2012 Giant Anthem X Advanced SL O
The last of 26″ XC bikes made by Giant. This one appeared on Ebay, and at less than 1 year old and a price less than 1/3 of its original, it was simply too hard to resist. Full XTR, Giant Advanced SL carbon frame, XTR rims, kashima-coated fork+shock. Best described as a maneuverable missile. It’s an extremely lively and playful bike. It’s chuck-ability is ridiculous, it’s just so much fun. It has the potential to reward well and punish well which simply means I need to keep on top of it most of the time, but it’s well worth it. Suspension sees 4″ of travel front and rear. It’s firm, but compliant and offers a huge range of personal tweak-ability. The RP23 is fantastic and is controlled via Giant’s MAESTRO system. As a mate (Christopher Giuliano) who reviewed a Giant mtb recently wrote:
“I don’t think you can get a better suspension platform than Maestro. You can get a different one, and even a more expensive one, but there isn’t a better one. It doesn’t bob under pedalling, it doesn’t lock up under braking, and it gives climbing traction up a hill, smooths out bumps, and increases braking traction. What more can you ask of it?”
I was thinking of replacing the rear derailleur with the more recent clutch-based variant; a medium-cage Shimano XTR Shadow Plus. However, I ride almost exclusively in the largest chain-ring and have not experienced any noticeable chain slap. I think this is more of a function of greater chain tension on a 2×10 as opposed to a 3×10 system.
This steed is reserved for more spirited rides and/or races that I enter. Currently however due to my hand injury, it’s my commuter.
Most recent changes:
- Ergon GS1-s Leichtbrau
- XTR pedals
- Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.1″ for race, (Maxxis Crossmark’s for commuting)
- Selle Italia saddle
- Tubeless (Stan’s no tubes)
- Shelter tape (protective film)
I recently had the bike in for a service and a scratch (or crack) was identified at the join atop the bottom bracket. As a fantastic effort by Giant (and as a customer of PUSHY’s Fyshwick), Giant replaced my frame with a brand new one. But here’s the interesting thing, the 2012 SL O was that last year they were made, yet Giant had continued to make the frames (in case of warranty replacements).
I now have a 2014 SL O frame! Makes the bike pretty unique. The 2014 blue gives it a very different character and I really like it. It will be covered appropriately in Shelter Tape before its ridden.