Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 Full Suspension


The Anthem Advanced 27.5 0 model is built up with lightweight components including Giant's P-XCR0 composite WheelSystem and a SRAM XX1 single-chainring drivetrain.


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[Nov 11, 2014]


weight, quietness, drivetrain, carbon wheels



This is my first foray into a really high end bike. Im not a pro or a racer, but i ride very frequently. I ride southeastern singletrack - twisty, rooty, rocky stuff - my typical rides are about two hours. I try to minimize the amount of gear and water I carry. I'm shocked by the massive packs some people bring for relatively short rides.

27.5 is all the rage. I'm coming from a 26 in, and seriously demoed a 29er. Honestly i don't see a whole lot of difference handling wise or rolling wise between the wheel sizes. To me the 27.5 feels very much like the 26 in and that's not necessarily a bad thing. To me the 27.5 climbs, corners and rolls just like my 26 did.

Carbon is worth the hype and price. It's light, quiet, stiff, rugged and looks damn good.

The 1x11 is a dream come true. This is my favorite technical advance in the sport of mountain biking since i began 20 years ago. I have long felt the triple chainring plus front derailler was inefficient and cluttered. Not only is it awesome to be relieved of the dead weight and clutter, but the shifting and chain angles are so much better. I installed a smaller chain ring (28t vs 32t) and have not felt the need for more gearing top or bottom. Absolutely brilliant, thank you SRAM.

The carbon wheels are giant in house, and the hubs i believe are dt swiss with giant branding. I was a little concerned about in house parts for something as critical as wheels, but these are very good. Light, stiff and rugged. They seal tubeless no problem. No regrets and no desire for something with more brand cache (enve etc).

The rockshox f and r suspension are ok but not great. My butt detects way more chatter than it's used to. But this could be a function of the stiffer frame and a bike that's more geared towards racing than trail. It's been a challenge to dial in, and i still don't think i've found the ideal sag or rebound rate. On the bright side the shock and maestro susp design are very efficient and bob is practically non existent. Overall I'd say it's a pretty good compromise between efficiency and shock absorption and my butt is just too old. The front shock is competent enough, but i'm not a big fan of the remote lock out. I'm going to have it removed first chance. As an aside i was never impressed by fox suspension parts either. The rockshox are at least their equal.

The 'cockpit' parts are giant brand carbon (seatpost, stem, handlebar) they are very light and very well made.

Tires are such a personal choice. I felt really dialed in with 26in tire choices for my style/conditions. 27 in tires are like starting the experiment all over. Plus they are expensive as hell (schwalbe i'm looking at you). I like light tires with medium sized knobs. The maxxis ikon tires i'm using are a nice compromise between weight and 'hook up', especially for the rear tire. They tend to make me a little nervous up front and i'm going to change the front to a maxxis ardent for more side grab.

The newer rear deraillers with the chain tension management are awesome. Chain slap is the thing of the past. whereas barrelling downhill i used to sound like a bucket of bolts, i am now quiet as the wind.

Avid/sram brakes (xx) are light, quiet, effective and zero maintenance thus far. My riding style doesn't demand much from them, but they seem to be good kit.

Lets face it, at this price point, and many price points below any reputable brand with good parts mix will put a satisfied smile on your face. These are great days for the sport gear-wise. But if at all possible i'd recommend a dedicated rider splurge for a carbon frame and 1x11 drivetrain. These bits are truly revolutionary and will be worth the investment for many rides to come.

Finally, my times on my typical rides are much better but I attribute this more to the weight savings (bike is 22.5lb vs my previous about 28) and the motivation of having such a great ride than i do the wheel size, but I could be wrong!

Similar Products Used:

previous bike was aluminum giant trance 26in, fox susp, mavic crossmax wheels, sram drivetrain. (i like sram stuff better - i think they are more innovative and their parts work better in real life usage)

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