Westlake Village, CA (Singletrack) – Giant Bicycles has upped the 29er ante with the introduction Sunday of Anthem X Advanced carbon/aluminum 29er and all-aluminum women’s Anthem X 29er models.
Featuring a carbon front end and an aluminum rear end and weighing in at 2200 grams, the Anthem X Advanced 29er shaves 186 grams off of the all-aluminum Anthem X 29.
Giant pro team rider Carl Decker, who has won a number of races on the Anthem X 29 said, “I was concerned that they’d make compromises to the bike to make it lighter. I was concerned because I loved the old bike. But I didn’t need to be concerned; the new bike is lighter with no tradeoffs.”
Indeed, the Anthem X Advanced 29er has exactly the same geometry as the Anthem X 29, as well as the same 100m of travel. What have changed are claimed increases in stiffness of seven percent at the head tube and of three percent at the bottom bracket. The wide, flattened-rectangular-cross-section, curving Megadrive carbon down tube plays a role in both stiffness increases, while the OverDrive2 tapered head tube (accepting a fork steerer tapering from 1.25 inches at the top to 1.5 inches at the bottom) adds steering stiffness.
The top model, the Anthem X Advanced 29er 0 costs $8900 and weighs 22 pounds. The Anthem X Advanced 29er 1 costs $4650 and weighs 25 pounds, and the Anthem X Advanced 29er 2 costs $3300 and weighs 26 pounds. It comes in three sizes: S, M, and L.
Liv/giant is Giant’s women’s-specific product division, and its new cross-country race bike is the Anthem X 29er W, a full-aluminum women’s version of the Anthem X 29er available in four sizes from XS to L.
Claiming it as the first full-suspension 29er created specifically for women, Giant incorporated Liv/giant’s 3F design philosophy (Fit, Form, Function) with shorter, lower top tubes, shorter cranks, smaller chainrings, narrower handlebars with thinner grips, lighter wheels, and women’s saddles. Toe overlap, always an issue with small 29ers, was addressed with shorter cranks and a half-degree increase in seat angle.
It is the first 29er that Giant pro rider Kelli Emmett had ever ridden. She had trepidation that she would find 29ers less maneuverable but found it to be the opposite. “It really increased my confidence on the trail, and I think women will like that.” The Anthem X 29er 0 W costs $2950, while the down-spec Anthem X 29er 4 W costs $1925.
Giant’s premium PXCR 29er tubeless-compatible carbon wheelset weighs in at 1430 grams/pair and sells for a cool $2300/pair. It will eventually come stock on the $8900 Anthem X Advanced 29er 0, which for now comes with SRAM wheels until supplies of the PXCR 29ers catch up.
Key to the PXCR 29er’s strength is an increased spoke bracing angle by moving the drive-side flange out 2mm further, and a direct 90-degree angle of each spoke from the radius of the hub. The 28 spokes (an increase from its aluminum predecessor) also help counteract pedaling forces and impacts as well as braking forces coming through the six-bolt flange. The 10-degree star ratchet in the freehub locks up sooner with a return to pedaling, and the 19mm inner bead width accepts up to a 2.4-inch tire.
Look for my story tomorrow on riding the Anthem X Advanced 29er 0 on the legendary Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains.