Carbon Epic or Anthem X with upgrades?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Tre1nt
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    Carbon Epic or Anthem X with upgrades?

    What the world needs now is another 29er comparison thread ...

    My dilemma is whether to go with a Carbon Epic 29er or an Anthem X, and put the difference in price into a wheel upgrade and some lighter components. The price tag on the Epic will prohibit much upgrading from the stock build, at least for this season.

    Intended use is racing; I prefer the 50-mile length but will do some shorter and some longer races too. Home base is Colorado.

    I had a 26-inch Anthem a few years ago and really appreciated that bike's handling and pedaling qualities.

    Haven't had a chance to demo either 29-inch bike, and probably won't before I pull the trigger.

    One nice thing about the Anthem plan is that I could ride the stock wheels for a bit, then sell my current rig (Fuel EX 9) when the weather/bike buying season improves, putting the proceeds into some high-quality wheels.

    This would help spread the financial pain over a few months.

    Would the Anthem X with upgrades ultimately be about the same weight as the carbon Epic? Close?

  2. #2
    Tre1nt
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    I should have said Carbon Expert 29, which looks to be about $5k.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...cname=Mountain

    The Anthem X 1 looks to be about $3700.

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...er/7508/44088/

  3. #3
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    I'm in the same boat as you - trying to make a decision quickly and more than likely without a test ride as I'm registered for the 24 hour Old Pueblo race in February. I've been torn between the Anthem X and the SC Tallboy. I also live in Colorado and race for a local team. I can get a really good deal on the Giant's and was leaning heavily in that direction. Seems like with Giant you get a pretty darn good bang for the buck which does free up money for upgrades. I have a Giant Trance now that I'm trying to unload. If I'm able to sell that I can probably justify the Anthem X as well as a Giant XTC 29 hardtail. By going Giant and saving money I could then get a set of race wheels that are really light that could be used on both bikes. The Anthem is roughly 26lbs stock (w/o pedals I think). With wheels (tubeless), upgraded handlebar and seatpost I have to imagine a sub 25lb racing machine.

    I guess my only real hesitation on this bike is that it's in its first year of production. Given that it's Giant and they're massive market share and money devoted to R&D I have to think it will be fine.

    Anyone have any pro's / con's regarding the Giant that we should be considering.

    **I'm also looking to do more endurance events, but will also race XC in Winter Park.

  4. #4
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    Obviously everyone is gonna say test ride both. But in this case i'd say that holds more true as the rear suspension is so different. I for one don't like the Specialized rear suspension and LOVE the anthem's. Also, for aluminum, the anthem is light!

    Good luck in your decision.

  5. #5
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    I had the same question - I test rode the Giant and really liked the suspension...very little if any peddle bob when set on pro pedal. I however went with the X3, buying it pretty much for the frame, fork, rear suspension and seat which is pretty nice for a stock seat and feels good. My plan though is to go the 2x10 route with SRAM so I am pretty much looking to tear everything else of the bike and thus going any higher made no sense since I would be taking it off anyway.

  6. #6
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    I think it would be tough to get the Anthem down to the weight of the Epic. They would probably be within a pound for the same money.

    Without you being able to ride them I'd say it comes down to how much you enjoy customizing your bike. If you're a set it and forget it rider I'd say get the Specialized. If you're always looking for the newest brakes, bars etc, then the Giant gives you the budget flexibility to get a great wheelset now and make a few more changes down the road.

    I went with the Anthem because I''m not a big fan of the Epic Suspension. I also like the 15mm TA rather than the QA on the Epic.

  7. #7
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    All interesting point of views, I owned a Tallboy and switched to the Carbon Epic 29er for 2011. Honestly I fell in love with the Brain technology, which is a hate/love feeling contingent on the rider. The brain's adjustability is really impressive, and the rear-end granted its aluminum is much stiffer then the TB. Stock rims are not bad but would be my only upgrade.

    I have not ridden the Giant but I have heard a lot of good things about the new X.

  8. #8
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    Hmm, maybe it could be as light as the Epic. This guy has a pricey build with all of the XTR stuff but nothing on there is stupid light and he got the large to under 24 lbs.

    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/foru...em-x-29er.html

  9. #9
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    If it were me I think I'd go with the Anthem, get a killer wheelset, and still save a few bills. The stock wheelset ain't all that bad with DB spokes and a DT 350 rear hub... you could probably get a little money out of that if you sell it as a new take-off.
    I'm a fan of the 4-bar, mini-link suspension + XT build on the Anthem.
    I'm not a fan of the Avid brakes or X420 rims on the Spesh.
    Both have tapered head tubes and press-fit BBs. I think with the Spesh you're paying for the materials and drivetrain.
    Either way you're pretty stoked.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  10. #10
    LFJ
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    I say go Anthem and a nice set of race wheels.

  11. #11
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    If you like a firm, hardtail-like ride, then I would recommend the Epic. I was shopping for/test ridding 29er hardtails and then had a chance to test ride the Epic. The suspension rode so well that it was enough to convince me to go with a FS bike. I like the racier performance a hardtail generally provides and the Epic provides all of that and more.

  12. #12
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    Reputation: wannabeRacer's Avatar
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    go for the Anthem, good frame and value for money, plus you get to upgrade the parts that you like.

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