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.
Actual weight for complete bike with Fox 34, Shimano XT and Giant cockpit is 11.95kg (26.35lb).
The Anthem Advanced SX bumps fork travel to 130mm.
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…
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.
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).
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.