It seems that no bike range can be complete without a 29er these days. So it was little surprise, when we visited Giant UK’s 2011 launch at the plush Belfry Hotel in Birmingham this week, to see several new 29er models on display.
There’s much to talk about with Giant’s 2011 range, but the most significant addition is the Anthem X 29er. Giant entered the 29er market last year with the XTC hardtail. There’s now a budget Talon 29er too but it’s this Anthem which is perhaps the one bike most 29er fans have arguably been waiting for with great anticipation. These new 29ers marks a bigger push into the increasingly popular sector for the company.
It’s no surprise that visually the Anthem X 29er looks very similar to a regular Anthem. There’s the same race-proven Maestro suspension platform housed inside a Fluid Formed AluxX SL aluminium frame. Details include a tapered headtube (also making an appearance on most of Giant’s bikes next year) and a press-fit bottom bracket.
Travel at the rear wheel is 100mm (4in) and a Fox F29 RL100 QR15 fork is fitted. Spec comprises of Shimano SLX parts and 445 brakes, with Giant’s own bars, stem, post and a colour-matched Fizik Antares saddle. The price? £2950. Three sizes will be available.
The bike has proven fast in the development phase. Giant-sponsored Carl Decker rode a prototype to victory in the Sea Otter Classic Super D race earlier this year. “This bike felt pretty amazing. I can tell you now I’m pretty much going to race this on everything this year. It’s super fast,” commented Decker after the race.
He seems convinced, and you can see more from that race in this cool little video http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/news/14821/ (what’s with the goggles and helmet combo?)
Currently just the one model is available, but we’d expect this to change next year. A carbon Anthem 29er perhaps? Who knows.