from Johns Creek, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2010
Strengths: confidence-inspiring handling on fast, technical XC race courses
Weaknesses: Pre-2010 models could develop an annoying squeak in the pivot points
The Marathon offers a lot of versatility. It is competitive for XC racing (especially on rougher courses), stout enough to race on most Super-D courses and Beginner/Intermediate Downhill courses. Their downhill version is the bike of choice for the present world champ. I have shopped hard and ridden lots of demos. It is impossible to find a better dollar-for-dollar value on a versatile premium race bike.
Don't buy the Marathon if you are strictly racing in a region where terrain is smooth, fast and where you don't need to handle the big hits. Get a Zaskar for those conditions... again, great value and nothing is faster than a Zaskar. It has been race-proven and ridden by champions for years.
Finally, let me mention that Performance Bike has taken great care of me over the years. When I once cracked a frame, they didn't just warranty the frame; they got me a whole new bike... who else does that?? I've also cracked Cannondale, Specialized and K2 - they just replaced the frame. GT would have probably warranted a frame only replacement too, but Performance Bike Atlanta took care of the whole enchilada!
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Rush, Specialized Epic, K2 Razorback
Bike Setup: I am actually on my 3rd GT Carbon Team in 3 years. No real issues with the old ones, I just enjoy having the latest gadgets and pass the older models down to my kids who also race.
'08 model is all XTR... great set-up. Only weakness seems to be that after 2 years of hard riding, the XTR spokes were fatigued and needed more frequent replacement. The frame performs magnificantly, but the pivots have to be maintained or it squeaks under some conditions. The squeak does not affect performance, but it does prevent me from sneaking up on the next racer to pass.
'10 model SRAM X0 - the Elixer CR brakes needed more maintenance that was ever necessary with XTR. The double-thumb-paddle X0 shifters were very smooth, but when riding fast over rough ground, the X0 shifters gave me frequent, accidental, double-shifts on the forward most paddle. It is just too sensitive for fast riding. I eventually removed the X0 set up and returned to XTR. This frame had the same squeaking issue. The GT guys at the MTB National Championships were kind enough to install some new nylon bushings which resolved the issue. I like the newer Fox shock better.
'10 model - back to the XTR set-up. The 2010 model comes with the nylon bushings already installed. All is good!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2010
Strengths: Low weight to strength
Weaknesses: Had an itermittent squeak curiously attractive to stray dogs which retarded front wheel free spin and necessitated disassembly when new was only moderately successful, but it did increase my speed;-). One year later, the problem appears to have been the front break -- it has needed bleeding all this time! Once I got used to the Crank Brothers Egg Beater C Pedals, I stopped separating my shoulders and spraining my wrists, but they were my choice. A lower price abd weightless kick stand would be nice features.
By far the best bike I've ever owned. I'd be riding right now if I wasn't writing this review.
Strengths: Super light weight, stable at all speeds, climbs, descends, and stears perfectly.
Weaknesses: I-Drive and headset units require constant cleaning, lubrication, and tightening. Deraillure hanger is very weak.
This bike is a speeding bullet. The geometry inspires ripping up and bombing down over everything. I continue to beat lap times at previous years races. This bike is for anyone who loves to ride fast. It's best for those who can their own repair and tune ups. As stated before this bike requires frequent disassembly, cleaning, and lubrication of the headset and I-drive units. Take care of this bike and it'll keep you upright, out front and on the podium more often than not.
Similar Products Used: Jamis XC Pro, Specialized S-Works Stump Jumper
Bike Setup: As is from factory. Didn't need to change a thing.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2010
Strengths: Smooth! Small bumps, drops, fast twisty singletrack, climbing, weight, easy control. GT is a great company that stands behind their bikes. They have a great website with plenty of trouble shooting and FAQ's.
Weaknesses: A small amount of flex. That's what comes with such a responsive chassis. Internal cable routing can be tricky.
I'll hate to see this bike go. It's so smooth! The suspension inspires great confidence when the riding gets tricky.
The i-drive frame is designed for small bump absorption. The frame does tend to have a little flex if it isn't set up properly. I have not heard a single squeak coming from the rear end. New, the frame needs adjustment after a few rides to ensure proper set-up. I used the website video to take apart the frame and rebuild the rear end. Two bb tools and away you go, it didn't take long at all.
It just works so well for all sorts of riding, big hits need a good rider, but the bike rolls through most anything without fail. THe carbon version is nice but any model Marathon does the job. Get one and enjoy.
Similar Products Used: Kona Kikapu, Specialized Stumpjumper and carbon Epic, GT alloy Marathon and a carbon Force
Bike Setup: Full XTR, Fox suspension, Crossmax SLR
a Cross Country Rider
from Deerfield Beach, Fl., USA
Date Reviewed: October 4, 2009
Strengths: Well designed & stiff carbon frame , fast take off with no peddle-bob, climbs like a plane and the 120mm Fox shocks and MP-23 takes downhill hits with ease , an excellent cross country race bike, great head angle for steering and fast shifters XTR shifters & derailers.
Weaknesses: It came with lightweight Kenda Karma tires but I prefer a beefer tire for my riding style. Also it did not come with peddles but since I have Shimano clip-ons that was no problem.
This is a champion cross-country races this bike. It really hammers for super fast take-offs, power sprints and handles great. It climbs like an airplane and descends with confidence. Steering is accurate due to 70 degree head angle. It has been the fastest cross-country racer that I've ever owned.
Bike Setup: The carbon fiber frame has a part aluminum matrix and the I-Drive system by the bottom bracket. This I-Drive is revolutionary technology for eliminating peddle-bob which really allows for hammering this machine.Fox F-120mm fork is a dream along with the RP-23 Fox rear shock with 3 positions. The Shimano XTR shifters and derailers make for fast shifting when needed. Tubeless wheels. Thompson Post,
a solid Fizik saddle, Richey Stem & FSA carbon headset.
Strengths: Well-selected components compose this smooth rideing, precise handling, gravity-defying fun bike
Weaknesses: Spin Doctor at the shop can't diagnose a persistent dog-attracting squeak that developed after mile 5. Fizik Gobi XM mountain bike saddle is ergonomically unrideable.
Currently hospitalized shortly after factory delivery under its "full medical" plan, my GT Marathon Carbon Team SRAM X.O Cross Country Full Suspension Mountain Bike - Platinum Series is currently a squeaky treat after swaping the Fizik seat on the way to eBay. Prognosis: Good. A frame adapter will be required to carry this non-standard frame style on a rear bike rack.
Similar Products Used: My first, and hopefully last, of this type at this price point.
Bike Setup: Cassette: SRAM X.0 - Brakes: Avid Juicy Ultimate, 140mm rear and 160mm front - Fork: FOX 32 RL 120 mm travel, rebound adjust and remote lockout (is nice) - Brakes: Avid Juicy Ultimate, F:160mm R:140mm - Frame: i-Drive 4 monocoque carbon fiber front triangle and rear triangle with 4" travel, integrated headset and main pivot bearings, internal cable routing - Handlebar: Ritchey Carbon WCS Lo Rizer - REAR SHOCK: Fox Float RP23 with rebound adjust lockout and adjustable ProPedal - SADDLE: Fizik Gobi XM - SEATPOST: Thomson Elite - SHIFTERS: SRAM X.0 - STEM: Ritchey WCS 4 Axis - TIRES: Kenda Karma 2.0 - WHEELSET: Mavic Crossmax SLR Disc - CRANKSET: TruVativ Noir XC 3.3, 44/32/22T
from Stone Mtn, GA / usa
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2009
Strengths: pedals well. pretty. easy to ride. handles well in tight singletrack. easy to work on the main pivots.
Weaknesses: I am guessing the frame to be in the mid 5 lbs range, little overweight for the price, but still light. the downtube is way overbuilt as the shock mounts to the middle of it, where most frames use a more robust mount location.
bottle cage mount seems an after thought. hard to route internal cables.
This is a great bike! I love it. It was an easy transition to this bike, on the first ride I had no problem getting used to it. The linkage system works wonderful, I have had no problems out of it at all. I rebuilt it after a dirty muddy race and it was actually very clean inside.
The bike built up around 23.5 lbs, and with not a ton of super light parts either.
I gave it 4 for value, just b/c it is so expensive compared to others, but guess carbon always is.
GT and Performance bike went above and beyond expectations by warranty-ing my frame. Originally, GT said no dice, I was pissed. Performance store manager backed me up on the facts of pivot failures, and in the end GT Bicycles did the right thing. Actually, GT was generous in the end. If they had sen ... Read More »
Giantnerd just posted this deal on Twitter. Really one hell of a deal, and prices will likely drop in the next few weeks like they normally do at Giantnerd. Right now it sits at $2900 for the XTR and the same price for the SRAM equivalent. I posted the XTR link below.
[url]http://www.giantnerd ... Read More »
I"m looking to buy an 09" Marathon Carbon Team but no one seams to know what wheels come on the bike. According to the picture on the website the bike has Mavic crossmax SL wheels but the specs say it has SLR's and I've seen pictures of the bike with SLR's. Can some one please help me.Read More »
Could the owners of this bike post some comments about it, my brother in law is interested in buying the 09 Marathon Team edition but there is not a lot of rider input on the bike or maybe I am just not looking in the right place? .. Any help is greatly appreciated. We do all trail riding and some ... Read More »