Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    335

    Anthem X 29er - A perception changer

    Well, I rented an Anthem X 29er 2 yesterday - was traveling for work and wanted to hit some trails, so the bike shop had those and some Trance X's to rent. I own a Trance X and figured I'd give the 29er a go, in a cynical way I thought it would confirm my preconceived notions about 29ers.

    A little background, I ride a 2008 Trance X1, and am loosely looking at what my next bike will be. I've thought about another Trance, but I was also looking at bikes with more travel possibly, closer to the "all mountain" end of the trail bike spectrum. I like the technical stuff, and I like riding it aggressively. I've test ridden a Trek Remedy, and I liked what I could get away with and clear on a "burlier" bike.

    But now I rode the Anthem, I must say it surprised me a ton. When I first set off, it was fast, flowy trail, and aside from the speed it delivered it didn't really do much for me. The handling was not as "snappy" in quick directional transitions as my Trance, but by no means lazy. Then I stopped road riding on dirt and started hitting some more technical trail. I gotta say, the bike handled everything I could throw at it, and at times had me telling myself "I can't believe I even tried that, and made it". It was actually a ton of fun.

    Awesome on the climbs and the technical descents as well. Obviously not a bike for major hucking, but it handled the small drops in a very composed manner, and the suspension soaked things up nicely for only 4 inches (that's what she said). And it felt surprisingly light considering it was one of the lower specs. Oh and even with the wagon wheels, it was fun on the pump track - in a way, more satisfying even to "get it right".

    So yeah, definitely a perception changer. Makes me really think, do I need a 6 or so inch trail to all mountain bike for the trails I ride? This handled everything I threw at it and more, without the added heft a longer travel bike would bring...

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    485
    Four inches I've hit three/four foot drops with my Anthem X 29er. You can hit some good sized drops with that bike.

    I have a number of bikes and when I ride my Anthem X3 29er is my go to bike. Of course I would recommend upgrading the brakes to a proper four piston calipers such as Saints or Codes,I use Saints on my bike.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    You can try a 650B wheel on the front of your Trance X if you want something that gives you more cornering and descending stability.

    I own both but wouldn't own anything heavier than a AX2 29er.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by mefistofeles View Post
    Four inches I've hit three/four foot drops with my Anthem X 29er. You can hit some good sized drops with that bike.

    I have a number of bikes and when I ride my Anthem X3 29er is my go to bike. Of course I would recommend upgrading the brakes to a proper four piston calipers such as Saints or Codes,I use Saints on my bike.
    Man that's some serious brakes! I imagine where you ride is vastly different from me, my landscape is flat, the trails have some elevation but mostly it's real steep short climbs and short steep descents. Nothing with sustained braking. Definitely considering the Anthem 29er more and more now, with all it can do I'm not sure I need anything more burly

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    485
    Man that's some serious brakes! I imagine where you ride is vastly different from me, my landscape is flat, the trails have some elevation but mostly it's real steep short climbs and short steep descents. Nothing with sustained braking. Definitely considering the Anthem 29er more and more now, with all it can do I'm not sure I need anything more burly

    I just rode the craziest trail last week. There's a trail in Irvine called Bommer Canyon it has a very steep ascent we were probably climbing for 20 maybe 30 minutes and when we descended it was pure madness. I've clocked 40+ mph on my freeride bike so I'm quite familiar with speed but this descent was unlike anything I've ever done before. I was going fast,faster than I've ever gone before. After a few seconds I had the courage to use my line of sight as a guide, while occaisionally tapping the brakes. I had so much speed that I was literally catching air at some points. Then the descent turned into a series of quick and twisty turns and I could hear the Saints squealing like pigs as I desperately scrubbed off speed,I had never heard them squeal before. After I stopped a minute later my friend caught up with me he was riding a modified Gary Fisher Rig 29er with Elixir R brakes (203mm Shimano RT-76 front rotor/160mm Shimano RT-76 rear rotor). He told me that his brakes were literally cooked and he could smell them burning on the way down. The moral of the story:no matter how good your brakes are there are times when could use something better!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    335
    Man, makes me want to be back in So Cal again. I'm in South FL, surprisingly there's some good riding here with several trail systems. But no high speed descending or sustained climbing that's for sure. Saw your Go Pro video in another thread, where was that shot?

  7. #7
    R.I.P. DogFriend
    Reputation: jeffj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,632
    There isn't much the Anthem X 29 won't do that I would want to do. Very confidence inspiring, and the reason my Reign continues to weep and languish in 'garage queen' status.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    485
    Saw your Go Pro video in another thread, where was that shot?

    That was an awesome descent unfortunately I don't have a go pro.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    335
    That was an awesome descent unfortunately I don't have a go pro.

    Oops I thought that was a video you took. Yeah it was pretty cool, this one's pretty awesome as well:

    Carl Decker Shreds The Ashland Super D
    Last edited by GT5050; 05-07-2012 at 07:38 AM.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dictatorsaurus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,531
    I have a 2011 Anthem X1 29 and considering the 2012 Reign 0 for more technical trails and some jumps.

    How do both bikes compare?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by mefistofeles View Post
    Man that's some serious brakes! I imagine where you ride is vastly different from me, my landscape is flat, the trails have some elevation but mostly it's real steep short climbs and short steep descents. Nothing with sustained braking. Definitely considering the Anthem 29er more and more now, with all it can do I'm not sure I need anything more burly

    I just rode the craziest trail last week. There's a trail in Irvine called Bommer Canyon it has a very steep ascent we were probably climbing for 20 maybe 30 minutes and when we descended it was pure madness. I've clocked 40+ mph on my freeride bike so I'm quite familiar with speed but this descent was unlike anything I've ever done before. I was going fast,faster than I've ever gone before. After a few seconds I had the courage to use my line of sight as a guide, while occaisionally tapping the brakes. I had so much speed that I was literally catching air at some points. Then the descent turned into a series of quick and twisty turns and I could hear the Saints squealing like pigs as I desperately scrubbed off speed,I had never heard them squeal before. After I stopped a minute later my friend caught up with me he was riding a modified Gary Fisher Rig 29er with Elixir R brakes (203mm Shimano RT-76 front rotor/160mm Shimano RT-76 rear rotor). He told me that his brakes were literally cooked and he could smell them burning on the way down. The moral of the story:no matter how good your brakes are there are times when could use something better!
    Bommer's not that crazy, try Marie Callendar's out there, or head over to aliso and run 5 oaks, stair steps or mentally sensitive

    4" is all you need unless you feel like straight line chucking burly trails that would probably be more fun if you cleaned them skillfully.

    Or if you exclusivesly ride lift-assisted ski mountains.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    234
    Loving my '12 Anthem 29er. You nailed my perception on how it does about anything I would want to do.

    Looking forward to my first x/c race on it.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    371
    Just finished riding the kokopelli trail - Fruita to Moab - lots of everything (climbs, descents, technical, loose, drops, hits, rocks etc...) for conditions!!

    I've been riding this bike since August - and it truly rides bigger and better than some with engineering degrees would have you believe:
    "only 4" travel"
    "chanstays tooooo long"
    " not slack enough head angle'
    yada yada...

    I tell everyone to try one before they make claims based on mm's, cm's and specs - cuz if you are truly just caught up in the numbers game - you might miss out

    Replace the crap Avids with XT's and it's one heck of an all around xc/trai/all-mountain bike at a reasonable budget

    I could see a 120 fork and know a fair few have made this mod and love it - especially on burlier stuff - but as is - it rocks. Just ride it and see for yourself!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dictatorsaurus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,531
    Anyone knows if the 2012 Reba RL can be converted to 110mm or 120mm travel?

    Curious how it would feel as opposed to 100mm.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AK47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,009
    Agreed on the versatility of the Anthem X29. I have the 2011 X2 version, and have ridden it so far from smooth trails to moderately technical, rocky terrain and it's done nothing but shine. Can't wait to try it somewhere like Downieville this summer (where Carl Decker destroyed the field on one)...

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    34
    What do you guys think about the x4? I'm on a budget and i like the color scheme the best anyways.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Heavy 29ers. You'll regret it.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    234
    I disagree. The Anthem series is one of the lightest for the money I ran into that is readily avail.

    To lighten them up is the standard drill of wheelsets if that's your thing.

    I'm pretty sure the frame is the same for all the numbered anthems. I have the X2 and upgraded the front crank to a 2x10 set up for the cheap.

    The good thing is the x4 already has the 2x10 drivetrain.

    I'd say ride the bike and if you like it then get it and as your budget allows upgrade.

  19. #19
    Rod
    Rod is offline
    Endorphin Junkie
    Reputation: Rod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4,010
    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Heavy 29ers. You'll regret it.
    My XTC 29 weighs 23 pounds currently and it will be 22 later this month. Very heavy!
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiway View Post
    I disagree. The Anthem series is one of the lightest for the money I ran into that is readily avail.

    To lighten them up is the standard drill of wheelsets if that's your thing.

    I'm pretty sure the frame is the same for all the numbered anthems. I have the X2 and upgraded the front crank to a 2x10 set up for the cheap.

    The good thing is the x4 already has the 2x10 drivetrain.

    I'd say ride the bike and if you like it then get it and as your budget allows upgrade.
    I agree - my current setup is a Trance X with basically full XT drivetrain and Mavic Crossmax wheels, tubeless. The stock 2012 Anthem X 29er 2 I rented has lesser components, and didn't feel heavy at all.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Heavy 29ers. You'll regret it.
    The Anthem X29er frame is only .09lbs heavier than the infamous Carbon Tallboy frame. I believe the Giant is one of the lighter frames out there.
    Last edited by Midwestbiker; 05-14-2012 at 09:10 AM.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiway View Post
    I disagree. The Anthem series is one of the lightest for the money I ran into that is readily avail.

    To lighten them up is the standard drill of wheelsets if that's your thing.

    I'm pretty sure the frame is the same for all the numbered anthems. I have the X2 and upgraded the front crank to a 2x10 set up for the cheap.

    The good thing is the x4 already has the 2x10 drivetrain.

    I'd say ride the bike and if you like it then get it and as your budget allows upgrade.

    My point is, that it is always cheaper in the long run to buy a better bike up front. Heavy 29ers are just tanks. I run a Ax29er 1 and wouldn't consider owning any 29er that was heavier than 28lbs or had a wheelset heavier than about 2000gms.

    If I was a beginner and my first perception of mtb's was a heavy low spec 29er than I would have quit straight up.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 05-14-2012 at 02:57 PM.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Quote Originally Posted by "Rod" View Post
    My XTC 29 weighs 23 pounds currently and it will be 22 later this month. Very heavy!
    My congrads. What color weight weenie medal do you want.

    Since you have an aversion to weight. What's the point of your post?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Quote Originally Posted by Midwestbiker View Post
    The Anthem X29er frame is only .09lbs heavier than the infamous Carbon Tallboy frame. I believe the Giant is one of the lighter frames out there.
    And that's the Frame. Not the two tons of iron hanging off an Ax 4.
    If they buy an AX1 or 2 and then they are in happy land.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3,096
    Quote Originally Posted by GT5050 View Post
    I agree - my current setup is a Trance X with basically full XT drivetrain and Mavic Crossmax wheels, tubeless. The stock 2012 Anthem X 29er 2 I rented has lesser components, and didn't feel heavy at all.
    Now hang a 650B off the front off your TX. It's also a perception changer .
    Face it, the TX is not a great handly bike out of the box.Too much oversteer . Hang a 650B wheel off the front, and it all snaps in to place. Don't even need a longer fork but F140/650B gives it 29erish stability.

    PS My TX is faster on climbs than my AX1 29er any day. Same shock tune on both too.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •