Gt bikes continue to be at the top of the online mountain bike lists. Run by Pacific cycles, the company had several years where their future was unclear. Was the company simply going to be a “cash cow” for its investors as it slowly slid into oblivion? Or was the company going to invest in the necessary funds in research, development and sponsored riders to stay at the top of the sport?
For almost ten years this question mark hung over the company as both low end and moderately high-end bikes were produced.
Similarly to Jamis, they have perfected the art of creating an affordable bike. And now, everything they create is judged on their brand history and price points instead of their comparable market position.
This puts GT at a large disadvantage and makes them the decided underdog.
They aren’t letting this dissuade them, however.
And their GT Force Carbon Expert is an excellent example of how far they have pushed their technology and why they need to be considered along with the other top bike manufacturers like Specialized and Trek.
First off, the Force Carbon Expert is an ideal Enduro / All Mountain bike. It has 150 mm of travel on the rear with a 170 mm fork, offering the comfort needed to navigate the gnarliest rock gardens confidently.
The rear uses the new Path Link system which gives the bike the large travel of the I-drive system, but with a lower center of gravity and less pedal bounce.
This high pivot makes it great for going over the obstacles — even better than many downhill bikes. However, because the path link moves the shock and the bottom bracket, you don’t get the feedback from the chain as you do on other bicycles.
Here is an excellent video that discusses the Pathlink in more detail
The long top tube and short stem help deliver a lower center of gravity with an aggressive rider position.
The large carbon monocoque frame shape is hard to miss. Since the bottom bracket moves in concert with the rear wheel, it is possible to add stronger chain stays and create a setup that delivers more power at all riding angles.
There is a strong reliance on the Rock Schock system. Most riders would appreciate seeing a White or Fox system at this level, but Rock Shocks is an excellent system and one that is overlooked.
It is everything you want in an Enduro bike. It is extremely light but with over-built shocks, tires and brakes to deliver that control the riders live for.
Rounded out with a Sram X1 system, you have consistent shifting and an unstable build.
If you want more travel and a more aggressive down-hill type course, you will likely need the Stanchion. But the Force GT is much lighter and better suited for less technical courses, or for the rider who doesn’t mind sacrificing a little performance for a lighter rig.