PressCamp: 2013 GT Bicycles

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GT Bicycles always has new things to see (and ride) at PressCamp. This year they wheeled out some neat new titanium, some Hans Rey signature bikes and some decent entry level things.

Distortion 2.0

This was one of our test bikes here at Park City. With 140mm travel up front and 115mm out back, it’s a mis-matched fun machine. The UK importers were initially a bit hesitant to bring it in when it came out, but good old public outcry and enthusiasm made them change their minds.

The Xizang is back! GT’s iconic titanium hardtail has reappeared in a 29er version.  It’s now unapologetically made in Taiwan rather than Colorado, but it still features lots of classic touches, like the Triple Triangle, only updated to include modern bits like a tapered head tube and disc mounts. It features the same geometry as the 29er Zaskar.


Like the old Xizang, only with more 29er wheels.


Curved down tube now needed for these new fangled suspension forks.


High polish frame too.



Moving to the other end of the scale, we have the revamped Timberline. Budget cycle path kind of machine with nicely matching suspension forks



Another classic name given a breath of fresh air is the Zaskar LE. Not to be confused with the slightly burlier Zaskar, the LE is a hardtail race machine. It has a new, lighter (1500g) fully hydroformed alloy frame and will come in several versions, including this ready-to-race XTR and carbon crank whizz-bang spec.

The speedy new LE


This version even has Easton wheels.

The venerable Hans Rey has been riding for GT Bicycles for 25 years now. GT reckons that this is a record for a single rider to have the same single sponsor for so long. And we don’t doubt it. To commemorate this, GT is making three different Hans Rey signature models, with components picked by Hans, a neat paint job and with a portion of the proceeds going to Hans’ great Wheels for Life charity.


Here's the white and gold Karakoram 1.0. The range will include the Avalanche, Karakoram and Zaskar 100.


Hans has been here.




A well-loved name from the GT range.




The bikes have many components from Hans' co-sponsors too. Here are the Kenda Hans Rey signature tyres.

Launched last year, but missing from the Press Camp lineup was the Zaskar 100. It’s full carbon with 29in wheels and 100/100mm travel, a 142mm rear axle and four different spec levels. This is the bike you’ll usually see Hans Rey riding when he gets the chance.k

Carbon in the sunshine. A nice combo.


And finally, a bit of perving for the road riders. As well as relaunching the Xizang in titanium, GT has brought back the road-only Edge Ti, again reworked to take some modern kit, like tapered forks. This top-end spec includes ENVE wheels and Dura Ace components.


Triple Triangle even here.


Big and stiff tapered head tube



We do like the polished Ti 'decals', which are actually polished frame tubes.




Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (4)

    Is the GT Distortion named after the welds around the headtube?

    Edge Ti – want one.

    Quite fancy the Zaskar 100 😮

    Not a fan of the look of GT’s on the whole but those ti ones are mint.

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