Giant have been into carbon for a long time, with their own manufacturing facilities. It was therefore always a bit of a surprise that it was used on so few of the Maestro suspension bikes.
This changes for 2010 turning two of their popular and high performance machines toward the wonder material. Namely the 4″ travel Anthem X and the 5″ travel Trance X.
As well as the Maestro suspension system found on all the Giant suspension bikes they both feature an OverDrive headtube allowing use of 11/8th to 1½ inch fork steerers. And MegaDrive which is an oversize rectangular section down-tube and oversize top-tube for torsional stiffness.
Anthem X Advanced SL
The Anthem X got many great reviews last year (not least from Mark here at Singletrack) for it’s great performance. This is set to increase as the weight is down and stiffness up. It’s 200 grams lighter in the frame than it’s aluminium equivalent, bringing it to 2100 grams with shock, and is 5% stiffer. The total weight of a medium bike with no pedals is 21.8lbs (9.9kg).
There’s no change in the measurements keeping the 71° head angle and 73° seat angle. The bottom bracket is 68mm and is compatible with the narrower Q factor of SRAM’s XX group. Which is handy because that’s what you’ll find on this top of the line machine.
The upper rocker of the suspension is also carbon. The only bit of aluminium on the frame is the lower link.
Trance X Advanced SL
The Trance X is similar to it’s little brother but offers an inch more travel on a slightly more stout frame. Described as ‘the no holds barred trail ride’ there’s a saving of 400 grams on the aluminium version and totals 2250 grams for frame and shock. A medium bike weighs in at 24.5lbs (11.1kg) without pedals.
Again the angles have not changed staying with the tried and tested 69.5° head and 73.5° seat angles. There are slightly shorter head tubes on the L and XL models to bring the front end down a bit.
I had the pleasure of spending a morning riding the Trance X. We started with a 1.5 hour climb up to 12000 feet, and then had 10+ miles of fast flowing singletrack with tights switchbacks (hey, someone’s go to do it!). I can confirm the bike took it all in it’s stride. A very capable all round trail bike that was a pleasure to ride. Only the 100 mm stem was off putting, but that’s my own fault for not having it changed over beforehand.
Aluminium models will still be available, prices and availability will follow.
While we’re pushing the carbonium you may as well have a look at the carbon Giant branded parts you’ll find on some of the models.