Review: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (October 2015 - Snowy Mountain, Michaux State Forest, Pennsylvania)

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (October 2015 – Snowy Mountain, Michaux State Forest, Pennsylvania)

New! One Year Review – 2015 Giant Anthem SX

Review: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

This is a brief review of the 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5, which has an aluminum frame, Fox fork and rear shock. The 2015 Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5, which has a carbon fiber frame, RockShox fork and rear shock, is a different bike.

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 –

I purchased the 2015 Giant Anthem SX (from my local bike shop) in early January 2015 and I’ve been very happy with it. In my opinion it’s a high quality bike that performs well when put to the test.

The bike has all Shimano components (SLX and XT), a 120mm Fox Float CTD Performance fork, and a Fox Float CTD Performance rear shock. It also has a really nice frame, which comes with Giant’s lifetime warranty.

Because it has a 120mm fork, slackened head angle, dropper post, wide bars, short stem, and 180mm front brake rotor, the Anthem SX is much more than a cross country bike, but it’s not quite a full blown trail bike, which makes it perfect for the type of riding I do and the terrain I normally ride. I normally ride cross country in Michaux State Forest, for fun, and I needed a bike that would be up for the occasional technical downhill section too.

I discovered the Giant Anthem SX because my local bike shop – Quick Release Bicycles – carries Giant bikes, and that’s what got me to looking – both online and at the shop – at Giant’s selection of mountain bikes.

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

I also did a lot of research online regarding suspension, because this is the first full suspension bike I’ve ever bought, and I thought Giant’s Maestro suspension was an excellent design. Now that I’ve ridden the bike quite a bit, in the mountains near my home, I can say this suspension is excellent. It gives me great control going downhill and doesn’t bob going uphill. The Fox Float CTD Performance rear shock paired with the Maestro suspension is a great combination.

mtb copy

I didn’t want to write a review of this bike until I had really put it to the test, and that’s exactly what I did this past weekend at the 2015 Michaux MTB School. I’ve only been mountain biking for one year now, and I was really putting myself to the test this past weekend too. Thanks to the instructors at the school I was able to learn many new and important skills and my confidence as a mountain bike rider has greatly increased. If you have the opportunity, I strongly suggest you sign up for the 2016 Michaux MTB School.

Michaux MTB School –

Michaux MTB camp: Is this camp for you? via @wordpressdotcom

Riders hone skills at the Michaux Mountain Bike School –

Michaux MTB camp – via @wordpressdotcom

The School of Hard Rocks, Michaux MTB Camp – via @wordpressdotcom

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

As I said, I really put my Giant Anthem SX to the test this weekend. The Michaux State Forest in Pennsylvania has some of the toughest technical trails on the east coast, and that’s exactly what we trained for and road while attending the Michaux MTB School.

The Anthem SX 27.5 performed well on the tight, twisty, old school single track. The wide bars, short stem, dropper post, Fox shocks, SLX brakes, and Maxxis tires on my Anthem SX allowed me to maintain control of my bike whenever I was descending those steep rocky trails. I really put my faith in the bike this weekend and it didn’t let me down. All I had to do was to stay loose, allow the bike to take the hits, and guide the bike down the trail.

After a punishing weekend of fun at the Michaux MTB School I can give the 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 five out of five stars! 😀

If you think this bike will fit your riding style and the terrain you ride don’t hesitate to buy it. You will not be disappointed.

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

Maestro Suspension – Giant Bicycles

Fox Float CTD Performance with Boost Valve –

Maxxis Ardent 2.25 (Front) Maxxis Ardent Race 2.20 (Rear) –

MTBR – Anthem 27.5 SX –

MTBR User Reviews: Giant Anthem SX 27.5 Full Suspension –

Specs: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

Specs: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

New-School XC Bike Group Test

“A dose of realism: This Group Test is based on the notion that while most XC bikes sold globally are marketed as World Cup race machines, not that many of their owners actually ride them in such a way. Some bike manufacturers have already recognised this and are introducing trail versions of their XC race bikes. These are equipped with dropper seatposts, wider tyres and bars, and sometimes even with longer-travel suspension forks which slackens geometry. The focus is shifting from weight saving towards fun, confidence and more downhill performance — all the while retaining XC-style light-footedness, which is a win-win situation for many XC riders.

“XC World Cup racer and Olympian Manuel Fumic accurately observed during the Design & Innovation Award 2015 that the perception of a traditional XC rider is rapidly changing: “For many bikers, the term ‘cross country’ creates an image of lycra-clad hardtail-warriors who are only interested in their best times after speeding up climbs. Modern XC riders ride full-suss bikes and enjoy their descents just as much as climbing. They’re just looking for enjoyment on their bikes.” Continue reading: New-School XC Bike Group Test | Enduro Mountainbike Magazine:

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (May 2015, Snowy Mountain, Michaux State Forest, PA)

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (May 2015, Snowy Mountain, Michaux State Forest, PA)

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (June 2015, Swift Run, Michaux State Forest, PA)

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (June 2015, Swift Run, Michaux State Forest, PA)

About ajmacdonaldjr

writer, author, blogger
This entry was posted in Mountain Bikes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Review: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

  1. Josh Spencer says:

    Great review! Thanks!

  2. Luc Ambrosoli says:

    What is the weight of the bike?

  3. Anonymous says:


    May I know the max. tire clearance for this model? I am curious to know, I want to switch it to wider tires for winter days. Thanks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    HI ajmacdonaldjr,

    Thanks for the reply. How was the bike on winter ride…?
    I am curious just to put aside buying a fat bike from SX.
    XC rider here btw.

    Thanks again.

    • The bike did well on winter rides in the snow. I took it on many rides in the mountains, mostly on fire roads and double track. It has a 2.25 on the front and a 2.20 on the rear.

  5. Lets-Mtb says:

    thanks for the great review, i have enjoyed greatly going through it.
    may i ask you few questions.
    1. how is the Anthem on the steep climbs? does the slacked angle (68.5 degrees instead of 69.5 in the regular anthem) i currently ride a basic trek 4300 hardtail (every bike hsould), i am a newbie to the FS world and we have lots of climbing technical and road.
    2. i am almost 6 feet and i see people (MTBR forums) and some bicycle companies like Trek emphasis bigger wheels for taller riders, how far is that true according to your experience, since the Anthem is a true XC breed (or xc trail cross).

    • Thanks 😀 I do a lot of climbing with my Anthem, technical and fire road, and it’s a great climber. I’m 5′ 8″ and have a medium Anthem. I began MTB riding last year, on a small (17″) 29er hardtail and, although I like the bike, and the big wheels, it’s always felt a little big for me. The medium 27.5 Anthem fits me really well. Bigger wheels are, I think, for bigger riders. I bought the 29 because I thought 26 was too small, and I bought the 27.5 because it’s just right, for me.

      • ambient cafe says:

        HI ajmacdonaldjr,
        thanks so much for the info. and the review
        i am getting an Anthem SX too soon.
        can you please take a little time to answer my few questions
        1. How long it the seat height on the Anthem SX (you ride a medium right?)? i am 5’11” and half inches and i am just on the border of Medium and Large size frame, i would be okay on a medium if the seat height is at least 94 cms.
        2. Can you please find out for me whether its the 350mm, 375mm or the 400mm dropper post on your medium Anthem SX? According to the giant websites they specify the three sizes but doesn’t specify which size they use for which sized frame.
        thanks so much

  6. The Argument For Short Travel Bikes – Opinion – Pinkbike via @pinkbike

    Make no mistake, short travel doesn’t mean short on fun –

  7. Pingback: One Year Review – 2015 Giant Anthem SX | A. J. MacDonald, Jr.

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