Strengths: You wont see another on the trail. Comfy ride, strong as far as Ive pushed it (which isnt too far due to me being not too confident yet).
Weaknesses: parts availability, which even still isnt that bad.
People say "oh you have an old gt? guess you dont ride it often." Like it must break all the time and I cant find parts anywhere... The bike also feels similar to a vintage sports car in that it catches attention and performs well while doing it!
First off Im a vintage bmw guy so not being able to call down the street and pick up some parts doesnt bother me. Secondly, people do offer new, better, maintenance parts for the rear pivots and the shock as well.
If you are mechanically minded and can do your own maintenance I dont see why anyone would give this bike a bad review. All my friends wonder why in the world I bought this one over a newer model like they got. Well... My answer to them, and anyone looking at buying one: I got a bike that, yes, is a few years old but at the time of its birth was about the most expensive bike that could be had. And for what I payed, you can barely get a low end new bike.
As far as riding and comfort, Ive only been able to recently begin upgrading. Mine started as a mishmash of components and a blown shock out back so the ride was quite odd but manageable. Last week I got an sts frame with a good shock which I swapped to my complete lts and it feels like its on rails! Feels like a hardtail (to me) corners like one, but jumps like an FS.
Bottom-bottom line, I couldnt be happier and I dont expect to be on anything but 90s FS GTs for quite a while.
Strengths: Cool looking for one. Built like a tank. Great climber.
Weaknesses: Due to having a an older model it only takes canti's on the rear. Rear shock suuucks but does the job.
This bike sure is SWEET! Bought the frame on ebay last year and through some of my ol' parts sitting around and a few purchases I have come up with a truly awesome ride. I have pretty much shelved my Intense Uzzi to ride this bike. It just may be the thrill of riding something different but is sure as hell easier to get it up the mountain. If you can find one pick one up.
Bike Setup: Marzochi Bomber Mx Pro with ETA
Original yellow elastomer rear suspension
Shimano Saint rear derraillur
KMC X9 SL gold chain!
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2012
Strengths: Build like a tank. Extreme climber.Low or no maintenance even after abuse. Very stable on bumps and corners due to the Horst link design. Free-ride bike, not DH by today's standards. Good for tall riders. No need for platform rear shock! Will not Bob.
Weaknesses: None that i can see, apart of the rear shock aftermarket price of 200$ and the very weak Rockshox Super deluxe. read the review for my cheap solution!
Hi there. Its my first double suspension bike. I acquired it for 200 eur from a friend who upgraded. This bike has seen a lot. To start- 2 Mega Avalanches. I do most of all aggressive cross country. I am 6.4 high and this bike fits perfectly. In fact the first one that does so. The bike is very fast and stable and with 2.1 bar fully inflated 2.3 tires/ scott / i have no problem on asphalt, gravel and pure cross country. I weight 95 kg and make through every bump directly without any problem. Riding in 25-30 cm water is also without problem.
Now to the shocks:
The front fork is double crown Rockshox Judy DHO. Elastomer one. Had a hard time adjusting it. Or sags or is very hard. Until i figured something. Preloaded the left tube with one elastomer more and some plastic ring. The right one i left normal. This is the real deal. Now the fork progressively hardens. Takes the gravel and stone and small holes like a butter and doesn't flinch at the big bumps. The elastomer is Shore 40A. Do not put 60A, will not work good. If you have the plastic ring separators and more importantly the original springs you will need 20" elastomer to repair both forks. I use synthetic oil instead of grease.
The rear shock Rockshox Superdeluxe was a pain in the **s. Due to its stupid design of the oil seal it can not be repaired and work after that for more than 1 month. Don't waste your time! In fact i have ridden like half an year only on spring, the Horst link design is so good. Back to the point. Take off the shock. Buy a 6 cm shore 40A elastomer for 10 bucks/ what they call medium/. Put it inside. Use some washers spacers to form a flat piston from the original piston or put a 2 mm plastic between . Grease with synthetic grease or oil. Voila. You now have a perfect rear shock. If hard, cut by 1mm down the elastomer and test. If soft, preload. That's why you should by 8cm long 19mm standard wide elastomer. I use 6cm for my load. Most importantly i did not loose any shock travel!!! I have a 750 spring.
If you are lighter can cut and mix it with 60A elastomer, if you are lighter can mix it with 30A elastomer, always the softer at the side of the rider.
Now to the plastic bushings on the rear suspension. I don't see why sb. in his right mind will pay 100 euro for bearings upgrade. I live by seaside . Bearings rust even with marine grease from the humidity around. If you grease the plastic bushings properly they don't squeak. If you have to exchange them you can adapt something from plastic tubing. Also if you want absolute performance and 0 backslash, let me tell you something. Graphite filled epoxy. Moglice. There was a german brand costing like 10 euro. Spray the parts with release agent or silicone spray. Pour it between the 2 parts, it hardens and you have a perfect bearing.
Some words for the crank and speeds.Shimano hollowtech. I have only one 42 tooth x 8 speed and it covers it all. One of the best upgrades/ downgrades/ possible.
With some cheap DIY initiatives you can have a damned cheap DH, XC or Freeride bike. Beating anything less than 2000$. I stil have mine with V brakes. It stops? It stops, why spend more money. My friends have shiny new bikes worth a ton of money. Little better here and there but overall nothing more. Next step from this bike is 888, boxer, etc forks and 500$ 6 way air and spring double camera rear shocks. Otherwise , don't bother.
if you upgrade, do not sell it! give it to a friend, he will bless you.
a Weekend Warrior
from Stockton, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2011
Strengths: rReliable, Durable, fast and predictable downhill, competant climber
Weaknesses: Some bobbing when climbing out of the saddle
I paid just $200 for the frame in 1998 becaue it was an extra large frame and no one else was interested in buying it. I transfered some components from the Proflex 756 I had and then upgraded with others. I did have Magura rim brakes on the bike but later switched to the XTR rim brakes due to the weight savings. This bike I have ridden in the Santa Cruz mountains, Wilder Ranch, Salmon Falls, down the trails at Northstar and Squaw Valley, Wilder Ranch, Red Rock Canyon outside of Vegas etc. etc. Very dependable bike but occassionally it had trouble with chain suck. Great bike for its time but it's getting long in the tooth. Time for a very expensive upgrade.
Bike Setup: Manitou Xvert 100mm front fork, Rock Shox Super Deluxe rear shock, XTR Rear derailer, 8 speed cassette and rim brakes, XT crankset and shifters, LX front derailer, Mavic 717 rims w/XT hubs, WTB Velociraptor tires
a Weekend Warrior
from Miami, FL
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2010
Strengths: The frame build is top notch, handnade
Weaknesses: The bushings and getting new parts
My trusty 1997 LTS1 has bee reborn..... Recently I found a GT LTS XR-1000 frame on Ebay with the disc brake tabs. Not much is known about this frame. But it is considered the best LTS frame made. Built in 1999 it was the last of the LTS type frames. I used the shock/trunion mount and trunion from my LTS and installed in the XR-1000. Just rode Amelia and wow.... With disc and the Marz Atom this baby is butter smooth!!! I must admit having disc did something I never thought would happen. The stopping power and modality gave me more confidence to ride harder. As is this ride is oh-so-sweet. The minute I got there the envitable "what is that" question came up. Well until I break it I have a new LTS for the next ??? years. These truly are remarkable frames!!! Be hittin BETD from some spares before they run out....
Similar Products Used: Zaskar hardtail various DS bikes from freinds.
Bike Setup: JUST UPADTED.... GT LTS XR-1000 frams with Thompson stem and seat tube. Chris King headset. Marz Atom 80 front fork. XTR shift/brake set M952 cranks, drailleurs and wipperman chain. Selle Italis SLR seat. Monket light carbon bars. Rockshox DeLuxe rear shock. Avid mechanical disc 180 F 160 R.
For people looking for replacement rear shocks for the GT LTS-2 it might be possible to use shocks from this manufacturer, who custom build coil over shocks to order:
Yasusu have a shock catalogue ("DM for Bike") and measurement and setup instructions for download at this link:
Here's some info here on MTBR giving user perspectives on Yasusu shocks:
You can get these shocks via eBay (locate the seller "i-sports-tw" and search the seller's store for "shock")
or place an order directly with Yasusu.
They make the shock and the bushings to order. You'll need to specify the shock and bushings in metric.
Note also that I e-mailed both Yasusu (with a technical query) and the ebay seller and this revealed that the ebay seller is a Taiwanese agent, selling the shocks on behalf of Yasusu. Therefore, if you place an order you will need to be very clear with your dimensions since English is not their first language and they are not intimate with the shocks. I was asking questions about the disparities between info in Yasusu's catalogue and the ebay advert for a shock and they ultimately admitted that their ebay advert was wrong. The catalogue was correct. Ebay lists the one I was looking at as BNCP 501, when it actually is a BRNP 501. Their ID convention is:
N = No rebound adjust / R = Rebound Adjust
C = Compression adjust / N = No compression adjust
P = Preload adjust
I hope this helps!
(Note - I am not affiliated to Yasusu, I had been looking at them as an upgrade for a Mongoose Blackcomb and when I saw that people were having trouble getting a replacement shocks then I though that this might be an option)
a Weekend Warrior
from Brighton, MA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2010
Strengths: CLIMBING, I have never ridden such a plush bik that climbs so efficiently and with this kind of grip.
Weaknesses: It is getting nearly impossible to buy replacement parts. The rear shock, which I finally replaced seems to be nearly unavailable these days.
I got an incredible deal on this bike a while back, and it has served me well. The suspension is very plush, and once I replaced the ancient, and terrible, Judy LT, the bike soaks up the bumps really well. This bike handles steep rocky climbs especially well, and the rear suspension stays totally active at all times. This frame is bombproof! I spend a season doing urban assaults on my LTS and destroyed a rear wheel, but the frame took it like a champ. This bike is a true classic and one of the first true all mountain bike, IMO, so if you're looking for a trail/freeride bike on a budget, this is a bike to look for since the frame lasts forever. That is, of course, if you don't need a heavy spring for the shock...
After many years on this machine, I am forced to sell it since I can't find a heavy spring for the new rear shock I just put on it. I'm 185lbs and I have the preload cranked way up so I don't sag through half the travel. It breaks my heart, but I can't afford a new bike without selling my old GT LTS. Given the age of the thing, and the fact that everything is wearing out on it, except the frame (that includes the bushings!)... 5 well deserved chilis.
Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel ex 7, Specialized FSR XC
Bike Setup: Nearly stock, with a Bomber Z1 up front and the ride height jacked up a bit to even out the geometry
a Weekend Warrior
from Miami, FL
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2010
Strengths: This frame ROCKS!! It's out lasted 2 wives what else can I say!!! I may indulge in a new bike soon but in dry weather it's hard to get anything these days that compares in a mid entry bike.
Weaknesses: The bushings but if you replace with bearing kit from BETD UK (if they still even have them) it's awesome!
Given my toned down rides these days this baby is a SOLID well built frame and a real T A N K (Totally Awesome Neverending Knarly). Yeah on really wet days I think about disk but for this W.E. warrior spending 2K on a bike just makes no sense. Truthfully anything less is not worth it in terms of effective useable quality. This may be the last review I post but this beast is still going so who knows???
Similar Products Used: Some DS frames here and there in mid level nothing in that that price range bike can beat this bike or frame.
Bike Setup: Marz Marathon Bomber (what a fork!!) All XTR with Thomson SP and stem. Selle Italia SLR Mavic 217 with DT Revolution (pulled out of retirement) light as hell these babies are and still good! This is an old school setup that works!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Plymouth, MN, USA
Date Reviewed: September 9, 2009
Strengths: Great geometry, plush suspension, durable frame, beautiful design.
Weaknesses: Bushings, not bearings, original RockShox front disc brake, parts availability.
I've ridden this bike for 11 years and have not been gentle on it. I've had the seat tube welded once where it cracked, and then cut the top of the tube off completely when the crack came back. I've replaced the rear shock once when it started leaking. I've rebuilt the suspension twice, and installed automotive grease fittings in all 4 major pivot points. I inject synthetic grease into the pivots every 4 or 5 rides and the bushings have lasted 7 years and no longer squeak. Before the grease fittings, bushings were only good for 2 to 3 seasons. The bike is still as fun as ever to ride and I ride it weekly. I'm getting a 29er, but will keep my trusty old LTS 1000 DS as my FS alternative.
Bike Setup: LTS 1000 DS, Shimano XT front disc, grease fittings added to pivots, XTR components
a Weekend Warrior
from battle creek, mi
Date Reviewed: September 8, 2009
Strengths: Great all around ride. Geometry makes for a smooth run in any condition.
Weaknesses: will squeek in places if not maintained properly
Awesome, looking for a second one for girlfriend ;).. Should be sweet to have two in the stable. This bike is great for beginner to expert. Light weight. Strong frame. I've beaten up on it, and it has never let me down.. I keep an allen wrench set handy (under seat :) ), but havent needed it on the trail.. with good maintenance anything will last the duration.
Strengths: Great all around geometry. Very Plush ride. Strong frame. A thing of pure beauty.
Weaknesses: First rear triangle broke on a very steep climb but was replaced with a thicker unit inside of 2 weeks by the factory around 1997. Rear bushings are high maintenance to prevent squeak. Have replaced three sets. Must clean and lube frequently in wet conditions. Rear rock shock (96 LTS1 model) seals would not hold. 3 rebiulds over 2 years.
Who the f needs lock out when you can spin and have a bike this well designed. I was able to make steep, loose rocky climbs with this f/s that I could not make with my hard tails. I purchased this bike new in 96 and rode it close to a hundred miles a week for 2 years before a severe leg injury ended my cycling. I rode this bike on everything from tight single track to very high speed fire roads. From 6k foot climbs to rocky ski resort downhills. I credit this bike for the rider I was.
The only reacuring problem was the rear shock seals and bushing squeak.
I am now pulling the bike out of moth balls to attempt cycling again after some muscle regrowth. I have all new seals (still available through an industrial seal supplyer)for the rear rock shock but I need the OEM Oil quantity and pressure specs.
Similar Products Used: Trek Y Bike and a few hardtails.
Bike Setup: All XT, GT hubs. OE Mavic wheels with heavier spokes. GoFast downhill bars. 555spuds. Gore cables. OE Judy forks upgraded with Speed Springs. Kevlar Smoke and Dart.
a Cross Country Rider
from Elyria, Ohio, USA
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2009
Strengths: Strong frame, great look, good component spec (except forks)
Weaknesses: Age is the only problem with this bike - MCU sprung forks, bushing pivots, rear linkage design prevents use of V-brakes and there are no disc brake tabs. Not an issue in 1996 but now it's hard to find repair parts or upgrade the bike.
Wonderful bike! Still rideable to this day! I rode this bike for 12 years before buying my Kona and the only reason I finally bought a new bike was because it became very difficult to find repair parts for my GT LTS-2. What I miss most about riding the GT is the quick handling. I do not know what the head tube angle for the GT is, but I'm thinking the Kona must be slacker because I can't take tight turns and switch backs as fast as I can on the GT. The GT's rear suspension feels just as good as the Kona I currently ride which says a lot since it’s a 13 year old design.
This bike has taken me on many great rides. Hawaii, San Diego, Vancouver and Ohio, it's done it all. Only problem with it is the age. It's almost impossible to find repair parts for it and no matter how good I clean and lube the lower bushings they will squeak like a well used bed in a brothel if even the slightest amount of water gets on them. It really is terribly annoying.
All in all the GT LTS line was a very well designed bike which outlived any new parts being made for it. They eventually redesigned the rear suspension to accommodate V-Brakes but at this stage it wasn’t worth looking for a newer “rear triangle” just to put better brakes on the bike.
I love the looks and comments I get when I do decide to take it out for a spin and people see the brushed aluminum frame with the first year orange Marzocchi Bombers on it. This GT was money well spent. Anyone wanting a bike with "cult classic" appeal this is it. A few upgrades and care and this GT rides just as good as newer designs.
4 Flamin' Chilies on overall rating because of the MCU sprung Quadra 21R fork it came with stock. I switched it out right away.
Bike Setup: Stock derailleur’s, Rock Shox Super Deluxe rear shock, 1997 Marzocchi Z1 forks.
a Weekend Warrior
from Miami, FL USA
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2009
Strengths: The GT LTS series are one of the best, time prooven, bikes out there. The frames are super strong, light and like a work of art.
Weaknesses: If you take care of it, it will ride you for years. The proof is how many people still ride these bikes 10-12 years later. Grease the pivot points and check e-bay for parts.
I wish Gary Turner of "GT" Bikes still had a hand in the company. It is an all around good bike. People stop me all the time to comment about its unique set-up and great rpeutation. If you can find an old GT, the bike is well worth the investment of time.
I really like this bike, and I go on the trail daily, so I need something durable. Mountain biking is the only form of exercise which has captivated me into doing it (recently within last six months),Problem is, I think it is a '96 or '97 frame, and the lower frame bushing is squeaking, I have attac ... Read More »
To all you 1997+ GT LTS owners. I have a few boxes worth of parts that I can sell. I am also in the market to sell my entire 1997 Team LTS. This thing is near perfect shape. It has all the goodies you would find on a bike bought from a store today, including but not limited to cranks, h ... Read More »
I have 1997 Team LTS fully built up in mint shape. Parts specs are King and Ringle Hubs, raceface ISIS cranks and Prodigy Stem, Azonic Handlebar, Sun Rhyno Lite rims. Maxxis Mofo DH tires, Tompson Seat Post, WTB Rocket V Saddle. XTR V-Brakes and Levers, SRAM Attack 8Spd grip shifters, XTR 8Spd T ... Read More »