Sea Otter 2014: GT Sanction

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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.

‘Air-ready’ down tube logo
Obligatory ‘by the pond’ shot

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.

What do we reckon on the colours?
The Float-X will come with a handlebar remote
ID – Independent Drivetrain. Designed for hooning downhill.

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.

Ready to race at the Otter.

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.

Chipps

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 (5)

    Love it, Will they be doing a frame only? Any idea on pricing and colour options?

    Wheelbase is only .5 inch shorter than the bike that Mr Dodd had built for himself: http://singletrackworld.com/2014/04/sea-otter-intense-tracer-27-5-and-a-what/ – is it considered ‘long’ in the scheme of things?

    should have read the whole article and no edit on the comments. Ignore me.

    News just in from GT UK – the Sanction will start appearing in October. Sounds like they might need to order up a few more.

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