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