Speculation: GT Leaks Two New Carbon Bikes - 650B All-Mountain and an XC/Trailbike

Jun 3, 2013
by Richard Cunningham  
GT officials say they will be showing their 2014 bikes at Dealer Camp in Park City June 18, and to get our attention, they released the following teaser video. So, we went through it frame by frame to garner as much information as we could. The following cannot be validated by GT, but there are two different bikes in the edit - each with full carbon frames and Fox suspension. The all-new carbon chassis are based upon 650B wheels and feature a completely new Independent Drivetrain rear suspension. Early sightings show that the suspension uses a pivot on the chainstay - which is a big change for GT - and that the rear end will also be full carbon. GT fans can breathe easier knowing that the two production designs do not share the not-quite so beautiful profile of the test mule that Dan Atherton was photographed riding at the Enduro World Series in Punta Ala, Italy. In fact, the production versions are completely different designs.



Looking closely at the video release, the two frames are distinctly different. One having a more or less conventional front triangle with a forked seat tube brace and is based around a 32-millimeter Fox Float CTD fork that appears to be in the 140-millimeter travel range. The second design features a Z-braced head tube area, and is apparrently based upon a longer-travel 150-millimeter, Fox 34 CTD fork. Drivetrain options are Shimano two-by-ten, with braking, evidently by Formula The One.

GT 2014 Carbon trailbikes details

(Clockwise) The longer-travel AM design sports a longer-travel Fox 34 fork and has a distinctive Z-strut head tube reinforcement. New to GT is the under-the-axle swingarm pivot near the through-axle dropouts. A comparison between the two frames shows the head tube areas are very different configurations



The static pics showed RockShox Reverb Stealth seatposts, with all cables and hoses routed externally on the downtube. The tire and rim choices of the two bikes suggest the first shown in the video is destined to be an XC/trail machine, while the second is purposed as an All-mountain bike - perhaps the replacement for the Force LE. Both feature Float CTD shocks. While we are offering a heck of a lot of speculation at this point, we will be at Press Camp for GT's official debut on the June 18 to fill in the blanks and furnish you with a decent riding impression of what appears to be GT's first solid swing at the mid-travel trailbike market.

GT Prototype Enduro Bike

Dan Atherton's prototype, seen at the Enduro World Series in Punta Ala, Italy is welded aluminum and uses a completely different rear suspension compared to the carbon twins in the GT video.




50 Comments

  • + 46
 Why do people have to hate? Its a BRAND NEW bike!! Its soon to be available for us to enjoy, or choose to ride something else, it AWESOME we have that choice. Good job GT, i think they look sexy and i cant wait to see what the carbon version of the dh bike looks like
  • + 8
 I second that "dynamite"! GT continues to make excellent rides and this bike looks sick!
  • + 7
 yup, it's a bicycle
  • - 2
 I just cant believe that people are still using dubstep in edits. Dubstep has jumped the shark.
  • + 6
 yup, all 'bout western swing now.
  • + 0
 ladies love a country boy
  • + 17
 Told all you haters they would clean it up before they released it. Doesn't matter whether you think GT is good or not, you gotta agree that thing is sexy.
  • + 5
 yes, this bike is much sexier than the proto that Dan is still riding but I'm still wondering why wasn't he testing/racing this carbon version if it's already ready for the dealers ???...
  • - 2
 not that nice looking....maybe works well?
  • + 3
 It probably rides great, I have never really been a big fan of their bikes but I think they hit their mark with this one
  • + 2
 @FDHR to keep it secret...
  • - 1
 What are you on about dynamatt? These leaked bikes are horst-linked trail bikes and have nothing to do with the Atherton proto.
  • + 3
 You're absolutely right @jcnlv these bikes have nothing to do with the aluminum 650b bike Dan was riding, and in no way shape or form would they be working on building a new carbon bike for the rest of the Atherton racing crew
  • + 0
 Yes the Atherton proto is a single pivot, the others are horst-linked 4 bars. Zero design similarity. But you knew that right?
  • + 2
 Absolutely. It's pretty obvious guy, there is no clear image tht shows the am bike's rear end to know wether or not it has the horst-link or a single pivot. My statement had absolutely nothing to do with the suspension design. It has everything to do with my liking how the carbon version of Dan's bike turned out and being excited to see what the new dh bike will look like on carbon
  • + 1
 Where is the carbon I-Drive version of Dan's bike?
  • + 1
 When did I say anything about I-drive? You 100% are missing anything I have to say. I will bow out, feel free to argue with yourself
  • + 2
 The new design does not have a Horst link: it has a high single pivot axle path. Take a look at the seatstay link. You can see where it bolts directly to the frame at ~0:14
  • + 11
 Pretty sure it's not a 'leak' if there's a promotional video.
  • + 4
 The only thing leaking from this video was bovine excrement and miss placed hype
  • + 8
 6" travel, under 30lbs it could be any bike design and would work perfect for 99% of riders.
  • + 3
 wow, even GT believes in the horst link. specialized will be facing tough competition knowing that the horst link patent has expired and its a free to be used anywhere in the world. no more suing bike companies, haha!
  • + 6
 Actually this isn't strictly new for GT... the LTS/STS series bikes which came before the I-drive design (and after the RTS) were 4-bar horst-link bikes. GT retired them to go to the I-drives because #1 they suffered brake jack like you wouldn't believe and #2 Specialized wouldn't license the patent after they bought it from Amp-Research. Now that its fair game for GT to try and use the pivot again in concert with their floating BB link, we may see some interesting designs.

In a way, the discontinued Haro virtual link bikes functioned similarly as they employed a swingarm suspended by short upper and lower links from the main frame, but the BB shell was part of the swingarm (and the lower link pivoted concentrically around the shell), so as the suspension cycled, the BB floated to counteract the effects of chain torque on the suspension action and provided a degree of anti-squat that pretty much every magazine editor and regular rider who tried it, loved, once they got it out of their minds how much it looked like a URT.
  • + 1
 this actually isn't horst link. Its a single pivot so its going to jack or squat under braking just as much as any other gt. the suspension layout is similar to a sunn radical but it has some form of floating mechanism for the bb. It's basically an inverted four bar. The high pivot will most likely give it good square edge bump absorption characteristics but it's more than likely that gt will once again screw up the antisquat curve and their revolutionary design will feel like rubbish when pedalling.
  • - 1
 Yes...it is. Horst links refer to the pivot between the chainstay (lower link) and the seat strut (swingarm) located in front of and below the axle along the dropout. That's it. You can find horst links on 6-bars, 4-bars and 3-bar designs (aka mac-struts which the original Amp frames were).
  • + 1
 Horst link only applies when the main pivot is also located on the chainstay. It does not describe just a pivot but an entire system. The position of the rear pivot is of course the defining factor when compared to a faux bar design. The purpose of horst link is to decouple braking forces from the system. This GT will NOT achieve this. A mac-strut is not horst- link.It works in a very similar way but it does not fall under the patent which describes the rear pivot as being around 25mm in front of and 25mm below the rear axle. The GT is a single pivot. The main pivot is located on the seat stay which is directly attached by the swing arm member to the rear axle. i am 90% sure of everything i have just said but there is a chance some true expert will come along and prove me wrong.
  • + 1
 Stop getting your info from Mountain Bike Action magazine...they like to think they're 90% sure of stuff also... like calling freeride bikes black diamond... sells magazines but has little bearing in reality. For someone so young (and NOT actually alive when mac-struts were the most popular design around) about the only thing you can be 90% sure of is that you still have a lot to learn about the bicycle industry and suspension design.

The Horst link is the pivot at the dropout. That's it. Horst leitner had two patents he sold to Specialized, one was for the horst link itself, and one was for the FSR 4-bar design. The former expired last month, the other expires in September.

The whole "decoupling" of brake forces was a crock bit of science slipped into the patent description that only applied in the original rim brake equipped bikes as the brake forces were pulling 90 degrees perpendicular to the shock shaft travel. It also only was described in the original Amp bike designs in the patent for the horst-link itself.

There are two GT's in this video preview, one of which has a horst-link, one of which does not. GT has run 4-bar horst-link designs before, previous to which was a rocker tuned single pivot, and followed by a single pivot with a floating BB link. There is nothing written in stone that they cannot return to using a horst linked 4-bar now that the horst-link patent has expired.
  • + 1
 Dhminipinner is correct: this is not a Horst link design. It doesn't matter whether there is pivot on the chainstay or the seatstay - if the link the dropouts are on pivots on the frame, it will have a single pivot axle path. At ~0:14 you can see where the seatstay linkage attaches to the frame. It's a single-pivot much like the Devinci Wilson or the old Sunn bikes, as the linkage which drives the shock is underneath the link which defines the axle path.
  • + 1
 thank god someone actually understands. @deeeight The decoupling of brake forces (how it's described on the big S' website) or isolation of brake torque from the wheel member if you want it in physics terminology(my own words not taken from somewhere else.) is not restricted to caliper or 'v' brakes. It is the one significant advantage of Horst link over faux bar designs. Basically the brake caliper stays level throughout suspension movement to prevent it rotating on the disk which in turn causes the bike to jack or squat under braking. (which one depends on the height of the main pivot(virtual or not) of the suspension. By the way i totally agree that mountain bike action is terrible.
  • + 0
 AGAIN YOU MORONS ARE NOT GRASPING WHAT A HORST LINK MEANS.... it has nothing at fuck all to do with anything in the design other than being a pivot between the dropout and the lower chainstay link that is ahead of and below the axle. That's it. Whether there is any pivot between the chainstay and the bottom bracket does not matter for the purposes of determining whether the frame has a horst-link pivot on it. Rocky Mountain's ETS and Smoothlink bikes don't have horst-links because the pivot is above and ahead of the axle. Also horst-links came along after the Mert Lawhill parallel 4-bar design and bikes patterned after mert's patent don't employ horst links either. As to isolating brake torque... specialized can try and re-write things however they want to market their bikes, and morons will obviously believe them, but there is more than one way to do it without using horst-links. A floating brake link as Kona and many other single-pivot bikes have offered as options for example. Trek's ABP and Dave Weigel's Split Pivot. Same function as a floating brake link.
  • + 0
 Nobody said it was the only way to isolate brake torque. I said that is the advantage it holds over faux bar designs. Isolating brake torque from the wheel member is the purpose of the Horst link design. It is not just a case of putting a pivot in a certain a position and patenting it for sh*ts and giggles. Btw if the lawhill design had fallen under the restrictions of the fsr patent it would not have mattered whether it came first or not unless they held their own patent or they objected at the time the fsr patent was being made.
  • + 0
 You clearly don't understand how the patent system in the USA works, or what the concept of Prior Art means in filing for patents, which puts in doubt whether you understand anything at all about bicycle design. Specialized in particular in the bicycle world, has a habit of withholding information in their applications about known prior art, since that would prevent them for getting the patents in the first place if the examiners actually did their jobs properly. At one time, patent examiners were required to actually KNOW about the sort of technology they were examining to determine if it was truly an innovation/invention of something new and worthy of protection, but those days are long since past. Now examiners rubberstamp applications as long as the fees are paid, and leave it to the courts to sort out problems later.
  • + 2
 Before you go to bed, deeeight, tell me: does this bike have a Horst link? www.sicklines.com/gallery/data/506/sunn_radical.jpg
  • + 2
 Think of an I-drive mixed with a mongoose freedrive and a little bit of zerode thrown in for good measure.

elevated single pivot giving a rearward axle path, the chainstays are pivoted as they in turn pull the bb link rearward minimizing chain growth (like an I-drive) and the bb link also actuates the shock.
  • + 5
 a four-bar GT?I'll be damn
  • + 1
 All I-drive type designs incorporate a four-bar linkage.
  • + 2
 Gt never seemed to follow market trends with their bikes. Like their 4in travel bike with a big bike head angle and short stays. I do however think that prototype is pretty ugly
  • + 1
 Common june 18th...time to replace my forceC with either an sc(bro or solo) or gt 650b.
Altho my fames been good, I hope gt steps up the warranty to lifetime ala santacruz, divinci, etc.
Hopefully gt/hans will set up a demo day in laguna on some future Wednesday!
  • + 2
 I think the Mule looks better haha. Just kidding, I will wait until the release to make up my mind, some interesting bits though!
  • + 3
 Am I the only one, to love the prototype? So oldschool, so simple looks. The straight top tube looks awesome. I want it!
  • + 0
 I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT !
  • + 1
 Awww, what happened to the crazy 'Lamborghini' all-out-crazy styling of GT?! Bikes still look good, but normal good, not Mick Hannah flying at Mach 1 on a bright yellow Fury mind-smashing good !
  • + 1
 I've always thought that since GT picked up the athertons, all their bikes have been awesome and these two are no exception... However dans prototype is ugly
  • + 0
 Can't see the point in a vid where you get to see the best part of feck all. I hope the new bikes are nice, they look quite stealthy, almost invisible in the vid.
  • + 3
 GT LTS 650?
  • + 1
 Closer to a horst-linked RTS actually... there's no walking beam and pull shock behind the seattube afterall.
  • + 1
 New Force Carbon and Sensor Carbon.
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