When Giant launched its Maestro range of mountain bikes in late 2004 bikes like the Trance trail bike and Reign freeride rig were well-received, but cross-country racers asked "Where's ours?" The wait is over as Giant's Anthem range arrives in your friendly neighbourhood bike shop. Dave Hughes hits the race track on the top-line Anthem LE to find out if the new machine lives up to the promise of its longer-travel brethren.
Giant introduced its Anthem short travel cross country bike at last year's Interbike show. It was the logical completion of the Maestro range; a lightweight, short-travel bike for cross-country racers to replace the aging NRS design in Giant's range. At the time we were given a few test rides, but we wanted a longer term test on trails we knew so we could really see how Giant's claims stacked up.
In late December our White Christmas arrived - a shiny new Australian-edition Anthem LE with a gorgeous white paint job, thoroughly decorated with top shelf components including XTR brakes and drivetrain and Mavic Crossmax SLs. The Cyclingnews team thought we'd done a very good job of making Santa think we'd been good, until Giant told us we'd have to give it back after our testing. Darn.
Given that I was racing a short course cross country (aka Dirt Crits) event the next day, I was the lucky reviewer who got to take it home.
Read the entire Giant Anthem LE review here.