A well-priced, confidence-inspiring full suspension 29er for women who want to cover a variety of terrain at a steady, not racy, pace.
The Liv/giant Anthem X 29er W is a good-looking bike, with the benefits afforded by bigger wheels, but without the racy geometry of its predecessor, the Anthem XW. For this reviewer, (at 5’4”), the ‘Small’ frame offered a rather ‘sit-up-and-beg’ position, not conducive to racing, but it would be comfortable and confidence-inspiring for someone relatively new to mountain biking who wants to go at their own pace.
Such geometry issues could be improved by having the bike set up correctly for you; mine came with a relatively long (110mm) head tube and could have had a shorter handlebar stem. The seat post was also a crazy length – but it’s not unusual to have to cut this down to size on a new bike.
Kit wise, the Liv/giant comes with fairly standard Shimano parts for a mid-range MTB, although the Shimano M395 hydraulic disc brakes are a nice touch on a bike of this price.
I was a bit disappointed to find that the RockShox Recon forks lost their ability to lock out after only a few rides, and needed attention in the bike shop, but the RockShox Monarch R rear shock gives a cosseting ride when set up correctly. I had no issues with the 3×10 speed gear (again, fairly standard) although 2×10 is proving increasingly popular with riders who want to cover the ground at speed.
The bikes wide, low-rise handle bars are good for technical riding, but can be a stretch for smaller riders and are less comfortable on the shoulders on longer rides. The smooth handlebar grips are another ‘latest‘ style; not my preferred choice, and a bit slippery when wet or when you are trying to lift the front of the bike over obstacles.
Although the bike is a neutral colour scheme, and not overtly girly, the white saddle is a strange choice for something that is likely to get dirty from day one… and it soon went a grubby shade of beige. But it was comfy for me; saddles really are a personal thing that you need to get fitted and try out. The wheels and tyres are a proven combination, hard to fault, and superb in 29er form.
An affordable, comfortable 29er for women who want to get out on all terrain — but the geometry of the bike needs attention if its going to appeal to the ‘average-sized’ woman who wants to race too.
– 29er wheels offer less rolling resistance and make light work of roots and bumps
– Armchair comfort
– Decent, reliable brakes
– Upright riding position with high handlebars
– Front forks needed attention after only a few rides
– White saddle looks grubby very quickly
What Giant say about the 2013 Liv/giant Anthem X 29er W mountain bike
The Liv/giant Anthem X 29er W: speed, stability, control; that’s the promise of 29er wheels. The first full suspension 29er for women, delivers all three.
2013 Liv/giant Anthem X 29er W full suspension XC bike was designed for one reason. To bring the performance advantages of larger 29-inch wheels to women. The geometry and component selection of the lightweight ALuxX SL frame is optimised for the female rider.
The Maestro Suspension soaks up rough terrain and boosts traction and the frame technologies, including megaDrive downtube and PowerCore bottom bracket, produce a fast yet stable feel on any cross country terrain.
Frame: ALUXX SL-Grade ALuminium, 4″ Maestro Suspension
Fork: RockShox Recon Silver 29 RL w/ 15mm Thru Axle, Tapered Steerer, 100mm, 1 1/4″-1 1/2″ Bearings
Shock: RockShox Monarch R
Colours: White/Black/Light Blue
Rims: Giant S-XC29-2
Hubs: [F] Giant Tracker Sealed/CNC w/ 15mm Axle, [R] Giant Tracker Performance, 32h
Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
Tyres: Schwalbe Racing Ralph, 29×2.25 EVO Folding TL Ready
Shifters: Shimano Deore ST-M590, 3×10 speed
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore M593, 10-speed
Brakes: Shimano M395, 160mm rotors
Brake Levers: Shimano M395
Cassette: Shimano HG62 11-36, 10s
Chain: KMC X10
Crankset: Shimano M552, Hollowtech II 24/32/42
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Press-Fit
Handlebar: Giant Connect low rise 31.8
Stem: Giant Connect
Seatpost: Giant Connect, 30.9
Saddle: Giant women’s saddle