Giant Anthem 29er 1 2018
Giant Bikes - Giant Anthem
Giant Anthem 29er 1 2018
KEY UPGRADES OVER ANTHEM 29er 2:
- Fox Performance Elite level suspension with remote lockout on the front.
- SRAM GX Eagle, 12 speed, 10T-50T cassette range.
- Giant XCR 1 29 carbon wheels.
- Maxxis Ikon, 120TPI, 3C – EXO tyres.
ANTHEM 29er 1 FRAME DETAILS
The Giant Anthem X has always been involved in the blood and glory of cross country racing. For 2018, the Anthem X has been replaced simply by Giant Anthem 29er. And it’s fitting, because it’s so different from the previous Giant Anthem X – it had to be. For Giant, it’s a return to their roots – a return to XC racing.
What makes the new Anthem 29er so different from the old Anthem X 29er? And for those riders, comparing the Anthem 27.5 with this new Anthem 29er they are completely different bikes; one is designed for trail riding and the other for light weight and maximum efficiency, respectively.
Giant use their double-butted aluminium manufacturing process called ALUXX SL. In other words, the Anthem 29er 1 frame uses 2 wall thicknesses to maintain stiffness whilst shedding some weight; engineers can remove material from areas of the frame that don’t require it and add it to other areas that do. This requires extensive testing and finite element analysis to determine exactly how much material that can be removed, without sacrificing strength.
Suspension performance is also an improvement. Maestro is the name given to Giant’s suspension linkage system; 4 pivots [that roll on sealed bearings] and 2 short, stiff linkages help the rear wheel track and move over rough terrain smoothly. One major engineering change for the Anthem 29er 1 has been in the way the rear shock is mounted to Maestro [called a trunnion mount]. This delivers the least amount of force to start the rear shock moving; making it much more supple and smooth over the quick, chatter bumps like tree roots, exposed rocks and braking bumps.
Another important engineering change [due to the trunnion mount above] with the latest generation Anthem 29er is that Giant has been able to deliver a lower leverage ratio. Even though the Anthem 29er only has 90mm of rear suspension travel, it feels like it’s got more to give; this is because per mm of shock movement, the rear wheel moves much more.
From a geometry perspective, the Anthem 29er 1 could not be more different to its predecessor. On the front, the bike delivers more stability and control, due to a slacker 69° head tube angle, 30mm wider bars [780mm] and shorter stem lengths across all sizes. Each of these elements results in a bike that way more controlled on steep descents and carrying speed over rough sections of trail.
Rear centre dimensions have also changed. Due to the shorter length [but longer stroke] rear shock and the trunnion mount, Giant has reduced the length of the rear chain stay by 25mm [that’s huge]. This makes the Anthem 29er more agile, and quicker to respond out of corners or putting power down on steep, punchy climbs.
SRAM GX EAGLE DRIVE TRAIN
One of the most prevalent group sets for 2018 is SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed. You’ll notice it being the drive train of choice for many high end mountain bikes this year. Why? Mainly because of its 500% gear range [10T-50T, the most of any groupset] being available to recreational riders – it’s the cheapest 12-speed group set on the market. Compared to X01 Eagle [one up], it’s about 50% cheaper and 260 grams heavier. GX Eagle can attain such low numbers because it’s made from stainless steel and aluminium, rather than titanium and carbon.
ANTHEM 29er 1 SUSPENSION
The Fox Performance Elite suspension system helps keep the Giant Anthem 29er 1 suspended smoothly over the trails. To explain how good it is, a bit of nerd speak is required.
The front is suspended with a Fox Float SC Performance Elite FIT4 [100m] travel fork, which has a remote lockout attached. SC or Step Cast is at the cutting edge of what Fox deliver with their cross country spec suspension. It’s the name given to the shape of the chassis; there’s a step built into the lower leg to save weight whilst increasing stiffness. To appeal to the racer crowd, Giant has also equipped the Anthem 29er 1 with a remote suspension lockout.
FIT4 is the latest generation damper from Fox. FIT stands for Fox Isolated Technology and it simply means that FIT dampers separate the oil and air from mixing together; because when these two mix they create cavitation which leads to a loss of suspension performance, giving a feeling of your suspension being locked out. FIT4 is a must have for all semi-serious riders.
A matching rear shock is used [Fox Float Performance Elite] in the rear of the Anthem 29er. This rear shock has many adjustments to tune the feel of the rear, including;
- Rebound to set the speed of the suspension as it responds to rocks and other impacts; critical for maximum traction and control.
- Sag can be controlled via air pressure in the rear shock. Aim for 20% sag in this bike.
- Open-Medium-Firm (adjusted via the blue lever) controls how soft or hard the suspension feels and can be adjusted while riding.
- Open mode adjust (black spring dial) adjusts how hard [1, 2 or 3] the rider wants their suspension to feel in Open mode.
GIANT XCR 1 29 CARBON WHEELS
These full carbon wheels measure 1,630 grams in weight. They use a 21mm internal rim width [an increase from 19mm that we use to see on equivalent XC rims from years ago] to deliver more traction, better control and impact resistance. New for 2018 is that these wheels are tubeless ready out of the box, all we need to do is add tubeless sealant; rim tape and valves are already installed from day 1.
Another cool piece of tech about these wheels is that they use hub internals from DT Swiss. Both front and rear hubs roll on ultra smooth sealed bearings for minimal maintenance and frictionless rolling. And most importantly, the rear hub uses a DT Swiss Star Ratchet free hub assembly that delivers power to the rear wheel every 10°; so technical climbs, sprinting and descending become faster because power comes on quicker.
Riders get a Lifetime Frame Warranty, 2 years on SRAM parts, 1 year on every other part, and 2 complimentary services are included and valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.