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ENDURO GEAR WHAT’S THAT
With the advent of a new mountain bike discipline called Enduro racing, which is comprised of stages, gear companies are now on the push to design gear suited to the needs and demands of the racer.
That being said Enduro racing is a longer distance time race where you are timed between each stage. Now I have not attended an Enduro race yet, but I do want to see what the hoopla is all about.
Now being an old Motocrosser and dirt head, I grew up all things motorcycles and the motorcycle Enduro racing aspect is about the same concept, but with moto you had to come in at certain times to the stages, to early and you would have points taken away, to late no points, on time you gain points. You had a time chart mounted to your bike and had to calculate each stage, all this while traveling through nice country sides.
So this is Enduro

THE GEAR
So for 2014 ROYAL RACING has come out with a line of Enduro specific gear designed to help the rider to obtain the most out of his or her race, to do so ROYAL RACING has not only blended light weight material to aid with keeping the rider cool and dry by wicking away sweat, but also to keep the rider comfortable as well throughout each stage or a long ride.
At Interbike we talked briefly with Jason Schippers of ROYAL RACING about the new gear, so we gave him a call and asked him if ROYAL was up for a review on their cool gear and he was more than happy to let us try it out and let our readers know about it, but rather than just test one or two items why not make it the whole ensemble that the top Enduro rider would take into battle.
Now we have to let you know just how serious ROYAL RACING is about their Enduro line. There is like 19 Enduro specific items to choose from. These items include shorts, jerseys, jackets and gloves. ROYAL also has base membranes and socks. This is a lot of gear to choose when setting yourself up.
In the end we choose the Stage Jacket, Stage Jersey, and Signature Short, finishing it out with the Quantum Gloves.
Now that were decked out in what all the cool Enduro kids are wearing let’s take a look at it all in the secret test labs and trails we go to.
All the gear is loaded with features to keep you going to your next stage or trial juncture.

STAGE JACKET
When you look at the Stage Jacket it may appear to be heavy and not to breathable, but on the contrary this jacket adorns features that make it not only light weight, but breathable too.

Royal designed the Stage to take that chill off your body on a cold days ride. They have incorporated what they call DWR, technical fleece faced double weave Nylon fabric. It has a water repellent coating to shed that light drizzle, lightweight soft shell, and made to have a low pack size when it starts to heat up on your ride.
You will notice two long oversized zippers on the front of the Stage jacket. These act as pocket and vents to allow greater air flow forward, also strategically places to avoid your hydration pack straps.

On the back of the Stage you will also have a back vent that is also placed high above where your hydration pack will sit. Nice Lycra trimmed cuffs, waist, and neck.
One last cool little feature is the pocket you have on the inside of the Stage jacket for your IPod or other music device you may have. Now it may not be big enough to fit any of those new phones that are the size of a small TV though.

STAGE JERSEY

If you want to go Enduro racing this is the jersey to use. Right off the bat when you hold this jersey you can tell how light it feels. When most companies make jerseys to fit DH or XC, you won’t find anything in between with a feel like the Stage Jersey, this is what Royal set out to do by talking to some of the best Enduro racer in the world. What better way to do so then to hear, gather, and then sit down and come up with a great jersey for a new kind of racing discipline.
First they started with the fit, not to loose like DH and not too tight like XC with a somewhat slim fit. Next you need that jersey to breathe like crazy. Two large mesh panels on the sides to bring in the air, but that’s not all accompany that with T-DOT fabric, which is an active moisture body fabric designed to keep you dry and cool. Oh and speaking of more cooling, Royal put a front neck zipper which gives you the option to allow for more cooling.
Then finish this up with push up Lycra edged cuffs. “Way to go!!”

SIGNATURE SHORTS

What Royal did with their shorts was providing what they call a Pro level short with trail riding fit. I have to agree with this. The fit was great on the Signature shorts. One of the key features on the Signature Shorts is the DWR coating that is used on the Stage Jacket. This is great when riding in a light rain or early morning mist. You have strategically place stretch panels to aid in overall comfort, dual hook and loop waist adjusters, water proof stash pocket for that important stuff, and a detachable breathable inner pant liner that hooks to the Signature shorts with small liner tabs.
The pockets on the thigh also double as a vent if you have nothing to put in them, you will also see the drain tab on the bottom of the pocket area.


With the DWR coating, moister properties, and this matting of lightweight materials make for an excellent cool and dry short.

QUANTUM GLOVES
The Quantum glove is made to breath, be lightweight, and fit. Again off the bat these qualities are noticed. This a perfect glove to use on those hot days as well as a nice fall season ride.

The feature Royal incorporates is .75mm AX perforated stretch palm that is made of one piece of material. This allows your palm to breathe and let heat out; on the back side of the hand what looks like micro diamond pockets on the mesh panel is Technically Knitted Mesh. What I like about this, is how well the air flows through the back panel, which is great on a hot day when you want to keep your hands cool.
Lycra between the fingers, along with seamless finger tips and a small cuff area with expanded V panel assure a well locked on glove to your hand. Add a Micro Fiber wipe.
Now you have one nice Enduro glove.

OVERALL RIDE FEEL
Now I can’t claim that I have done an Enduro race in the gear that Royal has provided for us, so to perform a proper test I would do planed point to point type long rides to simulate an Enduro race so to speak. I had to get my old body temp up to sweat so we can see how all the material would work under pressure, as well as go out in the cold to see if it kept me warm too.
Seeing we don’t have too many rainy days here to test the DWR coating or cold days here in SoCal to give the Stage Jacket a hardcore test, we had to take what we could get and the Stage Jacket kept me more than warm enough. When I needed to cool off the large front vent/pockets when open were a god send to have and with my hydration bag on the straps were not in the way of the vent/pockets. The internal device pocket worked great for my IPod. The Stage jacket felt light and was functional throughout any ride.
On the hot days the Stage jersey was complete awesomeness due to the T-Dot fabric and the great vented panels. This was a great feeling jersey to wear while on the move. It would wick the sweat away and provide excellent cooling. The semi slim fit gave this jersey a better feel than a tight fitting XC jersey and far nicer than a looser fit DH jersey. The name of the game here was “COOLING” and the Stage jersey did just that.
The Signature shorts were just as good when it came to fit and function. The nice stretch panels and vent panels on the back of the shorts are well thought out for comfort on those long rides, excellent front mid upper vent pockets for extra cooling when needed were perfect. The stash pocket was great for a phone, keys, or that beer money you may need at the end of the ride. The padded liner that comes with the Signature shorts was super breathable and had a good padded butt area to keep you going.
All the waist snaps and waist adjusters held in place at all times with no issues.
Last on the list are the Quantum gloves. Now I don’t want to sell these gloves short by no means, but when it comes to my hands I want protection, these gloves feel so light on the hands it just feels weird to have them on. I’m used to a glove with knuckle, finger, and palm protection being a DH racer.
This is the current trend today, thinner, lighter, and a skin hugging fit, so when you really look at the Quantum gloves and how they look and feel on the hand and how they’re made to be, I get it.
The only issue I had with the gloves (this is not a design flaw, but my mistake) was fit. I wear a medium normally and this is what I asked for, so the glove were a little loose, so make sure you try on a set first to really make them feel great on the hand.
I now get why glove are being made in this fashion. I loved the way they feel. The thinner material gives you better feel to the bike. The back Technically Knitted Mesh panel offers some of the best breath-ability of any glove I have felt so far, the perforated stretch palm lets the hand breathe as well when hot to allow heat to dissipate from the palm, finger structure and feel was also top notch.

FINAL THOUGHTS
After putting in the miles with all of Royal Racing’s newest Enduro gear you can see that the home work was done on all of these products. When you listen to feedback and do the research this becomes a great key aspect to a company that wants to do it right for that Enduro racer and weekend warrior.
My hat is off to Royal Racing for thinking it through. They made it hard to really find anything wrong with any of the products we tested.
Prices for this cool gear is, Stage Jacket $109.95, Stage Jersey $59.95, Signature Shorts $119.95, and the Quantum Gloves $34.95.

We want to say thanks to Jason Schippers from Royal Racing for providing us all the great gear. You can go to royalracing.com or ask your local bike dealer for Royal Racing gear.

 

Review Disclaimer

Energy Bears by MtnBikeRiders.com

Posted by RL Policar On July - 8 - 2014

The last month or so we’ve been working with a lab to help us develop our newest product…Energy Bears! That’s right, ENERGY BEARS(tm). These Energy Bears were the brain-child of RL Policar (that’s Me! and The Moe). We wanted to develop a new energy chew that we are all familiar with. Jelly Belly came out with their energy beans so we figured that we should do something just as fun!

This is when we had this bright idea of coming out with the MtnBikeRiders.com Energy Bears. This High-Energy snack is perfect for anytime you need that extra push of energy. Whether you eat them before, during or after your work outs, Energy Bears will deliver all the nutrients you need to help keep you going.

Energy Bears MtnBikeRiders.com

What are Energy Bears made out of? We made sure that we sourced the best active ingredients to help you get the most out of each Bear. QRS is what we called our deliver system, basically that means QUICK RELEASE SUGARS. Simple sugars give you that push without the sluggish downside of caffeine laced products. It’s a natural energy high that actually tastes like candy! In fact Energy Bears uses both Natural and Artificial flavoring to give you that sweet, hot, cinnamon taste without it being too over powering.

Energy Bears are only 150 calories for a serving of 5 Bears!
Energy Bears
So the next time you feel that you need an energy pick-me-up, grab some MtnBikeRidrs.com Energy Bears! It’s going to help you get to BEAST MODE…or should we say…BEAR MODE?!!! Get it?!

If you’re interested in placing an order for our first batch, please send us an email: infoATmtnbikeridersDOTcom. We’ll send you 10 Energy Bears for the low cost of $2.00+$1.00 shipping US Only.

A while back Lady P and I were riding Rockit in Aliso Woods. This is a fun rock garden that we’ve ridden before. As we entered the trail, I see a little lip off to the side and I decided to take it. Boom I launch of it, land the rear tire first and then the front. I keep rolling but eventually I come to a stop to make sure Lady P was ok. Yep, I do that. I will stop at mid descent just to make sure my main squeeze is ok. Anyhow, as I’m waiting I hear a hissing sound. I’m thinking, “Oh great…flat!” But upon closer inspection I didn’t have a flat, but I had a blown rear shock!

Can you see what’s wrong with this photo?
Titus Rockstar, blown rear shock

To borrow a line from Bill Murray in Stripes, “BLOWN UP SIR!”
titus rockstar

Immediately I contact El Guapo over at Planet X/Titus. Mind you this was on a Saturday morning. He was actually at Sea Otter working as an exhibitor. I didn’t think he’d respond until Monday, but within a few minutes, he asked what happened and began the warranty claim for the rear shock. Come the following week, I was sent a #RMA and a shipping label so the shock could be sent back to Rockshox.
Blown out o-ring.

Not quite sure how my shock blew up like that. But it took about 2 weeks for Rockshox to send me a replacement. Yes I said a replacement. Oh by the way, El Guapo actually offered to send me a “loaner” shock until I got mine back from warranty. But I declined his generous offer since I had other bikes I could ride.

So this is my NEW shock. It’s similar to the oem shock, but the newer year model.
rockshox
Rockshox Monarch RT3
So there you have it…a story about great customer service by El Guapo. It’s not like the Titus Rockstar failed, but he was on it when it came to getting an RMA from Rockshox. The whole process was painless, yes it was inconvenient to have the shock blow out. But I’m glad I had El Guapo on my side facilitating the warranty claim.

2013 Trek Fuel EX7 Review by Jerry Landrum

Posted by RL Policar On May - 13 - 2014

Long time reader Jerry Landrum had asked us if he could submit a Guest Review of his 2013 Trek Fuel EX7, below you’ll get a chance to read all his findings.

This full suspension bike is a much improved ride over other similar bikes that I’ve ridden. I had tested the Giant Anthem and the Specialized Camber 29er both of those bikes were full suspension as well. Being the Specialized Camber was a 29er I really can’t do justice in the comparison to my 26in Trek Fuel ex7. The Giant Anthem during testing just felt cheap and clunky the shifting was rather weak and clumsy.

When I got on the Fuel and felt the smooth ride, fluid shifting and the Trek specific DRCV. Sitting on this bike at first was like the feeling you get sitting in a new car just said to me “this is your next bike”. The full floating rear suspension makes almost any trail feel nice and smooth; I can roll over rocks and roots without getting too off balance. The Shimano components go great to compliment this bike for its price point. They do not include Shimano brakes instead they went with Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic brakes. For me these work just fine, after about 25 miles of trail riding you begin to hear noises from the suspension and internal parts almost make it sound like a mystery where it comes from, but as advanced as this bike is breaking in, sounds are normal.
Trek Fuel EX7
The TLR wheels by Bontrager roll very fast and smooth on any surface. I was a bit skeptical about the Bontrager xr3 expert tires as in the past they have been less than dependable. However, Trek recruited a new tire designer and I can say these tires have impressed me for sure they will and can like most tires wash out from under you under various conditions but so far for me this has only
happened once within about the first 20-30 miles of riding it. I was already set on replacing them before giving them their fair chance. I am happy to have them on this bike, not saying I won’t replace them later but for now they are great.
Trek fuel ex7 review
The CTD (Climb/Trail/Descend) option for this bike which is included is truly amazing once you get it dialed in just right; Fox suspension makes this great the only complaint I have is not being able to switch between them via cockpit shifter. I have seen them on other bikes, but this option was not on the available for my Trek…yet. As far as the wheel size issue debate this model year was the final that they will make the ex7 in a 26er, now it is a 29er so I was able to get the last 26er Trek will make for the Fuel ex7.

Overall this bike is not for those looking for less than stellar performance for the price you get an amazing bike that you can add a few upgrades to down the road to make it even better while not having to feel like a new bike is needed. I would recommend this bike to anyone who has a budget for their next ride. For those looking to buy this one it is likely reduced right now down from full price of about $2599 to around $1999.


Review Disclaimer

Top 50 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get into Mountain Biking

Posted by RL Policar On May - 2 - 2014

As much as I love mountain biking, I realized there are some pitfalls to the sport. But I found these out AFTER the fact that I started riding. Perhaps if someone told me about them, I may have gotten into bowling or mopeds….ya I can picture…mopedriders.com….

With that in mind, don’t get into mountain biking because…

1.Expensive to get into.

2.Parts break all the time.

3.Parts wear out.

4.Flat tires.

5.Throwing up after a climb on your single speed.

6. Sweat.

7.Dirt.

8.Falling.

9.Getting hurt.

10. Ticks.

11. Poison Oak.

12. Bug bites.

13. Moldy water bladder.

14.Walking after your bike breaks down.

15. Driving 50 miles to ride 10 miles.

16.Loss of money.

17. Poor resale value of products.

18.Addicted to mountain biking websites.

19.Always looking out for a good deal.

20. Getting into online fights about what is better, 26,650, 29er.

21. Convincing the wife to let you go riding.

22.Trying to get the girlfriend into riding.

23.Hoping that your kids will become the next world champion.

24. Sweaty balls.

25. Chamois…how come it’s not spelled SHAMMY?

26.Bicycle that cost more than my car.

27.Garage becomes your own personal shop.

28. Can’t decide on which jersey to wear.

29. Cycling socks…you don’t need them. There’s no Sock-Police to tell you that you HAVE to wear them. Just use regular socks.

30. You don’t like people.

31. You don’t like douche bags.

32. You are a douche bag.

33. Racing.

34. Jumps.

35. Rocks.

36. Air shocks.

37. Tubeless tires that leak.

38. Too many types of lube to choose from.

39. XT, XTR,XO,X7,STX,KKK,ABC, BBW,DEORE,RED…too many product lines to remember.

40. Not being able to breathe after a climb.

41. Can’t bunny hop.

42. Can’t wheelie.

43. Can’t change a flat.

44. Can’t fix your bike.

45. No power tools involved when fixing a bike….pssh. mOaR POWaH!!!

46. Garage full of bikes.

47. 1Bed Room Apt full of bikes, no room for furniture.

48. Bike hoarding.

49. Excess parts…you’ll never need that 7speed freewheel again, but you hold on to it just in case!

50. Fun. Yes…it’s too fun.

But don’t you worry, I’m not a Negative Nancy, I did find one reason why you should get into it and it’s probably the main reason why I tell people to try it…and that’s #50…yep, It’s fun! I can’t even count how many times I’ve had a fun time riding with Lady P and my friends. From all the memories of racing, biking trips and the great conversations I’ve had over the years, I simply love mountain biking.

AIRBORNE 650B PROTOTYPE

Posted by Art Aguilar On April - 13 - 2014

AIRBORNE 650B

While at Sea Otter you will always see something new that will be coming out soon or will be for the next year.
We ran into Trevor Gay from Airborne Bicycles and he was rocking a new prototype 650b (27.5) that Airborne has been testing.
With the advent of so many bicycle companies going to either 650b or 29er I could say that 26″ wheel may disappear soon except on low end bikes.

Airborne sees this and has been working on there first 650b. It will be around 5″ travel in the rear although they spec the prototype with a 150mm fork, one would guess it will be close. When ask if this would be the bike’s group spec, the answer was no. This was all set up to race this weekend.
The bike (as you see the photos)looks very impressive. If you notice the head angle you, will see the it looks very slack. It is a 66 degree head angle. I would say slack for a bike like this, but I see this as a good thing, as this will give better stability at high speed or steep drop-in’s, also a tapered head tube for a stiff front end.

The rear wheel will be thru axle which will give great stiffness when on the pedals and when hammering during that Enduro race or shredding your favorite trail. You will see that it will be able to allow a front derailleur for 2x 10 drivetrain or as you see it here set up in a 1x.

PROTOTYPE


Its always cool to see the word Prototype on anything and seeing what Airborne has accomplished in a short time I for one am very pleased to see them heading in a great path. Having been a part of Airborne with our DH Web Team was great. They are coming up fast and doing it right for the consumer with great pricing and a decent product.
No word on release date yet, but stay tuned if your an Airborne fan on there website and Facebook fan page.

Airbornebicycle.com

DAINESE PROTECTION: SEA OTTER

Posted by Art Aguilar On April - 11 - 2014

DAINESE 2014
Dainese is back at Sea Otter this year and they have some new gear. If you don’t know this Dainese has always been at the forefront of protection, and they have brought innovation to the mountain biking market for decades.
Dainese hhas been a part of mountain biking since the early 90′s. They have sponsored some of the greatest and biggest downhill racers around. Currently you could see the Lapeirre DH Team taking the World Cups, as well as seeing yours truly [The MtnBikeRiders.com Team] taking on local events in our area. Yeah I had to plug us in this article, after all we are sponsored by the D-Store OC.

TRAIL SKINS
This year they have came out with a light weight trail pad that we showed you at Interbike last year. They are a memory based foam pad that absorbs impact energy at the pad in a way that it hardens up. Yes we know this isn’t new on the market, but what is nice about these pads are the thickness, they are only a 1/4 ” thick (not many out there do pads this thick). Dainese uses a technology know as “PRO SHAPE”. This is a product that was developed by Dainese for the growing need of light weight pads for Enduro racers. They have breath holes on the face of the pads for cooling, use a light weight breathable materiel all around, and durable where you need them.

RIDING GEAR TRAIL OR ENDURO

Not to be out done in the market Dainese has also come out with light weight riding shorts and jersey for the trail or enduro racer in mind. They are called the DRIFTER Short ($109.95) and DRIFTER jersey S/S ($59.95). Wicking away materials as well breathable, ease access pockets on the shorts as well as pull out liner.

Dainese also has nice gloves called the Rock Solid-C ($29.99). Made thinner to give you better feel from the handle bars to the bike motion while you ride. A great fitting glove that fits snug to the hand.

DH GEAR

This year Dainese has changed up their DH gear a little with new color ways that let everyone know your coming down the mountain. They are called the Hucker Short ($99.95) and Basanite Jersey in long or short sleeve ($69.95 or $59.95 S/S). Nice big logos don each side of the jersey and shorts, but its not all looks, The jersey is also made to breath as efficiently as possible to keep your cool under pressure in a race or ride.
Shorts are made of a nice light materiel, but durable nylon to protect that tush of yours. Nice big panels are placed on the shorts to assure quality air flow for comfort while racing. Pants are also available for $129.95.
Glove that we haven’t seen as of yet look like the Rock solid -C, but with one exception, they incorporate Dainese’s Pro Shape technology on the knuckle area, still giving you great breath-ability, with protection to the top of the hand ($39.95).

WHERE DO THEY THINK UP ALL THESE WONDERFUL THINGS


Where does Dainese come up with all their ideas? Well a picture is worth as they say ‘A thousand words.”
For Dainese products go to Dainese.com, your local bike store near you, or you can contact one of three Dainese D-Stores D-Store Orange County, D-Store San Francisco, and D-Store Chicago.

REDLINE’S NEW D880 & D860 and Hardtail D680 29er’s

Posted by Art Aguilar On April - 11 - 2014

NEW AND COOL
Redline is well known for their exploits in Cyclecross and they are know stranger to cross country bikes by no means.
Their latest is the new 29″ D880, the flagship in the line with the D860 below the D880. These two are their full suspension models, fallowed with the D680 carbon Hardtail.

As you can see the D880 is Fox equipped with Kashima coat fork and shock, Sram 1x drivetrain, Crankbrother conponents.

Here you have the Redline’s 29 hardtail equipped with Fox, Sram, and Crankbrothers. The D860 in the background. The D860 come with Rock Shox suspension and Shimano equipped 2x drivetrain, and Crankbrothers components.

The pricing is not bad for what you get speced on the bikes. Prices are $3749 for the D880, $2749 for the D860 and $3999 for the D680
Look for these hot numbers at a dealer near you or contact Redline at Redline.com

2014 GIANT ANTHEM ADVANCE 27.5 1 TEST

Posted by Art Aguilar On April - 11 - 2014

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!!”

 

All done…almost!

Posted by RL Policar On March - 25 - 2014

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.

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