GT Marathon 9r 29er Full Suspension

4.33/5 (15 Reviews)
MSRP : $1999.99


Product Description

GT iDrive 4 6061 aluminum frame, 29” wheel compatible


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Shannon a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2012

Strengths:    Great frame, handling and components for the price

Weaknesses:    Rear shock, but it's not that bad

Bottom Line:   
I bought mine online and it's a joy to ride. It's got an Eaton slanted seat post and raised bars. I'm 6' 200lbs and it works very well for me fast or slow. Plant your rear in the seat, utilize your glutes and it's a climbing machine. I did replace the shock with a Fox RP23. The Monarch was okay, but in my opinion, the pedaling platform isn't as good as the Fox. With the pro pedal on, this is a great ride! I did bend the front rim in a crash, but that wasn't the bikes fault. Replaced with a Stans Notube (should be here Monday). Overall, it's a great bike with great LX/XT components if you can get it for the right price. I paid $800.

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   2001 GT Idrive, 2006 Gary fisher Cake Deluxe II

Bike Setup:   Fox RP23 rear shock, upgraded seatpost and raised bars

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Okidirt a Cross Country Rider from Okinawa, Japan

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2012

Strengths:    29" wheels are great for the trail and roll-over pretty much anything. The frame is comfortable for a big guy like me (6'3" and 225 lbs.). I riden the Marathon 9r all over Arkansas and Okinawa Japan and love the way it rides (when it's working but I'll get to that shortly), especially downhill. Best thing to do if you buy one is to replace both shocks and it will be the best bike you've ever owned.

Weaknesses:    Both shocks!!!! Within 6 months the rear shock (Monarch 3.1) wouldn't hold pressure and SRAM wouldn't work with me or respond to my emails. I was told by a bike shop, several people and numerous reviews not to waste my time try to fix it but to buy a new one. No matter how many times rebuilt the shock would lose at least 100 psi in the first half hour of a ride everytime. Finally bought a Fox to replace it and it rides like a dream. At about 16 months the Reba's snapped (on the left shock where the brake compansator (the horse shoe at the top) meets the shock) and again SRAM wouldn't work with me and the shop i bought the bike from convinced them to at least replace the lowers which were still under warranty.

Bottom Line:   
The actual frame design is great for us bigger riders and with better shocks it would be an awesome bike that would be tough to beat for the price. If you by on e replace the shocks before you even take it out of the store. Would have given the value a better rating if the shocks would have been better or lasted longer and I didn't have to spend a decent chunck to get it ridable.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anywhere there's dirt

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Riders Ready

Similar Products Used:   First full suspension 29er. Owned a Haro Impulse for years with numerous rebuilds. and a rebuilt Kona with Shimano XT components and Manitou forks (rebuilt 6 times now and still original minus seals)

Bike Setup:   Originally - Shimano LX set up with XT rear derailer, WTB rims,Rock Shox Reba 29er front forks and Rock Shox Monarch 3.1 on the rear.
Now - Replace rear shock with Fox Float (tough to find one to fit) and the front fork has been rebuilt with 2012 Reba XX lowers (hopefully they don't break again).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fshworm a Cross Country Rider from Maiden

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2011

Strengths:    Great value for a full suspension cross country 29r. All Shimano SLX,Rockshox suspension,WTB wheels and seat,Easton cockpit. The whole package works well from handling to suspension.

Weaknesses:    Feel some flex in the rear under hard exceleration only weakness I can think of.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent value! If your not about brand names and want a great bike get one. SLX components are great, alittle heavy but works almost as well as XTR. With the few changes made the bike weighs 27 lbs with TI pedals. The ZTR tubeless wheelset totally changes the ride versus the WTB stock wheels. Stay with at least 680mm handlebars it does make a difference. For less than 2K you can have a serious 29r.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Schwagstores.com

Similar Products Used:   Specialized,KHS,Fuji,Giant

Bike Setup:   Stock except wheel set; upgraded to Stans ZTR,Thompson Seat Post,FSA bars and Selle Italia seat.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jah1545 a Cross Country Rider from Fredericksburg, Va

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2010

Strengths:    Shimano SLX group, Reba SL 29r fork. Very well designed. Quick handling for a full suspension 29er.

Weaknesses:    Probably replace the wheelset with something a bit lighter.

Bottom Line:   
GT advertises this bike as an all day, epic ride bike and I think it fits the bill nicely. It won't impress your weight weenie buddies and is not a racing bike. The I-Drive works very well in the climbs, and I was fast on the technical downhill sections thanks to the rear suspension. The I-drive also keeps the bike from bouncing when pedaling and in the flats. I also took the time to set the sag correctly, which helps the suspension work correctly. The biggest thing that impressed me was the handling. As much as it kills me to admit it....it handled nicer than my Cannondale. This is the one area I was sure this bike would suffer, but carving through twisty singletrack was a dream.

I've ridden three of GT's bikes over the past few years (Avalanche, Peace 9r and Marathon 9r), and I think they still make a nice bike for the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Quarry

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   This is my first full suspension 29er, and only the second full suspension bike I've ridden.

Bike Setup:   Complete Shimano SLX group (even the hubs), Reba SL fork, Rock Shox Monarch shock. Kenda Small Block 8 tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by boodles07 a Cross Country Rider from New York

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2010

Strengths:    Climbs great, rolls over everything..

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
I own 3 GT bikes and the 9r is awesome. It climbs great, it rolls fast and over everything. Of course it is not designed for big drops, do not attempt them, get a big hit bike for that. Down the straight aways this bike will fly, I love it and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a full suspension 29 inch wheel bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kingdom Trails VT

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   All GT all day..

Bike Setup:   Fox fork, SLX hubs and brakes, Thomson stem and seatpost.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by James a Cross Country Rider from phoenix az usa

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2010

Strengths:    comfortable position, shifts nice, suspension good, flys nice and level.

Weaknesses:    fork was replaced from sram without any problem. They updated and upgraded the fork, One week shy of the bike being 1 year old, the top tube broke about 2 inches short of the head tube. alomost clean through.

Bottom Line:   
great bike when all is working well, weakness in the frame I believe has been remedied with the Sensor 29. Pleased with replacement of bike after frame damage and please with fork replacement by sram.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   little bear

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   performance

Similar Products Used:   GT marathon team carbon 2009, 2003 Idrive 1.0


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dominic Libby a Cross Country Rider from Milton, NH, USA

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2010

Strengths:    Climbs like a mountain goat! Quiet and Smooth. Frame construction. Suspension. No propietary parts needed. Integrated headset is cool. 2009's are a nicer blue color.

Weaknesses:    A little chunky(maybe by a half pound or so). They stopped making it but replacement model(GT Sensor 9r) will be out soon...hopefully.

Bottom Line:   
Custom build from a new frame I bought for crazy cheap on eBay.
An amazing bike! I had been looking at KHS Flagstaffs, VooDoo Canzo's and Kona Hei's frames but never pulled the trigger and purchased. I've been riding 29er hardtails mixed with my All Mountain 6" travel 26er for the past 3 years and decided on trying out a 29er dualie again after hating the 2009 Niner RIP I had built a year before. I have never gotten a VP/DW link type suspension to climb well on technical stuff. I thought I had tried them all in 26er form so I never really thought GT I-Drive would be any different. I have friends that have loved their GT's for years. Well now I know what they loved. This bike has a great frame sporting nice welds and a good cable layout. The geometry and travel is perfect for the XC rider. What really sold me was climbing! This bike weighs just under 29lbs and climbs and rides like a twenty pound bike. I'm climbing super technical climbs that I could never do on any of my other bikes. The rear wheel is always getting traction. It pedals without bob making it a very efficient suspension platform. On decends and at speed the suspension is always working. I used to DH ride mostly on Rocky Mountain Bicycles RM7 and 9 models and I wish I had tried GT. I can see how Hans Rey loves them. Buy One!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $265.00

Purchased At:   New Frame on ebay

Similar Products Used:   Suspenders: Niner RIP. Hardtails: Motobecane Fantom 29er, Sette Razzo, Access 29er, GT Peace 9r

Bike Setup:   Size large 2009 model with Rock Shox Monarch 3.1 shock, Reba Race 100mm Fork, Shimano WH-MT75 29r wheelset, IRC tires(soon to be swapped for Kenda's), Cane Creek IS-3 headset, Race Face Next SL seatpost, Race Face Deus stem, Race Face Deus OS Low Riser bar, 2010 Race Face Evolve Crankset, Time ATAC Cabon pedals, Specialized Phenom saddle, Shimano XTR Disc brakes, XTR 180mm rotor front, XTR 160mm rotor rear, Shimano XTR 11-34t cassette, SRAM PC991 chain, Sram XO Twist shifters, Sram XO mid-cage rear derailleur, Shimano XT front derailleur, Sette lock on grips, Salsa seatpost clamp.
Did I forget anything?

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MTB6 a Cross Country Rider from Greenville,SC USA

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2010

Strengths:    Climbing hills is made easier with the 29" wheels. Easy to stay in the saddle while going up most hills.

Weaknesses:    None. This is a cross country bike not meant for downhills where 8"+ of travel is required

Bottom Line:   
All around great bike. Very well worth the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dupont State Forest

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   SunRift Adventures

Similar Products Used:   Raleigh XXIX, Niner Sir9

Bike Setup:   stock excpet for upgrades of a carbon fiber bar, X9 rear derailure, X7 front derailure and X7 shiffters.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by spinky a Cross Country Rider from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2010

Strengths:    Great climbing ability, tunable suspension, 29 inch wheels, good component group. Very stable under braking.

Weaknesses:    Smooth downhill capability ONLY. Suspension can be tricky to tune.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great cross country bike ONLY. As I progressed at getting faster on the downhill sections, more and more things started going wrong. The chain started jumping off the crank so I started crosschaining slightly to add tension to the chain (recommended by LBS tech). Eventually the rear derailleur wound up going through the rear wheel on a fast section of downhill. Kept the bike upright luckily. Switched out rear derailleur from Shimano XT to Sram XO for the stronger springs which helped. Now having a new frame delivered to LBS because the original one is cracked at the headtube (Under warranty luckily).

Now onto the suspension. If you have tuned a suspension before, you know to refer to sag settings (approximately 15% front 20% rear) for correct setup. If you have never set up suspension, you will be in for a shock. This bike has a rearward weight bias. I weigh 190 lbs. If you refer to the rock shox documentation, they state using a 1 psi for 1 lb rider weight as the starting point. This will result in SERIOUS bottoming out. I run 250 psi for proper sag and travel. Up front, the recommended setting for my weight is around 145 psi, but I run 110 psi on the + side and 100 psi on the - side. Its a pain in the butt to tune, but once you get it tuned properly, this suspension works well.

Overall, this bike lives up to its "Marathon" name. On cross country trails you can ride this bike for DAYS. So if you are just starting out or ride cross country trails, you cannot beat this bike for the price. If you have any aspirations of going downhill fast or getting into more technical terrain, buy a stronger bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rockit, Aliso Canyon

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   1995 Stumpjumper FS hardtail

Bike Setup:   Upgraded rear derailleur to Sram XO with shifters. Upgraded crankset to Shimano XT. Fork 110psi positive 100psi negative. Rear Shock 250psi.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul Krachenfels a Cross Country Rider from Vista, CA., USA

Date Reviewed: December 1, 2009

Strengths:    The lockout adjustment on the front Rock Shok Reba- Works great for climbing; just gives a little which is good. Rear Monarch Rock Shox is fantastic and those 29 in wheels make riding that much more fun!

Weaknesses:    I haven't found one yet.

Bottom Line:   
What attracted me most was the 29 inch wheels, components and disc brakes. I am very pleased with the bike. I enjoyed my stump jumper but there is really no comparison as that bike was just about 10 years old. The only change I made when purchasing was going to more knobby tires since all of my riding is on the dirt. If I had to do it again I would make the same purchase!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Camp Pendleton

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Oceanside Performanc

Similar Products Used:   For the past 9 years I rode a specialized FSR Stump jumper.

Bike Setup:   I read some articles about getting use to the front rake but it all seems nice for me. The bike climbs really well and rolls over stuff with ease.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Radical Rad a Cross Country Rider from San Diego

Date Reviewed: September 20, 2009

Strengths:    I'm 6'0, 175 Lbs and ride a Large 9r. I'm an intermediate rider and enjoy cross country. This bike has been awesome climbing steep ascends. Definitely need to stay in the saddle for the i-drive to work when it gets steep. This thing goes over anything downhill and is fairly fast. Very comfortable for long rides.

Weaknesses:    The front fork (Reba SL) has been good when it working right, but lost some oil and little air and busted a washer. The rear shock (Monarch 3.1) does fine but it's too short of a stroke. This bike wont allow you to et a longer stroke rear shock. This 29er bike does not turn sharp like a 26er but it's made it more fun and challenging.

Bottom Line:   
I am happy with purchase just bitter at Rockshox. The LX components and XT rear derailer are suitable for this bike. Weighs about 30-31 lbs. Can be lighter. Oh well...looking forward to another 29er!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Vail Lake Temecula

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   Haro full suspension X1

Bike Setup:   I replaced the grips with ERGO grips and that made it more comfy. I have about 130lbs+ and 110lbs- on the front and about 230lbs on rear shock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jaypeakpow a Cross Country Rider from Schwenksville

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2009

Strengths:    Front fork, drive train and brakes.

Weaknesses:    Rock Shox Monarch 3.1 looses 30 psi per ride.

Bottom Line:   
This is my 1st 29er and I'm pleased. I was going to build up a Niner RIP but I got a deal on the bike that was just too good to pass up. The entire built bike (with very nice components) cost less than my discounted build kit. The 29" wheels take some getting used to for sure. Not as twitchy and flickable as a 26" but it tanks over most anything. At first the larger wheels would make me late and I'd miss my lines straying into rocks and boulders that would send you ever the bars on a 26". So long as you peddled thru it, this thing would blow over it all...very forgiving. I initally wanted more rake but if you trust them the wheels compensate and now I've learned how to ride it (fairly well) I'm more confident on steeper, techy, rockier terrain. No brainer for the budget mined looking for a FS 29er. The Rock Shock Monarch 3.1, as reviewed by other has been the only disapointment. I loose ~35psi per ride but I won't let that overshadow its selling points. I perfer a coil anyway, but the odd 6.0” x 1.25” size is proving difficult to find.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Spring Mtn, Wiss, FC, High Rocks

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   2001 i-drive 3.0

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cchenson a Cross Country Rider from North Las Vegas, NV, USA

Date Reviewed: November 23, 2008

Strengths:    For me everything

Weaknesses:    I havn't found any yet.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first full suspension bike. The first time i rode it, i just fell in love with it. It fits my like a glove. I always rode a hard tail but no more.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Bike World

Similar Products Used:   None.

Bike Setup:   For me it was great right from the first ride.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by XTCphil a Cross Country Rider from Prince George BC Ca

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2008

Strengths:    Well thought out design with good attention to detail. Parts spec is great. Climbs as good or better then my BLT Blur, great through roots. The rear end rides like a 80-90mm when traveling with big speed on rougher downhills.
I didn't notice a difference in spin up from my other light bikes.I measured a slacker head angle but it was good. Headset design is great, cartrige bearings straight into frame. good cable layout


Weaknesses:    Short stoke shock...thats it!

Bottom Line:   
Bike is fun to ride up and down. Light enough at 27.5 lbs. Should get it down under 27 with rear hub and Pythons. Started having fun jumping at the end of my first ride and flatted. Tubeless maybe down the road will help. GT doesn't offer the bike in Canada yet.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Similar Products Used:   Owned Several DW Link Iron Horses, Blur's, VP Free, Light Giant Trances and Reigns.

Bike Setup:   Replace rims stips with tape (60 grams), WTB laserdisc Lite hub and butted spokes, Carbon bar and 250 gram FSA Post, Devo saddle, lite grips, XO rear D and grip shift, lighter older XT front D.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by thogan a Cross Country Rider from Santa Cruz Ca.

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2008

Strengths:    Set the stage: I am 6'4" and 195lb's, aggressive and typically ride my mountain bike like my dirt bike.
The 29' wheels take a bit to get going but once you are at speed the bike is super smooth and takes small to medium hits with ease. Large hits and small drops were a bit harsh on the rear suspension. There is a bit of lag in the steering in the tight stuff but on my third and fourth ride I started to get the feel.
Be sure to check the front derailleur as the stock cable housing rubbed the back tired when the shock was under load. It was a quick fix.
Rear shock needs to be dialed in for the best performance.
The bike climbed really well and I liked the lock out on the front RS Reba. The i-drive kept the rear tire on the ground. On the steep stuff you must stay in the saddle for the i-drive to really bite in and get traction.
Overall I am happy and will step it up a bit on tonight’s ride.


Weaknesses:    29'S take a bit to get going and steering a bit slow in the tight stuff. Nothing you can adapt to.

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line is I like the bike. It climb better than my Blur LT and for a tall guy I like the set up with the 29'ers and the overall smoothness of the ride. Washboard never felt so good.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Demo Forest

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month


Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Busted GT Marathon 9R Frame

hey 29er fans, I have a favor to ask. I busted my 2008 GT Marathon Frame. The head welds didn't hold. GT is going to warranty the whole bike for a newer one since they dont make that frame anymore. I just had the rear wheel re-built and I don't want to send it back with the bike. Does anyone ... Read More »

GT Marathon 9r

I've owned my 2009 GT Marathon 9r for a couple of years now and have to say it is one of the most under-rated 29er's out there. The only upgrade was to put a set of Mavic C29 rims, MAxxis Ardent front and Crossmark rear and set them up tubeless. Anyone else out there have one?Read More »

GT Marathon 9r

I've owned my 2009 GT Marathon 9r for a couple of years now and have to say it is one of the most under-rated 29er's out there. The only upgrade was to put a set of Mavic C29 rims, MAxxis Ardent front and Crossmark rear and set them up tubeless. Anyone else out there have one?Read More »

GT marathon 9r

any one else have tire clearance issues with this frame. My 2.2 rear seems pretty tight.Read More »

marathon 9r

any know where to find the headset for one of these 1 1/8" TH IS-3E JackRead More »

Read More »



 

INTERBIKE

Contests





Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest mountain bike products from these brands!



















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »

   

MTBR on Facebook