Preview Issue #015 | Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5 Review

From the 23st February issue #015 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine will be available for you to download. Along with our big brakes group test and exciting travel stories we will also be presenting our XC bikes group test. We we made a special trip to the USA in order to test the bikes under sunny Californian skies. Here’s a look at one of the bikes in the group test – the Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5.

With 100mm of travel, the Anthem is decidedly Giant’s XC race model. Its beautifully simple Maestro frame keeps the weight low in both value, and location. The front triangle is carbon fiber while the rear end is aluminum. Giant has added the SX model to the Anthem lineup for the rider who takes speed seriously, but wants to have a bit of fun. The specification changes are intended to give the bike some more versatility and durability, but you’ll have to wait for issue #015 to find out!

The Anthem Advanced is one of a new breed of XC bikes.
The Anthem Advanced is one of a new breed of XC bikes.

With a Rockshox Revelation fork, travel is upped to 120mm which also slackens the head- and seat- tube angles by 1 degree. This should make the bike more stable and provide some additional downhill confidence. The DebonAir air can on the RockShox Monarch RT offers some extra volume over the standard shock for the same reason. The most noticeable difference to typical bikes in this class is the lack of a front shifter. For many people, the wide range offered with two chainrings just isn’t necessary when the SRAM X01 system is available. Giant has paired it with the Carbon X01 crank to further lighten the system.

A larger fork and four piston brakes hint at the bikes mixed personality.
A larger fork and four piston brakes hint at the bikes mixed personality.
Light and simple. 1-by drivetrains are far from just an Enduro trend.
Light and simple. 1by drivetrains are far from just an Enduro trend.
Giant's proven Maestro Suspension should keep the rear end efficient, yet active when it needs to be.
Giant’s proven Maestro Suspension should keep the rear end efficient, yet active when it needs to be.

A welcome addition for our ENDURO testers was the Contact R dropper seatpost, its versatility is well worth the weight. The cockpit (stem 80mm / handlebar 730mm) is a good balance between aggressive and a long/narrow XC set up. Giant has fitted the powerful Guide RS brakes with a 180mm front, and 160mm rear rotor to complete the package.

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The Contact R dropper seatpost was a welcome addition for our testers

The more aggressive Nobby Nic front tire matches the additional 20mm of travel.
The more aggressive Nobby Nic front tire matches the additional 20mm of travel.

The new Anthem SX 27.5 seems to offer a pioneering package for a new type of XC bikes that shall be fast and fun to ride. But remember, it still only has 100mm of travel and a relatively steep head angle, so is there anything to gain from this makeover? The answer will be in Issue #015!

About the test

Our request to the manufacturers was simple: send us a fast, light and potent XC bike for maximum fun on the fast, flowing southern California trails.

We let the manufacturers decide for themselves which exact models, wheel sizes and suspension-travel range this actually meant. The only fixed criteria was the price limit of
€ 5.500.

The bike makers were also allowed to improve the downhill performance of their bikes by making small spec changes, just like bike shops often do. This includes changes to the cockpit, tyres and retrofitting a dropper seatpost.

The test field: BMC Fourstroke FS02 | Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2 | Felt Edict1 | Giant Anthem SX Advanced 27.5 | Ibis Ripley | Marin Rift Zone 8 | Trek Fuel EX 9.8 27.5

The test team, made up of ENDURO editors Robin Schmitt, Joe Parkin and several other experienced test riders carefully examined the bikes over multiple days. The team established the strengths and weaknesses of each model, and discussed in depth the verdict of every bike.

Neben anspruchsvollen Uphills bot der Testtrack auch knackige Abfahrten und eine traumhafte Kulisse
Along with demanding trails the test track rewarded with breathtaking views
Unterstützt wurde das Testteam von Bike-Legende und California Local Duncan Riffle
The test team were supported by bike legend and Santa Barbara local Duncan Riffle
Bis zum Sonnenuntergang wurde getestet, analysiert und diskutiert
The team tested, analysed and discussed until sunset

Words: Tyler Malcomson Photos: Abner Kingman