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  1. #1
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    Building Anthem X 29 and I Need Input

    Hey all,

    I'm new to the community and I haven't had a new mountain bike since 1996. I loved my Rockhopper but I got hit while riding it last year and cracked the frame.

    So, I bought 2011 Anthem 3 frame and I am building it up. I don't have a ton of money to throw at it right now, but I'd like to get riding it by taking parts off of the Rockhopper and then upgrading later. So, for example, I am curious if I can use the crank from my Rockhopper and buy a new bottom bracket and use that until I am ready to upgrade the cranks? Does anyone know if this is possible? I don't know much about BBs or cranks, nor do I know what the Anthem requires.

    Another question I have is can I put 180 mm rotors on the front and back of this bike or just the front?
    As far as the build goes, I am planning to get an RT3 for the rear based on comments and reviews I have seen here. For the front I snagged a brand new Reba RL Dual Air for cheap for the front. I got some Mavic 719s with XT hubs also for very cheap. I intend to stick with my current x7 3x9 setup for now. XT cassette, BB7 discs with the speed dial 7 levers. So, I am super stoked for the build and look forward to hearing from you all.

    Thanks

    Jeff

  2. #2
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    Bump, anyone have an answer about the Bottom Bracket for this frame?

  3. #3
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    As far as the BB goes, no, it won't work. The Anthem uses a Shimano Press fit BB, which is used with the hollowtech 2 crankset. My suggestion would be to buy the new crankset (it'll come with a bb) and have it installed. You would need special tools to install it yourself.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kshawn View Post
    As far as the BB goes, no, it won't work. The Anthem uses a Shimano Press fit BB, which is used with the hollowtech 2 crankset. My suggestion would be to buy the new crankset (it'll come with a bb) and have it installed. You would need special tools to install it yourself.
    Bummer, I was worried someone was going to say that. I started researching BBs and how to install them and that's when I saw the press fit and knew it was going to be what the Anthem has. I was hoping to skate by without getting cranks initially. Oh well.

    Do you happen to know if I can put 180 mm disc brakes on the back?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Ya, cranks can be expensive. I would just buy the regular deore ones if you're on a budget. And as far as the 180mm rear, I hate to be the bearer of bad new again, but I don't think it would work. Disc size is determined by frame, and generally a 160mm (6") rear rotor is standard. Often times you'll have a larger rotor in front and a smaller rotor in back, just because most of your stopping power comes from the front anyway.

    Edit: If you really want to run 180, you can probably find an adapter for it. But as is, no, I think 160mm is your best bet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kshawn View Post
    Ya, cranks can be expensive. I would just buy the regular deore ones if you're on a budget. And as far as the 180mm rear, I hate to be the bearer of bad new again, but I don't think it would work. Disc size is determined by frame, and generally a 160mm (6") rear rotor is standard. Often times you'll have a larger rotor in front and a smaller rotor in back, just because most of your stopping power comes from the front anyway.

    Edit: If you really want to run 180, you can probably find an adapter for it. But as is, no, I think 160mm is your best bet.

    Hey, thanks for the response man. I figured since the bike came stock (per Giant's website) with 180 front and 160 rear, that was the biggest I could go. It's no worries. I am sure with 180 up front and 160 out back I'll have plenty of stopping power. Just didn't want to buy 180 and find out the hard way that it won't fit.

    As far as the cranks go, if I have to buy em, I'll get something nice, probably go XT, but it'll slow the build a little bit, haha.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnato1 View Post
    Hey, thanks for the response man. I figured since the bike came stock (per Giant's website) with 180 front and 160 rear, that was the biggest I could go. It's no worries. I am sure with 180 up front and 160 out back I'll have plenty of stopping power. Just didn't want to buy 180 and find out the hard way that it won't fit.

    As far as the cranks go, if I have to buy em, I'll get something nice, probably go XT, but it'll slow the build a little bit, haha.

    Ok, here's another dumb question, how do I decide what crank length to get? I checked Giant's website and it doesn't say what the specified crank length on this bike is/was. I imagine this varies based on small, medium and large as well, yeah? Mine is a medium. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Building Anthem X 29 and I Need Input

    RaceFace makes good cranks across different price points too. I had a heck of a time finding the right BB fort Anthem 29er because of the press fit thing.

    I ended up with X9's and have been pretty happy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnato1 View Post
    Ok, here's another dumb question, how do I decide what crank length to get? I checked Giant's website and it doesn't say what the specified crank length on this bike is/was. I imagine this varies based on small, medium and large as well, yeah? Mine is a medium. Thanks.
    Cranks can come in 170 175 and 180. The only way to know what size you need is if you have super long legs, super short legs or average sized legs. 170 is for short, 180 is for long. And np, happy to help.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerbert View Post
    RaceFace makes good cranks across different price points too. I had a heck of a time finding the right BB fort Anthem 29er because of the press fit thing.

    I ended up with X9's and have been pretty happy.
    Yeah, I was looking at the RaceFace cranks as well, but seems like going with Shimano will make the BB issue much easier.

    Do you mean that you got the TruVativ X9's or SRAM X9?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kshawn View Post
    Cranks can come in 170 175 and 180. The only way to know what size you need is if you have super long legs, super short legs or average sized legs. 170 is for short, 180 is for long. And np, happy to help.
    Hmm, I have a 30" inseam. I wonder if that's an 'average' length leg, haha. I've seen that some of the cranks come in 165mm as well. I'm sure the crank length affects pedaling as well. I bet if you get shorter cranks, it's easier to climb, but longer cranks make it possible to really fly when pedaling hard or downhill. Anybody know if this theory is correct?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnato1 View Post
    Hmm, I have a 30" inseam. I wonder if that's an 'average' length leg, haha. I've seen that some of the cranks come in 165mm as well. I'm sure the crank length affects pedaling as well. I bet if you get shorter cranks, it's easier to climb, but longer cranks make it possible to really fly when pedaling hard or downhill. Anybody know if this theory is correct?
    Other way around... short cranks are easier to spin, but other less torque climbing...

  13. #13
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    So, for example, I am curious if I can use the crank from my Rockhopper and buy a new bottom bracket and use that until I am ready to upgrade the cranks? Does anyone know if this is possible? I don't know much about BBs or cranks, nor do I know what the Anthem requires
    The Anthem uses a BB92 press-fit BB, but this can be either Shimano HT-II press-fit or SRAM GXP press-fit, depending on what cranks you want to use. So, if you want to use your existing X7 cranks, just buy a SRAM BB92 GXP press-fit BB (like this - SRAM BB92 GXP Team PressFit MTB | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com) and put this in the Anthem frame. Fitting can be tricky without a bearing press and cups, so if you're not confident doing it yourself get LBS to fit.

    Another question I have is can I put 180 mm rotors on the front and back of this bike or just the front?
    No problem running 180 or even larger rotors on the rear of an Anthem, just get the right adapter. Anthem frame uses post mount on the rear, so you want an Avid PM to PM adapter.
    Last edited by PerthMTB; 05-06-2013 at 01:02 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Building Anthem X 29 and I Need Input

    I would think you'd want 172.5 or 175 cranks.

  15. #15
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    Sweet, thanks for all of the helpful responses! 180 rotors all around will be awesome. I can't wait to get the thing put together, but I see it taking at least another month, grrr!

  16. #16
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    Ok, so now that I know I have to buy cranks, I am thinking of going the 20 speed route. There seem to be ten speed and 9 speed specific cranks, at least according to pricepoint. So, my question is, can I buy a ten speed XT crank with 2 chainrings and use that with my 9 speed cassette until I can upgrade, or do I have to do it all at once? Also, does anyone know of a gear ratio calculator that will help me determine what my current setup is and how to basically match it with a 20 speed setup (currently 27)? Thanks all.

  17. #17
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    You don't have to buy new cranks, you just need a SRAM GXP press-fit BB92 bottom bracket (like the one I linked to above) to use your existing cranks in the Anthem. I'm afraid some of the advice given above isn't correct. The Anthem uses the Press-fit BB92 standard, and both SRAM and Shimano make BBs to fit that standard - so you can use either.

    But if you want to buy new cranks then XT M785 2x10 would be an excellent choice. There's no difference between width of ring and spacing between rings of Shimano's 9 and 10 speed, so yes you can use it on your 9 speed system until you feel like upgrading the rest of the drivetrain. You might need to tweak the 9sp front mech a bit to get it to work with the 2x10 cranks though. And remember, new cranks will come with an external BB, so you'll still have to buy a separate Shimano BB92 press-fit BB even if you buy new XT cranks.

    Sheldon's gear calculator is a good place to start... Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

  18. #18
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    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    I'd get a XT or SLX triple (doesn't matter if 9 or 10-sp) and then you have the option of running 2+bash, which is my pref, or 3 rings.
    Shimano cranks are so much nicer to install/remove than any of the more primitive interference-fit designs.
    I find the new 26/38 Shimano ratios too high for my riding, much prefer 24/36.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerthMTB View Post
    You don't need to buy cranks, you just need a SRAM GXP press-fit BB92 bottom bracket to use your existing cranks in the Anthem - see my reply above...

    But if you want to buy new cranks then XT M785 2x10 would be an excellent choice. There's no difference between width of ring and spacing between rings of Shimano's 9 and 10 speed, so yes you can use it on your 9 speed system until you feel like upgrading the rest of the drivetrain. You might need to tweak the 9sp front mech a bit to get it to work with the 2x10 cranks though. And remember, new cranks will come with an external BB, so you'll still have to buy a separate Shimano BB92 press-fit BB even if you buy new XT cranks.

    Sheldon's gear calculator is a good place to start... Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator
    Perth,

    Sorry, my initial post was not 100% clear. I have X7 shifters and derailleurs, but I have the original Specialized Son of Strong Arm cranks on, believe it or not, the original bottom bracket from 1996. This bike has to have at least 5,000 miles on it, so I don't know how the BB has lasted this long. Anyways, like I said, I don't know much about BB's or cranks, but I don't think the old 1996 cranks will work with the SRAM Press fit GXP BB you suggested, right?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    I'd get a XT or SLX triple (doesn't matter if 9 or 10-sp) and then you have the option of running 2+bash, which is my pref, or 3 rings.
    Shimano cranks are so much nicer to install/remove than any of the more primitive interference-fit designs.
    I find the new 26/38 Shimano ratios too high for my riding, much prefer 24/36.
    Hmmm, that's a good idea, then if I don't end up liking the 20 speed setup, I can easily return to 27 or 30. Is there a downside to this idea? I'm guessing you stick with shifters for 3 front rings, rather than 2? And the triple weighs more than the double?

  21. #21
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    Sorry, my initial post was not 100% clear. I have X7 shifters and derailleurs, but I have the original Specialized Son of Strong Arm cranks on, believe it or not, the original bottom bracket from 1996. This bike has to have at least 5,000 miles on it, so I don't know how the BB has lasted this long. Anyways, like I said, I don't know much about BB's or cranks, but I don't think the old 1996 cranks will work with the SRAM Press fit GXP BB you suggested, right?
    Ah I thought you had X7 cranks as well. Well, Ok then, new cranks it is And the Shimano XT are an excellent choice.

    As Haggis says, if you want to use a bash, or swap between 2/3 rings then get the M780 triple rather than the M785 double, which can't fit anything (bash or ring) in the outer position. However, it will come with a 32 middle ring which might be a bit small, so you'll have to think about buying a 38 middle ring as well...

    And, as above, either will come with external BB, so you'll have to get the press-fit BB extra as well.

    Starting to add up a bit...

  22. #22
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    Hmmm, that's a good idea, then if I don't end up liking the 20 speed setup, I can easily return to 27 or 30. Is there a downside to this idea? I'm guessing you stick with shifters for 3 front rings, rather than 2? And the triple weighs more than the double?
    I've run both triples converted to doubles, and specific doubles, and there's not really any functional difference.

    Yes you can keep the 3x front mech and shifters, you just wind the limit screw in on the mech so it doesn't try to shift into the non-existent big ring. Once you've decided on double, you may want to invest in the proper double mech though, as it has a smaller cage, and as a result looks better and will give marginally better shifting, and contain the chain better on bumpy terrain. SRAM has double specific shifters, but with Shimano you just have a 'mode switch' on the front shifter to switch between 2x and 3x.

    Downsides? Well, as above, you'll probably want to buy a 38 middle ring to give yourself a decent range of gears. Shifting will be marginally smoother with a double specific FD, and it'll certainly look neater! Weight isn't a factor, as a triple without an outer ring weighs the same as a double, and a double and bash weighs the same as a triple.

    The way you're going, you might want to consider just buying a whole Shimano 10sp drivetrain If you shop around, and particularly look at some of the European online sites, you can get a complete 10sp SLX groupset (including cranks, shifters, FD & RD, chain and cassette) for about $300, and $400 for XT (prices edited as I found better ones!). It would save a lot of messing about mixing and matching old & new, Shimano & Sram, 9sp & 10sp. Go on - you know you want to...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerthMTB View Post

    The way you're going, you might want to consider just buying a whole Shimano 10sp drivetrain If you shop around, and particularly look at some of the European online sites, you can get a complete 10sp SLX groupset (including cranks, shifters, FD & RD, chain and cassette) for about $300, and $400 for XT (prices edited as I found better ones!). It would save a lot of messing about mixing and matching old & new, Shimano & Sram, 9sp & 10sp. Go on - you know you want to...

    You sir (or miss, since your screename doesn't really indicate either way) must be the devil. Haha, of course I want to buy all that stuff at once! But, what I want most is to start riding the bike. So I am focusing on needs right now. I need a crank, bb, rear shock, headset and brakes. Then I'll do the fine tuning. But, just for further reference, where'd you find those deals?!

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    Ha, yes I know its bad of me to dangle temptation in front of you, but I'm just giving you the justification, should you want to persuade yourself its worthwhile

    Anyway, in case you're tempted, the German online shops seem to be the best place to buy Shimano stuff at the moment. I don't normally like to recommend specific retailers, as everyone has their own preferences, and buying online from abroad isn't to everyone's liking - but here's an example from a company I've had good experiences with...

    SLX 3x10: Shimano SLX 670 Gruppe 3x10 ohne Naben Modell 2013 - BIKE-COMPONENTS.DE

    XT 2x10: Shimano XT 785 Gruppe 2x10 ohne Naben - BIKE-COMPONENTS.DE

  25. #25
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    Perth has good advice for your build. You could also try Jenson as they price match. I got SLX cranks for $99 from them and they price matched the UK site for XT brakes.

    The right 2X10 should give you all the gears you need but depending on where you ride a 1X10 can work too. After doing the 2X10 for a while I have gone 1X10 on my Anthem 29 and works great - plus no FD, shifter or cable to install/maintain. The Anthem 29 with the Maestro rolls over everything and think you will amazed at the ride especially compared to your '96 ride.

    Good luck on your build and be sure to post some pics!

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