Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Testing - 2009 Giant Anthem X1

The Bike
Well it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that when I needed a bike to use in between sexy race steeds my first choice was Giant. Lucky for me Cycle Solutions had what I was looking for and helped me out. Really the component spec on this bike is more than adequate for racing save except the wheelset.

Out of the Box

Again, really impressive package. The paint quality is superb and the orange is really vibrant. Works well with the white and brushed aluminum and the white rocker arms are a nice touch. Everything works well together though the XT trigger shifters need a little encouragement to mesh with the Avid Elixir's. Luckily you can remove the gear indicators so you can run the shifter inside the brake levers on the bar.
SID Team is a nice high end fork with all the adjustment you need. Only flaw is the rebound adjustment dial which is tucked away up the bottom of the one leg and is really hard to turn. I had to use pliers on mine. Also I have noticed a lot of flawed lower castings on the SID's where the wheel doesn't fit perfectly centred. I have already seen a few go to warranty and mine is off centre as well.
Shifting is full XT with the exception of the XTR Shadow rear derailleur, nice. Even XT cranks and rear cassette prove no cut corners for the shifting.
RaceFace provides a Deus seatpost and stem as well as a really nice Next carbon riser bar.
Mavic 717 rims with WTB Laserdisc hubs are a bit of a disappointment. They are underspec'd and would be the first thing I would upgrade if I was racing the bike. They work well enough but there is weight savings to be had.
Finally the Michelin XC Dry 2 tires are amazing. I have run these before and forgotten how much I love them. I think I might race on them most of next season.

The Frame
Really not too much to report over my previous X0 write up. The X1 comes with an RP2 shock which only has 1 level of propedal vs the RP23 which has 3. Didn't care though cause I never use propedal with the Anthem X anyway. The rest of the frame is identical to the X0. Check out my Anthem X0 review for more detail.

The Ride
I know it was only 3 weeks since I had my X0 but wow these bikes always surprise me. The X1 is an absolute rocket with almost identical feel to the X0 save for the 1.5lbs of extra weight. The bike is just so much fun to ride and I'm really glad I still have one around.
Again more detail in my previous X0 review.

Final Thoughts
If you want an out of the box perfect race bike then look no further. The wheelset is more than adequate for most and the 2010 Anthem X1 addresses this by being spec'd with a full XT Tubeless wheelset. Inversely the Anthem X series of bikes is perfectly mannered as a ride all day cross country cruiser. The Anthem X rides as good as it looks. Take one for a spin and see what everyone is talking about.

-the ride
-bang for buck
-very well spec'd drivetrain

-SID's are a little sketchy
-cheap wheelset

Performance - 9 Halloween fun sized Snickers bars out of 10 bars
Value - 8 tonnes of fallen leaves on your lawn out of 10 tonnes

Nice Paint

Off center SID, wheel is closer to the disk leg.


  1. I would suspect the culprit here is the wheel dish - being off centre. I find it hard to believe that the fork's lowers would be so bad, unless damaged/bent. It's a casting, I would bet most are symetrical to well below milimeter tolerance.

  2. Just wanted to add that my comment was assuming that you have not checked that already. After reading some more of your blog I just realized that you're a mechanic, so I bet you did check that the problem is NOT the wheel. In which case - wow, that's pretty bad for a new fork!

    BTW, cool blog!

  3. Yes we checked with a couple different wheels. It is somewhat of a common problem with the new SID's. So much so that we had to remove a 180mm rotor from a bike because it was rubbing the post.