GT 2017 Preview - Press Camp 2016

Jun 22, 2016
by AJ Barlas  
Press Camp 2016


GT s Helion goes 29


GT Helion 9er

New for 2017 is the Helion 29er. Based on the success of the smaller, 27.5" wheeled, aggressive xc/trail bike, the new bike brings over the advantages of the larger wheel, while short chainstays aim to keep the bikes handling snappy and progressive. Pictured here is the carbon Expert version of the bike, the only one in the range to include the fantastic plastic—the material of choice for the front triangle, while the rear of the bike is alloy.


Details
• Progressive geometry provides a longer front-center
• Carbon front triangle, 6069 alloy rear
• 29" wheels
• Boost front, 142mm rear
• Carbon Expert (shown), Expert and Elite “9er” models
• S, M, L, XL
• MSRP: TBC


Alloy rear on the Helion 29 Carbon Expert
The Helion 29 Carbon Expert features an alloy rear.
The Helion 29 Carbon Expert is fitted with a dual lock-out suspension trigger
Seldom seen in the North American market, it features a dual lockout trigger

Like many 29ers, the Helion 29 dropped a few millimeters in travel when it got the big wheel treatment, dropping from 110mm (for the 27.5" version of the bike) to 100mm. Up front it can be spec’d with anything in the 100–130mm range depending on wheel size, but the 29 is fitted with a 100mm Fox Performance series 32. The bike comes with a 142mm rear while the fork is of the Boost variety, and the running gear consists of a combination of Shimano SLX, Race Face and WTB. The bike also ships with a 1x specific narrow-wide ring for those that want to drop the dual ring straight away.


GT Pantera reborn in a plus wheel platform

GT 2017 Pantera Plus Bike

GT also showed us their introductory level of the market with a pretty slick spec’d, affordable Plus hardtail; the Pantera. The bike is not a new name in GT’s line, but now sees a rejuvenation with the 27.5+ platform. The team sees a good benefit in the bike over similarly priced rides, given that with the larger volume tires provide riders with a more capable ride than closely priced, regular wheeled bikes. The simplicity of a hardtail results in less maintenance for the consumer and GT are also able to offer it in a better spec package.

E-Thirteen TRSr top mount chain guide
The Pantera includes some great bits, including an E13 TRSr top guide
2.8 Schwalbe Rocket Ron s on the Pantera s 40mm wide rims
...and the plus sized tires make it a capable machine for a low cost.

The bike is spec’d with a 120mm Rockshox Revelation with Boost, Shimano XT 1x11 drivetrain and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The tires are of the 2.8 Schwalbe Rocket Ron variety, and keep it stable but still provide that extra mow-down-ability of a plus wheel. They’re fitted to a 40mm internal width rim.


GT Verb entry dual suspension trail bike

2017 Verb Expert

GT's entry level dual suspension; the Verb. The bike is based on the same suspension system as their high end bikes while the spec is similar to the Avalanche hardtail, with the obvious difference being rear suspension on the Verb. Similar to the Sensor, Helion and other bikes, the Verb features their progressive geometry, with a long front center and relatively comfortable geometry. It's developed around 120mm of travel front and rear and sits on 27.5” wheels. It’s touted as being a capable and affordable trail bike to meet the needs of a rider debating between a hardtail and dual suspension.

GT Verb still features the independant drivetrain technology and shock
The Verb Expert features an entry level shock...
GT Verb s independant drivetrain
...while retaining the same suspension system as their other bikes.


GTw women s specific Helion Expert 275.

GTw Helion

GT has been growing their women’s specific line-up and the Helion is the latest bike added to the mix. Like the regular Helion, the women’s specific version is a dual suspension, aggressive XC/Trail weapon and includes the same suspension system as the higher end bikes. The difference is that the touch points (grips, etc...) are more specific to a lady's physique (ie smaller diameter) and the shock tune is such that it is lighter, so that it can perform better for the everyday female riders out there.

The Helion GTw Expert shown here features 27.5" wheels, 110mm of travel in the rear and 120mm up front thanks to a Fox Rhythm 34 and the same progressive geometry as the rest of the GT line. The bike is fitted with a 2x11 Shimano drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes.

GTw Helion features the same A.O.S suspension platform as other GT bikes
The Helion GTw retains the same suspension as the regular Helion, only with a lighter tune.
GTw Helion Expert is fitteed with a Fox Rythm Fork up front
It features Fox's Rhythm 34 fork up front.


MENTIONS: @GTBicycles




88 Comments

  • + 80
 I'm not a plus bike groupie but I'd sure like to try out that Pantera. Basically a slack Zaskar with fat tires. That's one clean looking rig.
  • + 21
 never thought i would say this about a modern GT, but yeah i agree, it looks fast and fun.
  • + 14
 still hangin on to the triple triangle
  • + 8
 @conv3rt: only just!
  • + 13
 It's about damn time the Zaskar got slacked out a little too - such a gorgeous looking bike, but that 71deg head is a turnoff.

Pantera looks like a really sweet bike with really high fun/$ ratio.
  • + 19
 RIDE > WALK (are you talking to me?)
  • + 6
 No dropper on a new bike in this day and age? Surprising
  • + 3
 I'd like to see how it compares to the Norco Torrent. I like the idea of the + size on hardtails.
  • + 27
 Anything named "Pantera" gets my vote.
  • + 3
 @codfather1234: down with that comment!!! Another good name would be the primal concrete sledge :-)
  • + 7
 Agree - Pantera looking good. Full sussers are disgusting tho.
  • + 2
 @conv3rt: I *love* to rag on Ye 'Old Triple Triangle Technology. Total Triumph of marketing over Truth. I'll be sad when reason triumphs.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: That is very plausible as the Pantera used to be a cheaper version of the Zaskar sharing the same geometry.
  • + 1
 It is very nice looking. Just wish it I was looking at that picture with the fork in sag. With rider on board, it's going to have an HA close to 69*. Looks to be sitting at about a 67*-68* HA static.
  • + 19
 I have an adjective for that Verb.
  • + 4
 But the pantera is triple triangle goodness! That must make up for it, no?
  • + 6
 An adverb?
  • + 8
 That Verb really needs a Reverb.
  • + 10
 Gts often look better in person than they do in pictures. I ordered my force x because i got a good deal on it, but was expecting it to look hideous as it does on gts website. It actually looks quite good in person though, and even though it came with a front mech, gt included a narrow wide in the box, along with tones of spares (hangers, bolts, cable routing guides) and a tubeless conversion kit. I was pleasantly surprised with GT. Plus that pantera looks really nice. Wonder if you can put 29" wheels on there.
  • + 11
 Yeah, GT quality is great and they are still able to provide a consistently good price to performance ratio.
  • + 12
 That pantera is a nice looking bike.
  • + 12
 Blimey, those full sus bikes look like something from the 90's!!
  • + 1
 Those pivots look like something from the home depo hardware section
  • + 1
 RTS lines for sure. Lets just hope they keep the LTS dead an buried.
  • + 1
 @feeblesmith: LTS was mint bitd!!!!
  • + 8
 I have not been a boost hater, but the fact that I've seen two bikes in the last week, one with boost front/142 rear (Hellion) & some other bike I can't remember with boost rear/100x15 fork really irritates me. You're the one who calls it a standard, MTB industry, & here we have two bikes with "boost" that can't swap either wheel.

What I'm saying is, go boost or don't, these half measures make it feel like the rumor mongers are right, & these standards were designed exclusively to make less components compatible with each other. we're going to end up with people having to sell wheels individually rather than wheelsets if this is the new standard.
  • + 3
 Exactly what I was thinking. I don't get the boost rear that can't accept a plus sized tire. I mean, isn't that what boost was for? Well that and fixing a horribly flexy Sram aluminum wheel.
  • + 2
 @oldschool43: It can also allow shorter chainstays in some designs, due to the shallower chainstay angle front to rear. But regardless, put a damn boost fork on the front if you're going to do it.
  • + 7
 My new bike came with boost and it can't fucking fit in my truing stand.
  • + 2
 Probably waitn to see if boost plus takes off...ala pivot. Seems like the way to go
  • + 1
 @oldschool43: No, boost was designed for wheel stiffness for 29" wheels and came well before Plus. The industry should have just skipped boost and went straight for a 150mm rear, but that ship has now sailed.
  • + 3
 You will see any mix of F:Boost/R:142mm and F:100mm/R:Boost on complete bikes for MY16/17/18 as brands switch their forks and frames to all be in step. The fork manufactures still have a mixture of Boost and standard in their OEM product lines and not every fork for each platform moves over at the same rate. A huge PITA for everyone involved. It's not any sort of conspiracy as that would imply that the bike industry actually works together on these things...
  • + 1
 @skatodd: then either don't redesign bikes for boost rear, that you can't get a boost fork in the right size yet, or don't order boost forks for your 142mm bikes. This really isn't that hard. (especially that second one. That's purely component choice.)

Treat it like the standard you're claiming it is. I literally couldn't order an upgraded wheelset(or replacement if I trash the stock set) for either of these bikes unless I went to a custom builder. putting your customers in that situation is shitty.

(the possessive you, in this instance, referring to the bike industry, not you skatodd.)
  • + 9
 GT had better looking bikes 20 years ago!
  • + 9
 Wow, they sure brought the ugly.
  • - 1
 It's pretty consistent with their design philosophy for the last 10-15 years.
  • + 9
 All look ugly to me, sorry GT
  • + 4
 The hard tail looks sweet!
No specs no prices ?
Great that your featuring affordable bikes.
would be nice if this was more than just a bunch of pictures.
Progressive geometry. Taking cues from Fox?
Will next years bike be even moar progressive?
????
  • + 3
 Agreed. Need more info! This release sucks.
  • + 2
 Pricing is yet to be confirmed. It sounds promising though! A few of the specs aren't quite set yet either, sorry.
  • + 7
 The verb is unbelievably ugly
  • + 5
 Shout out to the 80's GT Pro Performer freestyle BMX frame styling. I see you.
  • + 2
 I'm a bit confused about where it says the Verb Expert has the "same suspension system" as their other bikes. Everything about it looks different from the systems found on the other bikes, including pivot locations. They may work in a similar way, but are they really the same somehow? Not trying to be a forum-engineer, just wondering how two systems that look so different can be the same.
  • + 1
 pivot locations are the same. directly above the bottom bracket
  • + 8
 You're right, the suspension on the verb is the same as the last generation I-drive... it's basically the old sensor from '10-'13 (I know, because I'm riding one still :/ ). That's why it's cheaper than the current Sensor. Honestly, it's a great option for a beginner at the price.

The new i-drive operates under the same principals the i-drive line has always operated under... floating BB to mitigate chain growth and thus reduce pedal kick back, single pivot type axle path for initial rearward motion, etc. So yes, the new one is the "same" as the old one, but it's clearly not the same.
  • + 5
 @phobospwns: Insert fart noises
  • + 1
 @BrownBomber369: I'll push you down a gorge.
  • - 2
 @phobospwns: So by "floating bottom bracket" they mean "your foot position is going to constantly be changing with the terrain in relation to the rest of your body position". Great! Extra bearings and complexity along with a new variable I have to consider while riding! Can't imagine why this never caught on.
  • + 1
 @skidrumr: Seems like you know a lot about bikes, and how suspension works.
  • - 2
 Someone tell GT to stop making the I-drive or whatever they call it these days. I have no interest in ever owning a bike whose cranks are attached directly to the rear wheel - you have a direct connection to every vibration and as your suspension compressed, your frame geometry changes.
  • + 3
 @cwatt: @skidrumr you two should pedal a gt.

They are the best pedalling bikes on the market solely because of their suspension systems I personaly find many things wrong with gt but i could never say anything bad about the i drive
  • + 1
 @phobospwns: Funny, there's a great article on the Klein Mantra recently, the precursor to the I-Drive. There is no good mix of chain and suspension, ever, except single speeds that pivot @ the bottom bracket (or a gearbox drive like the Zerode that accomplish nearly the same thing but with multiple ratios). If you're going to give props to a system like the I-Drive don't forget to thank your legs for picking up the slack. I'm sure it pedals amazing, as it should with static driveline geometry.

Being a professional mechanic and racing MX for years lend a decent understanding of geometry and kinematics... I was actually just being facetious in my comment, I appreciate outside-the-box thinking, but there are many "brilliant" engineering concepts that never work in the real world from a durability or efficiency standpoint. So the accepted system ends up a very refined version of a flawed design in the end, with all of us accommodating the shortcomings. Forks, derailleurs, and offset dish wheels are all examples we live with daily.
  • + 1
 @skidrumr: I see your point of view, but you abviously never rode an I-drive. Luckily it's not comparable to a URT
  • + 6
 Horrible.
  • + 3
 Pantera looks sweet, x2 bottle mounts and rear rack mounts may make for a great bikepacking/camping rig that can rip the trails too...
  • + 5
 Is X2 a new bottle mount standard ?
  • + 1
 @MysticMCyclist: in this day and age I can imagine that actually happening!
  • + 3
 The same Fury, Sanction, Force, and Sensor live on for another year, I guess. And here I was expecting carbon fiber "race" models of their gravity lineup.
  • + 3
 Bring back the Distortion! Please.... with a little more travel and a much longer shock.
  • + 4
 Fromt mechs in 2017, tall standovers, steep headangles, hmmmmm.
  • + 4
 I was too busy trying to decide why they bought a boost 32 mm fork to notice.
  • + 8
 Where did you see the steep head angles info?

Front mech is an option that you can remove and its comes with 1x chainring too. I think this is to satisfy the people riding big mountains. It's not the whole world that has gone 1x.
  • + 4
 Those bikes are ugly as sin, they look like walmart bikes....
  • - 1
 Sportsmart bud!!!
  • + 1
 Pantera is a 'New Level' for the 'Regular People'. A bike 'Becoming' the 'Domination' of the budget plus size scene. 'Floods' of reviews will garner '10's'. This one is a 'Walk' in the park for GT.
  • + 2
 I like how they are keeping the weight low on the bike. I bet this makes a noticeable difference in handling.
  • + 2
 Rumour has is that the Zaskar is going back to 29", looking forward to see the diffs between the new beast and my 2015 one.
  • + 4
 deleted
  • + 2
 front mech? just seems weird now seeing any new offering with one as stock although I know plenty out there still run them
  • + 2
 Is that a QR skewer in the rear end of the Pantera? On a 27.5+ bike in 2017? For real?
  • + 3
 Yeah, it's a QR boost standard. There has been a couple stories about it on bikerumor. Don't see it being an issue on a HT but don't put it on a FS FFS
  • + 3
 @UtahBikeMike: No, not an issue. Rallied it today and it's actually quite a capable bike.
  • + 2
 And the Force? I want to see Force X Sport and Expert to 2017!
  • + 1
 They all look steep, tall & have front dérailleurs. Used to love gt, not anymore.
  • + 23
 this will be the best 2010 bikes out there for sure.
  • + 3
 Prices?
  • + 2
 TBC!?!?! I don't even have that many dollars!!
  • + 1
 God damn those are some ugly bikes.
  • + 0
 A 29er , a plus sized bike, an xFusion shock, cant say id buy any of these bikes...
  • + 1
 Fly Pantera or GTFO.
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