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2014 GIANT ANTHEM ADVANCE 27.5 1 TEST

Posted by Art Aguilar On April - 11 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

NO BOUNDARIES


Now if you remember we did a little post on”COMMITMENT” ( Interbike 2013) when we came back from Interbike about Giant Bicycles taking a big leap for their top Off-road line. Giant had been testing the 27.5 wheel size for just over a year, so when we saw the line up, no one was more excited then me to try one out.
Well the wait is over and this will be one of our first test for the year with a 2014 bike and Giant is a bike company that truly believes in “No Boundaries” and this is apparent more then ever with the new line up they have this year.
Giant has equipped 29 bicycles in 12 model titles with the 27.5 size tire, “Phew I did the math and hope I got that right.”
Now we all know this isn’t the first company to do 27.5, let alone in a Carbon frame, but if you look at any of the Advance line and the degree of thought put into it, you will come back walking away saying these are the most sexy looking, cleanest lines, and coolest parts groups you could get on a bike short of a custom build.

THE BIKE
When I first received the Anthem Advance 27.5 1 I really didn’t want to ride it, I wanted to just look at it, sounds weird, but we all do it when we get a new bike. Its a beautiful bike. I just wanted to sit there and check it out up close, from one end to the other, studying the curves of the Carbon frame, looking at the links, and parts. One thing comes to mind “Feng shui”. This bike has a sexy flow of lines from the headtube through to the Maestro links, to the rear triangle and the parts package is spot on, Shimano XT, Fox suspension, topped off with Giant’s very own components.
After I was snapped out of my state of bliss from my friend rapping me on the head, I noticed his strange look of discuss in me and I felt the drool running off the side of my lips, he gave a loud “LET RIDE MAN!!!” OK so after composing myself it was time to work this baby out and see what this 27.5 thing is all about…

THE LAYOUT

I might add the Giant rims that come on the Anthem Advance 1 are Tubeless compatible and have all the parts to set them up, but out of the box they come with tubes in them.
With that all said lets get down to the nitty gritty of what you want to hear, “THE RIDE”!!!

CLIMBING

I will start with the thing I hate most on an XC bike, the climbing. I’m a Downhiller by nature, but riding a XC bike is important to training, I do like going on a long ride with friends, so its important to have a great bike that can do this efficiently and the ANTHEM 27.5 1 does this with ease.
I noticed very quickly that the Anthem Advance feel while climbing up was lighter feeling then a 29″, but ascended a little better then a 26″. The weight felt better then a 29″, yet it feels like a 26″.
Reaching down to lock out the FOX CTD Pro Pedal to lock out mode on the fork and rear shock was no problem. Once you have this on the ANTHEM 27.5 1 was a tractor up the hill. Tight switchbacks were more manageable then being on a 29er.
While doing any type of climbing the bike felt nimble and reactive to my input on the trail at all times, in a standing pedal, mashing the pedals its light feel will get up and go. The Maestro suspension preformed by far better then all passed Maestro suspension’s. How do they get it any better.
This was truly a nice bike to climb. I never felt like I got the work out from the bike itself.

DESCENDING
Now this is where I want to have my fun and this is reward time after the climbs, so how did the new Anthem Advance 1 do? “It did better than great. At times I didn’t feel like I was even no XC bike, but more like on a tail bike with more suspension.”
In comparison to my first gen Anthem Team 26″ and the last of the 26″ Anthem X (I did call upon a friend to try out his Anthem X to compare), the descending on the 27.5 was by far more stable at speed, line choice with the 27.5 size wheels was a mere point and shoot feel to it. with the bigger tire size, raked out headtube and a frame that is stiff in all the right spots, the Anthem Advance puts the fun in XC riding. The stock tires held grip good and I would look for something more to my needs. Under braking the XT disc brakes work awesome and pull you down in speed with no problems. In the photos you will see the comparison of the 27.5 to that of the 26″ wheel and that of the 29″ wheel. I doesn’t look like a lot, but size matters.
Before going down I turned the CTD levers to descend and the Anthem’s Fox fork and Shock worked great. One thing I have to put in here is that since getting this bike I have not dialed in the front or rear suspension at all. Out of the box it has worked fine.Jumping on the Anthem Advance is a dream, it handles air time nicely if you want to have fun on some little jumps on a trail.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
As I mentioned I had asked a friend who I knew had the last of the 26″ Giant Anthem X 1. I had not ridden his bike before and I wanted to see just how much of a difference it would be, plus he had never ridden a bike with the bigger wheel sizes. This was a in the field blindfolded test ( really wanted to try that).
Just to see how much of a difference there is between a 26 inch and 27.5 inch I called my friend Juan Arrello to bring his Anthem X to do a ride compare and what I found out was there is a huge difference in how both bikes feel.
The older Anthem X feels so twitchy in the handling compared to the Anthem Advanced 27.5. You wouldn’t think this small amount would make this much matter when it comes to the overall ride-ability between the two.
The 27.5 wheel size feels like no other Anthem since and the 29″ does have its place. With this being said I have to say that the 26″ wheel size may be a thing of the past sooner then later. In my opinion the 27.5 wheel size is truly the choice for my size over the 29er.
You get all the characteristics of the 26″, the feel of the 29er without the wheel weight, and without loosing to much of the handling characteristics in tight areas.
My friend Juan had this to say about his ride on the Giant Anthem Advance.

I own one of the last of the 26″ wheel Giant Anthem X.  The ride is great but after riding a 27.5″ Giant Anthem it was like night and day.  First of all the 27.5″ rolls so much smoother over exposed tree roots, fixed rocks, and wash board surfaces at breaking points.  On the 26″, one is more dependent on a well tuned suspension to smooth out the ride, as for the 27.5″ it felt like I had more suspension even though both bikes have the same 4″ travel.  The 27.5″ really complimented the 4″ travel suspension the Anthem.   On the descent I also noticed the amount of speed I picked up and to sustain the speed without much rider input to keep up the momentum.   I liked the fact that I was able to brake a bid late going into a turn but at first I had to get used to turning the larger wheel but I quickly adjusted.  Even though the 26″ is more nimble on tight turns I like the fact that the 27.5 rolls much better if there are obstacles in the turn.  There was a very slight difference in acceleration but with proper gear selection acceleration differences was insignificance to me.  Overall I wished I would have waited one more year so I wouldn’t buy the last of the 26″ Anthem and I could have been one of the first to purchase a 27.5 Anthem.”

In a nut shell I have to say that every time I ride this bike I love mountain biking more and more everyday.
 The parts group is top notch as it should be at what your paying and Giant is not skimping here. They are giving you a race ready bike out of the box, now its up to you to take it to the podium or race it at your favorite trail.

Oh and what is this little baby going to cost you, only $4750.00, is it worth it, I would say an outstanding “YES!!”

 

SEA OTTER 2014 THE KICK OFF TO A NEW SEASON

Posted by Art Aguilar On April - 10 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

WERE BACK

WELCOME TO SEA OTTER  2014

WELCOME TO SEA OTTER 2014

Well were back at one of the biggest cycling events on the west coast, RL sent me in to cover this . I hitched a ride with Corey Pond who works for the Dainese D-Store OC who happens to be our team sponsor.

THE DAINESE GUYS READY TO SET UP

THE DAINESE GUYS READY TO SET UP

If you have ever taken the drive up to beautiful Monterey from the 101 freeway its quite a nice drive and being with great company is always a delight and what makes it more interesting is when you think about all the conversation you get into and the wide assortment of subjects you have to laugh at how you pass the time.(yeah we don’t talk about bikes 24-7)

WITH DAINESE COREY POND AND MASSIMO

WITH DAINESE COREY POND AND MASSIMO

Arriving at the race track always gets you excited, to know you have made it, to see all the flags flying, seeing the people you know, and to know in the next few days Laguna Seca Raceway will be buzzing with tons on people, being in the middle of it all is truly exhilarating.

In the next few days we will be covering new products, bikes, the funny, crazy, some race shots, and whatever else may tickle our fancy. One thing that will be missed at this years Sea Otter will be some of the big names in downhill, this weekend is also the first World Cup event and some of these racers always bring in the crowds.
So sit back and relax and we will bring to you all things Sea Otter.

#TBT aka: Throw Back Thursday

Posted by RL Policar On April - 10 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

On the wonderful world of Social Media there’s something that goes on every Thursday called Throw Back Thursday or #TBT. Since most mountain bikers are visual learners ( I made that up), I figured here’s a list of various videos that showcase some of our favorite things from the days of our childhood.

M.A.S.K. I think this show helped me develop a love for full face helmets.

GoBots…everyone knows that they came out first, so that means Transformers copied them.

The Animal. Man didn’t this toy seemed like it was the best thing EVER!

Since we are a bicycle site, check out this totally rad Huffy commercial.

I’m sure there’s more videos that I can post, but this one is pretty cool. It’s the Helltrack scene from Rad, one of my favorite movies ever!

Sneak Peak of the Rocky Mountain Blizzard Fat Bike

Posted by RL Policar On April - 10 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

 

 

 

blizzard

Specs:

  • Full-width 4.7” tires provide optimized traction and stability across snow, sand, and soft trails.
  • Agile geometry keeps the Blizzard feeling like a true mountain bike.
  • Strapless Frame Bag (sold separately) designed specifically for the Blizzard by Porcelain Rocket keeps your gear safe and dry with water resistant fabric and waterproof zippers. Main compartment for jacket or food, with expandable pocket for tools and other items.
  • Rock Shox Bluto RL suspension forkwith 100mm of travel and a 15x150mm thru-axle.
  • Two Anything Cage™ mounts and extra bosses allow additional custom frame bag options.
  • Custom Race Face 24T narrow-wide single ring and bashguard features drive-side offset for optimal shifting performance while maximizing climbing ability. Allows for easy 2x conversion.
  • Front derailleur mount
  • Sealed bearing 6-pawl heavy duty freehub for increased torque in soft conditions.
  • Internally routed full length housing
  • Stealth-dropper compatible

 

Soyater Bicycles

Posted by RL Policar On April - 4 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

We’re happy to introduce a new bicycle company in the USA. It’s so new that we’ve got the only two of it’s kind. What makes the Soyater so special? Well first of all it’s full carbon and they’re 650b/27.5. So let’s take a look at the two models we have. Soyater MSRP: Braver (red and black) $2000 and the Team (green and black) $1300.

Shimano Deore 2×10 drive train. SR Suntour XCT fork. WTB tubeless wheels and tires. Soyater branded cockpit., Decipher Hydraulic Brakes.

Soyater Braver 650b Carbon Mountain Bike

Soyater Team 650b.Shimano Deore 2×10. SR Suntour XCT forks. Mechanical brakes, Soyater branded cockpit. CST tires and Maverick wheels.

Both models feature:
-Full Carbon 27.5 Soyater Frames with 1.5 Tapered Head tube. Available in 15″,17″ 19 and 21″
-2×10 Speed Shimano Deore Drive Trains
-Soyater Aluminum Bars, Stem and Seat Post
-Suntour XCT Coil Suspension with Lockout
3 Year Manufacture Warranty.
“Braver”Model Feature:
-WTB W500 Tubeless Rims with Novatech hubs &WTB tubeless Tires. Standard QR front and rear. Disc only rims and hubs.
-Techtro Hydraulic Disc Brakes
“Team” Model Feature:
-Cable Actuated Shimano Disc Brakes and Non Tubeless Rims and Tires.

 

Geometry

Soyater Geo specs

Like I mentioned, these are the only two of it’s kind in existence. We’ll be putting them through the paces in the next few weeks to see how the do. But if you want more info about the Soyater Bikes, you can go to WaterBearcycles.com

 

In a recent study done by Brown and Stone Research Group, they found that the mountain bikers who brag about “climbing is my favorite” don’t actually like it as much as they let on.  Dr. Brown stated, “Mountain bikers who say that climbing is their favorite is just an attempt to throw people off from their lack of downhill skills. In fact, they don’t like climbing at all. If anything they see climbing as a necessary evil to mountain biking.”

climbing sucks

In addition, Dr. Brown noted that the word “climb” irritates most mountain bikers in general. In fact 86% of mountain bikers agreed on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most), that when they hear “climb” during a conversation about a ride, they are more prone to irritability. “We even had 10 individuals that stated the word bugs them because it uses a silent B in the word. They all agreed that if the word is going to use a silent letter, it should just be eliminated. Their suggestion would spell; “CLIM” with a long I.”

All done…almost!

Posted by RL Policar On March - 25 - 20142 COMMENTS

Ok kids, I now present to you the world famous…BURT REYNOLDS…again!

Here he is in all his glorified glorehh! You like his new bars? Those are the On-One Midge bar. I think I bought the last one since I checked this morning, they were out of stock.
redline d600 burt reynolds

This bar tape you see, it’s the On-One Micro Fiber Bar Tape. Easy to install, comfy on the hands, legit on the looks. The tape it self makes the bike look uber-fierce.
on one bar tape

I say that it’s almost done because I’m having chain skipping issues. Could be the chain I’m using because the line is perfect. Basically what happens is when its on the stand, it works fine. But as soon as I put pressure on the pedals, it skips.

Want a peak?

Posted by RL Policar On March - 20 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Don’t worry I won’t call you a peeping tom….Anyhow, do you remember the other day I posted some sort of Surly Singulator and a cog? Well here’s a sneak peak on what I’ve got going on. Here is Burt Reynolds in all his awkwardly gloriness!

Behold! A very confusing looking 29er mtb that sorta looks like a cross bike but not really.
burt reynolds redline d600

Before I go on with the build progress, let me fill you in on some history about this build. You see, the other day, our very own Adam Spik and I were working on LadyP’s new Titus Rockstar. I mentioned that I wanted to sell my 10speed shifters, derailleur and cog since I just wasn’t a fan of it. He said he’d take them. I told him that we should just do a trade. My 10speed Saint stuff for any single speed parts he has. You’re probably thinking that he made out in this trade, ya probably, but he’s a homie and homies help homies. Anyhow with this trade I received a Surly Single Speed kit, Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes and rotors as well as a couple of cogs. Well now that I think about it, I may have gotten the better end of the deal.

Ok, let’s go back to the main reason why we’re here. We’re you wondering why it’s missing a front tire? Well the other day I was watching that show Hoarders Buried Alive and that got me motivated to do some spring cleaning in my garage. I’m actually what you call a Bike Hoarder. I’ve got well over 15 bicycles in my garage and shelves of bike parts. So I make myself watch Hoarders to keep me in check. Apparently I may have inadvertently thrown out my front tire and tube during my TV-Inspired surge of cleaning since I didn’t want to be a hoarder. So now I’m sourcing a new tire…

Right, now that you see what I’ve got going on, there’s already a few changes that I’ve made to this configuration. First up, I ordered me some Midge Bars and a luxurious set of micro fiber bar tape from Planet X.Why the Midge? Well just look at it! It’s bad ass. Besides the shallow/flared out drops allow for better control and leverage.
midge bar planet x
I’ve also swapped out the stem for something shorter, I’ve got short arms so it doesn’t make sense for me to be all stretched out on the bike.

I do have to thank Jack “Ghost Rider” Sweeney for donating the set of Tektro drop brake levers to this build. He did have a concern that they wouldn’t have enough leverage to work with the mechanical brakes I had. Fortunately, they were a matching brand and actually provided all the reach that I need to ensure proper stopping power.

So for now that’s where this project is at. I’ve bee subjected to waiting for parts once again. However, once I get those things in, I’m hoping to get Burt Reynolds back on the trail in no time!

Why oh why do I like to torture myself…

Posted by RL Policar On March - 14 - 20141 COMMENT

So there I was in my garage looking at the bare frame of a machine that I once belovedly(not sure if that’s a word) called…(say it with a deep voice) BURT REYNOLDS. I was saddened that it just hung there on a hook, not being used. I started having flash backs of the fun filled rides we had together. How we rode some of the toughest hills and how he never broke down on me and how he simply would make me smile every time I rode him…wait…that sounds too much of a bromance. Well if that’s what it’s called, then call me guilty!

Anyhow, I got this idea to reinvent Burt Reynolds once again with parts laying around. So here’s the first clue on what I plan on doing with him….
burt reynolds

Ok by now you should have guessed he’ll be a single speed once again. But not just a single speed…a different type! Yep. If my plans fall into place, I should have a very unique Burt Reynolds by next week!

A built with love

Posted by RL Policar On March - 10 - 20143 COMMENTS

Not sure what I did on the title…It was supposed to read “A Bike Built with LOVE.” Eh anyway, let’s continue with our regularly scheduled program…As you may have previously read. I bought a Titus Rockstar Carbon 29er for LadyP as her Un-Valentines present. Much like any other person who would like to buy a Titus Rockstar, I went to the Planet X website to order one. I picked the size she needed (small) and hit Add to Cart and bought it. But before I checked out of their shopping cart, I had left a memo to have “El Guapo” draw me a unicorn…

I get the frame a few days later and here’s what I got.


More on the other side.
rockstar titus
This was inside the box.
titus carbon rockstar

Ok so after some time waiting for parts to arrive and issues with having to bleed brakes, I finally finished it! Check it out kids!
carbon titus rockstar

I love how it came out. The color scheme worked out great. Black and white is so classy.
carbon titus

custom carbon rockstar build

Here’s LadyP with her new bike on it’s maiden voyage.
Ladyp mtnbikeriders.com titus rockstar carbon

So if you’re wondering what’s so special about this build. Well, let me get started! For about a year LadyP rode the Airborne Hobgoblin 29er. Great bike but one of her complaints about it was the 2×10 drive train. She just couldn’t get used to the gearing on it. About later on in the year she spoke to a friend of ours who bought a carbon Rocky Mountain. He could talk for hours on the benefits of carbon and by that time she had drank enough Kool Aid to be convinced that she NEEDED one.

That spawned a hunt for a great deal for a new frame. I figured we’d harvest the parts from the Airborne Hobgoblin that we bought a year ago to build up a new bike. After some time window shopping, I finally had the funds to decide on the Titus Rockstar Carbon. I spoke to El Guapo at Planet X and he gave me industry pricing and in about 3 days, the frame arrived at the World HQ of MtnBikeRiders.com.

Right away I started building the frame up. One thing with the Rockstar is that it has internally routed cables. That meant that the hydraulic hose for the rear brake had to be cut and reinstalled. It should have been an easy process, but somehow I botched that job and Adam Spik helped me fix it.

Rather than going back to a 2×10, I sourced some used but in great condition parts. I went with a SRAM 3×10 drive train.I figured LadyP would love the fact she has a granny gear now. For the most part, the groupo from the Hobgoblin was transferable with the exception of few small parts like the bottom bracket, seat post and front derailleur. For those parts, I ended up buying them new. The total build took me about a few weeks to complete, simply because I was waiting for parts to arrive.

At the end of the build, the bike weighed in at 27lbs. Not bad considering it’s a FS 29er. But I’m sure weight weenies would balk at the idea of a 27lbs carbon bike. For that reason, I have considered upgrading parts as they break or depending on how much of a good deal I can get. But I told LadyP that breaking parts intentionally won’t count…

Here’s a photo from our most recent ride, Titus Twins!
aluminum and carbon titus rockstars

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