30 Bananas a Day!

Now that I feel more healthy, fit and active on 80-10-10, I'm thinking it's time to buy a bike. The last time I rode a bike was about 12 years ago, so this will be my first adult bike.

I go for a few miles of bushwalk every now & then and I really enjoy that, so I want the bike to go on longer trails (200-300 kilometres).

So the bike will be primarily for off-road, and the bush tracks are only a few miles of paved road away from my house.

Ok. Now that the backstory is out of the way...

I, for sure, want a 29er with full-suspension.

I'm 173cm tall (5' 8") and I've been told I take a medium frame.

I've been in the bike shop looking at a Giant Anthem X 29er 1

That's the cheapest bike I've been able to find of the brands that Harley recommended on his Choosing a Bike video.


Can anyone tell me anything about this bike from experience ?

Is this the bike for me ? / Are there other full-suspension 29ers you would recommend ?
Any other advice, stories, anecdotes, anything I should be aware of ?

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hi zeta,

i love kenshin btw.  : ]

okay, so for a mountain bike...  it's not about the bike you asked about, but i have a specialized stump jumper, and it's such a great bike.  i could ride anywhere on it.  it's really fun to ride, comfortable, lightweight, and i can't say anything negative about it at all.  i love it. 

i have an older model.  you can find one on craigslist for a good price.  : )

Hi Zeta, I have owned a Giant ATX AC1 since 2001, still going strong! I can't offer advice on that bike, but I would consider Giant a good brand, and definitely worth dual suspension, even if they are harder to push up a hill than a hard tail, good luck....keep it fun ;)


Ok. So, I went back into the shop for a proper measure up and it turns out I'm actually a Small frame.

If I really was a Medium, I was ready to pay a deposit on the spot. Oh well. Problem is, I can't even order a Small one.

It seems the Australian wholesaler or whatever are all out of Anthems and there are only M, L & XL at any of the dealers around me. So I can't get the model I was looking at.

My only options now are to either wait 2 months for the 2013 Giant models to come in, or to look at other brands.

Tomorrow I happen to be driving to my nearest major town (100 miles away), where there is a Specialized dealer, so I'm going to have a look at some of those.

At the moment I'm really sitting on the fence about what to do. Giant & Specialized are the only two brands worth buying from the dealers around me, at this stage it's definitely between those two.

I was gonna take two months to pay it off, anyway. So, it's not like I'll be waiting any extra time to see the new Giant models. So, i'll look at some Specialized models tomorrow, then wait the two months to see the new Giant models up close. Then I'll decide what to buy. Until then, I have two months to do some research.

Does anyone know if Harley ended up buying a 29er ?

I went down to the Specialized dealer yesterday. They had so much better stuff than the Giant dealer. More staff, a workshop, a fitter-upper guy, better gloves, better glasses, more of this, more of that. I'm definitely sold on the shop.

I liked the bikes a lot more than the Anthem, too. So, now I'm probably getting a Specialized. But now I'm confused about what model of Specialized to look at. I like the more upright position of the Camber frame, but I also like that wonderful little valve on the rear suspension of the Epic models.

The only downside is that I'm now looking at spending at least $750 more than I was intending when I originally looked at the Giant. Oh well, I don't mind, it's for my health.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what models I should be looking at ? I'm a fairly relaxed rider, I don't spend a lot of time leaning forward. I want something that would be comfortable to ride all day, on the road AND in the bush. Reasonably fast on the road, but I don't give a damn about weight. And, of course, I love the Brain technology and no matter what model I get will be very happy to shell out some extra $ to make sure I have Brain on both the back and the front forks.

So, any advice on the Specialized bikes ?

I figure full suspension would be easier on my backside.

And I went downhilling a couple of times with some mates about 15 years ago, when I was a youngling, and I remember one or two of them going over the handlebars with front-only suspension.

Obviously it doesn't have to be too plush. Just something that can glide over roots, rocks, shallow rocky streams, etc. My road riding will pretty much be separate to my scrub bashing, so when I leave the bush I can always lock out the suspension.

I found a Trek dealer and a Cannondale dealer not much more than 100 miles away, so that complicates my decision making process. Up close & personal, I've only looked at the Giant & Specialized bikes, but the following is the list of what I am looking at with web research as well.


- Anthem X 29er 1


- Camber Comp 29 / Expert 29

- Epic Comp 29

-Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29


- Scalpel 29'er Carbon 2

- Scalpel 29'er Alloy 3


- Superfly 100 AL Pro

- Superfly 100 Elite

It's extra $ as well, no matter which I choose. I'll at least be swapping out the seat & rims ... unless I felt like shelling out top $ for the Camber Pro Carbon 29 or Stumpy FSR Carbon 29. Then I'd just be changing the seat.

I can check out the Trek & Cannondale in person at the end of next week. In the end, I suppose I will have to ride some of them. Until then, any advice ?

I've pretty much decided on the Cannondale Scalpel but, realistically, by the time I can afford that I'll be picking from the 2014 lineup.

So, I've decided just to go with a few hundred bucks worth of hardtail for the next year or two. Then I can do the sensible thing and save for a bigger car for the family.

In about 3 weeks my local shop will have some new 2013 Giants, so I will be buying a Giant Boulder 29er 0.

I believe they're going to be $649 in Australia.



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