This review was set to be part 2 of the Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5. It has turned into a comparison between 27.5″ and 29″ wheels, and a review about bike design and geometry.
Need part 1? Find it right here.
During the past 8 months, we have put on about 6000 miles on a Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 and a Giant XTC Advanced 27.5 In that time, we have ridden nearly every terrain type available in in Colorado / Utah / Arizona. Types of riding vary from casual group rides, to race pace oxygen deprived racing. Each ride’s telemetry is logged and contains power, cadence, speed, location, heart rate, altitude, and temperature.
Personally, I was an early adopter of the 29″ wheel size. I have been on 29ers for approximately 5 years. It was a review similar to this one that we did contrasting 26 to 29 that won me over.
The winds of change are blowing again! 27.5 is a great wheel size that has allowed Giant engineers to focus on building a bike that is very ride able, and easy to transfer the power to the pedals. All this with a great roll over capability
Any time that we push on the pedals and go, my personal records start to be replaced by new PR’s Interestingly, power readings go up as well. Now, in a perfect world, a lap would be faster, with less power. In the tables below, my power has gone up for 2014. The bike is approximately the same weight, I am the same weight (promise), fitness is approximately the same, oh, I am one year older, that is definitely working against me. My only explanation of the power increase has nothing to do with wheel size. Better bike bike geometry. Better geometry equals a more powerful position on the bike.
Let’s just take the above on face value for a moment. My lap times on 27.5 were faster than 29. There are 100′s of variables that we can discuss and talk about, but the bottom line is faster is faster.
Any time that we have run head to head tests of 29 vs 27.5, the 27.5 keeps coming out on top. This has been the norm for the past 8 months. We waited til now so we could show you a race result that was as close as we could come to a “test”.
OK, so you don’t want to race, and really don’t care about speed. Riding a 27.5 makes any of your rides easier. Less effort, same speed, more fun!