Bike Check: Wyn Masters' GT Zaskar LT Enduro Race Hardtail

May 20, 2021
by Nick Bentley  


Since moving to the UK Wyn has become a regular at Southern Enduro events. When I found out that he would be at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park round of the Southern Enduro Mash-Up series I knew I had to try and get hold of him to have a look at his bike.

Little did I know that Wyn was throwing together (his words) this absolute gem of a hardtail just for this event. Wyn's Zaskar was built with the intention of the Kiwi getting in as many laps as he could of the event's three stages. It sounds like it was a mission to accomplish, with Wyn racking up seven laps of stage 2 alone, and clocking 1000m of climbing in the process all without the aid of a dropper seat post on his GT Zaskar.

It was a decent race for Wyn as he ended up second in a strong UK Elite men's field, not bad for a quickly thrown together hardtail although I suspect the result has got a lot more to do with the rider than the bike.
Wyn Masters // GT Factory Racing
Age: 34
Hometown: New Plymouth, NZ
Height: 183cm
Weight: 88kg
Instagram: @wynmasters

Wyn doing Wyn things and showing some style on his hardtail.


bigquotesIt was a fun day out. Stage 3 was the most scary one on the hardtail.Wyn Masters
GT Zaskar LT
Frame: GT Zaskar LT
Fork: Fox 38 150mm travel
Wheels: Stans Notubes ZTR flow MK3 29"
Tires: Front: Michelin Wild Enduro Racing Line Front Rear: Michelin Wild Enduro Racing Line Front
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore 12 speed M8100 rear derailleur.
Cassette: Shimano Deore M8100 12 speed cassette 10-51 tooth.
Crankset: Shimano Deore M8100 Crankset with 32 tooth Shimano direct mount chainring.
Pedals: Shimano Saint Spd pedals
Brakes: Shimano Deore M6120 4 pistion
Handlebars: Oneup Carbon Handlebar with 20mm rise
Stem: Raceface Atlas 50mm long stem
Seatpost: Aluminum fixed seat post borrowed from Wyn's local bike shop.
saddle: Fabric Scoop saddle



Wyn's Zaskar LT is an alloy frame, featuring GT's triple triangle construction with floating seat-stays, BSA 73mm and a boost 12x148 thru-axle, the headtube angle of the Zaskar is 66 degrees with a seat tube angle of 77 degrees.


Before I get too far into Wyn's bike check, I think it's best to talk about the elephant in the room or in this case the 30-40 mm death spike sat on top of Wyn's stem. So this massive pile of headset spacers is not there to adjust the height of the stem and bars on Wyn's Zaskar, nor are they there for any sadistic reason. There is a simple pragmatic reason for their existence and that is because the Fox 38 fork on Wyn's Zaskar is borrowed from his GT Force Enduro bike. Therefore, as these forks need to return to the bike they came from, cutting the steerer down to match the shorter head tube size of the Zaskar was not possible. Sometimes you just have to adapt, overcome, get out and ride your bike and that's exactly what Wyn has done here.

Sat on top of the death spike is Wyn's Oneup components EDC trail tool fitted to the steerer tube of the Fox 38 fork.


While we are talking about Wyn's cockpit, for handlebars Wyn is running GT Factory Racing's new sponsor OneUp's carbon handle bar with 20mm rise. Interestingly, these handlebars are the only carbon part on Wyn's bike. Wyn's cockpit set up is finished off with the classic ODI Elite lock on grips in black.


Up front on the Zaskar is a Fox Float Factory 38, running 150mm of travel with a Grip2 damper. The offset on these Fox 38s is 44mm. Wyn is running his forks with 112psi in them and 2 Fox Float volume spacers. Normally I would say that this is a lot of of fork for this kind of bike but, given that this bike was just built using the parts that Wyn had to hand, and the fact that a World Cup downhill elite rider is going to be piloting it, I feel like they're right at home here on Wyn's Zaskar. Fitted to the lowers of the fork is a classic Mudhugger fender, a must-have for riding in the UK with the constantly changing weather.



Interestingly Wyn is not riding a dropper on this bike, now again not by choice this bike was a little bit thrown together for this race and Wyn just didn't have one available so he borrowed an aluminium fixed post from his local bike shop and put his custom New Zealand Fabric scoop saddle on top.



For the drivetrain, Wyn has fitted the full Shimano Deore 12 speed groupset with a 10-51 Shimano Deore CS-M6100 12 speed cassette. This is not a cassette Wyn would run normally and he says he would usually prefer something with a little less wide range. The Deore crankset is running a Shimano spiderless 32 tooth chainring.


Wyn is running Shimano's Deore 4 piston BR-M6120 brakes. These are accompanied by 203mm Shimano Ice Tech Rotors again showing that this bike is built to be ridden hard.



For wheels, Wyn is running Stans Notubes ZTR flow MK3 29" wheelset without any inserts inside the Michelin Wild Enduro Racing Line Tyres which are 2.4" wide. Wyn is using 2 "front" tyres on his bike and he says he does this as they have the best rolling speed of all the tyres and that's what he was looking for with this build. Wyn's wheels also have a little personal touch with his Stan's NoTubes Neo hubs bearing his name and the New Zealand flag.


Thanks to Wyn for his time and keeping the bike clean for me so we could shoot it before a nice muddy UK race.


94 Comments

  • 87 1
 let's be honest, GT's triple triangle design or whatever its called is so pretty. very sick bike, throw a dropper and its wicked sick, but damn so pretty. sorry for the love but damn...
  • 7 0
 Agreed. This is a beautiful bike.
  • 2 1
 ye fs kinda reminds me of seths orange custom hardtail that he sold.
  • 4 0
 I still have my 1999 Zaskar hanging on the shop wall. First "real" bike, it was so versatile, even with a clapped-out DJIII boat anchor on it!
  • 1 0
 @kanoakea-mtb: did anyone subscribe to the channel of the buyer of seth's bike? he made it look like it was an investment so people would spot his channel, but i dont know if it payed back.

It is a nice bike though
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: I totally forgot that he gave a shoutout to that guy. How much did he end up selling it for?
  • 1 1
 @Narro2: ye not rlly sure. i dont rlly watch seth too often, but the bike just reminded me of seths orange.
  • 1 0
 @imnotdanny: he tried selling it on ebay but it was bidded up to 60,000 ad so ebay took it off so who knows.
  • 2 0
 @kanoakea-mtb: yeah I remember that part, I forget what he actually sold it for. I think it was closer to $7k, idk though.
  • 1 0
 I just checked, he gained around 1000 subscribers, that's 7 dollars per subscriber, that's quite steep imo.
  • 5 0
 @Narro2: highway robbery.

On an unrelated note I just accidentally found out that DCA only lives a few hours away from me. Scary.
  • 1 0
 @imnotdanny: why the hell is that scary. and you also gave away what state you live in. be a lil more careful bud. hey if you follow my PB ill follow urs
  • 1 0
 @kanoakea-mtb: bro it says my state in my profile (you live near me too lol), I already gave away. Maybe I should change that actually....

It's scary because he's kind of a nutcase (his account is actually suspended right now).
  • 1 0
 @imnotdanny: i followed you on PB now you should follow me.
  • 1 0
 @imnotdanny: oh i see what you mean double-crown-addict. I thought you mean the ACTUAL DCA.
  • 1 0
 @kanoakea-mtb: confused by what you mean here. what's the ACTUAL DCA?
  • 2 0
 @imnotdanny: invite him to ride man. Crazy people is the best people to have a post ride beer with.
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: im a minor lol. He probably wouldn't drive 3 hours to ride w me, I don't actually get to ride mtb very much bc I live in the city so I ride BMX more often
  • 1 0
 @imnotdanny: haha, it all make sense now. Take it easy buddy.
  • 2 0
 @Narro2: chill bruh lol
  • 21 0
 "Wyn is using the Shimano I-SPEC EV system to keep his handlebars tidy allowing him to mount his shifter to the brake lever." Except the photo right next to this statement clearly shows that the shifter & brake lever are mounted separately.
  • 23 0
 Its the Shimano Intensely Separate Placement, Equally Critical Extreme Version system
  • 7 0
 they also have all of his components listed as Deore M8100 when its actually M6100. I think they got it mixed up with Deore XT M8100.
  • 6 0
 @ols532704: easy mistake, no body expect deore parts on a pro bike
  • 3 0
 @jarretthelesic: yeah I know but in the picture captions the parts are listed correctly
  • 2 0
 must be a "new" EV CLAMP System..haha
  • 5 0
 @jarretthelesic: He must be a Pro - no one else can get hold of 12 speed Deore.
  • 22 3
 Wow! GT holding strong to their standover clearance from the 90s... sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Wait. Wut?

Also, who would wyn in a race? Wyn on this bike or me on his Force? Hey PB that could make a cool series! Normals on a pro's gucci bike vs the pro on a hardtail.
  • 7 0
 This doesn't look like the horizontal top tube bike frames of yesteryear. Seems like pretty reasonable standover clearance to me.
  • 29 0
 Pros would win.
  • 2 0
 As much as the marketing department would like to tell us that if we spend a few more $$$ we'd stand a chance we don't.
  • 7 0
 @aug7hallak: van Der poel on a race bike vs Levy on an ebike?
  • 7 0
 @ratedgg13: Van der Poel with a anvil attached to his race bike. Any more questions?
  • 7 8
 Personally I don't get the point of the sloping top tube trend. Do people ride with their crotch in front of their seat? I'd rather have a horizontal top-tube with room for 2 water bottles.
  • 11 0
 @dthomp325: Knee clearance when jumping and getting it leaned over.
  • 2 0
 @aug7hallak:

spoiler alert! It'd still be fun to see.
  • 3 0
 I've seen Nino descending on a XC bike at speeds I wouldn't dare ride with a 200mm DH bike. My money's on the pro.
You'd have to give them a unicycle to make it more fair (although your riding is possibly a lot better than mine).
  • 23 1
 Shoulda used a fox 40 lowered to 150mm, why settle for the 38 noodle?
  • 19 1
 Cool to see a pro running a bike most of us can actually afford!
  • 7 1
 pretty sure the fork is worth more than the rest of the bike.
  • 1 0
 @hatton: Almost, but it also states he borrowed it from his other bike.
  • 9 0
 badass! I may not be 100% onboard with GT's frame design but that's a great color and overall good looking bike. Nice touch on the OneUp EDC headset kit. I bought the integrated EDC pump (100cc) and kit a few weeks back and I couldn't be happier with it.

As someone who doesn't use mud guards....wouldn't that thing clog up pretty regularly in the UK's wet conditions?
  • 6 0
 The colour is nice and all, but the perfect Zaskar will always be raw aluminum polished to a near-mirror finish. I have the same combo of EDC tool and pump and love it. I later ended up with one of their stems and top caps, so now I keep a CO2 cartridge in there. I wish they made a storage pod with a CO2 threading on the bottom like the bottom of the EDC tool assembly. Then I could do 100cc pump with EDC tool and storage pod, and another storage pod and the CO2 cartridge in the steerer. Oh, and for mud guards, they don't clog up much at all and really reduce the amount of dirt that ends up on your stanchions.
  • 1 1
 re mud hugger or marsh guard? No. Probably the best $10 part on any bike.
  • 1 0
 @big-red: had to go look up pics of the raw aluminum ..that is old school! I mostly associate that finish with their BMX bikes
  • 8 0
 Not even a QR lever for the seatpost collar!
  • 4 0
 my 1st bike that was stolen from me was in 99 I had a Zaskar with a purple spattle painted frame that was so effete lust worthy I had no clue until it was taken. I went out and bought a 98 Rockhopper and 2 kryptonite locks. I miss that bike even though I only rode it for 4 months.
  • 1 0
 My zaskar is with a heroin addict too. The only bike I loved, I can't love again, they're just machines to abuse now Plus my open bath z1 bam forks
  • 2 0
 @yeti-monster: yes i was in shock like i was abused that cable lock let me down and i saw the van pulling away with 3 guys and bikes with the rear door open. That paint job was special and it was chromoly
  • 7 0
 Such a classic bike. Love this
  • 7 0
 Hardtail, so hot right now.
  • 8 0
 Cause they are in stock
  • 2 0
 @nickmalysh: not in the uk they’re not. Well the custom ones like Stanton or Curtis have months waiting list. I’ve ordered a Curtis am7 frame to be built and it’s 5 months!! It’ll be worth it though.
  • 6 0
 This literally just put a smile on my face. Wyn Masters - when keeping it real goes right.
  • 5 1
 His local shop loans him gear but he doesn't bother to drop their name? No more freebies for you!
  • 1 0
 "Wyn is using 2 "front" tyres on his bike and he says he does this as they have the best rolling speed of all the tyres and that's what he was looking for with this build."

Haha, no. I have two Enduro Front Magi-X on my bike at the moment (same as those but lighter casing) and it's the draggiest rear I've ever run. Nice on the downs though; I'll try a Front Gum-X on the rear while lifts are running for sure. Enduro Rear rolls faster but grip is too compromised and the side knobs don't last long on our trails. Rock'R2 is my pick for the rear, R.I.P. Cry
  • 14 0
 just a miscommunication here, maybe lost in translation haha. But I prefer the wild enduro rear for the faster rolling speed, but the front is great for grip and this was what was already on that wheelset.
  • 3 0
 @wynmasters: Yeah not hitting your speeds (ever, unless you are actually stopped or just getting started!) so Gum-X for me and I like the FRONT/ REAR combo for summer trails and the FRONT/ FRONT set up for Spring and Autumn.
  • 1 0
 @Lornholio It is also very French to run a hard back tyre too. When I was in Provence with Greg Germain all the local riders ran hard fast rolling rear tyres but then every corner was a scando flick to nose wheelie so it wasn't as if they were relying on the rear tyre centre knobs for braking anyway.
I am super impressed at how the Gum-X is wearing overall but only had a set on for 450 km so I'll see how they last over the next 2-300 km.
  • 1 0
 Me too, but with Gum-X. The Wood-Chipper configuration - throws a steady stream of trail objects in all directions! Mine are the pre-modern livery Wild Enduros. I was going to get some DH22s (I have DH34s on the DH bike) until I saw that these now come with the hated F1-style hot patches. Love em! #FULLRACE
  • 3 0
 Real men ride hardtails!
I still have my original 96’ zaskar le (limited edition) in anodized (dark) blue. Z1 Bomber fork, Xtr v-brakes, Gt branded Hadley hubs.
  • 1 0
 My first 'proper' MTB was a 97 GT Avalanche hardtail, always loved the triple-triangle frame design and still do. If I were looking to add a hardtail to the quiver I think this might be the one Wink
  • 4 0
 Is it a "fork" or "forks" Come on UK, stop.murdering your own language
  • 1 1
 In the uk, we always store a chip shop fork in the steerer for those times you need, you know, a chip shop fork. For chips. Forks in the uk always come as a pair. You just can’t see it.
  • 3 0
 Who wants to live in the UK? even more when you come from New Zealand in the first place?
  • 1 0
 Curious comment about the front Wild Enduro being fast, when the rear one is quite smoother in the thread department.
Or does he mean fast as in fast cornering?
  • 2 0
 If I could only Wyn the Masters then I could comfortably retire. Ok - leaving now.
  • 1 0
 You need the old school Roach “stem” protector. I had the same fork swap thing going on. Found the ol’ Roach pad and viola a soft death spike!!
  • 2 0
 The more amazing part, this is affordable to build
  • 2 0
 You pay a premium for rear suspension and carbon fiber...go figure.
  • 1 0
 GT should bring back the RUCKUS name to some aggressive hardtail enduro bikes.
  • 1 0
 Along with the front tire on the rear also the front brake adapter in the back. Nice match!
  • 1 0
 Ok, GT. Zaskars should only be ball burnished or anodized purple. C'mon¯\_ಠ_ಠ_/¯
  • 1 0
 Pocket Rocket under Wyn's legs
  • 1 0
 That's a pretty savage move. Reeeespek
  • 1 3
 Do the terms Hardtail and Enduro belong in the same sentence? I'd argue you'd have a butt and back of steel to ride legitimate enduro trails. I can't fathom doing that style of riding without rear suspension.
  • 3 0
 People ride Enduro trails on everything from full rigids to downhill bikes! Lots of people can't afford full suss bikes and buy hardtails as way into the sport, it's a great way of learning good riding technique too
  • 1 1
 @SeanOg: I suspect those on hardtails wish they had an Enduro bike and those on DH bikes are riding the Enduro trails just because there's another trail they can ride down on that is a little rowdy. I highly doubt there are many that ride enduro trails on a hardtail because they want to. You'd have to be a glutton for punishment to willingly do that or simply just not have the funds to buy the bike that you actually want/need.
  • 1 0
 What's the size of the frame?
  • 2 0
 Large
  • 3 0
 @wynmasters: Good Soize !
  • 1 0
 Props ! GT’s still around. Great team atm
  • 1 0
 he really did throw a Fox 38 on a hardtail, anything is possible
  • 1 0
 Yea, great bike from a US company however not sold in the US...Wink
  • 1 0
 Great bike! it's Rock garden ready
  • 1 0
 Wy-N-os , Yeeew !
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