Strengths: Great wheel set, shifters are good. GT quality frame. Full suspension.
Weaknesses: Breaks levers. Front Fork. Derailler is not the best.
This bike has lasted me 6 years and is still going strong. I replaced the fork with a Rock Shock reba, and a few other things. I recommend any GT product and this is no exception. Great for XC riding, and hybrid city use. Started getting into DH so not being used as much these days but great bike to jump on and ride.
a Weekend Warrior
from Missoula, MT
Date Reviewed: July 18, 2011
Strengths: The i-drive seems to work as advertised, spec'd well for the price
Weaknesses: Suspension (particularly the fork) leaves something to be desired, brakes are inadequate for long or steep descents
This is an affordable entry level cross-country bike. If you are new to mountain biking this is great first bike. If you are an experienced rider looking for your first full suspension bike then this is not the one for you. It handles most trail conditions adequately, but it's limits are easily reached by intermediate/advanced level riders. The Sram x-5 shifting system works flawlessly, and I only upgraded to x-7 shifters after I broke one in a crash. I did crack the frame after 3 years of use, but I must admit it was gross misuse (dirt jumping) that did it.
Similar Products Used: Owned, demo'd, and rented many various full suspension bikes
Bike Setup: Stock except for x-7 shifters, Time ATAC pedals, and Ergon grips
a Cross Country Rider
from Chicago, IL
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2010
Strengths: Reliable, Rigid, and great all-around bike!
Weaknesses: A bit heavy stock, and suspension isnt top notch.
When I first got the bike it felt a bit sluggish on the single track. Ive since done some upgrades to it and it flies! I can keep up with my buddy on his Specialized FSR on the single track! The big part is both shedding the weight and getting new wheels as the stocks ones are a bit blah. Not bad being the bike currently setup is around $1200 but has a $2,500 feel to it!
Bike Setup: Suntour Epicon RLD Fork, Race Face XC Cranks, Pure XC Wheels w/BWW Hubs, Cane Creek Cloud 9 Shock, MTB Vigo seat, Avid BB7 brakes, and Primo Tenderizers
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2010
Weaknesses: I-Drive System. This is supposed to counteract pedal induced bob. It seems to work alright for our lighter riders, but for our heavier ones, even with the shock pumped up to max psi, it does nothing for them. I maintain a fleet of 15 of these bicycles used by first responders.
Two bikes have had issues with the threading on the frame where the I-Drive linkage attaches stripping. Two I-Drive linkage bolts have sheared off. This bicycle is not exactly something you want first responders riding.. I would say this is a MAJOR design flaw and would highly discourage others from buying a GT product.
The frame design sucks. It will break, costing you several man-hours to fix (if you can do repairs in house) or several hundreds of dollars.
The I-Drive Suspension system has a major weak point, buy a bike with single pivot.
Similar Products Used: Sette Ace, Kona King Kikapu, Yeti 575, Cannondale Jekyll, Specialized Enduro, Specialized Pitch
Bike Setup: Some have Sram x.5 rear derailleur, some have x.9. SR Suntour fork, Fox Float rear shock, Tektro Aquila Mechanical disk brakes.
a Weekend Warrior
from Richmond, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2009
Strengths: Great value, handles great and can take pretty much anything I throw at it. It is a durable, reliable, and pretty fast bike
Weaknesses: front fork is a little heavy, but it makes up for it with the lockout and the rebound adjustment
I think this is a great bike, it has caused me very little problems and would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice bike to casually hit up the trails on the weekends. One of the greatest things of this bike is the service I get with it from Performance Bicycles. I take it in occasionally to get free adjustments and for help repairing small things.
Bike Setup: Mallet c's is the only upgrade on the bike
a Weekend Warrior
from Trabuco Canyon, CA
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2007
Strengths: Good component for price, I-Drive works great
Weaknesses: Geometry is a little strange, but works after getting used to it
After coming from a Hardtail, no front-shock (I call it Fore-arm and Butt-shock), this is feeling like a Cadillac. The climbing with I-Drive works fantastic (like many have said in other posts, you do have to stay seated). Standing over the bike feels a little weird, because of the I-Drive pivots make the saddle to crank distance a little higher. When seated it is the right size, but hopping off, it is slightly high (then again, you're supposed to stay in the saddle). The bike looks and feels very sleek and clean, not many components sticking out. The rear shock works, I've pumped it up to 240psi, as I am a fairly tall and heavier rider, and it's working like a champ. It would be nice to have some adjustment capabilities on the rear-shock, but that would mean a couple $100s more. After a month, the proce at my local Perfomance Bike store went down $50, and they honored that by refunding me the difference, which was great. The pedals are just simple no-clip ones, which was good to get started, but I am replacing them with Shimano PD-520s. There is not much room on the frame to mount a second bottlecage, or mount a regular mini-pump, so you'll have to bring a saddlebag with a CO2 pump and wear a Hydration pack on the longer rides. Overall, the Bike (and the Store) have been great.