Giant vs Specialized Mountain Bikes – Which bike is the better option?

Having a mountain bike that you can customize and adjust according to your needs and preferences is highly desired. Which between the Giant and Specialized bike brands offer this convenience?

Growing up, I had this mountain bike that I took almost everywhere with me. I even cried when my mom didn’t let me carry it on vacation. It was hard for me to accept that I would spend a day without it.

The one thing I remember about it was the bounce it gave me when I rode it which always made me feel so cool. Not to mention, all my friends wanted to get on it every chance I would let them.

Now, I can’t stand to have a bike without an adjustable suspension. It irks me when I’m cruising over to the mall and I can’t get the bobbing to stop.

So, I purposely invest in Mountain bikes with a lockout lever that I can conveniently switch on and off as the terrain dictates.

If you are in the market for one of those, you have come to the right place.

What is the difference between Giant and Specialized Mountain Bikes?

Giant Anthem Advanced MTB
Specialized Epic Pro MTB
Rear derailleur
Shimano Deore XT
SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
Shimano SLX
Advanced Grade Carbon Fiber
FACT 11 Full Carbon
Fox32 Float SC
RockShox Sid Brain
Fox Float DPS
RockShoxSiD SL Brain
MaxxisRekon Race 29â€
Specialized Fast Trak 29â€
Shimano Deore XT
Giant Contact SL
Body Geometry Power Expert
Giant XCR-1
Roval Control Carbon

Giant vs Specialized Mountain Bikes – How do they compare?


Giant’s suspension is a Fox Float type considered inferior to the Specialized RockShox suspension that truly connects the rider to the terrain by offering them responsivity.

Giant Anthem Advanced Mountain features a Fox Float DPS suspension system that you will enjoy while pushing the bike’s limit over hard climbs and the ever-changing terrain. This bike offers 90mm of travel that keeps the rear end stiff to retain pedaling efficiency.

The shock ratio is lowered and the rear stays shortened thanks to the trunnion sock mount. All these factors help to lower the center of gravity making the ride even more stable.

On the Specialized Epic Pro, it gives you the RockShox Brain fork and shock system with the fade adjustment that helps you regulate the suspension’s response with up to four different settings.

This adjustment that Specialized Epic offers is ideal and convenient for multiple users like myself who would like to ride their mountain bike like a regular bike with no suspension from time to time.


Giant Anthem provides longer arm reach compared to when cycling Specialized mountain bikes.  

Giant Anthem bike has a carbon frame and aluminum rear triangle. The Seatpost is made of carbon and the handlebar is a Giant Contact SL XC type that is 780mm long.

It has a 454mm reach, the set angle rests at 73.5 degrees, the head angle is at 69-degrees and the wheelbase is 1,154mm long.

This bike has the Shimano Deore XT as a rear derailleur, an 11-speed cassette on a 32-tooth crankset, and the hydraulic brakes on both front and rear wheels.

It is available in many sizes from S to XL and the geometry is steep which is great for aggressive riding comfortably for more than 2 hours on the trails.

The Specialized Epic Pro Bike features a 470mm reach, a low 324mm bottom bracket, and a 67.5 degree for the head angle.

The SID Brain fork provides a good damper to the bike and it is made into an aluminum crown which makes the bike a little heavier.

Epic Pro has a DT Swiss 350 rear hub with a 36-tooth super engagement drivetrain. It is also built with carbon and the SRAM XO1 drivetrain helps to give the rider a fast and sharp ride.

Riding experience 

Riding the Giant Anthem feels great because of its climbing ability while the Specialized Epic Pro stands out because of its superior full-suspension build with adjustable settings.

It responds perfectly to a rider’s effort and the carbon Seatpost will adequately keep you on the pedals in hard climbs and fast watt gains on flat terrain.

Specialized is fitted with inertia sensors on both its rear hub and inside the fork that further create some automatic regulation of the oil flow within the shock.

This bike climbs almost effortlessly on smooth terrain and when rushing downhill, it effectively absorbs the repeated impacts.

While riding it, you get a sense of the connection between the wheels and the trail and the delicate balance of soft suspension used in low-speed seated climbing. That’s the firm type that you need when smashing through rough terrain.

Giant vs Specialized Mountain Bikes – A Comparison Overview 

Giant Anthem Advanced MTB Review 

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This mountain bike is specially designed with cross country lovers in mind. It almost glosses over the single-track trails with its carbon frame that features a Float SC fork, DPS shock, and 90mm of rear-wheel travel.

Anthem thrives in paced up-hills and easy-flow single track trails where it remains as stiff and efficient as possible.

It easily gets over steep trails and it gains speed easily and effectively which makes it a great choice for all types of riding whether competitive or leisurely.

A special feature in Giant Anthem is the trunnion shock mount that is used to lower the shock ratio which then effectively lowers the center of gravity and makes the ride even more stable.


  • Shimano XT 12-speeds
  • Giant XCR carbon wheels
  • Trunnion shock mount


  • One water-bottle mount

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Specialized Epic Pro MTB Review 

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This bike is listed among the top 5 best bikes for cross country because of its full-suspension XC design that gives riders an exceptional performance. It also boasts of an Autosag function to ensure that you always get your sag right on the shock.

Featuring the Brain 2.0 suspension system, the bike feels super light, flexible, and uber-fast when cycling at high speeds.

The suspension is almost automized meaning it is less active on soft terrain and more active when the terrain gets rough.

It comes with the ability to climb like a cross country bike and also to descend like a long trail bike. It is hailed as the most balanced cross-country mountain bike money can buy.


  • RockShox Brain Suspension
  • SRAM XO1 Drivetrain
  • Progressive geometry


  • Skinny tires

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Verdict: So, which is better – Giant or Specialized Mountain Bikes?

The Specialized Mountain Bikes are better than the Giant brand. This is mainly because of its full-suspension that is also adjustable automatically. These bikes offer the perfect balance between stability and thrill. If you are getting a mountain bike for a cross country competition, this is the go-to bike.


Which is the best headset type to replace the original on my Giant MTB?

You need a standard integrated headset with either a 45-degree or 36-degree bearing seat. 

How often should I get my Specialized suspension serviced? How does it do it?

Servicing your Specialized MTB suspension should happen at least once a year. While there may be some shops in your local area with the refurbished brain, it is best to send your bike over to the Specialized warehouses. It could take around two weeks before you get it back so you must be patient and plan.