Giant Anthem Range Review

Words by Aaron Scott

on 09/06/2017 09:27:12


The Giant Anthem isn't afraid to break the mould of current XC bikes, with the entire range using 650b wheels, rather than the 29er platform that is so popular in this field. Additionally, Giant haven't been afraid to give the 2017 Anthem a little more travel than most, with 120mm up front and 110mm at the rear - making this a fast XC bike with an edge.

Although the Anthem has a XC pedigree, the latest range allows for a more adventurous style of riding. With a slacker geometry than previous generations of the Anthem and 650b wheels, it's just as capable of ripping up the trail as it is blasting round a XC circuit. Riders who prefer singletrack to the black run will love the Anthem.

Price: From £1,698.95

Discipline: Off road

Usage: XC

  • + 650b Wheels
  • + Maestro Suspension System
  • + Aluxx SL and Advanced Cmposite Frames
Frame   Features   Groupset   Wheels 

Frame and Forks

The Anthem range is divided into two variations; the Anthem and the Anthem Advanced. The difference? Frame material. The standard Anthem is built using Giant's ALUXX SL Aluminium, with 6011 alloy for a high performance strength-to-weight ratio. In contrast, the Anthem Advanced is designed with Advanced Grade Composite carbon fibre, making for a lighter, more agile bike. Both frame models have been adjusted for 2017 - designed from the ground up to use 650b wheels and a 120mm travel fork. Stays have become shorter and headtube angles are slacker, making for a much more stable, confidence inspiring ride.

The aluminium model - the Anthem 1, 2 and 3 - is specified with Fox 34 Float Performance Elite forks, Fox 34 Rhythm forks or RockShox 30 Gold RL forks respectively. Rear shocks are Fox Float Performance, other than the Anthem 3 which uses a RockShox Deluxe RT. The carbon fibre Anthem Advanced - the 0, 1 and 2 - is built using a RockShox Pike RCT3, a Fox 34 Float Performance Elite or a RockShox Revelation RL. Shocks on the Anthem Advanced are either a RockShox Deluxe RT or a Fox Float Performance Elite.


Other Stand-out Features

The entire Anthem range uses Giant's unique Maestro Suspension System, located at the junction of the frame and rear shock. Essentially, it's floating pivots help to give riders the most traction and comfort possible, whilst providing reliable feedback from the trail.


Other than the entry-level Anthem 3, which uses a Shimano Deore 10-speed groupset, Giant have specified a 1x drivetrain throughout the range. This is a nice nod to current industry trends, and gives the extra reliability of a single chain-ring setup.

The Anthem 1 and 2 both use Shimano 11-speed drivetrains, with an ultra-reliable Deore XT setup on the Anthem 1 and Shimano SLX on the Anthem 2. The Anthem Advanced 2 uses SRAM's X1 11-speed gears, whilst the Advanced 1 is built up with Shimano Deore XT. Things get interesting on the top-level Advanced 0, which includes SRAM's revolutionary 12-speed Eagle groupset, with a massive 10-50 tooth cassette. There won't be many climbs left undefeated by that range of ratios.



The Anthem 2 and 3 both use alloy rims and in-house designed hubs from Giant, whereas the Anthem 1 gets the same Giant XCR composite rims and hubs that feature on Anthem Advanced models (the Advanced 0 also gets DT Swiss spokes). Boost spacing on every model - 110mm on the front and 148mm in the rear - provides extra stiffness and an improved chain-line to ensure every ounce of power is transferred as efficiently as possible to the wheels.