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  1. #1
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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    Hi,

    I purchased a Giant Anthem 3 last week.
    It weighs 29.3/4 lbs
    I'm coming from a old Intense Tracer and steel hard tail. 26" wheels
    I love this bike and the new wheel size.
    The maestro suspension is great. No bob at all if you are seated during climbs.
    I cannot believe how well it works!!!!!!
    It handles like a 26" bike and I love the slack head angle.
    Only complaint on the geometry is the low bottom bracket at less than 12"
    It handles great but you will hit pedals in the rock gardens.
    I am thinking about increasing the fork to 120mm and mounting beefier tires that will raise the bb.
    The wheel size is a big hit and I cannot imagine going back to a 26"
    The 27.5 rolls easier and I cannot feel the 29" wagon wheel effects .
    Bike handles quick without being twitchy.
    I am going to re valve the rear shock for some more plushness and go tubeless but overall I really like the 27.5 platform.
    I want to lighten the bike up and hope to build a light weight wheel set, but I think the frame is worth hanging some nice arts on.

    I will update once I ride it more.

  2. #2
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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    BB lower than 12" on a 27.5" bike? Yikes.

  3. #3
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    Yes, it's like 11-3/4"
    That's with Racing Ralph tires which don't have much tread, but even with beefy tires and a 120mm front suspension that bb is only going to get to approx. 12-1/4"

    I wonder what the trance bb is.
    Giant doesn't post bb measurements.
    The problem I have is a trance would be too much of a all mt bike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    BB lower than 12" on a 27.5" bike? Yikes.
    Anthem=XC oriented. It should carve and rip!
    Trance=Trail/AM. More clearance desired.....
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the review. Question: you bought the Anthem (an XC bike), but you don't like the low BB, you want a bigger fork and burlier tires, and you want a plusher rear shock. Why didn't you go with the Trance, which is more trail/AM oriented and would solve all of those issues? Just curious...

  6. #6
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    I can't speak for the OP, but I think a 5" front/ 4" back with a racier geo is perfect for my trails. I like the way a slightly slackened race geo rides here, with a bit more steering control/chunk eating front end and a snappy back end. JMO

    I'm considering the AX adv 27.5, and would also put a 120mm fork on, before it even leaves the shop...

  7. #7
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    I have had mine for about a week and love it as well, I haven't had to worry about pedal strikes for a couple years, honestly had totally forgotten about it until my first ride. I just had to adjust my riding still to what I was doing before I got longer travel bikes.

    For what it is its a great bike, I will experiment with a 120mm fork up front as well, preferably get one that'll do both in case I don't care for it and want to go back to 100.

    I have already bought some crossmarks, converted to tubeless, and order parts to my liking that'll get the weight down. My goal is 25# when I'm done with it but it'll depend on how much I spend on the fork and wheelset.

    The Recon Gold SL is surprisingly nice, I thought I'd be dying to ditch it but not really after some ride time. The Maestro works great, I was very skeptical before my test ride, I mean seriously, a full squish bike with no rear lock out? But it works well.

    Efficient peddler, handles high speed turns great, and is an excellent trail/xc bike for someone that doesn't need allot of suspension.

    I'll be running a 1x10 drivetrain as on my other bikes but will have an XX1 crank up front, type 2 der, and no chain guide, will see how it goes.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  8. #8
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    FYI, some of the pro guys have been running 120mm forks on their's as well.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  9. #9
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    Adam Craig always used to run 120 fork on his Ax 26.

  10. #10
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    My friend purchased this bike a month ago. We went tubeless in the stock rims with rim tape and went XX1 on the crank. No dropped chains in over 200 miles.
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 730
    2013 Pipedream Sirius R853 - 650b Belt Drive

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkon View Post
    Thanks for the review. Question: you bought the Anthem (an XC bike), but you don't like the low BB, you want a bigger fork and burlier tires, and you want a plusher rear shock. Why didn't you go with the Trance, which is more trail/AM oriented and would solve all of those issues? Just curious...
    I hear what you are saying, but the trance is too much all mountain then I was looking for. I increased the fork to 120 and really like it. I love the handling I guess the price I pay for good handling is the occasional pedal smack. I need more time on this bike but it really does have a great responsive feel. The fork has a spacer that you can remove to make it 120 so that was a free mod.

  12. #12
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    Guys,

    I very successfully converted my 2013 Trance X 26 frame to 27.5 front & rear. With SS front & full XTR. Rockshox Sid 27.5 120mm and ZTR Medalist. Total weight is 22lbs.

    The latest AX 27.5 Composite frame is tickling me, on deep study I found the entire geometry to be exactly like my current TX. Except I will lose 1" rear travel and lose another 1.5lbs. I find my TX geometry to be perfect for my varied rides. So I'm still confused to move to AX.

    My other point to many is that those liking a AX 27.5 and want an extra 1" can easily convert a cheap used or new TX 26" frame and still enjoy similar geometry and save some dollars.

  13. #13
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    I have had my Anthem 27.5 for a week now. I bought the aluminum frame only and built it up with a full XT 2 x 10 kit (XTR cranks) carbon bars and seat post, Stan's crest wheels with Hope Evo Hubs. The front Fork is a Sid RCT3. Racing Ralph Snake Skin tires round out the build. No, I haven't weighed it, but its fairly light.

    Note that the bare frame with a seat collar installed weighed 5 lbs, 8 oz on the shop scale, which was a little more than my AL Anthem 29er. I believe Giant has beefed these up a bit, but I could be wrong, or maybe I remembering wrong ..... anyway.

    The BB height measures 12.5 inches static, so sagged you are getting into the low 12s, which I personally like.

    On to the opinions:

    The ride: I've had all versions of the Anthem and XTC composites the last 10 years (26 + 29 HT, 26 + 29 FS). Mixed in there was also a Santa Cruz Blur XC carbon 26er as well.

    At 5'10", with a 32 inch inseam, I've tried hard to love 29ers, and I do love the roll over, but for a Full susser, I could never find one that fit me well. The 29er Anthem was great, but that back end made it handle like an old tractor. I settled on a XTC composite 29er the last 2 summers. HT 29ers are the standard marathon/ XC bikes in this area (CO) but I generally do like FS if I can make it work.

    In short, the Anthem is pretty sweet. Take this with a grain of salt as I've only put about 80 miles on it in the last week. More to come so I reserve the right to modify my opinion. I love the lower BB and the handling. THe HTA is perfect for descending but you can really whip the bike around because of the shorter CS length. Also, 27.5 wheels just spin faster and that works better with my climbing style. Be aware that it does not "roll over" roots and rocks like a 29er, but with good suspension it does just as well, or better really. It still maintains momentum well. Overall, the whole package just works for me.

    Although it pains me to say it, I think all the marketing stuff might have "some" truth to it. Get out and ride one for yourself!

  14. #14
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    Great review George, I had an AX 2010 M size before this at 5.2lbs, so yr 5.5 sounds correct. The 26 ones weren't as beefy built as yours. The AX composite is 4.6 lbs.

    Altho I'm on TX now, I'm still an AX fan. Its now 69 deg HTA. If one upgrades to 120mm SID, it should take some sharp descends. And yet remain the most rocket like FS around.

    Do keep your review coming. I'm convinced yr AX can speedily climb big mountains, yet descend quite respectably. Enjoy

  15. #15
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    George good info.
    I was measuring from the bottom of the BB shell not the centerline.
    So yes I'm at 12.5" compared to my desired height of 13"
    I'm happy with the trade off.
    The more I ride this bike the more I love the rear suspension.
    I have a nobby nick coming for the front so that should help the front stick better.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by emailpeter View Post
    Guys,

    I very successfully converted my 2013 Trance X 26 frame to 27.5 front & rear. With SS front & full XTR. Rockshox Sid 27.5 120mm and ZTR Medalist. Total weight is 22lbs.

    The latest AX 27.5 Composite frame is tickling me, on deep study I found the entire geometry to be exactly like my current TX. Except I will lose 1" rear travel and lose another 1.5lbs. I find my TX geometry to be perfect for my varied rides. So I'm still confused to move to AX.

    My other point to many is that those liking a AX 27.5 and want an extra 1" can easily convert a cheap used or new TX 26" frame and still enjoy similar geometry and save some dollars.
    I didn't think the 26" Tx could fit 650B in the rear? You must be running a very small tire in the back?

    You would gain a bit of handling stability with the lower BB on the 27.5 AX.

  17. #17
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    I have my Anthem 27.5 3 for 4 weeks now and have put over 250 miles on it. I'm loving the handling. I was a bit uncertain at first, but the more I ride it, the more I like it. True, it does have a low BB and I have hit my pedals a few times on some roots (haven't tried any rock gardens yet). I have adjusted to this and have made some pedaling changes, and so far so good. I didn't realize you could just remove a spacer and change the fork to 120 mm. Did you do that or the LBS? Is it a difficult thing to do? Overall, I am very pleased with this bike. I have dropped 2 minutes off my 12.5 mile loop trail I ride with this bike.

  18. #18
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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    Very easy to remove the shim.
    SRAM website has a PDF on how to do it. You have to drain the oil and separate the fork but no special tools are required.
    The 120 really helped with the downhills. I haven't ridden the bike enough to be settled on my setup but I really like the 27.5 wheels.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    I didn't think the 26" Tx could fit 650B in the rear? You must be running a very small tire in the back?

    You would gain a bit of handling stability with the lower BB on the 27.5 AX.
    Hi Gvs,
    I run Racing Ralphs 2.25 on front and rear, its a voluminous tire. My conversion is now > 12 mths, successfully ridden 1000+ kms in muddy and hilly conditions. I converted early as a TX or AX 27.5 composite frame had not been launched. Hence enjoying this 27.5" ride for 20 or so months until the new frames appear.

    Lower BB-Mine is now 13.25" unsagged. The AX at 12.5" would certainly aid high and low speed cornering. Will lose 1.5lbs and 1" travel too....let's decide when we see those AX frames in shop.....lol

  20. #20
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    I also love the lower BB and the handling. THe HTA is perfect for descending but you can really whip the bike around because of the shorter CS length. Also, 27.5 wheels just spin faster and that works better with my climbing style.I thought I'd be dying to ditch it but not really after some ride time.*********************l/ii6iY[/img] The Maestro works great, I was very skeptical before my test ride, I mean seriously, a full squish bike with no rear lock out? But it works well.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by emailpeter View Post
    Hi Gvs,
    I run Racing Ralphs 2.25 on front and rear, its a voluminous tire. My conversion is now > 12 mths, successfully ridden 1000+ kms in muddy and hilly conditions. I converted early as a TX or AX 27.5 composite frame had not been launched. Hence enjoying this 27.5" ride for 20 or so months until the new frames appear.

    Lower BB-Mine is now 13.25" unsagged. The AX at 12.5" would certainly aid high and low speed cornering. Will lose 1.5lbs and 1" travel too....let's decide when we see those AX frames in shop.....lol
    Ra Ra 2.25 is a good volume rear. Any idea if 2011 TX 26 fits, my 2009 certainly didn't.

    Is it 13.25" at te centre of the BB. My 2009 Ax was similar with 26" wheels.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Ra Ra 2.25 is a good volume rear. Any idea if 2011 TX 26 fits, my 2009 certainly didn't.

    Is it 13.25" at te centre of the BB. My 2009 Ax was similar with 26" wheels.
    Looks like 13.3" unsagged. I run the rear very plush, hence sags a lot more. I don't think I would need BB any lower, but lets see when AX Comp frame reaches the shops. I'm still very much an AX fan.

    My TX is a 2013, which I think is same as 2011.

  23. #23
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    Thanks.BB height looks good to me. Your on a winner there . Can't see why you'd need to look at the Ax unless your after a better climber. I used to use my Tx 26" as an Endurance race bike and it's a superb climber[ better than the ax 29er I replaced it with] as long as you are using a RT3 shock. OEM Giant fox shock is terrible tune for climbing. They've lowered the anti squat on current generation Giant bikes so the 26" Tx is probably still the best climber of the bunch.

    If I pick up a 2013 frame I'd slacken it out with a 140mm fork and angleset. 69.5 head angle is too edgy for me these days. I wonder if the carbon Tx 26" frames fit 650b in the rear. They are a work of art compared to the later 27.5 carbon Tx frame.

  24. #24
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    Well my bike is stripped down and waiting for new parts to start showing up, got the chain yesterday, and every day for the rest of the week I'll be getting parts. Will be a pretty bling build when I'm done, bought everything but a new fork and wheels this week.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Thanks.BB height looks good to me. Your on a winner there . Can't see why you'd need to look at the Ax unless your after a better climber. I used to use my Tx 26" as an Endurance race bike and it's a superb climber[ better than the ax 29er I replaced it with] as long as you are using a RT3 shock. OEM Giant fox shock is terrible tune for climbing. They've lowered the anti squat on current generation Giant bikes so the 26" Tx is probably still the best climber of the bunch.

    If I pick up a 2013 frame I'd slacken it out with a 140mm fork and angleset. 69.5 head angle is too edgy for me these days. I wonder if the carbon Tx 26" frames fit 650b in the rear. They are a work of art compared to the later 27.5 carbon Tx frame.
    Hi GVS,
    Thks for your insight. If you need further photos and info on my TX 2012 conversion to 27.5, just pm me. Hear you about the RT3 shock, after the Float R Propedal wears out might try this. Yes, the TX 26 climbs very well on and off saddle, there is no squats even at my low pressures. Hear you on the more squats of TX 27.5.

    But will still hava look at those new AX Comps when they arrive, gotta itch to scratch...you know what I mean.

    The AX 26" Advanced (all years) will not fit 650b. The rear carbon curved bridge between chain and seat stay is too chunky.

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