Giant Anthem 27.5 Full Suspension

What do you get when you combine the quickness and agility of the Anthem platform with the added handling and stability of 27.5-inch wheels? You get this, the next evolution of XC performance. It features a lightweight ALUXX SL full-suspension alloy frame, and award-winning Maestro Suspension-meticulously engineered to optimize this new wheel size. The frame features Giant’s OverDrive 2 steerer tube for razor-sharp handling, plus a PowerCore bottom bracket for maximum pedaling stiffness and power transfer.

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
Philipp Gerber   Cross Country Rider [Sep 16, 2015]
Strength:

- Maestro suspension
- Components

Weakness:

- None so far

I bought the aluminum Giant Anthem 1 (http://www.giant-bicycles.com/de-ch/bikes/model/anthem.27.5.1/19810/78638/#specifications) 3 months ago and did quite a few rides here in the forests in Switzerland which is great for cross-country riding. The stuff I ride is not super technical but decent. I also do a few local races every year.

The Giant Anthem 1 is just so much fun to ride. I have also tried the Specialized Epic 29er as well as the Scott Spark 29er. I just didn't feel at home. While a 29er might be a faster race bike, I just didn't have as much fun as on the 27.5 Anthem which seemed way more lively and agile.
At 12.2 kg (with eggbeater pedals) it's not the lightest bike out there but for the 3'000 $ I paid you can't expect much more.
The Shimano XT drivetrain is flawless.
The bike came with Maxxis Crossmax tires instead of the Schwalbe Racing Ralphs that are mentioned on the Giant website. But they're awsome tires with a lot of grip.
The Maestro suspension is the best. Even in the softest mode (Fox CTD -> Descent) the bike hardly bobs. The front fork lockout lever on the handlebars also comes in handy.
I mounted a bit a shorter stem (80mm instead of 100mm) which makes the bike a bit more "trail-friendly"

Ok, Giant as a brand is maybe not as sexy as Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Trek, Santa Cruz etc. but this really is an awesome bike for the price and just so much fun to ride. Go and demo one!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
R_Lee_M   Weekend Warrior [Aug 15, 2015]
Strength:

Light weight, solid platform, great rear suspension design frame

Weakness:

Lack of adjustability in suspension setup.

2014 model, purchased this July '15 as a closeout deal @$1800. FWIW, the anthem is well capable machine. Nowadays, there are so many different types of bikes/manufacturers out on the market, that its hard to find one suited for what you really want. Giant has provided an excellent platform with the Anthem. The frame is light, solid, durable with what I think has to be the greatest rear suspension setup. The geometry is excellent, allowing for a great time up and down the terrain. The frame always felt planted on the ground on fast turns and never felt out of place. Buy yourself an Anthem and set yourself apart.

Similar Products Used: '11 Trek ex 7
'12 Trance X2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mopartodd   [Jun 04, 2014]
Strength:

Stable and confident. There was very little pedal bob and the movement I did notice I blame on set-up of the rear shock. I simply put in enough air to cover my riding weight to 100%. Thebike was predictable on the trail at speed. The Shimano brakes were nice.

Weakness:

The weight was up there, 29.4 lbs with light pedals. Not enough top end gear for my liking and the riding I do.

I really liked the bike overall taking into account that the bike doesn't have the component group level that I'm used to using, but it did what it was supposed to, without any problems. I'd highly recommend the bike to someone who wants a good bike for trail riding or XC.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Eat-My-Dust   Cross Country Rider [May 19, 2014]
Strength:

Extremely well on uphills.
Seems there is more torque on the pedals with the 2X10, so you don't work as hard.
Light for the price.
Good roll resistance.

Weakness:

2X10 is not my thing... I find myself on the last gear too many times on downhills.
Suspension feels stiff but sag is high... will try to service them under warranty. maybe its calibration issue.

Is the best choice for the price (retail).
I was about to get epics but they only come in 29"
Last season left overs was only large. :(
Would recommend as a second bike you own. If you are more experienced, i'd get a higher spec of the same. (now wish i had).

Similar Products Used: Specialized FSR XC, Haro Xeon S. (still have the Haro, and would never sell, specialized were sold to make room for the Giant)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
sprocketjockey9   Racer [Feb 17, 2014]
Strength:

This is for the Anthem Advanced 27.5-1
XT group set is excellent, those brakes are always incredible
Superlight carbon frame
Fox CTD suspension is perfect after setup
Extremely nimble and accelerates quickly
Stealth Black

Weakness:

Swapped out the stock bar & seat-post for lighter.
Comes with a low end cassette (SLX?)
Fox CTD out of the box needed a tune (was very sticky)

This bike is super light out of the box and with the upgrades it's gotten even lighter. I had a suspension set up done and set up a little bit stiffer than I would normally run. This lets me sit 'up' a bit in the suspension during trail mode and thaw where I've predominately left it. In that mode it feels great. Feels like hardtail everywhere i want it to be and then as soon as I hit a bump, where I'd normally brace for the ht hit, it just disappears and I accelerate and never feel like the suspension is working against me. Swap it to descend mode and I can sit down in the suspension a bit more and get that cushy feeling.

I've had many 29er bikes and several 29er full suss. None of the Full suss ever felt like they were 'right' Either the suspension was never dialed or it seemed a bit like too much bike for XC/Marathon racing. I kept swapping back to a HT. But really wanted a FS, this bike and wheel size fits perfect. It's extremely nimble and corners with ease and flickable as everyone likes to say. But there's no loss of that rolling speed like a 29er, except I don't need all that effort to work to build the speed up to get it going.

It just goes. Plain and simple, it feels like 100% of the effort to move the bike forward goes into moving the bike forward. Some bikes feel like they are working against you a bit, either with the suspension or the wheels or drivetrain and just a little bit is taken away with every effort. This bike doesn't have that feeling ever. It's hard to put into words, but its enjoyable to really feel like you are flying on this bike.

Similar Products Used: First 27.5 bike, but been on dozen a 29ers since 2006
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
OxygenDeficit   Cross Country Rider [Oct 28, 2013]
Strength:

This review is for the Giant Anthem Advanced 1 ( not the 0) . This bike is fast. Way fast. Sucks up East coast singletrack , whoop-de-coos, turns, drops with aplomb. The lightweight carbon frame feels like the bike just isn't there. (in a good way) Suspension set up was straightforward.

I've owned full suspension Giant's with the Maestro suspension (26 ers) and love the way full suspension engages on bumps and is stiff for the climb. The 1 has a full XT group with Giant seat post, bars and stem. The 2 x20 XT is perfect for my trails and has good ratios for my trails. XT Brakes are confidence inspiring, the fork is supple and not "too light" for a larger rider like myself.

I also own a XTC 29er 1 hard tail. I was anxious to compare the two bikes realizing they are vastly different. The thing is, I really love my 29er hardtail & I was worried I wouldn't like this bike as much. I was way wrong. My first ride with this bike was that it was ridiculously fast. I kept trying to ride this bike with a serious, unbiased attitude and I kept being amazed at how it felt & how I had just gone through a familiar section of trail way faster than any other time before. I was bombing everything but I had all the control I wanted. My 29er has a little bit of what I call "wheel flop" at slow speeds and I sometimes just can't quite hit the line I want in a turn because it just can't corner the way I'd like. This bike truly does all the thing that my 29er does well AND corners like a champ. I could feel the suspension soaking up all the bumps I needed it too and the bike rolled over everything just as well as the 29er.

Another big difference was climbing and lifting the front wheel. This bike climbs very well and maintains momentum like nothing I've ever ridden. I easily cleaned a few rooty staircases that often give me some trouble on 29 inch wheels.

The gloss black on matte black finish is very stealth looking. Comes with tubeless parts for those who want to lighten it up

Weakness:

Finding a weakness on this bike is a bit of a reach. It has a ton of value for the money.

If I had to split hairs and find faults, then it might be the grips and the handlebar. These are almost always swapped out to a rider's preference so it really isn't that much of a weakness.

The XT wheels, Giant seat post, bar, and stem aren't the lightest things available and also aren't carbon fiber but they are all still light and strong aluminum. You could easily take a pound off this bike with some new carbon giblets. The wheels are respectably light but racers may want to go for a pedigree wheel set and take some weight off there. Again, not really a weakness a the bike weighs in at just a smidge over 25 lbs for a large.

I've been mountain biking for 25+ years... I hate to be a drinker of the Kool-Aid but this thing delivers what Giant's marketing says it does. It has the rollover of the 29er and the control and cornering of the 26ers. Having ridden 27.5 (650b), 29ers and over 20 years on 26ers... this bike is the fastest riding bike I have ever owned. There's still a few trails that I may ride my 29er on preferentially but if i had to own only one bike, this bike would be it.

(MTBR - Move this review to the Anthem Advanced 27.5 1 section once it's up. )

Similar Products Used: Cannondale FS, Giant XTC NRS 1, Giant XTC 29er1,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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