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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Anthem X Head Angle - back to the best of Old School and New School

    I have heard that Giant produce a slacker head angle for their XC bike (eg Anthem X) than what the pros want and use for their riding (eg Adam Craig).

    To me this is a little disappointing and presumes that us amateurs in the production market cannot ride as well to be able to handle a faster turning bike. Well, I am certainly no pro, but what I do know is that an ultra quick handling mountain bike with full suspension is an experience like no other. In terms of frame geometry, this results from a mixture of balanced rider weight distribution, a sufficiently high ratio between chainstay length and wheelbase (assisted by a steep seat tube angle), a steep head tube angle, and the shortest possible wheelbase.

    And if you have any doubts, just study up on your COUNTERSTEERING technique and those doubts will be erased (especially with modern suspension technology). And besides, slacker angles are for downhill riding 'confidence', and there should be at least one high performance bike in the range that is designed for skilled riders wanting less compromise in the frame geometry, or indeed those who want a sweet handling bike who do not plan to tackle aggressive downhill terrain anyway!

    Now this may be incorrect information, but it would be nice if Giant took the courageous step in returning to the Old School, and by blending it with the best of New School full suspension technology, had a little faith in the skills of the rest of us. (Not that the other manufacturers are any better in dialing their head angles mind you, but someone has to lead the way!)

    Let's hope that the Anthem X Advanced (2010 carbon version of Anthem X) has the geometry that Giant does not think the rest of us can handle... (ie ADD ONE DEGREE of steepness to the head angle, maintain the chainstay length and tighten the wheelbase) to make one sweet ride!
    Last edited by lookin; 02-23-2009 at 04:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    You might want to do some research - Craig designed the Anthem X (exactly the way he wanted it).

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    Yup and the last time XC bikes had 72 deg head angles was 1993 with rigid forks or 50mm suspension forks. 72 deg on a 80mm Anthem was ok for a short course race bike but 90% of consumers don't race and an Anthem could be a handful for a half bonked rider after an epic all day backwoods ride.

  4. #4
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    I guess my focus is more on the benefits of combining aggressive frame geometry (steep angles, short wheelbase, etc) than making claims about Adam Craig.

    The honesty in my previous post was in stating that I had heard there was a difference in the frame geometry between pro and production bikes, as well as acknowledging that that information may be incorrect. So, thank you for correcting me about Adam Craig (assuming your sources are better than mine ).

    It would be great to hear how many people loved the handling of the original Giant Anthem, who wish that Giant could have bumped up the suspension on the Anthem X while maintaining the geometry...

  5. #5
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    ... even for trail riding (the Anthem that is)

  6. #6
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    Slack head angles suck. Maybe I have to buy a couple of traditional anthems to last me a lifetime, since I love the sharpness of that bike. But, if they pull out a M/L anthem x I'll change...

  7. #7
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    Had a 07 1st Gen Anthem and now have UPGRADED to a 09 X. The X is as quick turn to turn as the 1st Gen with with an added confidence that allows me to attack more aggressivly than I did on my 07. The extra 1/4" of stroke on the rear shock has taken some of the harshness away while still providing a very efficient peddaling platform.

  8. #8
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    Steep head angles suck. I am so glad manufacturers are realizing this and making bikes with geometries that most riders want, and ignoring the rants of those few who don't like change.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    . . . presumes that us amateurs in the production market cannot ride as well to be able to handle a faster turning bike. . .


    Many riders have the skills to handle a twitchy handling bike, they just don't want to.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonio
    Steep head angles suck. I am so glad manufacturers are realizing this and making bikes with geometries that most riders want, and ignoring the rants of those few who don't like change.
    100% agree, slacker head angles put less stress on the bike and go over bumps easier with a less harsh ride. That slows me down much more than slower steering ever will...

  11. #11
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    You could put an 80mm fork on the X. That will steepen the angles, and drop the BB to get that lightning fast race geometry you want.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  12. #12
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    not a big fan of making dramatic modification to original designs. it's a pity that can't have at least one bike designed for the purpose ie ultra quick handling. anyway, 100mm is good, i like that, and wouldn't be too keen on 80mm forks (which would not have a significant effect on bottom bracket height anyway)

    well, it seems clear that some people like steep angles and some like slack. hardly surprising. but manufacturers should at least deal with the full gamut of the spectrum, from ultra steep, to super slack - don't you think?

    it seems that almost every model in the range has now got slacker over the years - the slackness trend perhaps, forgetting about the steep end of the market. (and no i'm not fussed about the increase in suspension travel that has accompanied this, they can go very well together within limits)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    it's a pity that can't have at least one bike designed for the purpose ie ultra quick handling.
    The Anthem Advanced is still in this year's lineup at least.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  14. #14
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    not in my country
    besides, the 100m travel of the X is an improvement, just a pity they didn't keep the original geometry
    and besides, i would struggle to buy it when everyone knows there is going to be a new carbon Anthem X next year (and hopefully they bring back the old geometry )

    ... and hopefully they make it in a MEDIUM-LARGE FRAME SIZE , for all those average height folks around 6' (the average male height) who do not fit so well on either the Medium or Large sizes)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    I guess my focus is more on the benefits of combining aggressive frame geometry (steep angles, short wheelbase, etc) than making claims about Adam Craig.

    The honesty in my previous post was in stating that I had heard there was a difference in the frame geometry between pro and production bikes, as well as acknowledging that that information may be incorrect. So, thank you for correcting me about Adam Craig (assuming your sources are better than mine ).

    It would be great to hear how many people loved the handling of the original Giant Anthem, who wish that Giant could have bumped up the suspension on the Anthem X while maintaining the geometry...
    You don't consider this steep enough???


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    it's a pity that can't have at least one bike designed for the purpose
    There's no "pity" in the new Anthem X. Have you ridden one? I've owned an 08 Anthem and now the Anthem X. The new one out-performs the older one b/c it's a perfect combination of plushness and efficiency. Not sure what your angle is on your post (pun sorta intended), but I find it somewhat odd.

  17. #17
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    As much as I like Giant, I would probably recommend going custom. Yes, they're a large company with a lot of customers, but they still need to turn a profit.

  18. #18
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    fair thought, so which custom frame builders make a high performance full suspension bicycle (when the major bicycle companies are full of patents protecting their rear ends - of their bikes that is?)

  19. #19
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    I'm not sure...I've never had enough money to even consider going custom... I would probably go Titus or Pivot, if they make custom bikes. I'm pretty sure Titus does, but I'm not sure about Pivot.

  20. #20
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    thank you for those suggestions. i'm not too enthusiastic about paying for custom either, just hoping that Giant will bring out the Medium-Large size to fit all those average height top-of-the-bell-curve people including myself (and hopefully steepen the geometry a little once more). one would think that the supply side of what is clearly a major company would have responded to this basic frame sizing need (at least for their high performance bikes)

  21. #21
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    I looked at all those custom botique frames before going with the X, they were all twice as expensive while weighing in at 1/2 pound heavier or more (The Anthem frame is a scant 5 pounds beat that)I also rode many of the botique frames and to protect the guilty they shall remain nameless, none of them were as plush or efficient as the X (now thats a wicked combination) so whats not to like? If you have to have that Custom badge on the front of your frame, go ahead and throw your money away but try before you buy and make a informed decision.

  22. #22
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    thanks for that - price alone would put me off going custom (and i certainly have no desire for a heavier bike)

    i wrote off the boutique manufacturers long ago (although i did study and compare their designs first)

    don't have the cash to buy cool (although i will pay for quality)

  23. #23
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    I wouldn't go custom, either, but if you just aren't happy with what's already out there...
    I also wish they made more M/L frames. I have the M/L Defy 1 and I wish I could have gotten a M/L Reign X. If I had an extra thousand or two laying around, I could think of a few better ways to spend it than on a 1 degree steeper head angle or 1/2" longer top tube. It is an option for some people, though.

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    Lookin,

    You know...stems come in diffrent lengths and the seat posts can slide up and down to fit a bike to you.

    If you were to get a Large Anthem X and set it up right your worries about fit would dissapear after you first ride.

  25. #25
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    formulaone33, thank you again for your comments on frame sizing. many good people such as yourself provided well-meaning and informative sizing advice based on height measurements on earlier threads. i am aware that stems come in different lengths and that seat posts can slide up and down, as i am sure most other participants and readers of this forum are too. but it became clear from those other threads as well as talking to riders (of Giant bicycles) in my local area that there is clearly market demand for more intermediate sizing, as the post above yours also attests. i can only hope and assume you are not trying to belittle those people who may not fit so well on the frames Giant currently make. when we all know the importance of bicycle fit (for comfort, efficiency, handling, not to mention injury prevention), and we know what a good fitting bike feels like to sit on and ride, it is hardly good faith for manufacturers to encourage people to step onto ill-fitting bicycle frames, especially ones that cost a lot of money. there is definitely a need in the market. Giant responded well to this need by broadening the range of frame sizes they offer for their road bikes. the time has come for Giant to recognise the importance of a properly fitting mountain bike, and to respond to the sizings needs - the demand for more precise sizing that is - of the mountain bike segment of the market. i will be the first one to laud Giant when they do, as i very much like Giant bikes and the Giant company, and i would not be bothering to encourage Giant to innovate in this manner if i didn't.

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