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I can get a giant anthem x4 26er for a decent price but was wondering if it would be suited for single tracks, trails and steepish rocky dirt track descends? Also, is the anthem a good climber?

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This would be a great bike for single track both climbing and coming down. It was designed around that type of riding, has good componentry and reviews well. You can't go wrong with this bike. If you are new to mtb you should consider a hardtail however as this would force you to learn riding techniques that will improve your skill as full suspension bikes can be more forgiving. –  DWGKNZ Sep 9 '13 at 17:40
    
I have had a fair amount of hardtail experience. My current bicycle is a GT chucker, so it is heavy and not exactly suited for climbing. Although I do get it up there. –  findchris2day Sep 10 '13 at 10:27
    
I have tested the anthem. It is very light and the components seems to be very much xc orientated. I am a bit worried (since I am not familiar with xc component strenght and durability) if it will hold up on the routes I ride. The terrain is fairly rough. Maybe a giant trance x or trek feul ex might be more suited for my riding style. –  findchris2day Sep 10 '13 at 10:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

By looking at the current frame geometry at http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bikes/model/anthem.x4/7865/45505/#geometry we can assume the following.

Descending:

  • HA: 71 degrees head angle is pretty steep for downhill but for flowy singetracks it will be good. For the "steepish rocky tracks" it really depends on what you consider steep. Anything more than 10% and at over 15km/h may feel uncomfortable on the 71 degrees HA.
  • cockpit: You can improve the descending characteristics of the bike by using a shorter stem and wider bars.
  • travel: The 4 inch front and rear travel will not be enough for the very rough stuff.
  • verdict: So if you are very interested in aggressive MTB trail riding then this bike will not be appropriate. If you are just starting out then it'll be OK.

Climbing:

  • HA & SA: The 71 HA and the 73 seat angle make for a great climber.
  • travel: The 4 inch front and rear travel make a great XC bike and will allow you to easily tackle long epic rides on the mountains (for example 30 to 80km rides). Increasing suspension usually reduces this number.
  • verdict: Really good climber especially if it'll come with good (light) wheels and appropriate tyres.
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Cherouvim, would increasing the front suspension to 120-130mm lower the head angle enough to allow for slightly faster/steeper descending? or would it not make much of a difference? –  findchris2day Sep 9 '13 at 9:37
    
Yes, it would lower the HA around 1 to 2 degrees which would help you a bit on the descents. But it's a not good solution as it carries some disadvantages as well (increases BB height, voids warantee and some more). It's a common question of people new into the MTB trail riding so if you need an elaborate answer feel free to post it as a question on its own (e.g "will increasing fork travel make my XC bike more downhill capable?"). –  cherouvim Sep 9 '13 at 10:32
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+1 Solid answer. I wonder if your definition of steep is a bit more extreme than the OP (unfortunately its rather subjective). The Anthem was built to be an all rounder, for those of us with only one MTB bike in the shed. It will do everything reasonably and for a vast majority of riders the bike will not be limiting factor. –  mattnz Sep 9 '13 at 21:08
    
@findchris2day. OP should buy the bike that he whats. Additional cost of upgrading shocks is better put to a different bike more suited to his needs. –  mattnz Sep 9 '13 at 21:10

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