SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 – Giant Bicycles is expanding their line of 29ers beyond the 2010 XTC 29er intro, the women’s specific Ranier and the virtually unannounced Talon 29er that hit dealers earlier this year…and they’ve done it with their Maestro full suspension design!
This is a Generation 2 prototype of the Anthem X 29er.Â Gen 1 models were in the U.S. office in December, they were ridden and the feedback was sent back to the Taiwanese factory.Â This Gen 2 prototype was delivered to the Sea Otter pits on Wednesday, shipped over and built specifically for Giant factory pro Carl Decker to race on.
Decker took the bike out for test rides on the Super D course and chose it over the Anthem X based on back to back rides, then he won.Â So, first race out, the Anthem X 29er won in a pro field.
It’s a 4″ travel bike, just like Anthem X, Maestro suspension with no differences other than the geometry tweaks necessary to accommodate the larger wheels.Â Make the jump for more pics and info…
Race oriented bike and will be a 2011 product. Carl will remain testing, but they’re in a state of production where minor tweaks can be made, but this is pretty close to what you’ll see in showrooms.Â Giant’s not hinting at any particular month, but it’s being called a 2011 model, which means production versions will almost certainly be at Eurobike and Interbike, and probably popping up in dealers shortly thereafter.
This was a large size frame, and it’ll come in S, M, L and XL.Â There will be several price points and specs, starting with a “sport level” package all the way up to a premium race package.Â Giant’s rep said it’ll be spec’d with the new crop of 2011 2×10 and/or 3×10 drivetrains, but details aren’t being released yet, nor would they speculate on target weights (and the mere sight of our Park Tools scale sent them rushing over to stop me.Â I tried, dear readers.Â I tried).
For now, the frame is all aluminum.Â Is there a carbon version coming?Â Well, if you look at Giant’s history, they use their experience in aluminum to bring a new design to market, then it usually gets upscaled.
“We always start off with aluminum frames and go for a year to make sure everything’s right with the design,” said Andrew Justkaitis, Giant’s marketing guy. “Then, if the timing’s right and there are no major changes to the design, we’ll take a look at doing a composite frame.”
Which, taken to a logical conclusion, means there’s a chance we’ll see a carbon version of their XTC 29er hardtail come fall…maybe.
Not much new to see, really.Â Press Fit Shimano bottom bracket on this model means production bikes could lean toward Shimano drivetrains, though SRAM just introduced a new Press Fit GXP bottom bracket standard (yep, another new standard…hoo. ray.), so it could go either way really.
The Anthem X 29er had literally just come back into the pits after Carl Decker placed 11th on it in the Men’s XC race.Â I overheard him saying something about a bad start and passing “like 40 guys” and I caught him on the way out of the booth to ask how he liked the bike.Â His response:
“Oh, I like it.Â You’ll be seeing a lot more of it under me this year.”
Then off to the showers…