GT Zaskar XC Hardtail

4.66/5 (223 Reviews)
MSRP : $2165.00

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Reviews 1 - 15 (223 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeff K. a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2013

Strengths:    * Wonderful classic XC racer geometry
* Best climbing bike I've ridden, flyes up hills
* Light and responsive
* I do think the carbon helps absorb the bumbs a bit
* Supersonic speed capable with the right rider
* Great classic GT Zaskar look

Weaknesses:    * Being a classic forward crouch XC racer you have to be a bit more careful on the descents, definitely not a DH bike
* At 1400g frame weight it's plenty light enough for me, but if you're a current XC racer there are even lighter frames around
* Carbon is not the best material if you're inexperienced and/or tend to crash a lot. Go aluminium or steel.
* The wire for the bottom pull front derailleur catches a bit on the frame, I fixed it so it's perfect now but the stock solution could have been better.
* It's quick steering but there are nimbler bikes for REALLY tight single track. Not the bikes fault, it's made to shine on fast open smooth terrain.

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding MTBs for 20 years, it's still my favorite kind of exercise since it's outdoors, keeps me fit and is so fun that I don't really don't think of it as exercise.

When I started riding it was on a 26" non-suspension bike. Back then that was a "regular MTB" and not at all retro or vintage or anything like that. I had two non-suspension-MTBs like this and my technical skill in attacking single track quickly went through the roof. I competed a bit and I still surprise many of today's "lazy-full-suss-riders" when I show them what I can do.

Like many cyclists I'm also a bit of a tech head and I have to admit I've been kind of taken by the technical revolution that's come to MTB:ing in the last couple of years. For a while there I even owned a very fancy full-suss carbon XC race bike.

That full-suss XC racer was a good bike, and I was fast on it, but somehow the more suspension you but on a bike the more you lose than special connection to the trail. Maybe it's because I grew up on non-suspension bikes and actually learned how to do without suspension - but after having owned full-suss bikes for an extended period of time I've finally concluded that they're not for me.

I'm still fast on the full-suss bikes, the overall speed difference for me that's no longer competing is marginal. But somehow I just feel less involved. A full-suss bike is less of a challenge, there is less feedback and at the end of the day I simply have less fun.

And that's why I bought this bike. After having tried/owned a few of the "new-breed" MTBs with more suspension, more upright seating position and wider bars I've finally come to the conclusion that they're not for me. I grew up on classic forward crouch XC racers with narrow bars and that's still how I like them it seems.

So this GT is turning out to be the best bike purchase I've made in years, for me it feels like coming home again. Everyone should own a narrow-bar-race-crouch-xc-hardtail at least once in their life. It may be classic but for me it's still the most fun kind of mountain biking.

Top Tip 1: 26" wheels are perfect on a XC racer, more responsive, less weight and less wind resistance. Don't buy the hype. Get a great deal on a 26" instead.

Top Tip 2: Don't fit wide bars. 580mm is the absolute maximum I would go.

Top Tip 3: Pick a frame size that let's you stretch out and breath, that's what it's all about.

Top Tip 4: Tilt the saddle forward, get that race crouch going. Your back should be a straight line.

Top Tip 5: My personal choice is a 2x10 gear system over 1x11. This bike is meant to go FAST and you don't want to run out of gears. From my experience 2x10 is also slightly more pedal efficient in higher gears than 1x11.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dry Fast XC

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   ebay

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nathaniel, a cross country rider from Australia

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2013

Strengths:    Light. Flickable. Durable.
Polished aluminium frame looked great.
Climbs well.

Weaknesses:    The frame was stiff and didn't absorb trail chatter. This could be tiring over a long time.
Could be a bit of a handful going fast on rough descents, but this is to be expected on a rigid bike with race geometries.

Bottom Line:   
The 1992 Zaskar was a good cross country bike for forest roads and single tracks.
It also worked well bombing around the streets.
Climbs like a cut snake and the XT group set lasted a long time.

One of the best bikes available at the time.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   19 years

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chepe

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2012

Strengths:    last the test of time

Weaknesses:    they dont make bike like those any more

Bottom Line:   
Very nice bike rides like new every time I ride it.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mat

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2012

Strengths:    This bike is awesome. Had my 96 Zaskar LE from new and it copes with anything. I no longer have requirement for this bike. Full XT apart from LX hubs, zero skewers in blue and flite titanium saddle in yellow and blue to match the decor. I will sell this bike if anyone interested at the right price

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
You'll never find a better bike

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric the Red a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2012

Strengths:    Super stiff frame and yet very lightweigh,.tough as nails. climbs like a rocket and screams down the hills. Bought my Zaskar in 1995 and it changed the way I rode forever. I love this bike! Puchased a full suspension Trek fuel EX9 in 2006 and I still enjoy my hardtail.I started riding in 1982 and still enjoy it at the ripe old age of 50+yrs. GT built a limited edition 500 Zaskar frames in 2008. Not sure if it's the same as an original, but it says a lot about the legendary Zaskar!

Weaknesses:    GT no longer builds these bikes in the USA.

Bottom Line:   
If you can get your hands on one of the original Zaskars, buy it! It is one of the finest hardtails ever made.Tr

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rock Lake trail Wisconsin

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Quiet Hut Sports

Similar Products Used:   Trek 820, Trek 830, Trek 7000,Lightspeed, Specialized stump jumper, Cannondale, Giant, Diamondback.

Bike Setup:   Shimano XT derailers and shifters, Original Mavic rims, 135mm BOA stem, Kalloy UL handlebars, Titec bar ends, Thudbuster seatpost suspension, Lizard V-brakes, Bontrager FS+10 Race saddle.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ClayP a Cross Country Rider from Houston, TX

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2012

Strengths:    strong as hell, stands the test of time. No other hardtail compares. It is a classic and has set the bar for hardtails

Weaknesses:    no longer made

Bottom Line:   
This is the best hardtail ever. I have had 4 over the years - my original 94 Zaskar which I reviewed before got stolen. I replaced it with a Zaskar X which was ok but slightly different fit that I could not get used to. I gave that to my brother and since have built 2 Zaskar LE frames up with XTR drivetrains, Crossmax wheels, and SID race 80mm forks. I am considering buying a third frame to build. Get the pre-2000 frames for the real deal

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Bike Setup:   97 Zaskar LE, 98 Zaskar LE with XTR drivetrain and Rock Shox Sid Race 80mm forks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tony a Cross Country Rider from San Jose, CA

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2011

Strengths:    this bike is a legend for a reason, ultra strong and stiff and fast

Weaknesses:    you can;t buy them anymore

Bottom Line:   
a classic, a legend!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all of them

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ClawOfDoom a Cross Country Rider from Bradford, West Yorkshire, YK

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2011

Strengths:    Utterly bombproof, super stiff and climbes like a mountain goat

Weaknesses:    No tabs for mounting discs

Bottom Line:   
The reason this bike is still being used after 14 years is because mothing i have tried comes anywhere close to it. I've just refitted the groupset and retro-fitted discs to the back thanks to a mounting plate from A2Z. Hopefully this beast will keep me going for another 14 years. Awesome bombproof bike...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ogden Moor

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Self built from vari

Bike Setup:   1997 Zaskar frameset,
XT Dynasys 10 speed drivetrain, shifters & Disc brakes.
Rock Shox Recon Race 120's,
Shimano MT15 wheels
WTB Velociraptor up front & Bontrager XR4 on the back

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Houseinthewoodsbiketours a Racer from Port Orchard

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2011

Strengths:    Super strong, super stiff--indestructible for over 15 years!

Weaknesses:    hard to find oem parts for 93-98 era, ride can be harsh if you aren't used to it. No disc tabs, if you want to upgrade.

Bottom Line:   
Get a pre-1998 GT frame and build it up into a super snappy hardtail, if you can find one! I bought this bike with paper route money when I was a kid, and I have left it pretty much stock. I have put THOUSANDS of miles on it and it still rides like brand new. The frame is indestructible and crazy stiff, and the OEM parts from its era have outlasted similar components on post-2005 bikes. If you have one, you will keep and ride it forever!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Spoke and Sport, Spo

Bike Setup:   Stock XT everything except RF cranks and rings; mavic 217's, Hadley GT hubs, RS Judy XC (with new elastomer), panaracer FireXC Pro

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Vis-Vreter a Racer from Stellenbosch

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2011

Strengths:    strong wheels, light and comfortable saddle,

Weaknesses:    the bike is to heavy for the price (11,13KG or 24,54lb) and after 2 years of racing the frame cracked down the middle of the top tube.

Bottom Line:   
I when to my local bike store Mason's Bike Inn and claimed the warranty. The owner Mason said that I would get the frame in 2 months, but it been 5 months already and still no frame. Because of this I promised I'd NEVER BUY A GT AGAIN. So I don't know if its GT's fault or Mason's ,but still no frame

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $4100.00

Purchased At:   Mason's Bike Inn

Bike Setup:   Shimano XT wheels, KCNC seatpost and Look Quartz

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joe D a Cross Country Rider from Margate Fl

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2011

Strengths:    Super Stiff. Point and go ride. Bomb proof. Climbs like a Mtn Goat.

Weaknesses:    Super Stiff, beats the living hell out of you on rough trails.

Bottom Line:   
Love It! I bought the bike in Oct of 94 and its been beating the crap out of me ever since. Have crashed more times then I can count and the only thing that breaks seems to be me. As I said earlier, super stiff, goes where its pointed, climbs like a Mnt goat. I've had it set up both as a MTN Bike and as a Road bike. GT out did themselves when they made this beaut. Would not sell it for the life of me. It even went to Lake Tahoe on my Honeymoon. Only reason dont ride it as often as I use to is the back just cant take the beating any more. Like I said SUPER STIFF.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tsali

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   International Bike

Similar Products Used:   GT Outpost, GT STS(2),GT LTS, Jamis XCT2

Bike Setup:   Shimano XT Groupo, Marzocchi Z1 FS, Easton Monkey Lite Handle bars, Race Face Carbon Cranks/Chain Rings, Chris King Headset, Ringle' Hubs, Mavic 517 Wheelset, Selle Italia Ti Seat, Time ATAC Peddles

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nicky2 a Cross Country Rider from Montara, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 28, 2011

Strengths:    Light, great climber, carbon frame seems to absorb shock on downhills, nimble, fast,fast roller, it keeps momentum. The mavic wheelset great product/weight for the price.

Weaknesses:    Where wheels mount the paint job has peeled/chipped off. Generally paint job looks good but chips off in places-not good

Bottom Line:   
I did almost 4000 miles on this bike in 1 year. I like to climb, climb, climb. I do mostly fire roads and some single track. I started mb-ing 1.5 years ago and fell in love with it and this bike makes it a joy! I tied my pb record from my house to top of montara mountain on my first ride without even trying and have smashed that record many times since.
My only problem is to figure the right stuff to get when I upgrade as I am still pretty much a novice with good lungs and strong legs.
Ride to live, live to ride!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Montara mountain

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   I have an upgraded GT Avalanche 3 as back up bike

Bike Setup:   The stock handlebar too narrow-I got carbon Answer w/2" rise. Kenda karmas wear out too quick-let loose in corners/back locks up too easy on descents when they wear down-I have racing ralphs. came w/SLX which is good-But I put on xtr brakes (not much of an upgrade performance-wise, I discovered) I have xt rear deraileur, better chain. Will upgrade as stuff wears out

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:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Luis a Weekend Warrior from Guatemala

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2010

Strengths:    Frame building quality

Weaknesses:    Head angle a little outdated

Bottom Line:   
Once I thought about selling it but my son stopped me, he was so right, this bike has no equal. I recently replaced the old Profile 25.4mm handlebar for a riser 31.8 mm and the handling improved a lot, much less vibration now. This bike looks so cool, it still make heads turn and people ask for it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Trek 8000

Bike Setup:   1994 model, Shimano XT all around, Judy XC 100, SR crankset, Icon clipless pedals, Rolf wheels, Ringle seatpost (same blue anodized color)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by okiman a Cross Country Rider from Okinawa, Japan

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2010

Strengths:    Excellent XC bike for the price. It comes race ready and you can upgrade parts no problem. It is light and fast

Weaknesses:    It comes with SLX which are great, but can be better and are avalible on the higher end Zaskars. Trying to get a remote LO for the forks has been tough.

Bottom Line:   
From the day I left Ishikawa's bike shop, I was impressed. My last bike I just took it straight home, but I went out with it for 25km from the shop. I made a few adjustments on the way, but everything worked great. Once the brakes broke in it was good to go.

I have 2,000km on it and took it racing the other weekend and it did not let me down. Throughout the race it was predictable and the light frame made the jungle section (which required dismount and running up the hill) no problem.

Overall this bike has taking from what use to be riding for exercise to competitions and can be upgraded as you see fit.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Chainreaction

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4500, GT Avalanche 2.0

Bike Setup:   Frame, brakes, shifters, arms are stock, the drive terrian and derailuers have been upgraded to XTR. The front cranks I have upgraded to 48-36-26

Reviews 1 - 15 (223 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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