Spotted: A Prototype GT That Looks Like a Sanction (Updated)

Apr 12, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
Update: Noga Korem has also shared what looks like the same bike, albeit with different paint, in her last three Instagram posts. A post from this morning has a clear view of the idler pulley. Whether it's a new Sanction or the next carbon Force, it does seem safe to say that this bike will be a long-travel, high-pivot, enduro something-or-other.

Original article below.

Martin Maes and Wyn Masters have been teasing a new GT frame that we suspect may be a new Sanction, GT’s long-travel enduro bike that hasn’t seen an update in a while.

When GT released the Force 29 in 2020, the bike grew to more or less take the older Sanction’s place as GT’s flagship enduro bike, but in the age of ever better do-it-all setups and enduro bikes with dual crown forks, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see an aggressive new mini-DH sled from GT.

It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see a new Sanction borrow suspension design from the most recent Fury. After all, that’s what happened in 2014.

GT released the second-generation Fury in 2013 with redesigned suspension and a “floating bottom bracket” that allowed for a relatively high main pivot without too much chain interference as the bike moved through its travel. The following year, GT introduced a new Sanction with a pretty similar design.

GT Fury Photo by Bryce Piwek
GT Sanction Photo by Robin O Neill
2013 Fury vs. 2014 Sanction.

The 2019 Fury 29 saw a departure from that design with the introduction of an idler wheel to accompany a high main pivot. From what we’ve seen of this new bike so far, it might once again be the Fury’s lookalike younger sibling.

High pivot? Based on the chain here, it sure looks like there's an idler pulley.

All of this is just speculation, but it looks like Martin and Wyn are riding the same frame with forks ranging from a Fox 36 to a Fox 40, again pointing to the mystery bike falling somewhere between the Force and the Fury in GT’s range.

While we're here starting rumors, the fact that Wyn raced downhill on the frame may be an indication of the bike industry's trend toward long-travel bikes that can run either single or dual crown forks, like the Rocky Mountain Slayer and the Yeti SB165. We're not saying downhill bikes are dead, but the industry does seem to increasingly develop these boundary-blurring rigs rather than focus on strict downhill bikes, and we'll likely see several companies (like Rocky Mountain) phase out their downhill bikes over the next few years.

We have reached out to GT for comment and will update this story with any new information.


  • 177 0
 Anyone else click play?
  • 80 0
 only 3 times
  • 13 27
flag WRCDH (Apr 12, 2021 at 23:58) (Below Threshold)
 The last “video” works! And the DMX track is so right (unlike most MTB Instagram videos with agonizing modern rap that’s cringingly ill-fitting on so many levels, haha). But I was surprised Wyn didn’t pick Ruff Ryders’ Anthem to pay tribute to DMX:
  • 7 1
 Well played Alicia, well played
  • 3 0
 You can also look at it as it being a pointer, highlighting different parts of the frame / bike (or, in case of the first image, part of the rider's anatomy).
  • 14 0
 I'm a simple man. I see a play button I click.
  • 3 0
 I.... Didn't.... but it's hard... And now i know it's just a screenshot it's even harder!
  • 2 0
 Click bait! I fell for it!
  • 2 0
 @WRCDH: Good times 1998! Good times.... RIP DMX.
  • 16 0
 I did, and I should probably know better...
  • 1 0
 Yes I was wondering why my screen kept zooming
  • 71 3
 Downhill bikes are like the Ferrari in the garage. Not for everyday. But when you take it out for a spin you’re reminded of how amazing and fast the thing is. If you have one, you’ll know.
  • 3 45
flag yoobee (Apr 13, 2021 at 2:20) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah. Unfortunately, they are not as motorized as a Ferrari...
  • 4 42
flag Moase (Apr 13, 2021 at 3:30) (Below Threshold)
 Can totally relate to that analogy... NOT!
  • 25 2
 My Ferrari is my only car, but i can see your point.
  • 25 0
 Wow, you must really hate NSMB, 3 spy shots in one day!
  • 2 0
 Whats up with the NSMB mentioning in the comments since 2 weeks?
I really dont get it
  • 6 0
 @NotNamed: wrote an opinion piece on how it’s shitty of Pinkbike to post spy shots. Pinkbike responded with a podcast saying it’s their responsibility to do so as journalists. Internet commenters took this as the beginning of a feud.
  • 12 1
 @Unrealityshow: Not only this. PB posted a spy shot of a bike mounted on a rack, parked in front of some shopping center. Apparently the genius who tried so hard to keep a bike prototype under cover was somehow affiliated with nsmb. So the nsmb wrote an article on how immoral is to post spy shots... I mean, I respect anyone's opinion as long as it is not just made up for some shitty reason.
  • 4 6
 @lkubica: the guy with the prototype was not affiliated with NSMB. Way different posting up shots from races than sneaking around to get the "shot". NSMB is enjoying the added publicity for sure.
  • 3 1
 @jaydawg69: Sneaking around to get the "shot"...???

You mean stopping on the way to/from a ride at the same coffee shop/etc. as some dude who's testing a "secret" prototype who leaves it out in the parking lot on a rack on back of a vehicle for all to see and who doesn't think maybe to cover that shit up if it's so "secret"...

yea... PB is just horrible...
  • 1 1
 @stiingya: you forgot the shot where tonkatruck snuck under a truck to go get shots of the Range.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: If it was on private land/course, etc. you would have a point. BUT still, long standing "spyshot" norms are that "if" the shot can be taken then it's for the photographer to take. Be that with a super long lens, or walking up behind a truck and shooting under the bumper.

It's not like they were disrupting their training session to get the shot.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: still a dick move. He wouldn't do it in front of them.
  • 22 3
 Looks like a Se...sanction?
  • 16 1
 GT has been making very nice bikes lately, force is much nicer than the new session in my opinion where the trek practically copied the GT
  • 4 0
 You mean Fury.
  • 2 0
 Agreed, even going further back. A GT Distortion is still on my short list of bikes to watch for.
  • 18 4
 Downhill bikes are dead, long live downhill bikes
  • 26 2
 Lol this happens every decade or so. Nothing will beat a dh bike.
  • 7 0
 Pretty sure I saw some version of this bike in Dupont NC this week. Bunch of GT people and someone on a flat grey bike that had the same general frame shape but no markings. Looked really good in person.
  • 10 1
 Wyns water bottle. Not bad , good soize!
  • 5 1
 I'd say it's probably more likely to be a carbon Force, since that bike is already 170mm travel up front it wouldn't really make much sense to make a new Sanction. Upon looking at these videos, the head tube has the same lines that the carbon Sensor has, making it very likely to be a new carbon bike. It also has the same lower shock mounting point as the carbon Sensor, which is slightly different than the aluminum lower shock mount (I had an aluminum Force so believe me here). If I had to make a bet, I would say it's a carbon Force that they're testing out "freeride" and enduro setups on
  • 8 0
 I dunno, the force is still only 150 out back and I can definitely see their racers wanting something 170-180. I cant imagine Wyn would run a dual crown on something with 150mm rear travel. And, GT don't currently offer anything in that market - where the Sanction used to be.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: yeah i mean it's very possible to be a new sanction as well, just seems odd that they would go straight to a carbon version when the current force and the old sanction were never offered in carbon. My thinking is that they used the last two years to test and refine their aluminum force before finalizing it in carbon
  • 1 0
 @seanb4: both the current Fury and current Force 27.5 released as a carbon only versions. Also, Wyn and Marty have both been seen on test mules of this bike for several months so they may have been running alloy versions hammering out the details. Grainy spy photos don't reveal much.
  • 2 0
 @Trudeez: I'm not up on the Fury stuff lately because I don't pay attention to DH bikes much. But I do know that the current Force 27.5 was offered as a carbon/alu frame or a straight up alloy frame, I had a Force 27.5 from 2019 that was alloy. The new Force 29er has been alloy-only for the last two years, so that's why I'm thinking this new bike is a Force 29 carbon. I feel like they would use the alloy bike to test how it works and how well it sells before introducing a carbon version of it
  • 7 1
 Has typing “Full review tomorrow” been outlawed?
  • 7 0
 GT forgot the blanket
  • 4 1
 About bloody time they made a proper enduro bike again. It seemed Martin was compromising or bodging a workable race bike in recent years.
  • 1 1
 I think this whole obsession with the high pivot idler pulley is weird. It's an old ass design. Amaury was fast on the Supreme but I get the impression that he would be fast on any bike. There must be other ways to get some rearward axle path.
  • 1 0
 Floating BBs like those used by Mongoose, GT, etc can have a high pivot without the need for a pulley. My most recent frame purchase is a Mongoose Nugget from around 2010 and I'm super excited to build it up. I'm not sure why they moved away from their FreeDrive suspension. It may be ugly and conplicated but I still like it better than most modern designs. The combo of Freedrive suspension with more modern geometry would be amazing!
  • 2 0
 This ingrained idea that newer is better is very strange and makes companies change just for the sake of changing. Where does this idea come from? And besides that, most bikes nowadays run a plain basic four bar design, but no "old ass" comments about that? That's even stranger.
  • 3 0
 A full White with Black logos, what a beauty!
  • 2 0
 that's a beauty. and it's def a Sanction (name on the frame)
and it's expensive, but at least you don't get tricked into sub pair parts. It's full XT.
  • 2 0
 A high pivot long travel trail bike is precisely on my shopping list. Bring it on.
  • 2 0
 looks like a horst link back there
  • 7 0
 Yes that would make sense considering the Fury is a High Pivot Four Bar (Horst Link).
  • 3 0
 Where is Wyn TV?
  • 2 0
 Orange forks are still a thing huh
  • 2 0
 A hight pivot idler pulley carbon enduro smash bike? Awesome
  • 1 0
 POV: you read the title wrong
  • 3 1
  • 1 0
 I love Proto season! \m/ Big Grin
  • 1 0
 It’s a Forcesessionry
I win!
  • 2 4
 so whats the point of Cannondale and GT being separate brands anymore, if their suspension technology and general frame layout has completely converged?
  • 1 1
 It'd be a force not a sanction lol.
  • 6 8
 Pinkbike you spelt session wrong?
  • 1 4
 "looks like a session"
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