We spent the day at CSG in deepest, darkest – er – Poole to see what’s new and spangly in the world of GT, Cannondale and Charge. In the first of three articles, here’s some spangly newness from the wonderful world of GT mountain bikes in 2015.
The big news is that GT has completely eschewed 26in wheels for 2015 – apart from one entry-level ladies’ bike. Everything else is 27.5in. There are also no 29ers: even the venerable GT Zaskar now runs 27.5in hoops. So, let’s start in a completely arbitrary way, and take a look at what’s on the up from GT. First up, the Helion:
New for 2015 is the shorter travel, XC orientated Helion – long, long top tubes (the medium is 610mm, and the large is 634mm), responsive but fun angles, and low bottom brackets should mean they’ll be great singletrack and all-day adventure machines.
The Helion Elite has Deore and SLX componentry, a Rockshox XC32 110mm fork, an X-Fusion shock in the rear, and a price of £1699.99. Prices range from £1299.99 to £2999.99 for maximal carbon goodness.
All the suspension-y gubbins is kept lowdown. GT’s AOS (Angle Optimised Suspension) is a cunning system, vaguely reminiscent of the old Maverick bikes – the pedals are attached to a floating component of the suspension system, but the rear-wheel bump-movement rotates in a different plane, so you don’t lock it out when you’re standing up. It’s the same system used on the 150mm Force X and the 130mm Sensor. Speaking of which..
The Sensor is a 130mm front and rear trail bike. Similarly rangy top-tube lengths to the Helion, a more relaxed head angle and a longer wheelbase for descending stability. Prices range from £1499.99 for the Comp, with bounce supplied by X-Fusion and stop and go by Shimano and SRAM respectively, to £2899.99 for a Rockshox Revelation, Fox and Shimano SLX bedecked full carbon trail monster.
The Force X is a 160mm front and 150mm rear All-Mountain bike. A degree or so slacker than the Sensor, and a little bit longer again, I suspect I may be forced to use the words ‘schralp’ and ‘gnar’ in the same sentence. Sorry about that. Prices range from £2250 for the Force X Al sport, all the way up to £4250 for the Force X Carbon Pro. Guess what it’s made of?
All the Zaskars have gone from 29in to 27.5in this year – in the nineties the venerable hardtail was once the all-rounder par excellence, and it seems as if GT are aiming for the Zaskar to regain that crown. Long top, tubes, low bottom brackets, 100mm of fork travel and prices ranging from £849.99 for the Sport to £1299.99 for the Elite.
The Sanction is GT’s new Enduro bike. Developed with Dan Atherton, 165mm of rear travel, relaxed (but not too relaxed) geometry and long top tubes (detect a theme yet?) and wheelbases tick all the right boxes. The ID suspension system – also in use on the Fury, GT’s downhill machine – is actually a (massively) modified version of the GT I-Drive system which first made an appearance in the late nineties.
The bottom bracket is on a floating unit, separate from the suspension components. Prices are £2499.99 for the Sanction Expert with Marzocchi, Fox, Raceface and Shimano, and £1499.99 for the frameset.
Tune in next week for more from the CSG launch – next up, Cannondale!