Strengths: great looks - strongs welds - super easy to service pivots, and easy to get too - good price - great suspension design (Yeti SB66 is a knok-off of the idrive) yes it works and w/o the crappy pivot bearings the yeti has, read the reviews, lots of unhappy yeti customers.
Weaknesses: the derailuer hangers are really expensive
I was happy with the bike i had but got the GT force because i had read great reviews and happened across an awesome deal. WOW the ride is incredible, RP23 on the frame works great and i have had no creaking as yet but for the 2010 that i have its a simple BB tool to disassemble, not a big deal. A one piece rear triangle means a latterally rear end. And yea i stand by my statement that Yeti copied the i-drive. its basically up-side-down but the phisics are the same and i would not trade this for the SB66 because it has a low bottom bracket and the GT has a much higher one (thats a personal preferance thing) Any way a great bike. if i change it will be for a carbon fiber GT force frame.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2011
Strengths: Strong frame
Faster uphill than expected
Well balanced for jumps
Weaknesses: High centre of gravity
Weight is felt when heading uphill
2010 Model - Borrowed this bike for a weekend. The Force is so sexy and fun to ride. I was expecting it to be a lot slower climbing than it was. The suspension holds traction brilliantly over uphill rocks and roots.
I will be getting a lighter, racier bike as I don't ride aggressively enough to justify getting a bike this solid and capable. But for anyone who enjoys the ride up and loves to fly downhill this GT is perfect.
from Auckland, New Zealand
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2010
Strengths: - It sticks to the ground really well when adjusted right.
- Pretty strong frame for an XC bike.
- Did I mention that the frame looks great?
Weaknesses: - The stock fork is a bit of a weak point to me, but that is largely due to my riding preference towards more of DH than XC. I eventually changed to a 150mm one, which by coincidence GT did the same thing for their 2011 GC Force 1.0.
Great bike for XC, but it does lean a little towards the heavy side. However I am a heavy rider so it doesn't affect me as much.
This bike can handle DH trails also, so far I haven't had any major issues.
i-Drive does work. People who say it doesn't should just try to set up their bikes properly.
Similar Products Used: Giant Force 1.0, Giant NRS Air 2005, Giant XTC AC1 2001, Giant MCM D 2007, Giant XTC HB3 2009.
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2010
Strengths: Very versatile. Strong/sturdy frame but not bulky. Great stock components! No upgrading required immediately unless you have a personal preference for specific products. I also like the 2010 Fox Float R 15QR (150mm). The 15QR adds that extra bit of stiffness and strength to the front end which I liked. The climbing capability of this bike with the Fox RP23 with the boost valve is amazing! Even with a 40mm stem I can still push this somewhat heavy bike uphill at a pretty good rate.
Weaknesses: I personally would like a little lower standover height for the modifications I made to it, but for AM/XC purposes it's completely fine the way it is. I have had problems with the iDrive system being a little squeaky when using it in disgustingly wet/muddy conditions, but that's more my fault than the iDrive's; it's not really made to be silent in conditions like that, of course what product wouldn't squeak? I would also like brakes a little more powerful than the Shimano XT brakes, but they're great until you start hitting tight singletrack and come across unexpected obstacles and turns (I ended up slamming into a couple trees due in part to the lack of strength and modulation in brakes; though I do partially blame myself for those mishaps as well for lack of skill in quick thinking.) Somewhat heavy for an aluminum frame I think... I do think the bike is also a little on the expensive side at MSRP, but since I got it from 3point5.com for $1800, I couldn't pass up the deal.
Incredible bike with unlimited versatility! Great for aggressive XC to overly aggressive AM and depending on your skill level, you could possibly pull off some very light DH...but that will be based mostly on skill of the rider. The bike is a little on the expensive side, but for full XT components and the Fox Float R 15QR and the Fox RP23 Boost Valve, it's definitely worth putting some money into if you're not dedicated to a particular riding style. I don't this is the ideal bike if XC is you main riding style mostly because of the weight and geometry of the bike, but I don't know if a better bike exists for aggressive AM!
Bike Setup: I added a Hussefelt 40mm stem and Easton Vice DH bars for a little extra width.
a Weekend Warrior
from GEDERA,GEDERA, Israel
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2010
Strengths: Independent Drivetrain mechanism works great!!, Fully active 140mm travel, climbs smoothly, high end parts, price, beautiful bikes
Weaknesses: Comes with a bit long stem (to my opinion) - I replaced it with 6 CM one, a bit aggressive if you are XC rider (I'm mostly riding AM, so it works great for me), nothing else, actually - great bikes!!
I really love this bike!! Equipped with great parts, and the GT I-Drive works smoothly. Every ride is a joy.
Similar Products Used: Wheeler Hornet 40, Specialized Stumpjumper.
Bike Setup: Avid Juicy 7, SRAM X9, RockShox Pike 140, Maaxis High Roller
a Weekend Warrior
from Olympia, WA
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2009
Full XT Drivetrain
Fox Suspension Front and Rear
Great going down
Weaknesses: XT Brakes a little weak for me (XL Bike/XL Guy)
Fox R fork
This is a great bike for the price. I saved enough money to upgrade the brakes, and fork, and still paid less than suggested retail. The stock Shimano XT brakes were too weak for me, just I overwhelmed them on an an XL Bike carrying a 220lbs rider. I also upgraded the fork from the stock Fox Float 32 R to a 150mm Fox Talas FIT RLC QR15. The bike rode great stock, and now it is even better. The Talas adjustability makes it a far better climber than it was (and it was fairly good to begin with) and the expanded adjustability of the Talas turned into a great downhill bike as well. The parts on the stock bike alone justified the investment, and the I drive suspension works great. The RP23 rear shock is wonderful even though the I-drive suspensions often makes using the Pro-pedal feature unnecessary. If you buy this bike, you won't be disappointed. The frame quality is excellent, and the parts package top notch. If you get lucky and get one on sale, you won't find a better bike for the money.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Rize
Bike Setup: GT Force 1.0 Size XL, upgraded Fox Talas FIT QR15 150mm, Fox RP23 rear shock, Full XT Drive train, upgraded brakes to Hayes Stroker Ace.
a Cross Country Rider
from CA USA
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2009
Strengths: ( after modifications listed below!!!)
Climbs and descends awesome!
feels quality, well built
Weaknesses: front end isnt optimal for this bike.
uncomfortable seat. solutions:
1. I had the original 100mm stem replaced with same exact 90mm one, which performance did for FREE. I had handlebars cut 1/2inch per side, 1 inch total ($10). Bike feels awesome now, front end much more responsive and fun.
2. performance opened all joints, cleaned them out and put good grease in - FREE. problem solved and whole suspension feels like butter now! I like it more everyday i ride!
3. Seat was making my taint uncomfortable. I slid the seat forward about an inch, which brought my posture up ( I'm 5'11" using M size bike) now Im sitting on it well,seat comfortable, problem solved!
awesome package,this GT delivers. the cheap modifications I had done to it improved the bike dramatically. Happy with the purchase, would recommend!
5 chilis for performance AFTER the mods!!
Favorite Trail: yorba linda, always looking for new ones
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: performance
Similar Products Used: K2 all mountain
Bike Setup: Stock parts modified:
Stem replaced with same but 90mm - FREE
Handlebars cut/shortened 1 inch
Seat brought forward and downward increased comfortability
XTR SPD Pedals FREE ( purchased with the 10% back on the member card)
Strengths: WOW. All XT group with Fox suspension!! Super plush suspension, Price, weight, 2.3/2.1 Nevegals
Weaknesses: Ritchey stem and bars, stock wheelset, needs to have 34T in the rear not the 32T cassette. A little slow steering at low speeds.
Bottom line this bike is an absolute steal at little over 2300.00 out the door. Some of the components are sub par such as the stem and bar combo, but that is easily fixed. I have actually raced this bike CC for a few races, and despite the weight, appx. 29lbs, and the travel, this thing rocks! It does steer a little slow and pushes like a boat at low speed but i found that with a new stem and bars that this was easily fixed. I would have liked to see maybe a lockout on the front shock, but hey for this deal who cares!!! GT is doing a hell of a job getting customers back with these steals!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Orange County, California
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2009
Strengths: Excellent group-set for the price. (Can't go wrong with ALL XT! and Fox front & year suspension) Fully active 140mm travel, Fox Pro-Pedal and GT I-Drive works well. Descends unbelievably well for a non-downhill rig. Tracks well in the tight stuff.
Weaknesses: A little tall in the saddle for XC use but that may be more from suspension travel than design.
I just picked this bike up from the good folks @ Performance in Laguna. First ride was this afternoon after tinkering with suspension set-up & preloads. All in all, I really liked this ride, had no idea what to expect from 5" of travel and the GT i-Drive but it seems to work very well so far. I just retired my 5 year old Trek Fuel and had been looking to replace it for 6 months or so, doing my homework and several makes/models. Came across the GT by accident looking for a new BB for my Fuel. Performance had a big sale going on and it was REALLY hard to pass up a $3000 bike outfitted with all XT for $2200+tax. I have been skeptical about the i-Drive as early versions had their fare share of problems but after research, I discovered the newest version is near bullet-proof (provided you live here in the dry SW and not the wet MW and East, see prev. comments about squeaky BB's.) A quick test ride at the shop helped put my fears to rest as well as talking to several techs. I intend to make future updated reviews as I put the hours on this rig. So far so good.
A testament to Fox's experience, the suspension was pretty easy to pre-load and get it almost there, I've got some more fine-tuning to do but today's ride was a solid preview of what to expect from the Force 1.0. It's flat plush! The wheelbase seems shorter than my Fuel so it tracks well in the tight stuff. The additional travel & modern suspension pieces are a big improvement over even just a few years ago. The bike climbs pretty well for a "long travel, all-mtn" but really shines when it gets quick, tight and bumpy. The rear end stays glued and tracks well under breaking, even down a steep, bumpy section on my favorite trail. The bike is so quick going with gravity that I almost over-cooked two tight corners and wound up in the prickly pears! All in all, I think I'm gonna like this rig but I put between 5-8 hours a week on a bike so we'll see how she holds up over time. I expect the Shimano stuff to last and of course Fox makes good stuff too. If you're in the mkt for a new All-Mountain rig, I'd put the GT on your list along with the usual suspects.
I'm giving the Force 1.0 cinco chilis for value and quattro for overall rating. At $2300 out the door you simply cannot go wrong with this bike's setup. However, at it's list price of $3K, I'd like to see a Fox Float fork with lock-out to match the RP23 on the rear. It's a small complaint but why have the rear effectively lockout when you can't do the same on the front? Also, the gear ratio's seem a bit low for an all mountain rig, a couple more cogs on the rear might be useful on those steep uphill climbs. Otherwise, a darn nice balance for the money.
Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel 80, tested new Trek Fuel EX9, EX8 and Specialized Stumpy FSR Comp.
Bike Setup: 6061 frame, all XT & Fox Racing suspension, Kenda Nevegal tires on Mavic 719 Disc wheelset. Ritchey post, handlebars and stem.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 18, 2009
Strengths: The full Fox suspension and full XT components are a great value. The frame is black and beautiful, with innovation not limited to just the I-drive suspension, the rear derailleur is cleverly tucked underneath the chain stay for an extra layer of bash protection. The pro-pedal works as advertised, this was noteworthy to me because I came from a '01 Titus single pivot bike. "Bob" is no longer my middle name. I have lots of riding ahead of me to put my full seal of approval, but right now I am not suffering buyer’s remorse. Performance Bike in Austin, TX along with my brother and the US postal service helped get this bike out to me with a simple reassemble. I am deployed to Japan which creates some obstacles to buying online.
Weaknesses: This is nit picky for the price I paid, but the stock Ritchey comp handle bars and stem look and feel heavy and clunky.
I purchased this bike to replace the Titus Loco-moto because it cracked at a weld and sheared the down-tube jumping off a 6 inch curb. The Titus folks did not bother to reply to my phone call and email and pictures I sent of the surprising structural failure. "Tisk, Tisk!"
Time will tell but the GT Force looks much beefier. I originally started my search looking to replace the Titus with a similar "High end" frame like the Santa Cruz Blur, Ellsworth Truth or Turner Five spot. I couldn't justify to myself or my wife spending the 5-6K for a new one. I attempted the EBay bidding wars, but after mysteriously being out bid and then being offered a "second chance" to purchase at the top end of my bid window. I felt safer purchasing retail and went with the GT because of its nice component list. I would have preferred a 'Made in the USA' brand but they all seemed to be out of my price range.
Similar Products Used: Titus Loco-moto, Alpine Star 930 (Yes they made great full suspension bikes for a little while.) Trek 930
Bike Setup: Current stock setup.
from Little Rock, AR USA
Date Reviewed: July 11, 2009
Strengths: This bike does it ALL! When I first got it I was doing XC type riding. I would do 2 ft drops and jump small jumps w/ ease.
Recently I have changed a little bit. It is stock except I installed a 55mm DH stem and e13 Double Chainguide(got tired of my chain slippin in the rough stuff). The force now jumps, drops, and descends better than ever. I have been riding 5 ft drops, hanging on and trusting my tires stay glued to the trail on the DH, and still getting in the occasional XC ride all on this set up.
It climbs great thanks to the gt iDrive system and the fox RP23. Just remember to open the platform(on the rp23) before you go down or your rear wheel will be dancing.
Similar Products Used: Kona Dawg Primo, Diamondback Sortie 3
Bike Setup: Stock 2008 GT Force w/ BBB DH stem and e13 Double Chainguide. 30.5 lbs
a Cross Country Rider
from Monroe, NC USA
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2009
Strengths: Frame Design, Shimano XT Components, Fox front and rear Shock, Tires are awesome in dry conditions. The bike climbs like a goat decends like a dream. It is an awesome bike for XC riding and can be easily morfed into a downhill machine by swapping out to a bigger set of tires. Most of the riding I do is hitting the local XC mountain bike trails around the Charlotte NC area and this bike handles them with ease.
Weaknesses: (1)Suspension creaks, but I found keeping the bike clean and lubed alleviates this issue; (2)Rear chainstay is a little tight if you need to run a fatter 2.35 rear tire;(3)The rims (rear) will probably be the first component to fail on this bike; (4) Availability, the bike was hard to get. I ordered my bike in March and I took possesion on June 23rd; (5) The Dallas Cowboy like star on the back of the seat tube.
My bias view of the this bike is it is awesome. I'am so glad that I stayed the course and did not settle for something else when I found out it would take 3 months to get the bike. The bike is fun to ride and can handle any condition. An earlier review, not posted here, stated that the bike tended to oversteer and did not really know what type of bike it was Downhill or XC. I'm not sure what that meant exactly, but as far as I can tell I haven't experienced any oversteer. Also, a majority of the riding I do is XC with an occasional trip to the mountains and the bike handles both conditions with excellence. Lastly, I was worried about switching to the Crank Brother Acid egg beeter style pedals because they were different from what I had been using (Shimano SPD). The mechanic at the bike shop recommended I give them try before putting them on Ebay or Craigslist. I did and I got use to them and I like them. Bottom line is this bike is the best value for the money.
Bike Setup: I use the stock components for XC riding. When riding in the mountains I run a 2.35 tire in the rear and a 2.6 tire in the front. This is the only change I make on the bike.
Suspension is set for 205 LB rider. I don't use the Pro Pedal option. All Suspension adjustments (rebound) are set at the halfway point.
a Cross Country Rider
from New Zealand
Date Reviewed: January 12, 2009
Strengths: Relatively light, nimble, and a very responsive ride. Big grin downhill I really love all terrain now and theres little need to think about the line - it handles it sweet as. This bike has a similar weight (13.6kgs) to other similarly specd models and while being a kg heavier you wouldnt really know it.
I'm 5-9 and the small frame size fits perfectly with the stem of 100mm making the total horizontal frame size 665mm - this is a similar distance as other brands that are marketed as medium with a 90mm stem - something to be aware of.
The Idrive seems to make logical sense with the swingare pivoting high on the frame altho Ive only just bought my Force 1 and yet to test properly.
Replacement bearings for the rear susp are the same bearings used for the head meaning saving $$s when it comes that.
Climbs well and downhill is an all out blast (for a XC rider).
Weaknesses: Squeaking is apparently a common problem for this rear shock design - when the bike comes from the importer/producer the grease used for fitting the bearings can fail after about 6mths (not sure why it may just simply dry) - aftermarket grease should be placed by the shop prior to purchasing, and you wont have this issue.
For the price weight design and ongoing maintenance this offers a sweet ride for cross country/all terrain riders.
I had been looking at the entry level xc range with no particular preference for brand but decided to spend more to gain a good fox shock and weight and feels somehow totally in control of the bike. So i found myself going higher in spec (and $$s) and settling on the Force 1 as opposed to 2 or 3 (moreso for spec and weight).
Similar Products Used: Giant Trance x2
Bike Setup: As in shop.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tauranga, New Zealand
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2008
Strengths: Great spec bike. Rides great and feels really positive and gives the rider loads of confidence. Runs through/over anything like ruts, roots drops, etc. My 1st dual suspension bar the odd trail on a friends so i havent a great deal to compare it with.
Weaknesses: The rear drop ous and the i-drive pivots creak and groan like mad after they have got wet/muddy. Apparently this is normal according to GT and just needs regular attention and regreasing but a bit annoying nonetheless. There is an article in this months NZMTBR magazine with how to service the pivots so must be common and maybe GT paid for th article to be done so as to cut down the customer queries!! I brought the bike mid-winter so bike has been hammered in really wet and muddy conditions.
Great bike - handles as much rough stuff as i can throw at it and gives rider huge amounts of confidence. Great looking bike as well.