There’s a brand new Giant Anthem, the brand’s carbon fibre, 100mm travel cross-country race machine, and it marks a significant departure from its usual full-suspension concept.
Two models will be offered initially in the UK, one with Fox’s electronic Live Valve suspension and a Shimano XT drivetrain, and one with regular Fox dampers and a Shimano SLX drivetrain, priced at £6,999 and £4,999 respectively.
Giant Anthem suspension
Giant’s Maestro suspension linkage has been a mainstay of virtually every full-suspension bike it has built for the last decade or so. A rear triangle is held between two co-rotating links, giving a floating virtual pivot point. It’s a system that has served the manufacturer well, with its bikes receiving plenty of praise over the years for their very smooth, comfortable-feeling rear ends.
The new Anthem does away with Maestro, and instead picks up a linkage-driven, single-pivot layout, with flex built into the rear triangle. It has called this FlexPoint Pro. It’s similar to designs found on many contemporary XC race bikes, such as the Specialized Epic and Cannondale Scalpel, as well as bikes lower down in Giant’s range, including the Stance.
FlexPoint Pro is based on a single main pivot sat behind the chainring. Flex is engineered into the junction between the carbon chain and seatstays. These then drive a composite rocker, said to be lighter and stronger than an alloy rocker, pushing on a vertically mounted shock.
By dropping the lower link and a pair of pivots, Giant claims that the FlexPoint Pro suspension linkage saves 250 grams, while still delivering the pedalling efficiency and compliance required.
Weight isn’t everything, though, when you’re going up a hill – frame stiffness is essential to help transfer power from the cranks to the rear wheel. So, Giant has re-built the area around the bottom bracket, adding, it says, 20 per cent extra stiffness to the PF92 Powercore bottom-bracket area.
Furthermore, there’s seven per cent more torsional stiffness along the frame, helping prevent it twisting under pedalling loads.
Giant Anthem geometry and frame details
Other than changing up the suspension linkage, Giant has brought the Anthem up to date, with a shape that’s pretty modern by XC standards.
The seat tube has been steepened to 75.5 degrees – not radical, but on a bike with 100mm of travel at the back, and likely to be run fairly stiff, it should feel relatively steep.
Up front, angles have gone the other way, with a head angle that’s been slackened to 67.5 degrees. This is paired with 110mm-travel forks, giving a little extra travel for when tracks get that bit rougher – a nod to the increasingly technical nature of World Cup XC racing.
A nice side benefit of shifting away from Maestro is that Giant has also been able to marginally shorten the rear end, getting the chainstays down to 435mm, which may help handling on tighter, twistier tracks.
Other key figures, for a size large, include a 465mm seat tube, which holds a 150mm dropper on the large – it’s 125mm on the small and medium, and 150mm again on the XL.
There’s a stack of 603mm and wheelbase of 1,183mm. So, overall, very much up to date.
Finishing details include an MRP chainguide to keep the drivetrain secure, as well as a new 35mm carbon bar, plugged into the 70mm stem.
|Seat tube length||390||420||465||495|
|Seat tube angle||75.5||75.5||75.5||75.5|
|Top tube length||572||604||626||653|
|Head tube length||90||95||105||115|
|Head tube angle (Degrees)||67.5||67.5||67.5||67.5|
|Bottom bracket drop||42||42||42||42|
Giant Anthem models
With a Fox 34 fork and lengthy dropper posts, while not quite ‘downcountry‘, it feels as though both these models sit a touch further away from the pure-bred XC race bikes we might have expected.
Our UK press material has two models of bike, the Anthem Advanced Pro 29 1 and Anthem Advanced Pro 29 2. International markets will also see a higher-end Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0, which comes with SRAM’s XX1 AXS drivetrain, and a cheaper Anthem Advanced Pro 29 3.
Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0 specifications and price
- Fox Factory 34 SC Live Valve fork and shock
- SRAM XX1 AXS drivetrain
- DT Swiss XRC1200 wheels
- Shimano XTR brakes
- Not listed in the UK, international pricing TBC
Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 1 specifications and price
- Fox Performance Elite 34 SC Live Valve fork and shock
- Shimano XT drivetrain
- Giant XCR 1 30 wheels
- Shimano XT brakes
Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 2 specifications and price
- Fox 34 SC Performance Remote and Float DPS Performance Elite shock
- Shimano SLX drivetrain
- Giant XCR 2 29 wheels
- Shimano SLX brakes