So, I finally have my new bike. When the new Giant catalogs came in we threw them in the corner and didn’t pay much attention to them. When we finally did get around to opening up the dealer kit we found that:
1. Prices had gone up. We knew it was going to happen, but actually seeing the prices was a little bit of a shock. Be aware that bike prices, and prices on specialty outdoor equipment are going up… roughly 20-25%. You’ve been warned.
2. Giant has changed up their line quite a bit. I had heard about the new road bikes and the loss of the OCR and the addition of the Defy. But a new Anthem… that was news to these ears.
Anyway, it looks like Giant has chosen to consolidate their line a little bit. The old trance and anthems are gone. In their place is a new, lighter, 4 inch travel bike dubbed the Anthem X. The geometry falls somewhere in the middle of the two bikes it replaces with a 71 degree head tube and a 73 degree seat tube. This should make for a very fast ride that won’t cringe at the site of a bump or two. Oh yeah… and the fork went from 80mm to 100mm. I couldn’t wait for mine to come in.
Fast Forward… bike arrives, gets built… this bike went together quite easily. The xt brakes set up super easily, wheels were true, not too much to complain about. There was a slight dent in my top tube. I don’t know if you can see it in the pics, but I suppose that’s the risk or getting things through employee purchase programs.
Anyway, today I got it out on the trail and it is one fast bike. It climbs amazingly well, just screams down the straights, and on the downhills has plenty of suspension to open up your choice of lines. It definitely doesn’t have that cadillac feeling of the Trance X, and there were a few sections of trail that felt a little sketchy going into them with so much more speed and a little less travel. But overall I’m really pleased with the bike. The cockpit feels good (I’m 6’1″ on a large frame), it’s light, great suspension, and the ride to and from the trails has never been quicker.
Anyway, if you would like to know more about the bike drop me a line. I may or may not post a follow-up once I’ve had the chance to get a few more rides in.
[Update] After getting some additional riding time in and remembering how to ride a bike and not just run over things, I’ve really grown to love this rig. So much so that I’m seriously considering getting another one in the spring when it’s finally time to bike again. Just thought you all should know. This is one very capable bike. You can’t be as lazy as you can on a 5 or 6 inch travel bike, but if you get out of the saddle there isn’t much to complain about.