The Anthem has been Giant’s dedicated cross-country platform since its creation in 2005. Over the years the Anthem has seen some changes, including the introduction of 29-inch wheels back in 2011.
With the introduction of 27.5-inch wheels, the Anthem began to lean more towards trail riding, leaving behind it’s XC race roots. New for 2018 is a brand new Anthem 29er that was designed specifically for cross-country racing.
The new Anthem 29 has 100mm of front travel and 90mm in the rear using Giant’s Maestro suspension design. The shock uses a full composite rocker, trunnion mounted rocker similar to that of the Trance and Anthem 27.5. By dropping the rear travel of the bike Giant was able to produce an impressively low 2.11 leverage ratio.
Taking some cues from previous Anthem’s is a full carbon fiber frame and rear triangle (only available on the Pro level) with full internal cable routing and Boost rear spacing. Giant slimmed down the seat post to a 27.2 for a little extra vertical compliance.
On the geometry side of things the Anthem is more progressive with a 69-degree head angle and 73.5-degree seat tube angle. The Anthem has remote lockouts for the fork and shock integrated into one lever for easy use.
Giant designed a few levels of the Anthem to suit a wide range of riders. The top level Pro (pictured) will use a full carbon fiber frame and rear triangle, while the lower levels with use an aluminum rear triangle. There are 3 carbon versions all together with an entry level aluminum build as well.
|Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0||$8,500|
|Anthem Advanced Pro 29 1||$4,900|
|Anthem Advanced 29 1||$3,900|
|Anthem 29 1||
Giant invited us out to their local trails in Newbury Park for a brief introduction on the new platform. We rode two days on some of Malibu’s finest trails including portions of Backbone Trail.
We set the sag at 25% in the shock and 20% in the fork with only a few clicks of rebound in the shock. Giant designed the shock to naturally have a faster rebound that other XC bikes currently on the market. The fit of the Anthem is aggressive, but not overly so with the stem about half way down the steertube, leaving plenty of room for future adjustment.
The Anthem is s seriously quick bike that pedals very efficiently, even with the suspension completely open. With the suspension locked out, the shock and fork were incredibly stiff with ride characteristics closely resembling a hardtail.
Once we hit our first descent the Anthem gave us a very light handling that glided over rocks and ruts comfortably. We wouldn’t say that the Anthem is a playful bike, but it is fast and felt surprisingly stable at high speeds. We have a few plans for the Anthem this summer and are anxious to put some more miles on it.