Well after a lot of tire kicking, I'm starting to narrow things down in terms of what I want for my next bike, and my first "real" bike. Currently I have a Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc, a 33 pound hardtail. Among others, I've looked at Specialized Epic Comp and Stumpy Comp, Trek Fuel EX 8, and the Giant Trance X1 and Anthem 1 as far as possible choices.
I'm leaning towards Giant, since there seems to be good shops supporting the brand, and the bang for the buck seems to be great. The bikes are spec'd well with a good level of components (seemingly better in this regard than Specialized and Trek), and on top of that the designs seem to be top notch technology wise. Another thing selling me on the Giants, their the only ones in the area that I can actually demo. So that is what I did, leading me to continuing my rant....
This weekend I got to try out the Anthem 2 on some of my local trails, and as I said before if it is a Giant I go for then it'll be either the Anthem 1 or the Trance X1. I was very impressed with the bike, in a nutshell. I was able to climb things that I had to walk before, and most noticeably it was just easy to put the bike where you want it. If you thought about it, it went there.
As far as climbing, like I said the bike was awesome. I don't have long sustained climbing here, just short, steep, power climbs, but a lot of the time on my Hardrock I bail before getting to the top. This bike was pretty effortless going up all but the worst climbs, and that's just a matter of skill level. As a side note, the pedaling with the Maestro suspension felt so efficient, I never even ran Pro-Pedal mode on the rear shock.
I actually thought the bike descended fairly well also, given it's XC geometry. Like the climbs, the descents I have are short steeps, usually rocky or stepped. So a stable bike comes in handy, and this did pretty well. I will say that the bike did require judicious use of body weight on the steep descents, but I wouldn't call it nervous. Like I said before, it felt fairly stable, as long as you were ready for it.
And then the overall speed...I would have to say that given what I'm used to, this thing's a rocket, and this is just the stock Anthem 2. The steering felt terrific also, as mentioned before not what I would call nervous just very responsive. Think about it and it was done....
So there we have it. Overall, I liked this bike a lot, but I am still to demo out a Trance X in the near future to see which one is for me. My jury's still out. While the bike felt good, I was using all of the 3.5 inches of travel a lot of the time. And I'm not sure that I would be opposed to a little bit of a more relaxed bike. I guess we'll see. There are areas on my trails where a longer travel bike is probably more suitable, and most of my riding is just riding, but I may throw an occasional race in there.
Ok now for a few questions.....
First, this bike was a small frame, and I'm 5'8. I adjusted things as best as I could, but I think I should be on a Medium. I did get a little bit of lower back pain, could that be because the bike was too small?
Second, how much does the Anthem 2 weigh compared to the Anthem 1. I got this Anthem 2 at 28.2 lbs, but not sure about my scale. Also, how about the Trance X1's weight?
And third, I guess I'll find out for myself once I demo it, but how much "lazier" is the Trance X compared to the Anthem? I still want a bike that climbs well, and I want to know how much I'd be giving up should I go with the Trance X.
And lastly, does anybody race their Trance X? Like I said earlier, I'm not a "racer", but I may want to do some races just for fun, but don't know if that's reason enough to go with the Anthem. I guess a big part of this will be answered once I demo the Trance anyhow.
And that is it for my long rant....
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
Results 1 to 2 of 2
Thread: Anthem 2