A Lot of us shave our legs. A lot of us don't. Just because you've exchanged your spandex for baggies doesn't mean you don't want a bike that climbs like your hardtail; just because you don't armor up doesn't mean you don't like to decend like a madman. The ultimate trail-bike, the Sensor takes agility, responsiveness, and effciency of a cross-country race bike, and adds more travel and a slacker geometry for inspired descents and more predictable line choices. Are we claiming a little bit by calling it the ultimate trail bike? Maybe. But then again, Mick did win Sea Otter's Dual Slalom on it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Denver, CO USA
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2011
Strengths: Climbing is great, much better than my old hardtail, can get over any type of terrain now. Mine also has the SLX shifters & Front Derailleur, not the Deore as listed in the specs. Also came with the massive Nevegal Tomac 2.35 front tire instead of the 2.1 listed in the specs. Big 180mm front rotor. PDM-520 pedals are a nice bonus, reliable and durable. The front hub is a GT sealed w/ Japanese bearings. No noticeable pedal bob at all in the ProPedal position, nice to swith the RP2 shock to Open on downhill.
Impossible to beat price, initially a Nashbar price match of $1500 then a month later Nashbar had a 20% Coupon sale which made their's $1200, Perf. matched again so they gave me $300 back = final price of $1200 + Double Performance points in May for GT = $300 Perf. Points, if you add that to the cost then my final cost was really $900 + the $100 in tax = $1K, amazing for this quality of bike.
Weaknesses: The Deore Rear Hub, after 3 rides the freehub was giving out, did not strand me, but it was starting to skip badly under uphill torque. Performance fixed w/ a new freehub under warranty. Also had to take it back in another time to have the hub adjusted, the cones kept coming loose, however after the second time I asked if they could replace the whole wheel with their Forte Xenduro and they did for no coast, not even labor so that has been a nice change.
Coming from V-Brakes the Juicy 3's feel fine to me, the rear can get a little soft on a long downhill, but I'm not sure if that's the braking power or if it just needs bled. The front hub is nice, GT Japanese sealed bearings, but the cones for the thru axle come off the hub easily, makes it a little challenging to get the front wheel back on, after doing it a few times you can do it quickly though. Some creaking when I first start out, can't tell if it's coming from the BB / cranks or the pivots, but after riding for about 5 minutes the creaking goes away, it's like it needs to get warmed up then it's fine.
A very fun bike to ride. I'm 6'1" with a 34" inseam and I got the XL frame. I rode a Large that was in stock at the store and it just felt too small, sitting was fine, but when I stood up I felt like I was going to go over the bars and that was on flat ground. I ordered the XL from the store on their red phone and had it shipped to the store. The XL feels great, very stable downhill and feels very agile climbing over rocky terrain and tight turns. I'm a former BMX racer and this bike feels like I could take it to a dirt jump track and jump all day, I have a 24" BMX cruiser I take to the dirt jump tracks, but I jump the GT any chance I get on the trail over the water bars / erosion boards, rocks etc. I would give 5 chilis but if the stock rear wheel just had a better rear hub, such as a SLX or XT (like the Sensor 1.0) then everything would be perfect. No plans to change anything else now that I have new rear wheel.
Similar Products Used: Nothing, came from a '97 Schwinn Homegrown HardTail, hence my username. I can't comment on the i-Drive compared to other suspension types since this is the first full-suspension I have owned.
Bike Setup: Everything Stock except for the rear Forte Xenduro wheel and adding Bontrager Thorn Resistant tubes, heavy tubes but I got a flat on the first ride w/ the stock Kenda tubes.
a Weekend Warrior
from Houston, Tx
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2011
Strengths: Climbs as well as my HT if not better, yet is so much better on rough stuff at speed. The i-Drive suspension design is wonderful.
Weaknesses: The brakes that come with it are the worst set of hydros I have ever used. Power is massively lacking almost as bad as the entry entry level Tektro Novelas, no modulation what so ever pretty much on or off.
Best bike I have ever owned, for the price I got it for almost impossible to beat. Came with SLX shifters and front derailuer instead of the Deore that the website stated. Super plush ride and superb climbing ability. Just have to make sure to upgrade those Juicy 3's.