GT Bicycles 2012 Mountain Bike Range: Preview

Is it just me, or does news of what we can have for next year just seem to keep coming earlier and earlier each year? It's always great to read, write and the play with all the exciting new stuff, but sometimes it feels like such a tidal wave of coming soon I wonder what I'm missing now... but enough of my complaining about all things new and lets look at what GT Bicycles will have in store late this year and early next.

There's almost something for everyone, updated XC whippet, DH on a budget, 29'er and some 26" cruising as GT build on their "Earn Your Wings" brand campaign they launched last year.

The Zaskar 100 is new for 2012 and replaces the Marathon in the GT line up. GT designed this bike as a race-ready bike for the weekend warrior looking for a performance-oriented ride with that requires a minimum of maintenance.

GT Bicycles 2012 Mountain Bike Range: Preview

GT’s engineers were able to reduce the frame weight by 25 percent while maintaining the same level of stiffness. The rear triangle was completely redesigned, simplifying the swingarm—the entire rear end is one piece.

The iDrive suspension was also adjusted. Gone are the old suspension pivot fasteners, which used the once common Shimano-splined 20-tooth bottom bracket interface. This was a convenient method for securing the bearings at home or in a shop—when cartridge style bottom brackets were more common—but the system relied on a tool few riders carry with them on the trail. GT has replaced this with pinch bolt pivot clamps that use common 4mm bolts that thread into replaceable inserts.

GT’s suspension system used a flexing link, connected to the front and rear triangles to manage the bottom bracket’s motion through the suspension’s travel—this was necessary because the bottom bracket is attached to the rear, rather than the front triangle. The new carbon I-Link is designed to pivot, rather than flex. GT claims the new pivoting I-Link is more durable and improves frame stiffness.

GT is also introducing a “budget” DH racer. Downhill racing is not low budget member of the mountain biking family... to be honest it's more the conspicuous consumer younger sibling, and the Fury Alloy aims to include as much bang for the buck as GT was able squeeze into a bike. The frame is constructed of hydro-formed 6061 aluminium with a monocoque front triangle. Suspension duties are handled by a Marzocchi 888 RV fork paired with a Marzocchi Roco R coil shock.

The alloy version of GT’s carbon World Cup DH race bike shares identical geometry and is designed to meet the needs of weekend warriors and those looking for a reliable, low-maintenance bike for their rental fleets. I'm not sure what pricing you'd expect locally, but it's being quoted at just over USD$3,100 in the States, which may be roughly NZD$5,000... mmm that sounds like a pretty sweet price.

Much like GT’s new Zaskar 100, the Zaskar 9r Pro was designed to meet the needs of privateer racers: riders looking for the performance of a race bike and need it and the components to hold up to the rigors of daily riding. The fork is a 100mm Rockshox Sid 29 RLT with 15mm Maxle. The 9r Pro’s drivetrain uses the updated Shimano XT.

The Zaskar 9r Pro’s monocoque carbon-fiber frame carries over signature triple triangle design which aids in tire clearance, and it should have no problems clearing 2.3 tires. The 9r seems to confirm that the XC crowd are becoming more in love with the 29er format each year. To be honest, I'm still sitting on the fence, maybe because XC is not my thing.

Last but not least, a bike that harkens back to GT’s roots in BMX and the one I'd most likely empty out my wallet on the counter of my local shop for.

A modern take on GT’s ‘80s BMX freestyle bikes. The frame is constructed of high-tensile straight gauge steel and retains the classic Performer design with relaxed 26” BMX cruiser geometry. The Performer will be available in chrome with gold components or white with blue components. Pegs are included for homie-hauling duties. The quoted launch price for the States is just under USD$480... which is just fuckin' awesome! If they can get them locally without going silly on margin, then I have a feeling GT is going to sell a lot of these.

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