Giant Anthem review£899.00

The Anthem is the latest addition to Giant's Maestro linkage suspension family, tweaking the system slightly to create an ultralight race dedicated rig.

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The Anthem is the latest addition to Giant's Maestro linkage suspension family, tweaking the system slightly to create an ultralight race dedicated rig.

The 6013 Aluxx SL tubeset matches a massive flared and fluid formed down tube and slim but deep trapezoidal top tube to an externally butted integral Aheadset head tube. The seat tube is also bulged to handle the upper rocker link, and the lower link sits in an extension of the forged bottom bracket section. More tapered multi shape tubes form the rear subframe while the asymmetric lower rocker link is forged in two pieces then welded to keep it hollow and light as possible. In fact, the whole frame uses such fine tolerances that they are built by a dedicated group of hand picked Giant framebuilders. Happily Giant's economies of scale mean such specialisation isn't passed on in price making it terrific value.

Tyre clearance is decent but a low bottom bracket means regular pedal catching is a factor on rough or rutted trails. Completely exposed bearing faces may cause longevity trouble too and some racers may also be disappointed by the disc brake specific design. But they will love the long, low slung frame layout which is perfect for hauling ass up climbs in the big gears.

Ascending and acceleration is certainly helped by the Anthem being one of the lightest race frames around, but where it really stands out is its ultra efficient warp speed drive. The short, platform damped shock is pert rather than plush, but the Maestro system combines just enough bite to really pedal against with consistent ground connection. Traction and crisp drive is phenomenal in all gears and it feels totally predatory on the trail or when you're tearing other XC racers apart. It's not too shabby on the downs either as long as you're used to a long low bike and stick to clean efficient lines rather than trying to showboat.

 

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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