Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

gooldin
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Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:09 am

Hey folks,

I'm looking at purchasing a 29er dualy soon. Was hoping to get some advice / suggestions.

I had my heart set on giant for their lifetime warranty on the frame as this is what i've got in a road bike. However seeing as I dont be going with a carbon frame on the MTB, this might not be such an issue. So I'm looking at others.

Something I've noticed with the giants is that they dont seem to offer remote lockout...any idea why? This made me look elsewhere and thats how I came across the spark.

Willing to look at anything really. And dont I mind 2nd hand as long as its in newish condition - in fact this is probably ideal as you generally get more bang for buck. Specs i'm looking for are;
29er dual suspension
fox shocks/forks
remote lockout
single cog up front so a 1 x 11 or something
dropper post would be nice
something reliable

Budget is anywhere between $2k and $3.2k

Cheers,
Cheers,
Kev

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Phil
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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby Phil » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:34 am

You might want to include size too.

I have the 2017 Spark 930 - Ridden the Anthems - go the Spark. The Twinloc seems like a gimmick - until you use it.
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gooldin
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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:17 pm

Yeah, just another thing to go wrong / service eh. Would be sweet though when you want it!

AH! size....I"m 180cm...so a M or M/L
Cheers,
Kev

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:23 pm

I'm based in Canberra. Trying to figure out where ill find the best deal on a Spark
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Kev

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby trailgumby » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:32 pm

Scott doesn't have the best reputation for handling warranty issues. Giant is probably the class leader among the major brands for how they look after their customers when things go wrong, as they do eventually for some bikes for all brands.

The 2018 MY Giants get a good rap from reviewers for their updated geometry.

I'm looking closely at the new Scalpel for when the doctors let me back on the bike in a few months.

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:39 pm

any idea why giant dont offer remote lockout?

also, giant seem to be sticking to 100mm travel...whereas most others are 110-120 for their cross country range!
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Kev

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby bychosis » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:12 pm

Giant probably don't offer lockout because the Anthem platform is optimised for climbing and shouldn't bob under pedalling (when you need lockout). I would be surprised if they didn't offer lockout on the Trance or Reign models as they are designed with more travel and suspension compliance in mind.

Are you looking for a full on XC bike? I've just cracked my XC race oriented frame and am looking at going to a more trail oriented bike next to hopefully give me a little more fun on the descents/rough stuff.
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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby trailgumby » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:14 pm

120mm gets you into trail bike territory. All the fast XC race-oriented stuff is 100mm, or less. Giant's trail bikes are all 27.5" - meh :x

Remote lockouts are overrated. The only time I use mine is on long smooth fire road climbs or on the road when climbing, when they do make a slight speed difference, and out-of-saddle efforts much more practical. Too easy to forget to switch it it off when the trail points down again, though. You definitely remember after the front hits hard, your body jerks forward and you're in flight over the bars. I wonder if this was responsible for any of the stacks on the techy descending obstacles in Cairns at the UCI worlds the other weekend? :shock:

You also tend to blow your shock and fork damper seals from forgetting and then running into stuff like potholes and rocks. I need to get them all replaced on the fork in my hardtail for this reason. :roll:

They can be a help,but they're a bit of a double-edged sword.

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:45 pm

bychosis wrote:Giant probably don't offer lockout because the Anthem platform is optimised for climbing and shouldn't bob under pedalling (when you need lockout). I would be surprised if they didn't offer lockout on the Trance or Reign models as they are designed with more travel and suspension compliance in mind.

Are you looking for a full on XC bike? I've just cracked my XC race oriented frame and am looking at going to a more trail oriented bike next to hopefully give me a little more fun on the descents/rough stuff.


I guess the real question here is where does a XC track end and a trail start? I'll be riding tracks like mt stromlo, parts of the centenary trail around Hall, ACT. Mt Majura. etc etc. I'm no pro so would be sticking to blue runs. Does this all mean I should really be looking at a trail bike rather than a XC?

Even giants most expensive reign doesnt offer lockout. I'd love to know.
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/reign-advanced-0-2018
Cheers,
Kev

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:48 pm

trailgumby wrote:They can be a help,but they're a bit of a double-edged sword.


Thanks for your input. Yeah, I see what you're saying. But I would definitely be covering some smooth ground during transit. Also, I love the idea of 3 stage lockout available with the spark. Not sure if this is a common thing across all bikes with lockout?! But it sounds like a good idea.
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Kev

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby bychosis » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:09 pm

gooldin wrote:I guess the real question here is where does a XC track end and a trail start? I'll be riding tracks like mt stromlo, parts of the centenary trail around Hall, ACT. Mt Majura. etc etc. I'm no pro so would be sticking to blue runs. Does this all mean I should really be looking at a trail bike rather than a XC?

It's more about how you want to ride. XC for fast as possible, Trail for a bit more fun going down. As I said before, I've shifted my thinking and will opt for a trail biased bike next round.

Even giants most expensive reign doesnt offer lockout. I'd love to know.
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/reign-advanced-0-2018

The Reign is not designed for climbing though, while not a full on downhill bike, and you wouldn't find a lockout on a downhill rig.

I agree with trailgumby too, lockout is a double edged sword. Mine is a reach down to the shock type, not remote bar controlled and plenty of times I've been mid descent and found myself trying to unlock it. I rarely use it, but might do so more if it was bar controlled.
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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby Duck! » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:01 pm

I'll open with a declaration of commercial allegiance to Giant, but I will counter it with a general dislike for 29ers - haven't yet ridden one I like, including Giants.....

Giant's Maestro rear suspension system is a pretty efficient design, so it doesn't need a high level of compression damping ("lockout" is an inaccurate term, as very few forks or shocks actually lock rigid, they still allow some compression) to stabilise it. Remote switching for the rear is pretty rare in the greater scheme, so Giant aren't on their own there; if anything Scott are an exception by fitting remote rear switching. Why they don't offer it on the front is something for the mucketing team to answer.

There's also - on paper at least - a considerable difference between the new 2018 Anthem 29er and anything that precedes it; the new bike is the first real redesign since the model's inception back around 2011. Frankly the old model (up to and including the recently superceded 2017 version) was confused; it had a quite steep head angle typical of MTBs in general until recently, which wanted to be agile, but the Maestro linkage design gave it quite a long tail, which really hurt the handling, so it often felt like driving a bus around a go-kart track. The new model, which I have not yet ridden, appears to be a better-balanced bike. The rear end is tighter, which should help the handling, although the front end is slacker, which will take a bit of sharpness off but improve descending stability. But it's still a 29er, so how chuckable and responsive it is through fun flowy stuff remains to be seen.....

The choice between Fox or Rock Shox suspension is neither here nor there really; they've both had good and bad periods, Fox more recently, but they're now pretty even, especially on the forks. Rear shocks, by whatever damping setups they use, are somewhat weight-oriented, although not necessarily intentionally. I've found, through a combination of my own riding and the feedback from customers, that Fox tend to suit lighter riders, while Rock Shox tend to be better for heavier riders, with the crossover point being around 75-80kg.

"XC" and "Trail" are very blurry mucketing terms; by and large you're really only at a disadvantage on a "trail"-oriented bike if you're at the pointy end of an XC race field; for general riding it will do everything an XC bike will do, with a bit more descending stability.

Long story short, I wouldn't rule out the Anthem 27.5 either.....
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby trailgumby » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:48 pm

I would tend to run a 100mm 29er around those trails, but you could have just as much fun with a 120mm bike, it would just be a tad slower up the climbs, but more forgiving on the downs. I quite like the Trek bikes in that travel range. Very fun and confidence inspiring geometry.

One thing to be aware of on the longer travel, slacker bikes is that you have to ride the front wheel a harder otherwise the bike can be prone to understeer and washing out. Well, that' s the difference I find between my 100mm Scalpel - which is very responsive to steering inputs - and my 130mm Trigger. I'm constantly having to remind myself to weight the bars, especially descending the loose berms at Thredbo and at Stromlo when it's dry.

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:08 am

bychosis wrote:I rarely use it, but might do so more if it was bar controlled.


yeah, thats why im chasing the remote lockout....figured it would be an easy to use when needed!
Cheers,
Kev

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:10 am

trailgumby wrote: I'm constantly having to remind myself to weight the bars, especially descending the loose berms at Thredbo and at Stromlo when it's dry.


Interesting.....

My skill level is definitely average....i've only been out on the trails about 30-40 times over the past 2 years i reckon. So I'm not sure how this would effect your input/comments. I should have mentioned this at the start. So in saying that....I'm definitely not going to be 'racing' any time soon.....or ever.
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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby rangersac » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:12 am

I reckon a 120mm - 130mm trail bike is about the sweet spot. Sure you won't be quite as fast as the whippets up the climbs, but they are that bit more forgiving on the downs for those of us who fall firmly into the average rider bracket. And like most have already said, you really don't need a remote lockout, modern suspension makes it pretty unnecessary unless you are on smooth fire roads, or bitumen, and then you just reach down and manually lockout.

Can't go wrong with a Giant really, they will be well specced. Canyon Bikes are very good value, the Neuron 7.9 is tasty at the price but it's mail order. Treks, Cannondales etc might be slightly outside your budget.
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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:55 am

Duck! wrote:I'll open with a declaration of commercial allegiance to Giant, but I will counter it with a general dislike for 29ers - haven't yet ridden one I like, including Giants.....


Nice.....so you're saying you can cut me a good deal then? :wink: :wink:

Duck! wrote:The choice between Fox or Rock Shox suspension is neither here nor there really; they've both had good and bad periods, Fox more recently, but they're now pretty even, especially on the forks. Rear shocks, by whatever damping setups they use, are somewhat weight-oriented, although not necessarily intentionally. I've found, through a combination of my own riding and the feedback from customers, that Fox tend to suit lighter riders, while Rock Shox tend to be better for heavier riders, with the crossover point being around 75-80kg.


Interesting points.....I'm about 83kg. Something I've hearrrrrd, is that fox lock out a lot stiffer than rock shocks....which I would find beneficial, is this true?

Duck! wrote:"XC" and "Trail" are very blurry mucketing terms; by and large you're really only at a disadvantage on a "trail"-oriented bike if you're at the pointy end of an XC race field; for general riding it will do everything an XC bike will do, with a bit more descending stability.


Would you agree with the point below about having to put more weight on the front of a trail bike to steer downhill?

Duck! wrote:Long story short, I wouldn't rule out the Anthem 27.5 either.....


lol. i've only ever owned a 29er (bought my first MTB cpl years ago, a 2nd hand 2012 Anthem)....So I cant really make comparisons....but there sems to be a lot of love going around for 29ers..... Not sure what would be better for my skill level really...but the 29er ive got seems to be doing the trick!
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Kev

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby Duck! » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:34 pm

gooldin wrote:
Duck! wrote:The choice between Fox or Rock Shox suspension is neither here nor there really; they've both had good and bad periods, Fox more recently, but they're now pretty even, especially on the forks. Rear shocks, by whatever damping setups they use, are somewhat weight-oriented, although not necessarily intentionally. I've found, through a combination of my own riding and the feedback from customers, that Fox tend to suit lighter riders, while Rock Shox tend to be better for heavier riders, with the crossover point being around 75-80kg.


Interesting points.....I'm about 83kg. Something I've hearrrrrd, is that fox lock out a lot stiffer than rock shocks....which I would find beneficial, is this true?

Not necessarily. I've got a Fox fork on one bike and Rock Shox on the other, and although the Fox is more adjustable on that particular model, at its stiffest it's about the same as the RS. Both bikes (26" Anthems, one aluminium, one carbon) have Fox rear shocks, one a RP2, which is a simple on or off compression damper, the other a RP23 which has a bit more mid-range tuning, but on the firm setting are about the same. Rock Shox Monarchs I have found to be stiffer across the range. This gives the RS better top-stroke support for heavier riders, where flyweights like me find it harsh & uncompliant. The Foxes are a bit softer in the top stroke, which suits riders like me, but heavier riders find them too spongy, then they ramp up harder deeper in the stroke.

gooldin wrote:
Duck! wrote:"XC" and "Trail" are very blurry mucketing terms; by and large you're really only at a disadvantage on a "trail"-oriented bike if you're at the pointy end of an XC race field; for general riding it will do everything an XC bike will do, with a bit more descending stability.


Would you agree with the point below about having to put more weight on the front of a trail bike to steer downhill?

Not entirely..... Although the slacker front end is a little less likely to chuck you over the front, you don't want to put too much weight on the front when descending. Uphill is where you really need to get over the front, because that's where the slackness really gives the bike the wanders.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby gooldin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:36 am

Duck! wrote:The Foxes are a bit softer in the top stroke, which suits riders like me, but heavier riders find them too spongy, then they ramp up harder deeper in the stroke.


This is getting real kinky.....
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Re: Help! - Giant Anthem vs Scott Spark 940 / 950 or similar

Postby trailgumby » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:25 pm

Duck! wrote:
gooldin wrote:Would you agree with the point below about having to put more weight on the front of a trail bike to steer downhill?

Not entirely..... Although the slacker front end is a little less likely to chuck you over the front, you don't want to put too much weight on the front when descending. Uphill is where you really need to get over the front, because that's where the slackness really gives the bike the wanders.

What I think Duck! is getting at is that there is a limit to how much weight you should put on the front, and I wholeheartedly agree. Too much and the rear gets loose instead, or (worse) you go over the bars. You will learn to judge this with more experience.

What I'm getting at with my trail bike is that I have to be a lot more active moving my weight around compared to my XC bike, as the geometry is slacker and more rear-ward biased on the trail bike for safely descending steeper descents. This is good on the steep stuff, but on the gentler descents you need to be more conscious about weight placement.

It is also this particular bike, in some regards. It has a 2-stage shock that changes the geometry from slack to steep depending on whether you are climbing or descending that means it has two distinct personalities. Others, without this feature, such as the Trek Fuel EX range seem to be more neutral in their handling, so perhaps I was wrong to generalise.

In short-travel climbing mode my trail bike isn't too bad with the wanders on steep climbs, but other trail bikes (eg,original Jekyll) I've had have suffered from it for sure.

Earlier this year I washed out on one of the berms at Thredbo on the Flow Trail and needed to get my elbow sutured because of a concentration lapse with weighting the bars, looking up to see how far a mate was down the trail. If I'd been riding the trail bike more regularly it would have been more automated habit I guess instead of having to be conscious about it.

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