Monday, September 26, 2005

Outdoor Demo... Day 1

Good news and bad news. We did go to the demo, did take pictures of the new Anthem bike by Giant and we did ride other bikes. Bad news... I can't transfer my pictures to this computer because we forgot a cable. One little cable. We'll do better the rest of the show. Promise. We have remedied the problem, nothing but good news from here on out.

Anthem and Glory
Last year, Giant rolled out the Maestro suspesion design. This replaced the VT and AC bikes, and added a third. At 4, 6 and 8 inches they now have the Trance, Reign and Faith bikes, respectively. They kept the NRS as the pure race bike and the DH Team as the downhill race bike. This year, they wrapped the entire full suspesion line up in Maestro with the introduction of Anthem for the XC-er's and Glory for the DH-ers. We weren't given too much info on Glory but we will have more from Interbike proper after we meet with the Giant reps.

Anthem was designed from the ground up with the help of Adam Craig, one of Giant's pro racers. The head angle is a little steep so that when sag is taken into account, it is right at 71 degrees -- normal NORBA geometry. The Anthem 1 - which we rode - comes in under 25 pounds for all sizes.

How did it ride? Well, with only 3.5 inches of travel, I wouldn't call it plush. I would, however, say that it doesn't bob... at all. The bike was light enough to race -- obviously -- but didn't feel fragile. I can't give the bike a full review off of one ride, but I liked what I felt. The bike seemed to work well. Of course, the components were all top teir, CrossMax SL, SRAM XO, Hayes 9-Carbon. It should all work well. More on pricing later.

Cannondale Rush
The Rush is Cannondale's endurance racing XC bike. Shorter travel than the Prophet, but longer than the Scalpel. With just over 4" (110mm) of front and rear travel, it has pleanty to soak up most trail abnormalities. It is lighter than the Prophet, and very efficient for a 4" XC rig. As with the Anthem, I can't give it much of a review, but it was quite fun to ride.

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