One Ride Review: The 2015 GT Sensor X

GT Sensor X (2)

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.

GT Sensor X (1)

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.

GT Sensor X (3)

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…

GT Sensor X (4)

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.

GT Sensor X (5)

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.

Tyler’s Review:

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.

For more, visit GT

Comments

dougal - 07/03/14 - 2:07pm

Neat move on GT’s part. A 1 X 10 with a 42T is thinking outside of the box from a OEM point of view.

drewsey junction - 07/03/14 - 5:48pm

Yes. Triples “plague” and a 32mm stanchion is “spindly”. A 740mm bar is “narrow” and a 70mm stem is “long”. And pedal strikes, yeah. We’re all such sick schredders that we hafta stomp them pedals all day. Thanks, PinkBike.

Saris Mercanti - 07/03/14 - 6:04pm

@Drewsey Junction

Bro, do you even Enduro?

groghunter - 07/03/14 - 6:57pm

I imagine it’s hard to get any rides in when there’s so many people wrong on the internet that you have to inform.

Antipodean_G - 07/03/14 - 7:21pm

@Drewsey Junction, ya know, the more I read that all the already oversized and super stiff components are not stiff enough and the already wide bars are too narrow, yadda, yadda, the more I realise that the top riders in the 90′s, on their under braked, super narrow bar’d and crappily suspended bikes must have been and still are super gods; especially as they, on those archaic noodle machines could still trounce the waves of current weekend riders who complain nothing is stiff or wide enough.

drewsey junction - 07/03/14 - 10:40pm

Saris– good call! That said, I think we’re all a bit tired of the marketing speak and the hair-splitting. This bike sounds righteous because of everything you guys mention, but the constant patronisation gets old. As Antipodean_G implied, the tool is only as good as the rider. I know this isn’t a new or rare complaint; constantly telling us that everything we lusted after last month is now utterly and completely useless is, well, useless. Improvements like geometry tweaks, bar width, and stem length are small, and very little else is actually an improvement. If you can’t deal with a front derailleur, it’s likely because you a) can’t shift properly, and/or b) don’t know how to keep your stuff tuned, and that’s completely okay. Neither is cause for a new industrial revolution, and you’re likely still having a blast cos bikes are fun, in all iterations. If you want a 1x, cool. It isn’t new, it isn’t news, it isn’t the reason a bike works or doesn’t. Geometry, brakes, suspension, tyres, maybe rims, those are things that actually are sensible parts of the bike. The last iteration of the Cannondale Flash/F29 is an example that even when you get the on-paper version wrong (waaay to steep, and unless you sprung for the Caddy, the fork was low-end and the brakes inadequate), the bike can still rip. The stems were too long (even to this luddite), the bars too narrow, the wheels heavy, it didn’t matter. That thing was fun. Trek can get numbers right, have allegedly perfect suspension, and still be a boring plate of soggy noodles. Tip of the cap to folks like Greg Herbold and Paula Pezzo. Their gear was “junk” by modern standards, and they still railed the $#!@ out of every trail they rode. Still do, even though they themselves are outdated.

Izzy - 07/04/14 - 12:57am

Interested to know the bike’s weight.

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