GT Sanction - Review

Sep 22, 2014
by Mike Levy  



The 165mm travel Sanction is most certainly not your typical long legged trail weapon, with GT designing the 27.5" wheeled bike specifically for the world of enduro racing rather than for all around use. What the heck does that mean, especially given that there are plenty of bikes with similar amounts travel on the market? The Sanction's geometry is one part of the equation - its wheelbase is longer than many downhill bikes out there, and the roomy front end and short stem combo is designed to improve stability and confidence. The bike's suspension design also leans far more towards out and out performance on rowdy downhills than striking a middle ground with climbing in mind, and GT has tackled that last concern with a remote lever for its FOX Float X CTD shock. Oh, and you'll never be able to mount a front derailleur on the bike, so don't even bother trying. What GT hopes that the Sanction will allow you to do, however, is descend faster than if you were on any other bike in the same travel bracket.


Sanction Details

• Intended use: enduro racing
• Travel: 165mm
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Aluminum frame
• ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
• Single chain ring only
• 180mm post mount rear brake
• 12 x 142mm thru-axle
• MSRP: $1,999 USD (frame w/ FOX Float X)


GT Sanction Photo by Robin O Neill
  The 165mm travel Sanction uses a variation of GT's Independent Drivetrain suspension design.

The Sanction's Suspension Explained

GT's I-Drive suspension design, referred to as 'Independent Drivetrain' on newer models, uses a ''floating'' bottom bracket unit that allows for a relatively high main pivot location without the main drawback that is usually associated with it - excessive chain growth. The high pivot helps the bike absorb hard, direct impacts due to the rearward axle path that it affords, but it's the floating bottom bracket that lets such a design work without the massive chain growth that would usually be associated with such a design. It does this by letting the bottom bracket move in roughly the same plane as the rear axle by locating it on a separate element that pivots off of the swingarm, all while being attached to the front triangle by a short link, essentially creating a four-bar linkage system even if it doesn't resemble what comes to mind when you hear that term.

The bike's suspension design resembles what GT uses for the 220mm travel Fury DH bike rather than the high main pivot layout found on the Force, a decision that should make it obvious that the 165mm travel Sanction has been penned with aggressive riding and descending in mind rather than the more all around riding that the Force is intended for. Flipping the bike over to inspect what's happening downstairs does reveal an obvious relation to the Fury, although a direct comparison will also show that there are some important differences. In fact, the only piece that the two bikes share is the short dog-bone connecting link, with all of the other suspension components proprietary to the Sanction. GT also wanted the Sanction to accelerate with more jump than the Fury - not surprising given that it's an enduro race bike - and have placed the pivots accordingly.









Climbing

How should a bike designed specifically for enduro racing act on the climbs? After all, the very large majority of the time on the clock during a race weekend is spent racing down, not up, with much of it often rivaling terrain that we're seeing on today's World Cup tracks but raced on bikes that are sporting two inches less travel than a true DH sled. Regardless, there are sometimes climbing sections during the timed stages, and they are often short, steep, balls-out sprints that are more about how many ponies one can lay down than asking a racer to navigate any sort of technical uphill, which is exactly the sort of ascents that GT had in mind when they designed the Sanction. The remote lever on the handlebar means that you can firm-up the FOX Float X CTD shock in an instant, something that the average rider might scoff at, but a feature that, depending on the track, competitive enduro racers will feel is as necessary as a set of pedals after using it a few times. Don't get me wrong, given its intentions, the big GT pedals decently well when the suspension is left open, but when you can hit that button and have it feel like you're mainlining a hit of caffeine, why wouldn't you use it if the clock is ticking and you've trained for exactly this type of thing?

The two more interesting questions are how it sprints when the suspension is left open, and how it handles when pointing upslope. Respectably well on the first, somewhat strangely on the second. As far as bikes with similar amounts of travel go, the Sanction moves forward well under power when the shock is left open, and while it's never going to have the jump of a shorter travel bike, you'll also not have anything to complain about if you're coming off of a new Nomad or Slash. Out of the saddle efforts, which is how a bike like the Sanction is going to be propelled in a race situation, do feel somewhat odd, however. This isn't down to a lack of efficiency, though, but rather the bike's geometry and 35mm stem. Not surprisingly, I'd have to say that it feels a lot like sprinting an ultra-efficient downhill bike.

GT Sanction Photo by Robin O Neill
  This is the fun part. Accessing the fun can be touch and go if you have to climb up anything technical.

bigquotesYes, I can and did pedal it up all sorts of tricky climbs. And yes, every time I came up against a rooty challenge or ultra-tight switchback I thought of a few other similar travel bikes that I would have rather been on, but none of them are as confidence inspiring on the way back down. Ah, tradeoffs.


Are you the kind of person that expects a Nicolas Cage movie to have a deep, meaningful plot? Or your expensive Five Star dinner at that snooty French restaurant to include large portions? If so, you might be more than a little disappointed when it comes to the Sanction's climbing manners on technical trails. Keep your expectations in check, though, and you'll likely find that the bike performs well enough to get by. Sure, I could shit all over how the Sanction ascends tricky singletrack, but wouldn't that be a bit like doing the same for a downhill bike? The 165mm travel GT is not intended to be your everyday all-mountain machine, and holding it to that standard would be unfair given that it really is one of the few pure enduro race-specific bikes out there. Yes, I can and did pedal it up all sorts of tricky climbs. And yes, every time I came up against a rooty challenge or ultra-tight switchback I thought of a few other similar travel bikes that I would have rather been on, but none of them are as confidence inspiring on the way back down. Ah, tradeoffs. This is not the bike for you if all of your climbing is done on twisty singletrack, but it'll do just fine if you earn your descents by pedalling up tamer climbs or gravel roads.



Downhill / Technical Riding

I recently took the Sanction to Whistler as part of a group test of the latest downhill bikes that saw me spending a week learning the ins and outs of the newest long-travel machines, going through brake pads up in the muddy upper reaches of the Garbanzo zone, and doing my best to wear out as many rear tires as possible. I think that I achieved all of that and more, and I was also somewhat surprised to find myself reaching for the Sanction far more often than any of the carbon fiber downhill sleds that were in the test stable. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of well-designed, relatively short-travel bikes, but if there's one place that makes sense to be on a downhill sled, it's Whistler. That still applies, of course, especially if you prefer to really let it roll up in the rough and tumble Garbonzo zone that sports more rocks than Charlie Sheen's coffee table on a Saturday night, but the 165mm Sanction manages to stay more composed on the same terrain than any bike not designed to sprint out of a World Cup start gate has a right to.

The ability of the Sanction to stay so calm when things get a bit touch and go, at least in my mind, is the position that it puts the rider in, which is further back behind the front axle than on other bikes. The approach is the same that GT takes with the long front end on their Fury downhill bike, and, as you might expect, the results are similar: bucket loads of confidence during those times when that's exactly what's needed to commit to a line, and an air of invincibility that most other 165mm travel bikes would be jealous about. Confidence equals speed, of course, and the Sanction's handling was very much spot-on for going quick. That slightly more rearward weight position that the long top tube and short stem provides just doesn't feel that drastic when you're rolling fast, and I'd say that it actually feels more natural than a conventional set of geometry numbers. That's in contrast to how the Sanction performs on the ascents, but it's a tradeoff the GT was obviously happy to make. And, since there's plenty of machines that can both climb and descend at a relatively high level, but very few 165mm travel bikes that can brush off the terrain that the Sanction rolls its eyes at, I'm glad they did. Want an all-rounder? Look elsewhere. Want a bike that not only lets you get away with making bad decisions on the downhills, but actively encourages you to do exactly that while letting you get away with it? Get a Sanction.

GT Sanction Photo by Robin O Neill
  No other mid-travel bike handles this sort of terrain like the GT does, with the bike's suspension and geometry working together to create a potent package.



The bike's aptitude in truly scary terrain doesn't come free of charge, though, as it can feel like a handful relative to a more conventional bike with similar travel when the trail either levels out from pointing straight down, or gets tight enough to warrant putting in some big steering inputs. I'll admit I was a bit surprised about this as its big brother, the Fury, actually felt quite manageable when speeds dropped, whereas the shorter travel Sanction had me looking back to see if I had a trailer attached to the bike. The obvious answer is that it's all relative, and that while there are plenty of lazy handling downhill bikes that make the Fury feel somewhat reasonable, there are even more quick handling and nimble mid-travel bikes that have the Sanction reminding me why the GT isn't the best choice on rolling terrain.
bigquotesThe Sanction is the best descending mid-travel bike on the market, which is a result of the bike's geometry and suspension being absolutely dialed-in for those purposes. Expecting it to excel elsewhere would be a bit like expecting to have a nice, relaxing night at a Slayer concert.


I wasn't surprised to find that the Sanction's suspension matches the bike's handling in that it mutes small and medium high-speed impacts better than most bikes in the same travel class, and it manages to take the tops off of sharp edges incredibly well at the sort of speeds that you'd ride a capable bike like the Sanction at. I wouldn't call it a 'plow bike', though, as it still rewards you using your brain and not just going straight through the worst of it like you were on a downhill bike, but you can certainly get away with taking that approach if you must. That said, I was surprised to constantly find the o-ring on the Float X shock pushed to the far end of the stanchion, even when running just a whisker less than 30% sag. There were no teeth rattling bottoming moments, but the bike was certainly using all of its travel a bit more than I would have guessed it. Then again, it's there to be used up, isn't it? And just so long as you're not hitting bottom hard enough to feel it through the soles of your shoes, it doesn't matter. So maybe a bit more linear than some other machines out there, but I feel like that's a trade-off for how forgiving it is while in the mid-stroke and deeper, which is where a 165mm travel bike often is when you're riding it like it's a downhill race bike. It's also incomparably supple and active when talking about air-sprung, mid-travel bikes, something that is no doubt down to the Float X shock's slippery action.



Technical Report

The build on my Sanction test bike is completely custom and not representative of the complete bikes that GT offers, and it also served (and still serves) as a rolling testbed for the components you see bolted to it. That includes the ENVE M70 wheelset, SRAM's Guide brakes, Continental's Baron Projekt 2.4 tires, and the Manitou Mattoc Pro fork.

• ENVE's M70 wheelset is about as baller as it gets when talking about wheels, especially considering that there's a set of DT Swiss hubs at the center of those carbon hoops. Regardless, I'm not going to sugarcoat it: I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to ENVE's wheels. After all, at $999 USD for a rim and $2718 USD for a complete wheelset, they are very expensive relative to a more common aluminum rimmed option, and it's not like we haven't seen the rims fail. That said, you can destroy any rim if you try hard enough, but I feel like they should be nearly indestructible of they're going to cost as much as they do. Did the wheels on the Sanction give me any trouble? Nope, not even the slightest hiccup, and I didn't even need to true them once, but I still feel a bit conflicted about them.

• I'll have a separate review of SRAM's new Guide brakes in the near future, but here's a summary in the meantime: more power and a firmer feel than Avid's four piston Trail offering, but they don't seem to have lost much in the way of that early stoke control that Avid had going for them. That might not sound like a big deal, but it's that control in low-traction moments (wet or super dry conditions) that made the Trail brakes so good.

• Continental's Baron Projekt 2.4 tire is a serious chunk of rubber. I found them really, really difficult to mount due to a rather tight bead, but the traction on tap from the German tire is outstanding. This is especially true in regards to braking bite, with it feeling a bit like you're dropping anchor every time you grab a handful of brake. The downside to them is that the large center lugs give them similar rolling speed whether they have air in them or flat, which we found out when we cut the rear tire's sidewall after only a few days of riding. That's an exaggeration, obviously, but they do roll quite slow.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Sanction is very much a specific tool for a specific job, and it isn't the bike for you if you're not looking for a mid-travel bike to ride like a downhill rig. There are better pedalling and more climbable choices if you want an all-around bike to go for long rides on yet still hit all the big moves, but GT didn't design the Sanction for you to use it as an all-mountain bike, did they? No, not at all. The Sanction is one of a few purpose-built enduro race machines out there, and it'd be at the top of my list if that's what I was looking for in a bike.- Mike Levy


www.gtbicycles.com


183 Comments

  • + 112
 "more rocks than Charlie sheen's coffee table on a Saturday night" - haha
  • + 2
 Damned I was about to quote this!
  • - 1
 I thought i was the only one that saw it haha. Shit was classic though
  • + 3
 Super sick bike.... don't know how i feel about the red fork haha
  • + 2
 Rob Warner would be proud
  • + 52
 A race bike for racing. Hmm. What percentage of Pinkbike's readership race?
  • + 56
 I smell a poll coming...
  • + 14
 Looks to me it could be the perfect 'mini-dh' bike. I have a Morewood Kalula and it's the perfect bike for flatter dh tracks/bike parks, it's only problem is the short reach on the large frame if you're over 6ft tall. These have a nice long reach...
  • + 15
 even if you race, if you spend $2700 on a rim set, you have more money than sense.
  • + 2
 downbeat73 ... the bike you are thinking of is my Knolly Chilcotin.
  • + 5
 Actually, Preach, some of us are grown adults with good jobs, and $6-8000 bikes, $2500 wheels, etc aren't out of our price range. I can see where you're coming From though, I would never spend over $10,000 on a car...
  • + 4
 I'm with ya on the car thing! used Toyota all the way homie.
  • + 5
 My $400 Honda civic does the trick! I'm more worried about my bike than my car in the event of a car crash.
  • + 1
 hey folks do you ride your bike? you do? then your riding enduro! you need an enduro specific bike so you can ride your trails the right way!
  • + 5
 ChampionP you sir are exactly why there is such a thing as $2500 wheels and $8000 bikes. i have a pretty high income but i assure you none of it is "disposable"
  • + 1
 @keystonebikes, Maybe you're right. I can't tell if you're trying to make a social commentary, or just insult me for being able to afford expensive bikes. Even though I could afford an $8000 bike and $3200 wheels, I aquired my current enve wheels for free when I worked at enve, and knowing what I know now about composites and wheel design, I would never have paid even half price for those wheels(even though they make my bike ride awesome!), based on the weak spot of the hook bead (which I think has no business on composite rims. Reynold rims are skinny, just like enve, and also have a hook bead for thousands of dollars and Reynolds are produced overseas in asia. Ibis and specialized have better designed wheels at $1500 and $1300 for ibis, and Ibis even tells you if you just want the rims go through derby. I shake my head at all these "new" carbon rims comingout that are less than 25mm and have unnecessary thinned out hook beads.Derby has several size rims for $329 per rim and customer service that you wouldn't believe and thick straight rim beads.
My new bike I'm buying on layaway right now, has a price tag of $3500. When I upgrade the wheels, I will buy derby 29"rims for $600-700. I will keep my sram XO crankset and put it on the ripley. I will then take the enve 26 AM rims off my DT Swiss 240 hubs and lace them up to 29" 30mm wide Derby rims.So at the most I'll have a $5000 bike spread out over a season. So I'm not "the reason" these bikes are on the market and sell. but I'd be happy to buy one used at a discount, and I'd be happy to purchase the trickle down technology in the upcoming years. If none of your income is disposable, perhaps you base too much of your life on material things like money, house, car, cable tv, internet, etc instead of investing in quality time in the mountains with friends and family. Maybe ride a $1500 bike and take $1000 vacations around this planet to ride that bike.
  • + 4
 nah, never meant to throw dirt at u sorry, it came out totally wrong. i got discouraged at he fact that the only reason companies make "innovative" products for way too much $ is because somebody out there will pay for them. mtbing has slowly become a rich mans sport it seems like golf and bass fishing. at least that is how the bike companies want you to think. look at bmx; the best best built bike on the market might push $900. why? because kids dont have any money. if mtbers didnt either we would see a lot less product developement. and u know what? we'd still all be happy riders. oh and i ride a 2006 cdale prophet that i just happen to have $1500 in lol. it was built-not bought. most of my $ nowadays is tied up with healthcare like the rest of us holla!
  • + 1
 I hear ya about doctor bills, insurance companies love to avoid payment. That's the main reason i have to put this bike on layaway, cause I ruined my credit score trying to pay dr bills. The dental insurance is just as bad. I think the government should force insurance to pay 100% after the $20-$25 copay and all the premiums we pay. Then everybody could afford their dream bike, be healthier overall from riding, and spend less time and money at the Dr!
  • + 1
 Speaking of Doctors bills, healthcare, health insurance etc etc... come on down to NZ, it's all free (except for dental, that costs your next bike). Sure you can still go private with your healthcare if you want, but I like to think we have a pretty good free (though plenty of room for improvement, for example Hernias are no longer publicly funded), public healthcare system (even with our crappy current sellout Government).
Anyway speaking from my experience, numerous crashes, broken bones and so on, plus we do have some of the best (I like to think) trails, in the world yo!

Ride on, ride on...
  • + 1
 Well, I'm not against the idea, I'm pretty much down to live in any country as long as its not rainy all the time.
  • + 30
 Looks and sounds brilliant. Certainly one of the best looking bikes GT have made since the ball burnished Zaskar/LTS days!
  • + 2
 I need to see this thing with a coil shock.
  • + 24
 oh neat, a freeride bike
  • - 15
flag Fuglio (Sep 22, 2014 at 7:16) (Below Threshold)
 even a freeride bike is more versatile then this thing
  • + 9
 "Free ride "Shhhh don't say that or the gods of marketing will curse you !
  • + 3
 @MtHuttRider

Exactly what I was thinking. Pedals just good enough to get to the top but descends great. Except it had 650B wheels and 165mm of travel instead of 180. Yay.
  • + 4
 Is it just me or a term freeride bike can describe any bike from a hardtail to a DH sled? Or did NWD go out of grave?
  • + 2
 Traditionally seven inch bikes were freeride bikes though they started out with five inches. When I started getting into MTBing it was the RM7s ridden by Richie Schley, Simmons, Vanderham and Super T, The Stinky's Ridden by Bourdo and the Demo 7s ridden by The Claw, Hunter and Romaniac that epitomised what a freeride bike was. Kind of like a shorter travel DH bike with slightly steeper head and seat angles, higher bb and a little shorter CS. Then Rampage stopped. Dirt jumping and slopestyle got lumped in with free ride and DH bikes got lighter. I think Paul B will be the only one on a Freeride bike at Rampage.
  • + 5
 Traditional freeride bikes counldn't climb at all. They were more similar to DH bikes, with coil supension and with a simbolic saddle, only with a more playfull geo and specs. The Sanction is a hardcore, no-compromise enduro bike. You can pedal it up, but you'll need to be patient. The thing is that modern enduro bikes go down so well that freeride bikes no longer make sense, at least in some brands' rane. It's like a Specialized Enduro Evo and that old SX Trail.
  • + 2
 Ignatius- Exactly.
  • + 12
 This is just what I need. Perfect.

I'm 6'4" so a long top tube won't bother me.

I don't even care if it's a bit chunky on steep climbs, would never go for that anyway...

I want a downhill bike with a bit less travel, a lot less weight and the ability to be ridden up a hill.

Again, perfect!
  • + 1
 Maybe aside from the sizing thing you just described a freeride bike.
  • + 1
 Only that Freeride Bikes tend to weigh the same as a Downhill Bike.
  • + 3
 Freeride Bikes mated with Trail Bikes and had Enduro Babies. Didn't you get the MEMO? ENDURO BRO!
  • + 1
 The weight thing is just a part of time change, DH bikes of today are much lighter than even 5 years ago but we still classify them as DH bikes.
  • + 12
 I would really like to see some direct comparisons to similar bikes (such as the new Nomad, Mondraker, Rallion etc in this instance) as there are probably quite a few people out there trying to decide between different similar bikes and in reviews no one seems to give direct comparisons between them. Not just this review or PinkBike, most reviews seem to avoid this.
  • + 2
 They avoid it because they rely on the companies giving them bikes to ride for those reviews (unless Pinkbike and others have a secret $200k a year test bike fund) and putting noses out of joint can cause serious problems when you next need a test bike. It's a brave publication that puts all the bikes in order, I can't imagine Dirt declaring that unless it's a Sanction, Capra or Rallon then it's just not good enough has gone down well with a great many people, but props for them on being brave.
  • + 1
 Steve Jones' et al quite opinionated opinions were a good read and an even better guide about what not to bother with.
  • + 15
 Can we have the Marzocchi review now please?
  • + 29
 I have the CR350 on test at the moment. Only had a couple of rides on it so far, so it's a little way off yet.
  • + 5
 any sign of a 350 NCR Ti test?? Wink
  • + 5
 You mean the Manitou, right ?
  • + 2
 Yes Marz test please!!! I'm about to build up a 27.5 Nomad and can't decide between the Marz and the X-Fusion Metric.
  • + 4
 Zocci.
  • + 21
 Sorry , but even with the negative props, I still can`t find a Marzocchi part on this GT Sanction review...
  • + 2
 I have a 55CR, which uses pretty much the same damper and air spring as the 350, and it's outstanding. I have not ridden a Pike or Mattoc yet, but it blows the doors off of FiT and Motion Control dampers. I'm wondering if the 350 chassis will remain as stout, since it is now lighter and uses a 15mm axle.
  • + 2
 New arch design on the 350 is supposed to be super stiff. Looking forward to hearing a review on the ncr..
  • + 4
 Haha I meant the 380 and Moto review. Levy has had them since August last year...
  • + 1
 @pdxkid: I was in the same boat a few weeks ago for a new fork for my 2014 Slash 8 and went with the metric. Never rode the Marz, but I can tell you that the upgrade in downhill performance to my bike from the POS Fox 34 was unbelievable. Elevated my riding and confidence to a whole new level before even coming close to dialing it in. Now that it's dialed, it might just be dangerous cause I'm riding faster and going bigger than is have ever previously imagined possible on that bike. I was planning on getting a dedicated dh sled before I got the metric--now, I don't see a need to. You won't be disappointed with a metric.

Dear pinkbike, please confirm with a review.
  • + 1
 Thank you @loamydog! I tire of all the bikeshop guys and industry guys and Santa Cruz guys simply saying get the Pike or 36. I want to be different! AND, I don't want another Fox fork anytime soon!!!
  • + 1
 Anytime @pdxkid. I'm so happy with the fork that I just want others to experience my joy as well. With the same lowers as the x-fusion dh fork, tons of adjustability, superb damping, and a 20 mm axle, I don't know why I've only seen one other metric at the park this summer. It certainly seems to be the only dh oriented single crown in the sea of "enduro" and "trail" forks.
  • + 13
 Wheres the spartan review
  • + 40
 King Leonidas is currently still getting the laps in on it, so expect to see it in a few weeks.
  • + 6
 Wow, sick bike. so a nomad/slash doesn't climb much better? That's a bit of a surprise as I've heard the nomad climbs quite good(espclly@27-28lbs). I know the slash climbs sprightly, as I ride one with fox dcrv.
Now for a reign vs slash vs nomad: 160-165 shootout please!
  • + 3
 I currently ride a Nomad that comes in at 27.4 lbs. and has the monarch plus in the back. When placed in trail or climb mode my nomad climbs exceptionally well. I had recently traded in a Bronson for my Nomad and I can honestly say that they are comparable in the climbs as long as you have firmed up the shock. The only issue i had was getting used to holding down the front end on the super steep grinds up, But that only took a few rides to compensate for. As far as the "pop" they claim it lacks in is untrue. When slamming the pedals to get over a tough boulders (agian if in climb mode) the nomad lurches right up the thing no worse then my late bronson or stumpy .
  • - 1
 Maybe the light/floppy front end of most new 65ha bikes is what he's referring to.
Ya I struggled to keep mach6 front end down during demo-tired of that reak quick. (Shortish tt/slack st didn't help)
That's why I'm very interested in the reign w/the 46deg offset pike(which will be available to non giants owners once that contract exp)
  • + 6
 IMHO, the bottom bracket doesn't float, the frame floats. Most of your weight on a bike acts through the feet, hence the bottom bracket is the point of reference.
  • - 3
 Except that they frame is connected to the wheels which are touching the ground...
  • + 3
 err. the wheels are suspended from the frame at both ends....
  • + 0
 Yes! This! With the rearward travel is relative to the center of mass.
  • + 0
 to clarify, I agree with blehed, not so much with minipinner
  • + 1
 If the ground is not the point of reference then the word 'floating' is meaningless. It just becomes a 'moving' bb or frame in your case. If you ignore the front fork then the frames position relative to the ground is fixed whereas the bb can move hence the term floating.
  • + 8
 What's with the road cassette in the first pic?
  • + 45
 Leg day...
  • + 4
 i quite like the appeal of a "workhorse" enduro bike. non carbon, no internal cables etc.

The "expert" spec on this bike sucks though in my opinion and thats the only full build GT have released over here so far which is disappointing. Id certainly consider a fox 36 / sram x1 spec version.

no doubt like every other bike in the uk the photo will show enve wheels but these wont be included in the price or even an option (Yeti SB6, SC nomad etc) Frown
  • + 3
 Yeah, come on UK importer the expert version with the white paint job and lowish spec is not what I want to spend my money on - let us have the pro version with full XT and a Fox 36 fork.
  • + 4
 Order a frame only. I did
  • + 1
 u can't get a complete in NA so they say
  • + 1
 They don't advertise frame only in the UK but you can get it. Well at least you could, won't be surprised if they are sold out as only limited numbers were being brought in. March delivery though. Now I just need to get fit....
  • + 4
 "The two more interesting questions are how it sprints when the suspension is left open"

tell us how it climbs with close Fox Float x CTD?

if its climb weel, and you have remote CTD, its the best Enduro Race bike, no?
  • + 3
 I was at Crankworx and rode the Namad, Reign, Slash, Enduro and Sanction. After riding them for 3 days straight I came back home and ordered the GT. I will be using it for races only. The article is spot on. I'd say it climbs better then the article states. I would rank them for climbing in this order. Spec Enduro, Reign Sanction Nomad, Slash
  • + 1
 u didn't take out an altitude or range c1? they both climb amazing an way better then a reign
  • + 3
 I was at Crankworx and rode the, Nomad, Reign, Enduro, Slash and Sanction. I came home and ordered the GT. I plan on using it as a race only bike. The article is spot on. I'd rate them in the climbing area like this :

Spec Enduro, Reign
Sanction
Nomad, Slash
  • + 1
 what wheel size enduro? and what about your downhill rating? guess the Sanction wins?
  • + 4
 Been on a range, nomad, reign,slayer, an the gt feels like a dh sled. It may feel a bit tougher for the climb but the others don't compare on the down. Live in whistler don't ride park everything in the valley
  • + 1
 How does the range stack up with the nomad and reign jackross ?
  • + 13
 The Range can climb steep tech an ride down with 100% confidence feels more like a big bike (my wife has one and 3 of her friends bought them after trying hers, big game changer for them) I jump on her sz small bike an it feels like a mini dh
The Nomad can out climb the Range in handling but doesn't feel as fluid on the down.
The Reign doesn't feel as good in tech climbing or down. The low price point use to make it a very affordable buy for what you got (I had one)
The Slayer rides all tech almost as good as nomad feels better then the nomad on the downs and good in the air.
The GT is a bit more workout on the climbs but on the downs its incomparable feels like a dh so smooth and tracks amazing. I took all the bikes to medium sized dirt jumps and none compared to the GT in handling an feel in the air and i don't ride jumps.
  • + 3
 Nice man thanks for the reply
  • + 2
 I assume u rode 2015 reign?
  • + 2
 Yes they were all 2015 high spec'd
  • + 1
 good stuff. have you tried a Spartan or rune v2?
  • + 2
 two buddies of mine have runes an love them, they shred pretty hard. haven't been on that Devinci
  • + 1
 cheers. the only 2 I've tried so just curious
  • + 1
 good info, all you need is jekyll, capri and enduro 27.5 and you've got more or less the full sweet of 160mm fun bikes. nice to read impartial points of view to.
  • + 1
 I want to try out a Canyon but none around here
  • + 1
 I've ridden the Spartan and the rear end on it is really plush. On technical climbs it was better than the GT Sanction. Unfortunately the Pike on the Spartan either wasn't broken in yet or simply broken, because it felt like a rigid fork. The Fox Float on the Sanction made for a much more fun downhill experience. I think with the right fork, either bikes would be simply sublime, with a slight edge to the Spartan for overall goodness, with the Sanction a slightly better rock garden descender.
  • + 1
 Must've been something wrong w the pike. Really liked it on the spartan demo I tried. That bike could plow or pop. Touch more plow w the rune and a lil less pop. 27.5 fits in the 26 dropouts so I'll be doing that instead of 27.5 dropouts. Really rips from turn to turn w the short CS. Like a mini dh in slack setting. Didn't get to climb enough on the spartan to really compare but seemed fine. Not an xc but mush wasn't/isn't a big issue w either
  • + 2
 Would be interesting to see this tested back to back with the Ralleon and Capra, which are also claimed to be out and out Enduro machines. I expect the Sanction will win on burliness, as it made out of good old fashioned aluminium.
  • + 1
 So is the Rallon.
  • + 1
 Would be interesting to build up a Sanction with the same build as a Capra Pro (except the rear shock, presumably the Float X is a deliberate choice to work best with the suspension) and do a side by side
  • + 4
 I spent over two hours just yesterday scouring the internet for reviews on this bike. Great timing on the piece. Thanks!
  • + 4
 I fully expect a carbon copy next season. And with Maes on it, we could well see the youngest EWS stage winner yet.
  • + 1
 Not so sure...no carbon fury, and its been very successful. Gt uses light al...i hope so tho
  • + 0
 light al ???
  • + 1
 7075? AL FURY lighter than prev carbon fury for example. Trek uses similiar, thin wall Al
  • + 1
 Ahh thin walls,not exactlly light aluminium.Just less of it.Might be ok for a race bike but not something i'd want in the real world.
  • + 1
 But isn't the wc the ultimate testing grounds? Ok how about rampage (k.strait)?
Lol, 7075 is strong. Maybe the higher cost limits its use?
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/7075_aluminium_alloy
  • + 1
 @mikelevy great review on the sanction. Really can't wait for mine to come. I have already pre ordered mine although it is the slightly lower spec that comes in at rrp £2500. I have chose the medium as I'm 5" 8. I know the bike has a fairly long TT so though it would be ideal. However a mate of mine thinks I should have gone for the large know. Was just wondering if you have a better idea as you've tested the bike and think you went for a M. My local bike shop I have ordered one thinks I'm the kind of height at 5"10 you can go both ways really. Think the bike is realised to the UK January 31st next year so I will perhaps have time to make a decision just before the race season starts. Thanks.
  • + 2
 I'm 5'8" and I spend a day on a Medium. It's perfect. Look at the reach specs; the medium is super long. Much, much longer than any of the other bikes in this category; Nomadish bikes.
  • + 1
 Alright cheers for the advice. Good to have some opinions. Will have a look at the reach specs know!
  • + 1
 I'm 5'9'' and I purposefully got a L Nomad even though I've always ridden a M so it would have a long TT like the Sanction and the geos are almost identical
  • + 1
 My lbs says gt sanction 5th November he will get it and can do it for 2250
  • + 1
 Yeah it was meant to be in production around that time so I thought. But apparently they have moved the production time back to January. For 2500 my lbs are including a reverb stealth and a zee brake set. As it comes without a dropper and shimano deore as stock.
  • + 1
 Good deal - I'm doing frame only as I've got a nice custom build I want to transfer - frame only is 1500 (but I think the frame only comes with a better, or at least shinier, shock than the Sanction Expert). Zee brakes are good but I managed to break the levers (quite soft metal it turned out), replaced the levers with Saints which are much nicer tbh
  • + 1
 Yeah its fairly decent Smile ! Think its 1500 for frame. Comes with the kashima coating rather than the standard grey. Ive run zee brakes on my dh bike for some time know. I haven't had any real problem as yet (touch wood)
  • + 1
 The complete bike build in the UK could do with a better spec. I'm undecided between the GT Sanction and the Specialized Enduro Elite 650b. More leaning towards the specialized because of my short legs. I find it hard to get my ass behind the saddle...
  • + 1
 Your telling me, I have this decision to make as well! With the banshee dark side and Dartmoor wish frames coming into play
  • + 1
 its wheelbase is longer than many downhill bikes out there Then successfully omit the wheelbase from the geo chart. It's like that donut in the classifieds who lists their bike without the size. Rookie.
  • + 2
 Great review, thanks PB!
I've been looking at this bike as a potential "quiver killer" in the future, but it seems like it might be a slight (and only slight) miss for me.
  • + 3
 Weight????
  • + 28
 How dare you ask my weight - a lady never tells!
  • + 1
 Well hopefully it's less than my 2009 sanction which is somewhere between 34 and 36 pounds! (I haven't weighed Holga since getting new tires and an air shock in the back)
  • + 3
 Intended use: enduro racing

So bad I'm not racing, but riding just for fun.
  • - 4
flag Fuglio (Sep 22, 2014 at 6:03) (Below Threshold)
 I cant wait for the enduro phase to be over
  • + 19
 I can't wait for enduro hating to be over, it's a lame fad that has thankfully mostly died its lonely death in Europe.
  • + 20
 I don't get it. This review, and GT, make no mistakes about the intended use of the bike. And, judging from this review, it performs admirably well within the confines of GT's intended use for the bike.

If that isn't the way you ride, then don't buy it.

What's the problem here?
  • + 3
 What's with the DH cassette on an Enduro bike? would love to see this thing climb with a short ratio cassette
  • + 2
 Did Commencal not have a bike just like this 6 years ago albeit 26" wheels, The mini dh, and didn't the Athertons use them? Just saying...
  • + 2
 Commencal supreme racing. Still in my stable, still in use. 160mm bottomless feeling rear. Not really a climber because of minions and boxcer.
  • + 3
 manitou should make a black and yellow version for this AWESOME bike
  • + 3
 Nothing to say about the Manitou?
  • + 3
 There is a link to the Mattoc review they did on this bike. Pretty good review on the fork. www.pinkbike.com/news/manitou-mattoc-pro-review-2014.html
  • + 1
 Reading comprehension is severely lacking on this site.
"omg the red forks r ugly!" Its been pointed out numerous times that this bike is a custom build kit on it.
  • + 2
 Wow. A pinkbike first. ... enve wheelset that doesn't blow up. Saints be praised
  • + 2
 I'm not hating on the Mattoc, but the clearance between the arch and tyre looks tighter than a nuns vagina!
  • + 1
 Bear in mind the sheer size of those Contis. Hopefully it wouldn't be so tight on another tyre.
  • + 2
 But I was looking foward to the Manitou and Enve build kit Frown
  • + 1
 The only Sanctions I see advertised are frame + shock. Does anyone know if GT are going to offer a complete build?
  • + 1
 Nicolas Cage movie with a deep, meaningful plot: Joe.
There's way too many mid travel mistresses...
  • + 1
 I can't believe nobody has said this yet... this bike is actually ENDURO SPECIFIC! Razz
  • + 2
 Comparison to Mondraker Dune?
  • + 2
 Two very different bikes... The Dune has a very different feeling to it at first, enough so that many riders will find it a bit odd until they do a number of days on it, while the GT feels more traditional, even with the bike's long TT and short stem combo. The Dune can be ridden in more of a "plow bike" kind of way, and it probably feels a touch more forgiving in the crazy steeps due to the more drastic geometry. Here's a link to the Dune review: www.pinkbike.com/news/Mondraker-Dune-XR-Review.html
  • + 1
 Tnx I read your Dune review and few weeks after I bought one... I have 30mm stem on my Dune so it is a little different to the one you tested. I'm completely sold to long front center geometry style... new Orange Alpine should be another bike worth trying.
  • + 1
 Mike, do you know why the geometry numbers are different here vs the GT site? Eg for the large you have the TT at 630mm, whereas on the gt site they say it's 614mm
  • + 1
 Good lookin' bike, but I'm still in love with my RUCKUS!! Proudly Ruckus FS and HT owner here!! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Ruckus dj? Sick lookin frame, I've got one awaiting a build Smile
  • + 1
 Any chance of a comparison to the T275?
  • + 1
 The t275 is not a long front center bike/not forward geo. Tighter cockpit, quick handling, bars kinda feel highish...works good for lopes!
  • + 1
 Damm that red fork is ugly.
  • + 1
 Does @mikelevy wear a Specialized carbon Dissident helmet? Nice.
  • + 1
 Yes he does.
  • + 1
 Looks like a fun bike. I'm curious how the new Manitou stuff feels as well
  • + 1
 Ha thanks but I'm more interested in how it feels in real life
  • + 1
 Please give me the tires.
  • + 1
 Nice ride! Where it is possible to buy frame+shock only?
  • + 5
 A GT dealer.
  • + 1
 What size do you recommand for a 6' tall rider??? Large???
  • + 1
 What size do you recommand for a 6' tall rider???? Large????
  • + 1
 What size is this frame, and how tall is the tester?
  • + 2
 The frame is a medium, and I'm 5'10-ish.
  • + 1
 What size frame do you use?
  • + 1
 Medium.
  • + 1
 It is the perfect bike. A good tool for freeride-enduro.
  • + 0
 That's the most retarded pink bikes take ive read.
  • + 0
 You had me until red fork...
  • + 8
 I ride mountain bikes. I'm not participating in a fashion show that takes place in the woods.
  • + 2
 @hllclmbr, that's fair and I will usually pick function over form... but it's also not wrong to like the way what you're riding/wearing looks.
  • + 1
 Just wonderful
  • - 3
 I dont get that rear suspension. If the bottom bracket is going to move why not just put it on the swing arm and save some weight. Either case your bottom bracket is going move which would suck, at least I think it would.
  • + 0
 its to prevent chain growth
  • + 5
 if you put it on the swingarm, your sus will essentially switch off every time you stand up. not great for a bike designed for ragging down hills on. I believe this effect will still be there somewhat on this bike, but FAR less so than on old URT designs
  • - 2
 put a Fox 36 Kashima, Enve M90 wheels to be sure it's solid, and finally: shut up and take my money
  • + 6
 Would have been better with a Mavic Crossmax.
  • - 1
 Wires everywhere!
  • - 2
 well those forks look rank...
  • + 2
 is rank good or bad?
  • + 2
 Rank is bad. It originally described a bad smell. Very English term.
  • - 3
 No mention of the Manitou fork?? Why not just buy a used Fury and slap on a single-crown fork and some more gears? :-)
  • + 3
 Fury frame weighs significantly more, the head angle would be wayyy slack for an all mountain/enduro rig etc.
  • + 1
 There is a link to the Mattoc Pro review in the article, but here it is again: www.pinkbike.com/news/manitou-mattoc-pro-review-2014.html

And a robbonzo pointed out, the Fury is an entirely different animal.
  • + 2
 what about Sanction with closed CTD?
  • + 1
 Tongue in cheek, anyone?
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.091385
Mobile Version of Website