A change of heart from Giant.

The 2018 Giant Anthem 29 bikes will be 90mm travel XC race rigs with low slung geometry and, as the name says, will be rolling on big wheels.

Giant Anthem 29

Giant Anthem 29

2018 Giant Anthem 29 need to know

  • 90mm rear travel via Maestro system
  • 29in wheels
  • 100mm suspension fork
  • 69° head angle
  • Long reach geometry
  • 27.2mm seat tube
  • Carbon and alloy versions
  • Boost spacing
  • Trunnion mount
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL

Giant Anthem 29 geometry

giant anthem 29

Recently Giant tweaked the 27.5 Anthem. They essentially made it a bit more grr (or just a bit more ‘normal trail’ really) by adding a bit of travel and slackening and lengthening the geometry a bit. Riser bars and everything.

This kind of left a gap in the otherwise chocka range of Giant bikes; something for the XC raceheads.

So in a unsurprising surprise move, here’s the new new Giant Anthem 29. It’s got 29in wheels. Like it used to a few years ago.

The 27.5 Anthem will remain in the Giant range alongside the 29 version.

Giant Anthem 29

Boost and 92mm BB enables the return of big wheels to the Anthem

Why now?

Why did Giant ditch big wheels a few years ago then? All sorts of reasoning was expounded by Giant but perhaps the rarely mentioned killer blow was that the Maestro suspension system couldn’t really be executed with 29in wheels without the end result sporting then-unfashionably long (and a bit flexy) chainstays.

There was no way that Giant were (or are) ever going to move away from their much-vaunted Maestro suspension platform. So they ditched big wheels instead.

So what’s changed? Well, besides the whole mountain bike world embracing 29ers in each and every discipline available, the technological factors enabling the new Anthem 29 are: Boost spacing, 1x drivetrains, 92mm wide BBs and Trunnion mount rear shocks.

All of these things mean that Giant can make Maestro suspension 29ers with shorter chainstays. 438mm (17.2in chainstays to be precise). Ironically, there’s now a modern cult towards having longer chainstays. You just can’t win can you eh?

Giant Anthem 29

Giant Anthem 29 having a rest from being ragged

The 2005 and 2010 Anthems

The original original Anthem actually had 26in wheels (remember them?) when it debuted in 2005. A few of years later the 29er version came along. Then the aforementioned wholesale adoption of 27.5. Then there were all the carbon Anthem XC dream machines.

Weirdly but pleasingly, the new Anthem 29 reflects every era of Anthem that has passed before. 90mm travel, 27.2mm seatpost, carbon fibre.

Giant Anthem 29

Rippin’

Hang on, 27.2mm seat post? Yep, in a wilfully lycra-pleasing anti-dropper move the new Anthem 29 has a 27.2mm seatpost. Sure, there are 27.2mm dropper posts available but they aren’t common and they often don’t offer much in the way of actual drop travel.

Have Giant got a 27.2mm dropper in the works? We wouldn’t be surprised. We would be surprised if it offered more than 100m of drop though. But you never know.

They are one of the biggest bike brands in the whole world and they aren’t shy of own-brand componentry. Check out the Giant WheelSystem on these new Anthem 29 models for example. You won’t get very many other companies coming out with such things.

Meet the new Anthem. Just like the old one. But not.