Giant Anthem Advanced
(Giant Anthem Advanced) The right bike for: Cross country racers who want to ride fast uphill and down
In 2018, Giant impressed us with its aluminum Anthem 29 1, garnering a 2018 Editors’ Choice award, and the same qualities that we enjoyed on that bike—modern trail handling, a smooth downhill feel, a suspension design that climbs remarkably well, and more—return on the 2019 Giant Anthem Advanced 29 1.
The Anthem Advanced is an unabashedly race-focused bike, especially when compared to the rowdier Kona Hei Hei and the artisan Underground Revival, two other bikes I tested on the same trails in Bentonvile, Arkansas. And that design focus is quickly evident when riding.
With a carbon frame and aluminum rear triangle, a 100mm Fox 32 fork, a Fox Float shock and Maestro suspension with 90mm of rear wheel travel, carbon wheels, a stiff carbon seatpost (no dropper), and a 69-degree headtube angle, this cross country bike is set up to help you power over steep sections of trail and smoothly pedal away from your competition on rolling terrain.
That all makes this a great option for XC racers who value speed and efficiency above all else. While that won’t be appreciated by riders who want a trail bike that can do a little bit of everything, this Giant was built to help get you across single track as quickly as possible.
5 Awesome Aspects of the Anthem Advanced 29 1
Giant’s Maestro Suspension
The Maestro suspension system on the Anthem Advanced 29 1 is hard to not enjoy, especially if you like pushing the pace on climbs and rolling sections of trail. Even with two linkages and 90mm of travel, the aluminum rear end feels stiff, and retains the pedaling efficiency that the Anthem line is known for.
New for 2019, Giant’s Anthem, Range, and Trance bikes feature a trunnion shock mount, which, according to Giant, lowers the shock ratio and allows engineers to shorten the rear stays. Giant claims that doing so effectively improves efficiency and leads to a lower center of gravity, which leads a more stable ride feel.
Components & Geometry
The Giant Anthem Advanced 29 1 comes with a carbon frame, aluminum rear triangle, and the type of good but well-priced components you’d expect at this level.
That includes a 100mm Fox 32 Float SC Performance fork and Float DPS Performance shock; a 780mm Giant Contact SL XC handlebar and carbon Searpost; Shimano Deore XT rear derailleur, SLX crankset (32-tooth), cassette (11-speed, 11×46), shifters, and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm (front) and 160mm (rear) rotors; a Giant XCR 1 29 carbon wheelset; and Maxxis Recon Race 29X2.25-inch tires.
The Giant Anthem family consists of four bikes: Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0 ($12,075), Anthem Advanced Pro 29 1 ($5,250), Anthem Advanced 29 1 ($4,095), and Anthem 29 2 NX Eagle ($2,940).
The premium Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0 features a carbon frame and rear triangle; a 100mm Fox 32 Float SC Factory Live Valve fork and Float Factory Live Valve shock; a 12-speed Shimano XTR group; and a Giant Contact SLR carbon stem, seatpost, handlebar, and a carbon XCR 0 29 wheelset.
The Anthem Advanced Pro 29 1 also offers a full carbon set up with a 100mm Fox Float SC Performance Elite fork and Float Performance Elite DPS shock; Giant Contact SL handlebar, stem, seatpost (carbon), and saddle; Giant XCR 1 29 carbon wheels; and a SRAM 12-speed GX-Eagle groupset.
The bottom of the range Anthem 29 2 NX Eagle provides riders with an aluminum frame and rear triangle, a 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle group, a 100mm Fox 32 Float SC Performance fork and Float DPS Performance shock, and Giant Contact handlebar, saddle, stem and seatpost.
All models feature the newly updated Maestro suspension system with a trunnion mount.
Riding the Anthem
I tested the Anthem on trails it was designed to devour: Fast-paced up hills and flowy single track. This bike climbed superbly, feeling almost as stiff and efficient as a hardtail, and it was quick to respond to powerful efforts when I was trying to catch up to other riders.
The stiff carbon seat post did just enough to keep me on the pedals during hard seated climbs and cranking on the watts on flat terrain. I would have preferred a dropper on more techy sections, and while it would add weight, droppers aren’t totally taboo anymore on XC courses. So that’s something to consider, especially if you like going fast downhill or if you’re looking to use this bike for more general riding. But for everything else, this bike rips.
WITH A 100MM FOX FORK AND 90MM OF REAR TRAVEL, THIS CARBON BIKE FLIES.
BY GABRIEL LODGE Nov 15, 2018
Style: Full-suspension cross country
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX
Brakes: Shimano hydraulic disc
Frame material: Carbon
Fork: 100mm Fox 32 Float SC Performance
Shock: Fox Float DPS Performance
Tires: Maxxis Recon Race 29×2.25-inch
The right bike for: Cross country racers who want to ride fast uphill and down