Giant Anthem vs ???
On my very short list for my next bike is the Giant Anthem, probably the X1, maybe the X2 depending on $.
It'll be my first FS bike as I've ridden steel HT's exclusively till now.
I'm wondering which other bikes compare favorably against the Anthem.
Pretty much everything I've read about it has been a rave review.
What else should I be considering in a 4-5" travel, light weight XC bike in the $2-3K range?
The first obvious choice is the Specialized Epic which should be on your list. The Epic pretty much has set the mark everyone else has tried to reach in light weight race capable full suspension bikes. The Trek Fuel 8 would be another good choice. Its interesting though that Trek doesnt make anything really "budget" minded for the xc racer or someone looking for something light. The MSRP on the Fuel 8 is $3200.
The Mongoose Canaan Team at Performance Bike is very nicely speced and at a little less than 3k would be tough to beat for overall value.
The Epic and Canaan should be pretty easy to find. Not sure about the Fuel 8 though. The trouble with the higher end bikes is the shops dont like to carry all sizes and of course at this time of year they may have a hard time getting the bikes as the older bikes are cleared out.
i too am looking at the giant anthem x1 as a replacement for a steel giant hardtail i've been riding for 16 years. the other bikes on my list are the:
- trek top fuel 8 and 9
- specialized epic
in my opinion the trek fuel ex and anthem are two different breeds of bikes. the fuel ex has slacker geometry and more travel. the top fuel and epic have similar geometry to the giant.
as between the 3 that i am considering here are my thoughts on them:
trek top fuel 8 or 9: the top fuel 9 is a new 2010 model that is the same frame as the 8, but is full xt instead of full slx. i don't know pricing, but based on the trek bikes uk site i'm thinking its going to be $3,600. i like the full floater design and hear great things about it. i've ridden the 8 and like it, but would rather have xt over slx and prefer the paint scheme of the 9 over the 8
giant anthem x1: i've got no complaints with my 16 year old giant so i am more than willing to give them a shot. i haven't had a chance to test ride one (the shops that carry the giant are few and far between) but the reviews seem to be glowing about the suspension design.
specialized epic: the epic is at the bottom of my list. i've yet to find an epic in the stores. they have everything but the epic. i am also not completely sold on the brain shock. it just seems like something more to go wrong and when it does you will need to ship it off somewhere to get in maintenanced.