- One of the most popular and dependable cross-country racing mountain bikes has been redesigned.
- Giant’s 2022 Anthem enjoyed a sneaky global debut, at the Cape Epic, before the Taiwanese cycling company announced its official existence.
- The frame is lighter, there is a new rear-suspension linkage and electronic suspension tech.
Giant is a powerhouse in the cycling world.
Unlike many other large cycling brands, Giant makes the frames that carry its name, instead of designing and then contracting the fabrication to an external partner.
Giant can produce some iconic designs by controlling the entire production process, from material sourcing to frame shaping and finishing.
Evolving a proven design
In the South African mountain biking context, its best-known frame is the Anthem. A dual-suspension cross-country racing bike that has always offered great value for money and a pretty trick rear-suspension system.
The 2022 model year Anthem has seen Giant’s composite engineers increase stiffness in the bottom bracket and shape a 250g lighter rear swingarm.
What’s the benefit of a stiffer bottom bracket structure? Better bearing durability on that rear-suspension linkage, which now mounts directly to the front triangle and should require lower maintenance over the Anthem product lifetime.
Advances in carbon-fibre material technology and engineering has enabled Giant to change the Anthem’s rear-suspension system.
It now uses a rigid rear triangle directly connected to the bottom bracket area, instead of the previous Maestro system – which connected the frame’s two triangles with short horizontal links.
Although the Anthem has always been a bike designed to power along flat sections of gravel road and grind up steep climbs at great efficiency, the 2022 model has more playful angles.
More fun downhill
Giant’s product team has slackened the Anthem’s head angle to 67.5-degrees, making it more confident on those technical descents.
How much suspension does it have? There is a 100mm shock at the rear, thanks to a new single-pivot linkage. Giant balances the rear suspension performance of its new Anthem, with a 110mm suspension fork at the front.
Other notable changes with the 2022 model year Anthem include a larger diameter handlebar, up from 31.8- to 35mm of bore.
Giant has also changed the wheelset specification on its new Anthem range. The Taiwanese brand’s XCR 1 30s are lightweight carbon-fibre wheels that rolled the entire Cape Epic, without a single puncture.