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  1. #1
    Giant Anthem
    Reputation: 2fst4u's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    29er XC race bike for expert class-5'8",age 40?

    Here in NE Ohio we have some some local shops bringing in demo bikes at the next race.

    I now race a Giant anthem 26er full suspension-it's fast-responsive-accelerates well but since I went up to expert, the races are pushing 2:30-3 hours and I'm really considering a 29er which may help with the longer time in the saddle. I can't help but think the bigger feel of the 29er may help me race more efficiently.

    I'm looking hard at the Anthem 29er but hesitant of the longer chainstays. I push my bike really hard through corners and my strength is technical/downhill/flats, and I like flicking the bike around. (Climbing I'm barely average) I'm 40 and 5"8".

    Any suggestions guys on a 29er full susp. build that has worked for you for XC that's nimble and lends itself to my style of riding?

    We have the following dealers this weekend for demos=Jamis | Intense | Yeti | Pivot,kona, felt ,trek

    Thanks guys.
    Last edited by 2fst4u; 08-29-2012 at 04:41 AM.
    Racing and Training Blog

  2. #2
    Bro Mountainbiker
    Reputation: Sheepo5669's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Long chainstays wont make you any slower.

    I own and race 2 vassagos. Both have 17.8 inch chainstays. They both work great once you become used to them. First ride felt like a truck though... Now I flick them around and shred the DHs like its my job.

    Long bikes have their place in the sport. I ride and race in the southeast. We have some fast flowy trails but also a lot of heavily wooded twisty switchback laden trails. The long bikes shine on the fast stuff. You really have to throw the long bikes around a lot on the tighter trails.

    I guess I would test ride one if you could and take your local terrain into account when making your decision.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: limba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    What do your rivals ride? Is everyone riding full suspension? If you're good at descending/technical stuff but bad at climbing maybe you would like a 29" hardtail?

    Bad ass 29" full susp. bikes - Epic, Scalpel, Rocky Element, new Trek Superfly 100, Scott... etc, etc.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    I'm currently riding a Giant Anthem 29er with lefty fork, after riding a Cannondale Flash 1 for 4 months (I really wanted a very light bike for the 2600-foot single climb at Nationals).

    Pretty different bikes. The Anthem feels like a downhill "bomber bike" compared to the Flash. But a hardtail 29er would probably be great for the Ohio terrain you describe. In Utah, it's all big uphill, big downhill, so FS 29ers are pretty awesome here. (They are so, so fun; while destroying all my Strava downhill PRs created with the Flash).

    FS 29ers are getting very popular amongst the masters racers here. Especially the Epic 29er Carbon, .........but what a price tag on that thing.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fakie1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I own both the anthem x 26 and 29er. I'm also 5'8" and ride 18" in both models. I bought the 29er the week before a 48 mile race. It was a good choice! I pre-rode the course 2 times on my 26er, and once on the 29er. The big wheels really smoothed out all the small bumps and rocks. I feel like it kept the fatigue down for a longer period of time. Both bikes rip the single track very well. I was worried about the chain stay length too. I think the only place I may notice it is uphill tight switch backs. Could just be the bigger wheels though. Both bikes have the same TT length, so, I felt perfectly comfortable switching bikes. Hope this helps! Oh, and I did put a stans crest wheelset on the 29er 2 days before the race. Dropped 1.8 pounds. The stock wheels are way heavy.

    Race day...

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