2016 might be the year of the hardtail for GT Bikes, but that hasn’t stopped them from introducing a few other new bikes as well. Similar to the hardtails, a few GT full suspension bikes see improved specs while keeping the pricing fairly low. You’ll also find a 29″ version of he Helion, and even a 26″ GT Performer!
On the more affordable side of full suspension, you’ll find the newest GT Verb. Essentially a full suspension version of the Avalanche, the Elite model shown here will sell for $1620, but it will be offered as low as $1080 for the Comp! For that money you’re getting 120mm of Independent Drivetrain suspension travel front and rear (rear now has a more progressive rate), 27.5″ wheels, and the new Progressive Geometry. At the Elite level you receive a RockShox Recon Silver RL Solo Air fork, X-Fusion O2 Pro RL Air shock, and WTB i23 tubeless rims with a Shimano 2×10 drivetrain.
For bigger wheels and higher performance, look no further than the new Helion Carbon Expert 9R. Now offered in 29″ wheels, the new Helion runs a carbon front triangle with an aluminum rear and slightly less travel at 100mm front and rear with their A.O.S. suspension system. Like other GT mountain bikes in the past, the Helion will ship as 2x but with a 1x chainring in the box which can be swapped out on the same crank. Details include a Fox Performance 32 Float fork and Elite Float Rear shock with remote lockout, Shimano 2×11 SLX/XT drivetrain, SLX brakes, and even 35mm RaceFace bars and stem. Pricing as shown will run $4260 for the carbon version, but the Expert 9R and Elite 9R will run much less for the full aluminum frames.
We had a chance to put some miles on this particular bike on the trails at Deer Valley, and while it may have been outgunned on many of the more difficult trails, the ride was fantastic. The very first trail off the lift was Deer Valley’s new flow trail which boasts 55 jumps in just a few miles. A 100mm travel 29er wouldn’t exactly be my first choice for that kind of fun (especially with 2.25/2.0″ Racing Ralphs), but the bike handled it admirably well. In fact, it handled a lot of trails better than a bike of its travel should and only met its match once the front tire found a sharp rock during a decent of Devo. As an everyday trail bike, the Helion 9R would be fantastic. The Progressive Geometry is a welcome addition with a 69.5º head tube angle and 438mm chainstays, and the A.O.S. suspension works admirably well. If you haven’t ridden a GT in a while, don’t count them out of the equation.
Not to leave anyone out, GT has a new version of the Helion GTw for the ladies. The Helion GTw is a true mountain bike that is marketed towards women with women’s specific touch points and graphics, but without a specific women’s geometry. What you will find is a women’s shock tune meant for lighter riders with a Fox Rhythm 34 fork and Performance Float rear shock with 110mm travel out back and 120mm travel up front for the 27.5″ wheels. Drivetrain duties are handled by a Shimano 2×11 SLX drivetrain, while braking goes to the Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes. If you need more proof that this bike is meant to shred, just look to the Schwalbe Nobby Nics in a 27.5 x 2.4/2.25. Offered in XS-XL with the new Progressive Geometry as well, the Expert GTw here will sell for $2130 with an Elite GTw version available as well.
Stepping away from mountain biking to off road-road biking, there is a new GT Grade Carbon Tiagra version to get even more riders onto their carbon all road frame. Using the same DFD carbon construction with continuous glass strands in the seat stays, the Triple Triangle frame offers a unique blend of stiffness and compliance without any moving parts. The news here is the more affordable spec with a Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, and a carbon fork with alloy steerer and Stan’s Radler rims stopped with TRP’s HYRD mechanical hydraulic brakes. As the entry point to the Grade Carbon line, the Tiagra model will sell for $2130.
Saving the best for last, all the old school BMX buffs out there should love this 26″ version of the famous GT Performer. Built to be a replica of the bike from ’86, the chromoly steel frame features a sealed Mid BB and 3/8″ dropouts with 26″ wheels built on GT Mohawk sealed cassette hubs. Replica details extend to the saddle, Power Series 3 piece crankset, Performer 2 piece chromo handlebar, and 2.2″ tires. All it will take is $560 to relive your childhood on a bike that won’t destroy your knees. Offered in blue or white.