Forget what you know about the Chinese Zodiac – for GT, 2016 is the year of the hard tail. Specifically, it’s the year of welcome upgrades to some of their most affordable mountain bikes. From their entry point all the way up to the Zaskar aluminum, all of these mountain bikes recieve new frames with progressive geometry. That is, a longer front center, slacker head tube angles, and shorter stems with wider bars.
There is even a plus sized hardtail with the newest incarnation of the Pantera. The well equipped hardtail may have you thinking twice about going plus, but more importantly, it may have just outed the new Rockshox Revelation Boost fork…
Built around the classic Triple Triangle T6 aluminum frame, the Progressive Geometry is paired with a 120mm fork. The $1620 price tag isn’t mind blowing, until you check out the Shimano XT/SLX 1×11 drivetrain with an FSA crank and e*thirteen chainguide, Shimano hydraulic brakes, and tubeless 27.5+ Schwalbe tires on GT’s own All Terra wheels.
The real surprise was seeing this RockShox Revelation fork in a 120mm Boost configuration. To our knowledge this hasn’t officially been released, and GT didn’t have any information other than the fact that it is Boost and 120mm for 27.5+. The air fork continues with Motion Control, external rebound adjust, and a light weight looking chassis with pronounced Power Bulges. More details soon.
Shown here in the Expert trim, the Pantera will also be offered in Elite and Comp levels at lower pricing but with the same geometry updates.
Moving back to the entry point, GT’s Aggressor sees similar updates, but is still super affordable. The Expert above, with hydraulic brakes, a Shimano 3×8 drivetrain and All Terra HLO 80mm fork comes in at just $550. That includes some things we take for granted on more expensive bikes – like aluminum cockpit parts and 27.5″ wheels. There is even a new forged dropout on the Triple Triangle frame to make it more trail worthy. With Comp and Sport options offered for even less, this entry level machine may just get a lot of new riders hooked.
Continuing on to the Avalanche, this is a bike that we won’t see here in the U.S. Instead, the international model will be sold to other countries with a Shimano Deore 3×10 drivetrain, SR Suntour SCR 32 RL 100mm fork, 27.5″ Schwalbe tires, and a collection of All Terra parts to give the Elite model here an affordable price tag. The actual price for this one wasn’t given, but expect it to be affordable.
Moving on to 29ers, the Karakoram adds a new frame with better stand over for the smaller bikes as well as the new Progressive Geometry like all the rest of the bikes here. A bit like the spec of the Avalanche, the 29er Karakoram sees a Shimano 3×10 Deore drivetrain, hydraulic brakes, SR Suntour XCR 32 RL 100mm fork, Schwalbe Rapid Ron tires, and more All Terra parts for things like the cockpit, wheels, and crank. Available in Elite, Comp, and Sport, the Elite tops out at just $920.
Almost synonymous with GT hardtails, the Zaskar is a legend. Now fans of the famous Triple Triangle frame can get their hands on an aluminum 29″ version that has been given the Progressive Geometry treatment with a 69.5º head angle, and 440mm chainstays. Fitted with a 100mm RockShox Recon Gold TK 100mm fork, the frame still runs a 142×12 rear axle with a new dropout that saves 50g alone.
The smart spec includes a Shimano SLX/XT 2×11 drivetrain, FSA Afterburner crank, Shimano hydraulic brakes and WTB rims with Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. As shown, the Zaskar Elite 9R will run $1950 with Comp and Sport 9Rs available as well for a total of 14 different Zaskar models.
Head over to GT Bikes for more info on spec and Geometry.