GT Karakoram 3.0 29er Hardtail

4.29/5 (7 Reviews)
MSRP : $599.00

  • 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.
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-HG30-8, 8-speed, 11-32T
  • Crankset: Suntour XCT-30V2-T2, 42/32/22T
  • Headset: Tange Seiki 1 1/8" threadless
  • Pedals: GT Slim Line flat pedal
  • Seatpost: All Terra alloy micro-adjust

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Reviews 1 - 7 (7 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by matadorCE

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2014

Strengths:    Great durable frame with killer paint/graphics, and a comfortable 29er geometry. Decent mid level components and hydro brakes. Overall great value, very beginner friendly, and ready to hit the trails right out of the box. The frame is classic and definitely worth upgrading!

Weaknesses:    Derailleurs need adjustment often, seat is hard, very narrow and uncomfortable. The pedals are plastic and feel clunky. The Suntour fork is very heavy (~6lbs) and not meant for any significant trail riding. The Alex wheels are low end but still decently durable.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike as a '13 closeout model and it was a killer deal in terms of what I got! I had a '13 Avalanche 3.0 so I had a good idea of what kind of bike I'd be getting. This bike makes a great beginner's bike out of the box, and the frame is legit and worthy enough to build up if you choose to go that route. I'm a heavy rider so the beefy frame is a plus for me, but if you're looking for a featherweight bike then this bike definitely isn't for you. The geometry fits me very well, and the bike climbs like a mountain goat and is no slouch on descents as well. I've already upgraded the fork and wheelset on mine and it definitely brought the frame to life -- it almost feels as flickable as a 26er! The Tektro brakes did not work well for me out of the box, so I upgraded those as well for some Avid BB7s. Maybe I got a bad set of pads but I felt that the Tektro brakes did not have nearly enough clamping force to slow me down, and I'm not a fast rider.
I would not hesitate to recommend this bike to a beginner. someone looking for a second bike, or someone looking for an affordable and durable frame to build up on. The value is great, the geometry is comfortable, and the handling is predictable and forgiving.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by daniel

Date Reviewed: August 5, 2012

Strengths:    The triple triangle frame is,and has always been the best hard tail frame there is.Bike looks like a million bucks!29er's re the only way to go,very fast up and downhill.The value was amazing!!no way you can find a better bike for $300!!

Weaknesses:    pedals,derailers need adjusted often,I dont really like the handlebars(to wide and very little rise)a bit heavy

Bottom Line:   
I've been mountain biking for over 20 years.This is my first 29er,I will never get on a 26" bike again!Yes the front forks are lower end,but Im surprised just how stiff the are!A lockout would be nice and Im currently switching to a rigid fork(just cause im training and do more road and cross country than trail right now)I have done some hardcore trail riding on this bike and was very happy with it,I out rode guys with $3000.00 bikes!(but again ive been riding a long time,and do like 40 miles a day)I waited 3 months to review this bike..1000 miles later..Its a winner!Buy this bike hell buy 2!The crankset is very strong,I put some clippless pedals on the first day it arrived.Have not broke any teeth off the chainrings(which i've done on almost every stock set of cranks i've ever owned)Im 6-1 180lbs and I ordered the xl size large prob woulda been better for offroad/trail riding.The Alex wheelset is great the all-terra hubs roll very nice, I did wreak this bike on the Umpqua trail(mott section) broke a spoke and bent the rear wheel just a tiny bit,but still rolls great!The brakes are ok,I will be switching to disc.Love the saddle. This is the third GT ive owned and by far my favorite,Just needs a few upgrades,but for the price who cares??

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Acerty a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2012

Strengths:    29 inch tires
Great Saddle
Shifts great when in tune and tends to stay in tune for a little while
Aspen tires grab everything it rolls over
24 speed so it has more gears than you could possibly need

Weaknesses:    Not sure that there's much one can do about this aside from going tubeless but its worth mentioning. Since purchase I went through 2 tubes so far and 1 or 2 patches due to do thorns and rocks no pinch flats. Only real issue I've had with the bike so far.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike close to 2 months ago now and have been waiting till I got a lot of rides to make a review. I came from a walmart bought XR-75 (I know I know). I got 3 rides in with that where I'd need to tighten the handle bar clamp just so they'd stay in while i was riding, and I'd have to do this before and during a ride. A ride that only got me to about a mile at best. That said, it would be pretty hard to get worse than that. Prior to buying this bike I test rode a fuji nevada 2.0, while the compononents may have been a little better I must say the karakoram rides better than the fuji and cost me 650 verses the 1000 dollars the other shop wanted for the fuji. I can't say enoug how happy I am with the karakoram. I typically ride trails loaded with roots, rocks, and water crossings or I ride some of the rail to trail program trails. This bike handles everything I throw at it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Red Trail in Green Lane, PA

Duration Product Used:   Almost 2 months

Price Paid:    $690.00

Purchased At:   Scooters Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Old bike was a mongoose xr 75
Test rode: Fuji Nevada 2.0 Jamis Trail X3 2011 and a few others I didn't like that I don't remember the names of anymore.

Bike Setup:   My Karakoram is all stock currently

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BigBriGuy

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2012

Strengths:    Big bang for the buck. Overall design is great. Well balanced. Tight construction. Responsive. Nimble. Compenents are top notch for the price.

Weaknesses:    Pedals are sub standard. Slippery plastic and too easy to lose the grip. First thing is to change is the pedal set.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is awesome as a mid priced trail bike. I find it easy to ride and comfortable both on the trail and going to and from the trail on the road. Gear ratio covers all incline and decline requirements. Disk brakes are smooth and responsive. Very solid for a person my size - 5' 6" 150lbs. Front shock could be spongey for a larger, heavier rider. The small frame will only fit a short water bottle in rach due to the dropped cross bar. Overall a clean, geat looking bike that provides an aggressive ride and lots of fun.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by _Tricon_ a Weekend Warrior from Irvine, CA USA

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2012

Strengths:    Great frame, amazing deal on everything it comes with at this price.

Weaknesses:    Little heavy, components..but what do you expect for $300?

Bottom Line:   
Put simply I dont think you can spend a better $300. I was going to replace the cassette, cranks, brakes, etc. on my old Trek 4300 but it would have cost more than this whole bike! Replaced the weak front fork with the tried and true REBA and got some great Elixir hydros and now this think is a power house for $600.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Whiting Ranch

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4300

Bike Setup:   Elixir 3 hydraulic front and rear 160mm brakes, Rock Shox REBA Race 29 front fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by aLOnStRst8ofmInd a Weekend Warrior from Georgetown, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2012

Strengths:    As a Greenhorn to the MTB world I am basing this strickly on my personal expectation of the bike's performance versus what I read about the OEM gear the bike was outfitted with from JumpStreet. (Prior to GT I was riding a borrowed GIANT Cypress ST...hey, I was riding! ) The bike is a beast! Really, This bike zooms down the trail! It maneuvers through twisting single track suprisingly well for a 690 mm handlebar. I'm certain the GT 29r Geometry atop those MAXXIS Aspen 2.1 Tires is what really makes it bite the trail. The Shimano SL310 Rapid Fire shifters hit each time every time! I'm not always in the gear I need to be and, although readers claimed the Acera & Alevio Derailleurs were junk, They got in-line under pressure. I will say triggers are worlds apart from the twisties I had chasing gears on the GIANT. I also must give big ups to the TEKTRO Novela 160mm mechanical discs! They really allowed my the confident freedom to tear down hills & through turns faster than I use to. When I needed to slow my roll or tighten a turn I could squeeze those TEKTRO 2-finger levers & the bike responded. The discs gave me no sqeeling or screeching, on or off the brakes, even after hitting the creekbeds 4" of water.The WTB PureV Comp saddle was incredibly comfortable. I had less ache after a 2 hour ride than 30 minutes on the Cypress.

Weaknesses:    PEDALS! If there is one thing about this bike that is way below the acceptable performance level, it is the pedals! Plastic Junk that should only be allowed on bikes with training wheels! I must also say I am not very impressed with the SUNTOUR XCM-V3 MLO 100mm fork. Lockout was nice for the street ride to the trail. Preload adjustment seemed non-existant. I am 5'11" & 180lbs & the fork seemed really spongey on hill climbs & bottomed out on medium sized woops.

Bottom Line:   
Over all the '12 Kamakoram 3.0 really performed well on all trail conditions and is a spectacular entry level hard tail. I'm a believ-r in 29r technology. GT really delivered a baker's dozen with this one. A SUPER BIG BANG for your buck! You could not build THIS bike this inexpensivly! A Dark Horse in the stable...
The GT Kamakoram seemed tall for the stand-over height of 801mm. On paper a Large 622mm top tube frame was perfect. I stand over it and think...maybe a medium.?

If you replace nothing...REPLACE THE PEDALS!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Walnut Creek

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $579.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   Have rode other MTB rigs, GARY FISHER, JAMIS, DIAMOND BACK, GIANT, REDLINE, APOLLO

Bike Setup:   GT Kamakoram 3.0-L Hydroformed/Butted Speed Metal™ Aluminum Frame (TT/ST, DT), Triple Triangle™ Frame Construction, Forged Bottom Bracket, Dropouts, and 1 1/8" Headtube, w/ 29"er-Specific Geometry; SR Suntour XCM-V3-MLO w/100mm Travel QR, Adjustable Preload & Lockout; SR Suntour XCT-V2 42/32/22T; Shimano SL-M310 Rapid Fire Shifters; Shimano CS-HG31, 11-32T, 8-Speed Cog Set; KMC Z72, 8-Speed chain; Shimano Acera Front Derailleur; Shimano Alivio, 8-Speed Rear Derailleur; Alex TD25, Doublewall 32H Rims; ALL TERRA Alloy Disc 32H hub up front; ALL TERRA Alloy 32h Q/R Cassette out back; Maxxis Aspen, 2.1", Wire Tires; Tektro Novela Cable Disc, 160mm (F/R); Tektro 2-Finger levers; ALL TERRA 6061 Aluminum Riser, 690mm handlebar; ALL TERRA 3D Forged Threadless Stem, CNC'd 4-Bolt Face Plate; Tange Zerostack Ahead, 1 1/8" HeadSet; WTB Pure-V Comp saddle atop the ALL TERRA Alloy Microadjust, 30.9mm post.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nutrof a Weekend Warrior from Miami, FL, USA

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2011

Strengths:    Frame, wheel set, tires, seat, light, color (matte)

Weaknesses:    Fork and brakes, handle bar seems to big so I cut off an inch on each side.

Bottom Line:   
great bike for the price, fast, light, cool in matte black, solid frame, good climber.
If "Batman" had a mountain bike, it would be this one.


handbar seemed too big so I cut an inch off each end... all better now.
Shifters ok
Brakes are pretty standard so I upgraded
Need to upgrade the fork(coming soon)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Markham and Virgina Key

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Bike Masters(Kendall

Similar Products Used:   Karakorum 1.0, specialized 29er, giant 29er

Bike Setup:   Upgraded to 200mm disc brakes front and back.

Reviews 1 - 7 (7 Reviews Total)

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

GT Karakoram 3.0 Aftermarket Wheelsets Under $300

Warped/Bent my Front Wheel on my Karakoram after less than 50 miles of riding... Haven't done any Cool and Tough trail shredding outside of casual 3 ft drops on downhill singletrack. Probably not going to be warranteed by Performance Bike. Anyone have any recommendations on some economical wheelse ... Read More »

Dilemma.. GT Karakoram 3.0 Vs Specialized Hardrock vs Airborne Guar. vs Marin Bolinas

Hi, I am thinking of getting a bike which I will use to commute about 6 miles daily and but also want to use to use it light trails once in a while, from what I read the 29er would help in the commuting part.. I've narrowed my search to these four, they are pretty much in the same price range, the ... Read More »

Never rode a mtb...just bought a GT Karakoram 3.0. How'd I do, and what next?

Hello, names here, and to biking beyond riding around town when I was 13, and trying to ramp off of things and not die. As the title says.....How'd I do on the bike? I chose to go new, and it's my first mtb EVER!!! I always rode BMX type bikes as a kid. Any feedback experience on the b ... Read More »

Trek Wahoo vs. GT Karakoram 3.0 Hydraulic

Hi everyone, I'm pretty much a noob. I haven't ridden a bike in probably 10 years or so, but I would like to get back into it. I'll mostly be road biking, but I want to get a mountain bike with some versatility so I can also go on dirt trails and not have to worry about pot holes and rocks. I'm ... Read More »

Minitou tower pro on GT karakoram 3.0?

I posted this in the shocks section but I figured more 28er people would check it out here. I have a GT karakoram 3.0. I've been thinking about upgrading the fork. Could I put a manitou tower pro on it? I'm new to MTBiking and especially the fork stuff.Read More »

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