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  1. #26
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    Having the '12 version of this bike I have to agree that front tire pressure helped me the most overall. Lower pressure also helped immensely on climbs with obstacles (less bounce!)

    My rear racing ralph is almost bald after a full summer already. Thinking of using the front on the back and getting a better tire for corning though.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by V-Tach View Post
    I have a 2011 Anthem X 1 that I trail ride (rough, rocky/rooty trail ) and race mostly endurance events which the Anthem is very good at. This year I am thinking of doing some short course racing as well and have been working harder at trying to improve mine and the Anthems single track handling. I'm only going to have the 1 bike for all riding. Last season I had a similar feeling and bought a hardtail 29er (Scale) but I missed the dual suspension and it got sold.

    On the Anthem I have shortened the stem from 100mm to 90mm to 80mm (medium frame, 700mm bar, I'm 5'9") which helped but it feels as though I can initiate tighter high speed turns but I don't seem to be able to complete the turn without a fair lean angle on the bikeor a fair amount a bit of bar wrenching/pressure or often Ill just overshoot the exit. I am starting to realise how much I miss sharp handling. I've experimented with seat height and position, bar height etc but without significant improvements. I read another posters similar issues and from the feedback I am guessing the long chainstays don't help? Not sure.

    I rode a friends Epic 29er and the geometry instantly felt great and it felt much more nimble and better in turns/cornering and pretty stable at speed. The Anthems suspension (apart from steep climbs) was much, much better. If I could have the Anthems suspension on the Epic frame that would be perfect.

    Does anyone have any tips that might help to sharpen/improve the handling?

    The other option is to sell the anthem and shell out for an Epic but the cost is a worry as is the possibility of missing the maestro suspension.

    Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated.
    Tires make a huge difference in how a bike steers. You've got Ardent 2.4's for some reason and the Epic had race tires. Why not swap whhels and compare.

    If you want a sharp handling bike for racing, use narrow, light tires. Some tires also steer quicker than others. On my AX29er i don't go any bigger than a Ro Ro 2.25 and it steers nice and light. Even a MK2 2.2 , which is narrower steers heavier. The heavier tire on a 29er compounds the problem. That's why on a 29er i don't go over a 650g 2.25 tire. They have more than enough grip compared to 2.4" tires i run on my 26" bikes. The 29er Ro Ro 2.25 is a gem on the front. Can't wait to try the 2013 version.

    I run a 120mm fork most of the time. Putting the OEM RLC back on and the steering is plenty sharp.
    Some forks also steer quicker. The Fox forks, even with a lower AC, seem to steer slower than the same travel Rockshox and Dt Swiss forks I have. Possibly due to a little more flex in the Fox forks ?

    As per bike set up. I'm riding about 33 to 35% sag both ends to get the most out of this bike for trail work.More sag also means you can use your body weight to more effect, and balance during cornering. The same reason my tire pressures are always very low . I'm 160lbs and ride 16 psi front and 22 rear. Your seat posn has nothing to do with your steering unless your sitting for some reason. Get your seat approx relative to BB for pedalling eff[ don't be bike fit rule zealous but sensible unless your sitting in the saddle 90% for 2 hrs plus] and then play with stem bar width etc. I find 20mm extra bar width and I can shorten stem 10mm gives identical reach. Just a matter of what set up you want, long and narrow or short and wide. You can get the same reach with both. Short and wide is better for a neutral standing cornering posn[ attack posn] on Ax with it's long chain stays.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 11-30-2012 at 12:21 PM.

  3. #28
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    Quote button? What's that?

    Quote Originally Posted by bulerias View Post
    The typical shock loses about 10-15 lbs filling up the pump every time you connect the hose. So it was probably right where you last had it. The suggested retail pressures are almost invariably about 10% lower than what I end up liking so now I just cut to the chase. Same applies to forks.

    You have to wonder how many sets of seals were changed for this reason. Keeps 'em fresh tho'.

    Big business opportunity for a non invasive suspension pressure gauge; but then the best one is the shock sag itself.
    I normally estimate about 10psi loss from the pump and 5psi on the fork - probably should have pointed that out - the shock was sitting at a real 160 (measured 150). I had no problem with it holding air before but it was starting to leak oil badly down 1 area of the piston - so I had the seals done. Its just a good lesson now for me to recheck shock and fork pressures regularly.

    I'll try a small front tyre this weekend (Ikon?) as well as lower pressures in the Ardent.

    AND

    Being a higher level primate I've been able to learn and now I'm using the quote button! Actually I've used it before but trying to quote from multiple people into 1 reply was just too hard.
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  4. #29
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    Your OEM crossmarks have larger edge tread and more cornering traction than the Ikon in loose over hardpack. Ra Ra is better because of the extra width[if you don't mind them drifting until you hit the edge tread].Ro Ro is much better than all of them.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 11-30-2012 at 05:07 PM.

  5. #30
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    I have same bike and similar body type 5'8 and 175.

    Some things that have helped me some of this is redundant to other posts but figured I would add to it.

    Tires - I ditched the crossmarks early,besides lack of sidewall stregth I could not stand the difference in traction when leaning the bike. Seem like no traction in transtion from upright to leaning the bike, this could be your issue on a number of tires.

    Suspension - I have had to run the fork soft and shock firm to really get it the way I want. Probably does help because especially the downhill corners I can really feel fork working but in a harsh type of way even with lower pressure and slower rebounds. All my stuff is at Push right now will report back when I get it back and ride time on it. I think my fork probably had some "defects" from fox and it never was really right, I can see how cornering would not feel right if your fork is not consistent..

    Stem and Handlebars - Shorter 0 degree stem but handlebars with more sweep helped the most, I noticed some handlebar discussion in the thread but really look at the sweeep of the bars on your friends epic. I am using the niner upside down and have them tilted quite a bit down as well. Often told they look funny but heck they work and get ny back stragiht and upper body relaxed where my shoulders dont feel like they are pushing out and still plenty of elbow bend.

    Saddle angle/height - Just play with not experience from this bike but in general, you sound knowledgeable so doubt this is. I rode the stock Fizik for a year before finally got rid of that thing.

    In general this bike has been a lot of tinkering for me maybe becuase only FS I have owned, but i wouldn't trade no way no how, great for longer backcountry type rides.

    Good luck and keep trying I think eventaully you will be happy.
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  6. #31
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    I have 5'8"... In my experiences.... When i buy medium frame size i had problems with bike fit and use short stem and saddle forward adjust and i haven't a good position to ride well and have a good confort.... I pass to use small sizes..

    Our stature is inferior limit to use medium size.... Our stature is more to small than medium size..

    Adam craig from team giant has 6' tall (recomended size is Large) and uses medium frames... Search on google... He said smaller frame gives him best position to efficient pedalling, confort, best cornering, more options for stem position, shorter wheelbase, recessed saddle, short chainstay, more traction and a little less weight....



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  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftajiri View Post
    Adam craig from team giant has 6' tall (recomended size is Large) and uses medium frames... Search on google... He said smaller frame gives him best position to efficient pedalling, confort, best cornering, more options for stem position, shorter wheelbase, recessed saddle, short chainstay, more traction and a little less weight
    Yes, you should always buy or set up your own bike based off of what the pro's ride.
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  8. #33
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    I am 5' 9 and 1/2" tall. I wear 30" jeans. The Giant Anthem X 29'er 1 is on my short list of 29'ers that I am chosing from. I hope to acquire one next spring or next fall. I like quick handling bikes. I hope to learn what tweaks can be made to ensure the quickest handling possible on this bike in tight singletrack. The chainstay does seem like the one longer than usual dimension vs other bikes, but, the wheelbase is shorter than other bikes.

    Any chance a steeper head angle via adjustable headset would help?

    What size Anthem X 29'er would suit me at my height?

  9. #34
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    Well, if you know your way around building a bike and want a really nice, race oriented XC FS 29er, browse on to Jenson and check out their 12 days of x-mas deal for today - Jet9 + SID for $1258.
    Quote Originally Posted by morkys View Post
    I am 5' 9 and 1/2" tall. I wear 30" jeans. The Giant Anthem X 29'er 1 is on my short list of 29'ers that I am chosing from. I hope to acquire one next spring or next fall. I like quick handling bikes. I hope to learn what tweaks can be made to ensure the quickest handling possible on this bike in tight singletrack. The chainstay does seem like the one longer than usual dimension vs other bikes, but, the wheelbase is shorter than other bikes.

    Any chance a steeper head angle via adjustable headset would help?

    What size Anthem X 29'er would suit me at my height?
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Well, if you know your way around building a bike and want a really nice, race oriented XC FS 29er, browse on to Jenson and check out their 12 days of x-mas deal for today - Jet9 + SID for $1258.
    I will check that out.

    What about the fact that the stock wheels on the Giant Anthem X 29'er are very heavy? Wouldn't lighter wheels quicken handling among other things?

  11. #36
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    The stock wheels on just about every production bike, regardless of brand, are heavy. That is why there is a thriving aftermarket for wheels. Think of them as good starter wheels, upgrade as necessary.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    The stock wheels on just about every production bike, regardless of brand, are heavy. That is why there is a thriving aftermarket for wheels. Think of them as good starter wheels, upgrade as necessary.
    In terms of handling - the original thread topic - the overall weight isn't important, just the part out at the rim. The difference in rim weight isn't as great as relative wheel weights would suggest. Alloy nipples and skinny spokes or fewer spokes can make a difference but it's the weight out at the rim that you feel, most of which is often the tire.

    Actually, I don't think the rim weight is all that high on an Anthem rim; there's a whole thread on the PXC SXC theme and the stock wheels aren't so bad as I recall. You can't buy some exotic flyweight hub and expect to experience less rotating mass.

  13. #38
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    I have a recently acquired 2013 Anthem X Advanced and have had a similarly interesting time working on getting it set up 'just right' for me too. I will say, as a couple of others have, that I wouldn't really want to trade this bike for anything else out there. In spite of the challenges in getting it to corner like my other bike, it's just faster everywhere I ride it, and I can ride it much longer, and it's just downright fun to ride. Unlike some of you, I have found it to turn very quickly, as in not a lazy handler. I began by using suggested sag settings and pressures for my 180lbs, which resulted in a comfortable ride, but constant pedal strikes and frequent tip overs. I wound up at around 240psi in back and 90-100 in front. This bike has a SID fork and Monarch fork. Initially it wouldn't stay upright in a loose corner, tight or not. Once I got the rebound better suited for the surface here it got a lot better. Keeping the shock high in the stroke was really helpful for me also. I got a lot of very helpful tips from the suspension forum. I am at a point where I've done lots of tire, wheel, bar and stem testing, on top of air and rebound, and am really only struggling on a certain type of corner now. My local trail is totally flat singletrack with lots and lots of corners in the 8-10mph ballpark. Not fast. Surface from the top is an inch of dry hard leaves, then a layer of loose sand, then hard sand, and tree roots up to probably 6" in height through the whole loop everywhere. It's seemingly pretty simple, but not in actuality. Other places I've been with the bike it simply devours. It's amazing. If I can get a hold of a larger frame I may see how that affects the loose sweepers I've been chasing here. Otherwise I'm gonna continue making small adjustments. I'm 5'5" so could have gone with an xs or small. I went for the xs and am going back and forth between a 100 and 110mm stem. Seat is comfy for me. Back pretty far, but right as far as efficiency and comfort go. Have any of you tried this bike in two different sizes? Also, on this particular surface, I have tried 5 or 6 different tires with stock wheels , Crests, and ENVE's with tubulars. Tires have been Racing Ralph, Furious Fred, Nobby Nic, Tufo XC2, Maxxis Aspen. While there are some fairly big differences between them all, now that the bike is turning better, there isn't as huge a performance gap between them as you might think. I do think that transitional areas are the one area where the bike makes me work hardest. I expected a massive improvement going to the Nobby Nic, but there wasn't any. Which makes me feel more confident that working on suspension and weight transfer is the right thing to do. Awesome bike.
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  14. #39
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    0sparky0, a thoughtful response, but one BIG suggestion, PARAGRAPHS! That was damned hard to read all together like that, try editing it into some paragraphs so people can and will actually read through it, because as said it's actually a thoughtful reply.
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  15. #40
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    Oops. Sorry all.

    While I'm here, on my second paragraph I would clarify that there is a difference between the tires I've tried, but it wasn't as massive as I had expected. With the leaves, sand and more sand, none of them are particularly grippy so far on most of the trail. The most noticeable differences, like one might expect, are in faster corners. The Racing Ralph's that came with the bike are really great all around tires for me. I have a Rocket Ron coming.
    This may hurt a little..

  16. #41
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    If that's the case try a tyre with taller, more spaced knobs like the Maxxis Beaver, or Bontrager MudX, they're made for mud, but also work exceptionally well it cutting through stuff like that and finding grip. Be fore warned though, they only come in 2.0" right now, so if you need volume, they won't have it, but with FS I'd think you'll be OK.
    Quote Originally Posted by 0sparky0 View Post
    Oops. Sorry all.

    While I'm here, on my second paragraph I would clarify that there is a difference between the tires I've tried, but it wasn't as massive as I had expected. With the leaves, sand and more sand, none of them are particularly grippy so far on most of the trail. The most noticeable differences, like one might expect, are in faster corners. The Racing Ralph's that came with the bike are really great all around tires for me. I have a Rocket Ron coming.
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  17. #42
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  18. #43
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    I had originally planned to reply months ago but December got away on me then Christmas, etc .... I lot has happened since then. Anyway.

    I made adjustments to the Anthem based on what people suggested and then rode the adjusted Anthem back to back with the Epic (the bike that started all of this). The adjustments people suggested definitely made the Anthem corner better and feel more balanced. I got the Anthem to the point that I felt it cornered just as well as the Epic but the fit of the Epic (feeling in the bike not on the bike) was definitely better. However riding the 2 bikes back to back made me realise the Anthem suspension was something I would never give up compared to the Epic's suspension. Slower cornering/handling on the stock Anthem would have been a very acceptable trade off and realistically the Anthem was much faster through any slightly technical (rocks/roots/drops etc.) terrain anyway.

    The things I changed on the Anthem one by one that made the most difference included:

    - Higher pressure in the rear shock (bout 20-25% sag)
    - 80mm stem (from a 90mm)
    - Similar tyre heights front and back
    - Raised the stem/handle bar height

    That last one was the biggest surprise for me (the others make sense to keep the original head angle) and also made a big difference - almost as much as increasing the pressure in the rear suspension. I thought it would shift too much weight up and back, and decrease front tyre grip. I think what happened was just the opposite due to my riding style (lack of skill...). With the bars higher I felt more balanced and was more willing to stay in a balanced position rather than going off the back of the seat for fear of over the handle bar-ing at speed on descents. I never really noticed shifting back so much before and it wasn't much movement but enough to throw the balance out.

    The reason why I tried the higher bars was in my frustration I got a great deal on a Carbon Anthem and bought one - stock bars were much higher than the alumini˙m Anthems.

    Now the story changes because stock, out of the box (90mm stem, bars cut down to 705mm) the carbon Anthem way out handled the modified aluminium Anthem and the carbon Epic for that matter. I modeled the aluminium Anthem (with 80mm stem) as much as possible on the carbon bike trying to achieve a similar ride but to no avail. The carbon bike just handled sooo much better. Stiffness? Lighter wheel/tyre weight? I dunno - what else is there?

    As a side note the carbon Anthem's suspension (SID/Maestro) is very efficient, can take big hits but is not as plush or trail friendly as the Fox equipped bike. The ideal trail Anthem in my mind would be a carbon frame with Fox front and back.

    I must say the suggestions and help off this forum has been great and made me think about things I wouldn't have considered important. So thanks again to everyone who contributed. The whole process also made me realise how finicky I am getting about my bikes and setup, and what works for me may not work for someone else. It also reinforces how different we all are in size and riding style.

    I got lucky with the carbon Anthem handling wise when I bought without test riding. Strange how life works - because it made me much faster - to the point now that I wanted more travel...so sold the Anthem carbon and bought a Cube carbon (story in another thread). I'm starting to feel like a MTB tragic.
    Last edited by V-Tach; 08-05-2013 at 07:30 AM.
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  19. #44
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    Great to hear the OP chime back in with what he's done and the results, glad it's working out for you. Now as to your "ideal" Trail Anthem, if you really are after that, if the carbon Anthem is also a 29er, then the fork and shock will bolt directly from the old alu one and vice versa, so why not swap them about and experiment and see if you can obtain Nirvana
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by V-Tach View Post
    I had originally planned to reply months ago but December got away on me then Christmas, etc .... I lot has happened since then. Anyway.

    I made adjustments to the Anthem based on what people suggested and then rode the adjusted Anthem back to back with the Epic (the bike that started all of this). The adjustments people suggested definitely made the Anthem corner better and feel more balanced. I got the Anthem to the point that I felt it cornered just as well as the Epic but the fit of the Epic (feeling in the bike not on the bike) was definitely better. However riding the 2 bikes back to back made me realise the Anthem suspension was something I would never give up compared to the Epic's suspension. Slower cornering/handling on the stock Anthem would have been a very acceptable trade off and realistically the Anthem was much faster through any slightly technical (rocks/roots/drops etc.) terrain anyway.

    The things I changed on the Anthem one by one that made the most difference included:

    - Higher pressure in the rear shock (bout 20-25% sag)
    - 80mm stem (from a 90mm)
    - Similar tyre heights front and back
    - Raised the stem/handle bar height

    That last one was the biggest surprise for me (the others make sense to keep the original head angle) and also made a big difference - almost as much as increasing the pressure in the rear suspension. I thought it would shift too much weight up and back, and decrease front tyre grip. I think what happened was just the opposite due to my riding style (lack of skill...). With the bars higher I felt more balanced and was more willing to stay in a balanced position rather than going off the back of the seat for fear of over the handle bar-ing at speed on descents. I never really noticed shifting back so much before and it wasn't much movement but enough to throw the balance out.

    The reason why I tried the higher bars was in my frustration I got a great deal on a Carbon Anthem and bought one - stock bars were much higher than the alumini˙m Anthems.

    Now the story changes because stock, out of the box (90mm stem, bars cut down to 705mm) the carbon Anthem way out handled the modified aluminium Anthem and the carbon Epic for that matter. I modeled the aluminium Anthem (with 80mm stem) as much as possible on the carbon bike trying to achieve a similar ride but to no avail. The carbon bike just handled sooo much better. Stiffness? Lighter wheel/tyre weight? I dunno - what else is there?

    As a side note the carbon Anthem's suspension (SID/Maestro) is very efficient, can take big hits but is not as plush or trail friendly as the Fox equipped bike. The ideal trail Anthem in my mind would be a carbon frame with Fox front and back.

    I must say the suggestions and help off this forum has been great and made me think about things I wouldn't have considered important. So thanks again to everyone who contributed. The whole process also made me realise how finicky I am getting about my bikes and setup, and what works for me may not work for someone else. It also reinforces how different we all are in size and riding style and the old adage "test ride, test ride, test ride".

    I got lucky with the carbon Anthem handling wise when I bought without test riding. Strange how life works - because it made me much faster - to the point now that I wanted more travel...so sold the Anthem carbon and bought a Cube carbon (story in another thread). I'm starting to feel like a MTB tragic.

    And the moral of the story continues to be not to take advice from people with no saddle time.

    Stories like this just leave me shaking my head.

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