The Giant Anthem was first introduced in 2006 as the successor to the classic NRS. Following the Trance and Reign before it, the Anthem was one of the original models to feature the (then) new Maestro dual link suspension design. That Anthem was a thoroughbred race bike – it had just 80mm of travel front and rear, a vicious 72° head angle, and 26in wheels wrapped with 2.0in tyres. It was originally only available in alloy, but even then weighed less than 11kg in its top trim.
There have been several revisions to the Anthem platform over the last 12 years, with carbon frames and bigger wheels having since been thrown into the mix. I tested the latest Anthem 27.5 last year, and came away impressed with its sprightly ride and the suppleness of the updated Maestro suspension design. However, with the Anthem 27.5 featuring wider tyres, a dropper post and a bump in travel to 110mm on the back and 120mm up front, it was clear that Giant was pushing the Anthem 27.5 into trail bike territory. This left a gap in the line-up for a thoroughbred full suspension cross-country bike, and that’s where the new Anthem 29 comes in.
Brand new for 2018, the Anthem 29 sees the platform return to its racing roots, with travel reduced at both ends (90mm out back and 100mm up front), and sharpened geometry over the 27.5in model. There are four models available in the UK – two alloy and two carbon – and they start at £2,449 for the Anthem 29er 2, and go up to £4,249 for the Anthem Advanced Pro 29er 1 we’ve got here. All models share the same suspension design and geometry, and are available in four sizes from Small through to X-Large.