One Ride Review: The 2015 GT Sensor X
In recent years, #TheNewGT has surprised us by launching a string of amazing new bikes. One of our personal favorites is the Sensor, which is a 130mm travel trail bike that utilizes their AOS suspension platform.
This super efficient frame is not only a voracious climber, but it can also rail corners, and power through chop with the best bikes in the category. But in order to make the Sensor even more fun, GT added a little Formula X.
The regular Sensor models come stock with sensible 740mm wide handlebars, but the X model changes the recipe by swapping in 785s. The trail oriented 70mm stem was also exchanged for a more Enduro worthy 45mm model.
The bigger story though is the new fork. Gone is the spindly 130mm 32mm fork and in is the lauded Pike. This time around, the stout 35mm chassis is sporting 150mm of travel, which slackens the frame out, and increases the confidence factor downhill.
They’ve also bid adieu to the unsightly triple that still plagues the standard models, and added a top guide for a little extra security.
The 32 RaceFace Narrow Wide mated to a 1×10 drivetrain offers a good compromise for many riders, but GT went the extra distance…
and will be including an 11-36T Shimano cassette with a 42T Ethirteen Cassette Adapter. This setup make grueling climbs a little easier, and offers much of the versatility of 1×11 drivetrains for only a fraction of the cost.
For the past few months, I have been test riding a stock GT Sensor Pro. Over the course of that testing period, I have swapped out a myriad of components to better adapt the bike to my riding style and needs. The first thing to go was the triple in favor of a dedicated 1x drivetrain, and shortly thereafter I installed a TwentySix booster cog in the rear. Oh, and of course a shorter stem, and a burlier front tire.
These small changes made a big difference in performance on the trail, but there are still a few things I’d like to try out. For example, the rear suspension shrugs off big hits, and has a nice progressive ramp to it, but the steepish 68.5 degree head angle holds the Sensor back from feeling confident when things get steep and nasty. That head angle paired with a low BB offer advantages in other ways, such as impressively nimble cornering, but I’ve always wondered what the bike would be like with a slightly more aggressive fork.
Not only would a 140 or 150mm setup slacken the headtube, but it would raise the BB, which would help reign in the Sensors rampant pedal strike habit. Naturally though, the product team at GT was already on it, and Tyler had the opportunity to take the newly revamped bike out for a spin in Park City, UT, during Press Camp.
I rode the Sensor X and had a blast. It was solid on the downhills, but I was still able to hammer it on the few flats and bursts necessary to “enduro” the hell out of the lift served trails. The 150mm Pike is one of the best in class and performed well, in addition to giving the bike the slack angles necessary for confident descending.
Surprisingly, it didn’t completely kill the bike’s ability to climb, or throw the suspension out of balance compared to the 130 mm rear end. My only complaint was not being able to raise the seat high enough, because the cable leading to the stealth dropper was too tightly run.
With the number of performance modifications and improvements made to the Sensor under the X Formula, we can’t help but feel that this is the model to get if your hearts in it for the descents. Even with the larger fork and 1×10 drivetrain, the Sensor X is still a capable climber, and now it’s even more fun descending. We don’t have final pricing at the moment, but will update with details as we get them.
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