While the first World Cup XCO was getting the lion's share of attention this weekend, the Pro GRT at Windrock, Tennesee, has also proven to be a hotbed of tech. Pinkbike photographer Dave Trumpore spotted the new, 29'' compatible BoXXer that was on the front of the also new Devinci big-wheeled downhill bike
, some fresh Maxxis rubber, and what looks like Santa Cruz's Reserve carbon DH rims.
Dave wasn't finished yet, though, as he's just passed along some rather revealing photos of that prototype GT downhill bike
that popped up out of nowhere at the New Zealand National event earlier in February.
This view 100% confirms the lack of any I-Drive system, a first in many, many years when it comes to GT's high-end full-suspension bikes. You can also spot a geometry-adjusting insert at the lower shock mount that lets the rider tune the bike's handling by altering the bottom bracket height and head angle, and it could also be used to allow the bike to run both 27.5'' and 29'' wheels.
GT has tackled using an idler pulley in much the same way that others have: by integrating it into the main pivot and including a plastic rub guard of some sort. Why an idler? Again, the bike's main pivot is very high and, without an idler to route the chain up and over it, the suspension would firm up considerably under drivetrain loads. That might be desirable for a cross-country type concerned with ultimate efficiency, but downhill race bikes are all about traction, traction, and more traction.
The carbon fiber front triangle looks ready for business, as do the integrated fork bumpers cum cable guides. And you know that GT didn't paint this thing bright yellow to keep people from noticing it.
What do you make of GT's upcoming downhill bike? Are you sad to see them move away from the I-Drive system, or was it time for something different?