GT Bikes invited us to their 2011 mountain bike launch in Les Deux Alps to show off their vast array of new rigs. It’s an impressive collection of bikes covering everything from full-on downhill to XC racers, with larger emphasis on 29ers.

As a brand, GT has languished a bit in the U.S., but for 2011, they’ll be making a push to reintroduce the brand as one that lets riders use and abuse their bikes without worrying about durability or finicky spec or suspension designs. In other words, they’re making bikes that will just work, day in and day out, that rely on tried and true technologies and designs.

Case in point is their Independent Drive (formerly known as I-Drive). All of their full sussers use the same basic single pivot design based around a large pivot located just above the top of the big ring with a “dog bone” that connects the bottom bracket on a separate pivot to keep the chain length constant regardless of suspension movement. It sounds and looks complicated, but in practice it’s something they’ve proven to work over the past number of years and when you break it down, it’s a relatively uncomplicated process. We’ll jump into the tech more as we cover the individual bikes in more detail, but for now, here’s the weights of all of their 2011 mountain bikes.

Shown above is what’s likely going to be one of their better sellers, the all-new Zasker Carbon 29er. It features replaceable dropouts and will have single-speed ready sliding dropouts available (no Belt Drive option yet, though). Weight as shown is 25lbs 9oz, but this one had some house-brand (heavier) parts that will be replaced on the production models with lighter weight goodies, likely dropping it under 25lbs.

Hit ‘more’ for the all the rest, which doubles as a sneak peak of what we’ll be posting about this week…

UPDATE: After we returned from camp, GT’s brand manager asked us to remove the weights because, in actuality, these bikes have a lot of 2010 parts and were not at production spec and, as such, are not close enough to what their target weights are. So, their official word is that we’ll get first dibs on production weights when they’re ready, but for now we’ve pulled the weights in order to preserve our relationship with GT. Such is the balancing act we have to walk. We’ll post the new info as soon as we get it, and when we get a chance to see the “production” bikes later in the year or first of next, we’ll have the scale ready to confirm them. As for the carbon Zaskar 29er above, well, that one is already noted as not at production spec, which means it’s probably going to be pretty darn light for the $4,299 it’ll set you back. As a point of reference, high end full carbon race level hardtails from some other major brands easily top $6,000. Full spec on this will be outlined in an upcoming post.


  1. Yep, the Karakorams are all 29ers for 2011.

    There are no BB30 mountain bikes for GT for 2011. Their explanation for this was that they are “waiting to see if the technology holds up for mountain biking.”. What that really translates to is that they don’t want to redo all of their carbon molds just to test the waters with their new bikes as they give the brand a reintroduction. Also, the I-Drive system would have to be totally redesigned to accommodate the larger BB. As GT made clear in their presentations on the brand philosophy, they’re not about being the first, they’re about using proven tech and remaining easily user serviceable and durable. While this may sound like they’re just being retro grouches, the bikes I rode were pretty fun.

What do you think?