GT Karakoram 2.0 29er Hardtail

4.33/5 (12 Reviews)
MSRP : $519.98


  • Store Price

Product Description

You don't need to be a pro to be able to appreciate the advantages of 29-inch-wheeled trail bike. Thanks to the Karakoram, you don't need to be wealthy either. With an SPF? Aluminum frame similar to that of the Zaskar, and trail proven components, it's ready to earn its wings as the latest addition to the GT Endurance family.
  • 6061 aluminum GT Triple Triangle frame
  • Rock Shox Dart 3 29" fork with 100mm travel
  • FSA Dyna Drive crankset is stiff and lightweight
  • WTB Pure-V Sport saddle
  • Alex 29" rims


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Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by peteer01 a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2013

Strengths:    A good 29" bike with good components, including Shimano hydraulic disc brakes

Weaknesses:    The fork is definitely the weakest component on the bike, heavy and ineffective

Bottom Line:   
The GT Karakoram 2.0 2013 bike is not a bad bike by any stretch of the imagination, but it's value is going to be based on what you pay for it. I've seen MSRPs listed for it that range from the low $900s to $1000, but it's available for a significant discount off of those numbers now that we're nearing the end of the year. I picked mine up while it was on sale, and while I was pleased with the price, I was surprised by the subpar performance of the XC 28. I had issues with two separate XC 28s on my Karakoram, both of which became very rigid and stopped providing any meaningful suspension and I am in the process of waiting for a Manitou Tower Pro 29er to arrive, which should both shave weight and substantially improve the ride of the bike. (I suspect the issue with both forks is related to the 1 mile commute to/from work, where I hit a very, very small step transitioning from asphalt to a concrete bridge at reasonably fast speeds while the fork is locked out, but my old XCR on my 26" bike has put up with that hundreds of times without complaint)

The biggest concern I have with giving this five stars for the value is that if you're looking at a mountain bike in this price range, you'd ideally like to find one with a better fork, and while you can upgrade the fork, unless you have one sitting around ready to use, at that point you could have likely bought a better bike.

As far as riding the bike goes, I am satisfied with everything but the fork, and I've put about 250-300km on it in the two and a half months I've had it, probably a 60:40 mix of road and trail riding. However, it's worth noting that if you're putting this on a bike rack/hitch on the back of a car, the "triple triangle" design means you cannot easily rest the top frame bar easily, although it's easier with the XL frame than it is with the L frame. I would not want to try to put this bike in an M or S frame on a bike hitch carrier.

If you're just riding on the road, bike paths and some walking trails, this bike might be a great match, if this is your budget. If you're looking for a XC or trail bike, the main component I would look at with this bike is the fork, and identify if you can live with it and/or upgrade it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Luther Forest

Duration Product Used:   2.5 months

Price Paid:    $599.00

Purchased At:   Nashbar


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Pierre

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2013

Strengths:    Strong frame and overall very trusting bike for MTB .

Weaknesses:    Because I am tall would like a larger frame then XL.

Bottom Line:   
My Karakoram's frame, just above the crank which goes up to the saddle,broke completely off and was replaced with no charge. Its great to know that all frames have lifelong guarantees. Will definitely buy it again.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mheary a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2013

Strengths:    Price. Weight. For a bike that price, it is light. Handles well on fast tracks. Climbs very well. Breaks well so far. Feels very balanced. Shifts very smooth. I am very happy with this purchase. I plan to keep this GT for a long time. I can really feel the benefits of the 29er on steep hill climbs. Bike also jumps very well

Weaknesses:    None so far. Only ridden it 6 times

Bottom Line:   
All the reviews were spot on. Thanks for the help picking this bike

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   North Park. Pittsburgh

Duration Product Used:   1 month

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Pro cycle, pittsburg


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by James Haag

Date Reviewed: August 5, 2013

Strengths:    The bike has great geometry, climbs extremely well and feels lighter than my 26" hardtail.

Weaknesses:    I find myself tweaking the drive train constantly. I have had good experience with the Shimano Alivio on every bike except this one. The rear tire (Kenda Nevegal) didn't have the grip I wanted, I found myself on the ground quite a few times as a result of this (I ride mostly on eroded granite that is coated in gravel and coarse sand from time to time). I also feel like the BB drop is a little small and I found myself sitting too high off the bike to really dig into the downhill.

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this bike new in 2011, and I would do it again. Take my paragraphs of weaknesses with a grain of salt. I plan to hang on to this bike and slap some new components on it, maybe convert it to a single speed. It has treated me well for the ~700 miles I've spent on it.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by COREY

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2013

Strengths:    FRAME, FORK, COMPONENTS AND PRICE!!!!!!!!!!

Weaknesses:    TIRES ARE THIN, AND BRAKES SQUEAK A BIT(BUT THEY ALL DO!!), SAW SOMEONE SAID RUBBER GROMMETS FOR BOTTLE HOLDER HOLES
(MINE WAS POLISHED STAINLESS! DFINETLEY NOT A WEAKNESS LOL )


Bottom Line:   
AWESOME VALUE, BEST 29ER YOUR GONNA BUY FOR THE PRICE, FRAME IS QUALITY, HAD A COMPONENT ISSUE, COULD HAVE BEEN BIKE SHOP WHO ASSEMBLED IT ISSUE, GT WARRANTIED IT OUT, NO PROBLEMS SINCE, BIKE HAS OVER 500 MILES ON IT. BEEN TUNED UP 1 TIME.. GREAT VALUE! VERY SATISFIED

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by inspector

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2013

Strengths:    it's a 29'er. it's my 1st 29'er and i'm pretty happy with the purchase. it is faster than my 26'ers and more responsive. the suspension is very impressive. the shifting is responsive. the color scheme is very good.

Weaknesses:    the bike is a bit heavy (32 pounds)......it's a hard ride on the rear side...the seat post would not set properly...stock pedals were cheap and would not accommodate straps...rubber plugs on the water bottle inserts...

Bottom Line:   
this is my 1st 29'er and overall, i'm very happy with the GT. it certainly is faster than my current 26'er's....the shifting is quick and responsive...the disc break's are great.....the tires and rims are very adequate.....the handle bars are a bit wider than i would prefer....they refer to this bike as being a "hard tail", and it is....front suspension is great...i'm happy with the upgrade to to this GT!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven Smith a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 5, 2012

Strengths:    A wonderful bike with value added componets and frame. Works as well,if not better than my friends 1500 dollar bike. Smooth shifting and easy to ride. Looks great also!! My first Mt bike in 20 years and I am very happy with it overall!!!

Weaknesses:    Slight more heavy, but moot point for a big guy like me!

Bottom Line:   
I would buy it again in heart beat!!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ultramonkey a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2012

Strengths:    * Price of course.
* Relatively light bike. Mine(2012 L) came in at 31.2 pounds using combo(rider+bike) weight trick.
* Decent componentry for the price. I have ridden about 20 miles on it and the shifts are on the mark. I mainly use the front derailuer. I have a spare XT front derailleur that I might install if I run into problems. I am 5'11 and the large fits me well.


Weaknesses:    * Handle bar was too long
* Shock could be better. Entry level Rock Shox (28TK).


Bottom Line:   
I have put in about 20 miles on this bike. This is my first 29er bike. Wanted something mid level that I can upgrade if needed. I also have a giant trance x2 w/ tubeless which comes in @ 28 lbs. When I first rode the GT I wasnt all that impressed. But this was because I was just getting used to the bike and was very cautious. But I have equalled my 26er in about ever technical aspect on the trail and outdone it on some. Keep in mind this is after my 3rd time riding the 9er. On bigger rocks I am still on my 6er mindset and keep expecting to loose balance and stop pedalling. But this guy just rides over them and I am caught out of speed. So my challenge now is just keep the pedals spinning and the bike will do the rest.
Shock: I am not an extreme biker. Max jumps on my trails are around 2 ft. So the travel that is on the rock shox is plenty. If I need more I can upgrade. I have fox 32rl on my 6er and the response on that one is much better that the rock shox obviously.
Tires: Since my 6er had tubeless (loving the 20psi pressure) I wanted to do the same for my 9er. LBS declined to do tubeless on the alex 24td rims. But I was able to do it ghetto style for just $35 bucks (stans solution + 2x24" bmx tubes). I used the same stock rims and tires. So I can now lower the pressure to around 20 psi and get the increased traction w/o pinch flats.
Handle bar: The handle bar is way to wide for me. I cut off 1" on either end and now its perfect. With this I have mitigated the lesser maneuverability of the bike and dont see much of a diff between my 6er. But at the same time I have seen some instability on rocky downhills. But all in all I much prefer the shorter width.
Climbs:I have noticed that I am climbing better with this bike than my 6er. The biggest factor could be HT vs DS. But also I have kept away from a trail that is more technical and has many climbs. Will get to it this coming week. But for now, climbs have been better on the 9er.
Downhills: Downhill has been better on my 6er. Here also HT vs DS is a major factor. Its nothing huge. I just need to slow down a bit more. Although I havent tried this with running lower tire pressure (since I am just 1 day on tubeless). I would imagine with running lower pressure, my downhill will be better although this will impact my uphills. But I prefer that since it will help me build my muscles and stamina :)
Summary: I am extremely pleased with my bike for the price. Orginally I thought going back to a HT is a bummer. But I hate routine and having a 6er full suspension and a 9er HT is an extremely interesting combo imo. Trails now are much more fun coz I need to alter my style based on my bike also. HT also makes you a more technical rider. Now I need to force myself to go back to my DS bike every now and then :)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   20 miles so far

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   2009 Giant Trance X2 w/ 2.35 Tubeless, XTR front derail 28lbs (alt)
Motobecane Fantom Elite 26er HT (10-11)
Schwinn Mesa HT (01-10)


Bike Setup:   Tubeless on Alex 24TD and Maxxis tires.
31.2 LBS

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ron

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2012

Strengths:    Geometry
Overall comfort
Overall components


Weaknesses:    Pedals
Little heavy


Bottom Line:   
Overall comfort is awesome. I'm 6'5" and this bike is a great ride for the money. I feel this is one of the best values in the 29er market.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by inkfloyd305 a Weekend Warrior from miami fl

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2011

Strengths:    I'm coming from a 2005 giant Yukon so this bike was a welcomed improvement. Not only did the 29 let me roll over small cars but the climbs became effortless. Aside from the occasional ghost shifting its pretty solid. Stretched length provides confidence on steep downhill drops including steps, I was even able to climbs shallow steps going up

Weaknesses:    Crappy alivio derauilers make me want to brake them with a hammer when they jump under strain, tektro aquila brakes are mediocre at best cable got stuck in the sleeve on the rear, Alex td24 rims won't take too much abuse if you are over three hundred lbs as I am

Bottom Line:   
Great bike for intro to 29 ers, if it wasn't such a great deal at 550 I would have saved and got the 1.0 with octalink and hydraulic brakes which I will now upgrade. After a couple of components upgraded this bike will be bulletproof I'm very happy with it

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   oleta river mtb trails, north miami beach

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   bike masters miami,f


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by CM1 a Weekend Warrior from Florida

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2011

Strengths:    Light, Entry level 29 for the price, great buy!

Weaknesses:    Fork is not top of the line, 2nd ride was ghost shifting, took back to LBS and they found bad chain, replaced under warrenty, 1 week into ride still need to make minor adjustments to shifters. rear brake weak, but prob adjustment needed. some movement of the shifters was needed to make more comfortable to place hands while riding

Bottom Line:   
After some cable wear in bike will do just fine. the price for this bike with it's components and compared to other bikes with like components, this was the better deal, next upgrade will be front shock or hyd brakes, Overall great bike!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   SANTOS

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $800.00

Similar Products Used:   GIANT WARP 2.0

Bike Setup:   Stock set-up

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by GTuck a Weekend Warrior from Livonia, MI

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2011

Strengths:    Great entry level 29er, the price. Fork has lockdown for long pavement rides. I think the fork handles well, and the bike is very fun to use.

Weaknesses:    Kind of heavy, not super high end components.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike, especially for the $550 it's on sale for now. I actually paid $680 for it, but I got the $130 back when it went on sale. You have to love Performance Bikes 90 day price guarantee.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Island Lake

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   10 year old Giant rigid.

Bike Setup:   Stock.

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

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


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