Entry Level Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Is the new 2009 Giant Anthem X3 the best value in a new, entry level, full-suspension mountain bike?

Last week, I got a call from a friend who needed a mountain bike for yesterday’s 100km Mountain Bike Marathon. I scouted for used bikes and local bike shops for light, all-round trail bike with a cross-country race geometry and the new Giant Anthem X3 seems very good value. The problem was that the bike is so new that there aren’t any reviews out yet. Nevertheless, I straddled one and took it around the block.

Typically, Giant uses the same frame through the range of the series and specs out the components according to the price. The X3 is the bottom model of the Anthem Series; the X2 will have the same frame but better components, etc.

What I liked about the 2009 Anthem X3 was that the frame looked pretty good, with standard cross-country geometry. And they managed to keep the stock bike reasonably light (I’d like to find out what it weighs, so if somebody has one, please let me know). To keep the pricing low, Giant specs the bike with lower end components (if you’re a beginner, you probably haven’t learned to appreciate the quality of higher-end components). The good news is that you can upgrade those parts as they wear out, and keep the same frame with you.

Specs and prices for Giant bikes are slightly different all over the world. In Singapore, the bike retails for SGD$2000 (about US$1300) at Tay Cycles/Tay Junction.

Edited Mar 2: Changed title and lead paragraph to include “Full Suspension” and added the equivalent price in USD.

37 thoughts on “Entry Level Full Suspension Mountain Bike”

  1. If $2000.00 dollars is entry level then where does my Giant Boulder SE fall in at? “the leave it by the curb after you ride it once level”. I thought it was entry level… S. Monkey

  2. Good spot, Screaming Monkey. I’m changing it to “Entry Level Full Suspension Mountain Bike”. Hardtails are usually the first choice for a first MTB, because Full Sussers at the same price point just perform much worse. The Anthem X3, is more expensive than a similarly equipped hardtail, but for what you get, it seems pretty good value.

  3. Great blog Ken. found your blog by chance. I have a Giant but is Trance X0, my own setup. Anthem is a good XC bike, I read couple of reviews on the older model but NRS the older model is a better choice comparing both. For entry level full sus, I suggest a 100mm front and a 2′ back travel. my 2centsPS I am gathering bikers’ blog in Taiwan.

  4. Funny enough, my friend ended up getting that used Turner. 4.5″ up front, and 2.75″ in the rear. Hmm… did I really just say that?

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