Updated:3rd March 2017
Lightweight and versatile, the Giant Anthem is billed as an XC racer, but seconds as a fun, short travel trail ripper. For 2017, Giant have completely redesigned the Anthem to be a more capable bike in every regard. Suspension travel has been increased from 100mm front and rear to 110mm in the rear and 120mm in front on every model. The geometry has also been updated to keep up with the times, being lower, slacker and longer for more confidence on the trails.
The Anthem range consists of six 27.5” wheeled bikes, all fitted with new Boost spacing, which makes for stiffer and stronger wheels and adds tyre clearance for muddy conditions. There are three alloy Anthems and three carbon Anthem Advanced models in the range, with prices to suit every budget.
The Maestro dual-link suspension system now has an Advanced Forged carbon rocker on all models, reducing weight while also boosting stiffness. The rear shock is a Trunnion style shock, which makes the suspension action smoother and gives the Anthem better traction.
The Anthem 3, 2 and 1 frames are built using Giant’s lightweight ALUXX SL-Grade aluminium, and is also available as a frameset only option. The Advanced models (3, 2, 1) use Advanced-Grade Composite carbon fibre mainframe with an alloy rear end to make an even lighter build. The Anthem’s geometry gives the bike a more playful feel, which includes a 68° head angle that balances stability and speed. Rubber guards on the downtube and chainstays protect the frame from any knocks or rocks.
Giant’s Anthem has long been the brand’s staple XC platform, and this latest incarnation shows that the company is paying attention to the changing times. - BikeMag
The Anthem did an exemplary job of soaking up bumps, while remaining active but indifferent to pedalling inputs. - BikeMag
The dual link Maestro suspension system now features a carbon upper rocker and trunnion-style mounting for the shock, which adds sensitivity, traction and frame stiffness. The rear now has 110mm of travel with either a RockShox Deluxe or Fox Float unit taking care of bump soaking duties. The suspension keeps fully active at all times, even when pedalling and during braking, making for an efficient and trail flattening ride.
Travel has also been increased in front with 120mm to use. The range topping Advanced 0 gets a RockShox Pike RCT3 for trail smashing, while the Advanced 1 and alloy 1 both get Fox 34 Float Performance Elite forks. Other models get RockShox or Fox forks, making a very well rounded range of excellent suspension.
Single chainring drivetrains dominate the range, simplifying the gearing to give solid and precise shifts. Disc brakes offer great power to keep confidence high when hitting the rough stuff.
The Anthem range focuses mostly on 1x drivetrains with only the entry-level Anthem 3 getting a 2x drivetrain. The 1x (or single chainring) system simplifies the riding experience, while still giving a good range of gears for any situation. It does so by removing the need for a front derailleur and increases the range of the rear cassette. The chainring also gives better chain retention to avoid losing the chain in rough terrain.
The Anthem 3 gets a 2x10 Shimano Deore drivetrain, while the range topping Advanced 0 gets SRAM’s new 12 speed Eagle XX1 drivetrain, delivering outstanding performance and an enormous range of gears. The models in between get either SRAM or Shimano 1x11 speed drivetrain, which all offer solid and precise shifting. Quality SRAM or Shimano disc brakes feature on all models
Giant decided that their new Anthem needed to be nimble and quick-handling to diversify the kind of riding it should be capable of. All of the models feature Giant XC WheelSystems and 27.5” wheels, which balance the fast rolling of 29” wheels and the quick handling of 26” wheels.
The wheels are made in-house with the components being made to work as a whole to give excellent performance. The lower-spec alloy models feature Giant XC aluminium wheelsets which offer great performance, while the Advanced models and the Anthem 1 have the XCR Composite carbon wheelsets. These are super lightweight, stiff and strong, giving improved control and faster rolling.
Bucking the industry trend of XC bikes shod with 29-inch wheels, Giant opted for smaller and generally more playful 27.5-inch hoops. - BikeMag
While the Anthem is made for cross country riding and racing, it also makes an excellent trail bike. The 27.5” wheels offer nimble handling while keeping the roll over ability high. The updated geometry caters for more fun with slacker angles, while still keeping serious when pointed uphill. The aluminium framed Anthems are lightweight for all day adventures, and the carbon Advanced models are truly race-ready.
With 110mm of travel in the rear and 120mm in front, the Anthem isn’t excluded from more challenging terrain. It’ll get you to the top of any mountain as fast as the best of them, but is also a blast on the way down. RockShox and Fox suspension, SRAM and Shimano 1x11 drivetrains and even a 1x12 option show that the Anthem means business. There is a model for every price range too. The entry level Anthem 3 makes for a fantastic first full sus MTB, while the top Advanced 0 is race ready, offering the best components available.