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  1. #1
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    Giant Anthem 29X Stem length observations

    My large Anthem X came with a 100mm stem. I did not like the forward feeling on the handlebars on steep, rocky, technical decents when I first got the bike. So, I bought a 80mm stem, which I liked a LOT better on steep decents!!!

    I recently demoed a Ellsworth Evolve with a 90mm stem, which rode a lot like my Anthem, in fact I liked it better.

    What I liked better was how the longer 90mm stem on the Evolve made the bike seem less twitchy cornering, climbing and decending and seemed to keep the front wheel planted on the ground noticibly better than my Anthem with a 80mm stem. The only negative was a slight uncomfortable feeling of being too far forward on the handle bars. Note, I slam the seat down when going down hill. Overall, I like the longer stem, the pluses greatly outweighed the negatives!!!

    What my question is, is after I try the 100mm stem again, I will probably want to try a 90mm stem, which might be perfect? I can keep the 80mm stem for when I ride down real steep, rocky, technical stuff. And maybe I could sell the 100mm stem or just keep it.

    I also liked the narrower 2.0 Kenda Slant 6s, which seemed to grip well and rolled much better than the Hans Dampf front and GEAX Saguaro rear on my Anthem.

    When it comes time for new tires I will get something similar to the Kenda Slant 6s.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks
    Bill

  2. #2
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    I have year and a half on my AnthemX29 so far.

    I'm currently running 60mm stem with 120mm fork. Its perfect. You should keep your 80mm stem. Get used to the twitchness and you will be rewarded with much quicker handling.

    Hans Dampf = Only front tire to consider on a 29er in my option. Unless you're a weight weenie xc type

  3. #3
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    Thanks. What kinds of terrain do you usually ride? Thanks Bill

  4. #4
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    I'd just keep a few different stem lengths on hand. Right now I've got a 70, 80, and 90 in the parts bin. I'm on a large Xtc, not an anthem, but the geo feels very similar and am liking the 80mm at the moment. Performance bike has had their pro series stems on sale and I grabbed a few different sizes. Cost like 25 bucks each and all weigh between 100-110 grams...which is a plus for weight weenies like myself.

    I've noticed that on 29ers there is no need for a longer stem with wide bars. On a 26 inch wheeled bike the shorter stems always rose the front wheel on climbs...but I say go as short as you want on the 29er.

  5. #5
    davidcarson48
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    LIking my Nobby Nic front. A good front tire with plenty of bite with less weight than the Has Dampf.

  6. #6
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    We have plethora of terrain combinations here in SoCal.

    On mellower trails, I would have more fun running Racing Ralphs because bike is more lively with the light tires, but on loose rocky and steeps, HDs have ridiculous amount of grip

  7. #7
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    No problems here with the 100mm stem on my large, but then I was considering an XL, so maybe I'm taller?

    Tire wise, it depends a lot on what you're doing. A 2.0 or a 2.1 works on hard pack or buff fast single track. If you spend much time playing in less than optimal or rockier conditions, more tire is better. If you play in sharp rocks, thicker tires are better in spite of weight. So really, it depends what you're doing. What works well and makes you most comfortable where you ride is what you should use.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    On a 26 inch wheeled bike the shorter stems always rose the front wheel on climbs...but I say go as short as you want on the 29er.
    The front wheel on my Anthem rises more with the 80mm stem then the Evolve with the 90mm. They are different bikes, though. I put on my 100mm stem to compare that with my 80mm.

    Thanks
    Bill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    So really, it depends what you're doing. What works well and makes you most comfortable where you ride is what you should use.
    Very true. When I rode the Evolve, the way it was set up with stem and tires, it was a lot nicer to ride where I normally ride. On the other hand there are a couple of steep rocky places I used to ride, that where the reason I went with a shorter stem and the Hans Dampfs. Now I don't ride there and want something less slack and less beefy. It's really a matter of me, getting more experience and deciding what I like the best.
    Thanks
    Bill

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcasdf View Post
    We have plethora of terrain combinations here in SoCal.
    What trails do you generally ride? Do you ever ride in San Diego?
    Quote Originally Posted by wcasdf View Post
    On mellower trails, I would have more fun running Racing Ralphs because bike is more lively with the light tires, but on loose rocky and steeps, HDs have ridiculous amount of grip
    My bike came with Racing Ralphs and I ran them on loose, rocky steeps, and did not like them at all on that type of terrain. I got a Hans Dampf for the front and then stopped riding those trails and am thinking I would like something a bit beefier than the Racing Ralphs. For where I am riding now, on Mission Trails, the Hans Dampf are over kill. The Kenda Slant 6 2.0 tires had enough grip for how I ride on the trails I ride there.

    Thanks
    Bill

  11. #11
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    your stem length should be dictated by your fit. Running a super short stem may mean that you need a smaller frame. Most of the bikes are designed around a stem length range for a specific frame size.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billinsd View Post
    My large Anthem X came with a 100mm stem. I did not like the forward feeling on the handlebars on steep, rocky, technical decents when I first got the bike. So, I bought a 80mm stem, which I liked a LOT better on steep decents!!!

    I recently demoed a Ellsworth Evolve with a 90mm stem, which rode a lot like my Anthem, in fact I liked it better.

    What I liked better was how the longer 90mm stem on the Evolve made the bike seem less twitchy cornering, climbing and decending and seemed to keep the front wheel planted on the ground noticibly better than my Anthem with a 80mm stem. The only negative was a slight uncomfortable feeling of being too far forward on the handle bars. Note, I slam the seat down when going down hill. Overall, I like the longer stem, the pluses greatly outweighed the negatives!!!

    What my question is, is after I try the 100mm stem again, I will probably want to try a 90mm stem, which might be perfect? I can keep the 80mm stem for when I ride down real steep, rocky, technical stuff. And maybe I could sell the 100mm stem or just keep it.

    I also liked the narrower 2.0 Kenda Slant 6s, which seemed to grip well and rolled much better than the Hans Dampf front and GEAX Saguaro rear on my Anthem.

    When it comes time for new tires I will get something similar to the Kenda Slant 6s.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks
    Bill
    you're over thinking it, just ride.

    the difference between 80 and 90 or 90 and 1000 is 1 CM.....who cares

    Ride your bike
    Mike
    Toronto, Canada
    2014 Giant TCX SLR2
    2013 Trek Stache 8
    2011 Giant Defy Advanced 0

  13. #13
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    Thanks I do over think things. And I do ride the bike. 10 cm does make a noticable difference. I care because I'm searching for the perfect ride and obessive about things I am passionate, wich isnt spelling. Lol Thanks
    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited by Billinsd; 12-14-2012 at 07:59 PM.

  14. #14
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    Do what you gotta do. I'm obsessive compulsive on certain details of my bike especially the cockpit.

    Just give yourself plenty of time before changing back and forth between adjustments.

  15. #15
    Tactical Nightmare
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    Sorry, but I would suggest not listening to Swerny's advice above, because it is wrong. Sorry Swerny, no disrespect at all, but the 10mm difference makes a rather large difference in the feeling of how the bike rides. I would assume that you haven't tried different stem lengths on the same bike to state that.

    OP, you noticed the difference when you made the first change, so you know that 10-20mm can truly effect the way the bike handles. I made the same change you did on my 2011 Anthem X 29er 2, which is also a size large. I went shorter to make the cockpit a little bit smaller, as my bike felt a bit longer than what I felt was comfortable. I am 6'1 and about 170 geared up, and ride trails here in Oregon. Lots of climbing, with super funs downs that can be fairly techy with all the roots.

    Anyways, I was warned by my LBS that the bike would feel twitchy with the shorter stem, but to try it out first, get used to it a bit, then make the decision from there. My first ride was brutal, and made me feel noob-ish again. But after getting used to it, it began to feel better and the twitch really was only on the climbing and not the downs. After riding it for about a month, I opted for some wider handle bars with a slight rise, and now my bike is MY bike. I found the combination that feels really good and fits me just the way I want. Truly, it made a huge difference to me, and I love my Anthem all the more now that I feel it is getting dialed in to me.

    Don't be afraid to try different combos, especially in regards to fit. Our rides were made to fit every person (in that frame size range), so it is up to us and our techs at the LBS to get it dialed to our individuality. One thing I can say about Giant techs, at least at my shop, is that they take the fit of your ride very seriously, and Giant trains them to do so. Go back in and ask questions, or see if they have a trial program so you can try a couple different stem lengths to see how they feel.

    Oh, good luck too! Enjoy your Anthem! I certainly love mine!
    - "The true object of all human life is play" - GK Chesterton
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  16. #16
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    I am suprised no one else has said this already it might not be the stem.

    What handlebars did the Evolve have flat, rise, same sweep. I am short with longer torso so I have a Anthem medium I settled on a 80mm 0 degree stem but wider wars with more sweep, kept stock setback seatpost (although I should get rid of it I dont like the clamp).

    Another thing to consider would be seatpost, did the evolve have a setback seatpost, are you in a good pedaling postion? would it help to have a stragiht post and longer stem?

    Lots to think about besides stem. The only way to truly know is figure what you want to try than change one part at a time slowly until you get it where you want it.
    Last edited by HEMIjer; 12-14-2012 at 05:12 PM. Reason: grammar
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    and the twitch really was only on the climbing and not the downs.
    I went with the shorter stem, because it made me more comfortable and the decents. It put me back away from the front wheel a bit. Where I noticed a little twitchy is on the steep uphills, when I am making sharpt turns and going slow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    After riding it for about a month, I opted for some wider handle bars with a slight rise, and now my bike is MY bike. I found the combination that feels really good and fits me just the way I want. Truly, it made a huge difference to me, and I love my Anthem all the more now that I feel it is getting dialed in to me.
    Yes, I was thinking of trying wider handle bars, not that the ones I have are way too narrow, but I might like it better, thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    Don't be afraid to try different combos, especially in regards to fit.
    Yes, I agree, thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    What handlebars did the Evolve have flat, rise, same sweep.
    I don't know but they "seemed" similar to the ones on my Anthem.
    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Another thing to consider would be seatpost, did the evolve have a setback seatpost, are you in a good pedaling postion? would it help to have a stragiht post and longer stem?
    Good questions!!

    I did swap out the 80 for the 100mm the other day and the bike rode a lot like the Evolve. I think for me with the stems is the longer stems help or force me to keep the front wheel down more and seem to help me when leaning into turns. The only downside, and it is why I changed it out, is the feeling like I am leaning way to forward on the handlebars on steep rocky decents.

    Thanks again all!!!
    Bill

  18. #18
    squish, squish in da fish
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    can a mod plz delete this communist spammer at once?! double posting in tons of threads

  19. #19
    squish, squish in da fish
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    i went from a (stock) 2.1 sm blk 8 to a 2.35 rampage up front & holy sh!t confidence gainer to the max. now on the stem, i took the forgiving 110mm off my talon and put a 50mm on it with wider flat bars and its is now a super twitchy beast that i absolutely love. it just depends on preference and what you want to achieve. im a DH'er stuck in a crappy location for it so i have to make due with the xc crap here in SE MI.

  20. #20
    ballbuster
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    Goodness, man...

    Quote Originally Posted by Billinsd View Post
    My large Anthem X came with a 100mm stem. I did not like the forward feeling on the handlebars on steep, rocky, technical decents when I first got the bike. So, I bought a 80mm stem, which I liked a LOT better on steep decents!!!

    I recently demoed a Ellsworth Evolve with a 90mm stem, which rode a lot like my Anthem, in fact I liked it better.

    What I liked better was how the longer 90mm stem on the Evolve made the bike seem less twitchy cornering, climbing and decending and seemed to keep the front wheel planted on the ground noticibly better than my Anthem with a 80mm stem. The only negative was a slight uncomfortable feeling of being too far forward on the handle bars. Note, I slam the seat down when going down hill. Overall, I like the longer stem, the pluses greatly outweighed the negatives!!!

    What my question is, is after I try the 100mm stem again, I will probably want to try a 90mm stem, which might be perfect? I can keep the 80mm stem for when I ride down real steep, rocky, technical stuff. And maybe I could sell the 100mm stem or just keep it.

    I also liked the narrower 2.0 Kenda Slant 6s, which seemed to grip well and rolled much better than the Hans Dampf front and GEAX Saguaro rear on my Anthem.

    When it comes time for new tires I will get something similar to the Kenda Slant 6s.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks
    Bill
    ... It's just a stem!

    Buy all three sizes in cheapo $20 stems (or stock up at the local swap meets), to see what you like best. If you really care to upgrade, get the blingy stem of similar size you like.

    Here ya go:

    Components > Handlebars and Stems > Stems | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-16-2012 at 07:16 PM.

  21. #21
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    It's a 1 1/4 stem. Giant sells them for $90 plus tax. Bill

  22. #22
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billinsd View Post
    It's a 1 1/4 stem. Giant sells them for $90 plus tax. Bill
    I highly doubt that Giant would use an outdated Gary Fisher standard from 1995.

    *edit*

    Wowzers! You're right! Dafuq?!?

    OverDrive 2 | Technology - Giant Bicycles | United States

    Good thing they only did this on the road bikes and some mountain bikes. Looks like some Mountain Bikes are just using regular 1.5-1 1/8" tapered steerer tubes.

    That's lame. It's going to make it a major PITA if you have to replace that fork.

    I was considering an Anthem 29er for my next bike, but this kills it.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-16-2012 at 11:40 PM.

  23. #23
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    Are the lower end Anthem 29ers equipped with this new OverDrive $h!t,
    or do they have more standard tapered headtubes ?

  24. #24
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    I'm a little confused here guys....are you all thinking that the overdrive system requires some proprietary fork? Not true at all. Any tapered steer tube 1.5 - 1-1/8 fits on these frames....as long as you have enought steer tube length. Pretty much industry standard these days. Am I missing something here? Both my Xtc 29er and my buddies anthem x 29er use your standard tapered steer tube...nothing "special" or "different" here. Please educate me on why anyone would call their overdrive 2 a bad feature. Been on giants for years and they seem to stick with standard sizes for versatility. Thanks

  25. #25
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    70mm on my Lg, love it after trying 90/80....

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