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Advice on upgrades for an Anthem X4 - and rider!

bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
edited December 2011 in MTB buying advice
So I've saved my birthday money, and soon it will be Christmas, so I'm after some advice on where to spend my money.

I have an Anthem X4 2010 (specs here) which is basic Deore all over, except the SLX rear mech, M486 brakes and Mavic XM117 rims on what the spec says are [F] Formula, [R] Shimano M475 hubs.

To be fair there's not much on my Anthem that I do not like... but I'd like to make it slightly more 'all mountain' without making it heavier. At some point very soon I'm going to experiment with a 90mm stem instead of the stock 110 as I'm hoping it will make it a bit more responsive on the downhill sections.

My thoughts are that a dropper post would be handy, as I am forever faffing with the QR on some rides - so a Reverb would probably make the most real difference to my riding. (£250+)

I was very tempted buy a full XT set (or possibly just SLX) as there are good deals from Germany. But to be honest the Deore is doing the job, as it not wearing out just yet. The one bit of XT I've always liked is the shifting, and I remember Sonic saying "shifters" in response to a similar query, so should I just go for a pair of XT shifters (£75)?

I could also upgrade the wheels to go lighter/stronger and to give a better profile on fatter tyres... something like Crests, but again this seems like a sizeable expense (c£300) for possibly marginal gains.

The other options on the table are to ignore the bike and invest in a skills course - on the basis that the rider is more in need of an upgrade than the bike. Or... to get a winter hardtail to prolong the life of the Anthem, and improve my skills at the same time.

So lots of options. I've probably got about £300 now, and maybe another £200 in the next few months. Any thoughts on a bike and rider upgrade strategy!
Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    A lot of possible upgrading! I have to say: is it better to sell up and buy new? The Anthem is a great XC bike, but I think you can only stretch it so far into the 'All Mountain' that you suggest. If you like tighter geometry and are fair in flight on the bike then it may be worth upgrading, but I still feel a new bike would be better value.

    Consider the Giant Trance.
  • its a difficult one, it depends on what you want from the bike supersonic is right its a xc bike so its never gonna be a all mountain point and shoot kinda bike, the bike can really go only one way and thats lighter so i would think hard about what you want from him, i love my anthem and it does what i want for my style of riding which is xc it will do a bit of every thing but if i were to take it up the lakes every week and hammer it on the many rocky downhills up there bike wouldnt last, you could however put 120mm forks on but thats the limit, if you wanna upgrade your anthem though a bit of xt works fine ie shifters brakes cassette, slx crank is ok though oh and lighter wheels and even tubeless, just decide what you want from the anthem and your style of riding :D
    anthem x with many upgrades
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    For the vast majority of my riding the Anthem is spot-on, so I've no inclination to sell up and get something else. What I meant to say was that my goal was not to go lighter/faster/more XC (so not looking for carbon, ti-bolts etc) - but maybe to make it spot-on just that little bit more often... so a dropper post might be top of my list.

    In the last 18 months all I've really invested in is tyres (which seem to be the best performance upgrade) and lights (which are the upgrade giving you the most extra riding time).

    At the moment a dropper post and shifters might be all that's worth altering. I'll might save the rest for a skills course, trips to trail centres and beer.... and get saving for a 456 or similar.
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • gmaczgmacz Posts: 343
    http://www.bikechase.co.uk/index.php?p=232531
    This one is a £100 saving and will allow more to be spent elsewhere.
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    gmacz wrote:
    http://www.bikechase.co.uk/index.php?p=232531
    This one is a £100 saving and will allow more to be spent elsewhere.

    Hmm... I might go for one of those. 10/10 in MBR, but only 2.5 stars (in WMB I think)... a confusing set of reviews.
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • The stem does seem quite long, I found a shorter stem around 60mm really helped the feel of my bike. But still that only needs to be a £30 upgrade at most!
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    Your best bet is to upgrade your tires, but stick with kevlar/folding type of tire, because they are generally a lot lighter. Try a shorter stem if you can, and if you like it, buy it.
    Better brakes allow you to brake later, but are your already good enough? If not, consider a bigger rotor first. I wouldn't change the fork travel as a slacker angle will make the steering more stable at speed, but less responsive.
    I wouldn't change the chainset, mechs and shifters as you say, they are doing their job.
    The rear hub is a bit rubbish I think, but upgrade only if you encounter problem with it. The rims are okay as they are not heavy but inexpensive.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
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