GT Zaskar Expert XC Hardtail

4.63/5 (16 Reviews)
MSRP : $999.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Grinder a Weekend Warrior from Suffolk

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2010

Strengths:    Feel of the bike over most terrian - very responsive due to lively frame. Seems to climb as if there is something in there helping.

Weaknesses:    For me only the tyres but is likely to be the terrian - did need to upgrade pedals (I can bend the cheaper crank bros.)

Bottom Line:   
clocked up over 3000 miles of hard riding and racing and at 14 stone I am not the lightest rider and can put alot of power throught the frame and drive train. I bought the bike after testing many and was lead to the GT by the bike shop after discussing in detail what i would be using the bike for. My initial reaction was the frame seemed thin which gave me concern over how long it would live, this initial fear went after the first major crash and I can with pride say I ride what I consider one of the most fun, responsive great hardtails currently available (and I would buy another).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Local River Trail

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Pauls Cycles - onlin

Similar Products Used:   Kona, Giant

Bike Setup:   Tyres and pedal change only due to preference - fitted Continental Race Kings and better crank bros. pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Sefton a Cross Country Rider from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2009

Strengths:    Fast, lightweight, responsive bike. Great shifters, excellent front shock & super allround performer. Brakes handle all conditions. Adjustable front shock is plus.

Weaknesses:    Tyres very pressure sensitive - wrong psi & she goes everywhere. Seat not the most comfortable.

Bottom Line:   
Bridges the gap between expensive & entry level very well. Highly recommended for riders who like to race. Rewarding ride. Once a GT, always a GT.

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Favorite Trail:   Jonkershoek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Gecko Cycles

Similar Products Used:   None.

Bike Setup:   No changes except for peddles. Switched to Crank Brothers. Easy to clip-in & out.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Durtle16 a Cross Country Rider from Westlake ca usa

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2009

Strengths:    review for 2005 black and grey zaskar expert.I can't think of anything bad to say about the frame.came with all shimano LX and have had no problems at all.

Weaknesses:    The shock that came with the bike was dangerous.I assembled the bike and went down two steps off the porch and they just buckled.Don't remember the brand,they went in the trash as soon as I got fox shocks.My plan from the beginning.Tires okay yellow and blue dragon.rear wore fast.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike add nice shocks and you're ready to roll.The Lx componants have worked perfect.I got a good deal on the fox FL80 about 400 bucks.Don't waste money on bad shocks,I would rather have had them send me two sticks at least i would of had firewood instead of trash.The 2009 has changed, but anyway this bike comes pretty loaded besides the shock and I think the asking price for even the 2008 is only 1k max.If you are looking for hardtail this is an excellent choice.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $725.00

Purchased At:   online

Similar Products Used:   Trek 8500

Bike Setup:   as shipped except fox shocks and wtb tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by esteban calleja a Cross Country Rider from san jose, san jose, Costa Rica

Date Reviewed: July 28, 2008

Strengths:    weight!! components!!... price!! awesome for climbing.... goes fast at downhills

Weaknesses:    the tires couldn't handle my speed ha ha (kenda karma) i had to change them at the 2nd month
had v-brakes when i purchased it
and the seat was too hard


Bottom Line:   
if you want to keep your money and have something great that you can improve with the money you kept go for it...

i would say just to change the brakes and the seat, the other things i changed where just for the bike to look nice haha

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   guilly

Similar Products Used:   all other bikes but not so great

Bike Setup:   recon, xtr disc brakes, lx crank, lx derailleurs...FSA carbon handlebar,stem, seat post, alias seat

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Peter Goldhawk a Cross Country Rider from Windsor, Ont, Canada

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2007

Strengths:    Lightweight frame (but its just an aluminum XC frame, isnt that hard...), longer geometry some other bikes

Weaknesses:    Bad weld quality, slow warranty replacement (or none depending on how you look at it)

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike back in the fall of 2003. Since then I have gone through 2 frames because of bad weld quality - both frames have broken where the seat tube goes through the top tube. The first frame lasted 2 years, the next one only one year - I'm even a full time roadie, this bike only sees occasional light use, if I had ridden it full time then the frames probably wouldnt have made it through 1 season. I'm only 155lbs (6'), and only ride local trails that are very tame (no drop offs, no downhills - just flat single track is all we have in Windsor) so I cant imagine these frames holding up under any harder conditions at all.
I've just been informed by my LBS (after a 5 month wait) that I wont even be getting back a usable frame - since GT dosnt sell V-brake Zaskars anymore I can either get back a disc only Zaskar frame and have to upgrade everything to disc, or I can take an Avalanche frame.
I am a very dis-satisfied customer - first off its stupid to upgrade to discs for a frame thats only worth a few hundred bucks, I might as well buy a whole new bike. Secondly they dont seem to care that the Avalanche is a downgrade for me. They wont give me any money for the Disc-only Zaskar frame either.
If anyone is wanting a disc only Zaskar frame dont be afraid to contact me, I'll have one sitting in my basement - hopefully the build-up of dust on it wont crack the frame....

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Similar Products Used:   KHS Alite Team

Bike Setup:   Duke fork, LX components (v-brakes), Syncros wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by john Pitachi a Cross Country Rider from Manchester

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2006

Strengths:    Excellent components for the price. Great Handling , Excelent for Climbing. Great Paint.

Weaknesses:    The rear Tioga tire (Blue Dragon) have good handling but wears rather quickly.All other components are in perfect shape.

Bottom Line:   
I have the 2005 Black/Gray model ,best Bike for US1,000- US1,100 when i was searching for an XC. I weight 150lbs and ride cross country and long trips. Because this bike was so cheap i will expend money to drop the weight in the future.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   96 GT Zaskar ; 2001 GT Avalanche

Bike Setup:   Mine came with complete 2005 LX group including the new shifters/brakes combo. I changed to WTB Velociraptors when first set worn out.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jonathan a Weekend Warrior from Santa Cruz, Ca, USA

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2006

Strengths:    Quite light for a sub $1000 bike. Great geometry, amazing components! Sexy ;-)

Weaknesses:    V-brakes, I'm a bit over 200lbs so I kinda wish I would have had discs, but they work fine. The fork is a bit too bouncy, I was used to a Minute 1:00 and I like that fork a bit better but this one works and is shorter travel which I wanted for XC training.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is a great deal, especially since I got it at Performance during a tax free weekend! The tioga tires it comes with work very well and have low rolling resistance. The fork is a bit too bouncy, I'm going to try and mess with different air pressures and rebound settings tomorrow to see if I can get it the way I like it, but over lots of small rocks it feels like you're firing a machine gun through the handlebars.

I would say if you're looking for a great XC bike that won't break the bank, buy this bike for sure. If you're looking for a 20lb racebike, obviously this isn't one but it's not heavy by any means. Also if you don't like feeling bumps, get a FS or a steel/Ti hardtail because aluminum is stiff and you feel the bumps. I like as little flex as possible though, so I like ALu.

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Favorite Trail:   Skeggs/El Corte Madera

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $899.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bikes

Similar Products Used:   2004 Hardrock disc. Nice upgrade from that beast. Various other HTs and FS setups. I love hardtails so far.

Bike Setup:   Everything completely stock except for a WTB Pure V saddle. Did not care for the Bel Air it came with. See Gtbikes.com for equip list.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dennis Tanpinco a Weekend Warrior from Portland, Oregon, USA

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2006

Strengths:    This bike is a great climber that is perfect for XC. You definitely feel no loss of power to the ground. I have ridden this bike for over 6 years and it still rides great. The frame geometry is great!!!

Weaknesses:    The biggest problem I have is that I can't blame this bike for not making it up a climb. It's an older model Zascar and I have thought about getting a newer model, but there realy is no reason to. I have heard "rumers" that the frame welds are not as strong as they used to be when GT bikes were made in the USA, but who knows.

Bottom Line:   
Get this bike if you want a great XC hardtail.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hagg Lake

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   a friend of a friend

Similar Products Used:   None really. I had a Cannondale before, but it was a less expensive model that didn't compare.

Bike Setup:   Manitou R7 forks, XT front and rear derailers, Carramba double Barrel cranks (I don't think they make them any more), Mavic Crossland wheels,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Linda a Cross Country Rider from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2006

Strengths:    Rigidity of the frame.Bullet proof design.Looks fast and does not disappoint!

Weaknesses:    Rear is skittish under hard braking.Not comfortable if you're gonna ride 4+ hours.

Bottom Line:   
Top machine for Proper XC racers...Fox fork is a jewel.
Bike weighs 11.2kg. Only reasonable potential upgrade is
Xt cranks to Xtr.BIKE IS NOT FOR JUMPING AROUND!

If you wanna invest in a decent frame that will last you - get a GT zasker - you can always upgrade the parts later.
Mine is a 2nd hand Team issue

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Scott Comp was previous bike.

Bike Setup:   Everything Xtr except cranks.Easton stem and seatpost.Shimano dual V-brakes are sufficient and last longer than disc pads.Syncross rims.Kenda Karishma tires with 1.75-1.95 tubes.Running Fox 100x fork(terralogic).Time clipless pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by martini a Weekend Warrior from Castro Valley, CA

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2006

Strengths:    Great climber, lightweight, nimble and aggressive

Weaknesses:    None really - can be a little rough downhill sometimes but it's a hardtail and a great one!

Bottom Line:   
Had my Zaskar since 1993 - been upgrading components through the years. Thought of spending $2-2.5K on a FS but rather stay with a top of the line hardtail than a very good FS. Plus don't want to sacrifice the frame weight. Also looked at other hardtails but not worth switching (even to a new Zaskar). As one who rides 2-3 times a week during the summer, no regrets - great frame still going strong!

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Hank & Franks

Similar Products Used:   Avalanche, Giant

Bike Setup:   XTR shifters, XT everything else, Sid fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chucke from campbell

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2006

Strengths:    Very fast for climbing and sprints. Very stiff rear end resulting in extreme reponsiveness. Point the bike and it goes exactly where you want it to go with no delays.

Weaknesses:    This bike can kick your butt on fast agressive bumpy stuff.

Bottom Line:   
Fast responsive bike for agressive riders who can handle a little butt kicking.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $699.00

Bike Setup:   The only thing stock is the frame, drivetrain and front deraileur. Fox 90 RLT forks, Avid disk brakes, yada, yada. BTW: The LX drivtrain works perfect, there is no need to upgrade.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by James Owens a Cross Country Rider from Schwenksville, Pa., USA

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2006

Strengths:    Great geometry and comfortable for long rides. Quick and lighter than my other bikes.

Weaknesses:    None so far.

Bottom Line:   
I feel this bike is a great value and enjoy it immensly. I ride three to four times a week, usually for forty miles or so. Although a hardtail, does not punish. I LIKE IT!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Perkiomen

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Prophet, F400

Bike Setup:   New LX crank w/ external bearings, front and rear LX as well as LX hubs, Rock Shox Recon 327 fork, WTB dual duty rims.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Chun a Cross Country Rider from Fairfield, CT, USA

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2005

Strengths:    Has great Mavic Crossmax SL. Full XTR, race face evolve XC cranks, hutchinson pythons, thomson seat post.

Weaknesses:    no disc mounts

Bottom Line:   
Great value for money

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   IF

Bike Setup:   full XTR, Mavic Crossmax, thomson post

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chris Hersey a Cross Country Rider from Grass Valley, CA

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2005

Strengths:    Fast, nimble, classic geometry. Much lighter than my old rigid Raleigh.

Weaknesses:    SDG saddle is high on pressure and low on comfort. I will be upgrading to a WTB saddle very soon.

Bottom Line:   
Purchased bike with Avid brake upgrade already done at shop. Got a killer deal from TR2 in Grass Valley. I've wanted a Zaskar for about twelve years now. It was worth the wait.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   TR2 Bicycle Center

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Avid mechanical disc upgrade with disc specific Mavic rims and Deore hubs

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andrew a Cross Country Rider from Melbourne, Australia

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2004

Strengths:    Outstanding handling traits, light weight, proven design, ease of climbing, good stock tires and parts spec.

Weaknesses:    RS Pilot fork which although good performer for the price, is under damped and not suitable for agressive riding, heavish wheels & bars belonging to a freeride bike not a XC racer Zaskar is.

Bottom Line:   
Bought this bike after haggling with the bike shop who gave me a killer deal and Giant dealers told me to go to hell(Wanted a XTC2), to replace my ancient LTS. So the replacement had to be hassel free, light weight (LTS was a barge)with good parts and good handling trait. So settled for the Zaskar which had similar geometries and parts. (All Avalanche series had shorter front triangle than Zaskar series so throws the handling out...) This bike excels at technical hill climbs, the steeper the better. The stiff rear triangle really shines on sprints or big ring grinds. The geometry is also spot on for fast cross country hacking as it has excellent balance and cornering prowess. The bike when cranked deep in the corners, holds the line and carved well and generally lose the back end first way before front goes, so it is reassuring to go fast in turns and easy to save yourself if you over cooked it in the turns. Ok so it isn't the ultimate cross country race bike you can buy but for what I'd paid for it was unbeatable. Only gripe I had was the Syncros handle bars and rims - they belong to a freeride bike and was overbuilt for cross country use - so out they go and replaced by trusty Answer Taperlight 2 and GT CNC/Mavic 217 rims - and squeezed the bike to under 22lbs! The Pilot SL worked ok but under damped and bit springy and not ideal for any serious freeriding... I wish I came with SID Race or bought a 03 Zaskar Pro for the same price....

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Melbourne Bicycle Centre

Similar Products Used:   GT Borrego, Karakoram, Avalanche, Specialized Stumpjuper M2, Giant ATX, XTC, Diamondback Vertex, Zetec, Gary Fisher Supercaliber, Cannondale CAADs, Jamis Dakota

Bike Setup:   Stock except for old Answer Taperlight 2 old and GT CNC high end hubs with Mavic 217

Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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