How has the Giant Anthem changed through the years?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How has the Giant Anthem changed through the years?

    I'm in the market for a used one, and I remember in my days working in a shop noticing that the Anthem platform had stayed pretty much the same for a lot of years... and stayed viable all that time. I had an '11, and it seemed about the same as my coworkers '14.

    So I'm wondering if anyone out there can tell me what the functional differences are. (aside from trim levels and wheel size changes) I guess I'm mostly trying to decide if I should pay more for something newer, or just be happy with the lower price of an older model.

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    To stay with the 100mm travel 29ers ('11-'17?) you want to look for a '17 with has two small frame improvements and is the only 100mm 29er model that has a 12x142TA rear. Otherwise, yeah, the platform go a little "stale" - it's a buyer beware situation buying a used Anthem though. Since it's second hand, you have no warranty, and as far as I can see, the place where two of my frames broke hasn't been updated on the 2017 frame I was sent as my last warranty replacement. When (not if, in my experience) my frame breaks again, the only thing that will transfer over to the new Anthem frame ('18) is the fork/stem/bars and brakes. No boost conversions for my wheels. Seat post diameter is different, etc.

    Question: Will you be racing XC?

  3. #3
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    I'm not too concerned about buying used, it's my preference when I'm not getting EP bikes. the cost difference is just too big.

    I think I've made my peace with QR rear axle (I've got the end caps to convert my "nice" wheelset back to QR) but I'm curious to hear what the two small frame improvements are. Also what was the spot that your frames broke?

    No real racing. That's kind of the point of thinking of going back to an anthem. I'm currently on a '16 superfly SS/rigid and realize that life just isn't going to give me the training time to keep being competitive. I may do some endurance, 6/12/24 hour stuff, but not super seriously.

  4. #4
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcharles00 View Post
    but I'm curious to hear what the two small frame improvements are. Also what was the spot that your frames broke?

    No real racing. That's kind of the point of thinking of going back to an anthem. I'm currently on a '16 superfly SS/rigid and realize that life just isn't going to give me the training time to keep being competitive. I may do some endurance, 6/12/24 hour stuff, but not super seriously.
    The TT/ST junction where the frames were known to crack was reinforced. There is also a slight alteration to the way the shock mount sits in the downtube. What didn't change is the part of the shock mount that broke on both of my frames - the little reinforcing bit that runs from the mount backward to the body of the mount where it's inset in the downtube. That broke on the driveside of both of my other frames. Having not been changed, in spite of the minor difference in the body of the mount as I see it, it's just a matter of time til this one breaks as well.

    If you're not going to be seriously racing, I'd honestly look at a short travel trail bike. Something like a 120mm 29er. Some of those pedal sooo well now, it's crazy. The Anthem can be a real rocket, but I hold back on it because I don't want the wheels off the ground for fear it'll speed the death of this frame - I didn't jump either of the others. If you do much where you're off the ground - drops, jumps, bunny hops - I'd honestly shy away from the Anthem. It could have been such a great bike. Heck, it is a great bike. But without the warranty and a company that stands behind it as well as Giant does - and an LBS that's in my corner - it would have left a really bad taste in my mouth.

  5. #5
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    The new anthem, starting 2017, is slacker. It went to a 68 HTA.

    It used to be a classical XC race bike, but now its really leaning towards the trail side. 17 has a 68 hta and 120 fork, 18 has a 68 hta and 130 fork... so 17 is really sort of slacker when you even out the forks.

    Anything before that is a pretty typical 100mm xc bike.

  6. #6
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    The new anthem, starting 2017, is slacker. It went to a 68 HTA.

    It used to be a classical XC race bike, but now its really leaning towards the trail side. 17 has a 68 hta and 120 fork, 18 has a 68 hta and 130 fork... so 17 is really sort of slacker when you even out the forks.

    Anything before that is a pretty typical 100mm xc bike.
    You're thinking about the 27.5 Anthem. Since he's asking for a comparison to the 2011 Anthem, I'm pretty sure he's looking for info on the 29er, since the 27.5 bike didn't exist in 2011.

  7. #7
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    yeah, Cotharyus is right about my intentions, but good to know on the slack '17 model.

    Basically the situation is that I'm going to buy used, I liked the '11 anthem X (29er) I had in the past and in navigating prices, I'm trying to figure out what's different between anthem X's between '11 and now.. or rather, what the value difference is based on features for each year.

    From what's been posted here and from looking at photos on bikepedia/giant's site, It looks like the '11 platform stayed the same until '16, with the exception of maybe the '11 not having the "overdrive" head tube. (which, tbh, who cares) The pivot point on the front triangle and the top tube/seat tube junction look the same, and they all had QR rear up until '16.

    In '16 the front triangle changed, the top tube is much thicker at the seat tube junction. (maybe this was an attempt at solving the cracking problem mentioned above) Thru axle rear. Pivot point on the front triangle seems to have changed. As mentioned above,, rear shock receiver has changed.

    '17.. looks exactly like the '16, down to colorway.

    '18, top tube, seat tube junction has changed. looks like they added internal cable routing. the pivot changed shape.

    So to answer my own question, assuming that the above is true and I didn't miss anything. (which I likely did) '18 is pretty nice if you've got the money for new. '16 will prob be cheaper than '17 and they are the same bike. '11-'15 are basically the same bike, so condition being equal, all in that range should be about the same $$. (I'm not counting components in this thinking.. I have a big box of parts that I'd be bolting on anyway) Going off of Cotharyus' thought that there's a stress riser of somekind on the front triangle, then I suppose '11-'17 are "equally" likely to break.. which doesn't help me much 'cause I can't afford a new '18 anyway. haha. In reality, I'd assume there are probably more little differences that I am not seeing in the pictures.. they may have changed wall thickness in spots, changed heat treating, etc. But since Giant doesn't make marketing points out of those things, we will probably never know for sure.

    For reference, here are photos of all of them:
    2011: https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...spx?item=24624
    2012: https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...x?item=1000085
    2013: https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...x?item=9228222
    2014: https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...x?item=9255438
    2015: https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...x?item=1112879
    2016: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/anthem-x-29er-2016
    2017: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/anthem-x-29er-2017
    2018: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/anthem-29-1

  8. #8
    WillWorkForTrail
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    The '18 is a complete redesign. The only thing it has in common is a name and a wheel size. Down to 90mm travel in the back, much lighter, boost wheel spacing, different seat post size.

  9. #9
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    @Cotharyus do you think the trunnion mount shock will effect the frame cracking issue?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by grubetown View Post
    @Cotharyus do you think the trunnion mount shock will effect the frame cracking issue?
    I hope the FRAME change would take care of that. Honestly though, I haven't seen a new anthem in person, so I couldn't tell if the trunnion mount will have any affect or not. I'll make a point to look next time I'm around one. As far as a bike goes, I couldn't be less interested in owning one than I am the new Anthem. So I haven't tried to look.

  11. #11
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    Off topic - what are you riding @Cotharyus?

  12. #12
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by grubetown View Post
    Off topic - what are you riding @Cotharyus?
    Current stable includes:
    This frame with the shock from a 2013 and a 2010 Fox fork and a ton of other upgraded stuff:
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/anthem-x-29er-2017

    A Soma Juice set up single speed with a 120mm fork

    A GT Grade Grave/Road/Adventure bike set up with 32mm tubeless tires.


    I'm currently working on/with Brian to get my hands on a Tantrum. Likely a Shining. It'll be my huckin' bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    The Anthem can be a real rocket, but I hold back on it because I don't want the wheels off the ground for fear it'll speed the death of this frame - I didn't jump either of the others. If you do much where you're off the ground - drops, jumps, bunny hops - I'd honestly shy away from the Anthem. It could have been such a great bike. Heck, it is a great bike. But without the warranty and a company that stands behind it as well as Giant does - and an LBS that's in my corner - it would have left a really bad taste in my mouth.
    I am 72kgs and have jumped, dropped and hopped my 11 anthem without any issues yet. Hell, some of the drops and jumps have been taller than me.

  14. #14
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack0207 View Post
    I am 72kgs and have jumped, dropped and hopped my 11 anthem without any issues yet. Hell, some of the drops and jumps have been taller than me.
    Good. You're probably well within the intended weight range of the design. Most XC racers aren't heavy guys. I've got about 58 pounds on you though, and I've broken two frames. So I'm gonna stick to keeping them on the ground.

  15. #15
    carbon classic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Good. You're probably well within the intended weight range of the design. Most XC racers aren't heavy guys. I've got about 58 pounds on you though, and I've broken two frames. So I'm gonna stick to keeping them on the ground.
    I am curious if frame breakages on AX29ers were predominantly a frame size issue, not a rider weight issue. I've been riding my 2011 AX29er since new and have logged a lot of miles on it in 7 years. Most rides involve some level of getting it airborne; whether jumping it or riding drop offs and it has remained in tact.

    For interest, I weigh up about 95+ kgs (210 + pounds) with riding gear on and I ride a medium size frame.

    Maybe I just got lucky with my bike, or maybe the frame failures occur more frequently on the large/extra large frame sizes.

    I ride with a guy who cracked his 2012 (large frame) Anthem 29er at the ST/TT junction in only 2 years. The replacement frame has survived though (so far) and he still rides it today.

  16. #16
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnAnySunday View Post
    I am curious if frame breakages on AX29ers were predominantly a frame size issue, not a rider weight issue.
    It's a fair question. I am on an XL frame right now, two previous breaks were L frames (long story) - but if memory serves, there's a pretty good spread of sizes in the "crack Anthem frame" thread in the Giant forum.

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