High Speed Handling
Inturrupted seat tube
Skinny Head Tube
A bit antiquated at this point in time
No ISCG tabs.
Extreme seat tube angle
This is a review for the frame, as I bought this as a frame only and built it up.
Been riding this bike for almost a year, and learned everything I know of the downhill/freeride discipline on it. It had boosted my confidence and transformed me into a much better rider. But it is not without it's quirks.
-The geometrey is different than most other DH/FR bikes I have used. First of all, the wheelbase is very short, which makes it easier to make tight turns, handles well at low speeds and jump and do tricks and such. But it makes it not as stable on the downhill.
-The Bottom Bracket height is very high (15.5 inches with a 180mm domain and 2.5 tires). Makes for good ground clearance, but also takes away from the high speed stability and cornering ability.
-Relatively Steep HTA (by 2012 standards). around 68*-67* or so. not too bad though
-Extreme Seat Tube Angle, it sucks for climbs, but its nice for the versatility aspect, raise the saddle and it feels like a heavy XC bike, lower the saddle, and it feels like a huckable FR rig.
I really wish it had a 1.5 inch Head tube, and ISCG, although that may be asking a bit much, since it is 6 years old.
Pedals incredibly well for a 7" travel bike. Amazingly so actually. Pedals just as well as my old 4" idrive. Has a tendency to wheelie up hill though (short wheelbase, far back seatpost)
The bike isn't a downhill sled, but it's great for slower speed technical trails (think north shore) High bb helps obstacle clearance, and low speed handling. And I'm not the fastest downhiller out there, so it works perfectly for me.
Strengths: Great solid feel,huge rear travel,sweeet colour,i-drive system works a treat
Weaknesses: Stock parts quality is all over the place ie some really good some mediocre,
good bike for the money,the rear travel just keeps on going. The only real objections i have on this bike is the wheelset is a lil bit flimsy and the brakes are not very good but other than that everything else seems to be sweet. Coupled with the marzocchi 888 sl ata fork this thing is a weapon,havent ridden it much but i can tell its gonna be a while before i do some damage to it :)
Bike Setup: sunline bars, bontrager grips, saint cranks, mrp chain device, 50 50 pedals, short cage x9 mech, rodie cassette.
Date Reviewed: December 29, 2006
Strengths: Great I-drive system, very effective, cheap bike (£1000 in the sales) and got some good things on it too, x.9 mech (great) dropoff triples (good starter DH/FR fork), fox DHX 3.0, hayes HFX II (very good stopping power in the V8 rotor up front)
Weaknesses: Truvativ Howitzer bottom bracket, started creaking the first week of riding, but after 4 months it is still strong, smooth and there isnt any looseness in the cranks, so nothing too bad. Comes with awful Truvativ Howitzer pedals
Good parts, great use of the i-drive system, i dont know how it works, and i dont care, i just know it helps. The Hayes HFX rotors are prone to coming un-tru, but there brilliant brakes and they wont bend enough to noticable degrade braking (atleast not in the 4-5months ive had them). If it came with a 180 or 203mm back rotor instead of the 160mm, and came with some decent pedals instead of the truvativ hussefelt pedals it comes with (a bar of soap would give more grip) it would nearly perfect the bike as a starter bike. But for the £1000 i got it for in the sale its a fantastic bike. The dropoff triples spike alot under the braking from the V8 rotor but if you want better forks, pay more for the bike. One thing about this bike, try not to bend the mech hanger (dropout) ive only found one shop that sells them, and its £38. If you know you like downhill/freeride, and you want a starter full susser to build on this is a great bike for that, + comes with a 24tooth granny ring for getting you places incase you like a bit of xc, but i wouldnt recommend it, the i-drive system helps in the pedalling, but theres alot of 'bob' in the forks). Oh, and if your scared the chain will slip off because theres no chain device, ive NEVER had the chain fall off on my whilst ive been coming down a course....Only after ive stopped at the end, or after ive pushed the bike up to the top :S but it isnt hard to get back on, and them are the times when you dont need to pedal). If you buy this bike and want to upgrade, first thing, if you have the money, would be new forks, id go for rock shox as alot of them have U-turn feature so you can shorten the travel for inclines and riding to places. Then new cranks/bottom bracket when the howitzer gives up (try some shimano hollowtechs), or maybe you'll have more look with the howitzer, in that case, just replace it.
Similar Products Used: Specialised Big Hit 1, Mongoose Black diamond single
Bike Setup: Standard except some DMR V8 pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Baton Rouge, La, USA
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2006
Strengths: Price to get into downhill/freeriding was fairly cheap. Plush 7" all around travel, and that's for me @ 230lbs. Good components throughout, I-drive system works great which makes a 43lb bike pedal really well. Good frame geometry with a foot of sproket clearance.
Weaknesses: none so far
So far I've done everything from urban assaults, trail rides, 8 foot drops and 4 foot box jumps. This bike has performed well through all of it. It's next big challenge will be Windrock and then probably Whistler. Hats off to GT and if you get a chance, go ride this bike. If you have any questions about it call Bill @ Dirt Road @ 225-246-8064.