lightweight short-travel XC bike. There are a few differences over the Anthem though – the Pique 29 gets 100mm of travel front AND rear, and it has both a slacker head angle and a steeper seat angle. It also gets a fatter 30.9mm seat tube to more easily facilitate a dropper post. On that note, every Pique 29, including this dashing two-tone Pique 29 2, gets a dropper post as standard. Noice.

The Liv Pique 29 2 comes decked out with the new Shimano SLX M7100 groupset, which we’re looking forward to seeing on a lot more bikes for 2020. This stuff looks far more expensive than it is!
2020 liv intrique 2
More classy two-tone paint jobs from Liv, this time for its long travel trail shredder – the Intrigue.

2020 Liv Intrigue 3

Though not as new as the Pique 29, we just couldn’t keep our camera lenses away from the Intrigue 29 3 – an entry-level full suspension trail bike that comfortably slots in under the $3.5K mark while featuring a classy two-tone paint job and subtle graphics. Using an alloy frame, 27.5in wheels and a RockShox suspension package, the Intrigue is essentially a women’s specific version of the Giant Trance, albeit with more compact geometry that’s designed to suit riders right down to 148cm tall. Even at that price, you’re still getting a dropper post, sticky Maxxis tyres, and a chunky 35mm fork up front.

2020 liv intrigue 3
The Intrigue 3 packs some serious punch on the parts-per-dollar-o-meter, with a burly RockShox 35 fork up front, sticky Maxxis tyres, a 1×12 drivetrain and a dropper post.
2020 giant trance advanced pro 29 0 axs eagle reverb
The new top-end Trance 29 comes with a wireless dropper post, wireless shifting, and a high-zoot suspension RockShox suspension package. How’s the purple paint job too? Suave!

2020 Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 0

This is a bike that we were very interested to check out – the 2020 version of Giant’s top-end 29er trail bike. Why the interest? We’ve got the 2019 version as a longterm test bike, and while we’ve loved how zippy it is to dance on through rough singletrack, we haven’t entirely been sold on the DVO suspension package. Seems Giant agrees with us, because no 2020 models are coming with DVO suspension. Instead, the Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 returns to RockShox for its fork and shock, which includes what might be the world’s smallest piggyback shock. How cute! Giant has lathered this model in some of SRAM’s wireless AXS goodies, which is partially responsible for that price tag. Not exactly what you’d call “entry level” this one.

It looks like it’s stuck-down, but it ain’t! That’s a tiny piggyback shock that watches over the Trance 29’s 115mm of rear travel.
2020 giant trance advanced 29 2
A new spec option for 2020 is this cheaper carbon Trance 29, which comes in at literally half the price of the top-spec model. Yup.

2020 Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 2

Something else we noticed from the 2020 Giant range is the increase in the number of carbon mountain bikes, particularly at the lower end of the price spectrum. Turns out this is a deliberate move from Giant – apparently more customers are demanding carbon over alloy, so instead of doing high-end build options on alloy frames, it’s doing more low-end build options on carbon frames. In the case of the Trance 29, Giant will be offering two alloy models, and three carbon models. This burnt bronze model is the cheapest option with the carbon frame, though it’s still well-endowed thanks to the Fox suspension package and Giant’s own carbon fibre TRX 1 hoops. Of note is that it’s exactly the same price as the 2019 Trance 29 1 – a bike that we absolutely loved testing last year.

2020 giant trance advanced 29 pro 2
If you want a high-tech carbon frame without spending the big bucks, this $5,500 Trance Advanced Pro 29 2 comes with the same full-carbon chassis as the $11,000 model.
2020 giant stance 29 2
Giant flexes its mass-manufacturing muscles with the Stance 29 – an alloy trail bike that skips the chi-chi parts to provide killer value for money.

2020 Giant Stance 29 2

Modelled on the Trance 29, the new Stance 29 strikes a similar pose with contemporary go-fast geometry and speedy 29in wheels. Using an alloy frame, the Stance 29 uses a single-pivot suspension design that is both simpler and cheaper to manufacture than Giant’s dual-link Maestro platform found on the Trance 29. This helps to bring the price down, though you’re still getting a lot of the desirables, like a 1×12 drivetrain, tubeless ready wheels and Maxxis tyres, and air-adjustable suspension. For a rider’s first entry into the world of full suspension, the Stance 29 looks well up for it, and a lot more fun than the duallies we had available to us when we first started mountain biking!

maxxis forekaster tyre
High volume Maxxis Forekaster tyres are tubeless ready, as are the wheels. Along with the hydraulic disc brakes, air-adjustable suspension, and 1×12 drivetrain, the Stance 29 covers all the tick boxes. Just add a dropper post and get ready to party!
2020 giant anthem advanced pro 29 2
For the privateer racers, this new SLX-equipped Anthem 29er is pitched as a workhorse XC whip.

2020 Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 2

There are no structural changes to the Anthem 29er frame for 2020, but Giant has several new models coming out this year, including this sleek silver bullet; the Advanced Pro 29 2. Coming in at a very reasonable $5,200, this carbon Anthem puts the emphasis on no-nonsense performance with Shimano Deore disc brakes, a Fox fork and shock, and the brand new SLX 1×12 drivetrain. There’s a smattering of Giant in-house parts that aren’t to be sneezed at, like the XCR 1 wheelset that uses the new-generation hookless carbon rims. Designed to be light, fast and efficient, this Anthem also looks like it’ll offer rock-solid durability too.

giant xcr 1 composite wheels
Even though it’s meant to be the ‘entry-level’ carbon version, we’re struggling to find any weak points in the spec – the Anthem Advanced Pro 29 2 looks dialled from tip-to-toe!
2020 giant anthem advanced pro 29 0
Cash burning a hole in your pocket? If it’s a really big pocket, and a really big hole, then it might be enough for this bike.

2020 Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0

One bike that has been eagerly awaited by skinny XC whippet crowd is this Formula One rig – the 2020 Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0. What exactly are you getting for $11,500, we hear you ask? For a start, you’re getting a very high-tech suspension package courtesy of Fox, in the form of the self-adjusting Live Valve system that takes care of locking out the suspension for you. The Live Valve system is a big contributor to this bike’s price tag, though for Elite XC racers, it’ll be an advantage worth considering. Elsewhere you have basically carbon fibre everything, including the very lightweight XCR 0 rims, SRAM Level Ultimate brake levers, and XX1 crank arms. If you want the trickest, and lightest full suspension bike Giant has ever made, here’s your crown jewel of the range!

fox live valve 2020 giant anthem advanced
The top-end Anthem 29 integrates the Fox Live Valve system to provide automated control of the fork and shock. The goal? Increased efficiency without any need for a handlebar remote lockout – just focus on the trail ahead while the system does the rest for you. How considerate!

So there you go – there’s our highlights reel of the 2020 Giant & Liv mountain bike lineup. What do you folks think of the new range? Are there any models here that you really like the look of? And what did we miss? We’d love to hear what you think, so tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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