GT Bicycles unveiled several new bikes at PressCamp, ranging from the race-ready carbon fiber Zaskar 29er above to an alloy version of their Fury DH bike to a pair of throwback urban BMX bikes with 26″ wheels.
Starting with the new Zaskar Carbon 29er, this one’s the second generation even though the first never saw the light of day. The 2011 model that we saw last year never made it to actual production, but this one’s ready to go. The design philosophy was carried over from the 26″ model, but it foregoes the pressed carbon dropouts in favor of new alloy bolt-on vertical dropouts for gears on complete bikes. The frameset will be available with sliding dropouts for singlespeed setups. Frame is monocoque hi-mod Ultra Blend carbon fiber that keeps their trademark Triple Triangle design. GT says the design offers better tire clearance and lateral rigidity, which is why a lot of brands are starting to bring their seatstays to the outside of the seattube.
More on this and the rest behind the break…
The frame uses internal cable routing.
The Zaskar 29er Pro gets this metallic Ion Blue color that’s baked on for better durability. The lock-on foam grips are embossed with GT’s Wings logo.
It weighs in at 23lbs 13oz (Large, I think) spec’d with Formula R1 brakes, full XT 2×10 drivetrain, Crank Brothers bar and post, Syncros stem, Rockshox SID 29er fork, DT Swiss M1800 wheelset and Maxxis Aspen tires. They chose the all-mountain wheelset because it has a wider rim and is pretty tough. $4200. Below that, there’s a sub-$3,000 Expert model, but spec isn’t finalized on that one.
GT also moved the Zaskar name to full suspension with the Expert 100. This replaces the Marathon and moves to using the Zaskar moniker for all of their top-end lightweight race bikes.
It uses a revised i-Drive design for 100mm travel on a full carbon fiber frame. The new model shaves 500g off the frame by going to a tapered headtube, full carbon rear triangle swingarm, including the dropouts, and a slimmed down i-Drive design. The old i-Drive had a larger external BB link that mounted to the outside of the rear end (like on the Fury, below).
Now, the rear triangle is one piece and everything mounts inside. Additionally, the old i-Link was alloy and had some flex, which could fatigue the piece. The new one is carbon and is much stiffer, which puts the stresses of suspension movement on the oversized pivot axles and bearings rather than the small “dogbone”.
Combined, GT says their FEA shows that it’s much stiffer. They changed the leverage ratio from the Marathon and gave it a longer shock to give it better small bump compliance. The rear brake is a modified post mount that has replaceable inserts with external screws to position them. The pivot system is designed around standard 1-1/8″ headset bearings using a cup-and-cone system that’s easily serviceable. This system will be on all of their suspension bikes for 2012, even the DH bikes.
$4200 and this is the only FS Zaskar model they’ll bring into the U.S. Spec is SLX/XT shifting, Formula RX brakes, SRAM 2×10 crankset, Crank Brothers bar and post, Syncros stem, DT Swiss spokes and rims with Formula hubs and Rockshox Reba fork. Alloy bits are color matched throughout. Considering the spec, the 25lb 15oz weight is pretty good…convert to tubeless and put some higher level cranks (these are SRAM’s base 2×10 models) and it gets competitive pretty quick.
Unofficially, they’re working on a 29er version, but you didn’t read that.
When we went to France last year for the GT bikes launch, one of their darlings was the full carbon Fury DH bike. For 2012, they’re bringing out the Fury Alloy 2.0 for $3,250 with the same geometry their pros ride on the carbon models.
They started with the Ruckus frame and extended the gussets to hold up to DH abuse. I spent quite a bit of time on the Ruckus and it handled steep, gnarly stuff really well. This one just makes it bigger and burlier with more travel.
The main pivot section is cold forged machined alloy. The front triangle is a hydroformed monocoque shell with two halves welded together, similar to how Foes builds their high end bikes. 150×12 rear axle. They worked with Marzocchi to bring high performance suspension to the lower price point bike, spec’ing it with an 888 dual crown coil fork and Roco R coilover rear shock.
Gravity Moto-X cranks and SRAM X5 rear shifter and derailleur, triple compound Maxxis Minion 3C tires. It’s built to be extremely durable and for those that want a DH bike that’s not going to be their primary bike and for rental or demo fleets that want a high return on investment with a bike that’ll last.
We made MDL work for this one: 46lbs 2oz.
GT went back to ’86 to show off their heritage with two new BMX style bikes. The new 26″ Performer borrows from their 20″ model but is ready for anything: street, urban, dirt jump, whatever. Components get matching anodization on rims, stem, hubs and more. $479 with a Hi-Ten steel frame.
The Interceptor is a raceable bike that gets a better 100% chromoly frame, 3-piece cranks, integrated headset and higher quality seatpost and saddle. It goes for $679.