2019: Anthem 27.5 vs Trance 29er- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2019: Anthem 27.5 vs Trance 29er

    I was a bit taken back that the Anthem 27.5 has nearly identical travel compared to the Trance 29er... Trance only has an additional 5mm on the rear shock, front is the same. I'm surprised the travel isn't more of a bridge between the Anthem 27.5 and the Trance 27.5

    So how would these bikes compare with one another when it comes to long distance riding, downhill capability, and steep or technical climbing?

    I have an Anthem SX 2015; thinking about selling it and getting a new bike next year. Though it looks like we may be due for a refresh in 2020 so I'm curious enough to almost wait and see what they come up with for 2020.

    Edit: Are the forks on either bike adjustable to 140mm? It would appear so...

    I was also looking at the Norco Optic... but not sure I want to give up carbon rims.
    Last edited by Kulharin; 09-30-2018 at 03:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Iíd gamble to say the T29 does hit the gap in travel between the two 27.5ís aswell as feel like more than your ASX due to the bigger wheels.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  3. #3
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    I'd like to demo both though anthems dont often get stocked at my local shop. Is the new anthem 27.5 a superior trail bike compared to the 2015 anthem sx on all fronts? Anything the older sx would be better at?

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    I donít think anything from the old beats the new - boost, more travel, tubeless and the redesigned Maestro. I havenít ridden the old one but do consider the new one a part of the trail rather than XC category.

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    Ok thanks, and it looks as though the fork is adjustable on the advance, so modding it up to 140 travel is an option?

    Another draw is that for me I was in between sizes for the 2015 so I went with a large. Though the new sizing with the anthem 27.5 puts me bang on medium...

  6. #6
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    The fork can be converted to, not adjusted to 140mm.
    A bike fits is a bike you will ride!

  7. #7
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    How would the Trance 29er compare with the Anthem 27.5 for just riding around town or covering distance to access the trail heads?

    I currently ride my Anthem SX everywhere it it works well in that regard. My concern with going for the trance 29er over the Anthem 27.5 is losing some fun and efficiency on the climb? My riding is 50/50 up n down. Long distance riding also.... And I often ride in trail networks that are quite twisty with sharp corners, steep climbs, and an abundance of roots and rocks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    How would the Trance 29er compare with the Anthem 27.5 for just riding around town or covering distance to access the trail heads?

    I currently ride my Anthem SX everywhere it it works well in that regard. My concern with going for the trance 29er over the Anthem 27.5 is losing some fun and efficiency on the climb? My riding is 50/50 up n down. Long distance riding also.... And I often ride in trail networks that are quite twisty with sharp corners, steep climbs, and an abundance of roots and rocks.
    Tough call. I would think based on having a 27.5 Anthem, and riding a few different 29ers myself, this new Trance may fit the bill. Have you reviewed any of these on YouTube? Thereís a couple Iíd recommend (besides the marketing ones off the Giant website) like the ones from Flow, Mtbyumyum, or actually the one with the Giant rep that went thru the different carnations talking of how it ending up where it did suspension travel wise but itís not off the Giant site!

    **Edit-The 3rd one I mentioned is from Vital if you look on YouTube!👍😎
    Last edited by JMac47; 10-15-2018 at 07:29 PM. Reason: More info
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  9. #9
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    Hm, well no rush on my end. It'd prolly be next early fall when the 2020's get announced. Seems all the shops in my area would only be stocking the Trance 29er not the Anthem 27.5 so demoing an anthem may be tricky. Do you think I'd still be able to find either in a advance carbon frame if I wented till next fall? The trance colors are not as sexy as the Anthem for 2019

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    Hm, well no rush on my end. It'd prolly be next early fall when the 2020's get announced. Seems all the shops in my area would only be stocking the Trance 29er not the Anthem 27.5 so demoing an anthem may be tricky. Do you think I'd still be able to find either in a advance carbon frame if I wented till next fall? The trance colors are not as sexy as the Anthem for 2019
    Just a guess but I don't think the Anthem 27.5 will be refreshed until the 2021 model year, given the past model was active from 2013 through 2016.

    I've had almost every iteration of Anthem since the beginning and am currently on a 2017. I didn't buy it as an xc racer but more of a capable, fun and fast all around trail bike. I think in that role it excels. I also own a longer travel 29" trail bike which I will be selling and replacing a harder hitting 27.5 enduro bike to get more separation between the two. The Anthem can do almost everything the 29" can, but faster. At least out East where I am, I prefer the 27.5 because there is a lot of tight, stop and start terrain which I find the 29" isn't well suited to. The slight roll over advantage is negated by constantly having to get a larger, heavier, wheel system back up to speed.

    If Giant is out there listening, please do the following for 2021:

    Lengthen the reach in XL to 485mm
    Steepen the seat angle to at least 75
    Slacken the head tube angle to 66
    Keep the travel at 110R/120F
    Add room for 2.6 tires
    Keep a 27.5 model
    Do something about the top tube so that if you run your brake levers canted down they don't hit it in a crash, loading in your car etc.
    Threaded bottom bracket

    Do all this and I think Giant would have a revolutionary new category, the all around fun mountain bike.

    Also, the new Giant (non cross models) usually break cover in August as that is when the dealers get together to see the new models.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinciSean View Post
    Just a guess but I don't think the Anthem 27.5 will be refreshed until the 2021 model year, given the past model was active from 2013 through 2016.

    I've had almost every iteration of Anthem since the beginning and am currently on a 2017. I didn't buy it as an xc racer but more of a capable, fun and fast all around trail bike. I think in that role it excels. I also own a longer travel 29" trail bike which I will be selling and replacing a harder hitting 27.5 enduro bike to get more separation between the two. The Anthem can do almost everything the 29" can, but faster. At least out East where I am, I prefer the 27.5 because there is a lot of tight, stop and start terrain which I find the 29" isn't well suited to. The slight roll over advantage is negated by constantly having to get a larger, heavier, wheel system back up to speed.

    If Giant is out there listening, please do the following for 2021:

    Lengthen the reach in XL to 485mm
    Steepen the seat angle to at least 75
    Slacken the head tube angle to 66
    Keep the travel at 110R/120F
    Add room for 2.6 tires
    Keep a 27.5 model
    Do something about the top tube so that if you run your brake levers canted down they don't hit it in a crash, loading in your car etc.
    Threaded bottom bracket

    Do all this and I think Giant would have a revolutionary new category, the all around fun mountain bike.

    Also, the new Giant (non cross models) usually break cover in August as that is when the dealers get together to see the new models.
    The 27.5 Anthem was first introduced in the 2014 model year, not 2013, and Giant works on a three year cycle for most bikes. So 2020 should be the new one.

    Also, the 2018's are all 110R/130F, so your wish list would be a reduction in travel. With the extra fork travel (and resultant slackened head tube) it pretty much already is the all around fun bike, which is I think why they're now putting them in a new "XC Trail" section of their website.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbr4527 View Post
    The 27.5 Anthem was first introduced in the 2014 model year, not 2013, and Giant works on a three year cycle for most bikes. So 2020 should be the new one.

    Also, the 2018's are all 110R/130F, so your wish list would be a reduction in travel. With the extra fork travel (and resultant slackened head tube) it pretty much already is the all around fun bike, which is I think why they're now putting them in a new "XC Trail" section of their website.
    Yes I miscounted, it gets confusing sometimes because to get my discount I have to order the year before. It will be interesting to see what they do, I wouldnít be surprised if the 27.5 ĎAnthemí is dropped altogether as what I described above is very close to a 27.5 version of the new 29Ē Trance.

    I really like 120mm in the front for my area though, I think any more than that and you are solidly into Ďtrailí territory.

  13. #13
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    Wow, I'm not alone!!

    I currently ride a Transition Scout that is a blast but it's on the heavy side (the frame can withstand a nuclear blast) and not the best pedaling. Handles great, though.

    Before that, I had an Anthem SX (2015?) that basically is the bike where I set most of my PR's on Strava. That bike was seriously a blast. I sold it thinking the Scout would be an improvement and in some way it does, just not for me.

    Now, I guess I have to jump into the Boost bandwagon and I have to start from scratch with a new bike. I had eyed the Anthem 27.5... but it's no longer sold in Australia for 2019 and my dealer has no more 2018's left.

    Straight to the point, I'd like more opinions and experiences on the Trance 29'er compared to the Anthem SX.

    The Trance 29 is almost 3" (70mm give or take) LONGER wheelbase, 2 degrees slacker at the head tube and 48mm taller stack compared to the nimble Anthem SX 27.5 (2015).

    The travel is about equal but we're talking 29'er vs 27.5 wheels.

    I'm more interested on how do they do on twisty flat trails.

    It's sort of sad that the Anthem 27.5/SX is gone (at least in Australia). It was a serious trail weapon. It was agile, pedaled well and the handling was really nice.
    Check my Site

  14. #14
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    I am displeased that I have found no detailed comparison of these 2 bikes yet.

  15. #15
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    I replaced my anthem 29er with a trance 29. No regrets. Canít help you with the 27.5 questions because at my height, they feel pointless and slow compared to 29.

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    Well I guess I'll demo a trance 29er and see... I am just worried I'll be sacrificing the agility and maneuverability of the anthem 27.5 as well as lose climbing and long distance riding efficiency.. looks like no body in the west is even stocking the anthem 27.5 this year at all. and no one is even talking about this bike... so maybe I'll be able to find a good deal on one in the Fall.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    Well I guess I'll demo a trance 29er and see... I am just worried I'll be sacrificing the agility and maneuverability of the anthem 27.5 as well as lose climbing and long distance riding efficiency.. looks like no body in the west is even stocking the anthem 27.5 this year at all. and no one is even talking about this bike... so maybe I'll be able to find a good deal on one in the Fall.
    I went from a Yeti SB5 (27.5) to the Trance Pro 29 1. There is no scenario in which the Trance 29 is not better or equal, riding in Utah.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    maybe I'll be able to find a good deal on one in the Fall.
    Possible. Both are currently on sale at decent prices through May, I believe, at least in the US.

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    I think the 29 Trance is probably a great bike and I'd buy one if I was going for the one bike quiver. Fortunately, I have a longer-travel bike for the mountains. But if you can have two bikes or don't ride big terrain, get a 27.5 Anthem. It's just so much fun. I ridden 29ers and longer travel 27.5, but for tighter terrain, XC-riding with side-hits, I couldn't think of a bike more fun that the Anthem.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamfromCanada View Post
    I think the 29 Trance is probably a great bike and I'd buy one if I was going for the one bike quiver. Fortunately, I have a longer-travel bike for the mountains. But if you can have two bikes or don't ride big terrain, get a 27.5 Anthem. It's just so much fun. I ridden 29ers and longer travel 27.5, but for tighter terrain, XC-riding with side-hits, I couldn't think of a bike more fun that the Anthem.
    Couldnít agree more. I have an anthem paired with a Bronson and the Anthem is a lot of fun. Unfortunately I heard from a Giant rep at a local ride day that itís getting permanently axed going forward...

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    Not surprised, as it's not the flavour of the day at the moment, but I don't care because I don't plan on ever selling mine and if it breaks, I'll find one on the used market. But, it will be a shame to see it go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinciSean View Post
    Couldnít agree more. I have an anthem paired with a Bronson and the Anthem is a lot of fun. Unfortunately I heard from a Giant rep at a local ride day that itís getting permanently axed going forward...
    Axed as in 2019 will be the last of it!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    Axed as in 2019 will be the last of it!?
    Thatís the impression I got. According to him the 27.5 Trance is still the sales leader so it isnít going anywhere so going forward it would be the 29 Anthem and both wheel sizes of Trance only.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinciSean View Post
    Add room for 2.6 tires
    I've got the 2017 anthem advanced 1 with a rocket ron 27.5 x 2.6 on the rear and it has plenty of clearance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeduda View Post
    I've got the 2017 anthem advanced 1 with a rocket ron 27.5 x 2.6 on the rear and it has plenty of clearance.
    Can you post a pic? Is that with the stock rims?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinciSean View Post
    Can you post a pic? Is that with the stock rims?
    thats with a carbon 25mm internal rim. has plenty of width, the height is closest, probably 3/8" clearance. Not sure how to post pics on here. I've ran it on the stock rim also and it fit. Never had it rub.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeduda View Post
    thats with a carbon 25mm internal rim. has plenty of width, the height is closest, probably 3/8" clearance. Not sure how to post pics on here. I've ran it on the stock rim also and it fit. Never had it rub.
    Thanks for the info! What did the 2.6 do to the ride?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinciSean View Post
    Couldnít agree more. I have an anthem paired with a Bronson and the Anthem is a lot of fun. Unfortunately I heard from a Giant rep at a local ride day that itís getting permanently axed going forward...
    I've got a 27.5 Advanced Anthem too and totally agree. Weird how MTB fashions come and go. But the Anthem is the perfect mix for me, and I would suspect many others. Just wish I had the stepcast fork on it!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinciSean View Post
    Thanks for the info! What did the 2.6 do to the ride?
    Though I can't comment on the Anthem 27.5, I own a Yeti SB5c (with a 160 fork...."Brunch Ride" version) that is a 27.5 and went from 2.35F/2.25R Nobby Nics to the 2.6 version of NoNis. It was a much better ride on the wider tires at slightly lower pressures. My climb times improved and the ride became more comfortable as well. I've used the 2.6 Rocket Ron, which is faster, front and back, a 2.6 rear RoRo with a 2.6 NoNi front and a 2.6 NoNi front and back. For me, the increased traction of the 2.6 NoNi front and back was the best combo (on Ibis 742's...35 mm inner). It wasn't quite as fast, but the improvement in traction was worth it.

    After two years on that bike, though, I got a Trance 29 Pro 1 with lighter wheels (i9 Trail 270's....27 mm inner) and 2.35 NoNis front and back and immediately set about a dozen PR's on long climbs and complete circuits both in northern Utah and Moab. My downhill times on the 29er on Ahab and Bull Run in Moab killed my 27.5 times and I cleaned sections I hadn't before. If I wanted a couple of bikes, I'd keep the Trance 29 and have a Ripmo for more downhill oriented riding, personally. My remedy to the two bike option is a 30 mm inner wheelset (the stock TRX1's) with a 2.5 WT Aggressor rear and 2.6 WT DHF front for downhill days on the Trance 29. Even at 5'8" tall, I won't be going back to smaller wheels, though.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Though I can't comment on the Anthem 27.5, I own a Yeti SB5c (with a 160 fork...."Brunch Ride" version) that is a 27.5 and went from 2.35F/2.25R Nobby Nics to the 2.6 version of NoNis. It was a much better ride on the wider tires at slightly lower pressures. My climb times improved and the ride became more comfortable as well. I've used the 2.6 Rocket Ron, which is faster, front and back, a 2.6 rear RoRo with a 2.6 NoNi front and a 2.6 NoNi front and back. For me, the increased traction of the 2.6 NoNi front and back was the best combo (on Ibis 742's...35 mm inner). It wasn't quite as fast, but the improvement in traction was worth it.

    After two years on that bike, though, I got a Trance 29 Pro 1 with lighter wheels (i9 Trail 270's....27 mm inner) and 2.35 NoNis front and back and immediately set about a dozen PR's on long climbs and complete circuits both in northern Utah and Moab. My downhill times on the 29er on Ahab and Bull Run in Moab killed my 27.5 times and I cleaned sections I hadn't before. If I wanted a couple of bikes, I'd keep the Trance 29 and have a Ripmo for more downhill oriented riding, personally. My remedy to the two bike option is a 30 mm inner wheelset (the stock TRX1's) with a 2.5 WT Aggressor rear and 2.6 WT DHF front for downhill days on the Trance 29. Even at 5'8" tall, I won't be going back to smaller wheels, though.
    Trance 29.

    This has turned out to be a ridiculously versatile bike. It's angles and compliant suspension have me riding stuff I'd never thought on such an otherwise nimble and fast bike.

    Also, I've already spent a few 4 to 7 hour days on this bike spinning out the miles and rarely have felt "over-biked".

    It's quire rare to find a bike that can handle everything for AM to pure XC this well.

    Still working out the tires. Running i30/i29 rims f/r (different brands) and have a Rekon WT 2.4 out back. Seems a little fragile but otherwise very good as very versatile tires go. Still working out what to run up front, but the latest tire I've tried is a DHF WT 2.6. Those tires, for their size, grip, and cush roll really well - probably the 120tpi. I also think the DHF rolls quite well on hardpack due to its centerline tread pattern relative to the amount of cornering grip. Don't think I'd run a 2.6 out back as I've found they are just not robust enough.

  31. #31
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    At the end of the day I'd be happy with either I think. Towards the fall-next Spring I'll keep my eye open for an anthem advance 27.5 on clearance or a demo sale. Otherwise I'll hold off and maybe pick up a trance next year when they hopefully have better colors and some fine tuning since this is a brand new bike.

    What would putting 27.5 tires on a trance 29er do overall? or making a mullet bike out of it?

    A lot of my local trails are tight and twisty

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
    At the end of the day I'd be happy with either I think. Towards the fall-next Spring I'll keep my eye open for an anthem advance 27.5 on clearance or a demo sale. Otherwise I'll hold off and maybe pick up a trance next year when they hopefully have better colors and some fine tuning since this is a brand new bike.

    What would putting 27.5 tires on a trance 29er do overall? or making a mullet bike out of it?

    A lot of my local trails are tight and twisty
    Putting 27.5's on a 29er of any persuasion makes no sense to me. It would lower the BB, so pedal strikes would increase for one thing.
    On the Trance 29, I can see no reason to degrade the performance, roll over, pedal strikes, anything, by putting 27.5 wheels on it. Given that it takes 29x2.6's easily, I do think you could put 27.5x2.8's on it, but I wouldn't.
    I wouldn't put 26" wheels on any 27.5 for the same reason.

    Given the tight and twisty nature of your trails would you consider a 24" bike with 500mm bars? I ask in jest, of course, but it does seem that you are set on a 27.5, despite getting some answers, at least, to your original question pointing you toward a 29er.

    Before I got my Yeti, I demo'd several high end 29ers in 2015 and hated them all. At the end of last season, I demo'd several 29ers and loved them all. The designs have, and continue to improve. If you've demo'd them and didn't like them that's fine. But if you just think you won't like them, you're doing yourself a disservice. You should at least demo one.

    As to the question of, can the forks be extended to 140, I'll only comment on the Trance. No, I don't think so, it wouldn't hurt to run a 140, but it's not necessary. I'm a complete suspension snob and I can't bring myself to even consider upgrading my 130 mm fox performance.....and I really want to want to! I like it more than the 160 Pike Air I have on my Yeti.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 05-28-2019 at 10:47 AM.

  33. #33
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    Honestly, there is no good reason to take any 27.5 xc bike over a very modern 29er trail bike, regardless of application.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    Honestly, there is no good reason to take any 27.5 xc bike over a very modern 29er trail bike, regardless of application.
    I'm inclined to agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    Honestly, there is no good reason to take any 27.5 xc bike over a very modern 29er trail bike, regardless of application.
    I agree as well. Just made the switch from an SC 5010 to a Trace 29 Pro 2 and couldn't be happier. I've cleaned some chunk that I used to struggle with yet the bike is nimble and fast on the smooth stuff as well. It really is amazing how designs have progressed.

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