Paralleling the influx of high pivot designs on enduro bikes, flex-stays have been all the rage for cross-country bikes and the 2022 Giant Anthem Pro 29 follows suit. Since 2005, Giant has used the Maestro dual link system across all of their full suspension bikes, but their race bred XC machine now bypasses the lower link in favor of simplicity. To keep up with the demands of modern cross-country race courses, Giant's own composite factory has engineered the Anthem to produce 100 mm of suspension travel from a single-pivot, linkage driven flex-stay design, revamped the geometry, and shaved weight off the frame while increasing the stiffness of the chassis.
Spread across four price points the frames are fully carbon including the link, spanning from $5,499 CAD ($4,600 USD) up to an astronomical $13,999 CAD for the top dog with electronically controlled suspension and shifting. This premium model will not be available in the USA, but a frame kit will be exclusive to the region for those looking to custom build their own race weapon.
Anthem Pro 29 Details
• Carbon front/rear triangles and rocker link
• Flexpoint Pro suspension design
• Travel: 100 mm / 110 mm fork
• 29" wheels
• 67.5-degree head tube angle
• 75.5-degree seat tube angle
• 435 mm chainstays
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• USA pricing: Pro 3 - $4,600, Pro 1 - $7,500 USD
• Canadian pricing: Pro 2 - $6,699, Pro 1 - $9,199, Pro 0 - $13,999 CAD
• Frame: $3,000 USD (USA only)
This isn't the first brand we've seen move away from their strong ties to a particular suspension design in exchange to save weight with a flex-stay design; Santa Cruz cut out the VPP linkage on the new Blur TR and Specialized worked around the extra pivots on their FSR-style Stumpjumper, which boasts 130 mm of rear wheel travel. The Giant Anthem Pro 29 sheds 250-grams by losing the lower link from the Maestro design.
Contrasting the engineered flex-stay, Giant says the frame's stiffness levels have also been boosted by 7% overall torsionally and 20% through the 92mm bottom bracket area. Chain security is dealt with by a integrated MRP chain guide and the integrated ports lock in the internal routed housings.
Giant's 24-year-old French team rider, Antoine Philipp, weighed in on how World Cup XC called for updates to the Anthem and how it performs. “The speeds, technical challenges and level of competition keeps getting higher. For the most challenging tracks, the new Anthem Advanced Pro 29 gives me everything I need. It’s super responsive, feels light and lively on the climbs, and gives me more confidence and control on descents, drops and rock gardens that are so decisive in a race.”
A new school XC race geometry table touts numbers that are more forgiving than in the past, but still separate the Anthem from more downcountry / trail focused models. The head tube angle decreases by one and half degrees, now sitting at a reasonable 67.5º and the seat tube angle resides at 75.5º.
Across the four sizes with reaches of 420, 450, 470, and 495-millimeters, the 435mm rear center remains unchanged. Some specifications are size specific, like the stem and cranks which drop to 60 mm and 170 mm on the size small, compared to the 70 mm and 175 mm lengths found on the rest of the sizes, respectively. The size small and medium use a 125mm drop post and the large and extra-large get the 150mm option.
Models and Pricing
Depending on what part of the world you live in, certain build kits may not be available. For example, the $3,000 USD frame kit is only available in the USA, but not the flagship Pro 0 build. That build will
be available in Canada, at a price of $13,999 CAD. It's equipped with a Fox Live Valve Float Factory DPS rear shock and 34 Step Cast with a FIT4 damper. Plus, there are more batteries with the SRAM XX1 AXS Eagle wireless shifting. The raw carbon is finished with chrome decals and finished with DT Swiss XRC 1200 carbon wheels and Maxxis Recon tires.
The next model in the line is the Pro 1 build, which loses the Kashima coated stanchions, but retains the Live Valve controllers. The wheels are Giant's own carbon XCRs with a 30 mm internal width. Rounding out the build is a full Shimano XT groupset, including the two piston brakes with 180 and 160 mm rotors, frot and rear.
The Anthem Advanced Pro 29 2 and 3 use Shimano components for shifting and braking duties - SLX on the Pro 2 and Deore on the Pro 3 and both rely on Giant XCR 2 aluminum wheels with a 25 mm internal width. The cockpit is rounded out by in-house parts like the handlebar, stem, grips, and dropper post.