Monday, January 10, 2011

The New Giant Anthem X-29 1... First Pictures

 Nathan Swanson captured me Saturday at the midpoint of our ride. At this point I was super stoked. My setup was progressing nicely and I was riding the bike with awesome confidence.

 This shot highlights the primary changes I made to the bike, which were to add a 1-inch Bontrager rise bar I had in the parts bin (and a sweet Salsa Pro Moto Ti stem while I was at it) to get my fit dialed in, and a more aggressive Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 front tire instead of the stock Maxxis Crossmark 2.1.
 This left side shot shows the Anthem X-29s Maestro dual-link rear suspension design, which when paired with the Fox RP-23 Boost Valve rear damper, offers very efficient, responsive pedaling and seamless bump absorption.  It's also notably a very laterally stiff frame, and its stiffness allows for a very high degree of feedback to be transmitted from the tires' knobs to the grips.  It's almost unnerving to experience at first the sensation of knobs breaking free from the earth when felt through the grips.  But once you become accustomed to the bike, you realize it's a very responsive and empowering bicycle to choose.  I feel fortunate to be able to race one this season!
 
 The 10-speed Shimano Deore XT DynaSys components are excellent performers overall.  I particularly like the 42t big ring, which allows me to stay in "the ring" more of the time relative to the old-school 44t (a good thing for me).

Part of the bike's awesome stiffness is courtesy of the tapered 1 1/2-inch-to-1 1/8-inch headtube, with its matching Fox F29 FIT RLC fork.  I feel really fortunate to be able to ride these awesome, top-of-the-line components, which I should add, has been made possible this season by Cycle Works in Lincoln, Neb.  If you've never been in to see their awesome Lincoln stores, you owe it to yourself to check 'em out.

9 comments:

Jomax said...

Very nice looking bike!! I am a Big Mama owner as you are, care to share your initial thoughts on a comparison of the bikes?

Thanks

Craig

MG said...

Hey Craig -- I haven't ridden the two bikes back-to-back yet, but intend to soon. That said, I can feel some definite differences between the two bikes that jump out immediately, the first being the fact that the Giant has a much lower bottom bracket than the Salsa. This is both blessing and a curse, depending on the situation. I've found that I needed to stiffen the suspension from my initial setup on the Giant simply to keep myself from smashing my pedals on the ground in corners. For the first couple of rides I had a hard time cornering confidently, but once I stiffened up the suspension a bit, which effectively raised the BB a bit, things have gotten better.

The Big Mama, as you know, has a pretty high bottom bracket, so you sit up higher on it, overall, than you do on the Anthem X-29. You feel like you're on a hardtail on the Giant because it sits so low. It's very un-suspension like (until you hit a bump).

I suspect when it comes down to "roles", the Big Mama will be more of my "backcountry" full suspension 29"er, where my Anthem X-29 will be my full suspension "race bike". It feels like a race bike too...

There will be much, much more to come on this subject. Thanks for asking!

Cheers,
MG

MG said...

BTW... I'll define "Stiffening the suspension a bit." That would be going from 160 to 166 psi in the rear damper, and from 71 to 76 psi in the fork. The bike rides approximately 5-6mm higher in its travel, overall with these settings, making a noticeable difference in the BB height, especially in G-out corners when the suspension sags.

Guitar Ted said...

Sweet lookin' sled there my friend! I know hat you are stoked to have that underneath you for 2011. It is definitely a premier design and a coveted ride. I can't wait to hear more from you about it sometime.

But the thing that jumps out at me is that dry, snow-free single track. I am sooooo jealous! (Although it is probably covered with snow by now, eh!)

MG said...

Thanks Mark -- It was funny, because last night when I first saw your comment come through on my Blackberry, I was heading out to Wilderness Park with MW to XC ski, so I got a good chuckle out of your comment about the "dry singletrack". Oh well... It was dry three days ago. Memories!!!

We were fortunate to have an incomparably long "extended fall" riding season, since it basically ended Sunday, with this most recent snowstorm. I just pulled my XC skis out of the closet last night, in fact.

But I'm looking forward to talking to you more about my new Giant. It's a fun bike and it (surprisingly) fits very well into my current stable, considering I now have two four inch travel 29"ers. In all honesty, the characters of the two bikes couldn't be more different, so it's kind of fun. And I know the Big Mama so well it gives me a good, solid reference point (and a very good performing bike to compare the Giant to).

Talk to you soon, my friend.

Cheers,
MG

Candi said...

Hello,

I came across your blog the other day and I really enjoyed reading your posts. My name is Candi. I represent Biking.com. I was wondering if you accept any ads or sponsorships at all on the blog. Please contact me via email should you have any opportunities available.

Thanks,
Candi
Biking.com

MG said...

Hi Candi -- This is really more of an enthusiast blog, but if I decide to start accepting advertising, I'll get a hold of you.

Thanks for reading, and for your interest.

Cheers,
MG

Bruce Brown said...

Dang,

Must be nice to have girls named "Candi" leave you messages. '-]

Nice new bike, Matt. I've yet to see one in person, but am looking forward to gazing at yours if and when I see it.

Singletrack is frozen this morning, so I'm heading out before it thaws...

MG said...

LOL... Thanks Bruce. It'll be good to see you, whenever that is.