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2018 Giant Anthem Advanced PRO 1 Review – The Carbon Flash

The 2018 Giant Anthem Advanced PRO 1, proclaims nothing but pure XC racing speed! The 2018 Anthem 29er series, is full of precision and monster confidence, that inspires you to ride!

I’ve never ridden anything quite like the 2018 Anthem Advanced PRO. It’s a sole purpose bike and pretty much a secret weapon, that your rivals will never see coming! No, seriously! They won’t see you coming! (or flashing past them)

Frame the Future

The frame is made from Giant’s Advanced Grade carbon fibre. One of the most refined materials out there! The frame doesn’t compromise on stiffness. Not even with the 90mm Maestro suspension setup on the rear shock. So you’ve got stiffness and excellent lightweight character being exhibited on the Anthem Advanced PRO’s frame. What’s next?

Maestro Suspension

To turn the spot-light on Giant’s Maestro suspension, I’d like to establish that the 2018 version is something still to find a flaw in! The Trunnion Mount shock on the rear triangle, proved to be an effective design. The new carbon rocker arm also plays a role in channelling even the smallest vibrations straight into the FOX Float Performance Elite, that aligns itself brilliantly. This shock also comes out with full cock-pit control through the remote, giving the rider the ability to have more have on the trail.

Maestro incorporates a stiff rocker link for minimum loss of energy during your pedal stroke. That’s not all though! Giant engineered their suspension to have a harmonized vertical wheel travel path on shock compression. This adds to overall bike balance. Then, the short chain stay allows for a compact vibe to the ride, with a lower centre of mass. Giant certainly put a lot of thought into their Maestro Suspension system; their expertise is displayed with the experience of performance.

SRAM GX Eagle – Its Eagle Time

My first experience on the SRAM GX Eagle couldn’t have come on a better bike. The chemistry with which Giant and SRAM made their products work together, is something to admire. The 1×12 speed setup carries along a gear range on the cassette of 10-50T. Enough to get me up even the steepest and most technical of climbs. A particular favourite of mine, was the TruVativ STYLO 6K Eagle crank set laced to a 32T chain-ring. I was able to keep up consistent pedalling with none of that unnecessary flexing on the cranks, you can sometimes experience. The GX Eagle rear derailleur was reliable, never giving away that chain slip or indecisive gear jumping. For a GX series Eagle drivetrain, I was impressed! I’m Definitely excited to see more of these, especially at such a competitive price.

Carbon Wheelset

The next feature that came to my attention on the ride, was Giant’s XCR 1 29 Composite DBL Wheel System. With Boost 110/148 technology, the wheels can tolerate wider tyres, while maintaining axle and rim stiffness. Speaking of tyres; MAXXIS’ IKON 29’’ tyres features a 2.2” dimension to the tyre wall and tread. Together, with Giant’s carbon rim set, the wheels had a brilliant lightweight to stiffness ratio. It gave the bike that intentional feel.

Other Specs

  • SRAM Level TL Brake-set 180mm/160mm Hydraulic Disc.
  • Fox 32 Float SC Performance Elite Remote, 100mm Travel.
  • SRAM GX Eagle Rear Derailleur
  • SRAM GX Eagle Shifters
  • SRAM GX Eagle Chain
  • Giant Contact SL Trail Handlebar
  • Giant Contact Composite Seat post
  • Giant Contact SL Saddle

Geometry Playground

The new generation XC mountain bikes are arriving on the scene with more middle ground, between trail and XC geometry. It comes as no surprise, that the Giant Anthem Advanced PRO, would follow in the same pattern. The seat-angle sits at 73.5-degrees. It’s comfortable, and provides you with enough confidence for steady pedalling and weight distribution. The 69-degree head-tube angle, however, does make the bike feel too loose for my liking.

The Ride – Intentional Speed

The 2018 Giant Anthem Advanced PRO has definitely had some improvements in the way it rides. It climbs with intention, and captures that perfect groove for your pedalling efficiency. The carbon frame material, and 1×12 gear setup, helped conserve my energy on climbs. Thus, giving me strength to go further, faster!

I loved gliding on flatter sections, just as much as I loved downhills! The Giant Anthem instantaneously got up to speed, while holding a perfect balance over the bars. The whole design of the Anthem Advanced PRO gives off that aggressive vibe. So it comes as no surprise, that I found myself sprinting most of the way. The suspension system surprisingly didn’t give away any joules of energy during the pedalling force. Which I think is another aspect that makes this bike a legend in design.

As I mention earlier; downhills and single-track were a blast! The responsive handling and geometry allowed the bike to easily flick through corners without losing speed. The forgiving suspension soaked up anything, and gave me even more control over the bike. Although I thought the Anthem could use a 100mm shock at the back, which would bring in groovy marathon character on the bike.

When I needed it; the braking power provided by the SRAM Level TL Brake-set, was superb. It reduced major fatigue on the hands. Since my hands were more active, I could control the bike excellently. Therefore, making me faster, and allowing the bike to absolutely thrive on single-track!


The 2018 Giant Anthem Advanced PRO has found its place on South African trails. The bike targets XC enthusiasts, with a heart for racing. To me it lacks some of that adventurous nature, mainly because of the 90mm travel suspension at the back. Otherwise, it definitely supplies joy to the rider. It even drew my eye as a full-on XC racer.

One thing is for sure, on one-day races, you’ll be the fastest human being out there. Fuelling that no hesitation vibe, is the 2018 Giant Anthem Advanced PRO 1.

R73 250.00 – Great Value

2018 Giant Anthem Advanced PRO 1 Review

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Bike guide

Built for: Dual Suspension Trail
Year launched: 2022