Giant Anthem X 29er 1 – £2299
Out of the box the Giant Anthem X 29er looks familiar, it is a name that has been with us for a long time and won many fans in the UK as a racing and trail bike, but this is the company’s latest venture into the world of 29ers.
We found favour with Giant’s first 29er, the XtC hardtail we tested last year, and the latest 26in-wheeled Anthem proved a hit too. So we’ve high hopes for this latest incarnation of Giant’s 100mm full suspension trail killer.
And, from our initial inspection of the bike that has just arrived for testing, it doesn’t look like we’ll be disappointed. We continue to be impressed with the bikes Giant turns out, and it appears to have hit the spot with this 29er. It’s a serious rival to the other contenders in this travel and price sector, and there’s a lot in Giant’s corner that could just win it many fans.
Giant use the same tried-and-tested Maestro suspension platform to delivery 100mm of travel, with a Fluid Formed AluxX SL aluminium frame featuring a tapered OverDrive headtube and PowerCore Press-Fit bottom bracket, which allows for the impressively large downtube to be fitted to the front triangle.
Geometry measures the same as the 26in-wheeled Anthem, with a 71° headangle and 73° seat angle on our size large test bike. Importantly, and perhaps crucially, the wheelbase is 1in longer on the 29er and the chainstays measure longer too, 18.2in compared to 16.7in on the smaller-wheeled sibling. The top tube length on both is identical at 24.4in. How this will impact the handling out on the trail remains to be seen.
At the moment there’s only two Anthem 29ers in the range, plus it’s available as a frameset if you wish to build one up from scratch. We fully expect the range to expand when the 2013 bikes start appearing – which will be sometime early next year, the way the bike industry works these days.
We’ve got to play with the Anthem X 29er 1, which comes with Fox forks and shock and is hung with components from Shimano, Avid, DT, Maxxis and a smattering of Giant branded components.
Love them or hate them, 29ers are here to stay. Giant’s Anthem is one of the best looking and best value we’ve seen so far, and we’re looking forward to comparing it against the other contenders in this category. Watch out for a full review soon.
More info here www.giant-bicycles.com