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  1. #1
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    Upgrade Anthem 29er or replace?

    I have an 2011 anthem 29er XO with a few upgrades, stock wheels and 2.35/2.25 nobby nics f/r. I ride the mostly tame singletrack of Minnesota, probably twice a month at most now that we have kid(s), have never (at least consciously) wanted more suspension and never raced.

    For spring, I've been thinking about upgrades or getting a new bike. i can get away with upgrades easier than a new bike since my wife is pregnant!

    Potential upgrades:
    - 120mm fox 34 fork to lower the head angle from current 71 degrees
    - New wider wheels to run wider tires and get back some of the fun I lost when I sold my fat bike

    Or replace the anthem with a bike with the playful geometry I've been reading about since 2012?

  2. #2
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    I guess the question I would ask is, do you feel like the bike is holding you back? Do you want to hit jumps and drops that you can't/won't on the Anthem? The geometry of the Anthem doesn't hold me back, it's the fact that I keep breaking frames without hitting drops and jumps. I want something burlier to hit stuff like that on, but when I ride places that are basically just fast single track with some roots or whatever, the Anthem is perfect. That said, I recently put a 120mm fox fork (albeit a 32mm stanchion fork) on my Anthem because the Reba that came on it died. I don't feel like it altered the way the bike rides enough to recommend it as a change to the bike if there's something about it you simply aren't happy with. If you drop $600-800 on a fork (I'm assuming you'll find a sale or otherwise get a good deal) and drop $1000 on a nice light/wide wheel set, you're already halfway to a decent bike that will be more to your liking if you're simply tired of the Anthem. My recommendation? Go to some demo days in your area and figure out if all that geometry change is all it's hyped up to be, or if you think you can live with just making some changes to your current ride.

  3. #3
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    If you bought a new bike would you ride more?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlee View Post
    If you bought a new bike would you ride more?
    That's a great question actually (even if you're teasing a little bit!) And the truth is, it would keep me more excited about riding, but no more or less than a few upgrades over the course of the season. I came from the automotive hobby, so tinkering and saving for parts to make things go faster really does keep me motivated.

    I'm leaning towards wheels and tires this spring, and maybe a fork (or whatever else wears out) later on. Less $$ than new bike, less irritated wife, and it allows me to stretch the upgraditis out across the season.

  5. #5
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    New wheels are always a good upgrade. My only suggestion is to buy some that are boost adaptable. Then when you buy a fork or a new frame they will still be useable.
    The last set of Mavics I bought came with all the adapters so I could run them for years to come.

  6. #6
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    Even if you buy a new bike like a carbon Trek Stache 9.6, you aren't going to be done with upgrades. But it would allow 3.8 tires for some winter trail riding. Because of 148 Boost rear and 110 front your wheelset upgrades to the Anthem will be limited and you need at least 30mm inner width rims for some really good wider tire performance, ime., based on your terrain. I'd demo a 9.6.

  7. #7
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    IMO, I'd just demo for now. I did a demo last year of a nice $5k carbon full suspension 29er, then rode my simple hardtail alloy 29er with a recon fork on the same trail. The full suspension was OK, but didn't even come close to justifying the cost.

    Maybe look at a new 29er frame and swap all your current parts over. A modern hardtail frame designed for a slacker HT angle with a 100mm fork should be super easy to get a hold of at under a couple hundred.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  8. #8
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    New wheels are a lot of bang for your buck. I spent $400 on a set of closeout Stan's Flow EX on my now-sold Anthem 29er and while only slightly lighter than the stock wheels, which were the P-XC2 in my case, the additional ~10 mm of interior diameter and the vastly improved stiffness made a huge difference in cornering at speed (aka fun).

    You should have no trouble finding a new or gently used wheelset that is much better than the stock wheels for less than $500 shipped.

    Don't worry about Boost compatibility unless you plan to spend >$1,000 on a custom set of carbon wheels or something like that.

    Unless the joy you derive from tinkering is substantial, a new frame or new fork will not be cost effective compared to just getting a new, or new-used bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbr4527 View Post
    New wheels are a lot of bang for your buck. You should have no trouble finding a new or gently used wheelset that is much better than the stock wheels for less than $500 shipped.

    Don't worry about Boost compatibility unless you plan to spend >$1,000 on a custom set of carbon wheels or something like that.
    This advice really resonates with me. Essentially, if you don't overspend with wheels, they "pay for themselves" in one season of increased enjoyment/performance, and whatever happens later happens.

    I can do 240s and Flows from Colorado Cyclist for about $800. The 240s rear is convertible to 142/12, and even to boost with a Boostinator if that ends up making sense.

    Would you guys go with 240s and Flows or 350s and Colorado Composites carbon rims, if you had to choose, to keep it around $800? I'm leaning 240s and flows since it sounds like those carbon rims are relatively untested. Of course there's a part of me that wants 240s and carbon...

    My plan is to try 2.6/2.35 NN or 2.6/2.6 if they'd fit.

    Thanks for humoring me!

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