SOC13: Giant Prototype Anthem, Trance 650B MTB’s & Adam Craig’s Disc Brake Cyclocross Bike

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

Adam Craig was racing aboard a prototype Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike sporting an exceptionally lightweight build, and test versions of 650B Trance and Anthem mountain bikes were hiding in the trailer, too.

The ‘cross bike’s frame was lithe, visually enhanced by the XX1 single chainring and lack of cantilevers. Being a prototype, we couldn’t weigh it, but it was very, very light. A couple tweaks to the frame suggest either a sub “Advanced SL” carbon model, or simply a changed layout for their top race rig. The seatmast was replaced with a very svelte, shaped post with hidden clamp, the seatstays get a subtle curve and the fork moves to a thru-axle design – handy when you’re running DT Swiss’s 1255g XCR 29 Tubular race wheels.

Hop the barrier for more pics and details and the two prototype 650B mountain bikes…

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

The clear coat made the outer layer layup very visible, and it looked good. All tubes on the bike seemed very thin, which we’re guessing will lend a comfy ride.

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

A hidden seat clamp sits flush with the top of the top tube. The seatpost has a rounded “D” shape, putting the flat face on the back to ease aft flex. The headtube could be hiding a slightly tapered fork (1.25″ to 1.375″ maybe), they weren’t giving up any details.

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

The fork itself was a straight legged affair and the first from a major brand to spec a thru axle. DT’s higher end wheels use CenterLock (for now, their new Spline 1 switch to 6-bolt), and fortunately SRAM offers that option for some of their rotors. That gives the bike a proper mix of road and mountain bike parts on the drivetrain.

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

While SRAM has said you can’t run the XX1 cassette with the new 11-speed road group, no said you can’t flip flop that equation. We’re guessing that’s an 11-speed chain since it’s running the new SRAM Red 22 group with hydraulic disc brakes.

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

The rear sticks with 135mm QR, in this case using DT’s RWS skewers.

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

Notice the slight bend in the seatstays, bowing outward. Craig’s tubular tire looks to be glued on with NASCAR circuits in mind.

Prototype 2014 Giant TCX disc brake cyclocross bike

The bottom bracket and chainstays maintain their pro-level girth for proper power transmission.

650B TRANCE & ANTHEM MOUNTAIN BIKES

Prototype 2014 Giant Trance 650B mountain bike

Kelli Emmett’s prototype was on the small side, and a surprising test rig for the LIV/Giant women’s XC pro. Regardless, the alloy Trance was on display in the team pits.

Prototype 2014 Giant Trance 650B mountain bike

Their Maestro suspension seems largely unchanged save for the requisite tweaks to pivot points and shock tune to accommodate the new wheel size.

Prototype 2014 Giant Trance 650B mountain bike

Thru axle rear with external cable routing from the bottom bracket back. The adoption of XX1 on trail and enduro bikes at Sea Otter was impressive, and SRAM’s MTB drivetrain product manager said sales have blown far, far past expectations. Need proof? Try ordering an XD driver body for your favorite hubs…

Prototype 2014 Giant Trance 650B mountain bike

DT Swiss routinely relabels wheels for OEM customers, so not sure which exact wheel model this is, but they currently offer four options on their website.

Prototype 2014 Giant Trance 650B mountain bike

Short headtube meets dramatic slopes on the smallest frame sizes.

Prototype 2014 Giant Anthem carbon fiber 650b full suspension XC mountain bike

The Anthem is their shorter travel XC full suspension bike, and it uses a carbon front triangle with alloy rear end. This prototype is no different.

Prototype 2014 Giant Anthem carbon fiber 650b full suspension XC mountain bike

The headtube junction has some nice angles, and cable entry ports are moved further back from high stress areas.

Prototype 2014 Giant Anthem carbon fiber 650b full suspension XC mountain bike

Prototype 2014 Giant Anthem carbon fiber 650b full suspension XC mountain bike

Pretty good tire clearance on the sides, but it does get fairly close to the upright.

Prototype 2014 Giant Anthem carbon fiber 650b full suspension XC mountain bike

This one upgrades to internal routing through the chainstay.

We’d expect these will show up in production form at the fall trade shows in time for dealers to stock as 2014 models.

Comments

Solo - 04/23/13 - 8:01pm

DT Swiss XRC950T wheels (QR) weight 1122g, add 15g for the TA front hub. Trust me I have weighted them.

Solo - 04/23/13 - 8:09pm

BTW, the 650b Anthem looks great.
Giant shoud stick to that black with white decalls look, Maestro is a great system but the graphics on the Giants are a deal breaker every time.

Tyler (Editor) - 04/23/13 - 9:21pm

Solo- was that the 26″ or 29er you weighed? That weights sounds close to the claimed weight for the 26″ wheels. Craig’s running the 29ers here.

Bob Loblaw - 04/23/13 - 9:37pm

That cyclocross bike is beautiful. Would love a Type 2 road r der for this fall. Also, it looks like only the ‘cross bike is running Overdrive II- the others seem to have standard stems. Maybe because 650b forks in a 1.5-1.25 taper are hard to come by?

wheelz - 04/23/13 - 11:14pm

That’s a beautiful cyclocross bike! A much needed update in their line.

Solo - 04/23/13 - 11:26pm

Yes Tayler you are right, the wheels I weighted were the 26″.
Right now I am eating my words.
Sorry for that!

Ajax - 04/23/13 - 11:46pm

Wow! That’s a hot bilke. I want one. Disc brakes on a road bike is the “it” thing now!

sweet - 04/24/13 - 12:13am

that cross bike looks amazing. such clean lines. I love the xx1 mix. hopefully we’ll more stuff like this!

Steven - 04/24/13 - 1:50am

“Craig’s tubular tire looks to be glued on with NASCAR circuits in mind”

Go fast turn left!!

rentedshoes - 04/24/13 - 8:53am

Oh, look! Giant is trying to be a real bike company. Isn’t that just the cutest little thing.

Pancakes - 04/24/13 - 10:56am

@rentedshoes

What do you consider a “real bike company?”

rosey - 04/24/13 - 12:38pm

so sad to see craig riding scram after so many years with shimano. money talks i guess

Zach - 04/24/13 - 12:44pm

Why are there bottle cage bosses on that cyclocross bike? That was one thing about the older TCX that I appreciated….it was a purpose built racing machine.

Zach - 04/24/13 - 12:47pm

rosey,

He is riding Sram because the Giant Factory Team is riding Sram. If he was fast enough to still ride for (what’s left of) Rabobank Off-Road, he would still be riding Dura-Ace/XTR.

Money is one thing….being slow is another.

Loki - 04/24/13 - 4:59pm

@rentedshoes

Er? Really? The biggest manufacturer of bicycles in the world, no matter how you measure it, a company that makes bikes for big companies like Trek, key technical leaders in developing alu hydro forming, e-bikes and carbon, sponsors pro teams, has WC medals in almost every discipline etc. ad nauseaum.

Normally I wouldn’t bother commenting but this just smacks of a North American snobbery that makes me react emotionally.

Guy - 04/24/13 - 5:04pm

Cannot wait to check out the Trance X 27.5″ I’m hoping that Giant nailed the geometry on these bikes. Super happy with my current 26″ Trance X and I’ve ridden the 29er version which is really fun but still a little funky with the big wheels. @rentedshoes………really? How many times do people have to be reminded about how good Giant really is. Go home troll, you’re just sad that your bike is probably made in a Giant facility and you don’t even know it.

Snick - 04/24/13 - 5:40pm

Nice upgrade to the Anthem: only one upright in the rear triangle like the 2013 Trance 29er. That might allow them to dramatically shorten the chainstays and create a tighter wheelbase for the next gen Anthem.

Also, why are there so many armchair critics and ranters posting here? Let’s keep it light hearted…

Ollie - 04/24/13 - 6:13pm

@Zach

Please, enlighten me, how many times have you won the Downieville Classic? You do know that the Rabobank Off-Road team no longer exists under that banner don’t you?

I'm on a boat - 04/25/13 - 3:40pm

Tyler,
any word on a 650/27.5 hard tail frame from Giant?

Tyler Benedict - 04/25/13 - 3:57pm

Boat – not that we saw, but wouldn’t doubt if they’re working on it.

W - 04/27/13 - 10:52pm

So, does anybody know if its possible to combine RED shifting levers with an XX1 derailleur?

Jake - 04/30/13 - 7:48pm

Hey look! I Giant with a through axle rear end! Now I have no quams about buying one…

Aybars Surucu - 05/01/13 - 10:28am

Are you guys, who says “Giant is trying to be real bike company”, aware of that how many brands are being produced in Giant factories?

Also are aware of that which frames are being built in Giant in house production for other superduper brands?

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