Longer, lower, and slacker. This has been the dominant trend in mountain biking and Giant embraced this ideology wholeheartedly when developing the new Trance and Anthem. For the 2017 model year, both models received geometry updates that included a 10mm increase to the top tub and a 5mm shorter rear-center.
Other drastic changes include an update to Giant’s Maestro rear suspension in the form of a new upper rocker arm design and a trunnion mounted shock. The new rocker arm is composite and made via a high-pressure molding process which makes it lighter, stiffer, and stronger than aluminum.
These two technologies in combination allowed Giant to reduce the length of the chainstays and produce a lower leverage ratio. According to the PR, a “lower leverage ratio results in increased pedaling and braking efficiency as well as a lower center of gravity.”
Giant collaborated with Carl Decker, the five-time winner of the Downieville All-Mountain World Championships on the development of the Anthem. The previous version was an XC oriented race bike rolling on 27.5” wheels and sporting 100mm of travel front and rear.
Following a pattern we’ve seen with the recent Santa Cruz Tallboy and Rocky Mountain Element launches, travel on this XC whippet has been bumped up by 20mm up front and 10mm out back. The impetus for this move comes from the changing nature of XC race courses. As tracks have become rougher, bike geometry has had to evolve.
In addition to the increase in travel, the Anthem now sports a headtube angle which is half a degree slacker. Paired with the move to a longer top tube and shorter stays, this bike is more than capable of tackling gnarlier trails – which is why an “SX” model is also being offered. If you’re not familiar with Giant’s offerings, the “SX” moniker is their code for longer travel fork and more robust components.
While the Anthem is a great deal of fun, the Trance is our choice for all round riding. The 27.5” trail bike previously sported 140mm of travel front and rear (unless you opted for the SX model with the 140-160 travel adjust fork), the 2017 model comes stock with a 150mm travel fork. In addition to a longer top tube and shorter stays, the BB has also been lowered by 5mm.
In keeping with current standards, both the new Anthem and Trance utilize Boost Hubs for greater tire clearance and improved chain line. They’ve also adopted the new metric shock standard from RockShox. Other items of note include a removable front derailleur, full internal routing (except for the rear brake line on the rear triangle), and ISCG 05 compatibility.
We know the Trance and Anthem will ship in carbon and alloy at a number of different price points, but pricing has yet TBA. If history is to be our guide, you can expect retail prices to start around $1,700 and top out around $8,000.
For more info, visit www.giant-bicycles.com.