As much fun as many bicycle company press camps are, they’re usually still quite heavy on product presentations, demonstrations and general shaking of babies and kissing of hands.
Then there’s Giant’s take on press camps. With a simple, 20-minute presentation of “this is what we’ve done to the new bikes, now let’s go ride them” on three updated bikes and one not-so-surprising introduction of a new bike, the rest of their press camp involved being one of the factory racing crew at one of the best races on the circuit — the Downieville Classic in California’s Sierra Nevada.
With that said, as of right now all I can tell you about the rigs is a couple of quick tidbits. First things first, the 2011 Anthem X 29er is a go.
Just like its 26-inch little brother, the Anthem X 29er has 100mm travel front and rear, an Overdrive tapered steerer, PowerCore press-fit bottom bracket that’s said to be 2×10 and 3×10 compatible, and though we won’t get a chance to ride it this weekend, the geometry has been enough to convert a 29er-skeptical Carl Decker to having it be his go-to bike in the quiver. Minor details include 2.3″ rear tire compatibility, Fox Float RP23 rear shock, and a claimed 2395-gram weigh-in including paint and all hardware.
The 2011 Trance X and Reign both share similar improvements over last year’s models. Each one gets a frame weight drop, with the Trance X at 75-grams and the Reign at 115-grams. Head tube angles are 1/2-degree slacker, and each frame now comes with cable stops for running a remote drop post.
In addition, the bottom brackets are now both PowerCore press fit, and supposedly designed to work well with either 2×10 or 3×10 setups. The Trance X comes with a custom Fox F-125mm fork to better balance the 127mm rear travel, and its overall frame stiffness is said to have increased by 4 percent, even though it was put on the 75-gram diet.
While I won’t get a chance to ride all the new bikes, the plan is to have us ride and race the 2011 Trance X for this race weekend in Downieville. So stay tuned for what the new one rides like…