After spending a week out in Colorado (Cooper Mountain) at the 2013 Specialized Dealer Event to see, breath (bearly), and eat the 2014 Specialized models, I was determined to pick a new 29er mountain bike for the upcoming fall season. Since Westwood Cycle was nice enough to not only send me to the event, they also sold my old bike (a Giant Trance X, 26″ wheel version) as well. Therefore, I felt obligated to get a new, updated mountain bike.
When I returned from my Specialized-Meca trip, I had my sights set on an S Works Epic 29 or Stumpjumper FSR 29, but was still not sure. Since Mark Albert (the owner of Westwood Cycle) had recently returned from the Giant Dealer Event (to see the 2014 bikes) in Park City, UT the day after my return, we compared notes between the brands.
After some comparison, looks like I’m putting my order in for a 2014 Giant Advanced Anthem 27.5 “1″ (that’s a 27.5″ wheel model, Model 1). Click below for a preview of the 2014 Giants…
There are some differences and similarities between the “1″ and the “0 Team” pictured in the article.
- Both have carbon front and rear triangles. The frames are identical.
- The “1″ retails for $4600 while the “0 Team” retails for $7800
- The “1″ is FULL Shimano XT 2×10 while the “0 Team” is SRAM 1×11 (I prefer Shimano)
- The “1″ uses Fox suspension front and rear while the “0 Team” is spec’d with Rockshok (I prefer Fox)
- The “1″ has alloy rims, while the “0 Team” has carbon rims. The carbon wheels are about 200g lighter.
- The “1″ has alloy seatpost, stem and handlebar while the “0 Team” has carbon bits (I already have my own carbon seatpost to swap onto the new bike. I will plan on switching out the stem and handlebar as well).
- The “1″ is all black, with black decals on carbon. The “0 Team” is typical Giant…painted in their blue and white scheme (BLEH!).
Here’s the thing. I feel that the “1″ is a great value over the slightly lighter and more expensive “0 Team” version. Since I don’t like the limited 1×11 drivetrain (I’m not a racer), chosing the “1″ was an easier decision.If the “0 Team” was an XTR bike, I may have a harder time deciding between the two.
Even so, the “0 Team” is an incredible spec when compared to the new S-Works Epic 29 (which is $10,500). Regardless of your choice of wheel size, or suspension choice (Giant’s Maestro vs. Specialized’s FSR), the Giant is a heck of a bargin at nearly $3000 less.
Giant is the first “big” bicycle company to make the 27.5 (650B) wheel plunge. Since Sea Otter and before, I had been reading about the multitude of small companies coming out with 27.5″ wheel bikes. Since Giant has made the plunge (ie. big investment in tooling), it gives the 27.5″ wheel size even more traction (yes, pardon the pun). Giant predicts that 26″ wheel mountain bikes will eventually be phased out, but I feel there will always be a market for them. Some hardcore riders still prefer them. I have a strong feeling that the department store bikes (less than $300) will always continue to use them.
Time will tell.