Now THAT Was a Bike: 1995 GT LTS

Jan 30, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  



Mountain bike technology was advancing at a blistering pace in the mid- to late-1990s. The number of anodized components on the market was at an all-time high, but there was a lot more going on than a bunch of shiny purple parts. In just a few short years, cantilever brakes were quickly replaced by V-brakes, and the widespread acceptance of disc brakes was just around the corner. Front suspension, once decried as being an insult to the purity of the sport, became increasingly common, and companies large and small were trying out a wide range of new full suspension designs, some successful, others not so much.



GT LTS Details
• Wheel size: 26"
• 100mm travel
• Head angle: 69.7°
• 6061 aluminum frame, ti rocker link
• 424.4mm chainstays
• Frame sizes: 14.5", 16", 18", 20"

GT was right there in the mix, and the LTS, which made its racing debut underneath Nico Vouilloz in 1995, soon became one of the most sought-after bikes of that era. Steve Peat, Mike King, Hans Rey; a veritable who's who of mountain biking's greats spent time aboard various iterations of the LTS and the STS, the aluminum-lugged thermoplastic version.


GT LTS
The first generation LTS frames used an investment cast titanium rocker link. The advent of disc brakes was still a few years away, so hydraulic rim brakes were the only option for riders looking for increased stopping power over cantilever brakes.


Development

The LTS was preceded by the RTS, which had a scant 2.5” of travel that felt like even less, due to the fact that pedaling caused the shock to extend, giving the bike a 'locked-out' feel under power. There were still plenty of skeptics when it came to full-suspension, and the RTS was designed to appeal to the hardtail holdouts. Riders looking for plush, active travel would have to wait.

Given the success of the RTS, when other companies began releasing longer travel options the logical idea was to simply create an RTS with more travel. As Jim Busby Jr., GT's suspension engineer, soon discovered, that was easier said than done.

“Whichever way he approached the kinematics, it just wouldn’t work. To make the rocker larger and to control the anti-squat with 100mm of rear wheel travel proved impossible. The RTS was, for all intents and purposes, over. It could not get past 65 mm of travel without very strange things happening,” says Mark Peterman, who at the time was a product manager working closely with Busby (his current title is Vice President / Asia Sourcing for Cycling Sports Group).


GT RTS
The GT RTS, the model that the LTS ended up replacing.

With the RTS off the table, Busby shifted his attention and began working on a new suspension design, one that would be more active, rather than locking out under power. According to Mark Peterman, “If you had never met Jim Jr. at the zenith of his powers, he was like a crazed oracle that would rush into a room, make a pronouncement, and then rush out leaving the rest of us to look at each other and then fake to each other that we knew exactly what he was talking about.

“Later we would sneak into one another’s offices and say in hushed tones, 'Did you really get what Jim was saying?...Dude….I have no idea'... and then we knew we were screwed because ultimately we had to take his revelatory vision and actually commercialize it into a real product that could be sold with confidence at a reasonable price.”


GT LTS
GT were one of the first companies to produce full-suspension bikes overseas, but the development and initial production of the LTS took place in California.


With the help of GT's in-house aluminum welding and CNC capabilities, the LTS began to take shape, morphing from a cobbled-together mule into a much more refined product. The suspension layout is a modified version of a Horst Link design (GT paid Specialized a licensing fee), with the rear pivots located on the chainstay, below the rear axle.

Initially available as a frame only, the first frames had a titanium upper link, and came with a Fox Alps 4 air shock that delivered 4" (100mm) of travel. That shock didn't offer much in the way of adjustability, and GT soon began spec'ing a coil-sprung RockShox on the higher end models, while the more entry-level LTS-3 received an elastomer sprung offering. The LTS picture here, which resides in GT's Connecticut headquarters, has one of the early frames, although the parts spec isn't entirely correct. However, it is a good representation of what a complete bike from that era would have looked like.


Nico Vouilloz piloted an LTS to a World Cup win in Cap d'Ail in 1995, and beat out Shaun Palmer to take home another World Champs victory aboard a thermoplastic version in 1996. **Note: video contains a brief moment of NSFW material in the introduction.


The 1997 LTS took things a step further, and in addition to having two settings that allowed for either 3.7” or 4.7” of travel, it also had a trunion mounted, coil sprung shock that allowed the bottom bracket height to be raised or lowered. 1999 was the final year of the LTS' existence; its replacement was the I-drive, another Jim Busby creation.

The LTS was well received, but the bane of its existence were the bushings used for each of the eight pivots. They were chosen due to their lighter weight, and lower cost, but they ended up causing headaches for shops and customers alike due to the incessant squeaking that developed as they begin to wear. It wasn't long before most major mountain bike manufacturers began adopting sealed cartridge bearings for their pivots, save for a few exceptions, a trend that continues today.

Nearly 25 years have passed since Jim Busby Jr. began working on the LTS, but the basic principles behind the design are still relevant, which isn't the case for many of the other full suspension designs from that era. In fact, take look at 2018's hottest bikes and you'll find a number of models with coil sprung, trunnion mounted shocks, adjustable geometry, and suspension that's designed to remain active while pedaling, a clear indication that the LTS truly was ahead of its time.



Photos courtesy of GT Bicycles / Jake Hamm


184 Comments

  • + 51
 I had one that my dad bought new in 95/96. Did a bunch of work on it converting to 1x and disc brakes and a bunch of other stuff (in the process pretty much killing any value) but it made for a great riding bike back in the mid-late 00's.

I even had a 9-32 9 speed cassette on there.
  • + 85
 Here are a couple photos: imgur.com/a/VEaSR
  • + 5
 I broke 2 of them!
  • + 7
 @makripper: You obviously ride harder than either me or my dad. My friend still has it (although it gets ridden about once a year, he just wanted it as it was his dream growing up) and it is still yet to fail.
  • + 8
 You had a 9-32 cassette 10 years ago?
any pics? or a description of how you did it?
  • + 2
 @G-A-R-Y: I was wondering the same thing.
  • + 7
 I had the sts dh with hainebrink 8" upside down bat fastard forks, was some bike back then..
  • + 14
 @G-A-R-Y: It is a modified Shimano Capreo cassette, Capreo is a small wheel specific groupset.

The company I work for makes recumbents with 20" rear wheels so to get the big top gear needed without resorting to massive 60 tooth chainrings we took the 9-26 shimano capreo cassette and replace some of the larger rings with rings from another cassette.

The Shimano Capreo hub isn't disc compatible and the cassette doesn't fit a standard freehub body so we have a compatible disc hub custom made by Taiwanese hub manufacturer Chosen. I just built one of those hubs into a 26" wheel and voila, you can see the cassette in the second picture. Unfortunately over the best part of 10 years and numerous new computers I don't have any more pictures but you can learn more than any sane person could ever need to know about capreo here: www.sheldonbrown.com/capreo.html
  • + 1
 @G-A-R-Y: Think Sunrace made something with a 9 tooth. My brother had one. I could be completely wrong about the brand, but he did have one. Required a big jump though, like 11 to 15 or something. That's a big jump in those gears.
  • + 3
 @Patrick9-32: hucks to flat and being 14 will do it! Hahha
  • + 2
 @Patrick9-32: Thanks Partick. I worked with a few bikes that had Capreo gearing when it was new(ish) and thought at the time it was a shame there were no mtb disc hubs in the groupset. Don't suppose you still have any of those Chosen hubs left?
  • + 2
 @makripper: yeah, I broke my 95 team a few times but I still must have loved it because I bought a thermoplastic one in probably 98 and another aluminum one in 99. Never liked the thermoplastic one, just never felt right but I loved the next next aluminum one. Go figure
  • + 1
 Makes me want to build up an Evil Wreckoning with triple crank, 12-26 cassette and Manitou EFC fork
  • + 4
 I loved that bike. I realize time marches on but I probably had more fun on that bike than any other I've owned. I checked eBay every once in a while for one, thinking about building one up for nostalgic reasons...
  • + 4
 @jonpendray: man I wanted an sts with boxxers so bad!!
  • + 5
 @Patrick9-32:
Capreo! And SRAM pretend like XD is something new and clever!
  • + 1
 Awesome rebuild!
  • + 21
 Thanks for the blast from the past.

I began my transition from BMX to MTBs (after a couple year hiatus from bikes) while in college with a 1992 GT Karakoram (I think a buddy still has that bike...). I knew GT well from my BMX days so it was natural to consider their MTBs at the time. I rode this shit out of that Karakoram at Patapsco State Park while first attending Catonsville Community College and then UofMD.

After graduation and with a decent paying job, I bought a 1994 GT RTS1. What a piece of shit that was as was the Noleen shock. The Mag21 performed well for the day and that's when Syncros was bling. I, too, rode the shit out of that bike at Patapsco and other trails up and down the EC for a couple of years.

When I laid eye on the LTS, I knew I had to have one. I waited until '96 to get a LTS1 and was glad to get the RS rear shock but always regretted not picking-up a '97. The LTS was a huge upgrade from the RTS although I always likes the aesthetics of the RTS better. I rode the LTS for a number of years before losing interest (motos were taking up my time) and selling.

While the bikes are no longer, I did stumble upon my old Ritchey clipless pedals (red) and Nike Poobah clipless shoes and Answer neon gloves while home over the holidays. Much like this article, they brought back found memories of my first foray into MTB.

Thanks for the great article, @mikekazimer! It was another stroll down memory lane.
  • + 17
 Love this. GT were so cool back then. Escially with Hans Ray and the Zaskar bikes. Bike/component graphics were awesome in general, from Kona's awesome paintjobs to Marzocchi's awesome bright bomber forks. Gary Fisher had some cool names and bikes too
  • + 5
 I manged the GT team in Canada and still look back fondly on how cool the bikes were...until I ride one and remember just how much they really sucked. The worst was the Zaskar, it was so stiff that you needed a chiropractor after every ride. I truly think that you could almost buy a better bike at Walmart than what we raced on in the early Norba days. They old makes make get wall hangers, to be looked at but not ridden.
  • + 1
 @bikes4kids: you got downvoted, but I totally agree with you. I don't look fondly on those shitty old bikes, I rode them and remember putting hairspray on my rims so the brakes would work. And just seeing the word "elastomers" makes me sick to my stomach - just the goddamn worst. It's ok to admit they sucked, it's like laughing at yourself; especially since bikes nowadays are so good. I feel nostalgia for BMX bikes (Eddie Fiola mofos!) and cars and all that, but for some reason those old mountain bikes just make me cringe. .
  • + 0
 @bikes4kids: hahahaaa, so true about the Zaskar being ultra stiff, 20 years later my back still hurts!
  • + 16
 "The suspension layout is a modified version of a Horst Link design (GT paid Specialized a licensing fee),"

CORRECTION..... Specialized didn't buy the patent until Amp Research decided to get out of manufacturing bicycles around 1998, and part of the reason they sold it to them was because companies like GT refused to pay after they'd been using the horst-link on their bikes for years. Amp didn't have the money for lawyers to enforce the patent properly but well... guess who did... this is also why GT developed the I-drive linkage at about this time period.
  • + 9
 They did end up paying a licensing fee at some point during the LTS' existence, but you're right, it was AMP that held the patent before Specialized.
  • + 1
 You're always on the money
  • + 16
 GT LTS /STS thermoplastic carbon fiber was the coolest bike (to me) in 96; it was my dream bike at that time. I was a teenager who fell in love with MTB. At the same year, there was trek Y carbon frame, foes LTS, and intense m1 came out a year or two later that kick some serious ass. Best era of MTB ever.
  • + 4
 You weirdly have the same memories as me. Could you also be 38?
Just checked. Yup. haha.
  • + 2
 @n1ck:
I'm turning 38 in few months for real. Jeez... What the heck...lol
  • + 2
 @DrJean:
Your gt lots looks awesome
  • + 1
 @DrJean: saweeeet bike mate tup
  • + 15
 I need to go to france where girls are nude even at the bakery and where accordion music rythmes the life. Funny (?) stereotypes...
  • + 10
 Buddy of mine broke his LTS and had it at Seven Springs Nationals in '96, 97 or 98, not sure which year. They actually warrantied it (sorta). Tore his LTS down, put all his parts on a Small Lobo frame and the turd was so poorly thought out that the tire bottomed on the shock/linkage on bigger hits.

Can you imagine a design so stupidly thought out at this point that would hit the linkage & shock?

Hit the GREEN ARROW on this comment if you raced bikes in the 90's and broke a frame...of any kind. Actually, don't. Don't know if Pinkbike's counter will display a # that large.
  • + 2
 Had a lobo, got faster as soon as I sold it.
And was that Scott McLain who broke LTS?
  • + 1
 @bizutch--Ahhh it was 1999 when I cracked the chainstay on my beloved 1993 Bridgestone MB-1--Tange Ritchey Logic Tubing. Not as bad as the notorious Ritchey P-23, P-22, and P-21s.
  • + 1
 @sinatorj: Herndon. But McClain probably did too. He was a f-ing linebacker on a bike!
  • + 9
 The LTS that Vouilloz was riding in that video is the LTS DH. It doesn’t seem to get much recognition for its geometry. Which was forward thinking for its time. It was one of the first DH bikes that had a slacker HT & ST angle.
  • + 6
 My teenage brain remembers an article in Mountain Bike where Busby was saying they showed up with the new geometry and everyone laughed their asses off at them, then they rode them around in the carpark and all of a sudden freshly welded frames showed up at the next NORBA round.
  • + 13
 Finally a bike with GEO to make @vernonfelton happy
  • + 1
 69° HA that's about what I had on my 2008 Trance when I did my come back on a mountain bike... I thought they would be like 72 or something. Not that bad for real...
  • + 12
 All ways wanted one of those, instead I ended up with a proflex.... bring back elastomer!!!
  • + 3
 Oh man. That thing was horrible. Not as bad as the trek y bikes though.
  • + 4
 @onemanarmy: My boss still rides a proflex. He likes it, flex stem and all.
  • + 4
 I had a 97 Beast. It seemed so glorious back then. Now, not so much...
  • + 3
 I miss my proflex!
  • + 2
 Damn I loved my 855. 3.5 inches of plush elastomer travel mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  • + 1
 @Patrick9-32: That's even more O.G. than my Azonic DS-1 with a Jr. T.
  • + 2
 @Mr-Simply: Kids these days.... so spoiled. My first DS race bike had 80mm of travel up front. None in the back. Kept it locked out on some courses. Full rigid. LOL!

I don't know wtf I'm gonna do with the 150mm/160mm bike I'm building now.
  • + 4
 @onemanarmy: you're gonna fuking love it!
  • + 3
 @Layman: Beast!!! Oh mann I remember the name but....!? Was it black and yellow? Or that was an Animal? K2 Animal? Jesus, that is too long ago, I don't remember! lol


I just remember that I was really young and dreaming about having any of those bike (proflex, GT, Foes, San Adreas, etc) when looking at mtn bike action!! Smile
  • + 1
 @lightsgetdimmer: Gonna be a while before I even deserve to ride the damned thing.
  • + 7
 Watching that footage reminds me how things have come full circle on downhill racing. Nico riding with gloves but no knee pads instead of kneepads but no gloves, clipless pedals, and a downhill track that looks like the one coming up in Lošinj, Croatia.
  • + 7
 I had a '97 LTS-3 with a 96 RS Judy DH fork. The '97 LTS-3 used the original LTS link like the one shown. I loved that bike. Rode it for decades, racing both XC and DH on it in the late nineties. I even took it on a trip to Whiteface for some real DH action in 2011 after taking a hiatus from biking. Realized at that time how far biking technology has improved. I still made it down the mountain on it. I have since sold it off to buy more parts but I sometimes wish I had kept it.
  • + 1
 I rode my 98 Foes weasel with a monster T gazzolodis on it at whiteface in 2010 guys thought i was riding one of those old timey big wheeled bikes down the mtn. Also realized how far mtbn had progressed. Still have the weasel but think it is time to let it go
  • + 6
 As a kid, I saved all possible Burger King and car wash wages for a GT RTS-1. My LBS couldn't keep enough LTS' in stock after the GT team riders were putting that bike on the map...plus it was outside my price range. Plenty of RTS though within a year's reach for me!

People say the RTS-1 rode like crap but coming off a Sears Roadmaster "MTB" it was a friggin' Mercedes!
  • + 5
 I had the RTS back in 94 or so. When I moved to Vancouver in 98 from Calgary I took the bike with me. It handled the progression from UBC Endowment lands to the Delta Watershed to Simon Fraser pretty well... ...then I took it to the North Shore and totally bent the rear triangle on my third ride. No replacement parts. After that, I took about 12 years off mountain biking. True story.
  • + 2
 Man, the first ride after the hiatus must have been a shock to the system... The first ride of the spring is always rough enough!
  • + 9
 DCD - daves chain device. Awesome. That is all!
  • + 3
 My friend and I both had one. He had one with a rubber wheel that operated silently. I had the nylon wheel which gave an annoying whirring noise. Still loved it.
  • + 7
 Seems like I remember thinking this was one of the most expensive bikes ever...topping out at our LBS at like $2,100usd...dang those were the days...
  • + 5
 My first real mountain bike was a '98 LTS. I absolutely loved that bike! It pedaled much better than many of the active suspension designs of the day. Mine had marzocchi oil bath/coil sprung forks which were super plush. I hammered that bike for years and still have it. The suspension is completely blown out but otherwise the frame and wheels are in good shape.
  • + 5
 This was the first bike I really lusted over. Boner alert. Then the carbon one came out and my 16 year old self nearly exploded . Which is ironic , as that's what the frame also did.
  • + 9
 Looks like a session
  • + 4
 I recently rebuilt my GT LTS. I bought it I was 17 and spent all the money I made working summer jobs. Friends said I should have bought a used car...but this was way better!

m.vitalmtb.com/community/mtnrush666,14202/setup,34234
  • + 5
 Nice throwback--but c'mon this was my era and no one was still rocking toe-clips by '95--at this point, SPDs were a few years old and OnZa, Time, LOOK and others had clipless out there.
  • + 4
 Flip chip! I remember I raced this bad boy 32 miles XC Saturday at Hillsboro Classic NH, then flipped the chip and raced DH at the Big Old Mountain Bike BOMB series race Sunday River on Sunday. Broke at least 4 of them including STS at Lynn Woods. Love that bike!
  • + 3
 Alloy GT's of the era (and on the BMX side, Robinsons and some Powerlites) are so damn attractive to me. This just showed up on my local Craigslist:

philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/d/robinson-pro-mid-school-bmx/6476764869.html

I'm having the damndest time not buying it. I have no use for a BMX bike.
  • + 3
 At the 1996 Norba nationals at Mammoth mtn. I took a picture of Toby Hendersons GT LTS with a broken seat tube above the top tube with the rear linkage just hanging there... This after a run down the infamous Kamakaze downhill.. t Was hanging out watching bike trials., and he comes riding through.. those were the halcyon days for sure
  • + 3
 The manager at the bike shop I used to work at around ~'94 had one of these. So I always thought losers rode them. Haha. Because I was a badass with my steel hardtails. That guys LTS was seriously pimped out, though. It was lighter than my hardtail at the time. He rode at least a size up from me, maybe 2, so I never rode the bike. It was cool to look at, though.
  • + 3
 My best mate got left some money and blew it all on a LTS. He had it for a couple of months then left it outside a flower shop while he went in to get his girlfriend flowers and some scally nicked it. It still brings him to tears now, better not show him this article !
  • + 3
 in the late 90,s i had a ddg bouncer with a pace 52 teeth chainring of a racer!!! lol, we used to go a place called croft hill in leicestershire and pedal as fast as we could go,, 40mph was as fast as any of us could ever get on the old cateye bike computer,my mate had a rigid claud butler and toe clip pedals he crashed and did 3 front flips still attached to his bike , some how only twisting his ancle pretty bad . the 90.s were amasing, stevepeat, sprung video,tim poniting,crawford carrick anderson,mint sauce,,ahhhh the memorys
  • + 6
 The writing on Pinkbike as a whole is solid, but these retro articles are particularly well written. Interesting stuff too.
  • + 2
 I always wanted one after seeing this when i was about 15.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apj2Uei6wt8
there is one scene at the beginning and another race between two riders at about 40mins, both riding Lts's
I never knew who the stunt riders were though, but the main guy is wearing a GT team shirt, so presumably they were both team riders when it was filmed.
  • + 2
 I had three friends who bought these when they first came out. They looked amazing and worked well for about a week. All three frames cracked within a week of riding in Whistler. GT`s answer was that they wouldn`t warranty bikes ridden in Whistler!!!
  • + 1
 Cracked my seat stay shock mount riding Mt St Anne on the LTS back in the day!
  • + 2
 Second generation LTS with trunion mount shocks... I'm having flashbacks to ordering chain-stays by the handful because the alloy would fail below the lower shock mount. Sick bikes for the time though. FIVE INCHES OF TRAVEL!
  • + 2
 I read "The advent of disc brakes was still a few years away, so hydraulic rim brakes were the only option for riders looking for increased stopping power over cantilever brakes. " and was all ready to cry foul thinking that @mikekazimer had forgotten about V-brakes. But apparently those only really started being spec'd in 96. I forgot how long I lived with cantilevers. What a shit time for bike technology...
  • + 4
 I remember those days well, V-brakes had a very short time in the limelight. As soon as they were available easily discs showed up and made them obsolete. I remember one of my friends going into the LBS to get some V's for his bike and came out empty-handed muttering something about he needed a new bike as he couldn't fit discs to his one. The rest of us rushed in to see a bike with Hope C2's front and rear. Must have been mid '96 as in '97 we were all spending our cash on cars!!
  • + 2
 @DaMilkyBarKid: the front end wasn't too bad because forks tended to have mounts but I remember some interesting adapters we ran to use C2's on the rear of our bikes.
  • + 2
 @mindmap3: I had a weekend job in a machine shop at the time and made a few myself! Saw a few frames snapped by the forces though before everyone figured out how it brace it all sufficiently. Properly good bodying times ????
  • + 2
 I had the version of that with the elastomer suspension, metallic blue it was main frame and polished rear triangle. Afraid I don't have rose tinted specs - load of rubbish like the majority of bikes back then. Best I had if that period or actually slightly before was a high single pivot Iron Horse, raw main frame anodised purple swing arm, also rubbish with hind sight.
  • + 2
 Question to the experts here: I had a GT when I was a kid from around this period. I don't have it anymore but I would love to remember what kind it was and see if there are any out there. It looked like this but it had a "rubber bushing?" for a rear shock. Anyone know which bike I'm speaking of? Thanks!
  • + 4
 GT LTS 5 iirc...entry level LTS model.
  • + 2
 @bicycle019: Awesome! Thanks! I took it up to Nelson, BC and destroyed it in the 2000s but I loved that bike.
  • + 1
 The thing that get me about these old bikes is why didn't think to lower the BB, slacken the HT and put wider bars on? None of that requires any significant evolution of suspension or components - but would have improved the ride hugely.
  • + 2
 My guess is that i the early days of MTB, brands wanted to make one bike that was globally acceptable- Did not have the mix we do today with XC, XC Trail, Trail, All Mountain, Enduro, DH... did I forget a few, probably. Back then the industry was all about innovation, today its all about iteration.
  • + 3
 What was happening is because of the lack of modern rubber compounds and tire/wheel construction that allows lots of grip in a strong lightweight package, coupled with the fact that a lot of guys were traditional cyclists, and the fact that you didn't have social media all came together in a sport where the DH courses were fairly mellow, and required A LOT more pedaling as people were slow in the corners due to both skill and tires. And because it was such a small sport compared to road cycling or motorsports, there wasn't any sort of back and forth between race organizers and new talent. So when designing bikes, they were designing them akin to modern XC FS bikes that handle more precise at slower speeds and are lighter weight, because that is what won races in the hands of the dudes that were used to pedaling. I would wager that a modern XC bike on those courses back in the day would be faster than a full on DH rig.

Once the BMX/Motorcycle crowd started paying attention, and posting their vids online, more money got infused into the sport, people started pushing the limits, speeds got faster, manufacturers adjusted.
  • + 1
 @phops: u r making some sense there
  • + 1
 @phops: Brian Lopes and Mike King changed everything.
  • + 2
 Nice insight on the RTS, no wonder nobody else used that design. They also made a chromoly steel version of the LTS, but it was the cheap low end model.

www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=267599
  • + 5
 More articles like this please!
  • + 1
 The LTS was firmly in dream bike territory in '95 when I was a snot nosed 14 year old! I'd just got my first 'proper' mountain bike, a Gary Fisher Montare complete with RockShox Quadra 21 forks after a couple of years riding and breaking cheap Halfords bikes. 95 was the year I started XC racing as well, the LTS was like looking at the future back then! Thanks for posting this, I know it's just a look back at a bike but it has brought back a lot of good memories of riding and racing as a kid.
  • + 1
 First word I thought of, looking at that bike: contraption!

Watching that video, it's amazing what those guys were doing on those contraptions. Those guys could ride! To do that same course today would require half the skill thanks to modern suspension and geometry.
  • + 3
 C'mon Gt used to be the "it" brand in soo many ways. Here in socal you were not cool without one.

Wtf happened???? Gt sux now! That is hard to say for me....
  • + 7
 Richard Long, CEO and one of the driving forces of GT was killed while riding his motorcycle up to the Big Bear NORBA nationals. The brand never really was the same after.

redkiteprayer.com/2016/07/get-it-done-remembering-richard-long

BTW I raced an LTS in '98 both XC and DH, that was an awesome bike. Desperately in need of modern pro-pedal style damping circuit for climbing due to high level of suspension activity, but really great over bumps and pointed downhill. Shop I worked at during that time did brisk business in LTS bikes and the associated pivot services and rear shock upgrades. I think Strata shock had an application for the trunion mount versions that felt better than the OEM Rock Shox Delux.
  • + 1
 @bicycle019: Yes, Stratos trunion mount coil shock, used one on a Schwinn 4 Banger.
  • + 1
 @bicycle019: Gary Turner is still building though, BMX only from what I have seen. www.gt1972.com
  • + 2
 GT is back in the game, there AOS suspension after 4 years seams like it is starting to gain traction. I have owned 2 of them, and would not buy anything else. Climbing, descending, built like a brick shit house, and a paint scheme an 8 year old would pick. Plus they just signed George Brannigan, and Tyler McCaul to the team! That’s Rad
  • + 1
 Sadly, I'm a bit late reading this article, but I still own my 95/96 LTS-2. Up until 2013, I still rode it a lot since it was the only mountain bike I owned. I've even been to Gooseberry and Moab with it. Boy, what a difference the shift to 29-inch wheels makes in locations like I previously mentioned! Now, I ride it once in awhile mostly for the memories and as a reminder how much better the technology is these days.
  • + 1
 I had an LTS 2000 and loved it. The Marzocchi forks were brilliant. The white painted front end for a crack around a pinch bolt so the shop replaced it for a lovely ball burnished one. I ended up giving it to a friend. Happy days...
  • + 1
 I had an RTS2, bought it brand new from Shockwave in Nottingham, it was shit. The rocker bent, bearings seized and shock blew itself apart. Looked great though, I stripped the hold off the rocksnox mags and hand polished them to match the front triangle.
  • + 1
 I owned a STS DH frame which looked and rode amazing. As stated the bushings were rubbish. The biggest design flaw was that as the suspension compressed it would whack the bottom of the saddle. I could never get my saddle down as low as i wanted because of this.
  • + 1
 My mother has a 1999 LTS that my old man bought her 2nd hand about 12 or so years ago. It still has the marzo Z1 bombers with BAM arch and disk mounts on both legs! Have been thinking a lot recently that it would be fun to nab it and get it ridden again. I wonder whether the rockshox rear shock could be serviced though? It pogo's like mad...
  • + 1
 I was looking at getting an LTS, when I started hearing about a new bike company that had a small underground following. The company was called Santa Cruz, and they had just released their Heckler. I had to search to find one since only one small ski shop carried them, But I quickly learned of Cambria Bike and got my dream build. Crazy to see how far things have come and changed.
  • + 2
 My first full sus bike. It brings back so many memories. I broke everything except the front triangle. The ti linkage was really expensive to replace. The rear shock used to go all the time as well. It was fun tho.
  • + 1
 Yeah I hear that! Such a twisty rear end but fun bike
  • + 1
 @makripper: it flexed like a wet noodle. But it was a great bike for the time. I remember it was pretty light tho even with Judy DH forks.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: oh man Judy dh were the best
  • + 1
 I have a 95/96 GT LTS “boomerang” which is their fist DH specific bike. Same bike but with some pretty significant changes in geometry
www.pinkbike.com/photo/13909057
  • + 1
 Nico mobbin' that shit like a boss! Spandex and no body armor what so ever. Skinny ass handlebars and clipless pedals...hahaha love it. Should have had some bar ends like the pic above though.
  • + 4
 yawn, looks like a recession
  • + 0
 Hilarious that the but the "bane of its existence were the bushings used for each of the eight pivots," yet my 2016 GT Sanction (and the Fury, I believe) still had the shitty bushings instead of bearings. Replaced with a custom link w/ bearings and all was good though.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer "GT paid Specialized a licensing fee"

From my recollection the LTS was before Spec bought the design.
  • + 2
 They may not have had to pay initially, but they did pay to use the design at some point during the LTS' lifespan.
  • + 2
 I had one. Yes, squeaky pivots. I thought was excellent climbing bike with the traction. Descending i thought it had a "Forward Pogo" feeling.
  • + 1
 Owned one too. It was my second full squish bike. Definitely remember the squeaky pivots. My first full squish bike is in my garage right now. A Giant ATX-990. Planning to restore it to its old glory.
  • + 1
 Was my first too. Lasted six years before I put BETD linkages on it (5.5" out back!) and cracks suddenly started plaguing the CSs. Really decent bike with a judy xl up front.
  • + 3
 If you urinated on the pivots during a ride break you could buy yourself 45 minutes of peace
  • + 1
 I saved long and hard and then had to wait for my STS DH to arrive from the US. Totally worth it. Absolute killer of a bike, lasted several years until I practically rode it into ground.
  • + 1
 Here's one on sale:

GT LTS Vintage 1998 full suspension frame

bicyclebuysell.com/item/375676/gt-lts-vintage-1998-full-suspension-frame

psst. Not mine. Mr seller can buy me a drink when sold.
  • + 1
 i had an 1999 LTS full XTR. its the bike that got me into riding! found it second hand in a consignment store. love at first sight. you couldnt stand and pedal without getting kicked in the rear end haha.
  • + 4
 Best commentary ever at 1:15 "marvellous views"....... Genius!
  • + 1
 Something about the nostalgia of this video made me get just as excited at seeing boobs as I did back in 1995, when I got my first “good” bike, a Trek 800.
  • + 1
 I rode my 96 LTS Thermoplastic with a Judy SL at plattekill mtn back in 98. Funny thing is I was hanging with the group who were on new DH rigs at the time.
  • + 1
 i hope you guys keep doing these reviews more often, there are so many cool old-school downhill bikes -Honda RN01 -Iron Horse Sunday -Intense M1 -Balfa BB7 -Giant ATX DH Team
  • + 1
 flic.kr/p/G2CEA7 Is this the thermoplastic version (sts)? Looked like carbon with ally bosses. Seen at the weekend riding up and down the towpath coaching rowers!
  • + 1
 1997 GT LTS 2, red, Marzocci triple, coupe delux. Stolen 1998. If you have any information please let me know. I miss it, thank you.
  • - 1
 I really loved the LTS and STS way back in the day - I really really wanted one when I made the jump to a full sus bike but I bought a Cannondale Super V instead (complete with Judy XL's).

GT used to make some awesome looking bikes, but the current ones are awful things.
  • + 2
 Have you ridden a post 14 Force or Sensor? You should
  • + 1
 THIS bike never came in 14 1/2" 16" was smallest size but did do 14 1/2 LTS 2000 in 1997 BUT had different linkage plates that cracked
  • + 1
 One in the photo may be Kat 95 production but it's wearing 96 decals. Want to see more www.facebook.com/SeeingisBelievingGTMuseum
  • + 2
 I EP’d one while working at a shop At aboyt 19, was one of my favorite bikes. First FS bike I’d owned. Thing was geeat!
  • + 2
 Wish GT were more relevant now days, their models are well past the sell by date.
  • + 4
 Titties !
  • + 2
 Euro titties!
  • + 3
 two water bottle mounts... sweet-as, broh!
  • + 0
 My bright yellow Hayes hydraulic rim brakes were kind of like a light switch. It was all or nothing. Let's not forget the misery of knocking a wheel out of true with Rim brakes also.
  • + 5
 Do you mean Magura?
  • + 0
 @iamamodel: yep Magura thanks for sorting me out
  • + 2
 I raced a dual slalom on one of those in steamboat springs back in 1999,cool to see this relic again
  • + 2
 When GT made desirable bikes
  • + 1
 and when there was a fraction of the bike brands in the market compared to today
  • + 1
 I had a GT LTS 5000...my first 'proper' mountain bike...absolutely love it.
  • + 1
 Mad how old stuff looks. Even the wheels look small to me and I still have a 26er!
  • + 2
 Thats a 96 GT LTS, the 95 had a different front triangle.
  • + 1
 And a FOX Alps rear shock
  • + 1
 I can't tell if that is really good looking or just really different loving. That red accent though is mighty fine.
  • + 2
 #26aintdead folks where'd you go?
  • + 1
 I've still got my GT LTS 2000 hanging up in my garage. Bought it off Peaty's cousin Smile
  • + 2
 fantastic bikes for there time
  • + 1
 I am looking to buy either an RTS, LTS or STS in the UK if anyone is selling one?

Love these bikes!
  • + 2
 I had both bikes and raced dh on them... Pogo sticks have more damping!!!
  • + 1
 I have an rts and lts frame in my bike shed Lts was a great frame till I broke it Rts was a pedal bob machine
  • + 1
 I have 3 Noleen shocks for the r t s. Two are the piggy back canisters. Rebuild kits charging kit.
  • + 1
 If anyone looking for a vintage ride I got an lts 1 for sale pm me if intrested.
  • + 1
 I saw someone riding one of these this summer!
  • + 1
 eddy tongue cant forget old eddy!!!!mr burns!!!!
  • + 1
 I still have my LTS team frameset bought new in 19??.
  • + 1
 My buddy had a black one with Synergy 3 spokes on it.
  • + 1
 I remember both suspension designs...were up to date!!!
  • + 1
 that syncros gear was so nice.
  • + 1
 I still have an STS thermoplastic in my basement stable 8-)
  • + 1
 Just need some grafton joysticks!
  • + 1
 Beautiful views of Mediterranean on 1:16!
  • + 1
 Didn't Busby create VPP ?
  • + 1
 Those chain stays look snap-tastic
  • + 1
 Still have an RTS '93. Smile
  • + 1
 I have 3 Noleen shocks for a r t s 1. 2 are piggy back canisters. Rebuild kits. Recharging kits.
  • + 1
 Awesone to see the old metal on display !
  • + 0
 Operative word being "was"
  • + 1
 KOOKA FTW!
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