Giant shocked the bike industry when they announced that the Anthem XC race bike was going 27.5″. At the time, wheel size was still a fierce debate, and even though one version of the 29″ Anthem remained in the line, it seemed that 27.5″ wheels were the way forward for Giant – even for XC racing. Now a few years later, it looks like Giant is going back to the wagon wheels with a new race focused Anthem 29. There’s still some information locked up in the vault, but we’re able to get the idea of what’s coming…
Giant has announced three new editions for their 2018 Anthem 29 lineup. There’s the full carbon Anthem Advanced Pro, the Anthem Advanced which has a carbon frame and aluminum swingarm and the aluminum Anthem. Each version is equipped with 100mm of front suspension and 90mm in the back, plus they come tubeless ready and setup on 1x drivetrains. Pairing a trunnion mounted shock with Boost 110 & 148mm hub spacing allows them to shave an inch off the chain stays from last year’s Anthem X 29er, making them 17.2″ long. Relative to the 2017 edition, they slightly stretched the top tube, slackened out the head angle to 69° from 71.5° and steepened the seat tube to 73.5º from 73°. Frame technologies include Giant’s Overdrive headset using a 1.5 – 1.125 taper, Powercore 92mm bottom bracket and the updated Maestro suspension system with a composite rocker.
The Anthem Advanced Pro 29 is equipped with Sram’s Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, Factory Fox Float 32 fork and remote controlled Float rear shock, and Giant’s carbon XCR0 wheels. The wheelset has Giant’s Dynamic Balanced Lacing [DBL] technology which claims to offer better efficiency, control and durability. It’s Giant’s lightest 29er full-suspension frame which weighs in 125g less than the Anthem Advanced version.
The Anthem Advanced 29 is next in line and offers many of the same technologies as the Pro edition. It has a 1×11 Shimano SLX drivetrain, a RockShox Sid with a remote and Monarch RT3 rear shock. Similar to the Pro, the XCR1 wheels also have Giant’s DBL technology, but come with a slightly heavier build. Just looking at the frames, the Anthem Advanced has an ALUXX SL aluminum swingarm while the Pro keeps it carbon.
Last in the lineup is the Anthem 29. The frame is Giant’s ALUXX SL aluminum from head tube to rear dropouts and still gets the Maestro’s stiff and lightweight carbon rocker. The build includes the new Sram GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain (with Stylo crank), Performance Fox Flot 32 fork with remote and Float rear shock, along with the XCR1 wheels (DBL not specified). Stay tuned while the full component breakdowns, geometry charts and pricing sheets become available.