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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the Giant Anthem series is a new line, but I didn't know if anyone had anymore information about them other than just what I've heard through hearsay. Is there a particular reason to not buy Giant? Currently I'm riding Specialized, but I want to go with a FS xc bike rather than the hardtail I'm currently riding. Also, the bike is priced at $2300 for the Anthem 2, is there any recommendations for other bikes near that range?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
dirty_grill said:
I know the Giant Anthem series is a new line, but I didn't know if anyone had anymore information about them other than just what I've heard through hearsay. Is there a particular reason to not buy Giant? Currently I'm riding Specialized, but I want to go with a FS xc bike rather than the hardtail I'm currently riding. Also, the bike is priced at $2300 for the Anthem 2, is there any recommendations for other bikes near that range?
Does no one have any input? Any input at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
--Dirty_Grill
 

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In the new Mountain Bike Action mag (i believe its Feb 06) they test the Anthem1. It got a lot of praise and I don't think they had any problems with it. Go check it out for more info, since theres not much to be on the internet yet being a new bike.
 

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JimC. said:
so it might not even be in stores yet. Maestro suspension is similar to VPP suspension; check out SC Blur, for similar proven XC use.

Jim
The Anthem replaces the NRS and is a race bike. It has 3.5 inches of rear travel and is stiffer than the NRS. It does not feel as harsh riding though.

The reason to buy a Giant is they are the biggest manufactuer in the world and every bike is built inhouse. That Santa Cruz that was mentioned, well Giant build's all of them. They also build every Trek and Specialized under $500.00. Why pay the premium SC price when you can get a complete Giant for there frame price.
 

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correct me if I'm wrong but

I understood SC bikes were made by Kinesis in Taiwan. Does Giant own Kinesis? I don't think they do.

"Kinesis Industry Co. Ltd.
was founded in by 5 former employees of Giant Bicycles, Tom Jeng, Michael Chen,
Eugene Yang, Robert Wu and Robert Chiu, with an initial capitalization of US$200K. "

"Kinesis is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of aluminum bicycle frames and forks employing around 1300 people at their 3 factories. They have produced frames for many brands including Bianchi, Bridgestone, Corretec, Diamondback, Felt, Kildemoes, K2, Haro, Jamis, Monark, Peugeot, Raleigh, Santa Cruz, Shappard, Specialized, and Storck, and to name just a few. For more information, please feel free to call us at +886-4- 2681-3325, or send your E-mail to¡[email protected]

To say that Giant is better because it's bigger and better isn't a good argument IMO. I'd say stay away...it's that bike's first year of production and the bugs aren't out yet. The Santa Cruz has ALL the bugs out.

To say that the SC commands a premium price, I disagree, a few hundred more for a proven product is good value. And hey, you get what you pay for.

http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=16795

Jim
 

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The Anthem is available now. I've got a buddy who just got one(an Anthem 2). He's had it about a week and a half. It replaced an NRS. So far he's really liking it.
 

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last I heard from SC

Kinesis in Oregon was making their US bikes, and same firm made the balance in Taiwan. I cannot recall if SC even made any other their own except for new ones about to hit the market such as the Nomad etc. Once it's established, they hand mfring to Kinesis.

Or so I was told by SC.

Jim
 

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found an Anthem review

I found this on Goatboy's site. I'm interested, but I'm not sure if it's better than my current ride- K2 Razorback Team Carbon, Fox F80X,SRAM drivetrain, Mavic/Hugi 240 UST Disc, Marta SL. Gotta try one though. They sure look sweet. If it handles like a Blur and accelerates like an Epic, sign me up!

2006 Giant Anthem 1 Review
Posted on 12.02.05 by Joey Ernst

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day upon Giant's new XC dual-suspension race bike, the Anthem. The Anthem line includes three models that are named, aptly enough, the Anthem 1, 2, and 3. My steed for the day was an Anthem 1 - the $4000 cream of the Anthem crop. SRAM X.0 rear derailleur and trigger shifters, Shimano XT front derailleur, Race Face Deus XC cranks, Race Face stem, carbon post, and carbon bar, Mavic CrossMax SL wheelset, Manitou's new R7 fork and S-Type SPV shock, Hayes HFX-9 Carbon disc brakes, and Hutchinson Python tires make for a sub-25-pound package when paired with Giant's newest Maestro-suspension frame. Maestro is what Giant is calling their newest suspension technology. It's a cutting-edge set of linkages that they use throughout their dual-suspension lineup - everything from the 3-inch-travel Anthem to the 9-inch-travel Glory - and it actually seems to work as promised. That is, same old line: efficient power transfer in a fully active suspension design. We've been hearing it for years, but only now is it actually becoming reality. The VPP designs on the market are close; the Maestro one-ups them just barely, mostly through tweaks in the axle path.

I took a long ride in the mountains surrounding Colorado Springs for this short-term test. The terrain included climbs - lots of them, both super-steep and easy, very technical as well as tame - an equal amount of descending (obviously), tons of loose granite, some fairly packed sandy soil, pavement, and even some snow. The Anthem I rode was an 18"; I normally ride a 20". So some of the following handling characteristics would be different on a bike that was actually my size.

The first thing I noticed about the Anthem was how light and fast it felt. The weight of about 24.5 pounds, while not amazing, certainly isn't bad for a stock dually. The truly weight-conscious could shave grams here and there - the wheelset, the seat, headset, etc. But as is the Anthem accelerated quickly and, unless you were standing up and mashing, without bob. Even standing the bob wasn't that noticeable. I really had to try a terrible pedaling technique to get significant bob out of the rear shock. The R7 fork, on the other hand, has no SPV. It does have a lockout, but unless you engage that, you will get bob when sprinting. I am of the opinion that if a company spec's SPV on one end, it should spec it on the other. But I guess the racers like their hard-n-fast lockouts.

The Anthem handles very quickly - even to the point I would call twitchy. I had a hard time keeping my line on steep ascents where it usually isn't a problem for me. The front wheel would wander and lift, and even on lesser climbs the Anthem required constant attention to the line, lest it go off course. That said, I believe that while the Anthem is - and should be - a quick handling bike, most of the problems I was having were directly related to the bike being a size too small for me. The longer stem, top tube, and slightly longer wheelbase associated with the next size up would center my weight more effectively and would make for a more stable ride overall. Traction while climbing was great as long as I stayed seated. When standing, it didn't take much to break loose the scanty Pythons. However, not many race courses are as loose as what I was riding, and the Pythons are a race tire. They'd probably work great for true racers, but if you plan on buying an Anthem for just plain trail riding, swap to some Maxxis Ignitors or something - a little more bite without going overboard. Going downhill on the Anthem was great, although the tires' weaknesses showed pretty quickly. The Anthem's light weight and ability to efficiently transfer power allow the rider to reach the tires' traction limits fairly quickly, especially when going downhill. The Anthem really shines in tight, twisty singletrack. Subtle input yielded effective results when whipping around bermed corners at high speed. Fun!

The SRAM X.0 trigger shifters worked flawlessly, as did the X.0 rear derailleur and the Shimano XT front derailleur. The new X.0 stuff is absolutely incredible. Great feel, great performance. It's very telling that Shimano's 2006 drivetrains feel much more positive than in the past - SRAM won lots of folks over with their very positive click shifting, and Shimano seems to be moving away from their old Light Action in response. Is someone running a bit scared? The Race Face cranks were very stiff and their rings shifted very well. While I'm not a big fan of Hayes for mechanical reasons (at least their older stuff), I can't fault the HFX-9 Carbons for their performance. They have great modulation - in fact, if you're used to a slightly grabby system, you may think the Hayes aren't that powerful, since they have a smooth ramp of power from a subtle touch all the way to locked wheels.

After I got the shock and fork set up for my weight and riding style, I came to a few conclusions. Manitou's S-Type shock - their new, short-stroke, light XC air shock - works well. It's simple, the SPV works well, and the rebound damping is effective, with a nice alloy adjusting knob that has positive indents and noticeable damping increments. Manitou's new R7 fork was, as claimed, pretty stiff for a 3" travel XC racing fork. However, I found myself missing the Rock Shox SID I normally ride. They're the same weight and they're both air-sprung, but the SID has a more linear feel. The R7 felt quite progressive; I thought that the fork felt harsh in the middle-through-late stages of its travel. The rebound damping was also a slight problem. I ran it full on and it was okay, but I think there needs to be more damping available. The SID has a wide range of rebound damping, and I usually run it somewhere in the middle. The R7 felt slightly fast on the rebound even with full damping. I don't know if this is a problem with my particular R7 or if they're all that way. Also, as I said before, I'd like to see a fork with SPV on a bike with an SPV shock. The R7's lockout worked fine, but a balanced front and rear would be nice.

Mavic's CrossMax SL wheels are pretty nice. They're very stiff, strong, and not too shabby on weight either. However, there are better-engaging hubs out there - Chris King comes to mind. The CrossMax hubs aren't bad by any means - they have about the same backlash as Shimano and many others. The bladed spokes on the CrossMax wheels sure make for a squirrelly ride in a crosswind. You haven't been scared until you're descending at 35 mph on pavement on a busy road and then the wind gusts from your right. Can we say roadkill? I never really thought of crosswinds as being a problem on the trail, but it was on my ride. Then again, I was riding on very exposed slopes in a wind-channeling canyon on a day with 40mph gusts. So I doubt it would be a problem for most people most of the time. Overall, I must say that I'd run a pair of the CrossMax wheels and have no qualms.

I'd like to try an Anthem in my size to make sure that the handling feels better. I'm pretty sure it would feel great. Based on my short-term test ride, I do recommend the Anthem to (a) racers - this is the ultimate dual-suspension race bike - and (b) lightweight trail riders who ride fairly tame trails. The Anthem is not your all-purpose trailbike and it's not supposed to be. But if all you ride are XC-race-type trails and want a bike that will allow you to all but fly, the Anthem would be a good choice. Hammer down!
 

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SeanL said:
For the record, only some of SC's models are built in Taiwan. The Blur is made in the US.
As of 06 ALL of the SC models will be made by Giant. They were only making the Single Pivot bikes and the hardtails. What I am eluding to is that the quality is top notch. Bigger is not always the best. If you look at any Giant bicycle from the $230.00 entry level Boulder to any of the their carbon bikes, They are top notch quality. All of there frames are butted tubes. How many builders can say that? How many bikes use Hydroformed tubes? All of the Giants do.

I have found you a better value....

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?year=2005&model=11148
 

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dirty_grill said:
I know the Giant Anthem series is a new line, but I didn't know if anyone had anymore information about them other than just what I've heard through hearsay. Is there a particular reason to not buy Giant? Currently I'm riding Specialized, but I want to go with a FS xc bike rather than the hardtail I'm currently riding. Also, the bike is priced at $2300 for the Anthem 2, is there any recommendations for other bikes near that range?
Best place to check for info on anything new from GIANT is the GIANT forums. Here's a starter link for you on the Anthems http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=150175
 

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I've emailed

Santa Cruz, I suspect there're a few opinions expressed here that may/may not be true. I'll post when I hear back from SC, assuming that their website isn't also now hydro-formed, butted, and manufactured by Giant also :rolleyes:

SC website clearly states who manufactures their rigs. There are no press releases to confirm the opinion stated re: Giant/Santa Cruz.

Jim
 

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First year production

I have no doubt that the Anthem is a good bike to consider. Giant has ithe NRS to draw from in terms of having built a soild production f/s race bike. As mentioned by a previous poster, I'd wait another year or so before giving it more serious consideration. This will give Giant a chance to work out any kinks that are found in the design. Keep in mind this is a general rule of thumb. Could be that they hit one out of the park on the first year of the bike. Just look at the history of bike manufacturing (or auto manufacturing for that matter) and I think you'll see my point.

Best wishes in finding the right bike for your needs.

Bob
 

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JimC. said:
Santa Cruz, I suspect there're a few opinions expressed here that may/may not be true. I'll post when I hear back from SC, assuming that their website isn't also now hydro-formed, butted, and manufactured by Giant also :rolleyes:

SC website clearly states who manufactures their rigs. There are no press releases to confirm the opinion stated re: Giant/Santa Cruz.

Jim
I was told that at interbike by a higher up exec. IF I am wrong, so be it.
Please don't be jealous.

Dan Mitchell
 

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Call_me_Clyde said:
I have no doubt that the Anthem is a good bike to consider. Giant has ithe NRS to draw from in terms of having built a soild production f/s race bike. As mentioned by a previous poster, I'd wait another year or so before giving it more serious consideration. This will give Giant a chance to work out any kinks that are found in the design. Keep in mind this is a general rule of thumb. Could be that they hit one out of the park on the first year of the bike. Just look at the history of bike manufacturing (or auto manufacturing for that matter) and I think you'll see my point.

Best wishes in finding the right bike for your needs.

Bob
In general a good rule of thumb, if you can wait. But as Clyde said, sometimes they get it right the first time, but in general they end up modifying something for the 2nd year i.e. the Trance came out in '05 and I bought one and it's a truly excellent bike, but for '06 in the US they have changed the shock/downtube and say it makes the rear stiffer (this I don't know and am not totally in believe that this is why they made the change) but we'll have to wait till people get their hands on them and give feedback. I'm in no way disapointed w/ my Trance and would gladly buy another one of this 1st production design.
 

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JimC. said:
Santa Cruz, I suspect there're a few opinions expressed here that may/may not be true. I'll post when I hear back from SC, assuming that their website isn't also now hydro-formed, butted, and manufactured by Giant also :rolleyes:

SC website clearly states who manufactures their rigs. There are no press releases to confirm the opinion stated re: Giant/Santa Cruz.

Jim
In the DirtRag interview, Santa Cruz's founder/owner Rob Whatshisname said that VPP frames were made in the US, single pivot frames were made in Taiwan and that the Jackal was being made by Giant in Taiwan. I can't quite remember, but I think they may even have the complete Jackal bike -including assembly- made by Giant. And the guy said that the Giant factory was likely the best place in the world to get a bike made (he just didn't like the 14 hour flight to check how things were going). Or something like that.
 

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JimC. said:
Kinesis in Oregon was making their US bikes, and same firm made the balance in Taiwan. I cannot recall if SC even made any other their own except for new ones about to hit the market such as the Nomad etc. Once it's established, they hand mfring to Kinesis.

Or so I was told by SC.

Jim
I think Kinesis shut down their Oregon plant and are moving all their production to Taiwan. See some noise at the Titus site a few months ago.
 

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dude i have an anthem 2

hey, i have an anthem 2, and its awsome, suspension is sweet, pedal wit full force and theres no noticable suspension bob. but then when you go threw sum rocks, or a bumby section the suspension is fully active. if ur riding on smooth dirt, or pavement, throw lockout on, and u got urself a full ridged. the geometery is sweet, point shoot type steering, it takes a ride to get use to, but after u can ride so much better on quick switchbacks, and techniqal section. componets are ok (plenty good for me, im only in highschool, i dont deserve really nice componetery), but if u get a A1 u got the best stuff (Sram X-0, mavic crossmaxxs, ect.). and also different from the pictures on giants site, A2 runs disk specific mavic 717's not rim ones.i absolutly love the bike.
heres some pics, its completly stock, but wat eva, when a summer job comes around expect, sram X-0, chris king hubs, EC70, bars, seat post, and magura marta sl's also maby race face deus ( maby). peace-out, and happy riding.

P.S. dont mind the dumb SPD plastic platform pedal converters thingys. that was just on there from the bike shop, and i rode it home and didnt have clipless shoes on right then.
 

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