Giant Reign to San Quentin?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2019

    Giant Reign to San Quentin?

    Hey everyone, I currently have a 2016 Reign 2 and really enjoy it however... wanting to mix it up as I need to find something super steep to be fun and prob reaching the limit of my jumping on it (too chicken).

    I tried the San Quentin in the carpark and it felt super comfy and not as slack as I thought (bit of sag). I'm after something that'll make mellow terrain fun again, steep stuff challenging, but also something the climbs fire trails (gravel roads) better than the reign. Also something that climbs better as I'll have my 2 year old on a top tube seat climbing up hills (did it with my oldest on the Reign and it was a pig to climb with 20kg on the top tube)!

    Anyway, the basic question - how much better do you think the San Quentin will be at climbing? I know it won't be a XC carbon machine, just want an improvement from the Reign. It felt lighter...


  2. #2
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I have a custom jobber with basically the same geo as the SQ. It compliments a 160mm travel enduro bike; a 2016 transition patrol.

    Climbing is great. On nasty choppy climbs it's fatiguing cuz you have to hold your ass up and 'hover,' but the rest of the time i definitely prefer climbing with it. Sloppy pedaling and body motion doesn't have any feedback in the suspension, and i swear it's more efficient. Moderate length rides always seem to be easier. Over 3 hours and it's more tiring though because the little up-downs add up.

    On mellow trails it's great. It schralps a corner just as well as FS, a broomstick-sized root is a bump jump, and you have to stand and be loose even on the tamest trails. On harder trails i can hang with my FS peers most of the time, but i have to be on my game. Bigger jumps are usually scarier, especially if they're natural or the take-off isn't right; there's no suspension to clean up my trajectory. I can poke my way down expert trails just fine, but again there's less room for sloppiness and at a certain point i totally prefer the big bike.

    You need the right mindset to really enjoy a progressive hardtail. It's mostly worse, but i think it offers a better overall experience if you're not pushing your limits. They're amazingly capable if you have good bike handling habits. I love having both options, and ride the hardtail 80% of the time. Switching between the bikes has improved my riding, and especially my jumping- i try new things on the big bike, develop confidence, and hit that stuff on the hardtail and the big bike asks for more.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Nice, thanks for the heads up. Reinforces everything I think I knew already. I didn't get a FS until after 15 odd years on a hardtail so pretty excited about going back to my roots! I'm finding the reign needs super steep to be really fun so making it a bit mroe challenging is definitely something I'm keen on. Cheers mate

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    For anyone interested - made the change. San Quentin 1 frame, swapped Reign drivetrain and SLX brakes, pike 140mm forks, and 100mm dropper. It's awesome. Climbs well, and descends like a beast. Better than expected although I quickly realised how much the rear shock does. Still, heap of fun. I'm 174cm on a medium with a wider bar and less sweep to extend the reach a few cm.

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