Maxxis rolls out the Dissector

Maxxis is rolling out a new tread pattern intended to meet the needs of aggressive riders seeking speed and control on dry and loose terrain.

Maxxis Dissector Highlights 

  • Available in 27.5×2.40 and 29×2.40 sizes
  • Wide Trail casing optimized for 30-35mm internal rim widths
  • Weight range: 800-1,206g (claimed)
  • Pricing is $75 for the EXO casing and $90 for the DH casing
  • Tubeless-ready
  • Available now
  • Visit for more information

Like Greg Minnaar’s signature Assegai tire introduced last year, feedback from world cup racer Troy Brosnan lead to the development of this new tread pattern.

According to Maxxis, development of the Dissector started during the 2018 world cup season. Brosnan wanted a “unicorn” of a tire that had fast-rolling center knobs and edge blocks worthy of world cup cornering speeds. The company used the Rekon, Minion DHF, and High Roller II tread patterns starting points.

The Dissector features center lugs with sharp ramping to decrease rolling resistance. Corner confidence is supplied by sturdy side knobs with a C-shaped profile to cup and bite into hard terrain. These edge knobs alternate between closer and farther away from the center tread. The goal of this orientation is to reduce vagueness when leaning the tires over through turns.

According to Maxxis, the Dissector is best used as a rear tire paired with a Minion DHF or Assegai for downhill and park riding. For all-around trail use, the company suggests this new tread is suitable for both ends of the bike.

Like most new tires designed for park and aggressive trail riding, the Dissector is optimized for rims with an internal width of 30-35mm. The 27.5×2.4 Dissector has a claimed weight of 800g for the EXO casing and 1,133g for the DH version. The 29×2.4 Dissector has a claimed weight of 861g with an EXO casing and 1,206g for the DH version.

The EXO Dissector uses Maxxis’ long-wearing 3C MaxxTerra rubber compounds, while the DH tire uses the extra sticky 3C MaxxGrip.

The Dissector is available now. The EXO version will set buyer’s back $75, while the DH version sees a slight price increase to $90 per tire.

Want to learn more? Visit our wheels and tires form.


Click here to view the embedded video.


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Keep it easy! – Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 in review

For many female riders, the Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 could be the golden ticket to a whole new world. For beginners who are just starting out on their mountain biking journey, Canyon’s women-specific trail-bike will be a loyal and steadfast companion – but there’s also a little drawback!

Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 | € 2,099 | 150/140 mm (f/r) | 14.02 kg | 27.5″

With the Spectral WMN, Canyon didn’t just dip their unisex trail bike in pink glitter, but designed and specced frame and components to suit the specific needs of female riders. So what does that mean? Relying on the huge amount of data collected through their online size calculator, the engineers at Canyon examined and analysed the height, leg length and torso length of their female customers and compared the numbers against the proportions of male riders. The findings of this analysis helped them develop the new bikes, which, as a result, feature a slightly shorter reach and a specially tuned suspension platform. In addition, the sizing for the Spectral WMN starts at 2XS, which makes the bike suitable for women 1.48 m tall and upwards – genius!

The Spectral WMN is the perfect companion for women who want to get started with mountain biking.

Helmet MET Roam | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Backpack EVOC STAGE 12l | Jersey iXS VIBE 8.2 | Shorts ION Scrub Bikeshort | Shoes Five Ten Freerider Pro

The Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 in detail

Fork FOX 34 Rhythm 150 mm
Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Performance 140 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM NX Eagle
Seatpost Iridium Dropper 150 mm
Stem Race Face Aeffect R 55 mm
Handlebar Race Face Aeffect 740 mm
Wheels Sun Ringle Duroc
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR II / Forekaster 2.35″

The FOX 34 can’t keep up with the best forks on the market but overall performs very well considering the price of the bike.
Specially tuned
Originally designed to meet the needs of lighter riders, the rear end responds very sensitively. In this test, we’ve increased the progression by using volume spacers to improve composure on hard hits.
Confidence inspiring
The low top tube offers great freedom of movement and inspires tons of confidence. The seat clamp, which was specially developed by Canyon, also helps protect the dropper from excessive clamping forces.
Not every saddle fits every woman, even if it is women’s specific. In our experience, the SDG ALLURE on our test bike was very uncomfortable.
The MAXXIS Forecaster rolls very well, but reaches its limits on the trail – we recommend replacing it with a Minion DHR2.
Well hidden

The Canyon Quixle thru axle lets thelever be pushed all the way inside the axle, protecting it against impacts from rocks and roots.
Size 2XS XS S M
Seat tube 385 mm 385 mm 425 mm 440 mm
Top tube 532 mm 552 mm 569 mm 597 mm
Head tube 85 mm 85 mm 84 mm 109 mm
Head angle 65.9° 65.9° 65.9° 65.9°
Seat angle 69.5° 68.9° 69.4° 70.2°
Chainstays 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
BB–Offset 23 mm 22 mm 23 mm 19 mm
Wheelbase 1,090 mm 1,101 mm 1,122 mm 1,160 mm
Reach 368 mm 375 mm 396 mm 425 mm
Stack 573 mm 581 mm 581 mm 600 mm

If we were to follow Canyon’s size chart, our 160 cm test rider Antonia should have ordered an XS Spectral WMN AL 5.0. However, based on previous experiences, she chose to go one size larger, which turned out to be a good move, as the Spectral WMN is definitely on the compact side. According to Antonia, even on the bigger S size, the riding position is still pleasantly upright, nicely centred and very comfortable. With a leg length of 75.5 cm, the 125 mm dropper doesn’t feel too long, even when fully extended.

The Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 in review

The Canyon Spectral WMN is very comfortable from the get-go. The riding position is well judged and well suited for long distances. Weighing in at 14.02 kg, our test-bike might not be the lightest option out there, but it’s still a very reasonable weight even for longer rides. However whilst accelerating the Spectral doesn’t feel hugely nimble, which we ascribe this to the relatively heavy wheels. If you spend lots of time climbing steep hills, we recommend locking out the shock to prevent the sensitive rear end from bobbing. On the other hand, on technical trails, the plush rear-end provides good traction.

Tuning tip: You may want to consider sizing up | Wider bars and chunkier rear-tire

Once you turn its nose downhill, the Spectral WMN shines with a very playful character and becomes a true fun machine. The low top tube inspires tons of confidence and provides lots of room for movement. In corners, the bike follows steering inputs accurately and directly. Thanks to the short frame, even narrow trail sections are a piece of cake. The suspension works sensitively and filters out small bumps effectively. The suspension is designed specifically for women and provides a generous, cleverly-tuned adjustment range. However, both the fork and the shock reach their limits on extremely fast and hard impacts on very rough terrain. Annoyingly, on our bike the loose adjustment lever on the shock jumped from the open to the trail setting several times during testing. However, FOX confirmed to us that they would repair any such issue for free if a customer experienced this problem. At high speeds and on very demanding trails, the Spectral WMN lacks a sense of stability, where it feels more nervous and a bit less capable.

Flowy trails and fast turns are lots of fun with the Spectral WMN!


The Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 is the perfect companion for female riders who value agile, well mannered yet playful handling. It’s intuitive, fun and offers an impressive overall package with a great spec and top price-performance ratio. Very experienced riders who love pushing their limits, however, might find the Spectral a little restrictive.

For more info head to:


  • Good-natured, intuitive handling
  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Low top tube inspires tons of confidence


  • Rear tire is lacking grip
  • Narrow handlebars
  • Nervous at high speeds

Riding Characteristics




  1. sluggish
  2. efficient



  1. cumbersome
  2. playful



  1. nervous
  2. confident



  1. unbalanced
  2. balanced



  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor


  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money


  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

Spectral WMN AL 5.0

Size: 2XS XS S M
Weight: 14,02 kg
Travel (f/r): 150/140 mm
Wheel Size: 27,5″
Price: € 2,099

Intended Use

XC 8

Trail 9

Enduro 10

Downhill 11

This article is from ENDURO issue #039

ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine is published in a digital app format in both English and German. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone. 100% free!

Industry Nine introduces A318 stem

Wheel and component manufacturer Industry Nine has added a second stem to its product line. The new A318 stem is designed for the smaller, but more common 31.8mm handlebar clamp diameter.

Industry Nine’s A318 stem is designed for 31.8mm handlebar clamps

Like the 35mm A35 stem introduced last year, the A318 is CNC machined in-house at Industry Nine’s headquarters in Ashville, North Carolina. The 7075 aluminum used in the construction of these stems is 100-percent domestically sourced as well.

As one would expect from a company that prides itself on giving customers the ability to add flair to their bikes through a rainbow of anodizing options, the A318 stem is available in 11 different colors with the option to mix and match the stem body and faceplate.

So many colors to choose from!

The A318 stem is offered in 30, 40 and 50mm versions and retails for $145 for a single color or $160 for a mixed color combination. Visit for more information.

The post Industry Nine introduces A318 stem appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

Giant Reign 29 Advanced First Ride Review

It was only a matter of time until Giant was going to bump up its last remaining 27.5-inch trail bike to 29-inch wheels, and after a couple of days riding the new Reign Advanced Pro 29 in Revelstoke, British Columbia, it’s safe to say that the larger wheels fit nicely on the enduro-flavored offering.

Giant Reign 29 Highlights

  • 29-inch wheels
  • 160/146mm of front and rear suspension
  • Available in carbon and alloy versions
  • 65-degree head tube angle
  • 8-degree seat tube angle
  • Offered in S-XL sizes
  • Price range: $3,000-$9,000
  • Availability: TBA
  • Visit for more information

Giant Reign 29 design details

At 146mm of rear-wheel travel, and paired with a 160mm travel fork, it’s not the longest-travel 29er trail bike out there, though it does seem to be on-trend with Giant’s leaning towards slightly shorter travel end of the market spectrum—take the 115mm travel Trance as case in point.

The geometry numbers include a 65-degree headtube, 76.8-degree seat tube, and 439mm chainstays. While specific reach numbers or toptube lengths are quite long, suffice to say the chatter at the launch was that the new Reign is long. So long, in fact, that some editors talked about downsizing for their longterm review bikes.

Giant Reign 29 geometry

Giant added a trunnion-mount shock to the 2020 Reign for a longer stroke that is said to equate to a smoother and more active feel from its Maestro suspension platform. Lowering the shock mount points on the seat tube for a trunnion shock also allows for longer dropper post compatibility, and the internal cable routing is said to be straighter than previous models, allowing for an easier install and a reduction in kinked housing. The Reign’s suspension rate is said to be very consistent and linear, too.

Lowering the shock mount points on the seattube for a trunnion shock also allows for longer dropper post compatibility

Up front, fork offset is either 42mm or 44mm, depending on fork spec throughout the model range. Out back, Boost spacing allow for up to 2.5-inch tires while keeping chainstay lengths just under 440mm. In the same zone, the one-piece rear triangle is shaped in a way to provide ample heal and ankle clearance. For reference, I wear size 45.5 shoes had had no issues.

Giant Reign 29 Pricing, Weight and Specs

While not official, weights are rumored to be hovering at around 29lbs for the Advanced 0 models, and my size XL left the impression of this being accurate, if not maybe a little overestimated. The full carbon frame, rear triangle, and Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker arm are a big part of the very respectable weight, along with Giant’s carbon TRX-0 29 wheels, which come “tubeless prepared”.

Three all-new Reign models are on the way for 2020, with the $9,000 Advanced Pro 29 0 we were able to ride last week being the highest end of the spectrum. An aluminum ALUXX SL Reign 29 2 will retail for $3,000, but the Reign 1 build will only be available in Europe. That same ALUXX SL chassis will also be offered in a more shuttle-biased Reign SX package for $4,000, which features an extra 10mm of travel up front, and stouter components all around.

First Impressions

Two full days of riding some of the best trails BC has to offer was just enough to get a feel of what the new Reign 29 is all about. Day one consisted of a nice little self-propelled loop that highlighted the Reign’s willingness to efficiently climb to the top of some fun but mellow (for BC) descents.

A couple of afternoon shuttle laps at Revelstoke’s Boulder Mountain trails really showed how well Giant and Fox worked together to dial in the suspension on the new Reign 29. Compared to the previous bikes of similar genre I’ve ridden in this zone, the Reign was impressively predictable and more than willing to absorb any mistakes made in the rough, rooty and steep terrain.

Who doesn’t like heli drops?

Day two consisted of a heli-drop with Wandering Wheels off of Mt. Cartier, netting an elevation loss of over 7000ft., starting with steep switchbacks begging to be nosepicked through, which bled into relentless rooty and chundery off-camber trail, and ended with high-speed flow down to the valley floor. In other words, it was a great way to get familiar with a bike’s capabilities.

Early Verdict

 Overall, first impressions of the new Reign 29 are mostly good. One minor issue that was noticed by several at the event, including myself, was a slight rear brake rub under pressure. Inquiring about it with Giant staff was met with diplomatically “we’ll get back to you on that” type answers, as it appeared to be a new issue specific to this first batch of production bikes that’d shown up just in time for the launch.

Otherwise, the 2020 Reign 29 was an easy bike to hop on and point down some of the most challenging trails I’ve ridden this season. It climbed to the top of the trails respectably well, and barreled down the burly stuff with ease. The only slight complaint in performance was that the front end seemed a bit more glued down than I typically like. Whether it was slightly longer chainstays than what I’ve been riding over the last couple of seasons, a longer cockpit than usual, possibly a suspension setup variant, or a combination of all three, I never got the hang of getting the front wheel off the ground a la manual style.

With so many potential culprits, and only two days to ride, this one will have to be set in the TBD column unless/until we get our hands on one for a longterm review. And, yes, we’re expecting a video of Josh Carlson manualing down some mountainside on his new Reign 29 any day now.

Share your thoughts on the new Giant Reign 29 on the Giant Bicycles forum.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The post Giant Reign 29 Advanced First Ride Review appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

First ride review: Giant Reign 29 – the revival of an absolute classic

The Giant Reign is a classic in the enduro segment. It was a mainstay of Enduro racing’s formative years. However, things have been quiet around the bike and it’s become quite dated. That’s all about to change with the new Giant Reign 29 – we’ve put it to the test.

The flagship model: the Giant Reign Advanced Pro 0 | Travel: 160/156 mm | wheel size: 29″| Price: € 8,500 | Weight 13.10 kg (size medium)

Less is more, or why 146 mm travel is enough

Giant isn’t a brand that follows every trend and it often takes the truly gigantic bike manufacturer some time to implement changes, but when Giant do something, they do it right. Which is exactly what they did with the Reign 29. As the name suggests, the bike rolls on big 29″ wheels and it comes with 160 mm travel up front and 146 mm at the rear. It may not sound like much at first, but to Giant, the quality of the travel is more important than the length. The goal was to create a bike that responds sensitively yet offers enough reserves for hard hits, all without wallowing its travel and making the bike feel cumbersome.

Giant are continuing with their proprietary Maestro linkage on the new Reign 29, offering 146 mm travel.

The Maestro linkage on the new Reign has been further refined, reducing the leverage ratio to 16% progression (0-100% travel). This achieves a more constant rebound rate and thus offers more traction.

The new Giant Reign 29 in detail

Giant have invested a lot of time in refining the lines of the new bike. It now looks a lot better. Interesting fact: many of the new accents and colours were inspired by the women’s brand, LIV.
A highlight of the new Reign 29 Advanced Pro 0 is its Chameleon paint job, which shimmers different colours depending on the light.

Of course, Giant haven’t only revised the rear linkage and gone for larger wheels, the frame itself has also been updated. The main pivot point has been moved further forward, allowing you to insert the seat post deeper into the seat tube. This means that the Reign is now compatible with longer dropper posts. Speaking of compatibility, the new Reign 29 also has enough room in the front triangle to accommodate a water bottle and the carbon fibre models are FOX Live Valve ready.

Giant have pushed the main pivot point forward so that it no longer obstructs long dropper posts
The Reign 29’s rocker link is made of carbon fibre across the range
The front triangle will happily accommodate a large water bottle

Giant rely on a carbon fibre rocker link and Trunnion Mount shock across the range (including the aluminium models). Unfortunately, Giant haven’t changed the cable routing and still use the same rubber plugs, which often detached themselves from the frame in the past. The chainstay protector also seems like a bit of a half-hearted effort compared to the elaborately crafted versions seen on the bikes of many of their competitors.

Something’s missing. The chainstay protector is rather short. Although we didn’t encounter any problems with the large 34T chainring on our test bike, you’ll risk damaging the paintwork if you decide to fit a smaller chainring.
We would have preferred a BSA BB in place of the press-fit version. However, according to Giant, the latter requires significantly more space, which wasn’t available due to the Maestro linkage.
Giant have long been using the same rubber plugs for their cable inlets – and they’ve long been a source of frustration. Too bad that Giant are still using them on the Reign 29.

All the latest trends combined – the geometry of the new Reign

Longer, slacker, lower – these are the latest trends in the geometry of Enduro bikes. The Reign also ticks all of these boxes. For example, the 65° head angle is slack, the 493 mm reach in size L is long, and the bottom bracket with a drop of 30 mm is pleasantly low for quick direction changes. Giant also rely on short offset forks with either 42 mm (RockShox) or 44 mm (FOX). The stack height is rather low compared to the length of the bike. The 439 mm chainstays are neither very long nor exaggeratedly short.

Giant combine a slack 65° head angle with a short offset fork
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 431 mm 431 mm 464 mm 496 mm
Top tube 573 mm 600 mm 640 mm 665 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 110 mm 120 mm
Head angle 65° 65° 65° 65°
Seat angle 76.8° 76.8° 76.8° 76.8°
Chainstays 439 mm 439 mm 439 mm 439 mm
BB Drop 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm
Wheelbase 1,188 mm 1,215 mm 1,258 mm 1,265 mm
Reach 428 mm 455 mm 493 mm 516 mm
Stack 619 mm 619 mm 628 mm 637 mm

Three carbon, two aluminium and one very special Reign model

Giant is offering the new Reign 29 in three carbon versions called the Reign Advanced Pro, as well as two aluminium Reign 29 1 and Reign 29 2 models. As in the past, there will also be a Reign SX model featuring a 170 mm travel fork and a coil shock. The Reign 29 SX is based on the same aluminium ALUXX SL frame.

A bike for those who like it rough: the new 2020 Giant Reign SX
The Giant Reign SX comes with 170mm travel up front …
… combined with a coil shock at the rear.
Giant have their right priorities right, speccing a high-quality Grip2 fork…
…saving on the rear derailleur instead – relying on SRAM’s NX Eagle.

Pricing for the new Reign 29 starts at a fair € 2,900 for the Reign 2 followed by the Reign SX for € 3,799. The most affordable Reign Advanced Pro will set you back by € 4,300. For the flagship Reign Advanced Pro 0, you’ll have to pay € 8,500.

The Reign Advanced Pro 0 features FOX Factory suspension with Grip2 damping on the 36 fork.
Giant also spec their lightweight TRX carbon wheelset, which is available aftermarket with DT 240 hubs for around € 2,000.
200 mm brake rotors on the front and rear ensure maximum braking power.
Unfortunately, Giant don’t take full advantage of the new seat tube/rocker mount design and opt for a 150 mm dropper post on the L and XL bikes – we would have wanted a 175 mm model.
Race-ready: the chain guide, bash guard and a 34T chainring will delight racers. Less fit riders will have to downgrade to a 32T or 30T model.

All models come with a 12-speed SRAM Eagle drivetrain and high-quality MAXXIS tires. Unfortunately, only the flagship model is specced with the more robust EXO+ variant – even the SX has to make do with the EXO casing. Despite the improvement in the design of the seat tube/rocker mount, GIANT continue to fit rather short dropper posts. The S comes with a 100 mm dropper, the M with 125 mm and the L and XL with 150 mm. The models specced with RockShox suspension don’t get piggy-back shocks either. In our eyes, the bike offering the best value for money is the Reign 1 with a FOX 36 Performance Elite Grip2 fork and X2 shock, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain and CODE R brakes. The flagship Advanced Pro 0 leaves nothing to be desired, built up with carbon wheels and complete FOX factory suspension. You also get the Chameleon paint job that shimmers different colours depending on the light.

Die Ausstattungsvarianten im Überblick

Reign Advanced Pro 29 0 Reign Advanced Pro 29 1 Reign Advanced Pro 29 2 Reign 29 1 Reign 29 2 Reign 29 SX
Fork Fox 36 Float GRIP2 RockShox Lyrik Select Fox 36 Performance Elite GRIP2 RockShox Yari RC Fox 36 Performance Elite GRIP2
Shock Fox Float X2 Factory Fox Float X2 RockShox Deluxe select+ Fox X2 Performance RockShox Deluxe Select+ Fox DHX2 Performance Elite
Brakes SRAM Code RSC SRAM Code R Shimano MT520 SRAM Code R Shimano MT520 SRAM Code R
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle SRAM GX Eagle SRAM NX Eagle SRAM GX Eagle SRAM NX Eagle SRAM NX Eagle
Wheels Giant TRX-0 29 WheelSystem Giant TR-1 29 WheelSystem Giant AM 29, tubeless ready Giant TR-1 29 WheelSystem Giant AM 29, tubeless ready Giant AM 29, tubeless ready
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT/ DHRII 2.4 (v/h) – TR/3C/EXO/MaxxTerra
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth Giant Contact Switch dropper post
Price € 8,500 € 4,999 € 4,300 € 4,000 € 2,900 € 3,799

The Giant Reign 29 Advanced Pro 0 on the trail

To test the Giant Reign 29 Advanced, we travelled to Revelstoke in Canada. There we were able to put the Reign 29’s climbing capabilities to the test on a technical uphill trail as well as some relaxed forest service roads on the first day. The riding position is pleasantly central, and the seat angle sufficiently steep so that you never feel like you’re pedalling from too far behind, even with the shock open and the saddle not pushed all the way forward. On even terrain such as forest roads, you can feel the rear suspension bobbing slightly, but it never wallows. It can be worth reaching for the climb switch in those situations, depending on personal preference. On technical climbs, the Reign offers a lot of traction and willingly climbs uphill. Thanks to the low weight of just 13.10 kg (manufacturers specs), the bike is pleasantly fleet-footed – but it’s still an enduro bike, of course. In tight sections, it takes some effort to get the front wheel around the corners. Due to the low bottom bracket in combination with the 170 mm cranks, you also have to be careful with the timing of your pedal strokes or risk snagging them on roots or rocks as we did several times.

Despite its length and travel, the Giant Reign 29 climbs very efficiently – at least with the high-end spec.

When the trail points downhill, you immediately notice how much room you’ve got to move around on the bike. You feel super integrated between the big wheels, which instils you with a lot of confidence from the get-go. Let go of the brakes and the bike quickly picks up speed with the rear end sensitively absorbing irregularities on the trail. We have to praise the FOX Factory suspension at this point for its super sensitive and very defined performance. The fork and rear suspension harmonise well despite the difference in travel, always providing plenty of traction. Although it’s long, the bike doesn’t feel sluggish. The rear end provides a lot of pop and mid-stroke support which makes it easy to get the bike airborne or spontaneously change direction. Quickly switch to the high-line before you hit that turn? No problem!

Thanks to the long front triangle, the bike instils you with confidence

The weight distribution between the wheels is somewhat back-heavy, which means that you have to shift your body weight forward to generate enough grip on the front wheel in flat sections and tight corners. However, if the terrain is steep enough and you’re going fast, the bike’s handling is very intuitive and extremely composed. Active riders will be able to ride the bike very directly but also get loose. The bike invites you to flick it into corners.

You have to keep your weight on the front wheel for it not to wash out in the corners.
From alpine adventures to the next Enduro race – the Reign 29 can do it all. Provided the terrain is sufficiently challenging, or the bike will quickly get bored.

On steep and rough trails, the bike feels composed and instils the rider with confidence. Just let the brakes go and hold on. We would only have wanted a longer travel dropper post to get the saddle even further out the way. Due to the short head tube, we would also advise adding a few more spacers under the stem, which in turn reduces the reach by a few millimetres. The componentry proved to be reliable in our test and was perfectly suitable for the application. The carbon wheels were neither too stiff nor uncomfortable. We didn’t encounter any issues during the two days that we tested.


The Giant Reign 29 convinced us on demanding trails with its enormous composure and stability. Thanks to its active suspension, it doesn’t feel slow or cumbersome either. This is a bike that will put a smile on the faces of experienced racers as well as weekend warriors that typically ride rough and demanding trails. it climbs efficiently too. We would only have wanted a little more attention to detail on the frame.


  • very stable, composed handling
  • excellently balanced suspension
  • hard to beat on steep terrain
  • good value for money
  • good climbing characteristics


  • boring on flat trails
  • technical climbs require physical effort and good crank timing
  • a lot of room for improvement with regards to cable routing and chainstay protection

For more info head to:

Video: Brandon Semenuk Builds an MTB Playground in Utah


Semenuk and Rupert Walker are now officially five years deep into our Raw 100 series. For their latest chapter, they took their efforts to Utah.

Though the landscape in this Raw 100 may be reminiscent of Red Bull Rampage, their inventive and manicured lines transformed the iconic freeride area into a brilliant slopestyle playground.

The sequence from :30 is mind-blowing.

For the uninitiated, Raw 100 videos feature one hundred seconds of all-thriller, no filler action: no slow-mo, no soundtrack. It’s a showcase for the best riders and filmmakers in the world.

The post Video: Brandon Semenuk Builds an MTB Playground in Utah appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

2020 Specialized Epic HT First Ride – lightest XC frame ever

Photo by Dylan Dunkerton

So there we were at Northstar Bike Park eagerly anticipating the new Specialized bike and maybe we were expecting something else (given the venue) but they brought out the new Epic that looked svelte and weighed nothing practically.

We got in character, skipped the chairlifts, clipped in and pedaled up to the clouds in the new trails of North Tahoe called Big Chief and beyond. It took a bit to get in the swing of things but I gave myself the opportunity to get used to this kind of bike which I rode for a decade during my racing days. The lack of a dropper post in our setup was the hardest to get used to but the crazy climbing prowess of the bike was a delight. And by the end of the day, we felt like XC superheroes, climbing with authority and taking corners with enthusiasm.

Photo by Harookz

Specialized Epic Highlights

  • Custom RockShox SID Brain Ultimate cuts every possible gram
  • Wireless drivetrain and dropper
  • dropper post ready with 30.9 seatpost
  • 775g claimed frame weight (+/- 15g)
  • FACT 12m carbon fiber
  • Designed around a short (42-44mm) fork offset
  • 68.5° head angle
  • 74° seat tube angle
  • Reach: 405mm (S), 430mm (M), 455mm (L) and 480mm (XL)
  • 430mm chainstay length
  • 63mm BB drop
  • 73mm English threaded bottom bracket shell
  • 2.4in max rear tire clearance
  • Internal cable routing
  • Boost 148x12mm rear hub spacing
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large


Geometry Discussion:

Of course, there is the improved geometry, which sees the head angle slackening out to 68.5° and the reach increasing around 12-14mm per size. Specialized has matched the longer top tube lengths by fitting shorter 60-75mm stems across the size range.

This really is a welcome evolution of geometry, shortening the stems down from 80-90mm and building in that room in the frame to gain control and stability. Thus it’s another feather in their cap as the frames got lighter as they got quite a bit longer.

And while it’s no 35mm stem that you might find in your descend oriented bike, this 60-75 is suitable to the task of all that climbing you’re going to take on.

Specialized Epic Geometry

Instead of the old 51mm offset forks which make steering quicker, these bikes sport 42mm for Rockshox equipped ones and 44mm for Fox. This shortens the wheelbase to help in tight, switchbacks and it helps the stability of the bike in high-speed descents.

Photo by Harookz

A word from Specialized:

The S-Work Epics front suspension is covered by fitting a custom offset RockShox SID fork. Offsetting the fork by 42mm means that in tight switchbacks and technical turns the Epic still behaves even with the slacker head angle. The forks have 100mm of travel, a carbon crown and steerer to keep the weight down and has the addition of the WC Brain with a Brain fade adjuster.

It might look like a simple carbon frame but so many different layers of carbon are used here to produce the weight and riding characteristic desired. The outcome being flex is seriously reduced giving you a frame that is coherent regardless of the power you put through it, or the size of frame you buy.

Photo by Dylan Dunkerton

With all this technology and awesome features weight could be an issue, but trust us when we say almost 350 grams have been shaved off from the previous Epic, that’s like saying we’ve removed a shock linkage and a side of the swing arm!!

SRAM’s new wireless XX!- Eagle AXS drivetrain has been fitted along with their awesome Level Ultimate hydraulic disc brakes. The S-Works Epic also has the addition of Roval’s Featherweight, hand-built Control SL wheelset with our fantastic Fast Track Gripton tires.

Photo by Harookz

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Will this bike win me a World Cup Race?
No, but it will not hold you back

2. How many models of Epic HT are you offering?
We now offer seven complete Epic HT models, as well as an S-Works frame-only option.

3. What’s the price range?
The range starts at $2,110 (the Carbon 29 model) and goes up to $9,510 (the S-Works SRAM version). The S-Works frame-only kit sells for $2,000. These prices are in US dollars. Check with your local PR representative for exact pricing in your market.
On a related note, that $2,110 price point brings cutting-edge carbon technology to riders at a price point where aluminum frames are still prevalent. We’re stoked to have brought that level of performance and technology to a price more riders can afford.

Photo by Harookz

4. Do all of the Epic Hardtails share the same frame? If not, what sets the frames apart (and which models get which frames)?
There are two frames in the lineup. The S-Works models feature our FACT 12M carbon frames, while Pro, Expert, Comp, and Carbon 29 models are built around our FACT 11M carbon frame. The S-Works frame is 140 grams lighter.

5. What was the goal of the redesign?
It’s an XC race bike, so cutting weight was a starting point. That said, XC courses are undeniably more technical than in the past. That fact drove us to make the bike more capable on rougher tracks—necessitating entirely new geometry, clearance for bigger tires, and the ability to run dropper posts. In other words, the goal here was to make the Epic HT lighter, more comfortable, more controlled, and more versatile than before.

6. How much does the new Epic HT weigh?
A size Medium frame, painted, weighs 775 grams. That’s more than 90 grams lighter than the previous Epic HT chassis and a solid 65 grams lighter than the closest competitor. The new Epic HT is the lightest full-production hardtail anywhere.

Hannah Barnes is convinced the new frame is lighter than this North Tahoe pine cone.

7. How did you achieve the weight savings?
We optimized every inch of this frame, from fine-tuning the carbon fiber and resin mix to custom shaping every ply so that there are no unnecessary overwraps that add weight without improving ride quality or strength. We even eliminated the aluminum inserts in the rear dropouts. That said, we weren’t willing to sacrifice durability or strength just to cut those grams.
The new Epic HT is just as strong as before, has more tire clearance, and now accepts longer-travel dropper posts. It’s the lightest mass-produced hardtail on the market, but it’s also worlds more capable and versatile. You’re not the fastest rider on the course if you are on the brakes during the descents or if you feel worked-over every time you power through a technical section on an unforgiving bike.

8. What changes did you make to the geometry?
We wanted to give riders more control. We did that by growing reach and relaxing the head tube angle to 68.5 degrees. The bike still needed to be nimble and easy to thread through tight corners, which meant that we also needed the wheelbase needed to stay tight. The reduced fork offset (42 millimeters) helps us achieve that balance of increased downhill control and deft handling on tighter sections of trail.

9. The previous Epic HT featured a 27.2mm seatpost that was designed to flex and create a comfortable ride. Why did Specialized move to a wider-diameter seat tube and 30.9mm seatpost?
If every second counts (and it always does), then having the option to drop your saddle and ride with more speed and confidence on descents is essential. Going with a 30.9mm seatpost gives riders the option to run a full-length dropper. We did all that without sacrificing comfort thanks to a new seat tube design (note the arc) which is just as compliant as the smaller-diameter (27.2) seat tube on the previous Epic HT.

Photo by Harookz

10. Your press kit mentions that the Epic HT is more comfortable over rough terrain than the version it replaces. How’d you achieve that?
The new Epic HT is noticeably more forgiving when you’re hammering away in the saddle, which might seem surprising since we went to a larger-diameter seat tube. The new shape of the seat tube allows us to maintain the same amount of compliance as before while gaining the ability to run long-travel dropper posts. Finally, we went to slightly smaller seatstays, which also increased vertical compliance.

11. What’s the max tire size that can you fit on the new Epic HT?
The new frame will fit 2.3” to 2.4” tires with plenty of mud clearance to spare. Rim widths are increasing, and even cross-country racers are riding wider tires at lower air pressures than in the past. We took that into account with this frame. Of course, even if you aren’t racing, having the extra clearance to run a larger volume tire simply makes the Epic HT more versatile and more comfortable.

12. What were your stiffness goals with the new frame?
Creating an optimal, overall frame stiffness was key—if the front-end is too flexy, the bike feels like a noodle and steers poorly. If the rear-end is too stiff, the bike won’t track well in rough corners and will sap rider energy over the course of a long or technically-challenging race. Our goal was to hit that sweet spot with a stiff front-end that steers precisely and transfers energy well at the bottom bracket, and a rear-end that tracks well and provides the kind of compliance necessary to finish challenging descents without feeling wiped out. Tube shaping and diameter were absolutely key in achieving those goals.

Photo by Dylan Dunkerton

We also invested a tremendous amount of development into developing Rider-FirstTM tunes—creating unique lay-up schedules for every size of the frame, so that the Epic HT has a consistent ride quality and personality across all frame sizes. Small frames aren’t harsh. X-Large frames aren’t flexy. Every rider experiences the same perfectly-dialed ride quality, no matter their height.

Closing Thoughts:

Well, we’re not running out the door to buy one of these featherweight XC bikes. And riding technical terrain without a dropper post is not for us. But this bike is absolutely dropper post capable and it’s got the geometry and ride quality to excel.

We definitely loved the new Brain fork as it did not call attention to itself in the climbs or descends as it just locked and unlocked itself seamlessly.

And while the pursuit of a 775 gram frame might seem (instead of 800) might seem futile to most, we like the fact that this bike exists and available to those that compete at the highest levels of cross-country racing. Or in my case, this could be my gravel grinder to conquer the big elevation and fun descents.

The post 2020 Specialized Epic HT First Ride – lightest XC frame ever appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

Crossing The Line – What’s the best bike in the world?

What makes a perfect bike? Every year a new king is crowned only to be dethroned when the next model year arrives. Our bikes are still evolving, that is indisputable, but are we evolving too?

A friend asked me recently to choose my favourite bike? The question should be an easy one, but I just couldn’t come up with a clear answer. I knew which was the fastest on my home trails, but did that mean it was the best? Delving into my memory, I recalled many amazing moments from the trails and flashes of pure joy on some of the best bikes in the world. Yes, there were bikes that felt insanely competent, were ludicrously well specced, or impressed against the stopwatch, but the bikes that I really remembered were the ones that let me play on my line.

We’ve all felt it, that momentary realisation that we are dancing on an invisible line. I’m not talking about the ‘racing’ line, but that feeling of riding into the unknown. That thrilling feeling where time both slows down and speeds up, a floaty sensation that things are just a little bit out of control. Crossing the line doesn’t automatically mean you are going to have a big crash, but you are rolling the dice and gambling with fate. Elite racers spend a lot of time with both wheels firmly over the line. They need to. To stand on the top of a podium, experience and tactics stand in equal measure to bravery and risk. But us mere mortals just want a bike that will give us the confidence to play on the edge and cross over into the unknown when we want to from time to time.

Mountain biking, like few other sports, encourages us to test our limits. We don’t ride on asphalt tennis courts or manicured football pitches, but in wild terrain in the remotest parts of the world. Our sport gives us not only the opportunity to achieve, but also to be scared, to take risks and often to overcome our fears, no matter how small. It’s a rare thing that our work life rarely provides. You can’t easily go into your office and flirt with danger. Imagine spinning from a ceiling fan or riding the photocopier down the stairwell – exciting yes, but it will certainly end with you getting fired. When we ride a new or scary trail we get to dance with our own fears, seeing how far we dare push. Is this the day where we hit that gap? Or blast though that gnarly rock garden? Is this the day we push our line?

With risk, there’s also reward. Do you remember the feeling when you first sent that drop you’d been nervously riding around for months? Have you ever felt like that at work? I’m guessing not

This is what makes mountain biking so much fun. During our lives, our perspective changes too. In our teens, the line just isn’t there. It’s invisible and nothing is impossible, nothing is too crazy. As we get older the line creeps into sight, each mistake or fresh injury pulling it a little closer. We get some coaching or do a few races and manage to push the line further away. Then comes the mid-life crisis, where a bulging wallet tempts us to fast motorbikes and cars, but then we realise we are too scared to challenge ourselves at 100+mph and buy golf clubs instead. It’s all part of life’s journey. Parenthood snaps the line right back to our toes and we start to find our thrills in adventure and achievement rather than in overcoming fear, mostly.

So why is it that at 40 years old and as a new parent, that I am riding perhaps harder than ever, chasing steeper trails, bigger drops and ticking off more air time. What is it that’s driving me to push harder at my line? A tough question, but with a simple answer. It’s because bikes are still improving. With every passing year, bikes get better, admittedly not by leaps and bounds, but the incremental evolution can be felt. Suspension, brakes, tires and geometry are continuously improving, allowing us to travel smoother and faster through increasingly harder terrain, pushing our line before us. Is this what prompts the need to continuously upgrade, to keep on current models and on the latest technology?

It would be easy to simply measure a bikes worth against the stopwatch, and for some, that’s all that matters, but there’s more to it than that.

The beauty of our sport is that each of us finds our own lines in different places, it’s not always white-knuckling a race stage. The challenge can be anything from riding a huge drop or railing a corner perfectly, to riding a rock passage without screaming, or conquering an easy trail without fear. Long-travel bikes require speed and nerve to push the line, demanding that we ride harder and faster, while short-travel rockets and hardtails make the line feel far closer than we expected, delivering thrills with less risk. It’s all relative.

No matter what bike we ride, how old it is or even what wheel size, we have all the tools we need to achieve something amazing, to escape our everyday lives. But as bike technology progresses, so do our expectations. So about that question. Which is my favourite bike? “The one I will ride tomorrow, I guess.”

This article is from ENDURO issue #039

ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine is published in a digital app format in both English and German. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone. 100% free!

Video: Guerrilla Gravity presents: Is it Revved?

Guerrilla Gravity presents: Is It Revved

In this highly anticipated new video series, Guerrilla Gravity’s Dr. Destructo puts the new Revved™ Carbon Technology to the test against a series of everyday items to find out, Is It Revved? Tune in to find out what Revved Carbon Technology can truly handle, and what’s left shattered on the side of the trail. The old way of addressing the impact resistance of traditional carbon frames was bolting a $2 plastic downtube protector onto a brittle $4K carbon frame. That’s what inspired Guerrilla Gravity to revolutionize carbon mountain bikes with a brand new, environmentally friendly, and ultra-efficient carbon manufacturing process. Guerrilla Gravity claims that Revved Carbon is 300% more impact-resistant than traditional carbon fiber, so check your outdated concerns about carbon durability at the door. What does 300% more impact resistant look like? Watch this series to see for yourself, Is It Revved? Revved Carbon Technology is available exclusively on Guerrilla Gravity bikes with made-in-Colorado frames starting at $2195 and complete bikes at $3695.

Episode 1: Rock n’ Roll Gauntlet of Torture


Watch as GG’s enginerds produce the first Revved Carbon Technology™ frame from the Frame Maker 3000, then put it to the test by mounting it inside one of the most scientifically advanced blunt-force-impact-testing contraptions to date, the Frame Breaker 3000. To start, Guerrilla Gravity enginerds used a sledgehammer to replicate the gnarliest of baby head rocks rocketing into your downtube at 42 mph. What they moved onto next is what you’ll have to see inside this new series. Revved deflects each impact with a ninja-like quality, never wavering, whimpering, or cracking under pressure. Guerrilla Gravity also pays tribute to rock and roll forefathers who ended their encore with a memorable symphony of destruction by smashing all of their gear onstage (check it out in the video).

Episode 2: Steady Diet of Destruction


Dr. Destructo heads up to the Shredquarters’ roof to see if he can cook up some chaos with a few items pulled from the GG kitchen. With an appetite for annihilation, Destructo gives a Revved Carbon frame a steady diet of snack foods, après beverages, and appliances to find out, Is It Revved? Subscribe to the GG YouTube channel to get new episode notifications and watch over Dr. Destructo’s shoulder as he continues his barrage of mayhem to find out, Is It Revved?

Check out more at

The post Video: Guerrilla Gravity presents: Is it Revved? appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.

Check out the Shoe Blowout at Jenson USA

Jenson Shoe Blowout!

Everyone likes the feeling of a crisp new pair of kicks, especially when they’re on sale. Check out these hand-picked deals on everything from Five Ten Freeriders to Scott RC Road shoes. Look for great deals on waffle pattern grips and tools too!


The Five Ten Maltese Falcon shoe is an optimized all-mountain shoe that flirts with the Enduro rider. The lightweight upper repels water and dries quickly in the wettest, muddiest conditions. The Maltese Falcon doesn’t merely entail the looks of chic shoes, but utilize Five Ten’s Stealth S1 compound on the rubber outsole to reduce vibration and chatter through the bumps at high speeds, making them just as ideal for hiking as they are pedaling through the windy single track. Lace-up the Five Ten Maltese Falcon and bask in comfort and performance on your next mud-filled escapade.

$64.95 SAVE 50 % MSRP $130.00

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The Kestrel Lace incorporates all of the success seen in the original Five Ten BOA Kestrel while delivering pedal efficiency and comfort in a classic lace closure. They feature stiff, nylon shanks that are designed for ultimate power transfer to the pedals and EVA midsoles for excellent shock absorption. The outsole is comprised of proprietary dual-compound Stealth rubber. Where the pedal meets the shoe, the Kestrel has C4 Stealth compound that increases power transfer and durability so you can rip-it-up, without actually ripping them up.

$74.99 SAVE 50 % MSRP $150.00

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Here’s Giro’s classic trail shoe, improved. The PrivateerR features a new nylon and rubber co-molded outsole for durability and improved grip on rocks or roots. The reinforced toe box has a rubber toe-guard for improved durability but stays comfortable with a supple microfiber upper, two straps, and a micro-ratcheting buckle. The stiff nylon outsole helps create a shoe that matches the performance of more expensive composite designs. Other highlights include aggressive lugs for improved traction, toe spike compatibility and a supportive EVA footbed with Aegis® anti-microbial treatment.

$99.95 SAVE 33 % MSRP $150.00

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Five Ten’s Freerider ELC shoes are meticulously crafted to reach peak altitudes of awesomeness. The Stealth Phantom outsole features classic Dotty tread, giving these shoes an affinity for gripping pedals. The leather and synthetic upper mold are polyurethane coated to keep mud and water from turning your feet to prunes. The ELC also has a stiffer midsole than the original Freerider, making the shoes extra supportive. A leather lace cover serves to protect your laces and keep them from snagging on sneaky roots. These shoes offer ample protection and support for aggressive free-riders, and they do it all at under 500 grams each. (Size 9 US)

$69.95 SAVE 50 % MSRP $140.00

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Smith’s Route helmet combines the latest in protection technology to give riders unmatched comfort and protection, begging to be tested in a variety of cycling disciplines. The Route is comprised of Smith’s tested Aerocore construction, then sealed with a Koroyd shell to hone in on vulnerable impact areas. The finished product offers excellent protection, proper comfort, and optimal ventilation. Great for warm rides, the AirEvac and VaporFit systems assure that air flows efficiently and that the helmet has a comfortable and confident fit. The Route raises the bar in protection and versatility, satisfying whatever your rides demand.

$34.99 SAVE 77 % MSRP $150.00

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Nothing drives a cyclist crazy like a noisy bottom bracket! Use the Foundation Shimano Style Bottom Bracket Tool to get in there and service the squeak out of your external bottom bracket. The shop grade Foundation Shimano Style Bottom Bracket Tool enables effortless removal and installation of Shimano Hollowtech II style bottom brackets.

$9.99 SAVE 67 % MSRP $29.99

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Comfortable and grippy, the Velo Lock On Half Diamond Grips will keep your hands glued on the bars and allow you to handle the trail with ease. The lock-on feature makes sure the grips don’t slip even under the most demanding of rides.

$9.99 SAVE 67 % MSRP $29.99

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Whether you’re leaving your stamp on the local crit series or KOM hunting in the mountains, Scott’s Road Premium shoes feature a linear high modulus carbon fiber sole in a 10 ply layup, providing an insanely stiff launching pad that won’t weigh you down. The MTB Premium shoes forgo the conventional ratcheting buckle and instead use an IP1 dial closure system at the top with two lower anatomic fit straps that articulate and conform to the shape of the foot. The result is a straightjacket-like foothold, without the irritating pressure points.

The asymmetrically conforming upper is constructed of microfiber air mesh, allowing air to flow efficiently throughout, while the ErgoLogic insole features adjustable arch support and Metatarsal button to reduce forefoot numbness and evenly distribute compression. This Arch adjustment permits proper foot alignment and allows adaptability to individual arch height and fit.

$139.99 SAVE 60 % MSRP $350.00

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Giro’s rad new Sentrie Techlace Shoe offers elite-level performance with the comfort of laces and the convenience of a strap. Need we say more? The Techlace system replaces D-rings and other hardware with laces, providing a suppler feel across the forefoot, and the laces can be painlessly replaced if damaged. The Boa L6 dial offers 1mm adjustment increments when tightening and easy pull-to-release function for quick removal of the shoe. The Sentrie Techlace is constructed with a lightweight bonded and welded breathable upper and an Easton® EC70 carbon composite outsole. Inside the shoe, Giro’s SuperNatural Fit footbed features adjustable arch supports to personalize fit, with excellent comfort and pedaling efficiency.

$149.99 SAVE 40 % MSRP $250.00

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Having a good set of tires can change the way your bike rides. Having the wrong tires for the terrain you’re on could lead to performance issues. The Vittoria Cross XM Pro II tires are designed to be used in mud and soft conditions. With a lateral tread design, it helps to create traction in mud and soft dirt, and with wide knob spacing to help shed mud from the tires, you won’t have to worry about the mud sticking. With 150 TPI, this will be a go-to tire for any racer or rider looking to have some fun in the mud.

$13.99 SAVE 67 % MSRP $42.00

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The post Check out the Shoe Blowout at Jenson USA appeared first on Mountain Bike Review.