I got into mountain biking back in 2004 and rode pretty hard till 2010 then gave it up for different activities. After riding cyclocross for the last few years and watching folks transition from cross to mountain, my interests peaked.
Local bike shop owner and buddy of mine Matt Blevins (Blevins Bicycle Co.) carries Giant Bicycles. When he first got them in/opened in 2011 (with 2012 models) I honestly wasn’t that amped on them. Each year since then Giant has complete transformed with aesthetically pleasing design/color ways and quality set up right out of the box. They seriously are nailing it!
A lot has changed in MTB’s the last 4 years. From 26″ to the 29″ wave (yes I know 29″ wheel sets have been around for a long time, but it seems the last 4-5 years they’ve been set as the standard) and now 27.5″… the choices!
The Giant Anthem is my introduction to 27.5″ and let me tell you… this thing is fast as hail!! My initial thought (transitioning from cyclocross) is that this must be how monster truck drivers feel. Seriously… there are no boundaries with this squishy speed machine! I spent this last Saturday and Sunday riding the mountain trying to find some of the gnarliest climbs and descents.
On climbing: Obviously it’s totally different from anything I’ve been use to lately. It was a bit weird to get a hang of. I’d stand to climb and squish right through my power with each pedal stroke. I learned it most efficient sitting back and staying as smooth as I could to limit bounce in the rear suspension. On really steep climbs I’d stand, stay low, and up on the handlebars to achieve the same effect.
On descending: HOLY BALLZ THAT’S FAST!! That’s really all you need to know.
The next few weekends I’ll be riding a couple different Giant models and comparing them. I’m looking forward to spend more time on the mountain with these squishy speed machines.
Go to Giant Bicycles and check out the specifics on the Anthem 27.5 3. Keep in mind this is the lowest end model of the Anthem 27.5 and it still handled AMAZING right out the box.