GT Zaskar 29er Hardtail

4.1/5 (20 Reviews)
MSRP : $1899.99

Product Description

Love 'em or loathe 'em. 29" wheels are here to stay. The benefits of larger-diameter wheels - increased momentum and improved traction - on endurance mountain bikes are compelling enough to have built a loyalist following amongst trail riders across the globe; GT is committed to providing these riders with bikes they want by providing a 29" option for each bike in the Endurance line up.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2014

Strengths:    light weight for price point, awesome specs for price point, very agile for a 29er at this pricepoint

Weaknesses:    not thru axles so flexy front and rear. rear tire rubs rear derailer mount on down tube when too much load is applied to rear and this usually happens on bumpy climbs when seated (switching to 1x10 will eliminate this).

Bottom Line:   
This is my second GT and I only have 3 rides on it totaling around 5hrs ride time so my opinion may be premature under strength and weakness. May follow this up in a month or two with a new rating/review.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   crabtree, new light, usnwc, sherman branch, bent creek

Duration Product Used:   2 weeks

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   SIMILAR BIKES OWNED:2010 rockhopper comp Single Speed, 2011 Giant Anthem 29er, 2014 Access Stealth Trail 29er (lame)
OTHER BIKES I OWN OR HAVE OWNED: 2007 gt idrive, 2007 fisher hifi delux, 2009 spesh fsr xc pro, 2011 giant trance x2

Bike Setup:   Handle bar is Race Face Turbine but stock for remainder

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2014

Strengths:    Components, weight, value

Weaknesses:    Brakes, rims, tires

Bottom Line:   
I challenge you to find a better value for the money. I purchased a 2013 model with Egg Beaters out the door for $2800 at Performance. XT drivetrain, Fox Float 32, Crank Brothers post and handlebars, Fizik, and Easton. Smokin' deal. The only thing that comes close in a carbon hardtail is the Giant XTC Composite 1. I despise the SRAM, Avid, Rock Shox garbage so if you're talking Shimano quality, this bike cannot be beat. Formula brakes are a bit squishy so a servicing should do the trick. Easton rims are bit heavy for the weight weenies and I'm just not a big Maxxis guy. Otherwise, this ride is the real deal

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The one to your mom's house

Duration Product Used:   Couple of days

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bonita

Bike Setup:   All stock with Egg Beater pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Lolo

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2013

Strengths:    Forgiving, light and nice components.

Weaknesses:    No stickler weakness I can complain about.

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding mountain bikes for 3-4 years. I've logged about 3100 miles on this bike on blue and red trails. I've started to learn jumping on it too. Not too keen on that, yet, so, can't judge how well it jumps compared to other bikes, but it seems to take it well enough.

Could probably make tight turns better at high speed. I find going for the brakes on tight turns at times or maybe it's my riding that needs some work - maybe(I'm not the racing type, though sometimes forget that I'm not). Anyway, I've had this bike for about three years and it still looks new despite a few crashes. Gt did great work on the finish. No noticeable scratches though my pedals have dents and dings on them.

Can't say I'd buy another one, although I can definitely say, I'm happy with this one.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by leoferus a Racer

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2012

Strengths:    Tank like construction. Great all around capabilities.

Weaknesses:    Probably a personal preference thing; the handlebar had too much flex.

Bottom Line:   
What can I say about the GT Zaskar 9er Expert? I love it. It's simple, it's not the best. It's just great. It is not the lightest but it can be ridden all day.

The thing about this bike is that it, for whatever reason, makes you want to ride, ride, and ride some more. The components on the expert are well picked. I've experienced no problems with them after one year of riding. I've put about 1,000 miles on it without a hitch. This, of course, is not counting the crashes.

The design compromises excellence in many areas so that it can be great in many. If you are an avid rider that doesn't make excuses the Zaskar will not disappoint. It doesn't turn as sharply as a Flash or a Stumpjumper, for example. However, it does hold a line beautifully. While not as nimble as other platforms it is extremely forgiving. I can't exactly explain it. You must ride it to understand.

I've raced with this bike through one season and I was pleased. It finished every race and even saw me to one podium finish. Although I will be replacing this machine with a carbon Cdale Flash, I will not be releasing it from the stable. Whenever I want to go out onto new trails this is the bike I will choose. It's like a swiss army knife.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Middle Run, White Clay, Fair Hill, Iron Hill.

Duration Product Used:   1 year.

Price Paid:    $1999.00

Purchased At:   Wooden Wheels

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Stans Flows wheels.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by zaskcarb

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2012

Strengths:    Looks awesome in raw carbon (2011)
Fanatastic groupset especially SRAM X0/X9
Fox Float Shock and Formula R1X brakes

Weaknesses:    Grips are rubbish change them
Seatpost doesn't accomodate larger seat rails 8mm etc

Bottom Line:   
I bought this 2011 model earlier this year and have already put 1600 mls as I use it as a daily ride over the past 4 months

I've only done a few trails and have been very impressed with its ability especially changing gears, braking and of course front end grip. The Formula brakes do get noisy after a while so you need to sand the disc from time to time but are sensational in feel and power.

The only problems I've encountered is that the GT wing grips are rubbish as mine worked themselves loose after only 2 trail rides trash them immediately I've since replaced mine with Ritchey double locking foam grips.

The other problem was the WTB seat which popped off during a race and have now replaced it with a Ritchey Carbon Streem and a Thomson Elite seatpost as the CBrothers 3 doesn't allow thicker rails when upgrading.

All said the bike is fantastic and have no regrets purchasing highly recommended I look forward to many more runs this Spring/Summer.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SCOTT VOTH a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 4, 2012

Strengths:    Super stiff where needed, paint job is awesome and has held up well. Climbs like a billy goat. Changed the grips as the white GT grips looked good but not grippy enough. Solis wheel set great for training, switch to Stan's Crest for racing. Also switched tires to racing ralphs.

Weaknesses:    Grips, DT wheels heavy

Bottom Line:   
Best bike I have ever purchased

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Palo Duro Canyon

Duration Product Used:   1 year

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Sun Adventure Sports

Similar Products Used:   Kona Leroi, Motobecane Team , Niner EMD

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CCTrog

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2012

Strengths:    Fox Fork, XT Components, Frame Quality and stand over clearance.

Weaknesses:    Heavy Tires and initial setup

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this bike from Nashbar on an killer sale. Dollar for dollar this is an excellent bike but needs upgrades; especially the wheels. It comes with riser bars, fairly heavy wheels and tires, and as someone else says is kinda setup enduro. This is truly a race hardtail. 29er wheel weight is critical and this bike was slow with the heavy Kenda Nevagal tires. I put a carbon flat bar on it, Sun Ringle Black Flag Pro 29er wheelset (excellent wheels) and Maxis Ikon Tires setup tubeless. This totally transformed the bike to be quick and agile. The bike feels light, is quick, its solid with no noticeable flex and has excellent downhill stability. This is a good bike to race as long as the trails don't get too technically rough and rocky. The Fox fork RL is smooth (although it lacks adequate compression damping adjustment) and the XT components work very well; especially the brakes. I use the stock XT wheelset for a backup set and use them on a particularly rocky area located near me called Red Hills.. I also switched the rear cassette from a 32 max gear to a 34 and changed the saddle to a WTB seat which fits my buns. I like the bike; it climbs very well, it handles switchbacks well, and has excellent top tube clearance for my short body. It is my go to bike on fast flowing trails and for the limited racing I do.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tarsey Anastos

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2012

Strengths:    Shimano XT drivetrain and FOX fork. Responsive solid ride!

Weaknesses:    Wish the rims were tubeless.

Bottom Line:   
First 29er I ever had. Spent the last 10+ years on various full suspension bikes and don't miss them one bit. The larger wheels take care of a lot of stuff the trails through at you. Not sure if it this bike or just being back on a hard tail again but it feels super connected to the trail. This bike has a solid feel that does't mind being shown the rougher side of ride. Stiff ride but not too bad. Very confident this bike can take what I through at it.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ezer Taganayon

Date Reviewed: April 15, 2012

Strengths:    stiff frame,triple triangle design,stiff rear triangle,short tapered head tube,72 head tube angle.Price.

Weaknesses:    only one color available,.noisy Formula RX brakes,X7 shifters.would prefer bb30 than gxp

Bottom Line:   
after riding on my 26er mtb for six years and after riding with my zaskar 29er,no chance that i will go back to a 26er.The Zarkar 9r carbon is very fast on trails and acceleration.Lots of grips thanks to the 29 inch tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by psyclist a Cross Country Rider from New Zealand

Date Reviewed: March 8, 2012

Strengths:    Light and tough
Great vibration damping
Stiff in all the right places
Great climber
Great component kit

Weaknesses:    Gel coat quite fragile and easily scratched
Wheelset seems a bit overbuilt for this type of bike
OE tyres a bit on the sketchy side
Ridiculous girly white grips
Would have liked to see a BB30 intreatd of the outboard bearings

Bottom Line:   
This is one great bike. It is smooth and certain in its handling and typically for a 29er rolls over the rough stuff beautifully. Tapered headset and 12mm through axle on the front give incredible stiffness. BB is plenty stiff but would have liked to see a BB30 at this level. Rear dropouts are great and have the ability to be changed out or modified.

Wheelset is on the heavy side but I guess it is bombproof..but hey..this is a XC bike so why would you put an all mountain wheelset on it, or if it is an all mountain set why wold you fit the light MaxxisAspen tyres?.

Component mix otherwise is excellent. I have no experience with the Formula R1X but they are powerful enough and have great feel... they tend not to lock up.
Shimano XT 2 by 10 is great! you can use every gear combination. might be a bit tough for less strong riders..but they are not likely to buy this baby are they!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   As purchased, only changed out the tyres and grips

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by h2o-x a Cross Country Rider from North Sound, WA, US

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2011

Strengths:    It looked nice in the pictures on the internet.

Weaknesses:    There were holes in the welds around the BB and seat stays. Yes, truly, holes!

It supposedly had clearance for a 2.3 rear tire, but a 2.2 rubbed on the drive side chain stay when climbing.

Bottom Line:   
Apparently the 13 year-old Chinese welding apprentice was working the torch the day both the frames I had were made. I had to fight with Performance to get a new bike, and the second one came in with the same issues. Then I had to fight with Performance to get my money back. I ended up losing over $100 in shipping, but at least I don't have to ride this p.o.s.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Monarch Crest Trail

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper, Felt 9 Carbon, Motobecane Fantom 29Pro SL, Motobecane Outcast

Bike Setup:   XT
Ritchey Pro

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rmillet a Cross Country Rider from San Antonio, TX

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2011

Strengths:    Review is for the Carbon 29er Pro
FAST acceleration out of corners, great momentum, bottom bracket height feels great. Rocky sections tolerables with large wheel diameter, carves twisties with 72 head angle..stealth bomber looks

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Friend let me ride his Carbon GT 29er. I will be a convert. Got three rides in, first ride got used to feel, second dialed in to my weight, third ride.....bested my mph avg by .7 mph on this thing (and I left a lot on the table still). It carves, comes out of corners and accelerates like a dream (saves energy for steady speed), jumps and manuals small creeks with ease. Felt like the trail was my bit*# on this bike.

Next bike will be the Pro version in the aluminum model (in my $ range)........ Good job GT.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   McCallister/OP

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Purchased At:   Action Bikes

Similar Products Used:   None, my first 29er experience

Bike Setup:   Carbon 29er, XX Carbon cranks/brakes, SB8 tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Puzman a Weekend Warrior from Durham, CT

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2011

Strengths:    Good parts spec for the $ (full SLX gruppo)
Geometry dialed for technical riding

Weaknesses:    Not much... could be lighter I suppose, especially the wheelset.

Bottom Line:   
Wow, I must say I'm pretty impressed. I'm coming off of a Yeti 575, and I wanted a bike that would have snappier pedaling, climb well, and still be able to handle the techy stuff. I decided to take the plunge on a 29er HT w/ a Thudbuster. I picked up a 2010 Zaskar from REI, size Small. I'm 5'8", 165lbs, 30" inseam. The Small Zaskar has a 22.5" TT, 42.3" wheelbase, and a bent TT which gives LOTS of standover. The geometry feels absolutely dialed for technical riding- with short TT and wide riser bars, it definitely fits more like a trail bike than a racing bike. With the Thudbuster, 29" wheels, and high-volume tires (Kenda Karma 2.2s, which are AMAZING!), I honestly feel it doesn't lose anything to the Yeti on technical New England singletrack. It climbs pretty well (as well as the 575), though I'm sure lighter wheels, bar ends, etc. would help. Total weight with the Thudbuster is 27.5 lbs. If you're on a budget, this deal is hard to beat.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   my secret stash...

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   Yeti 575

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Thudbuster seatpost

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mickmatthew a Weekend Warrior from Central WA

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2011

Strengths:    This is for the 2011 GT expert 29er, black-on-black-on-black... (the other threads seem to be for the 2010). I'm an intermediate rider back into the sport for about two years now. I put in a good 35+ miles a week on rocky steep single-track and was looking to get into a solid 29er (my first) at a decent price. I took a bit of a gamble (not a lot of reviews out there on the 2011) and I'm glad I did. The bike sticks amazingly well, barrels when it should, climbs like a goat, and just feels well-balanced, fast and smooth. Compared to the other bikes I researched in this range the components are higher than you'd expect (like the 2X10 and SLX shifters). Everything just glides on this bike. My LBS gave me some wiggle room on the price (bless the independents), but after riding 200+ miles I'd say even the full retail price ($1900) would've been worth it....

Weaknesses:    The Formula RX brakes feel perfect BUT--like A LOT of people riding with them who have griped all over the internet--I've had periodic problems with crazy squeaking and chattering... I switched to sintered pads (from the stock organics) and that may solve the problem (the verdict is still case of insane vibrations during a long downhill). Formula should really address this design glitch because according to dozens of threads out there, it is the rule, not the exception... the product is flawed. That said, it's a problem but not a deal-breaker... worst case scenario, I think different rotors will fix it.

Bottom Line:   
My LBS gave me some wiggle room on the price (bless the independents), but after riding 200+ miles I'd say even the full retail price ($1900) would've been worth it....

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Owned...Specialized Rockhopper, HardRock
Ridden...Gary Fisher HIFI 29er, Niner...

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by keepingcadence53 a Cross Country Rider from New Cumberland, PA

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2011

Strengths:    I paid an incredibly low price, once in a lifetime deal...the reason I bought it. I was apprehensive about buying a GT, it's not the same company it was in the 80's and 90's, department store crap. I wanted a 29er, and Performance had 0% /12 month financing, can't beat that! Ok, I love the full XT specs, Ritchey bars and stem, all good name brand stuff! I was thrilled to be able to buy this, I've wanted a new bike for 10 years. Rolled it out of the store, and went put it on the roof...and what the hell, no fork dropouts?!? Culture shock, fer sure! The ride: not bad, didn't know what to expect, seemed a bit bouncy in the rear, and I was very cautious throwing it into turns. Feels very light in the rear. Shifting is excellent of course, very precise...very Shimano. I can't understand why I get thrown around so much by this bike, perhaps it's too small for me. Planning to install longer stem and a layback post to get more comfy. I've only had a chance to ride five times on fast, rocky singletrack, and I plan to spend the next few months tuning the fork, tire pressure, and components to my liking. I plan to race Xterra triathlons, and figured this bike would be perfect for that. Time will tell. I loaned my bike to my buddy who's been racing for 25 years, and he absolutely loves it. Final opinion: once it's dialled in, it should be amazing to ride!

Weaknesses:    I need the frame to be a half-size bigger, I have a small, and a medium is too large. I have to replace new stem and post to fit me (5'8") tire selection is not the best for my terrain, poor performance from Performance's techs...this bike was not set up and assembled properly, very bouncy in the rear, very unstable. There is a huge lack of through-axle racks on the market, but it's slowly coming around, too many "standard" size axles, I reckon. And finally, no one forced me to buy this, so shame on me for complaining about it now!

Bottom Line:   
Would I recommend you buy one? Absolutely. The parts alone are worth much more than the entire bike itself. $800 fork and the $360 cranks are the same price as i paid for the entire bike. The retail price is around $2700, but Performance Bike offers it for less, frequently. I believe the exclusive retailler for this bike is Performance, even on eBay.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Swatara State Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Performance, Paoli P

Similar Products Used:   1995 Specialized Stumpjumper converted to a single-speed.

Bike Setup:   Full XT, including hydraulic brakes and hubs and pedals, Fox fork, Ritchey bar, stem, post. Mavic rims

Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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