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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Element 970 vs. Giant Anthem Advanced X1

    Trying to decide between either between the Giant Anthem Advanced X1 or RM Element 970 RSL. I've demo'd the Giant off road, but was only able to perform a parking lot/riding on grass demo with the Element.

    Both bikes are similar in components except the Giant uses an alloy rear triangle whereas the 970 is entirely carbon. This likely explains the ~$800 Canadian MSRP price difference between the two. Planning to upgrade to a lighter wheelset for either bike.

    The bike will be used for endurance racing (e.g. 8hrs) in the east coast where the courses are more flowly, but may contain a lot of tree roots in certain sections.

    1. Has anyone here test ridden both bikes? If so, which one did you prefer and why? The head tube on the Element is a bit slacker (70.6 vs 71) and shorter (17.5" vs. 18.2") compared to the Giant.
    2. Anyone know which bike rides plusher? At the 6 or 7 hour mark I'll be tired and likely need the extra plushness Currently using a 26" trailbike with 120mm travel for endurance racing.


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Element vs Anthem comparison opinion

    You will find the Element to be more easily maneuverable (closer to traditional 26er feel) because of it's shorter wheelbase in east coast forest singletrack. The Anthem may be slightly more stable on high speed decents because of the longer wheelbase and increased travel, but this stability will probably be negated by the overly steep HA. The Anthem will be harder to maneuver in tight technical singletrack due to the increase in wheelbase/longer chainstays. The steeper HA of the Anthem will cause it to have a more twitchy handling characteristic which may be mentally fatiguing after 7 hrs in the saddle. I have ridden bikes with geometry similar to the Anthem, and I have ridden the element 970. I much prefer the RM geo to the listed geo of the Anthem.

    These bikes are in different categories with the Element as an XC/Marathon race bike with increased capabilities (especially with a 120mm fork). The anthem is more of a trail oriented bike with little thought about racing, the shock will be tuned differently and the travel is increased (the Anthem will probably feel more plush). The Element will be lighter and climb/accelerate more efficiently. I also like the handlebar switch for the CTD fork and Shock on the Element to switch between trail mode for climbing and descend for flat and downhill w/o taking your hands off the bars.

    The Element is more expensive due to several factors:
    Your logical reasoning of full carbon vs carbon main triangle only is sound. Also the Element comes with Race Face finishing products and Crank opposed to the Giant branded pieces on the Anthem and a Shimano XT crank (the crank difference is a wash cost wise, but the raceface bars, stem, seatpost are more expensive than the Giant house kit). The 2014 Element 970 comes with very light wheels stock (crest rims on xt hubs), the anthem comes with Giant's branded wheels (house wheels are usually crap, but Giant is claiming improvement here).The Element comes with an XT cassette and chain, the anthem SLX cassette and kmc chain both cost savers. RM is also a smaller bike company compared to the global corporation of Giant. RM is going to see increased production costs due to scale compared to Giant.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Thanks for your detailed response skey44! You make good points about the geometry and the higher cost of the Race Face components vs. Giant's.

    I'll have to do more thinking about these two bikes.

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