April 16, 2014
GT chose the Sea Otter to unveil its new Sanction bike. It’s a 165mm travel, purpose-built enduro race bike. It’s been developed with Dan Atherton over the last year and shares more DNA with GT’s Fury DH bike than with it’s existing trail bikes.
Trail bikes are designed to be good at downhills and good at uphills. The Fury is designed to be great at descending and the Sanction errs more toward that end of the spectrum, being a bike that’s fantastic downhills and merely acceptable on the ups. This means that the designers could focus more on its downhilling prowess, without worrying too much about compromising things to make it an all-rounder.
There is more anti-squat than the Fury (which is designed to suck up the bumps, even when pedalling) but the suspension feel is still in the ‘supple and endless’ camp than in the ‘efficient climber’ one. There’s a longer front centre to the bike than many trail bikes. This mirrors the fact that everyone seems to have been going up a frame size in the last year, to get some top tube length while running super-short stems. In fact the Sanction gets a 35mm stem, regardless of frame size.
The frame has a 48.5in wheelbase (as measured by us in an XL size) which is similar to the bike that MBUK’s Doddy has just had custom-built by Intense. There are modern appointments like a tapered head tube, a 142x12mm back end and 160mm fork, with 165mm out back. There’ll be two specs – a ‘real world’ spec and a an out-the-box race machine. Frame weight with shock is 3.2kg. The bike will be raced at enduro races from about… now – and should be in the UK shops (edit) after this summer. Around October, we hear.