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Anthem Advanced 27.5 1 Review

Bikes are a big investment and a major commitment. I mean, you pick one, then you’re stuck with it–it has to be the right one. It has to ride well, be just the right weight, look cool, and do everything you ask it to.

I used to blog a lot, and year after year my most-read posts were bike reviews. It’s no wonder why!

My most read review was that of the Giant XtC Composite 29er, with over 20,000 views. I had received a pre-release model to cruise around on and wrote the review right away. People wanted to know. My other reviews were of the Giant Anthem X1 (26er) and the Anthem 29er. I was riding on the Giant Mid Atlantic Team at the time, and these were my race bikes. However, now I ride whatever I want. Here’s what I have:


I raced faster at the home enduro on my Anthem with DH tires than on my Reign the year before…

The Anthem Advanced 27.5 1 (let’s call it the ‘new Anthem’) was the bike I was waiting for. I can compare it to every other Anthem model because I’ve owned every single one-had the very first model in 2006, which had 3.5″ of travel and a 71 degree head angle all the way to the 2016 Anthem Advanced SX.

anthem sx

The 2016 Anthem Advanced SX wasn’t bad!

This one is the best.

The biggest change for the new model is the geometry. The head angle is slackened out to 68 degrees, which makes the wheel base slightly longer (feels more stable at speed!) and puts the wheel slightly more in front of you (easier to handle on steep descents since you can more easily get your weight behind the front). This was a much-needed update, but is mostly due to the type of riding that is in fashion now which is enduro-style, even for XC riders; flow trails and steep chutes seem to be what people enjoy riding and the higher speeds benefit with the updated geometry.


I loved the Anthem at Te Mata Peak, but I couldn’t hold the wheels of my Pro Enduro riding partner (on the downs at least!)

I’ll say now that I loathe this style of trail, but I do enjoy riding fast, which means I further appreciate the new geometry. But I digress…

Be sure to check out my TraingPeaks plans, including workouts used by the 5X USA National Champ

Fortunately with this slacker head angle, Giant didn’t make the same mistake as with the Trance (2016 and older) which had a high BB. Rather, the new anthem has a nice low BB. What this means is that the bike/rider has a lower center of mass,