Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

All the New Cycling Gear You’ll Need This Week

By: Robert Annis - August 03, 2017

Giant Reign Advanced in action

Here’s the latest and greatest cycling gear for the week.

What We’re Stoked About

A few years ago, I was racing cyclocross in Cincinnati when I got a little too aggressive raising my front wheel and I cracked my Garmin 500 screen with my face. (I’m told it was a sight to behold, but not necessarily in a good way.) If only Strava was offering its new Premum Perk, back then. Teaming up with Sundays Insurance, Strava will reimburse riders up to $600 if they crash and damage their device while tracking their activity. They’ll also reimburse you for cab fare up to $50 if you can’t pedal home. It seems like a great benefit, especially if you’re already a Strava Premium member.

There are caveats, namely if you live in Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin—or outside the U.S., U.K. or Australia—you’re out of luck. So just be extra careful if you live in those areas.

There are a few other perks as well, such as $20 off a $100 order at both Competitive Cyclist and Wiggle, as well as $200 off a Carmichael Training Systems four-month coaching program.


I put Pearl Izumi’s men's PRO Escape Bib Shorts through the wringer this weekend during a swelteringly hot mountain bike clinic. I mean that literally; I was able to wring the sweat out of the shorts at the end of the day. But despite the nasty conditions, my nether regions stayed relatively comfortable.

Pearl Izumi PRO Escape Bib Shorts

Pearl Izumi spent two years designing the short, using pressure mapping to move padding to where it was needed the most and eliminating excess where it wasn’t. The padding is significantly lighter than several other pairs of high-end bibs I shuffle through, but that didn’t play havoc with my comfort on the saddle at all. The chamois uses a special smooth-faced topper with no odd shapes or edges, eliminating potential chafing spots. (Although to be honest, I’ve never had that issue in the past.) The company claims the “floating construction” of the chamois allows the top sheet to move with the rider’s body to find the most natural position. I’m looking forward to trying these shorts on some longer rides in the coming weeks. You can find the PRO Escape Bibs at your local bike shop now for about $170.

You’re Gonna Want It

Enduro riders should check out the 2018 Giant Reign. The higher-end Advanced series combines a composite mainframe with an ALUXX SL aluminum rear swingarm, while the lower-cost Reign models come with a full ALUXX SL aluminum frame. The geometry is a bit more aggressive than last year’s models, with a 65-degree headtube and 73-degree seattube angles, adding about 15mm in length. Giant claims the new geometry “boosts overall control without sacrificing agility or climbing efficiency.” We’ll see when we get our hands on it.

Giant Reign Advanced 0 Carbon

Both the front and rear have 160mm of suspension, with the exception of the Reign SX, which adds 10mm more up front (and boasts a beefy RockShox Super Deluxe Coil RT rear shock). The new rear trunnion mount improves small-bump compliance and pedaling efficiency, thanks to both a longer shock stroke and a lower leverage ratio. All Reign models come atop 27.5 wheels with Boost spacing.

Expect to pay between $2,700 and $8,000 for one of the 2018 models as they begin trickling into Giant retailers over the next month or so.

Coming Soon

Giant’s NeosTrack GPS looks like it can compete with Garmin 520, Wahoo ELEMNT, and several other cycling computers at a lower price point ($180). It promises turn-by-turn navigation, ANT+/Bluetooth capabilities, Lactate Threshold Heart Rate and Functional Threshold Power testing, and several more features. Judging by the photos, it looks like its screen is about as large as the Garmin 820. Hopefully we’ll be able to get our hands on one when it’s officially released.

Giant Neostrack GPS

Industry News

The Outdoor Retailer show might be hightailing it out of Utah, but at least one company is moving in. Assos just finished renovating a 100-year-old building at 411 South 800 East in Salt Lake City. Housing Assos’ US marketing, events, and sales teams, it’ll also serve as a hub for local group rides.

Assos USA Outside sm

Looking for a job in the industry? Love titanium? Moots is looking for a new president after Butch Boucher resigns in September. Brent Whittington will take over on an interim basis until a new leader – maybe you – is hired.

About the Author

Robert Annis

Robert Annis

When Robert Annis isn't hunched over a keyboard, you’ll likely find him either pedaling the backroads and trails of the Midwest on his bike or asking about the craft beer selection in a far-flung airport bar.


comments powered by Disqus