Pro bike: Marco Joubert's Giant Anthem

Cape Epic Anthem Pro
(Image credit: Max Sullivan)

Giant's Anthem has been a venerable option for racing the Cape Epic over the years, however, the last model was beginning to look quite long in the tooth during its showing in last year's event.

Since then the Anthem has brought it right up to date, Giant’s latest Anthem Advanced Pro 1 29 has had a serious overhaul with new geometry and suspension. It must be working well too as South African riders Marco Joubert and Pieter du Toit of team Imbuko {Type} DEV pulled off a well-earned stage 5 victory. 

To stand on the top of the podium would have been a big moment for the South African pairing who both celebrated their first Cape Epic stage win together. The pair would go on to secure the African Leaders Jersey and finish 8th in the GC.

Keep reading as we take a look at Marco's Cape Epic Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 1.

Cape Epic Anthem Pro

Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. The default choice for many Cape Epic specialists with enough bike skills, to keep them gripping in dusty switchbacks (Image credit: Max Sullivan)

Trick Fox suspension 

The Anthem Advanced Pro 1 29 configures around a 100mm rear shock, but interestingly, a 110mm fork. This is slightly longer than the 100mm forks that many Cape Epic riders are on, and a happy medium between that stroke length and the 120mm downcountry specification bikes.

Marco’s Anthem Advanced Pro 1 29 does without rider-triggered lockout levers. Giant’s engineers and product specialists have equipped the brand’s premium XCO/XCM race bike with Fox Live Valve technology.

The control module is mounted under the top tube and regards terrain, locking and unlocking Marco’s Fox 34 fork and rear shock.

Although this control module adds a few grams of weight (around 145g), it reduces the rider input burden. Considering the cadence and heart rate that Cape Epic pros ride, remembering to lock and unlock suspension can become an issue mid-stage. Especially when temperatures are soaring in the African midday sun.

Cape Epic Anthem Pro

Japanese crankset and pedals. South African chainring. German power meter (Image credit: Max Sullivan)

Giant hoops meet Racing Ralphs 

Marco’s drivetrain and brakes are full Shimano XTR, although he keeps its proudly South African with a locally manufactured cSixx chainring. 

Harvesting Marco’s cadence data is a Power2Max NG power meter, communicating with a Wahoo head unit.

Rolling the Imbuko {Type} DEV rider along are Giant’s XCR 1 29 carbon wheels, shod with Schwalbe’s low-resistance Racing Ralphs – one of the Cape Epic’s most enduring and proven tire choices.

Cape Epic Anthem Pro

ESI foam grips are popular with South African riders, who know how punishing the country’s corrugated fire roads can be (Image credit: Max Sullivan)

No lock-ons 

This is Marco’s fifth Cape Epic, and he knows that what feels comfy on stage 1 doesn’t necessarily remain so by stage 5. 

Marco prefers ESI foam grips to keep his hands from going numb instead of lock-on grips.

And for shoe contact point durability? For Marco, the pedalling answer is always: Shimano XTR.

Tech Specs: Marco Joubert's Giant Anthem

  • Frame: Giant Anthem Advanced Pro
  • Fork: Fox 34 Float SC Performance Elite Live Valve 
  • Shock: Fox Performance Elite Live Valve
  • Handlebar: Giant Contact SLR XC
  • Stem: Giant Contact SL XC
  • Grips: ESI foam grips
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XTR, Power2Max NG power meter, cSixx chainring
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR
  • Dropper post: Fox Transfer SL
  • Wheels: Giant XCR-0 29 WheelSystem
  • Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralphs
  • GPS device: Wahoo Elemnt Roam
Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.