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  1. #1
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    moving from alum anthem to carbon xtc...advice please

    I took my 2011 Giant Anthem 29 to my LBS for some routine maintenance this week mainly because there has been some creaking from the BB area/linkage that has been bugging the hell out of me and buzzkilling my last few races, AND there's no better time to fix that than 2 weeks before the peak of my season at Sea Otter. Everything was gravy until the mechanic noticed a crack where the seat tube meets the top tube. So they called Giant, talked the talk, and have 2012 Anthem front triangle ready to ship as a warranty replacement. I happened to be in the shop the next day and threw the idea out there that if Giant had any XL carbon XTC frames instead, that I would be willing to pay the difference, honestly thinking that it would never happened because tall dudes like me never catch a break like that. Well, as it turns out, they have an XL XTC, and they are willing to send it with an out of pocket charge of $400.

    I'm very very very tempted to take this opportunity to up my game, as I've always wanted a carbon HT race bike, as it seems like I'm the only guy out there in Cat 2 with an aluminum full suspension bike. It's been a mediocre season for me with some mid-pack finishes and a slow growth progression in comparison to last season, and part of me thinks this upgrade could be the mental edge I've wanted and needed. I know "it's the motor, not the bike" is always true, but for the races around Santa Cruz, Ca it's mostly fire road climbs and rolling single track with little to no technical sections, and the Anthem is a little overkill. But on non race days, the extra plush is fun to have. Part of me wants to use the warrantied aluminum Anthem frame for the benefit of enjoying the trails around SC more, while the other side of me wants the XTC for the benefit of a faster and more efficient race bike.

    I'm leaning towards just biting the bullet and springing for the XTC, just because I don't know if I'll ever get a chance like this again. Has anyone out there ever raced on an aluminum full suspension and went to a carbon hardtail? Were there any regrets? Has that "ruined" any of your non-race trail riding experiences? Keep in mind I'm not really an all mountain/techy kind of guy, as I stick mostly to XC style trails.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    I'd rather be riding
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    I went from an alloy fs (26) to a 29 hardtail in aluminum (both XL). Same build, similar forks, wheels and I've been happy with the switch. I had like a week period of regret where I didn't like the hardtail but now I don't even notice and don't mind the hardtail for all my riding. I say it sounds like a deal.

  3. #3
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    I say it sounds like a good deal. Based on the type of riding you described I think a hard tail would work well. Carbon does ride better then aluminum in my opinion and it should be lighter then your anthem.

  4. #4
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    Personally I always like to keep my old bikes around as backups. I end up using them every season while waiting for parts of repairs on my "New" bike. 400 does not sound like a bad deal but what would it cost to build it and keep your current bike. I bet it would be cheaper to repair your current bike, and then buy a complete XTC. I think that's the cheapest way to get what you really want, A race bike and a trail bike.
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  5. #5
    Rod
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    My answer would be it depends. A hardtail is still a hardtail at the end of the day. It may be just a little faster on race day or it may cause you to fatigue early. An anthem is extremely efficient. I really liked mine. I don't know your riding style, but you can just plow over stuff on an anthem unlike a hardtail. It sounds like your riding does suit a hardtail, but the all day and longer rides won't be as much fun. Two bikes like Pedal suggested would be your best bet. If you had one bike to do it all the anthem is your best choice. The hardtail isn't as comfy on those long rides.

    If you get the carbon bike you won't just be killin it in the races. You already know this though. You may need to simply rest and recover a little more.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  6. #6
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    I had a 2011 Anthem (med). After selling off my blur I decided to purchase a HT for training, and to save wear and tear on my Anthem. Fast forward to today, and the Anthem is long gone, and all I train and race is with a 29er HT's.

    So for me and my riding style it is a no brainer I would totally get the XTC. Giant makes a dope HT

  7. #7
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    I race an Anthem. The Anthem's suspension is great, probably the best xc fs design out there, however it is freaking heavy for an xc race bike. Whether the weight or suspension will make you faster really depends on the terrain you're riding. I race mostly on technical terrain, and i've found that a hardtail feels faster for the first 10-15 miles, but i usually race 30-50 miles, and I feel i can keep going hard longer with an fs. I'm a pretty good descender, and while riding a hardtail i have to sandbag it through rock gardens or else i'll get a flat tire, which is difficult to do during a race. I can run the same tires (lightweight xc tires tubeless on Stan's rims) all out on the Anthem without problems.
    Last edited by dthomp325; 04-11-2013 at 09:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Metalheadbikerider
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    Similar thing happened to me. I was getting serious and went from a 26" FS (that I loved to ride) back to a hardtail (aluminum, though) thinking that's what I needed to be "competitive" at the expert level. That hardtail only lasted about two months because I didn't enjoy riding it on trails from day to day. I went back to a 26" FS. Tough question, but what is more important to you? Also, how technical are your races? Will the hardtail be that much, if at all, faster on the racecourse? For me, the hardtail would definitely be faster on some courses, but not all. I am stoked with my full suspension, and would never go back to a HT for all riding and racing.
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  9. #9
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    Most Giant Frames are on the heavy end of things.
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  10. #10
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    just out of curiosity, what XTC is it 0,1,2,3 or 4? and what Year?

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