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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz 5010 VS Giant Anthem SX

    I'm about to purchase my first full suspension bike. I don't ride in rough terrain, being that I'm in the Louisiana/Mississippi area. After extensive research, I landed on two bikes.... 2017 Santa Cruz 5010 or 2017 Giant Anthem SX. Both are aluminum with 130mm travel...anthem has 110 in rear and both are 3k.

    I'm back and forth between the two and can't settle on one. The majority of my riding is pulling up Strava and trying to beat my best time, but I do like the option of venturing to more difficult trails. I won't be swapping components and will keep it for a while. Below are some of the points that stand out to me. I would love any insight that anyone is willing to give. Thanks in advance

    Biggest Pros
    5010- more travel, rare in my area, Highly reccommended
    Anthem SX- more of a true XC bike, looks incredible, local dealer

    PS Only been riding for 5 months so I don't have the whole shredding, rails, gnarly, etc. language down yet...you may have to use basic terms with me.

  2. #2
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    Both are kewl bikes ^^

    My take on the 5010 - is that it's a little more trail, whilst the Anthem is a little more XC.

    Can't go wrong either way me thinks.

    Enjoy your new steed (aka bike)

    Sent from my kltedv using Tapatalk
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  3. #3
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    My gut feeling is that someone who's relatively new to the sport will benefit from having a good relationship with their local shop, so I'd go with the Giant.

  4. #4
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    Thanks man...That's one of the things i'm worried about if I get the Santa Cruz. There isn't a local shop here. Ive purchased 4 bikes(3 Treks& 1 Giant) in the last few months(wife, son, daughter,me) from local dealers and they are really nice and trustworthy . I wonder if they would hold ill will towards me if I bought elsewhere

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    I wonder if they would hold ill will towards me if I bought elsewhere
    If they would, it's not worth giving them any more business.

  6. #6
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    Which 5010 frame and build are you looking at?

  7. #7
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    Aluminum. Either the R1X or R2X option. Same price...one Shimano and one is SRAM

  8. #8
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    Looks to me like they are both SRAM. Maybe, Rockshox vs Fox. I think they are both Boost spacing. The main difference I see is the Giant has trunion mount metric shock. I think either would be a great choice!

  9. #9
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    I have to ask why set on 27.5 if you don't ride rough stuff. To be blunt you sound like a candidate for a 29er.
    In a Santa Cruz- the Tallboy, in a Giant Anthem X 29er
    OG Ripley v2

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    The two bikes I settled on just happen to be 27.5. I currently ride a 29er and hear how much fun the 27.5 is......I also love the appearance of these two bikes.....to me, it makes a big difference in th bike I choose.
    If you don't mind elaborating, how does the fact that I don't ride rough terrain relate to the tire size?

  11. #11
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    If your trails are relatively featureless, and you prioritize speed, then you will probably like the Anthem better. If you want to start jumping off some stuff, and taking on more rocky terrain, then you'd want the 5010 or Trance (not that the Anthem can't handle some). Lugging around unused, extra travel for nothing gets old quick... but so does feeling beat up after your ride.

    I'm about to move on from an Anthem to something with more travel, just to take a little more edge off. I used to prioritize climbing, but my bones are feeling old these days.

  12. #12
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    As an Anthem SX owner I would say go with that over the SC it may have slightly less travel but set up correctly it punches well above it's weight. I use mine for xc and general trail riding, gets used for small jumps with no problems. If you feel you need more travel then get the Trance.

  13. #13
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    What do you mean by set up correctly. I plan on riding it exactly the way it comes

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    You will need to set the shocks up to suit your weight not forgetting to allow for anything you carry like a camelback. I see loads of people who just set up a rough pressure and ride and then moan it's bouncing all over the place.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    What do you mean by set up correctly. I plan on riding it exactly the way it comes
    Even (or especially) with bottom-of-the-line components your set-up is important. RockShox says 30% sag and the shock works best. We experiment a bit with psi and ride with sag settings of 25 - 35% just to see what we like and which trails we like it on. Fork PSI matter too. Compression/rebound settings make differences too. Most of us start on settings in the middle or from an old bike. Even where you place your brake levers will matter. It's fun to dial it in, just go slow between changes so you get a feel for the bike. I spent more than 6 months before deciding where I was happiest.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  16. #16
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    Being that I bought my first bike just 5 months ago and it's a Hardtail, a full suspension bike seems to be difficult to get the hang of. Is it necessary for a casual rider like myself to experiment with tire pressure, sag, etc? is it possible for the local bike shop the adjust the settings before I leave with it and I just ride it as is?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    Being that I bought my first bike just 5 months ago and it's a Hardtail, a full suspension bike seems to be difficult to get the hang of. Is it necessary for a casual rider like myself to experiment with tire pressure, sag, etc? is it possible for the local bike shop the adjust the settings before I leave with it and I just ride it as is?
    It sounds like you you don't like to tinker- stick to the Hardtail. You should have already been doing that with your fork and tires already.

    Yes you can have someone else set up the bike for you- no you won't get the most out of it that way.
    OG Ripley v2

  18. #18
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    The first thing you should have in your pocket when buying a new bike is a local bike shop that you like and that supports you. Most bikes are great these days and it's hard to go wrong. If you need help with anything, your lbs is there. Support them. Buy the Giant. They also have a lifetime warranty. That's a big deal.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    No lie man, I think you just pushed me over the edge. Thanks for saying the perfect thing at exactly the right time. The Anthem SX was already extremely appealing to me, so you are pretty much confirming what my gut has been telling me.

  20. #20
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    I forgot lifetime warranty. Definitely a pro!

  21. #21
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    At least don't make it sound like the Lifetime warranty is special with Giant.

    From Santa Cruz's website.

    Lifetime Frame Warranty

    Santa Cruz Bicycles will repair or replace at its option any frame it determines to be defective. The warranty will be in effect for lifetime of the original, registered owner. In order to confirm that you are the original owner, please register using our Warranty Registration Form at the time of purchase. Frames purchased prior to May 1, 2015 will be covered under the previously existing 5 year warranty. Warranties do not cover custom finishes.
    OG Ripley v2

  22. #22
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    A lifetime warranty is rare, aka special. Didn't know SC had it. They also don't have an LBS near the OP.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  23. #23
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    Thank you to everyone who gave their insight. It seems as though I may have landed on the wrong Santa Cruz for the type of riding that I do. The SC Tallboy would have been a better candidate than the 5010. After all of time I put into this decision, I can't possibly put anymore effort into researching another bike. I spent countless hours on the 5010 & turns out I should have been looking at the Tallboy all along . I feel that the Anthem SX is the bike that I'm supposed to buy. I started with 8 or 9 good candidates...narrowed it down to the two that were neck and neck, and now I'm pretty certain I'll get the Giant. I'm going to order my new bike this Friday

    Main reasons for Anthem SX(much influenced by the help of this forum)

    1) ASX moreso fits the type of riding that I do. Fairly flat, windy & occasional climbs
    2) ASX is More of a XC bike and I may enter a race or two this year.
    3) ASX is the finest looking bike I've seen
    4) One of the local bike shops is a Giant dealer

  24. #24
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    Good choice man, ride it like you stole it!

  25. #25
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    Thought I'd chime in here to say, "No Santa Cruz dealer near you? No problem." The Giants are fine too but when I wanted a SC I didn't have a dealer anywhere near me either. So I went to the shop (a Trek, Specialized dealer) I like and asked the owner if he could order a 5010C, he said yes. It took a while but I love it, and love riding a bike brand few others around have. I leave the rear shock in the fully open position and it still doesn't pedal bob on climbs.
    Lifetime warranty as others have mentioned, and the shop owner told me if I had a warranty claim he would take care of it for me.
    For sure any LBS that sells mountain bikes will help you set up your suspension for you, at least get you to a good starting point and you can adjust from there, or leave it alone.
    Don't let it get you down, but there's a good chance you were an accident.
    2017 SC 5010

  26. #26
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    [QUOTE=ForrestJones;12993541For sure any LBS that sells mountain bikes will help you set up your suspension for you, at least get you to a good starting point and you can adjust from there, or leave it alone.[/QUOTE]

    I had to rep you just for your signature line.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  27. #27
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    Thank you for the info ForrestJones. Would your 5010 be well suited for flat, windy, single tracks where you spend most of your time pedaling? I was given the impression that the Tallboy would actually be a better option than the 5010, because of the lack of really tough stuff in my area. Would you feel comfortable on a XC course or would your bike be a little too much bike for that?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    Thank you to everyone who gave their insight. It seems as though I may have landed on the wrong Santa Cruz for the type of riding that I do. The SC Tallboy would have been a better candidate than the 5010. After all of time I put into this decision, I can't possibly put anymore effort into researching another bike. I spent countless hours on the 5010 & turns out I should have been looking at the Tallboy all along . I feel that the Anthem SX is the bike that I'm supposed to buy. I started with 8 or 9 good candidates...narrowed it down to the two that were neck and neck, and now I'm pretty certain I'll get the Giant. I'm going to order my new bike this Friday

    Main reasons for Anthem SX(much influenced by the help of this forum)

    1) ASX moreso fits the type of riding that I do. Fairly flat, windy & occasional climbs
    2) ASX is More of a XC bike and I may enter a race or two this year.
    3) ASX is the finest looking bike I've seen
    4) One of the local bike shops is a Giant dealer
    Hmm told you that 2 days ago.
    OG Ripley v2

  29. #29
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    Sounded like you were steering me more towards a 29er over a 27.5....tire size didn't play much of a role, if any, in eliminating the 5010. It was due to a few other reasons. I'm still going to land on a bike with 27.5 tires....just not the 5010. However, your original comment was helpful. It put the Tallboy on my radar. Hope my comment doesn't come across rude....just trying to articulate my thoughts.

  30. #30
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    I own a 5010, demo'd a Tallboy and demo'd anthem, all the latest models, but in carbon.

    Anthem is an awesome bike, I would definitely get that or the Tallboy, though you seem to want 27.5, so yeah, the Anthem .... plus supporting and getting support from local shop. No brainer to me.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    Sounded like you were steering me more towards a 29er over a 27.5....tire size didn't play much of a role, if any, in eliminating the 5010. It was due to a few other reasons. I'm still going to land on a bike with 27.5 tires....just not the 5010. However, your original comment was helpful. It put the Tallboy on my radar. Hope my comment doesn't come across rude....just trying to articulate my thoughts.
    I didn't take it as rude at all.

    I still say for the riding you described you should test ride some 29ers. I'm not going to write a long description of why a 29er is better for that type of riding, that horse has been beaten to death and you can find plenty of posts on it.

    Bottom line when you mention Strava, Speed and tame trails- it screams 29er. SC or Giant.


    Keep in mind I went 27.5 after years on a 29er but for my local trails which sound like yours- I'm still using my 29er HT.
    OG Ripley v2

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    I currently have a hard tail 29er. I figured i might as well try a 27.5 all other things considered. last question for you. Why wouldn't Giant put 29 tires on the Anthem SX, considering it's An XC bike? It seems as though a bike that's meant to race fast would have 29, but this one doesn't have that option.

  33. #33
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    For your stated goals: "The majority of my riding is pulling up Strava and trying to beat my best time" and maybe entering some races, I really think you should consider a 29er, as others have said. Since you have a Giant dealer near you, why not look at the Anthem X 29er? Are you able to demo these bikes?

    I'd say don't rush the decision. Believe me, I know what it's like to get fired up about getting a new bike, but you're going to be dropping a good chunk of change on this bike, and you want to get it right.

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    The local dealer doesn't carry any FS bikes so won't be able to demo. I'm currently riding a Trek Xcaliber 7(29) My son rides a Giant Talon with 27.5. I can't say that I notice the tire size difference between the two while riding. Sure they feel a little different but I don't know if that's due to the tire size or many other factors. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for my level, I couldn't tell you if I'm a "29er guy" or a "27.5 guy". It sounds like the 29 tires are faster, but the Anthem SX is such an upgrade, that I'll feel like I'm flying regardless. It also looks much better than the other Anthem models(IMO). The Tallboy is interesting to me, but I don't think it will be as good at being a XC type bike and it has less travel for rougher stuff.

    By the way, you guys are so incredibly helpful. I've learned so much more in the few days on this forum than the previous 15 days of research.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    The local dealer doesn't carry any FS bikes so won't be able to demo. I'm currently riding a Trek Xcaliber 7(29) My son rides a Giant Talon with 27.5. I can't say that I notice the tire size difference between the two while riding. Sure they feel a little different but I don't know if that's due to the tire size or many other factors. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for my level, I couldn't tell you if I'm a "29er guy" or a "27.5 guy". It sounds like the 29 tires are faster, but the Anthem SX is such an upgrade, that I'll feel like I'm flying regardless. It also looks much better than the other Anthem models(IMO). The Tallboy is interesting to me, but I don't think it will be as good at being a XC type bike and it has less travel for rougher stuff.

    By the way, you guys are so incredibly helpful. I've learned so much more in the few days on this forum than the previous 15 days of research.
    Giant went all in on 27.5, I'm actually surprised they still offer any 29ers-

    "Giant USA released its 2014 bike lineup to the press and it comes as no surprise that mid-sized wheels play a large role in the brand's upper level mountain bike range. We were surprised, however, to discover that Giant will up-size all of its most important 26 inch all-mountain and dual-suspension trailbikes to 27.5 inch wheels, as well as down-size its 29er XC-racing hardtails and short-travel dual-suspension bikes to 27.5 as well. Giant will still offer its key 29er XC racing bikes next season and the Reign-X and Glory will be 26-inch only - for now - but the writing is definitely on the wall at Giant USA. "

    The Tallboy has the same travel as the SX you're looking at, so not sure why you think the travel on it would be an issue.
    The Anthem 29er has 100mm more than enough for you.

    Bluntly put a lot of people are riding more travel than they really need.

    This one of the features I rode on my 100mm Tallboy.
    OG Ripley v2

  36. #36
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    Bigger wheels allow you to get away with less travel, maintain speed better & roll over chatter more easily.

    27.5 allows you to dodge & weave on tight twisty trails, more quickly. Plus, if you believe the scribes - they're more playful.

    FS 29 is my preferred ride ;-)

    I use to own a 27.5 full squishy.

    Happy I stuck with my 29er.

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    Thank you for the info ForrestJones. Would your 5010 be well suited for flat, windy, single tracks where you spend most of your time pedaling? I was given the impression that the Tallboy would actually be a better option than the 5010, because of the lack of really tough stuff in my area. Would you feel comfortable on a XC course or would your bike be a little too much bike for that?
    Jstrong,
    Not sure I'm qualified to give you a good answer, as it sounds like you and I have different "ride fantasies", as they say on the Path podcast. I'm in upstate NY where there isn't much that is flat, particularly where trails tend to be, and they are full of rocks, log-overs and tree roots. While I love speed (who doesn't?) I don't pay attention to racing or timing my rides (what is this strava people keep talking about? ) I'm more into the techincal fun of riding and will stop and session small drops, jumps, skinnies, rock gardens, as long as time and energy allows.
    I think this type of riding is what the 5010 is designed for. Its the only Santa Cruz I've ridden so far. Its the carbon C (not CC), S build and it weighs 29 pounds without pedals (it has a dropper post) so it isn't XC race weight. The geo is likely too slack as well for XC race, but it doesn't seem to hurt me on climbs.
    Its built burly, I don't worry about hurting it. I think if I attacked it with a hammer I would lose.

    Whatever you end up buying don't bother with 2X drivetrains, the 1X11 on my 5010 has plenty of range for me. Front deraillers are dinosaurs now.

    Do ask the bike shop people what they ride and recommend, local sources know best what works on the local trails.

    Good riding!
    Don't let it get you down, but there's a good chance you were an accident.
    2017 SC 5010

  38. #38
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    I just left the Giant Dealer, where I ordered the 2017 Anthem SX. Should be here next week. They recommended that I go tubeless so I guess I'll take their advice. I look forward to posting my thoughts after I've ridden it a bit

  39. #39
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    Sweet action. Tubeless is the way to go. Can't wait to get your impressions.

  40. #40
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    I dont go with the tubless, nothing wrong with tubeless but unless you are getting flats all the time, for me, it is more trouble than it is worth. I have tubless ready tires and rims but still run tubes. I have had one flat in a year and an a half, over 900 miles of single track riding. And I run down to 25lbs regularly.


    As far as the previous question about setup. start with what they recommend, ride awhile, then get a shock pump and adjust to 20% sag fork and 30% sag shock ride awhile. From there you will have a good idea what feels good to you and how much or little you want to adjust your suspension.


    The Anthem SX is the orange one, right?
    Saw that in person at a fat-tire festival a couple of months ago, very good looking paint color in person.

  41. #41
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    I have an SC 5010 and SC Highball. My 5010 is aluminium 2013 model so it is still the orginal "Solo" name. Anyway I really like the bike, but it is my gnar trail "big bike". If I want to ride downhills fast in rocky terrain with drops etc. I take the Solo. I run 2.4 HighRoller II on it and it has a dropper. 28-29lbs. However if I want to be fast overall I bring the SC Highball. 29" wheels Carbon HT, 2.35 Ikon front and 2.2 XR3 rear and 23.2lbs. The 29er HT is superfast climbing and on flats. The 29er wheels roll over rocks really well. In fact much better than 27.5 on the Solo. Where the 27.5 wheels work IMHO is fitting that travel and not making super large bike which is a concern for me a 5'7". Due to way the HT bike climbs and rolls over stuff is my got to bike for long rides (4hrs and 35miles+), lots of climbing (3500ft+) and riding anywhere new. I like the solo, but hate dragging it around places where I don't need the travel and beef. For me I ride the HT 4 rides out of 5. It suits my riding much better, but I still love the option of going for the Solo for the more downhill type days.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by armii View Post
    I dont go with the tubless, nothing wrong with tubeless but unless you are getting flats all the time, for me, it is more trouble than it is worth. I have tubless ready tires and rims but still run tubes. I have had one flat in a year and an a half, over 900 miles of single track riding. And I run down to 25lbs regularly.
    Where I run in the Az desert tubeless is well worth the effort. I am 5'7" and 165 and run tubelss 20psi front and 28psi rear. I ride about 3000 miles a year on dirt/single track would be lucky to go a week without needing to change tubes (home or trail) each week. Tubeless is pretty good unless I cut a tire. I still carry a tube for that. No pinchflats with tubeless either. Lower pressure means better grip and takes the edge off the rocks.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  43. #43
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    Tubeless isn't all about flat prevention. It's mostly about better traction. Being able to run lower pressures helps in every aspect of mountain biking.

    You picked a great bike. Have fun with it.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  44. #44
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    Thanks guys. Great input. The Anthem SX has the neon red paint job. I've never owned a nice bike before so I can't wait to try it out. In the few months that I've been riding mountain bikes, I've now bought two bikes for myself, a Trek Cali S for my wife, a Giant Talon for my 17 year old son, a Trek Pre Cal for my 7 year old daughter, and a strider for my 4 year old son. I may have to get another job to support this habit. So glad I found out about Mountain biking. I've played competitive sports my whole life and done about every kind of fitness training there is....currently in my 6th year training Brazilian Jiu Iitsu and Submission Grappling. As hard as that is, I have NEVER done anything as physically challenging as mountain biking. I'm trying to just enjoy my surrounding and take it easy, but every time I turn that timer on, it's balls to the wall. Thanks again for the help

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong View Post
    As hard as that is, I have NEVER done anything as physically challenging as mountain biking.
    Ya it is amazing how we drive home from a ride all sore and tired, many times exhausted, and we're planning next weeks ride.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    that is a great choice, i was about to order that bike but opted for the trance due to my trails and how i ride. However the anthem would have been just as good of a choice and i almost went for it just on the looks alone. It's a great looking bike.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    Ya it is amazing how we drive home from a ride all sore and tired, many times exhausted, and we're planning next weeks ride.
    I get as tired or more playing hockey but I love both sports! Good bike choice OP but your options were all good. You may find yourself taking a bit sketchier lines once you get your new bike dialed in so a bit extra front travel and 27.5" handling should make that rock. Go 1x, tubeless and add a dropper if it doesn't come with that stuff and learn as much as you can about bike setup from your LBS. If you get serious about racing you will probably want a light weight carbon fiber xc bike anyway...then I would recommend 29" wheels and 100-110mm travel even though that type of riding or bike isn't my cup of tea.
    2015 Giant Trance 3
    X-Fusion Sweep RL2 160mm fork
    Straitline Defacto pedals
    Renthal Fatbar with TV 40mm stem
    Ergon Grips

  48. #48
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    Jstrong, been a few months, just wondering how you're liking your new Anthem. Been thinking about buying the same bike.

  49. #49
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    Go buy one today! I'm serious man. I've been geeking out over bikes ever since I started really researching what makes them different. This bike is unique. I would have regretted buying the 5010, being that I'm entering races now and the Anthem SX is much more suited for that. Not sure if you have seen one in person(@armstronggrappling33 has good pics) but it stands out and looks awesome. I did swap the tires for more race oriented tires, but everything else is the same. I also love having the capability to ride on more difficult and technical terrain. Most bikes on my trail are straight up xc machines and don't have that luxury. Hope this helps

  50. #50
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    That's great to hear, just the push I needed to getting this bike. I was torn between this one and the SC 5010. I live in San Antonio TX, so trails are pretty flat out here. I appreciate your reply. Thanks

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