Before we dig in to the review, we felt compelled to let you know about the reviewer. My name is Mike. I am a self-confessed OCD Endurance athlete. My riding style is generally anything XC orientated. It is just as much fun for me to climb up Mt. Guyot singletrack (ok I hiked), or the Edge Loop road. 5’10″, 175 lbs.
The 27.5 wheelsize is new to me. I have been on a 29er for about 5 years. This Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 arrived to me about 4 weeks ago.
We were ready for this review to be all about 27.5 vs 29 vs 26. It’s not. There is a lot more to this wheel size other than just the size.
The bike is easy to ride. There was absolutely no transition from my 29er. Climbing, descending, technical, etc… it was all noticeably easier, or the same. Rollover? Million dollar question here. No difference for me on the 27.5 vs. the 29er. OK, before you get your chamois in a bunch, yes I did notice a big difference between 26 and 29. The difference between 29 and 27.5 … not so much.
Climbing … Incredibly fast and responsive! Climbing on a mountain bike is all about hundreds of small accelerations. Every time you push on the pedals, this bike accelerates up the hill. Click up to a taller gear, and before you know it you have spun out that gear. Pretty amazing feeling to have this much acceleration.
Descending … Riding this bike downhill is more about thinking where you would like it to go versus steering. It is incredibly responsive without being twitchy.
Pedalling … The Maestro platform is incredibly efficient and has no “bob” while you are hammering out that 3 mile buttery smooth single track cliimb. Transfer of power to the ground is incredibly efficient. Less watts, more speed!
Overall Ride … That is where this bike really excels. The geometry of the Anthem 27.5 marries speed with great handling. Is it about wheel size? Kind of. The 27.5 wheel size has allowed Giant to design a bike that puts the rider “in the bike”. The rider is a part of the bike, as opposed to just sitting on the saddle. What does this do? The rider is in a position to transfer the most amount of power, with the least amount of effort. The rider is also in an ideal position fore and aft that enhances the bikes overall handling characteristics.
How fast is it? … Great question. The technology available to us today is amazing. Strava keeps us honest, and will show the results of your efforts. Take that the next step, add power to your bike, and the subjective reviews are nearly gone. Every ride that we have done on this bike has been faster or equal to any previous effort. Some of those rides are higher speeds with less effort. Want to know more, we posted a couple of Strava rides below. We will save the “in-depth” analyses for a later review.