Strengths: One bike do it all: from road trips to technical all mountain.
Weaknesses: Model discontinued :(((
Minor issues with seat post clamp (replaced), wheel hubs (I don't like Deore hubs) etc.
Although I own a 5k$+ 26er 5.5" full suspention, since I got the GT I hardly use them.
For the first 6 months or so I used the rigid fork it was OK but I decided to 'upgrade' it due to my limitations as a rider.
They are great for nearly every job. Very reliable, quiet, very relaxing. They don't frighten you easily even in edgy situations.
The flexy chromoly frame contributes to pleasant ride without being sissy.
Above all, they have this un tangible 'thing' called a character. Fun.
Why the hell GT decided to discontinue this model? Is that because you'll buy and use it for 10 years, not wanting to replace every time?
Bike Setup: Rockshox reba dual air, AVID elixir 3 brakes 7" front rotor, Maxxis IKON front, Nano rear
a Cross Country Rider
from Raleigh, NC USA
Date Reviewed: August 19, 2011
Strengths: Handles great and looks good, incredible components for the price
Weaknesses: Nothing major, maybe the 80mm front geometry?
The bike deserves 6 chilis for value, if you're looking for a steel hardtail you can't beat it. It's a little heavy on the shop scale but not noticeably so once you're riding it. Handling is great though it's a little tough to lift the front wheel (like most 9ers). My only gripe is pretty minor - I want to put a squishy fork on it and it's really hard to find cheap 80mm travel forks these days. I love the bike and would buy it again in a heartbeat.
Bike Setup: Added Mary bars, BB7 disc brakes, SLX RD, and Reba fork
Currently set as 1x9
a Cross Country Rider
from Reno, NV, USA
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2011
Strengths: Great price for solid, reliable 29er with mechanical disc brakes. All the entry-level components on mine work very well.
eDiscount Bikes replaced OEM fork with Black Ops carbon unit at no cost due to shipping damage!
Weaknesses: At this price ... what?
Wanted to try a 29er and it made sense to replace my old non-suspension mtn bike. Wow, am I surprised. I've tasted the 29er kool-aid and I won't be going back. All of the advantages of the larger wheels/tires are immediately apparent on this bike.
I'm 5'11" and 180 lbs and the large frame fits me perfectly. I really, really like this bike.
While it came with budget components, they all work well for me. The WTB seat really surprised me, I usually have a hard time finding one that fits.
I did have to tighten the spokes and tune both wheels, but no big deal. The Tektro brakes work great as well, just don't contaminate them.
For the price, this bike provides disproportionate mtn biking fun. I think this bike is going to be a lot more expensive than I thought, since I'm now going to have to replace my full-suspension bike with a 29er.
Bike Setup: Reba 80mm, Flat bar and bar ends, Shimano 520 spd pedals, XTR rear derailleur (never misses a shift even while climbing), Specialized saddle, Avid levers (gives brakes more control without being grabby)
a Cross Country Rider
from Ventura, Ca
Date Reviewed: September 12, 2010
Strengths: Reynolds 520, Geometry, Paint.
Weaknesses: Most of the parts are mediocre, breaks rub, poor wheel build (at least one spoke nipple front and rear became loose), cranks make a creaking sound. Less than 90 days riding.
This bike should come as a frame kit, it rides great, fits great, well made...this bike deserves really bada$$ parts hung on it, the parts it comes with suck, I expected allot better build for the money. You want a great bike, I highly recommend this one, upgrade it though, and it will be gold!
Similar Products Used: rocky mountain blizzard, jamis dakota
Bike Setup: ridgid, stock out of the box
a Cross Country Rider
from tyler, tx usa
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2009
Strengths: Price. Durable components. Bike has really taken a beating and comes back for more.
Weaknesses: None that i have found so far. Everyone complains about seatpost slippage but mine stays where i put it. I weigh 180 lbs. and had no trouble with slippage.
This bike rocks!! I love flipping the finger at all my friends on their full suspension 26" mountain bikes they spent thousands of dollars on. They are starting to not like riding with me because they can't keep up with me anymore!! This bike climbs like a mountain goat and will descend faster than I probably should be going. I run about 20lbs of pressure in the front tire and that takes a lot off the rigid setup. Once you get used to riding a bike like this, you will ask yourself why you spent so much money on other bikes. Yes, the bike is heavy (30 lbs.) but I just smile when my friens brag aboud how much their bikes weigh. They know I spent a fraction of the cost on a bike that they can't keep up with. I'm into the whole 29er thing now and I am not looking back. I rode my Trek 4300 the other day (a 26" bike) and I felt like I was riding a kids bike...
Bottom Line -- This bike is AWESOME for the measley 560 bucks I spent on it. This is the most fun I've ever had mountain biking.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ecinitas, SoCal
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2009
Strengths: Bombproof steel frame and fork, wheels seem strong also, and so far all of the mechanical stuff is holding up. No breakdowns at all.
Weaknesses: As stated elsewhere, seat post clamp needed to be replaced, a POS that just kept slipping due to composite bushing under level arm. WTB tires didn't really work well in deep gravel situations and cornering for my normal riding areas, but no tire does it all.
This bike will last a long time, fork alone is like 3# overall +30# for the whole bike; weight queens need not apply. Geometry on the GT was the inital draw as I like longish top tubes, have not had any toe overlap issues, which I've read is an issue on certain makes and something to look out for. Frame made for 80mm fork but I'll probably leave it rigid, it's fun as it is plus keeps it simple and low maintenance. Wheels are still running true had my doubts about strength, but so far it's all good.
Tektro brakes took awhile to get adjusted right, still don't feel like the BB7s on my other bikes, but useable initially very grabby, prone to skidding. WTB tires swapped out for 2.2 Nevegals much better for deep gravel traction out here and I think better cornering tire overall. Currently running as 2X9 22/32/bash, top gearing ridiculous for offroad especially with 29.
This bike has brought back some of the original fun of mountain biking, this was my entry into 29ers and believe it; 29ers definitely roll easier, in fact I will pickup and maintain speed that my 26er FS could only dream of, they really rail on singletrack. It can actually get away from you a bit the first few rides hitting corners too fast over familiar trails. Bike feels lighter riding than the +30# would indicate but it's also ~20# light than my FS IH7p3. You can standup and pedal up insanely steep stuff on this bike also.
This is probably the best overall value on any mtb or any other bike I've owned, but definitely the best value out of the 7 or 8 previous mtb bikes. If your looking to get into the 29ers and can hookup the deal like these 2008 models I don't think you can do any better.
Similar Products Used: Other past rigids, Bridestone MB-2, Nishikis, & GTs back in the 80s/90s but all 26ers
Bike Setup: Fairly stock except for some mostly comfort upgrades, pedals(platforms), seat post(thudbuster), tires(Nevegal), & grips(Ergo)
a Weekend Warrior
from Dallas, TX USA
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2009
Strengths: Affordable. Strong. Durable. Low maintenance. Did I mention Affordable?
Weaknesses: Underrated? A bit heavy compared to composites/aluminum frames. Maybe rust in 10-15 years?
Affordable, Great Bike, Low Bling, Low maintenance, ride and forget the rest. Takes a serious beating. Stock EXI-WOLF tires a bit heavy but they come in handy in the treacherous areas. Showing the love for an excellent steel 29r. I will be keeping this one. The multi is a bit insane with the 27 gear choices, GT provided more than enough..If bought from performance at the end of the cycle they can be had for cheap (like this one) and have life long free tweaks! What else can I say except the Peace9r is a "Smokin" good deal.
Similar Products Used: 1986 Peugeot road bike, 1981 Trek Roadbike. 1996 Montague/BMW/Olympic special edition folding MTB..Late 90s KHS..
Bike Setup: Stock Blue Form
a Weekend Warrior
from Freehold, NJ, USA
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2009
Strengths: Speed and ease of rolling over rough patches. Climbing is awesome. Comfortable geometry. Steel frame doesn't feel heavy. Solid entry level rigid frame bike and components.
Weaknesses: Disc for the disc breaks seem to be slightly warped which makes the break adjustments difficult.
For the price I paid, I am very happy with this bike! It was at 2008 left-over.
In the same price range, the traditional 26" MTBs that I tried felt nibble and reminded me of my 1970's youth doing dirt trails and jumps on pre-BMX 20" bikes. I was tempted to buy one, but recognized that a 29er was better for the type of riding I planned and would better suite my height and weight (6', 200lbs). I made the right choice!!
If I had an extra $400-plus in the budget, I might have considered a front-suspension 29er. I'm sure a front suspension is more comfortable on down-hills; however, I enjoy picking my line.
The front Derailleur and crankset are nice to have it for the few times when I really want to fly or creep up a hill. But, I could live without them. Had I known, I would have considered the KHS Solo One product because you can add a rear-derailleur.
Would consider a single speed, rigid 29er if I were younger, more interested in riding technique (e.g. climbing with a single speed), and more than a weekend warrior.
Similar Products Used: 2009 29ers from Specialized and Gary Fisher - similar price ranges as the 2009 GT Peace Multi but with lock-out, front suspension.
Bike Setup: See GT website for specs. 2008 and 2009 models have similar components
a Weekend Warrior
from northeast PA
Date Reviewed: June 11, 2009
Strengths: Great value - perfect entry level 29er.
Steel is real frame/fork.
Cool rasta paint job.
Weaknesses: Useless seatpost clamp.
Not the lightest bike out there.
Only one bottle cage mount.
This review is for an 08 model ($800 MSRP) that I picked up as a closeout from a shop that was selling it on ebay.
This bike seems to have been largely ignored by 29er fans until recently. Maybe it's because people are wary of GT's recent history, or maybe there just aren't enough dealers out there. Whatever the case may be, the result is there are quite a few of these bikes available at bargain prices. This is a sleeper that makes a great entry-level 29er.
The frame and fork are steel and very well finished. There's a downtube gusset and cool tri-color Rasta fade paint job with nice graphics, including a "Smoking since the 70's" decal on the seatstay bridge.
Parts spec is a solid mix of Deore shifters, derailleurs, hubs with Tektro Aquila mech discs and levers. Cockpit features Easton seatpost, bars, stem. WTB LaserV saddle and WTB Speed Disc rims with Exiwolf tires round out the parts.
I was unsure about the whole 29er hype before buying this bike. I figured I'd quickly be looking for a fork and be upgrading parts. To my surprise, the bike is really comfortable and the 29er hype is true - the bike rolls over all the east coast obstacles (rocks, roots, logs) without hesitation. I'm going to keep the rigid fork (the frame is adjusted for an 80mm fork). The bike has a longer TT and shorter stem than I'm used to on my 26" bikes, but feels comfortable. I'm sure the bike is 30+ lbs., but it doesn't ride like it. It's responsive to acceleration, the steering is precise for picking a line through the woods, and the frame does not beat you up over the rough stuff. The 2.3 WTB tires have good volume to allow for lower pressures and although the thread looks minimal, they have performed well in dry to muddy conditions.
The one complaint is the seatpost clamp, which does not hold at all. This seems to be a common problem on this bike. I swapped a Surly Constrictor clamp and no more slippage. After a couple months, the Cane Creek headset is starting to feel notchy.
If you can find one of these discounted, it is a steal (no pun intended). A great, solid, 29er that looks and rides great. If GT was smart, they'd lower the MSRP on this bike - this could be the bike that brings back the GT reputation for building solid, fun, affordable bikes. Highly recoommended for anyone wanting to try 29ers or looking for a simple rigid bike.