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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope I'm posting in the correct section.

I'm hoping to get some feedback of ride differences between the Anthem Advanced and carbon Element. Would there be anyone here who has had both bikes?

Reason I'm asking, is the Elements' here are usually way more in price, but I've spotted an XT spec 2013 on sale, for only a couple hundred more than the XT Anthem.

My riding style is easy exploration; generally for a few hours to full day. No racing, but don't mind putting the hammer down, if I feel like it. Terrain; singletrack/fire roads; nothing too rocky.

This would be my 1st FS29er, which I would plan on keeping for a long time. I'm 5'10"; 130lbs.
 

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First, let me get my biases out of the way; every Giant mountain bike I've ever ridden feels wrong, I'm either too far up & forward or otherwise awkwardly positioned on the bike so that I never feel centered & balanced on it. My preference for fit, feel, and handling is the BC area bikes such as Norco, Rocky, and Kona, though there are quite a few others that work well for me.

It was the same way when I test rode the Anthem Advanced last year, after a few minutes on the bike I wanted off. Nice bike, lots of people love it, but it just doesn't work for me.

With Rocky, I've ridden the Element 950 (aluminum version, 1 level down) and really liked it, for a 29er (I'm a die hard 26" wheel fan). The riding position feels much more comfortable & natural, I'm in a neutral balanced position on the bike where I can easily move the bike around on technical sections, and where an unexpected obstacle won't put me off balance and send me off the trail. I think it's closer to a trail bike all day riding setup than a long & low XC racing setup, and to me that's a good thing. It will go darn fast quite easily though I don't think it's as much of a race rocket as a Specialized Epic Carbon, on the other hand I'd much prefer the Element on trail rides since it's more forgiving.

I think for the kind of riding you're doing the Element is the better choice. It's a good race bike and a great all day trail riding & exploring bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your thoughts.

I phoned the shop up today; its actually the 2014 model, which I believe has lighter wheels than the 2013.

Will be checking it out tomorrow after work.
 

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Monkey Wrangler
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I own a 2013 Element 970 RLS and can't say enough about how much I enjoy this bike. Every Rocky Mountain I've ridden just feels right to me. Even though this bike is a 29er, it rides like a 26 thanks to its compact design. The bike climbs like a mountain goat, descends like a bobsled.

I bought this bike as a marathon endurance machine to compete in 50+ mile events and have discovered this bike is quite the lively trail bike, even though it only has 100mm up front and 90mm in the back. Combine 29" wheels with that travel and it rides like a 120mm 26" bike.

Take the 970 for a test ride...I think you'll enjoy it.
 
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