Performance Beyond Its Price Tag
front and rear, is plenty plush and easy to dial in.
The Anthem also comes equipped with one of our favorite
cross-country tires, the Schwalbe Racing Ralph. At about
$80 apiece, these tires add value to this budget-conscious
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: The Anthem is a cross-country racer
with trailbike versatility thanks to a centered
weight distribution and an ever-so-slight for-
ward-leaning rider position. We set the sag
to 25 percent, front and rear, and were
Cornering: 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 hard-
pack and loose-
terrain and were
the bike leaned
some lateral flex
that we hadn’t on
we’ve ridden. This is
probably due to the
entry-level wheelset and
fork. While it was not necessari-
ly unnerving, the handling was definitely less precise.
Climbing: 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.
Descending: 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
American trail riders have spoken. Just two years after Giant first introduced a 29er to the Anthem X fami- ly, it stands alone as the sole offering for 2013. We
were blown away when we tested Giant’s first full-suspension 29er, but that was with their top-level component spec.
Now that Giant is offering their popular Anthem X 29er platform at a sub-$2000 price point, we wanted to see
how their entry-level option stacked up.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
Giant’s Anthem X 29er platform is their go-to bike for riders looking for a versatile option for cross-country and trail
applications. Thanks to a smart component spec, the Anthem
X 29er 4’s affordable price makes the bike more accessible for
riders on a budget.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The Anthem X 29er’s frame is constructed of Giant’s high-est-grade ALUXX-SL aluminum and features 3. 9 inches of
rear-wheel travel, thanks to their proven dual-link Maestro
suspension. The frame keeps things laterally stiff with a
tapered head tube and a Press Fit bottom bracket.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
The “ 4” is the entry-level bike in the Anthem X 29 family, and
although it features a modest component spec to keep the bike at
an attractive, sub-$2000 price, the parts spec still performs.
Shimano’s Deore 3x10 drivetrain delivers crisp and accurate shifting with a light feel at the lever. The Shimano
hydraulic disc brakes pack plenty of power and are consistent
and predictable on long descents. The RockShox suspension,
The Giant Anthem X 29er 4