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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today was the big day to test out my new Anthem 29 that I just finished up.

Went for a custom build after selling off stock stuff and moved some things from my Anthem 26 that I sold:

2011 Anthem 29 2 Medium
XTR 2x10 trail group
(38/26 front 11-36 rear)
(180mm rotors)
Answer Pro Taper 720 12.7mm rise bars
Stans Wheels (crest/15mm front/10mm thru rear)
Rocket Ron tires tubeless
Selle Carbon SLR Flow saddle
Carbon post
Syntace stem
Time Atac XS Carbon pedals
ESI chunky grips

24.7lbs complete and ready to ride on the shop scale
(seems a bit heavier that some of the Anthems posted around here for some reason but I am very happy with this weight)

New and old bike:








I went out to a local trail today for the first ride and immediately I felt really comfortable. The suspension/pedaling felt similar to my old Anthem 26 (which I loved.) After riding the Med and Large lots at the shop I made the decision to go with the Medium 29 although my 26 was a Large. (I am 5'11"). The first ride confirmed to me that I made the right choice. I felt a lot better than I did on my 26.

The shifting on the 2x10 XTR was amazing, especially up front. A big change here compared to the 3x9 I was used to. The gearing felt right for the terrain I ride as well (San Franciso area.) The brakes were incredible as well. It was so refreshing after battling Avids for 3 years (and loosing despite constant efforts.) Silent, centered so easily, huge power, great modulation easy adjustment. Almost too much power actually in some areas and I had to adjust my technique for this although I am sure I will appreciate this on a lot of the more hilly trails. I may go down to a 160mm rear rotor?

I went with a wide bar this time as well after riding a friends set up like that. I really like the feel of it so far. I will see what I think after some tighter trails, but there are not that many around here.

The biggest surprise to me was I think just a benefit of moving to a 29er and that was overall traction. I cleared a hill section easily that I would fight spinning out on a lot on my 26 and would clear less than 50% of the time. Rear traction is a huge difference and was felt in many areas, especially climbing. Front traction was also confidence inspiring in corners. I also moved to a tapered head tube, 15mm front axle and 10mm rear axle set up...I am sure that did not hurt in this area as well.

Sorry for the long post but am so excited after the ride today and could not believe how great the bike felt on the first ride. I can really see why there is such a passion around 29ers now!
 

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NMBP
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1,158 Posts
Very nice! Doesn't get a whole lot better than that!
Giant probably should be offering the black and red frame set option instead of the polished. It seems that a lot of people are buying the lower spec models, and building them up themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those were the two bikes that I was deciding between actually. I obviously decided to go with the Anthem for a few reasons....

-I had an Anthem 26 before this and love the way the suspension works and the bike pedals even more so than the TB. They 29 version of the Anthem for this year was even a step up from my 2009 X1 26 because it has a tapered headtube, 15mm thru axle fork and I put a 10mm thru axel / bolt rear.
-I worry about a carbon frame on a mtb especially when I see people putting skid plates and other protection on the TBs. Probably not an issue but there are tons of rocks around here and did not want to worry about it.
-Cost. The TB XT level build is still very expensive. I build my full XTR with all the components I choose for a good bit less money.
-The weight of the frames is actually pretty close I think.

I am sure that I would have been really happy with either as they both felt great in demos, but for me the Anthem was the better option.

 

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Van Buren said:
WOW, this is sweet. Any opinions on how this bike compares to a Tallboy? SC TB appears to be the holy grail....
Have demoed the TB 3 times, and though I've never ridden the Anthem my guess is it'd be tough to compare due to: carbon vs. aluminum, and 17.5" vs. 18.2" chainstay has to give TB less rear flex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
May be true that the TB has less flex? I am not the heaviest rider but did not have flex issues with either bike frame. Both feel extremely stiff. I know that everyone is really focused on chainstay length but on real rides I suppose that I just did not feel the difference associate with that 0.7".
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I think that both bikes are great and agree that they do feel different. You just have to ride both and see what works best for you, and for how and where you ride.
 

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MTBR Member
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Really nice looking bike. Much improved(aesthetically) over the stock form of that bike, IMO. I rode with a guy on one(stock red) the other day, and thought the thing was hideous - way over the top with the red housing and other bits; not to mention all the Giant branded parts.

Enjoy the new ride!
 
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