GT Bicycles Celebrates 25 Years Of Suspension With Retro Showcase

by Chipps 5

Step into the nineties

GT Bicycles has a pretty extensive heritage to call on. It also apparently has a pretty good retro bike library back at CSG headquarters, so when it decided to mark 25 years of full suspension bikes, it had plenty of retro machines to call upon.

GT chose Sea Otter to stage its retro showcase. The staff there were happy to show off all of the bikes there – from one-off concept bikes to one retro I-Drive that was borrowed back from a collector who regularly rides it. It also seemed that there was an underlying reason for showing off its many suspension designs – there seems to be something else in the works, which the staff would only hint at, but we reckon that it’s probably high time that GT unveiled a completely new suspension system. Stay tuned then… In the meantime, what about these bikes?

Luckily, GT had its longest-running sponsored rider available to give us a rundown of the bikes. Take it away Hans Rey!

This 2006 IT-1 turned a few heads
‘The future is here and it is the iT-1’ proclaimed the sales blurb at the time.
The future looks really complicated…

Meanwhile, back in 1996, this concept bike showed where many of the ideas of the iT-1 came from. This one used a seven speed Shimano Nexus hub bolted into the middle of a suspension design. Note the ‘wrong side’ chain drive and the equally wrong right hand rear brake.


High and mighty. With sweet Hope C2s
Funny that bikes of that era had sofa seats when downhillers now don’t even sit
Are those unbranded Middleburn cranks then?
Hope C2 brakes and Big ‘Un hubs. Oh yes.

According to GT, most people have been reminiscing over this mid-90s LTS as it was one of the most innovative, yet affordable suspension bikes of its day.

Feel the retro!
Who had a DCD (Dave’s Chain Device) then?
Cue blank looks from your workmates while you rave about that linkage…
With matching onZa L-bend bar ends. Aren’t they due a comeback?

And for the Steve Peat fans in the room, how about this STS Lobo from 1998?

 

 

Floating Hope rear brake to combat the dreaded ‘brake jack’
It’s like a stem, only longer…
That’s a loud and proud front end.

Comments (5)

  1. The hub gear built into the frame seems like such a no-brainer. There are some very usable hub gear systems out there – Nexus, Alfine, Rholoff, why are we getting excited about totally new gearbox systems?

    Can someone explain?

  2. ‘Are those unbranded Middleburn cranks then?’

    Look more like Cook Bros singlespeed cranks, albeit a little fatter than I recall.

    If you squint, you can see Cook Bros Racing chainring.

  3. Ah, I love this!

    My first ‘proper’ MTB was a GT, a mate had an STS/Lobo (albeit repeatedly broken), and I spent quite a bit of time on one of the first i-Drive bikes (pre-disc brake!).

    Oh, and I also had a set of those USD White Bros forks and Hope Bulbs with the spider disc mount…

  4. No RTS? surely that was one of thirst ‘proper’ FSers and was used to race both XC & DH. I loved mine, even had a longer linkage made for it to give it a whole 4″ of travel!

    I’ve got a pair of those Big ‘Uns (same colour) laced to Mavic 321’s in the garage too, along with the C2’s . All of which furnished my RTS.

  5. My first decent MTB was a RTS, 80mm of travel on the front and canti’s.
    Did some decent miles on that bike, used to love the Karrimor trail at CYB back in the day.

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