GT Karakoram 29er Hardtail

4.09/5 (32 Reviews)
MSRP : $820.00

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Reviews 1 - 15 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2017

Strengths:    Nice geometry, Most of the components are OK if you are no weight weenie, paintjob nice as well

Weaknesses:    1 1/8" Headtube... tapered seems to be industry standard so upgrade is getting difficult.
30,8mm Seattube...again limited choices
Heavy frame and fork.
All Terra hubs really heavy!

Bottom Line:   
GT Karakoram Expert 2016
Great value only if its on sale. Most components are durable and not terribly heavy.

The stock RS Recon Silver Solo Air is a tad heavy (2250g) and flexible (under 85kg rider anyway) so upgraded to a Manitou Marvel Expert QR 15... a lot better with the new fork

Terra Logic components quite heavy:
Seatpost 410g
Stock wheelset 2350g mostly due to rear hub...
Front Hub 250g
Rear Hub: 600g!!! WTF??? At least All Terra hubs have the same dimensions as Shimano Deore/XT and some DT swiss so later upgrades are easy.
Stock rim is fairly light 480g and running them tubeless with joe's conversion no problem
Schwalbe Rapid Robs 2.25" provide good traction they seem durable but 830g each

Stock stem is 100mm the bike handles much better with a shorter one (182cm rider L size frame)

The bike was 13.6kg in size L, 12.5kg after the fork upgrade and tubeless (without pedals)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 months

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2016

Strengths:    Great bike for the price. It would not take much to upgrade and make this bike race ready.

Weaknesses:    As will all bikes, pedals, grips and seat need to be replaced immediately to whatever the rider's preference is.

Bottom Line:   
I had to share my new bike budget with my son who was also in need of a new bike. I thought this would be a substantial down-grade from the $1500 bikes that I've ridden in the past, but this bike is no imitation. Great bike, great price.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Loving Life on a Bike! a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2015

Strengths:    This is a great bike for taller riders.

Weaknesses:    Components are cheep. Was told by GT that by riding 20 mile average that I was "over riding the bike". Warranty claims are a real pain if you bought the bike in one place and had to move to another place. Other GT dealers don't want to do the warranty for the bike.

Bottom Line:   
In 2012 I bought a 2.0 and I really liked the way that the bike flowed with my tallness. I liked it enough that I bought another in 2013, 2.0 again. Earlier this year I broke the frame at the top of the weld on the seat tube. Well one of the selling points for me was that GT has a lifetime warranty on the frame. I had moved from the state that I bought the bike in, this is where the pain in the neck comes in. You would think that another GT dealer would have no problem doing the warranty, I mean W-T-H Cannondale owns them(Dorel corp). You would be as wrong as I was in that thinking. Even the support guy said that I may encounter "push back" from the other dealer. I did and after my pushing back I got my warranty done. Now check this out, They gave me a 2015 comp bike, yes the whole bike. This bike came with Promax decipher brakes and they did not work. Promax told me that the pistons not retracting is a common and just have any dealer send them back for a replacement. I got told by the dealer that GT only warrantied the frame the parts aren't warrantied. So I called GT and talked to them, while I was handling this I mentioned that I ride 20 miles on my daily rides. GT told me that I was "over riding my bike" that I needed to maybe get a stronger bike, W-T-F is all I could say to that. How do you over ride a trail bike? WOW I'm now wondering about getting rid of both of my GT Karakoram 2.0 bikes!!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gtbeast

Date Reviewed: March 24, 2015

Strengths:    Frame Geometry, looks and price.

Weaknesses:    Stock seat was like riding on concrete, pedals are cheap plastic and its a bit heavy.

Bottom Line:   
This is for my 2014 GT Karakoram Comp that I paid $520 from Jenson Usa. This bike looks great out of the box. The components are entry level (to be expected) but seem to take the abuse I'm giving them just fine. I've read all of the complaints about the suntour xcm forks and cranks, but they are entry level and are holding their own. The bike comes with promax decipher hydraulic brakes, a brand not even reviewed on this site. The first weekend I took her out, I had to emergency stop and these brakes nearly put me over the handle bars. Nearly a month in and riding 3-4 times a week with no brake squealing at all. I ride mostly trails and fire roads but expect this bike could handle more if I pushed it. I changed out the seat and pedals after 3 weeks and they were worth while upgrades. If and when the forks/cranks give out, I can say I gave them their due. If you are looking for a bike in the $5-600 price range that both looks great and rides great, I would go GT all the way. Their are pricier bikes out there in the entry level category for hard tails, but I turn heads on my Karakoram as I fly by!

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Justin Wallace a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2014

Strengths:    Cheap, great looks, good on pavement, good starter bike

Weaknesses:    Cheap, clunky fork, shifting is a pain on trails.

Bottom Line:   
this is for my new 2014 Karakoram sport I bought on sale for $500 from Performance.
Good bike to start out on. Upgraded to this from a Huffy I bought to see if I would get I to riding a bike again. Using this as a stepping stone to a higher level bike in the future. This bike looks amazing and is a really good bike.... Riding to work on pavement. Off road the fork makes a lot of clunking noises and the rebound dial is seemingly there for looks as it doesn't do anything. The shifters are ok but I think the weaklink in the system is the crankset. The brakes work well but are very noisy. The seat is uncomfortable initially but I already had a WTB Speed V so I put it on the day I bought the bike so I can't comment on how comfortable it is on long rides.
Overall a great entry level bike to get into mountain biking to see if you're going to stick with the sport. I'm going to replace the crankset and fork and ride it until the wheels fall off then I'll upgrade to a nicer model.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   John Bryan Park, MoMBA

Duration Product Used:   About 150 miles

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nomad220

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2014

Strengths:    Can't beat the bike for the price and components included. Great looking bike. Shifts well.

Weaknesses:    Pedals and grips substandard. Seat not even used. No markings in handlebars, making alignment more work than necessary.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike on sale for about $400 from Nashbar. Wanted to get a 29er for my wife but ended up giving her my 2011 Giant Talon 2 because that bike has about one inch less of standover height and I knew she already likes that bike. So, Happy Mother's Day for me. The price on this bike was too good to pass up. I have always felt that GT's were cool bikes so I had to have this. So far, I like the bike alot and the cons have almost been resolved. Fortunately, my neighbor had some Shimano platform pedals that he gave me that are now on the bike instead of the resin originals. I swapped out the seat for a Cloud 9 that I had on the Talon. I am in the process of getting new grips. I bought some WTB Tech Trails but I think those are too small for my XL hands. I plan on returning those and getting some Lizard Skin North Shores. I think I will be all set at that point. Then, I look forward to riding the heck out of this bike. Can't wait.

While this bike has some better components than the Talon (fork, brakes, 9 speeds) the Talon had way better grips (Giant lock-downs that feel great) and pedals (Wellgo Magnesiums) and stock seat. Still, once I am done setting this up my wife won't have to worry about me stealing her bike. And the GT was considerably less money than the Talon.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dirtydogg a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2014

Strengths:    Strong frame, double wall rims, Kenda tires that are listed as 1.95 but actually measure 2.05", You can upgrade to disc brakes. All components on bike are cheap and readily available to replace.
I bought the bike as a left over in 2012. I paid $369 for it from a LBS. CANNOT complain about this much bike for the money!! At full retail, now way.

Weaknesses:    Comes with V-brakes, Fork is not so great, cheap plastic pedals. Heavy (33lbs). I think the newest 3.0's have different style frame and come with Disc brakes.

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this bike because I was not sure if I wanted to get back into MTB'ing. It gave me that flexibility to get into a relatively inexpensive bike that I could upgrade if I liked.
I upgraded:
X-fusion fork, Cane Creek Z40 headset, WTB Freq i23 rims, wider Tioga Physco Genius tires, Deore & XT deraileurs, Shimano disc brakes 180/160

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: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!!!!!!!!!!


Bottom Line:   

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)'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!!

Reviews 1 - 15 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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