Upcoming for review we have the darling of Giant's cross country suspension bikes - a candidate for the most popular XC dually going - the universally loved Anthem. The Anthem is all about racey geometry, 100mm of efficient suspension travel front and back, skinny 27.5" wheels and a lightweight carbon frame.
The not-so-minor details
Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 1
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Top shelf FOX suspension.
Shimano XT single ring drivetrain.
Do we need a remote fork lockout?
There’s a whopping nine versions of the Anthem available in both aluminium and carbon frames. There’s the Anthem X with 29″ wheels, the more aggressively specced Anthem SX (click here for our review of the SX) and the regular Anthem we have here.
We’ve also reviewed the Anthem’s bigger brother recently, the Trance Advanced 27.5 1. The Trance Advanced 27.5 1 uses 140mm of travel based around the same platform, and a similar build kit.
Flow has happily just taken delivery of the bold yellow and black Anthem Advanced 1, so let’s take a look at what we might expect during our upcoming test, it seems there’s quite a lot to like about it.
Weighing only 11.04kg after the supplied tubeless conversion this is a very light bike for a fair price tag of $4999, we’d put the low weight down to the carbon frame, wheels and the single-ring Shimano XT drivetrain.
Travel is a trim 100mm and the head angle is a sharp 69.5 degrees, that means business. In the right hands this thing will be lightning fast through singletrack and will lap around a racetrack efficiently.
Giant are right into the 27.5″ wheel size, while the 100mm dually category is typically dominated by the bigger 29er wheels Giant stick with the thinking that a smaller wheeled bike can benefit from the reduced weight, faster acceleration and handling of 27.5″ than 29″. We’re eager to test it out on the trails to put that theory into action.
A carbon (call it carbon, or composite) front end with an aluminium rear with the Maestro floating link suspension system is doused in glossy yellow and black paint, cables run internally and neatly though the front end and in classic Giant style the finish is busy yet striking.
A front derailleur mount is there if need be and also provisions for an internally routed dropper post (go on, do it!), and there’s loads of space for a full sized water bottle .
For five gorillas you’d hope for a lot of good bits, and Giant don’t fail on delivering at every angle.
A full Shimano XT kit equips the Anthem with the brakes and the entire drivetrain. Since its unveiling earlier this year, Shimano’s second-tier groupset has won us over, the brakes are perfect and the single-ring drivetrain is crisp, smooth and durable. For our full review of the new Shimano XT click here – Shimano XT long term test.
Shimano’s new single-ring drivetrains may not match the wide range offered by SRAM but it’s close enough, here we have a 32 tooth chainring paired to a 11-42 tooth cassette out back.
The combination of the new shape brake levers with reach and free stroke adjustment, longer shifter paddles and Giant grips make for a very ergonomic cockpit that will be easy to find a comfortable position for your hands.
FOX suspension front and back is a welcome sight, their latest 2016 range is absolutely killer and we’ve been loving all of it on a variety of bikes. Even better is that it’s top shelf stuff, both the fork and rear shock are the premium Factory models, with the extra smooth and stiction-free Kashima coating and all the adjustments you could ever want.
The fork uses a handy handlebar remote lockout lever which does adds a little clutter with an extra cable but the way it loops around the back of the fork crown is pretty nifty and should be easy to work around.
Out the back the FOX Float rear shock is also top of the line, a new Dual Piston System Float with all the excellent slow speed compression settings, and the little blue lever easily within reach when riding.
The Anthem uses Giant’s carbon rims laced to their own hubs, the narrow and stiff rims look at home on this bike, and included with the bike is the blue tubeless rim tape and valves for converting to tubeless. You’d be mad not to convert to tubeless, and surely the bike store can do the quick and simple job for you.
Giant round out the rest of the parts with their own in-house components. The low-rise handlebar, stem, seatpost and their excellent new saddle ties it all together nicely and neatly.
So there’s a quick roundup of what’s what with the new Anthem Advanced 27.5 1, now let’s hit the trails. Keep your eyes out for our review soon.