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Bike reviews

clint_1987's picture

By clint_1987 - Posted on 14 October 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Looking for reviews on either Giant Anthem SX 27.5, Anthem 27.5 or Anthem X 29er. Also info on ride days for Giant bikes.

richardgraysydney's picture

Anthems are very popular so you will get lots of comments. You should be aware that since this happened ( I've broken another frame. Perhaps its just me and my fat belly but I seem to hear a lot of stories about Anthem frames breaking and not so many about other bikes. There is also a view that it was their early 29"ers that were weak. I still ride one after the second replacement and I think the in-country Giant people are great and the Giant store in the Sydney is particularly good. I also think that frames for average riders should not break.

Liberty555's picture

I've had an Anthem X 29er for about 15 months now and love it.

I've put about 3500km on it, mostly off road. Done a few 100km races, 50km races and generally ridden it hard. When I first got it I was pushing 110kgs with gear although that figure is substantially reduced by way of how much I enjoy riding it - sub 90kg now.

Its easy to maintain and the parts are generally robust and well sorted as with most Giant stuff. Its a bit like the Toyota Corolla of 4 inch travel bikes. Does everything well without being really exciting, but is terms of bang for your bucks you struggle to do much better really.

Giant Warranty is pretty much the benchmark in the industry - others may disagree.

Call a Giant store and ask about ride days. Personally I think 27.5 is the answer to the question no one asked so generally refuse to acknowledge their existence. That and I'm a big chappie and 29er just feels right. Potato Patahyto.

ptpete's picture

whilst I cant comment on the 29er, I have owned a 2010 X2 Anthem now coming on 5 years.
its done:
3 cape to capes
3 dwelli 40,s
1 dwelli 100
1 dwelli 60 (team 100)
3 years of PMBC XC series
3 different wheels sets
2 different forks
2 different cranks
on its 2 or 3rd drivetrain
Been through 4 complete rebuilds
Pimped out to the max to achieve a race bike in the low 10kg range
Never, ever, ever let me down and still rides great, though the rear shock needs some love.
I suppose what I am getting at is, if you look after an Anthem, or any bike for that matter.. it will never let you down. If you are the unlucky recipient of a dodgy frame, then Giant accepts the issue and replaces the frame, sometimes with an up spec model.
I love my Anthem and although I am currently building up a new bike, I fear it wont ride as familiar and fun as the Anthem.
Take one for a spin and see how you go..


rossco_'s picture

I demoed 27.5 anthem and carbon trance. I found anthem is much responsive and faster in bike park. But u can feel the stiffness of carbon trance. So, anthem advanced is a go! Btw, 27.5 fits me more and I am 5'9. what do u have and style u ride?

clint_1987's picture

thanks for all your help gents. I'm riding a lot in the mountains and heading to Wylde at least once a week. I would also like to do some XC races in the near future.

hawkeye's picture

End of discussion for XC... unless you're vertically challenged such that getting a good fit is difficult.

Ian_A's picture

While I have a 29er dually XC bike, and go OK on it for a hack, I definitely would not say end of discussion. When blokes like Ed McDonald are going to 27.5 then there is probably something to them......

GarethP's picture

Not to mention Nino Schurter!

hawkeye's picture

I've read a few back-to-back tests now where they compare 26", 27.5"and 29"wheels for XC endurance racing. The results have been consistent.

Last one I read was for a steel-framed hardtail by GT in a recent-ish copy of Enduro Mag. Can't remember the model name of the bike and unfortunately I've chucked the copy out.

What I do remember is the conclusion:
26" was great in tight twisty stuff where there's a lot of start/stop. Nervous as hell descending anything steep or technical. Great memories, but now outclassed.
27.5"was playful and fun, not as good at start/stop as the 26er but rolled better and more forgiving.
29" felt slow and cumbersome. Not as good as the other two at start/stop. But the stopwatch told a very different story **overall**. Also was the most stable of the three and most forgiving on descending.

Could it be Ed McD's bike supplier (erm, cough, Giant) has asked him to promote the 27.5" bike? Eye-wink

Nino Schurter ... he fits the short-arse get-out clause I left for myself above. Smiling

He couldn't get his position to where he wanted it with the bigger wheels. So I can see he would/could make more gains overall from getting that right, than from what the bigger wheels might offer when saddled with an uncomfortable/less aero/poorly distributed weight position forced by his diminutive stature.

uppo75's picture

I'm 5'9, close to 40yo and have ridden MTBs for about 15 years. I don't jump, don't go big and just want to do everyday riding - and lately have started doing endurance events (50-100km)
I bought a 29er hardtail last year. i love the rollability of the bigger wheels over bumps and drops. I used to swap between it and my 26" dual suspension stumpjumper depending on the tracks I was riding. I still have the 29 hardtail but now I also have a dual suspension 29. I still have an old 26" hardtail at work for when we go to the super tight and twisty medowie trails.

My mate, who has only ridden a hardtail 29, just tried both 27.5 and 29 trek fuels at a recent demo day at Awaba.
He felt so weird on a 27.5 and then jumped on the 29 and felt much more comfortable and was faster over the same small loop we were riding. He was all for buying a 27.5 until he tried them.

Ian_A's picture

It's funny hearing people talk about different wheel sizes, bikes etc. and also justifying their purchases.....

I bought my bikes because I wanted them (as most people would agree with if they're honest) - not because I needed a different wheel size or because it would make me a better rider. I have a 26" dually and a 29" dually. 26 is set up for AM with 160mm travel, 29 is set up for XC with 100mm travel, wheel size is pretty irrelevant to the argument.

When I was beaten for 2nd place in A-grade by a bloke in a flanny and footy shorts riding an old, steel, rigid, single speed touring bike at Yellomundee I realised that the bike has little to do with how you ride......... This bloke would challenge most elites in marathons on the same bike. Big Steve on here raced the best part of a 7hr with his lefty fork stuck down 70mm and completely rigid - he still beat most of the field.

Buy what ever bike you're happy with, that suits your type of riding, in the colour you like best......

uppo75's picture

Then why do you have a 29er for xc( that is what they are best for) and the 26" 160mm for AM( which it is better suited)
It is true that it's the person on the bike that makes the most difference, but if you rode the 26" 160 mm bike in xc races, you would be slower than the 29er with 100mm.
If you can afford two bikes then you can set up for different things, as you have. One bike- you have to go for a bike that suits your most ridden type of trail.

Ian_A's picture

I got the 29er for XC because that was what Trek had available at the time I bought - they didn't have any 26" or 27.5" XC bikes in early 2013.
I bought the 26" AM bike because in 2010 there were no (or very few and none I could test ride) AM 29" or 27.5" bikes.
Obviously the 160mm travel bike is slower than the 100mm 29er for XC but I doubt I would be any slower on a 26" or 27.5" 100mm XC bike - except on maybe something like the Back Yamma where it is relatively flat fireroad. It's not the wheel size slowing the AM bike down - it's the plush, long travel geometry and wider/heavier tyres.
I actually used my 26" AM bike for XC racing for 2 years before I bought the 29er and managed to pump out some fast times and good results.
3rd place in the Woody Worlds this year was on a 27.5". Surely a race on pure fireroad like the Oaks would suit a 29er if you believe all the marketing...
I don't really care what anyone else rides or how they justify it, I just find it amusing - ride what you enjoy.

fairy1's picture

I have gone from four bikes to one(still have a DH bike but used it once this year) but picked the wrong frame.

I don't really enjoy the ride up so all my bikes get set for the downs and I think geo plays a much greater part in overall pace/handling than wheel size(as long as the trail has some decent tech bits).

I'm impatiently waiting for my new DH/Road/XC frame to arrive, 65deg HA, 75deg SA and long reach should make it tolerable for the boring bits and awesome for the fun bits.

obmal's picture

But the real answer is N+1 peoples!

Then you can just sit and look at all them pretty bikes you don't ride.

If I had to buy one bike (like some crazy Alien was holding a disintegrator ray gun to my head).. I'd probably pick.. ZAP!

delicious's picture

Just like Ian_A has said; buy the bike that you're happy with, that suits your riding, in your fave colour. Don't get all concerned with wheel size.
With that said, it does appear that 26" wheeled bikes may be come extinct soon. However, new inductees into the sport won't know any different, and will just find a bike that appeals to them, and then buy it. And love it.

brakeburner's picture

And your right, I'll just get what I like after a couple of test rides, I think it shows how physcological cycling is, all the massive hype of what size does this and what size does that, the real world testing, the differences would be so slight, they'd barely be measurable? And as it's be noted before (by flynny I think), they haven't exactly blown us away with technology and an engineering marvel, they have just chucked slightly bigger wheels on already great machines! Bravo? Here you go mate, their 16% bigger that'll be five grand. Cheers

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