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  1. #1
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    Scott Spark 920 or Giant Anthem X

    Hello All-

    New here and to serious mountain biking and I'm on the hunt for a new 29er FS bike. I've done ample research and have narrowed it down to either the Scott Spark 920 or the Giant Anthem X. I live in Austin, TX and am looking for a bike that will conquer the rugged and mostly flat Texas hill country terrain. Looking for feedback from folks who have demo'd or own either of the two. I'm leaning slightly towards the Scott mainly because of a local shop running a great deal but could definitely be talked into the Giant. Am I overlooking any other comparable brands or models? Thanks in advance!

    Scott-
    SCOTT Spark 920 Bike - SCOTT Sports

    Giant-
    Anthem X 29er 1 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

  2. #2
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    Two questions - have you ridden both bikes? Do you have a local dealer for the Giant?

    I have a local dealer for both bikes, and I have ridden both of them. I own an Anthem. It felt better when I was peddling, the cockpit felt better on it - more open, if you will, it got out of the and let me ride.

    Don't get me wrong, the Scott was a nice ride. The Anthem just felt better to me. Do yourself a favor and don't compromise just because you can get a better deal on the Scott. If you'd rather have the Anthem, get it. By the same token, if you like the Scott better, get it while the getting is good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrdman View Post
    Hello All-

    New here and to serious mountain biking and I'm on the hunt for a new 29er FS bike. I've done ample research and have narrowed it down to either the Scott Spark 920 or the Giant Anthem X. I live in Austin, TX and am looking for a bike that will conquer the rugged and mostly flat Texas hill country terrain. Looking for feedback from folks who have demo'd or own either of the two. I'm leaning slightly towards the Scott mainly because of a local shop running a great deal but could definitely be talked into the Giant. Am I overlooking any other comparable brands or models? Thanks in advance!

    Scott-
    SCOTT Spark 920 Bike - SCOTT Sports

    Giant-
    Anthem X 29er 1 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

    I like the Giant and its 2 x 10 system and the fact the rear shock is a fox CTD compared to the Nude rear shock on the Scott….ive ridden the old Carbon Pro Scott with the Nude rear shock and IMO it performed well, but some reviews aren’t convinced with the shock…..saying that, Fox make a remote CTD rear shock that im sure would fit the Scott if you wanted to swapout. I did like the fact I could lower the suspension or lockout with the push of a thumb.

    I own a Giant Trance X 29er and im more than happy with how it handles and its weight (Size Large 29lbs) plus i got it for silly money which swayed my decision.

    The specs seem similar, both have Fox Forks which i like.

    For me if I had to choose it would come down to two possibly three things…
    1) Did I want the Carbon Frame over an Alu frame.
    2) Did I care about the rear shock enough to sway my decision.
    3) Did I care about the 2 x 10 to sway my decision.

    So based on these three things id choose the Scott.

    I can always swapout components but the Carbon frame does it for me.

  4. #4
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    I have never ridden the Scott but I can't imagine that the suspension is as good as the Maestro Suspension. You have some good shops in Austin and some rugged trails that the Anthem would just love. Go demo both and pick the one that feels the best to you.


    ...or....just get a Jet9 RDO...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey44 View Post
    I have never ridden the Scott but I can't imagine that the suspension is as good as the Maestro Suspension. You have some good shops in Austin and some rugged trails that the Anthem would just love. Go demo both and pick the one that feels the best to you.


    ...or....just get a Jet9 RDO...
    I must admit......if you can afford it just get an RDO Thats my fair weather ride the Giants my Winter bike.

  6. #6
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    It's only money, you can make more...lol...

    The Anthem would actually be my second choice in a 29'er though. It's a nice bike, I just wish the top tube wasn't so straight and high.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewfuzzy View Post
    I must admit......if you can afford it just get an RDO Thats my fair weather ride the Giants my Winter bike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrdman View Post
    Hello All-

    New here and to serious mountain biking and I'm on the hunt for a new 29er FS bike. I've done ample research and have narrowed it down to either the Scott Spark 920 or the Giant Anthem X. I live in Austin, TX and am looking for a bike that will conquer the rugged and mostly flat Texas hill country terrain. Looking for feedback from folks who have demo'd or own either of the two. I'm leaning slightly towards the Scott mainly because of a local shop running a great deal but could definitely be talked into the Giant. Am I overlooking any other comparable brands or models? Thanks in advance!

    Scott-
    SCOTT Spark 920 Bike - SCOTT Sports

    Giant-
    Anthem X 29er 1 (2013) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
    good advice from others. Also the "serious" trails in austin are not flat..

  8. #8
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    That's what I was thinking but then I just assumed the OP has much stronger legs than me...
    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    . Also the "serious" trails in austin are not flat..

  9. #9
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    Thats what i told the other half when i was looking at the Niner
    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey44 View Post
    It's only money, you can make more...lol...

    .

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    Thanks for the feedback all. Today I continue to waffle. Just discovered that a co-worker is in the market for the same bike so we're trying to go in together to receive a 2fer discount. Pros for the Giant IMO are the rear shock being a fox CTD and slightly higher handle bar position. I really like the geometry on the Scott and the carbon frame. Unfortunately I can't demo either, I can only take them for a spin in the parking lot.

    Couple other points- I know the 'serious' trails aren't flat, I'll just be riding mostly flat trails initially.

    I'm not going to buy completely on price; more so on value, bang for the buck and resale-ability. Would love to go with Niner or Yeti but if I spent 4k on a bike I would be more worried about the revenge my wife might take on a shopping spree of her own!

  11. #11
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    Make a road trip to Waco and you can demo an Anthem.


    I hear you on the wife part. I discussed buying a Jet9 RDO with my wife, she said "no" and I got the bike the next day.

    The day after that she walked outside, while I was out at the pool and handed me an invoice for all the new patio furniture she just purchased online. She said something like "I hope you like your new bike as much as I like my new furniture" All I could do was laugh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Byrdman View Post
    Thanks for the feedback all. Today I continue to waffle. Just discovered that a co-worker is in the market for the same bike so we're trying to go in together to receive a 2fer discount. Pros for the Giant IMO are the rear shock being a fox CTD and slightly higher handle bar position. I really like the geometry on the Scott and the carbon frame. Unfortunately I can't demo either, I can only take them for a spin in the parking lot.

    Couple other points- I know the 'serious' trails aren't flat, I'll just be riding mostly flat trails initially.

    I'm not going to buy completely on price; more so on value, bang for the buck and resale-ability. Would love to go with Niner or Yeti but if I spent 4k on a bike I would be more worried about the revenge my wife might take on a shopping spree of her own!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey44 View Post
    Make a road trip to Waco and you can demo an Anthem.


    I hear you on the wife part. I discussed buying a Jet9 RDO with my wife, she said "no" and I got the bike the next day.

    The day after that she walked outside, while I was out at the pool and handed me an invoice for all the new patio furniture she just purchased online. She said something like "I hope you like your new bike as much as I like my new furniture" All I could do was laugh.
    And the moral of the story its better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission

  13. #13
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    Always...
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewfuzzy View Post
    And the moral of the story its better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrdman View Post
    Thanks for the feedback all. Today I continue to waffle. Just discovered that a co-worker is in the market for the same bike so we're trying to go in together to receive a 2fer discount. Pros for the Giant IMO are the rear shock being a fox CTD and slightly higher handle bar position. I really like the geometry on the Scott and the carbon frame. Unfortunately I can't demo either, I can only take them for a spin in the parking lot.

    Couple other points- I know the 'serious' trails aren't flat, I'll just be riding mostly flat trails initially.

    I'm not going to buy completely on price; more so on value, bang for the buck and resale-ability. Would love to go with Niner or Yeti but if I spent 4k on a bike I would be more worried about the revenge my wife might take on a shopping spree of her own!
    are you sure you cant demo them? Most of the shops in austin rent bikes and some will apply the rental fee to the price.

  15. #15
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    Did you check with Texas Cycle Werks or MJ's for a demo? I know that MJ's had a few demo Anthems. I'd highly suggest TCW if you decide to buy - They're good people, and great mechanics.

    How tall are you?

  16. #16
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    Oh, and if you're not racing, and planning on riding the more rugged trails in town, I'd suggest also looking at 5" travel bikes. They seem to be the sweet spot for general riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fontarin View Post
    How tall are you?
    5'10

  18. #18
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    Ah, can't help ya then. I'm in Austin and have an Anthem, but it's a small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fontarin View Post
    I'd highly suggest TCW if you decide to buy - They're good people, and great mechanics.
    There is a new contender. Went to TCW this morning. Great guys indeed. I now have my eyes on a Trance X 29 1. It's between the Trance and an Adv. Anthem with a carbon frame. Trance felt better in the saddle for my style of riding but the carbon Anthem did have a very light weight feel to it. Any thoughts or experience here on Trance v. Anthem?

  20. #20
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    I actually had both. I just sold my Trance because I'm looking to upgrade to something carbon-y (the Anthem will probably follow too - looking at Pivot 429C, Ibis Ripley, or Anthem Adv w/ a 120 fork). Nice bike, especially after you get the suspension set up perfectly. Good for around here and fun in the chunky rocks. I didn't care for the setback of the stock dropper post - it seemed to put my weight too far back. Not a bad climber, though, and really descends well. After riding Giant, I wouldn't ride a non-DW link suspension, which is why my choices above are what they are.

    Edit -
    Anthem - climbs very well, great suspension, descent descender (best with a RS rather than Fox suspension IMO - a little less plush maybe, but better pedaling feel)

    Trance - climbs decently, great suspension (though I prefer the old Fox suspension to the CTD stuff), awesome descender.

    I'd suggest a non-setback post on the Trance. Weight bias is already pretty far over the back wheel.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fontarin View Post
    Trance - climbs decently, great suspension (though I prefer the old Fox suspension to the CTD stuff), awesome descender.
    Thanks! Very helpful. How noticeable was the room for climbing improvement in the Trance? Any parts of the Greenbelt where it would be an issue?

  22. #22
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    I could feel it, but only have my Anthem w/ Crest wheels (about 25.5lbs) to compare it with (Trance was about 29.6 with pedals on the X1 stock). I imagine a lighter wheelset would be a nice improvement, though the wheels weren't bad.

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