2017 Anthem and Trance
At the heart of the new design with both the Anthem and Trance bikes is an updated Maestro rear suspension setup that employs a new trunnion shock mount and a new composite upper rocker arm made with Giant’s Advanced Forged Composite Technology—a new high-pressure molding process that results in a lighter, stiffer and stronger performance compared to aluminium.
These technologies combine to produce a lower leverage ratio for increased pedaling and braking efficiency as well as a lower centre of gravity for better control. The new suspension updates also allowed engineers to create shorter chainstays on both the Anthem and Trance for improved climbing and agility on off-road terrain.
Here’s a look at what’s new with the Anthem and Trance ranges this year:
The totally reengineered Anthem range was developed and tested over the past two years in a collaborative effort between Giant engineers, product managers and pro racers. Longtime Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Carl Decker has been part of the Anthem’s evolution for more than a decade. The input of the five-time winner of the Downieville All-Mountain World Championships helped the development team target new performance goals for the latest Anthem.
“Having the opportunity to ride all eight previous iterations of the Anthem that Giant has produced, I have a solid feel for how the product has developed over time,” Decker said. “And also where I’d like to see it go in the future. With the trend of XC racecourses getting longer and rougher, what we have come up with this year is the perfect tool I need to win.”
In addition to the Maestro Suspension updates, the 2017 Anthem features an all-new frame design with 110mm of rear suspension travel and 120mm up front, plus the superior all-around performance of 27.5-inch wheels. The toptube is now 10mm longer, which helps create better handling with a “long and low” rider position that increases efficiency and boosts rider control.
The longer toptube is complemented by a slightly slacker head angle (0.5 degrees) from the previous Anthem, which further boosts stability on fast, technical descents. And the rear section of the new Anthem frameset features more compact chainstays (5mm shorter rear-centre measurement), which improves climbing efficiency and control on technical terrain.
All of the Anthem bikes also include Boost technology, wider hub spacing (110mm front/148mm rear) that produces stiffer wheels for added control, plus more tire clearance and an improved chainline for optimal drivetrain performance.
The new Anthem range includes four series, giving riders a choice of frame materials—either Advanced-grade composite or ALUXX SL aluminium. And the “SX” models include a longer travel fork with a more robust components build for more aggressive XC or trail riding.
To update the Trance, the Giant development team turned to another veteran rider from the Giant Factory Off-Road Team, enduro racer Adam Craig. The former XC Olympian competes in a variety of off-road disciplines and over the last couple years has focused on aggressive trail riding and enduro racing.
Just as off-road riding and racing has continued through an era of rapid progression, so have the demands on bikes and gear, Craig said.
“The definition of a trail bike continues to evolve, and to me that means a single bike that can handle a huge variety of terrain,” Craig said. “It has to be able to climb well and have huge capabilities on the descents. I’m looking for that one bike that can pretty much handle every kind of trail. With the adjustments to its geometry and the new suspension tweaks, this new Trance gets us even closer to that perfect do-it-all trail machine.”
Updated to offer 140mm of rear suspension travel and 150mm up front, with the superior all-around performance of 27.5 wheels, the new Trance is engineered to offer more confidence and control, especially on technical trails. Each of the lightweight frames—engineered with either Advanced-grade composite or ALUXX SL aluminium depending on the model—features new “long and low” geometry and the updated Maestro suspension system including the new trunnion mount and Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker arm.
As with the Anthem, the toptube of the new Trance is now 10mm longer, which helps give it the “long and low” positioning that gives trail riders like Craig a more ideal rider position for efficiency and control. The bottom bracket of the new Trance is now 5mm lower than the previous generation, which gives it a lower centre of gravity and better stability at high speeds. And a more compact rear end (5mm shorter rear-centre measurement) provides a boost on climbs and a quicker, more agile feel on technical terrain.
Each of the new Trance models also includes Boost technology, wider hub spacing (110mm front/148mm rear) that produces stiffer wheels for added control, plus more tire clearance and an improved chainline for optimal drivetrain performance.
The new Trance range includes two series. The Trance Advanced is built on an Advanced-grade composite mainframe, and the Trance features an ALUXX SL aluminium frame.
XtC Advanced and Fathom
The XtC Advanced +/29 range and the Fathom range feature a number of cutting-edge innovations to improve the XC and trail riding experience for a variety of riders and almost any off-road adventure.
2017 XtC Advanced +/29 Range
From professional World Cup XC racers to trail-riding enthusiasts, Giant’s XtC hardtail bicycles have brought cutting-edge performance and trail riding confidence to a wide variety of off-road riders for the past two decades. The latest range of XtC Advanced +/29 bikes contains the most innovative and radically versatile hardtail bikes that Giant has ever produced.
The new range contains three series: XtC Advanced +, XtC Advanced 29, and XtC Advanced + SS. Each is built on and Advanced-grade composite frameset that offers unlimited adventure with an ability to easily convert between 27.5+ or 29er wheels, and as a single-speed. Each also features the latest Boost technology wide hub spacing for stiffer wheels, added tire clearance, and ultimate control in rugged terrain.
The XtC Advanced + model comes with 27.5+ wheels, making it perfect for adventurous singletrack riding. The lightweight composite frameset is complemented by a 27.2 seatpost, designed to increase compliance for a smooth and confident ride. It can quickly and easily be converted to a more XC-oriented 29er, or even a more playful singlespeed setup.
The XtC Advanced 29 comes with the larger diameter 29-inch wheels, making it a true jack-of-all-trades for XC racing or fast trail riding. Top-end models in this series also benefit from Giant’s all-new XCR WheelSystem with Dynamic Balance Lacing (DBL) technology, which delivers greater efficiency and pinpoint control. The platform can also be converted to 27.5+ or a singlespeed setup.
The XtC Advanced + SS is purpose-built for singlespeed purists. With its lightweight composite frame, Boost hub spacing and smooth, compliant ride, it’s a playful singletrack machine that, like the others, can take on multiple personalities. It’s easy to convert this model to a geared 27.5 + bike or a 29er.
Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders Carl Decker and Adam Craig contributed to the development of the new XtC Advanced +/29 bikes. Both riders have a long history with the XtC range—for XC racing, training and everyday trail riding. Craig, a longtime singlespeed enthusiast, helped dial in the singlespeed model, and Decker races hardtail XC bikes often throughout the course of a season.
“I’ve always been a big fan of the XtC,” Decker said. “Now that it has multiple personalities, it’s more useful and fun than ever. With its ability to switch between 27.5+, 29 and even singlespeed, it’s truly a one-bike solution to all kinds of hardtail fun.”
2017 Fathom Range
This all-new hardtail range consists of the Fathom and the Fathom 29—two bikes that share the same name and many similar technologies, but feature distinctive off-road personalities.
The Fathom blends hardtail efficiency with a trail-bike spirit. A lightweight ALUXX SL aluminium frame with 27.5-inch wheels and rugged components offers the aspiring trail rider the perfect blend of agility, efficiency and control. It features trail-tuned geometry in the form of a 67-degree head angle that, when paired with a plush 120mm suspension fork, adds confidence and stability in challenging terrain.
The Fathom 29 is also crafted with lightweight ALUXX SL-grade aluminium, but optimized for larger diameter wheels that emphasize speed and stability. The XC-tuned geometry is centered on a 69-degree headtube angle that’s built to optimize its 100mm suspension fork, giving aspiring XC riders and racers a fast and confident ride.
Giant Senior Global Off-Road Category Manager Kevin Dana said the Fathom and Fathom 29 are each purpose-built and designed for a specific kind of rider.
“It’s time the enthusiast off-roader reap the trickle-down benefits of our high-end 27.5 and 29 models,” Dana said. “Whether they choose the Fathom or the Fathom 29, they can be assured they’re riding a purpose-built, high-value machine that is custom tailored to their riding style.”
New Off-Road WheelSystems
Both the Anthem and Trance ranges also feature new purpose-built Giant WheelSystems. The most notable technology in the new WheelSystems is called Dynamic Balanced Lacing (DBL), which employs innovative spoke tensioning to optimize wheel stiffness and strength when the wheel is in its dynamic state. DBL wheels place more leverage on the “pulling” spokes, less on the “pushing” spokes. When the wheel is static, the opposing spokes have different levels of tension. When a rider applies pedaling force, spoke tension balances out to produce a stiffer, more efficient wheel.
Select Anthem models come with XCR WheelSystems, built with carbon materials and 28mm wide Tubeless Compatible rims that are specially designed for XC riding and racing. The front wheel is engineered with DBL Disc technology, which delivers best-in-class braking stiffness and performance for added control on the trail.
Top Trance models come with TRX WheelSystems, which feature many of the same technologies as the XCR models, but with a wider 33mm rim profile to optimize traction and control in more rugged trail riding conditions.