What are GT Mountain Bikes?
GT mountain bikes are available in a range of prices and options. The company, GT Bicycles, has been around since 1974. GT was founded by Gary Turner, who designed one of the first BMX bikes, and Richard Long. GT was one of the biggest names in BMX racing, having more wins and riders than other bicycle company.
As mountain biking further developed as a sport and BMX racing waned in the late 80s, GT became more well known for their mountain bikes, with legends like Juli Furtado, Nicolas Vouilloz, and Richi Grewal winning medals on GT mountain bikes.
Today, GT riders continue to take home medals.
As with all companies, GT has their own specific technology for designing bikes. I have sorted through all the jargon and acronyms and want to pass on to you what I have learned about the design of GT mountain bikes...
Force Optimized Construction: GT's frame manufacturing process in which the frame is constructed in a way that gives it strength and stiffness in areas that need it most, while removing material from areas that need it least.
Monocoque Frame: One-piece frame construction
Independent Drivetrain (ID): GT's patented system in which the movement of the bottom bracket is isolated from the front and rear triangles of the bike. This keeps the distance from the seat from the bottom bracket constant while pedaling, decreasing pedal feedback and increasing pedaling efficiency.
Triple Triangle Design: The frames on GT mountain bikes have seat stays that extend to the top tube in order to increase the stiffness and strength of the frame and improve pedal efficiency.
Rockblock: The Kevlar strip on the downtube of the Fury, GT's downhill bike, to protect it from debris
GTw: GT's women's specific design which includes the following features:
- Taller head tube: allows the woman's upper body to be positioned higher in order to rotate the tailbone into a position that maximizes comfort
- Steeper seat tube angle: allows for a more comfortable riding position due to a shorter femur
- shorter top tube length: because women have shorter arms, this decreases the reach to the handlebars
- shorter stem
- narrower handlebars with smaller diameter grip
- short-reach brake levers
- women's specific saddles
GT Women's Mountain Bike Line-up:
- GTw Sensor 2.0: Trail/Marathon mountain bike. Specs include 6061 aluminum frame, 120 mm Fox Float 32R fork with Fox Float RP2 in rear, Shimano SLX, Avid and Richey components
- GTw Zaskar Expert: Race XC Hardtailhydroformed Kinesis 7005 Superlight aluminum with 100mm RockShox Recon RAce fork and Shimano drivetrain
- GTw Avalanche 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Mid- to Entry-level Recreational XC Hardtails
Both the women specific design versions of the GTw Sensor and the GTw Zaskar Expert are classified as "top-level" bikes, but in the men's versions, they are considered "mid-level", probably because there are much better bikes in the men's line-up, including carbon fiber bikes with top of the line components like XTR and SRAM. This imbalance is unfortunately still the case with many mountain bike companies.
9'r: GT's 29er mountain bike
GT has some hardtail 29er mountain bikes in their line-up, including the following. They do not offer any 29er full suspension mountain bikes.
- Zaskar 9'r Pro- Racing hardtail with Kinesis Superlight tubing, 100 mm Fox Float 32 RL 9'r fork, and Shimano XT components
- Zaskar 9'r Expert- Racing hardtail designed for beginning XC racers. Includes Shimano SLX parts kit
- 9'r Multi- Recreational affordable hardtail
- Peace 9'r- Single speed 29er. Features Reynolds 520 tubing and Cromoly steel rigid fork
For more information on these GT 29er mountain bikes, scroll down to the Race XC Hardtails section.
GT Mountain Bikes
The Fury Carbon Team is GT's downhill bike. This beautiful bike has a Monocoque Carbon Fiber frame, which is GT's one-piece frame construction. The Fury also features GT's Travel Independent Drivetrain system with 210 mm of rear wheel travel. The Fury Alloy is the alloy version.
The Force series is GT's all mountain line-up. It has 150 mm suspension and comes in carbon or alloy options with GT's Independent Drivetrain (ID) system.
Force Carbon Sport
is GT's top of the line all mountain rig. Features include a carbon monocoque frame with Force Optimized Construction, Shimano SLX, Formula RX brakes, and Rockshox Sektor fork with QR15 and Fox Float RL.
The Force 1.0, 2.0. and 3.0 are the alloy versions with the Force 1.0 having the best components and the Force 3.0 being the most affordable option.
The 2011 models of the GT Force 1.0, Force 2.0 and Force 3.0 are significantly marked down in price right now if you are looking for a decent alloy all mountain bike.
The Trail/Marathon GT mountain bikes are designed to be lightweight, durable, and with plush rear travel designed for epic rides.
The Marathon Carbon Series feature carbon frames with Force Optimized Construction and 100 mm rear wheel travel. This series includes the Marathon Carbon Team, Team (SRAM), Pro, and Expert, with highest end components on the Team and Team (SRAM).
The Sensor 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 are GT's alloy Trail/Marathon bikes that are made from 6061 aluminum and have 120mm suspension. The Sensor 1.0 is the top-end alloy trail bike, which features tubing that is triple-butted, hydroformed, and shot-peened along with Shimano XT components.
The Sensor 2.0 is the mid-level trail bike. The entry-level Sensor 3.0 was new in 2010 and is the least expensive of the trail bikes.
GTw Sensor 2.0: women's specific design with 6061 aluminum frame, 120 mm Fox Float 32R fork with Fox Float RP2 in rear, Shimano SLX, and Avid and Richey components.
Race XC Hardtails
The Zaskar series is GT's Race XC line-up. These GT mountain bikes are designed for speed, nimble handling, and quick acceleration. GT does not have any Race XC full-suspensions in their current line-up.
The Zaskar carbon series has Force Optimized Construction carbon frames and 100 mm rear travel.
- Zaskar Carbon Team XX- full XTR components
- Zaskar Carbon Pro- mid-level carbon racing hardtail with shimano XT components
- Zaskar Carbon Expert- entry-level carbon racing ht with shimano SLX drivetrain
Recreational XC Hardtails
- Zaskar Expert- features hydroformed Kinesis 7005 Superlight aluminum
- GTw Zaskar Expert- women's specific design version
- Zaskar 9'r Pro- has Kinesis Superlight tubing and is designed to be very stiff and light. Also features 100 mm Fox Float 32 RL 9'r fork and Shimano XT components
- Zaskar 9'r Expert- designed for beginning XC racers making the switch to 29-inch wheels. Features Shimano SLX parts kit
GT mountain bikes include several different models of recreational hardtails that range in price from a few hundred dollars to $1300.
There are a couple of very affordable rigid 29ers in this line-up, including the Peace 9'r Multi and the single speed Peace 9'r. They both have Reynolds 520 tubing and Cromoly steel rigid forks.
Designs for women include several mid-level and entry-level recreational hardtails, including the GTw Avalanche 1.0 Disc, 2.0 Disc, 3.0, and 3.0 Disc, and the Laguna Women's.
GT has a nice selection of mountain bikes in their line-up, including downhill, all mountain, marathon/trail, racing hardtails, and recreational hardtails. They do not currently have any full suspensions in their Race XC line-up. GT mountain bikes also have some hardtail 29ers and a few women's specific designs (GTw).
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