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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 whuuut, 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.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  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. 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.

  26. #26
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    With the fork set at 120 the bb is 13". Perfect!
    I might try the fork at 110 just to see how it handles.
    I did notice it slowed the handling down from the 100 setting and I like it, but I'm thinking the 110 setting might be a good compromise.
    I ordered a revalved shock from push so hopefully that will help with plushness, part of my frustration with the bb height has been caused by the shock being setup too soft. I like it to ride plush but it's blowing through the mid travel with the way I have it.
    Only negative on the maestro is it stiffens up when the suspension is in the 1st 1" of travel which is great most of the time but when doing technical climbs it can hurt you sometimes. I would say the tradeoff is a great solid no bob platform most of the time. You definitely get more positives than negative with that.

  27. #27
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    I just rode with a push shock installed. It's defiantly worh the money. It's plush without blowing through the travel it gives a very contr

  28. #28
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    It gives a very controlled feel.
    I still might lower the fork to 110 as the front is a bit light.
    I did install a answer carbon riser 50mm. This puts the bar 1/2" above the saddle.
    The rear wheel is heavy!!!! Will need to upgrade that in the future. Does anyone sell the 142 dropout conversion online?

  29. #29
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    What is the stock shock eye-to-eye and stroke? I have a X-Fusion Microlite I'd want to transfer over if it fits (when my Anthem arrives).

  30. #30
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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    The stock shock is 6.5" with a 1.5" stroke.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomtracer View Post
    The stock shock is 6.5" with a 1.5" stroke.
    Perfect I can use my Microlite

  32. #32
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    Been geeking out on geo numbers tonight and looking through the 2012 and 2014 catalog. I found something interesting and thought this might be a good place to put it. The numbers for the 27.5 Anthem and 26" Trance X are scary close. In a Large size (my size) they have the same HA, the Anthem's SA is .5 degrees slacker, toptube is .2" longer, chainstay is .1" shorter, and the overall wheelbase is .5" shorter with 27.5 wheels and an inch less travel (and probably WAY lighter).

    I realize geo numbers only tell part of the story and frame stiffness, and when and where it's stiff has a lot to do with things as well. But I thought it was interesting how a trail bike from two or three years ago is now a full on XC bike with bigger wheels, a slightly shorter wheelbase, and less travel. Had a buddy racing a Trance X Advanced in a state championship a few years back, and killing it. Clearly he was onto something. Anyway, I just thought it was interesting enough to share.

  33. #33
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    Yes, this is why I went with the anthem.
    I wanted a light bike the I could do technical single track and the geo really made sense.
    The only issue is the low bottom bracket, but like there have said you get used to it and I raised the fork to 120mm which put the bb at 13"
    Its a trade off with the head angle getting too slack but so far it feels really good.
    I put a 50mm riser bar so the bar is slightly above the seat.
    The more I ride this bike the more I love it.
    Still impressed with the maestro link.
    The trance would have been too much of a freeride bike for me.
    It's amazing what the 4" rear can soak up when it's tuned properly.
    I got a PUSH shock on there and it's just awesome.
    I am playing around with the monarch shock valving for the fun of it, so I will see how close I can replicate the PUSH shock.

    You are right all the bikes have gone slack on the geo, I think it's a matter of the riding style and terrain evolving.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomtracer View Post
    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.
    Wow, I'd not heard the Anthem stock fork could be changed to 120mm. Any chance of a URL or what to search for on the SRAM website.

    You still thinking of going to 110 or does 120 give you the overall balance/fun factor for uphills and downhills.

  35. #35
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    I'm getting used to the 120mm
    I don't think I will go 110mm

    Service Resources - RockShox | SRAM
    This is the link to the service manual.

  36. #36
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    I have been riding a 130mm Jamis Dakar 650b (24lbs) for the last year and I am in love with the bike. However I have been considering building a true cross country bike ( 100mm ) and the Giant has really peaked my interest. 2 Weeks ago I was able to do a standover and parking lot test at the Brown County Breakdown in Indiana. I was really impressed with the stand over and handlebar height. Being only 5' 7" makes it tuff to fit on a 29'r and thus the reason I went with a 650b bike.

    Reading about pedal strikes has me concerned as I tend to pedal in corners and that is the main reason I scrapped my epic 29'r as it drove me nuts. Plus the fact that it felt like a pig in tight twisty single track.

    I look forward to reading more real world opinions from you guys.

    Last thing that I will toss out there was the wheel swap that I did and it made the biggest difference. I went with the i9 Torch wheelset and the bike is significantly more responsive and quicker.
    Marty
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  37. #37
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    I'm also considering an Anthem but concerned about low bb and pedal strikes. I would rather sacrifice some handling for no pedal strikes. Anyone that can provide some more info here would be much appreciated.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mforness3000 View Post
    I'm also considering an Anthem but concerned about low bb and pedal strikes. I would rather sacrifice some handling for no pedal strikes. Anyone that can provide some more info here would be much appreciated.
    Rocky Mountain Altitude - problem solved.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Rocky Mountain Altitude - problem solved.
    Not really I am looking for a 100mm Cross Country bike as I live in the Midwest. It's pretty flat here.
    Marty
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  40. #40
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    I'm in Michigan. Served me fine here. Maybe more hilly here than where you ride.
    Btw, bike is fine and fast on the straights fwiw.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  41. #41
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    I have the front fork at 120mm, that puts the bb at 13"
    The best part of this bike is the maestro suspension, really is great.
    Still getting used to the big wheels and having to lean it over in the corners more than my 26er.
    Love the bike!

  42. #42
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    Riding here in Texas, pedal strikes isn't something I commonly have to worry about. I thought the Giant Anthem 27.5 3 was a good bike, but adjusting to the smaller 650b wheels was a bit different. I'm too used to my 29er. If your interested in my review of the Anthem check out this link.
    When I'm not riding I help beginner mountain bikers learn new skills at Texas Mountain Bike Trails.

  43. #43
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    I did a quick demo on this bike last month. I liked the suspension action a lot, felt the bottom bracket was a bit low, and overall, it felt more like my 26" FS bike than a 29" FS bike--which is a good thing, in that I haven't like the 29er FS bikes I've had, but also a bad thing, in that it wasn't THAT much better than my 26er FS.

    Details here.

  44. #44
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    WEIGHT!? Anyone have a true weight for the carbon medium FRAME only?

    I will hopefully get the frame and do a custom build...hoping to get it in around 22lbs...

    Thx!

  45. #45
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    Madsedan,

    How light did you get your bike? I'm thinking about getting one of these frames and doing a custom build. Just curious to the weight and did any of you own an anthem x 26 before purchasing one of these bikes/frames?

    Thanks!
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Madsedan,

    How light did you get your bike? I'm thinking about getting one of these frames and doing a custom build. Just curious to the weight and did any of you own an anthem x 26 before purchasing one of these bikes/frames?

    Thanks!
    Haha..yeh ^^^. Same question..

  47. #47
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    The bike I sat on at the Brown County Breakdown was 21lbs with pedals. So it can be built very light if you wanted.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Way2ManyBikes View Post
    The bike I sat on at the Brown County Breakdown was 21lbs with pedals. So it can be built very light if you wanted.
    You must be nearby. I almost went to that event myself. That was around the weight of my 26 anthem so the frames are probably roughly the same weight. Now I wonder if the 27.5 wheel size makes that much of a difference vs the 26? I need to ride one of these on an actual trail. Most people that reviewed the bike above have never owned a maestro suspension bike and that in itself is a huge improve over older suspension designs and hardtails.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  49. #49
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    I am currently riding a Dakar 650b and to say I love the 650b wheels would be an understatement.

    My love is single track that is tight and twisty and after owning a Epic 29'r with every carbon option including carbon roval wheels truly made me wish that I hadn't sold my 26" Zirkel. When riding the Epic I always felt like I was trying to drive a bus in a China shop. The bike just never felt right. In fact the only benefit I enjoyed on the 29'r was faster cadence. However I would gladly give up the extra speed that a 29'r offer on wide open single track ( dirt roadie type trails ) for the shear pleasure of riding single track trails any day.

    I going to call my local bike shop to see if they can get me one for a test ride.

    ps I am from the Chicagoland area but my good friend lives in Seymour.
    Marty
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  50. #50
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    Update: I've been really enjoying this bike.
    The one issue I have been having is with the handling, during high speed turns the front end washes out. I found the answer to this issue by stiffening up the rear shock. In an effort to get a plush ride I went too much and set the sag at 30% which caused the front end to washout.
    I just went to a 25% sag and the front is sticking much better!
    Just thought others who are struggling with this might find this useful.

  51. #51
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    i am able to share a comparison - i've just rode my 26er Superlight Santa Cruz after 10 rides on my newer 29er Cube AMS - wow - the 26er turns a lot better. There are turns on the singletrack that i have to seriously put effort to make the turn - turning on the 29er is like driving an 18wheeler. On the 26er it's so much easier to turn. And my 26er is so much lighter than the 29er that it's such a delight to ride. I'm thinking there's some truth to the marketing line that the 27.5 could be the best of the wheel sizes.

  52. #52
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    29er got people to move off the dime but it is not the end-all. Not a very popular sentiment amongst the 29er crowd who see it as the Grail.
    I don't rattle.

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    Good job!

    Have had my AX 27.5 3 for about a month now(since it came out here)

    Having come from a 26er Anthem 2 years ago, 29er Anthem last year and this year the 27.5 now....

    I definitely had a problem with pedal strike on the 29er, not a problem on the new bike though..

    Handling? Well the Anthem is alive again! I don't feel like I am up in the air anymore! The Anthem is a great do it all bike, great on the climbs, sharp on the descents too.

    Specs are:

    Suspension: Fox CTD FiT Factory spec Kashima front&rear
    Wheels: Chris King hubs w/ Pacenti Tl-28 rims Nobby Nic Tyres
    controls: Thompson Seatpost, stem and bars
    Components: XT Brakes and Cassette

    I got the rear dropout kit direct from Giant in The Netherlands, just stuck in a Shimano axle for now till i find something a bit fancier...

  54. #54
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    I rode an AX1 27.5 Anthem yesterday thanks to a D'ornellas demo in Durham Forest. I rode the bike for 20 minutes or so. Not enough time to get a real full impression, but it works well. I found it climbed very well, handled quickly and descended well too. I ride an AX1 29 now and have ridden 26" bikes for years, so it's interesting to try this 650B bike. I'd like to try one again for longer. I didn't ride it enough to determine if BB height is an issue but I am not fond of low BB heights. I would like to know the weight of the AX1 27.5 Anthem. I will search this thread and forum for the info. I like the fact that the bike has a convertible rear axle. The paint looks really nice too.
    Last edited by morkys; 10-21-2013 at 09:19 AM.

  55. #55
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    Morkys - really keen to here more about the AX1 27.5 and the out of the box weight. It's interesting its taken so much longer to come out than its Aluminium bothers. Problems in production or with the carbon molds???

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    Rode an 27.5 Anthem 3 today. The size was right but the fit was off; too much set-back in the seat post and too long a stem. Everything worked well enough. Sure wish I could do a dirt demo but I liked it better than the SC 5010 (Solo)

    Standard spec with pedals, Large, 30 lbs (13.6 killergrams.)

    Boy, fit is everything
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Mart View Post
    Morkys - really keen to here more about the AX1 27.5 and the out of the box weight. It's interesting its taken so much longer to come out than its Aluminium bothers. Problems in production or with the carbon molds???
    Just weighed an Anthem Advanced 1 27.5 at Eden Cycles in Castro Valley.

    It was a Small without pedals with standard spec.

    24 pounds and 11 ounces or 11.22 killergrams

    What a beauty.

    As to availability...if it is being distributed around the world at a great price point with little direct competition, has XC geometry and everything else starts to go slacker: 5010, Bronson, Dakar, Attack or get more expensive or is still in Alu....

    Funny to see the excitement from the shop folks. I said it just needed carbon wheels and they had said the same thing that AM after they built it up.


    A side note; Both shops I went to, good ones, were hesitant to weigh the bikes.
    I don't rattle.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Rode an 27.5 Anthem 3 today. The size was right but the fit was off; too much set-back in the seat post and too long a stem. Everything worked well enough. Sure wish I could do a dirt demo but I liked it better than the SC 5010 (Solo)

    Standard spec with pedals, Large, 30 lbs (13.6 killergrams.)

    Boy, fit is everything
    Yeah I demoed an Anthem 27.5 Medium that ended up being a size too small and felt nothing but weird to me. Sadly I only got to take the Large around the parking lot real quick but at least it felt right.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Yeah I demoed an Anthem 27.5 Medium that ended up being a size too small and felt nothing but weird to me. Sadly I only got to take the Large around the parking lot real quick but at least it felt right.
    Yeah...I climbed off and it felt like...a bike. Everything worked but there was no connection.

    Now that I think of it, though, I felt a an engagement lag in the rear hub. I'm probably spoiled by the Chris Kings I have now.
    I don't rattle.

  60. #60
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    Rode my Bonti to the shop where they set up the Anthem 3 to better fit me. The suspension was already spot-on and this time the bars were in the right place with the seat better but still wanting to be personalized. Anyhoo..

    Now I could feel the bike geometry and the wheel size. Clearly the wheels are heavier than my DT Swiss Ceramic/CKs; it is in the steering weight but not floppy like the 29er feels for me. Engagement was much slower.

    Since I had ridden for 45 minutes to the shop I was loose and the new fit centered me better on the bike. I felt I could commit the wheel and get the bike off the ground. Not as nimble as the Racelite but smoother all the way around. 2x10 is weird but that will change. Not being in great shape showed….

    City curbs, steps, climbs, and assorted obstacles were the only challenges I had. The Advanced 1 will have a bit nicer component package and suspension system but new, just out of the box and dialed, the current package behaved well so I could just ride without distraction. I want a chance to ride it in real mtb situations.

    I'm 6 ft even with 34 inseam and sleeve length. The large is right, or right enough that tweaking will make it perfect. A good test ride. We talked price for the AA1 I want, suspension seat post, carbon bars. Nothing due till end of December.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 10-31-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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  61. #61
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    UPDATE:
    I just mounted a new set of stans arch wheels and shaved just over 400 grams!
    Also saved 80 grams for swapping the stock racing Ralph with a tubeless ready version, which doesn't make sense because according to the schwalbe website it should be much lighter. I wonder if the stock spec tires are rejects from schwalbe.

    The ride difference is Hugh. It's much easier pedaling up hills and gave me a big boost in speed. The stock rear hub bearing was not in great shape and had a rough spot when spinning, this definitely sucked some power over a long ride.
    Anyone thinking of upgrading wheelsets should go for it.

  62. #62
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    Good to hear, I'm about to fit some stans flows to my Trance 27.5

  63. #63
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    I think the best upgrade I did with my 650b bike was the Industry 9 torch wheels with there special Stans wheels with a set of Rocket Ron TLR tires.



    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomtracer View Post
    UPDATE:
    I just mounted a new set of stans arch wheels and shaved just over 400 grams!
    Also saved 80 grams for swapping the stock racing Ralph with a tubeless ready version, which doesn't make sense because according to the schwalbe website it should be much lighter. I wonder if the stock spec tires are rejects from schwalbe.

    The ride difference is Hugh. It's much easier pedaling up hills and gave me a big boost in speed. The stock rear hub bearing was not in great shape and had a rough spot when spinning, this definitely sucked some power over a long ride.
    Anyone thinking of upgrading wheelsets should go for it.
    Marty
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    The Rocket Rons that came with my Scott Scale 29er were wire bead version and heavier than anything listed on schwalbe's site.

    I shaved 1.86lbs by upgrading to Arch EX, XT Cassette, SLX Rotors, and tubeless.

    Wheelset upgrades are probably the best upgrade you can do.

    I recently rode my original wheelset and tires and man they felt heavy, rode crappier too.

  65. #65
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    Guys what the heck, why doesn't Giant offer an aluminum anthem level one/two?

    I don't want to pay $4,700 for an Anthem one advanced. I really need to keep it around $3,500 for a level one. (XT level components, race wheel set, decent crank)

    What gives?
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  66. #66
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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    Yep, zephxiii you are right, the original tires have wire bead.

  67. #67
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    UPDATE
    I just installed the XX1, bike is down to 25.6lbs
    I haven't ridden it yet to see how the 11speed will work.
    Bike has been awesome, I really have been loving this bike.
    The handling is great, you can really carry speed through the corners.
    I still smack the pedals every once in a while but overall the trade off is worth it for the riding I do.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Guys what the heck, why doesn't Giant offer an aluminum anthem level one/two?

    I don't want to pay $4,700 for an Anthem one advanced. I really need to keep it around $3,500 for a level one. (XT level components, race wheel set, decent crank)

    What gives?
    They do in UK! Why not here? Thats the million dollar question!
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1 (2014) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | UK / Ireland

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Guys what the heck, why doesn't Giant offer an aluminum anthem level one/two?

    I don't want to pay $4,700 for an Anthem one advanced. I really need to keep it around $3,500 for a level one. (XT level components, race wheel set, decent crank)

    What gives?
    Shop elsewhere - I did.

    Also, I'm not quite sure why people "settle" for pedal strikes as some have mentioned in this thread. The Anthem isn't a race bike per se - raise the damn BB.
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  70. #70
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    Rode hard in rocky, baby headed, narrow stuff and had pedal strikes. It was no more frequent than on my old Stumpy pro. In fairness they wed my own doing; bad foot position, too close to backslopes.
    I don't rattle.

  71. #71
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    I am about to buy a giant anthem but I can't decide which one to buy ? If I buy The anthem 3 I am also buying a reba to replace the recon and stans crest ztr wheels. or Do I buy anthem 2 which comes with a carbon main frame but comes with avid elixer 7 brakes which I hear are not so good . Which is going to be the most bang for the buck ? The anthm with the wheels and fork upgrade or the carbon anthem ?

  72. #72
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    Frame and wheels come before anything.
    I don't rattle.

  73. #73
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    Trying to decide if the carbon anthem 2 would be better bang for the buck then a anthem 3 with upgraded wheels and fork ?

  74. #74
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    If I were in the market for a Anthem 27.5 i would desperately try to find a UK dealer to ship me an Anthem 1

    Shame on Giant for not offering the same bikes in the US!!!

  75. #75
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    rode an anthem 27.5 advanced. Cant say i found anything really noticable about the wheelsize over 26, maybe a little. One of the first things i noticed was you obviously dont need to muscle the thing as much as my 29...but, once in corners the 29 had much better grip and rails better. Sitting on a 29 gives a confident feeling of just wanting to plough into stuff that i like. If i had to say which wheelsize i prefer then 29. But, at the same time, what stuck in my mind most was how the anthem 27 was such a nice fit. Very nice, comfortable and balanced bike. If 29 was wiped off the face of the planet i dont think i would be too unhappy riding an anthem 27. A very nice bike to be frank. If headtube height is an issue and you cant muscle a 29 so well, then its a great option.

  76. #76
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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW-1512605_10152069536823695_1931024020_n.jpgThanks for the advice Berkeley Mike I bought the anthem advanced 2 and I am loving it. The bike is sick fast . Carbon frame is really nice , I cant wait tell I upgrade to lighter wheels =)

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyperspeed View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1512605_10152069536823695_1931024020_n.jpg 
Views:	18346 
Size:	166.4 KB 
ID:	855863Thanks for the advice Berkeley Mike I bought the anthem advanced 2 and I am loving it. The bike is sick fast . Carbon frame is really nice , I cant wait tell I upgrade to lighter wheels =)
    Great looking bike.

    Just wait till you upgrade the wheels. It's like someone put a motor on the bike.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Guys what the heck, why doesn't Giant offer an aluminum anthem level one/two?

    I don't want to pay $4,700 for an Anthem one advanced. I really need to keep it around $3,500 for a level one. (XT level components, race wheel set, decent crank)

    What gives?
    Tell your shop and ask they mention it to their Giant rep. Enough people complain it will be fixed.

  79. #79
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    Does anyone know if the Fox 32 float on the Anthem 27.5 1 can be modified to 120mm?

  80. #80
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    I hope this helps you find your answer. you might have to copy and paste


    2002-2012 & 2013 80 - 120 FLOAT/F-Series Travel Adjust

  81. #81
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    After 15 years on a racing 26 inch steel HT, I've been riding my AA1 for a month. I've figured out my place on the bike and will go to a carbon 90mm stem from the OEM 100mm and brought my hands to 736 mm from the old 660. The controls are set at the angle I like and I've gotten used to the hydraulic brakes, the 2x10, and the wheel size. Carbon wheels are on order for my Chris King hubs.

    I ride with a group of men at least once a week. Any change in any rider shows up quickly. The curiosity is that none of these men rode with me 5-10 years ago when I was very strong. They are looking at me wondering.

    The bike is so much more comfortable, the roll improved, the weight lower, and it is starting to disappear under me. I am riding more, am quicker through the baby heads, rock gardens and other more dicey rock climbs. And this is still the beginning.

    One of my guys has been toying with getting a new bike. I've tried to come to terms with the things he needs to be thinking about. Today he asked me if there was anything I did not like about the AA1. No.
    I don't rattle.

  82. #82
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    After putting in more then 12 rides on the AA2 I am still blown away how much faster I am ridding compared to my old steel Ht . The anthem simply rolls a lot smoother over roots which we have a ton of in Florida. I am able to sit in the saddle more due to the maestro suspension soaking up more then what I thought 4 inches of travel would be able to do. I have not raced in 11 years and now I am 35 years old I keep pushing the AA2 faster and carving deeper into the corners which helps to have 650b wheel size and a lower BB . I have so much more energy stored that I can throw down when I need it and I swear its because of the way this bike is built and wheel size. Me not having the AA1 or AA0 has left a few rooms for upgrades so the first one I made was switching from a 2x10 to a 1x10 using raceface 30t to accommodate the 10x 36 rear which looks tricked ,saves weight makes my cockpit look cleaner most importantly I have the gears I need not the ones I am never going to use. "Personal preference" . I also ordered Stan's ZTR crest wheels which should be in tuesday and I am hoping the lighter wheels are going to help me fly up hills even faster on the climb. I just removed the lockout on my Reba rock shox . I tried the lockout more then a few times and its not for me . I am still playing around with suspension setup "sag" on the rear and dampening on the front fork. But thats whats so much fun about getting a new bike is learning it inside and out and having fun trying new setups along the way

  83. #83
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    I have the aluminum non advanced anthem 3 27.5 and a 2013 trance 29er X1. When I first got the anthem it was very difficult to adjust to the bike. I hardly ever wrecked on my trance and could roll over anything. With the anthem 27.5 at first I had issues because the front wheel did not feel as stable while climbing so the bike would sometimes jump around. The bike felt so much lighter and faster that I knew I had to keep learning the bike. After picking better lines and becoming a better rider it is now my favorite.

    Well a few months have gone by and many rides and many miles. I have since upgraded the wheelset to stans crest and gone tubeless. Rear DR has been upgraded to XT and everything is stock. I am now not only faster on almost every trail with the Anthem I am also faster on our local downhill trail that is very fast moving. I have timed the trail over and over again and I am consistently faster on the anthem whereas at first I was about 10 percent slower (ends up being a minute which is a lot).

    I never ride my trance anymore unless I am doing really really rocky terrain and downhill. It feels so heavy and its very hard to corner with. The anthem is absolutely perfect for me and I could not be happier. The only thing I wish I had done was gone with the advanced because now I am upgrading this one and could have just got it all from the get go.

  84. #84
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    Hi Mike

    Sounds like you're getting the AA1 dialed in.
    Was wondering what the specs were on the stock stem. You mentioned 100mm length. Is it a zero degree? The pics on the Giant site look like it might be an inverted 5 or 10 degree stem.

    I'm going to be building up an alloy 27.5 and just wanted to get a starting point for sizing. You said you are going to dial back to a 90mm stem. Would you say the cockpit runs big or small compared to previous bikes? I know sizing is very personal, but just want some other opinions on the anthem 27.5 geo.

    Thanks for any feedback you can give.

  85. #85
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    Looking back at my data it is not particularly long (Virtual Top Tube, 615), compared to my 2004 Stumpy FSR Pro (VTT, 612) and a Tallboy 29 from 2012 (VTT, 613). Bikes like the Stump FSR 29 were at 622, The Yeti SB75 at 620, the Flux 27.5 at 635. All Larges.

    On the other hand the Bronson, Solo, Dakar and Liteville 301, were 605-610: all more AM with laid more laid out head tubes, more travel, and longer wheelbases. The more XC bikes with less travel put you on top of the steeper front wheel.

    However the change from 26" bars to 29-30" bars spread my hands and stretched me out. So I wanted to reduce the size of the set from 100 to 90. Not much.

    The current stock stem is 100 and 8º and I am going to a Giant Carbon 90 at 8 and losing an ounce.
    I don't rattle.

  86. #86
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    Just demoed the Anthem 27.5 and Trance 27.5. As I am primarily xc, the Trance was too much bike. The Anthem was snappy but could use a little more travel up front. For those buying an anthem with a SID fork, the travel can be increased with a new solo air cartridge. The Fox Fork models can't be modified for more travel. Word at the demo was that Giant was developing an Anthem SX for 2015 that would have 120mm of travel up front and other trail riding enhancements although this wasn't confirmed.

  87. #87
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    What does the 27.5 anthem advanced 2 weigh in at out of the box!?!?
    WHEN IN DOUBT?!?! PEDAL OUT!

  88. #88
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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    I plan on putting a 120mm fork and a dropper seat post on my AA1. I guess that would it make an Anthem SX?

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    Mike, I am thinking along the same lines and maybe beefing up the tire spec a bit. Also, if the Trance SX is any indication, the Anthem SX may come with a SRAM XO1 1x11-speed drivetrain. I rode the XX1 1x11 on the AA0 and was very impressed, however a 2x10 with 24/36 drive rings seems to be perfect for me. And Stan's Valor Carbon Wheels might be a good fit also.
    A final thought is Warranty. If Giant specs the 120mm fork its covered, if we spec our own 120mm fork there may be a grey area. That being said, the OD2 headset/headtube should probably handle the load. I am seriously considering this configuration also. Before I pull the trigger, I am going to demo the Turner Flux and Ventana Alpino (120mm travel front/rear - 27.5 wheels). Should be fun!

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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    I hadn't considered the warranty implication. Something to think about for sure.

    I already put a 2.35 Nobby Nic in the front and converted to 1x10. The wider tire makes a big difference in the loose and rocks. I kept the Racing Ralph in the back though.

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    Nice setup. I like the idea of putting a wider, more aggressive tire up front with the smaller, snappier tire in the rear. Are you running them tubeless ready?

    From an observer standpoint, I believe Giant has taken a leap forward with their rendition of the 27.5 platform. My wife got the female specific version of the Anthem and the results are amazing. She bought the AL Lust 1 and added a dropper post, carbon bars and Stan's Podium MMX wheels. She was coming off an AL Specialized 26in Safire (female Stumpjumer) with brain shock and Bontrager XXX carbon wheels. The bikes (and wheel sets) had almost identical weights and comparable component specs. She is 5'6" and 125 lbs.
    The Giant Lust rides with so much more roll than the Safire. It stays on top of the chatter and carries a lot more momentum. There is a slight penalty (lag) sprinting out of corners, but overall she is way faster (up and down) on the 27.5 bike.

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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    Running both tubeless with the kit provided with the bike (DT Swiss). My old bike was mavic and UST. Can't imagine not running tubeless anymore.

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    Not exactly your answer but the 27.5 Anthem Advanced 1 in a medium is 25.2 pounds out of the box, no pedals.
    Quote Originally Posted by zombie racer View Post
    What does the 27.5 anthem advanced 2 weigh in at out of the box!?!?

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    Giant anthem 27.5 REVIEW

    Berkeley Mike, the stem on my AA1 stock is 90mm but it's a Medium size frame. Maybe Giant sets up the bikes with different stem length depending on the frame?

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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Not exactly your answer but the 27.5 Anthem Advanced 1 in a medium is 25.2 pounds out of the box, no pedals.
    Nice! Thanks I am looking into either a large anthem advanced 2 27.5 or anthem x 29er. Demo will be here this weekend! I started off on a 2011 anthem 29er after about a ten year break and loved it but I have been all over the place with bikes since I sold that one and nothing has felt as good of a ride of that one besides my 2013 trance x 1 29er. I switched from thr anthem to trance to superfly elite pro to flash 29er. Just felt right on the anthem. Can't wait till Saturday.
    WHEN IN DOUBT?!?! PEDAL OUT!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    Berkeley Mike, the stem on my AA1 stock is 90mm but it's a Medium size frame. Maybe Giant sets up the bikes with different stem length depending on the frame?
    Have you ridden it?
    I don't rattle.

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    I'll jump in here! I just picked up my AA1 a few weeks ago. Sold a Flash 29 which I was never comfotable on. After 2 rides I absolutley love the AA1. Last Saturday I was with a buddy who had a 2013 BMC FS02 Fourstroke 29er. We did a big loop and after the ride I wanted to ride his BMC and compare. He jumped on my AA1 as well. After a couple of miles of trail with climbs, logs and some nice size jumps I can honestly say I made the right call! AND he could not believe how much more he liked the AA1 over the BMC.


    I have put a Nobby Nic on the front, changed over to tubless and switched rear hub from 18t to 36t internal. I'll have to say I absolutely love this bike!

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    I was at a giant demo in my area and one of the reps leaked info that there was a 120mm fork version of the anthem in the works, after I asked about it handling a 120mm fork to make it a little more trail friendly. I think that will be an awesomely fast, fun bike.

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    That's what Giant needs, short chainstay, slightly slacker, and more funish FS. Kinda like the Santa Cruz 5010 and Scott Spark. The Trance is too much, the Anthem is too bland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptkevin View Post
    I was at a giant demo in my area and one of the reps leaked info that there was a 120mm fork version of the anthem in the works, after I asked about it handling a 120mm fork to make it a little more trail friendly. I think that will be an awesomely fast, fun bike.
    The Rock Shox in the Anthem 3 is 120 mm capable by removing internal spacer. The bike is already designed for it. Nothing new here.
    by Silentfoe
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