Giant Anthem 26" build log- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Giant Anthem 26" build log

    And so it begins. My older boy is now ten and soon to grow out of his Islabikes Creig 24. The Islabike is a great bike and will pass down to my little one, and between the two of them we usually seem to get about five years out of a bike. So I don't mind spending a bit of money to get a nice bike.

    I've built up my last three bikes and really enjoyed the process, and then riding them when they're built. I have a nice mountain bike, and just did a round of upgrades to Shimano 1x11 and a Fox Transfer dropper post. So I can't really justify building up a new bike for myself anytime soon. But we're gonna need a 26" bike, so I've been lurking with intent on eBay for many moons now and stashing away parts.

    The plan was that we got a hard tail with discs for the 24" bike, so we'd go full suspension for the first 26" bike.
    Budget would be about 1000, for no particular reason but it seems like a nice round number - without getting too carried away.
    Happily as the MTB world has largely moved away from 26" bikes for adults there's lots of spanking good deals out there on used 26" parts. And if I buy good quality parts then I'll likely get something for them when we're done with the bike.

    I did some homework on small 26" full suspension bikes, and set up a bunch of searches on eBay.
    Ideally I wanted a frame only so I could build it up myself the way I wanted, rather than get a donor bike and end up with a bunch of parts I didn't need.

    One of the bikes near the top of my list was the Giant Anthem. For a fairly short travel XC oriented bike it got glowing reviews as a capable all-rounder. There's an extra small women's frame size that I tried to find, but I never saw one of those for sale. But what did come up for sale is this guy:

    Giant Anthem 26" build log-giant-anthem-x-2010.jpg

    It's a 2010 Giant Anthem X with Fox RP2, in black with red highlights, that I got for for 220 shipped.
    The frame is in great condition, weight is 2,400g and it takes a ZS44 headset and a standard 68mm threaded BB.
    So with the frame safely stashed under the house we can move on to getting parts for it ...

  2. #2
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    Forks

    The Anthem originally came with a Fox 32 F100RL with 100mm travel. However there's plenty of forum posts of people who've run a 120mm fork on their Anthem, so that's what we'll aim for. We need a fork that's light weight (perhaps under 1400g) and offers adjustability for light weight riders. And the Anthem frame takes a straight 1 1/8" steerer tube. The two obvious contenders are the Fox 32 series, and the Rockshox SID.

    Then I learned two things.
    One, I was reading up on headsets and had an a-ha! moment when I discovered that those crafty folks at the headset manufacturers have a headset that fits ZS44 head tubes and converts them to take a tapered steerer fork. Woohoo, that opens up a bunch of newer forks.

    Two, you can also buy angled headsets that change the head angle of the frame. Both Cane Creek and Works Components make them.

    Therefore I could get a headset for the Anthem that would accept a tapered steerer and slacken the head angle by 1, which would bring the front down a bit to compensate for a 120mm travel fork.

    Next I spent many happy hours going through Fox and Rockshox catalogs and figuring out the various models over the years, and how the internals changed.
    Helpfully a lot of the forks on eBay don't list all the specs of the fork, or actually have them wrong .
    Fox offer a nice feature on their website at www.ridefox.com/fox17/help.php?m=bike which allows you to enter a serial number or a code found on the back of the fork lowers and it gives you the full specs. Rockshox you gotta learn to identify by the decals and the brake hose guide.

    So once I knew the lay of the land I set up my eBay bots for both Fox and Rockshox. The ideal fork would be about a 2012-2013 Rockshox SID World Cup (not the XX version) with 120mm travel. And for not very much money too.

  3. #3
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    Front thru-axle?

    Looking at forks, they of course come in either QR or 15mm thru-axle versions. So I'm wondering if a front thru-axle is worth it for a kids bike?

    I can understand for an 80 kg (175 lb) adult male that a 15mm thru-axle will be stiffer and safer than a standard quick release. But if the rider weighs 35 kg (75 lb) then not sure it will make a noticeable difference.

    So I thought I'd ask the tribe. Is there a weight penalty for a 15mm axle? Are there other benefits that thru-axles provide? Does it really matter for a ten year old's bike? Most high end hubs are easily convertible, so do I just buy whatever fork happens to come up, and not worry about the axle standard?

  4. #4
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    Hi very interested in this build as looking to do the same for a 10y old

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainDecisive View Post
    Looking at forks, they of course come in either QR or 15mm thru-axle versions. So I'm wondering if a front thru-axle is worth it for a kids bike?

    I can understand for an 80 kg (175 lb) adult male that a 15mm thru-axle will be stiffer and safer than a standard quick release. But if the rider weighs 35 kg (75 lb) then not sure it will make a noticeable difference.

    So I thought I'd ask the tribe. Is there a weight penalty for a 15mm axle? Are there other benefits that thru-axles provide? Does it really matter for a ten year old's bike? Most high end hubs are easily convertible, so do I just buy whatever fork happens to come up, and not worry about the axle standard?
    It's not a big deal for small riders but I would still opt for the thru axle design as it will be forward compatible in the future. Thru axle is also a more stable locking mechanism, reduces flex, etc. Also, if you are building your own wheels, choose hubs that are convertible, that way you can swap between QR or TA. I would avoid QR only hubs. With convertible hubs you can adapt to whatever fork you manage to acquire because at this point its really down to whatever you can find.

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