Giant Anthem 29er sneak peek

Latest version being dubbed ultimate racing machine

29er Cross Country Sea Otter Classic

2017 Sea Otter Classic

Giant’s Anthem prototype has team pro Carl Decker all smiles.

Giant’s Anthem prototype has team pro Carl Decker all smiles.

If it was ready to show, Giant’s “re-imagination” of its full-carbon Anthem 29er XC racer would likely be a Sea Otter showstopper. Instead, show-goers are settling for sneak peeks of what the world’s biggest bike maker calls its ultimate racing machine — while acknowledging that all-day high country epic riders will be excited as well. It’s also a nod to the advantages of bigger wheels, which Giant had stopped offering for several years.

Eagle DT

Sporting SRAM’s 12-speed Eagle drivetrain.

The bike’s final spec is still in flux, and Giant wouldn’t let us put a tape measure on it. But generally it follows the longer-cockpit, shorter-stays trend, while offering steep angles in a 100mm front and 90mm rear travel format.

While no one was looking, we slapped it on our official Mtbr scale. It registered 22.1 pounds (size Large), including mud, race number plate, pedals, and bottle cage. Giant thinks it can skinny it down another pound or two with the right wheel/tire combo and lighter pedals and brakes. The prototype has in-development versions of RockShox’s SID fork and Monarch shock, and SRAM’s Eagle drivetrain.

27.2 Post

Standard carbon post can be swapped for a dropper.

It’s outfitted with a rigid 27.2mm seatpost but offers routing for a dropper (although options are limited at that diameter). Other weight savings come from an all-carbon rear triangle and rocker. As for durability, Giant pro Carl Decker has been thrashing it without incident in recent weeks, and six months of personal testing convinced marketing director Andrew Juskaitis that “this thing is rock solid.”

Overall Non Drive

Stealth for now, but it will come in more colorful options.

Since debuting as an XC racer in 2007, Giant’s Anthem has undergone a number of remakes, including the 2 and the X, aimed at the ever-shifting lightweight market. Due out by fall, this “back to its roots” version will be called “just Anthem,” said Juskaitis. Price point? Think letters rather than numbers, he said: “Expensive.”

Keep scrolling down to see what all that cash will get you.

Giant Anthem 29er sneak peek

Decker has been hammering proto on the race circuit. Anthem will get its own still-in-development shock from RockShox.

Giant Anthem 29er sneak peek

Undoubtedly very light wheels plus a SID fork that will get special tweaks.

Giant Anthem 29er sneak peek

Carbon rocker, too. Note the torque specs.

Giant Anthem 29er sneak peek

Longer, yes. Lower and slacker, not so much.

Giant Anthem 29er sneak peek

Stronger, lighter — but not cheaper — carbon stays.

This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Paul Andrews

Dividing his time between Seattle and Santa Cruz, career journalist Paul Andrews has more than a quarter century of mountain biking under his belt, which he wishes had a few less notches.


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  • Goahead says:

    Wow 22Lbs for Lg size full suspension? Makes my 2015 Specialized S-Works Epic a pig at 25Lbs!

  • David Meyer says:

    Giant TOTALLY dropped the ball on their 29ers, glad to see them back in the game!. Hope they make a Trance version also, for trail riding. Sure would help there sales, 29ers still rule in my area.

  • Tony says:

    Giant finally found somebody who could build a good 29er. I lost all interest in Giant when they stopped making 29ers. Now with 29ers showing the way, maybe they’ll get their heads out of dark places and build some good bikes.

  • Longbeard says:

    No one feels they dropped the ball with this? Seems convention is headed towards 120 front and 100 rear. I was planning on buying this until I saw 100/90.

    • Stephen says:

      My thought exactly. I’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on a new Epic until I see what happens for 2018. The whole 100f/95r on most of the Epic models is looking pretty archaic now, especially since I hit the bottom of the 100mm rear on my current Epic on typical SE Michigan singletrack.

      • Eric says:

        @Stephen – you did not.

        There is no where in SE Michigan that you bottomed out your 100mm travel bike. If you did, you don’t know how to set up your suspension, or you didn’t have any air in your shock. SE Michigan is lame. Maybury, Island, Novi, even Brighton are all hard tail trails.

  • Kerky says:

    Don’t forget that the new trunion mount utilises the full suspension of the rear shock where as other designs appear limited (unless you drop shock pressure and cause inefficient pedal bob). Giant have nailed the Trunion Mount on the 27.5 Anthem which I ride currently it’s hugely efficient and I use the full stroke. I don’t feel the 90mm rear (if that’s what it will be) will limit this bike’s capability. I do agree though that Giant should be looking at the 120mm 29er market now they have this revised frame. Excited to throw a leg over this!!

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