HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
The Anthem is a cross-country racer with trailbike versatility thanks to a centered
weight distribution and an ever-so-slight forward-leaning rider position. We set the sag to 25 percent, front and rear, and were
With its long wheelbase, the
Anthem can feel a bit cumbersome on tight, technical trails; however, its stable geometry
allows it to excel in fast, sweeping corners where the 29-inch wheels feel
more at home. The Schwalbe Racing Ralph
tires offered plenty of grip on our hardpack and loose-over hardpack terrain and were
predictable when getting
the bike leaned
cornering, we experienced
some lateral flex
that we hadn’t on higher-end Anthems
we’ve ridden. This is probably due to the
entry-level wheelset and fork. While it was not necessarily unnerving, the handling was definitely less precise.
While the spec chart reads a hefty 30 pounds,
you would never know it from swinging a leg over the bike.
On everything but the steepest grades, the Anthem motors
up climbs. And while comfort is typically sacrificed for
climbing prowess, the Anthem still eats up square edges
and technical terrain with ease. Giant’s Maestro suspension
is designed to hit the sweet spot between a completely firm
pedaling platform and the dreaded pedal bob. In fact, the
suspension works so well that Giant can spec a shock that
doesn’t offer an adjustable damper.
As a cross-country rig, the Anthem isn’t a
big-hit machine. When it comes to getting the most out of
3.9 inches of travel, however, few do it as well as Giant’s
Maestro suspension. Despite providing a stiff enough
platform for pedaling, Maestro does a great job remaining
active on chattery high-speed descents, keeping the wheels
firmly planted. Letting go of the brakes on wide-open
ridgeline descents had us smiling wider than the