Giant Goes E-Enduro With The Brand New 2020 Reign E+

Having introduced the Trance E+ electric mountain bike (e-MTB) last year, a bike that was a monumental step up from Giant’s first generation (and somewhat visually challenging) full suspension e-MTB, the Full E+ , Giant is taking things up a notch for 2020 with its brawniest and longest travel offering to date; the brand new Reign E+. Equipped with a shapely hydroformed alloy frame, the new 6-sensor SyncDrive Pro motor, and a sleek integrated battery pack, the Reign E+ shows that Giant means business when it comes to the exploding e-MTB market.

2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb
Giant is electrifying its enduro offering for 2020 with the brand new Reign E+
2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb
Compared to the Trance E+, the new Reign E+ is bigger on travel, slacker on geometry, and burlier on parts. It’s a proper e-brawler.

Introducing The 2020 Giant Reign E+

The marketing tagline for this new Reign E+ is ‘Enduro Electrified‘, and we reckon that’s pretty well on the money. It’s a big and imposing-looking rig that represents a natural progression from the current Trance E+. Comparatively speaking, the Reign E+ is geared up for taking on bigger mountains with steeper, rougher and longer descents.

The two bikes do share common design elements. They both feature the Yamaha-built SyncDrive Pro motor, 2.6in wide tyres (that’s where the “+” in the name comes from), and the Maestro suspension platform. But whereas the Trance E+ is a trail bike with 140mm of rear travel, the Reign E+ pumps up the back end to 160mm, and balances that with a chunky 170mm fork up front. Along with its slacker geometry and burlier parts spec, it’s much more of an alpine-ready enduro bike.

Like the Trance E+, the mainframe and swingarm on the Reign E+ are also made from Giant’s ALUXX SL-grade alloy, which is masterfully hydroformed to create some seriously smooth and clean lines. The lower link is formed from welded alloy, while the upper Maestro link is a lightweight one-piece composite structure that drives the piggyback shock via a dual-bearing trunnion mount.

2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb fox float x2
The Maestro suspension linkage tucks in neatly around the SyncDrive Pro motor. It does make the back end very long though…
maxxis high roller tyre
Giant is spec’ing proper rubber on the Reign E+, with a Maxxis DoubleDown casing on the back.
sram axs giant reign e+ eMTB electric bike
The top-end model comes with wireless SRAM AXS shifting. How very fancy-pants!

New Brains For The Brawn

While most brands are building their e-MTBs around drive systems from Shimano and Bosch (or Brose in the case of Specialized), Giant chooses to utilise its own motor and battery system, which has been co-developed with Yamaha.

Updated for 2020, the latest SyncDrive Pro motor is a big step up from the previous version, and now features six internal sensors instead of four. This includes an inclinometer, so that the system knows when you’re climbing, riding on the flat, or descending. Along with speed, cadence and pedal torque sensors, the motor is able to automatically adjust the power output based on the rider’s input, with the goal of providing a smooth and natural feel to the pedal assist.

The new motor offers 80nM of torque and up to 360% additional support, with five different levels of pedal assist. Less assist = less power and greater battery life. More assist = more power and lower battery life. These assist levels can be selected via a simple remote on the left-hand side of the bars, which uses a simple LED array to indicate the mode and remaining battery life. Free of any unsightly displays, it gives the Reign E+ a relatively tidy cockpit. For those who love to fettle though, you can pair the system wirelessly with Giant’s own e-bike app, so you can fine-tune the support ratios.

It’s worth noting that the improvements on the new SyncDrive Pro motor are all internal. The external housing stays the same and the splined axle also carries over. This means you’ll be seeing the new motor spec’d on the 2020 Trance E+ range too.

2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb praxis cranks
Giant is spec’ing nice and short Praxis crank arms on each of the Reign E+ models.
2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb
The RideControl ONE remote offers an easy touchpoint for changing power modes, while also indicating battery life.
New for 2020 is a very discreet speed sensor that tucks in behind the dropouts, while a magnet attaches via two of the rotor bolts.

Battery Options

Integrated into the frame’s downtube is a clip-in 500Wh lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike other Giant e-MTBs though, the battery pack here can’t be removed with a key. Instead you’ll need a T25 torx key to undo two bolts before you unlock the battery from the frame. The reason? Giant says it wanted to make it as secure as possible, since this bike is likely to be ridden a lot harder.

For those who want more range, Giant will soon be offering a bolt-on 250Wh battery pack that’ll lift the total capacity to 750Wh. We don’t have confirmed pricing as of yet, and we’re not entirely sure how popular it’ll be with Australian mountain bikers, but it’s certainly a whole lot of juice for those who go properly long.

On the note of range and charging, Giant says it takes just 1.45 hours to charge a fully flat battery to 80%. You can also charge the battery on or off the bike.

2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb
The hydroformed alloy frame has lots of sleek lines, while integrating the removable battery underneath.
2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb
You can charge the battery both on and off the bike.

It’s Got A Looong Back End!

Giant will be offering the Reign E+ in four frame sizes from Small through to X-Large. Each size comes with a slack 64.5° head angle, a relatively steep 76° seat angle, and very long 469mm chainstays. Compare that to the naturally-aspirated Reign 27.5, which comes with significantly shorter 435mm chainstays.

The long back end on the Reign E+ partly comes down to having to fit the Maestro linkage around the BB-based motor, and the limited clearance in this area of the frame while still fitting in those plump 2.6in tyres. For that reason, the back end on an e-MTB is always going to be longer than a regular bike. Is that a good or a bad thing? There’s certainly a lot of debate at the moment in the mountain bike world around chainstay length and whether shorter or longer is better. Put simply, long chainstays will reduce a bike’s nimbleness on tight and twisty tracks, and it can also make it harder to lift the front wheel – something that you tend to notice a lot more on a heavier e-MTB. However, longer chainstays do improve straight-line stability and climbing performance, and they tend to be quite important on an e-MTB that’s designed to excel on technical terrain.

2020 giant reign electric bike e-mtb
Those chainstays are mahoosif! But is that a good or a bad thing for a long-travel e-MTB?

Up front Giant is spec’ing the Reign E+ cockpit with 800m wide bars and a 40-50mm long stem. That pairs with relatively roomy top tube lengths, which combined with the chainstays, means the Reign E+ has quite a long wheelbase – it’s over 1300mm on the XL! Certainly this is a bike that’ll have plenty of presence on the trail.

Also worth noting is the short crank arms (160mm on the S/M sizes, and 165mm on L/XL sizes), which are there to provide more pedal clearance – an important aspect on an e-MTB where you tend to be on the pedals more regularly through the chop.

2020 giant reign geometry
2020 Giant Reign E+ frame geometry.

Whoa! Over $10K For A Giant?

Correctomundo. In fact, the top-end Reign E+ 0 Pro is going to sell for $11,499 in Australia, which is a whole lot of clams. It is quite the bling-fest on the spec list though, with wireless SRAM AXS Eagle shifting, a Reverb AXS dropper post and Fox Factory suspension all round.

For those who’d rather keep their budget on the otherside of $10K, the good news is that Giant will be offering the Reign E+ in two other models that come with exactly the same frame, battery and motor system, albeit with a more sensible parts package. They all feature a 170mm travel Fox 36 fork with the burlier E-MTB chassis, a piggyback rear shock, and Maxxis tyre combo that sees an EXO+ casing up front paired to a heavier DoubleDown casing on the rear – a very good choice for a long travel e-MTB.

Wanna see what your money gets you with each bike? Scroll down for all the spec details and Aussie prices for all three models.

giant reign e+ e-mtb electric fox 36 kashima
Each Reign E+ comes with a 170mm travel Fox 36 up front, which uses the stiffer E-MTB chassis.
fox float x2
Piggyback shocks are spec’d on all three Reign E+ models for 2020.
2020 giant reign e+ pro 0
Got a spare $11,500? Here’s something to wax it on; the 2020 Reign E+ 0 Pro.

2020 Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro

2020 giant reign e+ pro 1
Using the same hydroformed alloy frame with 170/160mm of travel, the Reign E+ Pro 1 swaps the fancy-pants electronic AXS shifting for mechanical Shimano XT.

2020 Giant Reign E+ 1 Pro

2020 giant reign e+ pro 2
For under $8K you can get into Reign E+ territory with this bike, which features Fox suspension and the same frame, motor, battery and geometry as the top-end model.

2020 Giant Reign E+ 2 Pro

So what do you folks think of the new Reign E+? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Giant’s latest e-MTB, so tell us what you think in the comments below!

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