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  1. #1
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    Mini review on a modded up Anthem 27.5

    OK, so after some seat time on my local single track after getting everything finished on the build up I wanted to give some feedback for anyone thinking about the new Anthem 27.5's and are, like myself, going to throw a bunch of money at it.

    I only got a few rides in before I started stripping it down to replace parts, and I mean pretty much everything, only thing left from stock is the fork and rear shock I believe. The size large Anthem 3 was about 30# when I picked it up, was fine out of the box and if I was a newish rider I'd have been pretty pleased leaving well enough alone for a while but....

    The result as it sits now is just under 23.5#, I think it was 23.35# on the LBS Park hanging scale, and when I buy a new SID up front that number will obviously drop a bit more. The Recon Gold SL that comes stock is really pretty nice, nothing fancy for internals but it works fine and can actually be modified to run 120mm by removing spacers if you want to experiment with that. I may do that myself in the next week or so as I wouldn't mind taking a degree out of the head angle and increase the bottom bracket a bit, I've had to adjust my riding to account for pedal strikes which I haven't had to worry about for a few years.

    The bike is fast, wheelies over obstacles easily, handles high speed turns and switchbacks like its on rails, and is very comfortable to ride. Having no lock out on the stock Monarch R I was thinking I'd want to ditch it but I've been really pleased with the lack of pedal bob and the generally stiff feeling of the ride while pedaling flat out on singletrack. You sort of forget you are on a full squish bike until you need it and even then the Maestro suspension is pretty subtle. The only issue I'm having is that after every ride I come back and notice the red rubber ring on the Monarch is almost off the piston, I am maxing out the rear shock and have been increasing the air pressure with each ride.

    While the stock fork is pretty nice I'm still not in love with the Monarch R in the rear. I had a HV Monarch RCT3 on my 650b Nickel and loved it, easy to set up and worked great, but the R is a little cumbersome to tune. As I am ignoring the sag and increasing the air pressure I am constantly fiddling with the rebound. At 135# having the rebound at the half-way point was good, but every time I'd add another 10# of air it would be all off. 135# good in the middle, 145# the middle sucked and I was running several notches slower, then today at 155# I stopped and went up a couple notches over mid-point, crazy. Plus, at my weight of about 230# I know that Monarch is a ticking time bomb that I'll need to replace soon. The Recon is the current crop of single air forks from Rockshox and while it is easy to set-up and ride I do miss being able to play with the dual air settings to fine tune the ride, but I'm a suspension junky so you know....

    The build I did was very similar to what I was running on the 650b Nickel but I'm running X01 carbon cranks with type 2 rear der and Absolute Black direct mount no-drop chain ring. I have had NO dropped chains as that AB chain ring works great, but I keep having to fiddle fart with the X9 type 2 and the shifter. Today it was ghost shifting bad just street riding to the trail and after adjusting the hi and low setting a bit adjusting the barrel on the shifter seemed to have worked about 90% but I'm going to take it back to the shop to get the experts to tune it for me.

    I am really pleased with all the parts, I tried some new stuff and allot of stuff I've run before but it works great for a really light package.

    Comments on the ride and the complete bike. The bike feels really fast, I haven't wired my cateye up yet to see if its a "new bike" placebo effect but it feels really quick. The frame is responsive to steering input without being twitchy, the riding position is very comfortable, and did I mention its fast. Steering input is very light and centered, for whatever reason there are a couple of right hand sharp turns that I am able to go through allot faster with less brake than on any of my previous rides.

    And speaking of brakes, I am really glad I didn't go with Shimano XT icetechs again, I think it would have been too much immediate power that would overwhelm and possibly unsettle the bike in high speed corners where you just want to scrub a little speed. On this bike I used the new X) trails with 160mm rotors and so far I am really happy. The rear suspension doesn't get busy under hard breaking while giving steering input, never feels like you are overloading the rear, eliminating allot of slip in the rear tire, so you feel more confident braking later and getting on the throttle quicker. There is no brake/pause/steer/pause/pedal-out type of crap in high speed turns, its allot more fluid, no drama.

    Another thing that stands out to me is how the bike feels small under me, but in a very good way, you always feel in control instead of feeling like you are along for the ride. The bike really just kind of disappears under me after a few minutes.


    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
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    "The bike really just kind of disappears under me after a few minutes."

    A cool feeling.
    I don't rattle.

  3. #3
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    madsedan, I think you mentioned in another thread that you were going with amercian classic wide rims. They are approx. 29mm. Do you think they will fit, the rear tire does not have much clearance. I want to go wider also, but fear that the tire will rub.

  4. #4
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    If you want to mess with the Monarch:

    1. you can shim the outer air can quite a bit - that'll let you run lower psi, get the sag you want, not feel wallowy in the mid-stroke as it'll ramp up better towards the end - at least that has been my experience. Though with the small shock there, depending on which air can volume you have, may not be able to do much.

    2. you can play with the IFP pressure without taking the shock apart. there are a couple threads floating around about doing this. Really easy, just have to have the right little adapter.

    Both things allow you to do a lot of tweaking with those shocks!
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  5. #5
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    Road the Anthem 3 (aluminum) today. The biggest problem is that it was not my bike fit to me. Very hard to love it absent that personal fit.

    The tech did a great job setting up the suspension for me though. Top knotch service.

    I'm looking for the Anthem Advance 1. Not due here in the SF Bay area until late December.

    Standard Spec with pedals on shop scale= 30 lbs.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 10-27-2013 at 11:46 AM.
    I don't rattle.

  6. #6
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    Eden Bikes in Castro Valley has them.

  7. #7
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    If you weigh 230lbs, you should start at 20 psi less than your weight. Your pressure is way too low.
    I guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

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  8. #8
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    An Anthem Advanced weighs the same as the Anthem 3 aluminum? I would have figured the 27.5 Advanced would have at least been a couple pounds lighter based on the frame being about a 1/2# or more lighter and having lighter components out of the box.

    As for the American Classic rims I really hadn't thought about clearance, just looking at my bike now with Crossmark 2.1 tires and running a rim with a 19mm internam width I'd guess they should clear fine as long as you don't go huge with a tire, maybe a max 2.2 tire, but with the wider rim your footprint will be larger than the same size tire on a narrower wheel. I'm totally fine with a 2.1 for where/how I ride, anything else would just be more weight and drag I think. The only reason I would consider the wide lightnings is for a good chunk of weight savings and a stronger rim.

    The more I ride it the more I dislike this Monarch honestly. I just can't see to get the rebound and air pressure in sync to where I like it. On the Monarch RT3 I ran on the Nickel by the 3rd ride I pretty much had it dialed in and I hardly had to mess with the air pressure on it at all, set the sag on first ride and adjusted it up a tad after break in and once I settled on a threshold and rebound I liked. The difference I believe, as someone mentioned above, is the low volume can, my previous Monarch High Volume only needed half the air pressure if I remember right. I had expressed concerns about this based on my size/weight when I bought the bike and the shop owner mentioned if anything wasn't right it would be a warranty issue and we could possibly get an HV can upgrade or maybe the Fox of the frameset as an upcharge/warranty replacement and I could pay a little more out of pocket. I wish I had pressed that issue more when I bought the bike but I figured I'd take their advice and try it out. I really think that the problem with the Monarch is that the air pressure required in the regular volume model is just too much for the seals/internals when you get riders over 220#, I think the max air pressure is 275# on the side of the can and at my weight when the shop was setting the sag they were going over my weight, somewhere in the 240-245 psi range.

    If I can't get a solution from my Giant dealer I'll probably pick up a close out rt3 HV or maybe a pushed rp23, seems to be a nice piece, push says it'll work great with the Maestro and I have read of another guy on here thats put one on an Anthem.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Going_long View Post
    Eden Bikes in Castro Valley has them.
    Has what?
    I don't rattle.

  10. #10
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    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 advanced 1's...you mentioned they weren't going to be available in the Bay Area until mid December. Saw one the other day @ Eden Bikes.

  11. #11
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    It's a small. 24 lbs 11 oz.

    Pretty.
    I don't rattle.

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