2011 GT Press Launch | Gravity bikes

Aug 5, 2010
by Alasdair MacLennan  
The Gravity portion of GT’s new 2011 range is probably going to interest those here the most. Comprising bikes to suit both those single minded descenders and those who like overcoming gravity at the dirt jumps and 4x tracks too.

Read on for the full blooded descenders:Ruckus
This is the first bike we picked up on the test and it was one which on the face of it is aimed at bike parks and for the sort of riding generally one step down from true Downhill racing. Two bikes based around the one frame, the top end 1.0 and the more affordable 2.0 which is probably the pick of the bunch from our first impressions, providing as it does a good compromise between price and performance that the more expensive 1.0 struggles to match.


We actually had the 1.0 as our demo and whilst the back end felt capable and confidence inspiring, the front lacked small bump sensitivity over the harsh stutter and braking bumps on the trails we rode it on and which ultimately led to a mismatched feel. This however is not a surprise and is something which has been commented on many a time with the Totem, the harshness coming from a tune aimed at taking the bigger hits at the expense of the smaller. It can be rectified relatively easily with a little work on the fork, but you can’t help but think that the new 180mm travel Fox 36 may be a better match for the feel of the top end bike. It would then be more in keeping with the SRAM X.0 and other high end spec, leaving the 2.0 as its tough little brother.


A tough little brother which still manages to pack punch with SRAM X.7 and 180mm Domain fork despite the lower price. It was the Domain which set it apart eventually for despite little trail experience of the bike as a whole, our separate experience of the Domain is that it is a much plusher feeling fork and one which would be a better match for the rear end of the Independant Drive based Ruckus. Those at the event who rode the 2.0 gave impressions which would tend to agree with this, the better value from the lower price a bonus. Another bonus was the specifying of 750mm wide Funn Full On bars across the two bikes as well as several others in the Gravity range. Granted wide bars may not be to everyone’s tastes but they’re easy to trim them down and with an ever increasing number of riders choosing to go down the wide bar route it’s a welcome move from GT.


Distortion
And so to the slight oddball in the Gravity range and one which we unfortunately didn’t get to spend much time on - although it’s safe to say that those who did get on the trail with it came back smiling. With just 112mm of rear travel and 140mm up front you would be forgiven for thinking it’s a cross country rig. But look a bit closer and the slack 67 degree head angle, long top tube and low BB give the game away as a bike aimed at being ridden hard across all genres. Yes, it has a dropper seatpost and yes, it also features double rings. But this is a bike with a distinct 4x and slopestyle feel to it whilst remaining light at just over 30lbs for the regular length frame including pedals (the large is a little heavier). A short back end held together with a 135mm Maxle means it turns on rails whilst the overall length of the wheelbase instills confidence in the faster stuff.


It’s billed as being able to hit the jumps, trails, bike park and slopestyle and whilst its lack of travel will ultimately be the limiting factor on the roughest of trails it is a very versatile and impressive bike. In the UK this would be a very good trail centre bike for those who want to concentrate on the descents and jumps whilst still being able to ride to the top and have something sharp handling to ride on the way down. The bike available to test was the top line 1.0 which featured Fox 32 Float’s up front and an obligatory RP23 out back but the lesser 2.0 comes fitted with a RockShox Sektor on the front and a Fox Float RL to provide something more affordable. Both bikes feature the new 1.125” to 1.5” taper steerer as do a number of others across the range.


Fury
Being a downhiller at heart this was the bike in the range which I’d undoubtedly been looking forward to riding the most. Despite not getting more than a couple of runs on it, they were good and the bike instantly made me feel at home. Absolutely box fresh it felt comfortable despite forks which obviously weren’t broken in. As with the rest of the GT stable it features a high single pivot with the Independent Drive system slung underneath to keep the suspension and pedalling isolated from each other as far as possible. It’s a system I’ve used and got on well with previously on the original DHi and it didn’t fail to impress here as the bike popped out of corners and sprinted up there with the best race bikes. Using a Kevlar reinforced carbon fibre frame front and rear held together by huge pivot bearings it provides an incredibly stiff chassis that should have no problems coping with the abuse a downhill bike is subject to.


Whilst some manufacturers are heading down the route of a never ending quest of lightness and the subsequent realization that it’s gone too far when the warranty department are inundated with broke frames, GT seem to occupy a healthy middle ground. The bike feels balanced with a claimed frame weight of 8.5lb without shock which equates to somewhere just north of 10lb, dependent of course on shock and whether or not you have a Ti spring. So not heavy by any stretch of the imagination. Although the test bike came fitted with a DHX Air for ease of setup for varying journalistic bodies the stock Fury Team will feature a Fox Vanilla RC and the World Cup frame kit a Fox RC4 to control the 211mm travel at the back. Whilst we intend to have a long term test on this bike from which to draw some solid conclusions the initial impressions were very favorable.







Upon jumping on the bike for the first run it immediately felt confidence inspiring and comfortable which is always a promising sign, as was the inclusion of 3C Maxxis Minion DHF’s front and rear which are the race tyre of choice for many. Whilst not the slimmest of frames it is nevertheless aesthetic and carries its bulk well in both the luminous yellow of the World Cup or the baby blue of the Team, both of which leave plenty of bare carbon on show. It also rode very lightly, picking its way well down the steep, rough and rocky trail we found. A trail which also had a lot of leap before you look sections. So we spent a lot of time hucking over rocks only to realise that there were more rocks on the landing which we hadn’t anticipated. And yet the bike swallowed them up whole. It may not have the super slack head angle of some bikes but given that these are so specialised in their intentions that is no bad thing. Instead a set of concentric 1.5” reducer cups give the bike a 65 degree stock head angle, with alternative angled reducers allowing this to be slackened off in half degree increments up to 63.5 degrees which should be enough for anyone. A Maxle out back screws through the replaceable dropouts.




Prices::
Fury Team: US$5349
Ruckus 1.0: US$5349
Ruckus 2.0: US$3749
Distortion 2.0: US$2999

Next up will the hardtails in the Gravity range.


61 Comments

  • 14 2
 i want one...or fiveWink
  • 5 4
 i dont, im not big on the floating BB. i just dont like that much.
  • 2 0
 This is a good write up, BUT I have beef with some of the reviewer's comments. Maybe my experience was atypical though?

I have run both a new Fox 36 Van RC2 (160mm), and a Totem Solo Air, and I thought that the Fox 36 wasn't good for big stuff (bottomed out), and left my hands and wrists destroyed on high-speed small bumps, no matter what settings I adjusted. The Totem (after a fresh overhaul out of the box, because they ship with questionable oil levels) felt like butter at high speeds and never bottomed out.

That's just my 2 cents.... Of course my sample size was small.
  • 9 0
 Retro logo, strong colours, race team bringing in the results, general re branding and nice bikes... They could be back!?
  • 5 1
 Totem not as plush as a Domain?? I've had the exact opposite experience actually...
  • 2 0
 I have very little time on a Totem, but I put a ton of time on Domains and they are so reliable and plush in all my experiences. Top value fork.
  • 1 0
 The Domain is definitely one of the top values in our sport right now. My Totem feels at least as plush if not more plush than the three Domains I've owned in the past. Maybe the one that was ridden at the launch either wasn't broken in or needed some tweaking. IMO the Totem is worth the extra money over the Domain if weight, stiffness and performance are your priority.
  • 3 0
 My dhi is fantastic, it seems a shame they never sold too well, hope the fury will, the only gutting thing is i cant afford one Frown
  • 1 0
 man the distortion is such a weird combo. its a great idea, but some funny spec choices... you would have to make it a single ring, drop the fork, and probably add a chainguide if you wanted to ride it for 4x. great for an all around bike, but it seems you simply can't commit it to one single task
  • 1 0
 Got my Distortion frame set orderd this morning. going to ride 120mm travel in front so i get 68ha and whit some of the new rock shock shocks in the rear whit remot lockout on the bar. this gona be a killer 4x bike. can`t whait to get it later this winter.
  • 1 0
 Some one at GT is colour blind.. ! also what's with mixing Every good GT logo..? the 80's logo and 90's logo on the same frame..?
proportions look weird.. Distortion, looks ok, but then they've highlighted the retarded cable management by making them white..?
What muppets in Charge..? its all over the place..
GT, you need a new art / Creative Director...
  • 1 0
 I have just built a 1.0 distortion and the cable are not installed properly. The proper instal is very tidy.
  • 4 0
 damn that shits sexy
  • 2 0
 Holy shit holy shit, wow those bikes are sexy
  • 5 2
 sh*t gt is sick this year
  • 2 0
 Also if you snap one of the carbon frames they send you a new bike with little or no hastle.
  • 1 2
 Ruckus 2.0 (US$3749) is too expensive for a bike with domain, SRAM X.7 and avid elixir 5. It would be a great deal to get a frame with simple rear shock (fox van r) at the price under US$2000. Otherwise it’s more attractive to get Norco or Mongoose.
That what I think about the price, but the design and colors are really nice 
  • 2 0
 meh. Just wait until the end of the season. Price drops dramatically.
  • 1 0
 our GT brand manager said that they are too expensive and we have no demand for this bikes. so any way we won't have it in Russia/((((
  • 2 0
 Holy....
This line up is amazing i want all of them!
Well except for the Fury, allready got one and i love it Wink
  • 2 0
 GT is comming back... still ride my 06 ruckus 1.0 almost daily, great frame Dont hate just cause the brand name
  • 1 0
 Definitely, not to mention GT full sus were great in the 90s too with radical designs like the STS DH and later on the Lobo. Steve Peat riding them was enough to get me interested and watching Hans Rey jumping down a waterfall on a GT Zaskar didn't hurt their image either. If I was a marketing man/bike snob I'd say it was getting them to be sold in Halfords for the last ten years that really hurt the GT image but then it sold them loads of £250 bikes so they could afford the research on these beauties. Everyone wins..
  • 2 2
 the GT are much better than the new kona, new kona give the impression that it will break apart from the design and geometry sucks, however, the gt are solid and the yellow color of the fury is sick
  • 2 0
 Does anybody know anything about those SRAM Descendant cranks on the Fury Team?
  • 2 0
 Those look sick. I heard that they are really noisy bikes though. Like the creek alot.
  • 1 0
 Gt's site is junk. can't find any info. dealers, warranty, ect. needs serious work asap. fury looks good in every way but the colors are not for me.
  • 1 0
 I reckon that the cabling running through the frame on the fury looks soo neat! The colours are awesome too and looks like a great bike!
  • 2 0
 that fury has some tasty linkage
  • 2 1
 those bikes are orgasmic :o
  • 2 1
 quite a change from previous years. I think the DH frame looks the best.
  • 2 0
 me too, GT have come a long way
  • 2 1
 GT have come a long way, but I'm still not sure I'd ever buy one.
  • 2 0
 GT... i love
  • 1 0
 i like them loads but the top 2 are a bit ugly, the dh bike is sex though
  • 1 0
 call me weird but i like the blue one!
  • 1 1
 the blue is sexy as hell, suspicious looking crack above the main pivot though.....
  • 2 0
 Definitely not a crack, it's just a smear of grease.
  • 1 0
 fair
  • 1 0
 Amazing engineering, absolutely amazing!
  • 1 0
 hi-vis yellow, very health & safety haha. looks mint though.
  • 1 0
 what will the fury frame go for?
  • 1 0
 fury colors look awesome!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 is the ruckus carbon?
  • 1 0
 no alu only
  • 1 0
 super ! 1 word
  • 1 0
 Rowery w cenie domu.xD
  • 1 0
 Cóż, nie za drogie, czasami droższe
  • 1 3
 soooooooooooooooo HEAVY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i could barely lift one off the ground! with a forklift!
  • 1 0
 Heavy? The stock fury comes in at 39lb which is pretty reasonable in my eyes. And at 10lb for the frame including shock that's not exactly making a dent in the floor either.
  • 2 3
 i want the 5th picture
  • 2 0
 Same Get a single ring chainguide set up on it and it'd be beautiful
  • 1 0
 ya man! you feel me! TQ
  • 1 3
 sick lumo-yellow fury! got love the 80's euro-trash colours.
  • 1 4
 Without these strange GT with wings it would be better and cleaner
  • 2 0
 gt logo with wings is a classic design from the start of mountain biking and bmxing dude!
  • 2 0
 So? Can I don't like it?

Btw. bikes are sweet!
  • 4 0
 looks like a solid line up this year
  • 3 0
 so can you actually buy the luminous yellow version???
  • 4 1
 Would be nice, the yellow color looks sick.
  • 4 0
 luv that fluro yellow
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