2017 Giant Anthem full suspension XC mountain bike

For an “XC” bike, the 2017 Giant Anthem seems to split from the herd by putting only 27.5″ wheels on their traditionally race-ready full suspension bike. And by bumping travel to 110mm in the rear, 120mm up front. Compare that with bikes like the Niner RKT9, which uses just 90mm rear travel, or the new Cannondale Scalpel that kept travel at 100mm but used revised geometry to make it more aggressive. Giant, however, is putting a bit more travel in play (up from 100mm on the 2016 Anthem) and the nimbler 27.5″ wheels.

Where they stay the course with with the increasingly popular longer, lower geometry to get you in that racy position. And both the Anthem and Trance switch to Boost axle spacing and new Metric shock sizing, plus their new 3D forged carbon rocker arm on the Advanced models…


Like the new Liv women’s line, Giant’s full suspension bikes get their forged carbon rocker arm. Check that post for full details, but the short of it is this: Giant makes their own carbon fabric in house from raw thread, adds resin, chops it into small sheets and presses it into a 3D mold. Out comes this new rocker arm that’s half the weight of an alloy version, just as strong and more durable.


They’ve also switched their Maestro suspension to a metric-sized trunnion mount shock, which opened up a bit of space and lowered the center of gravity. The entire package also let them shorten the chainstays just a bit, likely helped by the switch to Boost 148mm rear spacing.


The Anthem’s rear-center is shorter by 5mm now, and top tube length grew by 10mm. Head angle got 0.5º slacker. Add it all up and you have a bike that’s a more stable on the descents but still climbs like a goat. Oh, and the geometry is fully optimized for 27.5″ wheels only.

2017 Giant Anthem full suspension XC mountain bike
The Anthem Advanced gets a 120mm fork and their “Advanced” level carbon frames.


Actual weight for complete bike with Fox 34, Shimano XT and Giant cockpit is 11.95kg (26.35lb).

2017 Giant Anthem full suspension XC mountain bike

The Anthem Advanced SX bumps fork travel to 130mm.

2017 Giant Anthem full suspension XC mountain bike 2017 Giant Anthem full suspension XC mountain bike

The non “Advanced” Anthem (left) switches to an alloy frame, but matches the 110/120 travel, and the Anthem SX does the same with 110/130. A range of builds will be offered in all models, prices to range from €2400-3500 for alloy and €4000-6500 for Advanced carbon.

So, why switch exclusively to 27.5″ wheels and grow the suspension? Giant’s calling it “XC Amplified”, but the numbers (and the SX models) suggest it’s becoming a middle ground play bike that’s great for anyone that just rides for fun and might do a race once in a while. Also suggesting this is that there’s no longer an “SL” model, and word from our man in Europe that there’s an all-new 29er full suspension race bike coming later this year. Now it’s all making sense…

2017 Giant Trance full suspension trail mountain bike

The Trance also gets the 5mm shorter rear and 10mm longer front. It keeps the 140mm rear travel as before, but pushes things out up front with a 150mm fork. Gone (for now) is the Trance SX and it’s 140-160mm travel adjust fork.


2017 Giant Trance full suspension trail mountain bike

The Trance Advanced uses their high end carbon frame to create a lightweight but very capable trail bike. Like the Anthem, it gets the new forged carbon rocker arm and metric shock and Boost spacing for all the same benefits, and like the Anthem it’s 27.5 only.


Actual weight for complete bike with X0 Eagle, Giant wheels and Rockshox Pike is 12.26kg (27.03lb).

2017 Giant Trance full suspension trail mountain bike

The alloy Trance shares the same measurements, but in an alloy frame. Various spec options and complete builds are anticipated with prices ranging from €1,800-3,500 for alloy and €4,200-6,500 for Advanced (carbon). Full details TBA.


Like the Anthem, the new XtC+ sheds its pure XC race roots to become a quasi-trail hardtail. The new frame allows for 27.5+ tires (up to a 2.8 in the rear, 3.0 up front) or standard 29er wheels. So, party rides when you want, racy fast big wheels when you need ’em.


The frame also comes standard with sliding dropouts now, too, so you can run it as a singlespeed without any adapters.


It gets Boost spacing and a very clean frame thanks to hidden seatpost bolts, full internal cable/hose routing and a removable front derailleur mount.


Geo chart shown for 27.5+ spec with a 120mm fork. Complete bikes will also be sold as a 29er with 100mm fork, or a singlespeed 27.5+. Add 1º (steeper) to the head and seat tube angles for the 29er. Spec ranges will vary dramatically, with prices from €1,800-7,000.


For hardtail riders wanting to stick with alloy, the all-new Fathom comes in two flavors, both built on Giant’s Aluxx-SL lightweight formed aluminum tubing. Above, the 27.5 version gets a relaxed 67º head angle and 120mm fork for a more trail-oriented, relaxed ride.


The 29er version gets a steeper 69º head angle and 100mm fork for a snappier, more race-ready ride. Pricing and builds TBA.



  1. Jon on

    The new Scott Spark looks so much cleaner! The rocker arm on the Spark looks like it was actually made for the frame, not just some 3rd party piece slapped on the bike. I’ll give it up for Giant though, the paint looks good.

    • myke2241 on

      It’s all subjective and the fact something looks ” clean ” is meaningless! It’s ride quality that matters the most. Light is not always better.

      • Jon on

        Absolutely. BUT knowing that they took the time and effort to make the system look clean and integrated can’t be a bad thing. I’m just saying that Scott’s mtb lineup for 2017 looks very thought though and well engineered. As we have only seen pictures we can only go off aesthetics. I’ll still have to ride them to make my final judgments.

  2. John on

    Anthem Advanced head angle actually gets slacker by 1.5% (69.5% to 68%). Interesting bikes, and these will be great for a broad array of riders… but I have to cross off my list due to Boost. Not crazy about the paint job either.

  3. Matt on

    I really want to Trance Advanced to be my next bike, but why do OEMs still outfit these bikes with SRAM brakes. Note to OEMs – SRAM BRAKES DO NOT WORK. NEVER HAVE, NEVER WILL. I should know, I have been suckered into to owning 4 pairs of them, all of which I have had to replace with Shimano.

      • Matt on

        Yes, a few do. Even Specialized has begun doing this. I have a hard time buying a new $7000+ bike and then spending another $500 switching out the brakes to XT.

      • Frank on

        Umm, SRAM guides work amazingly well. Have some on a fat caad 1 (guide rs) and trailfox 02 (guide rsc). More adjustability in the latter, but have been flawless since the start.
        I enjoyed most of the shimano brakes that I have used, too, but the guides have great modulation, which you may be hard-pressed to find on XT brakes.

        As anecdotal as your comment, we had some XTR trails fail pretty bad for a customer, so we sent them back in the guide box he replaced them with.

    • Rich on

      What Sram brakes have you been running? My Guides offer similar power to my Shimano XT’s but with far superior modulation. Some of the best XC/trail brakes I’ve encountered. I’d take them over Shimano any day of the week

    • xxx on

      Well, since we’re into blanket statements MATT NEVER KNEW HOW TO BIKE, NEVER WILL.

      The fact of the matter is that SRAM guide brakes are absolutely excellent. I loved XT and even SLX brakes and hated on juice SRAM brakes which were pretty bad.

      But brand fanboism is just plain stupid and limiting yourself. I tried the guides, used for month and while SLX, XT, XTR brakes are as good as before, they’re just far off. SRAM stepped up the brake game major time. I can’t even imagine SRAM guides being any better. They’re just that good.

  4. Félix Gagnon on

    i assume that the anthem sx will have a different geometry than the anthem, just like the 2016 bikes?

  5. Benjamin Brindle on

    I WAS going to get an anthem 27.5 to race xc and for more fun over the xtc 27.5. But since they’re abandoning xc racing to trail bikes (sell outs) I’m gonna go epic/spark. do they even have a pro xc team now after maja, jolanda, pauline and the men were blasting results out for them? They’re not supporting the xc sport side any more. Shame. You’re not even saving much over the other brands now.


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