from Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2011
Strengths: Incredibly light for an aluminum frame and it's stiffness is even more surprising (I'm 160lbs, high-tempo, low-wattage rider). I found one of the last '09 X0's in the country and this thing is unbelievable. I'm coming off of an '07 Fisher Hi-Fi, so this is my first XC race bike and I definitely made the right choice. Climbs like it has a motor, tracks perfectly through rough downhill sections and is laterally stiffer than my old Hi-Fi trail bike. I was skeptical about the braking being active without any rear pivots, but Giant's Maestro design is no hype - it's the real deal! It carves corners noticeably tighter than my old trail bike (no surprise there, especially after I swapped the 110mm stem for a 100mm), but without the expected twitchiness on the rough downhills. I feel like I haven't lost 20mm of travel at all, so it's a win-win.
Weaknesses: RockShox SID World Cup is a little finicky to set up with the dual air chambers, but this is my first Rock Shox fork, so no big deal. Because the bike sat in a shop for 2 years, one of it's oil seals is leaking, but not a big issue and not a fault of Giant or RockShox.
Handles like a dream, climbs like it has an engine and is 1/2lb heavier than the super-expensive Advanced SL Carbon version... it's a no-brainer - this Anthem X0 is the best value in a lightweight xc race bike ever. No wonder they stopped offering the X0 spec after 2009. If you can find one, even used, buy it! If I could give it 6 chilis, I would have.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Cake, Gary Fisher Hi-Fi (26er), Motobecane Fly Team Titanium 29er, Norco Faze.
Bike Setup: 2010 Anthem X3 frame, but with all of the '09 X0 parts transplanted (due to the fact that the '09 X0 I found was an XL and I needed a size Large, so they swapped everything over for me... for $3200 no less!), but I sold off the stock drive-train and brakes for a SRAM XX set-up. Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.1 Evo tires (Stan's converted) on stock Crossmax SL wheels, Time ROC ATAC XS pedals, swapped the stock Race Face cockpit out for Easton EC70 post and bars and EA70 stem (100mm from the stock 110mm). So, it's a bit of a mix-and-match bike, but in essence, it's an '09 X0... unless they made any geo changes from '09 to 2010?
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2010
Strengths: The cheapest of world class XC race full suspension aluminum frames. Very sharp handling, great weight balance, great suspension when combined with RP23, climbs very well though not as well as DWlink frames, takes lots of abuse.
Weaknesses: Not as stiff as others especially compared with the much more expensive Pivot Mach 4 but the Anthem X frame is lighter by 200-300 gr. The Mach 4 also pedals like a hardtail while this one needs the propedal on to be almost like a hardtail.
It's awesome for the price, actually probably unbeatable but there are weaknesses such as mentioned above and wide side to side flex at the rear triangle. But that flex also helps keeping the tires planted at turns and could be the way it was intended by the engineers. Summary: it felt noticeably worse than frames costing almost twice as much but for the price it's probably impossible to beat and would make the perfect practice bike for newbies or a great training bike for experts. Good resale too. 3 stars because 5 stars is probably impossible to attain for any frame.
Similar Products Used: None but I've tried and tested lots of other xc race style full suspensions.
Bike Setup: Built from zero using X9 + XT sets comes out to 12kg exactly when using Panaracer Fire XC tires.
from melbourne, australia
Date Reviewed: March 8, 2010
Strengths: Light and very responsive for a hardtail.
Weaknesses: Could always be lighter.
After stepping off a Yeti 575, the bike is much more responsive to ride, but a little less capable of absorbing drops and jumps. I know you have heard it before, but this bike climbs extremely well, and tracks even better down high speed rough and steep surfaces. It's the most all round cross country race bike I have ever owned, at a price that I couldn't go past.
Similar Products Used: Giant xtc, Yeti 575, Scott Scale.
Bike Setup: Anthem X frame, Fox F100RLC forks, Formula Oro24 Breaks, Mavic SLR Wheels, SRAM XO (Twist grip shifters, rear derailleur) XTR Front derailleur, XT cranks, time Atac pedals, Crossmark tubeless tires.
Date Reviewed: February 17, 2010
Strengths: easy to use gears and good balance, great brakes, good travel in suspension and very easy to set up.
love the XTR gear selection, you are always one hit away from dropping down 3 gears to keep going in tough terrain
The bottom line, we always get screwed in Australia with prices of just about everything, this bike is no exception, however, if i ask myself would i buy it again, YES i would.
The quality Giant have put into the welding and equipment used on the bike make this the F1 of MTB's. I feel confident with all terrains. LOVE IT!!.
Bike Setup: cheap mavics, xtr shifting and brakes, fsa carbon seatpost and matching cranks, fox 32 talas rlc only use first two settings. answer carbon riser bar. albert tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Tasmania, Australia
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2009
Strengths: Spec, Weight, Looks, Quick but stable steering, Suspension action is very smooth and predictable, very good climber.
Weaknesses: My bike is size XL, although the braking power is OK i think the 6" front and 5" rear rotor is a bit small for the average rider weight that fits on an L and XL frame. The bike should come with 7" front and 6" rear rotor. I.e Scott spark/scale,
The frame is very light for and aluminium frame so its dents very easily!
The only things i will be changing on the bike will be XTR cranks, Ceramic BB, and upgrade the brake rotors to 7" front and 6" rear and i will proberly cut 20mm from the bar width.
The bike is a dream to ride, the suspension is super easy to set up, i have played with the pressures on the fork but the factory recomended psi for my weight is pretty spot on (135psi) however i do run 5 psi less in the positive air chamber for better small bump complience.
I only ever have the RP23 pro-pedal set to 1 as the design of the suspension keeps pedal "bob" to a minimum.
Over all its nearly imposible to get a bike that rides this well with a spec this good for the price unless you go secondhand!
Bike Setup: SID World Cup, stock Race Face cranks, bars, stem and seatpost, Crank Brother Cobalt wheelset, XTR shifters and derailleurs, Ergon GX-1 grips, Crank Brother Eggbeaters, Avid Juicy Ultimate brakes
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2009
Strengths: Light,stiff, responsive,comes with full XTR groupe set.The faster you go the better the handeling
Weaknesses: A little vauge steering at low speed in tight stuff, i may need a shorter stem.
As i said this review is for the X LTD.This is an awsome bike,I cant believe how balanced it is, i have fliped the stem and droped the bar height as low as it will go and i still don't feel over the bars on steep decents. Had a little problem with pedle bob at first but found by running round 12/15% sag in the shock has solved this.Comeing from a 140mm travel bike i thought i would struggle a little but the anthem feels like it has more than 100mm travel and with a good height of the bottom bracket it gets over the top of just about everything i could on the prophet but easier.It took me a bit to sort the shock but the fork was so easy to set up with all the info right there on the fork and it is faultless and the remote lock is A1. The only gripe i have is the steering at low speed in tight single trail,but this could be the 100mm stem,perhaps i would be better suited to a 90mm stem to sharpen the steering a little.
If you are after one bike that ticks all the boxes,no coulors them in,then this is it.Hard tail acceleration with dual suspention comfort.
I am giving it 5 chillies for value cause i got a great deal,plus you pay the same price for a bike one to two kg's heavier with a Heins variety of spec.
Similar Products Used: Giant Hard tail,Kona Kula Delux, Cannondale Prophet
Bike Setup: Stock Anthem X LTD, Full XTR groupe set, Race Face Next riser bar, Race Face Duce SL 100mm stem, Giant Carbon seat post, Sid world cup fork,Fox RP23 Shock, Fi zi K Tundra saddle
a Weekend Warrior
from Brisbane Australia
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2009
Strengths: comfy,light, light whels for good acceleration, absorbs drops far better than my hard tail, good value for money,climbs well for a dually
Weaknesses: stock seat totally uncomfortable,steering vague at times,(could just be the operator tho), have been over the bars a few times too (might just be the operator again)
great value especialy before the aussie dollar fell through the floor,very comfy, wheels light but strong and straight,
Would recomend it to anyone who still wants a bike that will climb well but doesn't plan to win x country races or to any one who wants to have fun and the older guys over 40 who find the hard tails to harsh.
Similar Products Used: Stumpjumper fsr (I thought it wasn't nimble enough)
Bike Setup: xtr wheels and crank for an extra $300 bucks,what a bargain,specialised seat( comfy) and head stem reversed(negative angle) and spacers taken out and put on top to try to get some weight over the front wheel
a Cross Country Rider
from BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2008
Strengths: Incredibly light, suspension works very well. Did I mention it climbs like a goat? Agile, fast, a dream to hammer. I used to race, this bike really makes me want to race again.
Weaknesses: Not a bike you want to buy if you want a ride that will cover your mistakes.
Awesome bike to buy if you want to go fast and have the skill to push this bike, it will reward you. The Aluminum frame is fast and dialed, but definitely high strung, if you soften up the suspension the XO gets a lot more compliant, which can be nice. Still if you want a bike that dishes out a bit of fogiveness on your average ride, this isn't the bike for you. If you are good and don't have to prove it, this bike is for you.
I'm looking at the 2012 X0 again, but the color doesn't excite me, size LARGE. I can get a deal on a 2011 X1 with the chrome color and Fox shocks, also 3x10 vs the 2012 with SRAM and a XO 2x10 crank-set. I'd like to know the weight penalty for "going back in time".
Can anyone chime in with the ... Read More »
First, I am new to the site (but not to riding) and have really enjoyed the info. I have searched extensively and recognize there are many "comparison" threads....I have three bikes locally that would meet my needs (general XC bike) within a few hundred dollars of each other: 2012 Anthem, 2011 Carbo ... Read More »
I bought a new 2008 Anthem 0 in the middle of last summer after my Santa Cruz Superlight frame cracked. I REALLY like how quickly the Anthem 0 handles, but kind of wish it had a little more travel. Has anyone ridden the Anthem vs the Anthem X that can comment on the handling of the 2009? I know t ... Read More »