Back Issue | In Review: Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5
Originally featuring in the group test from Issue #015, we pitted the Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5 against a range of other XC bikes to see which could not only conquer the lesser aggressive discipline of cross-country, but handle the thrilling and more technically encompassing, enduro. This is how it panned out:
You know that little kid who hangs out with the older kids and demands to be included in the big-kid games? This is the kid who operates without any fear, can’t comprehend the phrase “not possible,” and doesn’t understand why anyone would say, “You’re too small.”
That I-can-do-anything spirit is immediately noticeable when you climb aboard the Anthem Advanced SX. That and a whopping dose of “Quit taking shit so seriously, and let’s have some fun.” This was the bike that had us feeling the most playful, and it’s the bike we’re calling the most fun, our favorite – Best in Test.
To make the SX model, Giant takes its Anthem Advanced 27.5 XC racer, decorates it with flashier paint, and then swaps out some key components to make the bike perform better on the downhills. The SX gets a 120-millimeter RockShox Revelation RL fork, which pushes the head angle from 69.5 degrees back to a more stable 68.5. On rear shock duty for the 102 millimeters of Maestro suspension is a RockShox Monarch RT DebonAir shock. Giant then adds a house-branded Contact Switch dropper post, wider bars, a shorter stem, and wheels that are more suited to the little bike’s rowdy attitude.
You can make modifications to just about any bike, but Giant has done a mighty fine job of converting its flagship XC race bike into a micro-travel enduro machine. That’s right, we said it – micro-travel enduro. Are we suggesting yet another bike category? Are we suggesting you trade in your Reign? Let’s not get carried away. We’re simply saying that this short-travel “cross-country” bike felt a hell of a lot more capable than we’d ever imagined.
Who’s the target market for this bike? People who absolutely hate having fun will probably not enjoy the Anthem Advanced SX. If your rides are mostly cross-country in nature but you love embracing your inner downhiller, then you’ll love this bike. If you’re a current or recovering XC racer looking to add a few more smiles to your riding, you’ll love this bike. If you’re a 160-millimeter aficionado who’s looking to add a bit of challenge to your after-work ride, you should take a look at this bike.
Weight: 11.32kg (Without pedals)
Fork: RockShox Revelation RL
Rear Shock: RockShox Monarch RT DebonAir
Drivetrain: SRAM X01
Brakes: SRAM Guide RS 180/160
Seatpost: Giant Contacty SL Switch
Stem: Giant Contact SL
Handlebar: Giant Contact SL
Tyres: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.25
Wheels: Giant P-TRX1
For more info, visit: giant-bicycles.com
Words: Joe Parkin Photos: Abner Kingman