|Fast has many angles
The First Impression: Once built, the bike weighs in at roughly 25lbs. Not too shabby. This can be knocked down easily by swapping out the stock wheels for lighter ones (like our Stan’s Crest or Podium MMX wheelsets). The build is solid, with SRAM X7 mostly, and an X9 rear mech. The rockshox suspension feels smooth out of the box and is easy to set up. Other upgrades to this bike included Giant’s Contact SLR bar and seatpost, a team issue Selle San Marco saddle, and our custom white/blue ESI grips (BLING!). Otherwise, the bike was stock.
The Ride: Just as with Anthem X’s prior, this bike is quick handling and SUPER fun to ride. Climbs in and out of the saddle are made easy with the Maestro suspension keeping the rear wheel glued to the ground. Descents are tamed with the 4″ of maestro suspension as well, playing rock gardens and roots like a fiddle. Cockpit length is slightly on the long side, and the test rider (Giant Mid-Atlantic racer Jordan Kahlenberg) kept a 90mm stem in place to handle the steering.
Test rider, Jordan Kahlenberg, racing the Anthem X Advanced 2
Despite the fact that the bike isn’t decked out with top-end XX or XO, you don’t necessarily miss it as the stock X7 works well. The 2×9 drivetrain is perfect for racing and trail riding, and is right at home on a bike like this.
The Verdict: If you don’t have $6K to spend on a race bike, but crave carbon full-suspension, then the Giant Anthem X Advanced 2 is a must ride. For smaller riders, or riders that still prefer 26″ wheels, this bike will more than satisfy you needs. After several races and many hours of training, the bike has been holding up well overall and has had no issues. We love it!