On Test | The 2020 Giant Reign E+ 1 Pro Is One Chunky Electric Mountain Bike!

This year Giant Bicycles unveiled its biggest, burliest and longest travel electric mountain bike yet; the 2020 Giant Reign E+. Based upon the popular Reign enduro platform, the Reign E+ is a full suspension e-MTB that’s designed to help you access the steepest, roughest and gnarliest descents around.

2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro
Taking off where the Trance E+ checks out, the Giant Reign E+ boosts suspension travel to 170/160mm and packs it into a tough-looking alloy chassis.
2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro
Updated for 2020, the SyncDrive Pro motor system is supposed to be smoother, quieter and more responsive than the pre-2020 version.

We took a detailed look at the three-strong Reign E+ range back in August, all of which are built around the same ALUXX hydroformed alloy chassis and the new SyncDrive Pro motor system. This new motor now features 6 sensors (versus 4 on the previous version), and has been updated to be smoother, quieter and more responsive. According to Giant, the SyncDrive motor offers a whopping 80Nm of torque, and it features tuneable assistance via the RideControl ONE app. The motor is powered by a 500Wh battery pack that bolts into a recess underneath the downtube.

Not The $11,499 Model

Of the three Reign E+ models that Giant launched in August, of course it was the range-topping $11,499 Reign E+ 0 Pro that garnered all the attention. That model actually found its way into our article on the Top-17 most expensive bikes of 2020, largely because of its chi-chi build kit that includes a wireless SRAM AXS drivetrain and Reverb AXS dropper post. Swanky!

2020 giant reign e+ pro 0 e-mtb electric mountain bike
The range-topping Reign E+ 0 Pro sells for $11,499 – wowsers!

For our review bike though, we decided to exercise some restraint and went for the much more reasonable Reign E+ 1 Pro, which sells for nearly $3,000 less. It works the price down by using a cable-activated dropper and derailleur (how very pedestrian!), and swapping the Kashima-bling for all-black Performance Series Fox suspension. Mind you, you’re still getting a huge 170mm travel Fox 36 fork (the stiffer e-MTB specific version to be specific), and 160mm of rear travel via a Fox Float X2 piggyback shock.

And crucially, it still features the same chassis, motor and battery system as the top-end model.

2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro fox 36 emtb
Performance Series Fox 36 Float fork up front uses a shorter 44mm offset and the e-MTB specific chassis.
2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro fox float x2 shock
Big volume piggyback shock out back.

Big Mountain Ready

Whereas the Giant Trance E+ is more of an all-round trail bike, the Reign E+ is made for accessing much steeper and longer descents. To handle that kind of terrain, Giant has given it a slack 64.5° head angle and a reduced offset fork (44mm) for increased high-speed stability. It’s a darn long bike too, with huge 470mm chainstays out back helping to increase the bike’s overall footprint. We’re eager to see how the long back end goes on our local test trails.

For traction, the Giant Reign E+ is rolling on broad 27.5in rims fitted with 2.6in wide Maxxis rubber. There’s an EXO+ casing up front, and a heavy duty DoubleDown casing on the rear. To slow things down, there’s a set of the new Shimano Deore XT M8120 four-piston brake callipers with huge 203mm rotors front and rear.

Of course you’ve gotta get up to get down. Giant has given the Reign E+ a relatively steep 76° seat angle, and short crank arms (160mm on the S/M sizes, and 165mm on L/XL sizes), to provide more ground clearance while pedalling through the chop. There’s plenty of breathing space in the cockpit too, with 800mm wide riser bars paired to a 40-50mm long stem.

2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro controller switch power
Giant’s control unit isn’t the most compact around.
2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro syncrdrive pro motor yamaha praxis cranks
There are now six sensors, including an inclinometer for determining whether you’re climbing, descending or traversing on the flats.
2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro maxxis minion dhf 2.6in exo+ tyre
Wide alloy rims are wrapped with 2.6in wide Maxxis rubber.
2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro shimano xt derailleur 1x12 cassette
Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain for our Reign E+ 1 Pro test bike.

2020 Giant Reign E+ 1 Pro Specifications

2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro shimano xt brake lever
The Shimano XT brake levers offer neat integration with the 12-speed trigger shifter.
2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro shimano xt m8120 4-piston calliper
Quad-piston powwwaaaa!
2020 giant reign e+ 1 pro
How will the Reign E+ stack up against other long-travel e-MTBs like the Specialized Kenevo and Trek Rail? Stay tuned for the full review!

We’ll be putting the Giant Reign E+ to the test on our local trails, and we’ve got plenty of other adventures around the country planned to see exactly what this big electric mountain bike can do, in order to see how it stacks up alongside the likes of the Specialized Levo, Merida eOne-Sixty, and Trek Rail.

In the meantime, let us know if you’ve got any questions or requests on the Reign E+ test bike. And for further information on the full range, be sure to check out our detailed launch story on the 2020 Giant Reign E+.

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