Anthem review at cyclingnews
Cycling news just published a review of Giant's new Anthem
I'm interested in this because of the similarity in the Maestro suspension to the DW Link . There is talk on the forums about patent infringement on the DW-link which is currently in the patent process. It's not my place to discuss that and we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
The Anthem linkage design looks similar to my current Hollowpoint
There are some design features I like about the Anthem that I wish Iron Horse had done with their new XC bike the Azure
-I like the longer top tubes of the Anthem compared to the Azure
-The weight is lighter on the Anthem. That being said, the Azure is designed for more all around aggressive XC/enduro while the Anthem is heavily targeted at the go fast XC-only crowd
I am not sure yet which geometry I'd prefer. The Anthem has a 72 degree head tube with an 80mm fork and 71 with a 100mm fork. Around here I think 100mm fork is probably becoming the standard for XC. and 71 is a good balanced geometry. 72 is definitely too steep for around here. On the tight twisty county park courses it might be perfect though.
The Azure has a 70.5 headtube with a 100mm fork. This creates a slightly more stable albeight slower steering bike. Which is probably fine from an enduro and really aggressive XC position. I'm sure it is splitting hairs as anyone can adapt to a given geometry. I just know that when my hardtail was 71.5 it became a handful around here, and after I put a slightly longer fork on it, it became more manageable.
It is interesting that the review was not totally glowing. Specifically his description of the seated climbing. Yet the final rating was 5 yellow jerseys which is the maximum. I've heard nothing but glowing remarks about the seated climbing ability of the Azure. Standing climbing just doesn't work for me off road, so I'm very concerned about this.
I'm trying to not think too much about a new bike this year. Unless an opportunity presents itself, I'm just going to save for next year. Maybe slowly upgrade a part here or there to create the ultimate build kit. But it is hard with these sorts of reviews coming out.