I have a medium 2013 Giant Anthem X1 29er and I like it. I am 190 LBS and by next year I should be down to 175-180 LBS. Bike has Fox forks and shock which are ok but not great. I can't ride a cx bike anymore bc the riding position is too bent over, and ride is too rough. I find as long as I am not careless and I take breaks to stretch, I can mtb on the 29er full suspension with big tires. I'm considering scooping a medium Anthem 29er Advanced bc the newer 2014 has Fox equipment and the 2013's can still be found for a good deal now.
The Advanced 1 over my aluminum 1 is a lighter bike with lighter wheels, and it has better parts and RS suspension and should be stiffer laterally. Is the carbon stiffer vertically too? Is the carbon front triangle good or bad for my back? The RS suspension may not be as plush people say, but I think dialing it in and adjusting compression and rebound could allow it to work for me.
So what's your take?
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