What do you get when you combine the quickness and agility of Anthem X with the stability and control of 29-inch wheels? You get this, the bike that has won the hearts of even the purest XC speed freaks. It was developed with Giant XC pros and has scored big-time wins. Featuring a lightweight FluidForm ALUXX SL frameset with Maestro Suspension, an OverDrive 2* oversize headtube and PowerCore bottom bracket-plus the confident handling of 29-inch wheels-Anthem X 29er is Mr. Versatility.
RockShox SID 29 RCT3 with QR15 thru-axle, OverDrive 2 tapered steerer suspension fork and RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock
Strengths: I picked up this bike second hand. The guy I bought it from was rail thin and the bike was in just about new condition... a 2012. I really want to like this bike. The geometry fits me, it climbs great, it's light, it corners great...
I cracked the frame, right on the weld joint where the top tube meets the seat tube. I am a 185 lb rider who runs pretty easy cross country trails (primarily Walnut Creek in Austin). I was running nothing but cross country trails. I had been hearing some creaking that I thought was in the bottom bracket, but I was unable to pinpoint the source. I laid the bike over (I didn't come out of my pedals) when I blew a climb, and a short time later, saw that the top tube came completely away from the seat tube. I started doing some research on the bike and have found that a whole bunch of people are having the same problem that I am. The difference is that they bought their bike new; me used.
It's pretty clear to me now that Giant is cutting it too fine with this frame. Google for Anthem Cracked Frame. Then look for Anthem Recall. Then look for Anthem Broken Frame Images. You'll find way too many examples of broken bikes. I'm a 47 year old biker who has never broken a frame.
I love everything about the geometry, the weight, the components (minus the seat and brakes). But you have to meet the bar for minimum reliability to play. And you need a company who will stand by obvious workmanship issues, regardless of who the customer is.
I have three pieces of advice for you.
1) Don't buy a top end Giant unless you plan to keep it for a long, long time. Your resale is really going to suffer because word is starting to get out that these bikes are fragile.
2) If you buy used, price the bike accordingly. The bikes are light because the aluminum frame is too thin and the welds need to be better than the Giant machinists can deliver. You will not get any support on a second hand warranty.
3) If you do get this bike, baby the frame! Don't ride bumps fast; don't do big dips fast even if they are smooth. And even if you do baby the bike, you might not be lucky.
Bike Setup: Stock, but upgraded to 2013 wheelset and XT drivetrain.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: November 28, 2012
a lot of grip
very light for an alloy 29er full suspension
Weaknesses: the Elixir 9s are not as powerful as my older XT
You were all quite right about this Anthem x it`s exellent.
I like this bike a lot. Before the Anthem i had a sensa 29er full XT and it was also a nice bike
but it`s no equation to this one. Totally different. I just have the bike for 2 weeks now but it feels like
i drive it for years. Maybe i wil chains the brakes but then again it`s getting better and better every time.
Thnx from Holland
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 25, 2012
Strengths: Light weight, carries speed over rough terrain and uphill, Shimano XT 2 x 10 has enough range and very precise fast gear changes, suspension perfect for XC racing or crusing - comfortable while minimal rear bob.
Weaknesses: 1. Avid Elixir 9 brakes - rear howled and vibrated terribly from day 1, told pads / rotor would take time to break in but has only got worse, appears to possibly be a caliper or rotor alignment issue. Giant reps honour warranty which is pleasing but need to resolve with SRAM who only talk to reps, not customers.
2. Tuning instructions for suspension - very little provided on delivery and internet, have set front and rear shocks in middle settings and work well enough.
3. 'Tubeless ready' - not quite, wheels require modification kit to convert
Best value for money race ready XC dual susp. 29er on the market. If you've done a few 50km / 30mi enduro races on a 26" and looking to improve on your times or do the full 100km/62mi race with a 29er, take a good look at this. After riding a Scott Aspect FX 15 dual susp for 4 years as my first decent MTB, the Anthem feels like a racer by comparison and allowed me to rip 30mins off my best time for the Convict 50 in Sydney.
Not quite as nimble on tight technical single track with longer stays and wider bars requiring more input for tight turns, so its happiest with wider radius turns but can still handle the tight stuff - bit like hopping onto longer snow skis. Other than that it simply rips at speed responding with stability for rider confidence. Bought it for myself as a 40th present and just love riding it. Looking to possibly upspec down the track with lighter wheels, dropper post for more technical XC / single track and better brakes - Avid Elixir 9s as fitted have a fair bit of -ve feedback.
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2012
This bike is amazing! I had the original intention of just racing the Anthem X 29er 0 but the ride characteristics are so incredible it has turned into my "everything" bike. From hill climbs to super-d's, short track to marathon, the Anthem dominates in all domains. My riding ability has finally matched my fitness-not so typical for a xc racer where the fitness usually supersedes bike handling ability. Giant created a very well balanced race and trail slay-all machine.
Similar Products Used: 2010 Gary Fisher HiFi Pro 29er
2011 Giant Anthem X 29er 1
Bike Setup: Maxxis Ardent front
Maxxis Ikon rear
Giant dropper post
Stan's Arch EX wheel set
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2012
Strengths: - great geometry (88kg and 182cm tall rider)
- very good tracktion, very reliable
- no bob whilst pedalling
- bike climbs very good
- very light for an alloy 29er full suspension (with below mentioned set up the weight sits at around 11,5 kg)
- best value for your money !!!
Weaknesses: - none
Have been riding ths bike for a while now and it still provides me with a big smile on my face as it rides so, so well.
I ride a Yeti ASR5 as well, but I prefer to ride my Anthem. That should give you an impression of how much I like the bike. It doesn't look very special (I actully like the plain design and that it doesn't come in flash colours).
This bike shines on the trails!!!
Bike Setup: Frame size Large
XT group set
Stan's ZTR Crests
Easton EC90 Seatpost
Easton EC90 handle bar
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2012
Strengths: light weight, not too soft suspension, feather touch brakes.
Weaknesses: Only if you keep the factory issued seat. wish it had one more gear for the flats.
I have been mountain biking since the 80's and ride daily 10 miles 1500' el. On Sunday's I ride 18 miles 2700'. I have ridden nearly every single day since I got this bike 6 months ago (nearly 1500 miles) and have not needed to take it to the shop for any adjustments. I was a little apprehensive about going from a 3x9 Shimano to a Sram 2x10, as well as moving up to a 29er from a 26r. I am 5'8" and got the small frame that is perfect for me (don't believe the hype about needing to be tall for a 29er). The only learning curve with the 29r is that you can do so much more with it and it is a lot faster both up and down hills. I primarily stand on the hills and with the big tires and bar ends, I fly up the hills. Parts of my ride are so steep that you need to be in the lowest gear leaning and pumping and the 2x10 offers even more climbing gears than the Shimano drive train. You might notice a little missing on the top end pedaling on the flats or downhill, but if you don't have steep hills on your rides you can inexpensively swap the front gears. I had Fox Shox on my Last Bike (Gary Fisher HiFi pro) and like the Rock Shox much better as the Fox Shox made a lot of noise and seemed less stable. I really like the simplicity of the bike and can never go back to a 26er. The Big wheels puts a lot more tread on the trail and you hardly ever get any wheel spin. Even the color of the bike is Bad Ass. I have Shimano m520 pedals that are perfect (always release when you need them, no need to pay more), and Armadillo (I think Captain Elite) tires with a tubeless setup that is awesome, I put air in them about every 2-3 months and never carry a tube or pump. If you live in L.A. go to Wheel World and ask for James, he gave me the most amazing deal ever and know all there is to know about road and mountain bikes.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, GT avalanche 2.0
Bike Setup: WTB Gel seat, Amadillo captain elite tires with stans tubless kit, Shimano m520 pedals, bontago bar ends.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2012
Strengths: Climbs great, rolls fantastic,downhill is a pleasure, and overall great fun to ride anywhere
Weaknesses: None yet, but I can see the crashes are going to be nasty because I'm always flying on this bike
This is my first 29er and wow, what fun. I needed one bike to cover all my riding because the high commander doesn't release funding very often and the Anthem has checked all the boxes for me. I was worried that a 29er was going to have some shortcoming but none so far and the upside is fantastic. I took on a 48 km ride last weekend thinking it was going to be a long ride because I was a little out of shape (coming off a broken arm from a crash on my old bike) and I blitzed the trail in comfort on the Anthem, what great fun.
Strengths: 29'er roll over on obstacles, Stiff , Light
Weaknesses: 2x10 gears, definitely not my first choice
My first ride impression. I only had the chance to demo this bike and it was set-up great. It rides great. Extremely fast in the flats. Climbs like a champ. Spec is very solid and this set-up is stiff and light. How light?
Less than my current bike. I ride a 650b and this bike does the roll over better but not by much. The trade-off....It does not turn as well on tight singletrack either up or down as well as my 650b. I was surprised how comfortable it felt as I'm a shorter guy.
Overall a great bike. I used to ride a Trance X2 and this is a better Maestro suspension climber. Probably more suited to flowy singletrack in all respects. I would consider buying one in the future.
Similar Products Used: Giant Trance X2 custom, Jamis 650b2 custom, KHS all mountain 2000, Rocky Mountain Slayer
Bike Setup: The Giant Anthem X0 29'er was all stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Miramichi, New Brunswick. Canada
Date Reviewed: April 6, 2012
Weaknesses: Nothing yet
First ride on the new Giant Anthem X 29er this morning, here's my first impression.
This bike is fast and stable, I still have the somewhat heavy wheels and tubes (yes I know it is 2012) on the bike but it really gets out of it's own way! It can accelerate very quickly but it will take a bit more out of your legs to do so. Steering precision at any speed is laser accurate and holds the intended line like a champ. I really enjoyed the Rock Shox dampers at both ends, I turned the platform off going down into Crow Brook and forgot to turn it back on will no feel of lost efficiency going up the Switchbacks. The Hope Race X2 Evo brakes were fantastic as was my first experience with Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo tires (2.1R & 2.25" F). I felt little to no learning curve and really didn't adjust my riding style much on todays loop. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about riding this bike and can't wait to transform it by losing a half kilo from the wheels and chucking the tubes at the Devil.
Similar Products Used: Trance, Trance X0, Trance X Advanced 0
Bike Setup: Full SRAM XX, Race Face Next crank, Hope Race X2Evo, giant carbon stem, post and bars, Specialiced Henge Pro saddle, ESi Grips? Industry 9 Ultralite 29 wheels being built now.
a Cross Country Rider
from Melbourne Australia
Date Reviewed: March 18, 2012
Strengths: The increase footprint of 29er's is the reason to go there, and this particular bike is almost identical to it's 26 cousin only that the grip level is far above the Trance and Anthem 26er. The geometry setup of the Anthem 29er is the perfectr blend of tight fast Cross County bike with 29 wheels.
Weaknesses: The DT Swiss wheels that come on this bike (listed as P-XC2 Giant) are quite heavy and are not super stiff, they are a little compliant, but for weekend warriors relying on the increased wheel diameter to soak up rock gardens at high speed etc. this will be a bonus, but for people looking for a super stiff light weight wheelset, you will need to upgrade.
Wow, I compared 4 bikes in the same or similar price range, Kona, Specialised, Trek and this one the Anthem 29er. Bang for buck this bike wins, all four come with a similar wheelset and would need to upgrade for a stiff lightweight set. This bike won me for its precise tight feel and ability to climb like a mountain goat. Also it was the only one with some Shimano gear, the Deore XT drive train won me, I have had XT and SRAM before for drivetrains and Shimano wins hands down.
Some people are put off by the Giant brand for some reason, but have a look at the Geometry of this bike, in Alloy frames this one is a racer at heart, and a more expensive brand sticker on it doesn't work for me. This bike has already helped me set Personal Records on a lot of tracks I have ridden for the last few years on a Trance 0, both up and down hill sections. The arguments put forward for not being able to handle tight technical is false as this bie goes through fast twisty corners better than the Trance. Both bikes have a near identical top tube length and have very similar wheelbase footprint, but the 29er is far more confident in handling corners where the 26er would be letting go.This bike would suit Endurance racers and dirt crit racers through to Weekend Warriors who want something a bit tighter and faster than an all Mountain or Trail bike. Love this bike best bang for buck ever go and buy one and be happy.
Similar Products Used: Anthem and Trance 26er Kona 26
Bike Setup: As OEM at this point.
a Cross Country Rider
from Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2012
Strengths: This is a review nearly 18 months after purchasing the anthem. I've put a couple of thousand kays on this bike now and for me this has been the perfect allrounder. I have raced this bike in cross country events, use it for hammering technical trails and descents and have ridden a 300km charity road ride on it. The geometry is set up well for lightweight trail riding and while still being competitive for xc racing. The maestro suspension setup love to climb and eats rocky or root strewn climbs with ease and still manages to transfer power efficiently when climbing out of the saddle. I actually prefer the stiffer platform of the anthem in the technical stuff than the carbon enduro that occasionally lives under my house.
Weaknesses: Like anything there are a few individual adjustments needed from standard. The seat was the first thing to go, the tundra is like the back end of a cricket bat. The Avid brakes were next, the constant issues with brake drag and pressure buildup were a pain in the neck. I'm building up a new set of wheels at the moment. The stock rims are a bit narrow and very hard to set up tubeless. They are pretty light for stock wheels though and pretty strong to boot.
This is a fantastic bike. A little bit more of a trail bike than the Specialized Epic 29er, as well as slightly better specced for the price. It isn't the lightest but is still respectably light in stock form. If you could only afford one bike and needed to perform everything from road training, to xc racing and thrashing your local trails then this could be the bike for you.
Bike Setup: Raceface riser bars. XT brakes. Nobby Nic 2.3's. and very soon, WTB frequency i23's laced to DT 240's.
a Cross Country Rider
from South Africa
Date Reviewed: December 29, 2011
Strengths: excellent geometry for 6.4 'rider .i have the 2011 and 2012 model .2012 model has 2x10 with roxk shox sid and higher riding position with riser bar .i find the 2011 better for fast gravel road and the 2012 better for technical singeltract .Very fast on flats and climbs very well also .Light with excellent componants at affordable price
Weaknesses: Tubeless converted would be nice as standard
I have 2011 and 2012 anthem models .I only changed the saddles .Rest is stock standard excellent bike.The blue and silver paint sceme on the 2011 attracts lots of attention and compliments.If i was giant i would keep it as a colour option.If you want a seriously comfortable, capable, bike ,look no further.You can spend more money for bling and carbon fever ,but you will not find anything better at this price or ever much more expensive
Bike Setup: Rock shox sid rlt .Full XT .Racing ralph tubed 2.2 .wtb silverado saddle
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 28, 2011
Strengths: Front end Confidence - I can now rail corners. 2 ring 20speed, I was initially thinking I was loosing gears and would need a 3 ring granny gear, Not so, I carry far more speed on the 29er and always have great torque with the 2 rings. Speed, this thing inspires confidence and I carry far more speed everywhere, up hills, down gnarly rocks, over bridges I wouldn't ride in the past.
Also buy price allowed the ZTRs for not much more than retail.
Weaknesses: Getting the shift levers out of the way of the brakes, they both want the same spot on the bar for me. - personal issue - small hands.
Light at 12.2kg, solid wheels set at 2100gms however an easy swap-out for say ZTR Crest wheel-set (1575gm) and save 0.5kg = 11.7kg 29er dually. Nice.
This rolls over everything easier than my 26", noticeable on the transition to a climb where the 26" slows into the climb far more than the 29er. The 29er holds more speed into the climb, particularly if the climb begins with a rough entry, as many do. Following 26" bikes on rolling trails when not pedaling the 29er closes ground very quickly as it is not interrupted in its rolling flow as much as a 26". Stutter bumps on a 26" are an easy flow on the 29er.
Climbs well, in fact because of the longer chain stay length the pedal energy pushes the bike forward as the rider weight is further forward of the rear hub. I found I held a higher gear than the 26" around me on a climb and made ground on riders I usually don't hold on to.
Fast technical cornering is better because the larger contact patch on the front wheel gives more feel and allows higher mid corner speed so exits are faster. I found I could trowel the front and get a tight turn rather than trail braking through the corner, allowing the bike to exit with more speed.
On the contact patch, the 29er front wheel will hold onto longitudinal edges, like the sides of motorbike wheel ruts far better than a 26" which will slide down into the hole, this means the 29er rider doesn't have to be so accurate and choosy on the line taken as the 29er grips and holds line better. This means less focus on the riding and more time to focus on the fun of riding.
If you are an average rider in your group, this will move you up the pack and give you more head space so you don't ride outside your comfort zone.
Not all 29ers are made equal and I recommend a ride on a few and back to back them over the same trail. I found some of the more expensive bikes I rode were not as good as this Giant to ride. Some 29ers at twice the price were also heavier so don't get sucked in by the brand name, ride them and see what works for you.
Similar Products Used: 2012 SantaCruz Tallboy carbon - demo ride day, the giant was similar in the trails to the Tallboy however the Anthem climbed better.
2012 Giant 29er hardtail - too harsh and the straight bars...... well.. not wrist friendly.
Bike Setup: Standard except for Crankbros semi flat carbon bars, to get my hands lower and ZTR CREST wheels at 1575gms as opposed to standard 2100gms to lose 1/2 a kilo. Bike now weighs 11.7kg with pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: December 22, 2011
Strengths: Everything so far is great. Moved over from a 29 hardtail after demoing 7 other bikes including the 2011 X1.
Weaknesses: Might upgrade the brakes as the Elixir 9s are not as powerful as my older CRs
No other 29er within $2,000 of this bike at full retail comes close. And while I got a steal at $2,500, I would find a way to pay more if I had no choice.
I have a chance to purchase a 2012 anthem x 29er 0 for a very good price but I would like to have your input on how the bike rides ? Components wise, I think there's a lot of value for the price, maybe except for the wheels which I will probably change down the line.
I currently ... Read More »
I've managed to find the user manual for the fork (RockShox SID 29 RCT3) online but not the shock (RockShox Monarch RT3). Anyone know where to find it? I can find the service manual but that's not what I'm after.
Do Giant do a user manual for the bike at all? I was thinking it's possi ... Read More »
Today, I found an Anthem X 29er 4.0 for $1,650. It weighed in at 29.75 pounds. Seems like a pretty good deal - but is that a bit heavy for an Anthem 29er? I thought I saw on this forum that some others were weighing in at 28 pounds and less but maybe those were the 2.0 and up. The guy also menti ... Read More »
Hi, trying to decide between these two bikes, just looking for input. A new Niner Jet 9 or Giant Anthem X 29ER 0. Both are just over 3k and both will come with XO components. Rode both and really liked both. Thanks for any help or input.Read More »