Video: GT Launches New Zaskar LT Trail Hardtail

May 5, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

GT has announced the latest addition to the Zaskar family in the form of the Zaskar LT. The Zaskar's long and storied history makes it the only bike to have won World Cups in Downhill, XC, slalom, and trials. This latest iteration retains the iconic Triple Triangle design but utilizes it in a more aggressive, long travel package.

Despite similarities at first glance, the LT model is not simply an upforked version of the current generation Zaskar but was designed from the ground up around a 130mm fork with more aggressive geo to match. The new bike also incorporates floating seatstays that GT claims offer 50% more vertical compliance when compared to a traditional double-diamond frame.






Geometry:



Specifications:

Both Elite and Expert models of the Zaskar come with 130mm travel forks although GT says you can put up to 140mm on the front if you wish. As well as being designed around 130mm of travel, the new Zaskar LT comes with dropper posts and 1x12 speed drivetrains across the range. The frame also features 12x148mm boost spacing with a thru-axle.

The £999/€1199 Elite model comes equipped with an SR Suntour Zeron 35 Coil fork, SRAM SX Eagle gearing and WTB Breakout tires. The Expert version is priced at £1299/€1499 features a Rockshox 35 Gold RL fork, SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain (it uses an SX cassette), Maxxis Minion Dual Compound EXO casing tires and some smaller improvements like Fabric grips and saddle.

Currently, the GT Zaskar LT is only available in the UK and EU although it is coming to the US in the future.


GT Zaskar LT Elite

- Fork: SR Suntour Zeron 35, 130mm, Coil, 15x110
- Brakes: Shimano MT410 Hydro Disc, 180/160mm Rotors
- Drivetrain: SRAM SX Eagle
- Dropper: TranzX Dropper, Internal Routing, 31.6
- Cockpit: GT Alloy Bars 780mm wide, 15mm rise / GT Alloy Stem 45mm
- Contact: WTB Silverado Sport saddle / GT Statement Grips
- Tyres: WTB Breakout Comp, DNA Compound, 29x2.3
- Wheels: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 32h, Tubeless Ready Rims / Shimano MT400 hubs
- Price: £999 / €1,199


GT Zaskar LT Expert

- Fork: RockShox 35 Gold RL 130mm, 15x110mm, 51mm OffSet
- Brakes: Shimano MT410 Hydro Disc, 180/160mm Rotors
- Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle / with SX Chain and Cassette
- Dropper: TranzX Dropper, Internal Routing, 31.6
- Cockpit: GT Alloy Bars 780mm wide, 15mm rise / GT Alloy Stem 45mm
- Contact: Fabric Scoop Sport / FunGuy Grips
- Tyres: Maxxis Minion WT Dual Compound EXO - 2.5 DHF Front, 2.4 DHRII Rear
- Wheels: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 32h, Tubeless Ready Rims / Formula DC-511 Front Hub / Formula DC-1248 Rear Hub
- Price: £1,299 / €1,499








128 Comments

  • 101 3
 Nice try GT. Make it polished alu and some anodized colors like purple or light blue, then we'd be talking.
  • 12 0
 I'd but one if it came with a yellow Pike.
  • 4 0
 You'd love my bike then. Sadly its Ti, not alu though Smile
  • 9 0
 Video didn't suck that's for sure. Akrigg part was spiritual and 50:01 burned drum & bass into my heart and soul. Long live core vibes.
  • 7 3
 Why were the cranks not horizontal in all but one photo?
  • 3 0
 @Shred-BC: does Rule 26 apply to mountain bikes? Asking for a friend.
  • 4 0
 Fo shizzle. Looked better 20 year’s ago.
  • 3 0
 I was about to post the exact same thing. Needs to be polished aluminum or change the name to something else!
  • 3 0
 You hit the nail on the head. That is not a Zaskar. I loved the blue Ano with yellow decals. They need that.
  • 5 1
 Polished or totally chromed out + Red GT graphics with the yellow wings from the silver age of BMX would be rad
  • 2 0
 @ajh4446: then its a zixang
  • 1 0
 dont make it in carbon, its not environmentally friendly said the guy who wants it anodized
  • 1 0
 Well said.
  • 1 0
 Fingers crossed US version comes polished...COME ON GARY TURNER I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME FROM YOUR GRAVE! I mean your shop in Orange...
  • 4 0
 Such a coincidence that this bike came out just now. My mate has a 1995 original Zaskar LE which he has owned since the age of 15 and he bought from the shop I used to work in all those years ago (with Chris Akrigg as it happens).
On Saturday he decided to redo it with 1x so we've been looking for parts since Sunday. Got an 11-speed XT groupset on the way and a used Pace RC38 fork. Spokes are coming to lace the Hope hub to a Mavic 517CD rim he's had for about eight years.

A real throwback, and now GT launches a new one and Chris is riding it. Classic.
  • 31 2
 Not a bad looking bike, to be honest. My local trails don’t really demand anything longer or slacker. I’m sure this bike will get lots of hate- “HoW dO YoU EvEN rIDe a BiKe wiTH a 66° heAD aNgle??” But realistically this is more than enough bike for a lot of people and their trails, at a great value.

I like the idea of the compliant stays- would like to see some proof of that though. Santa Cruz Chameleon is the only other alloy hardtail that I know of that makes that claim, though I’m sure there are more.

This actually looks a lot like a budget Chameleon to me.
  • 1 0
 Ghost Lector 2020 has sort of compliant rear triangle.
  • 5 0
 exactly. i ride all my double blacks on my Honzo locally. you don't need anything more..... 66 is fine. its more about wheelbase for stability not just HT angle. this bike looks rad. as far as alu compliance i think RSD makes some good looking bikes too.
  • 1 1
 Trek Procaliber
  • 6 0
 I'd wager that 2psi makes more of a compliance difference on an alu hardtail than anything having to do with the seatstays.
  • 5 0
 @rickybobby18: I think you'd be surprised. I always keep a hardtail in the stable and after two very stiff chromags I now have a chameleon carbon and the difference is very significant. I seem the frame and move the parts so only variable changed is the frame. That's going from steel to carbon which on a material basis should mean things are way harsher but the chameleon is way smoother, so to me this suggests design plays a big factor.

I agree the gt looks pretty good, the Chameleon compliance is of attributed to the lack of seat stay brace and this bike has a similar approach.
  • 2 0
 @KennyWatson:

Absolutely, it’s all about design. Every material has the capacity to be built in such a way to run the gamut between ‘wet noodle’ and ‘brick wall’. How the manufacturer lays up the carbon, or orients curves and tapers in the tubing, has a noticeable effect.
  • 2 2
 compliant stays = all steel hardtails Smile
  • 4 0
 @dennis72: not true. I've ridden a lot of stiff steel hardtails lately.
  • 2 0
 @KennyWatson: I can attest to chromags being very stiff as well. Despite marketing telling us that "steel is real" and all steel frames should be more compliant than everything else, it isn't always the case.

The banshee paradox v3 is a fantastic version of an aluminum frame that's compliant. It feels better than most (but not all) hardcore steel frames I've ridden lately.
  • 1 0
 Back in the days I rode with a guy who had an aluminium hardtail from Myata. He was always buying and selling bikes but this was the one he kept. It was made from 20xx series aluminium, unlike most aluminium bikes (which are typically from 60xx or 70xx series). 20xx series has better fatigue properties so even though ultimate stress was lower, they could actually make the frame more flexible (thinner etc as Youngs modulus doesn't really vary between alloys) hence more comfortable. In aircraft, the panels subject to tensile stresses (upper fuselage, lower wing) are typically made out of Al2025T3 whereas the the panels subject to compressive stress are made out of something like Al7075T6. The 20xx series can't be welded (as far as I know, at least you'd lose the T3 heat treatment) so his frame was lugged. It may not have looked like the latest stuff even back then but he was loving that bike.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: that sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing that. I didn't even know 20 series aluminum existed.
  • 35 4
 GT will call anything a Zaskar nowadays... It's a step in the right direction, but now Zaskars are cheap trail bikes?
  • 26 4
 It's a PR dizaskar, dragging a legendary bike's name through the dirt like this! Also it's not really a triple triangle if the seat stays don't meet the seat post and top tube, there are actually only two triangles here but from the side profile it carries over a similar look to the traditional design.
  • 14 0
 @DirtyDee: IMO Triple triangle was used to increase stiffness in the olden days when frames were noodly. These days the frames are stiff enough and brands are looking to increase comfort/vertical compliance - that is why they don't weld the seat stays to seat tube anymore.
  • 2 0
 Should have called it the Moto instead- similar intent of use as the original.
  • 2 0
 I had a ball burnished Zaskar le when they were proper bikes many moons ago.
  • 2 4
 @i-am-lp: That's just marketing speak for "adding extra weight". They save money by not bending the tubing as much.
  • 3 0
 I don't get this launch video. Feels like a real missed opportunity to re-release such an iconic bike.
  • 11 0
 Man who cares what the name is or if it doesn't use the old triple triange....the name has brand recognition for GT, and honestly this looks like a very upgrade-worthy, but rideable out of the box bike that's a huge step above Talons and Rockhoppers for not a huge step up in price.
  • 2 0
 @DirtyDee: that will offer more flex. It’s bettet
  • 12 0
 @mnorris122: I don't really care that much, it was just an excuse to use the dizaskar joke!
  • 1 0
 @ninjatarian: Moto was a sweet looking bike too! Friend of mine has one in deep purple, heavy af though
  • 2 0
 @DirtyDee: well played
  • 1 0
 @DirtyDee: these are actual Hellenic stays; frankly I didn't even realize (and I ride a GT) that Triple Triangle referred specifically to the configuratuon where they join both seat and top tube. That would also make the Grade not so Triple Triangle, despite being far and away the best-looking GT of recent times.
  • 18 0
 50% more than none is still none.
  • 2 4
 @watchman. 0x.05=0
  • 7 0
 - morning and slow - thought I read... Gonna get cofee.
  • 6 0
 @Grosey: Yep....the math checks out.
  • 8 0
 I can't wait to see a 14 year old yeeting one of these with a 160mm 2018 Yari off the Pinkbike drop at Highland in 4 years like an absolute hero
  • 8 0
 Looks good value in all honesty, yes it's not the legendary zaskar but it looks bang on for the cash
  • 4 0
 Legit frame geo, a dropper post, no throwaway parts, and super cheap. This is a kickass bike. Also it had Akrigg in the promo vid.
  • 7 1
 I rode a Zaskar back in the early 90's, they do need to bring back a RAW polished version with black graphics. Then they may have something !!
  • 6 1
 Or yellow graphics, no???
  • 1 0
 @Timo82: your right, yellow graphics. I bought this bike, then drove almost 24 hrs to ride through Colorado and Utah for two weeks. Great time, drank my first Fat Tire beer while hanging out in Boulder with some buddies. I would buy one just for the fun of it in the original colours, with XT package.
  • 1 1
 @iTWKEM: Haha nice!! Yeah as soon as I saw the first picture I was thinking well maybe I would need a hardtail after all but....no raw polished/yellow GT wtf were they thinking!?!?! lolll
  • 7 0
 Put me down for an expert, always had a soft spot for GT's, love my Helion!!
  • 9 1
 Id ride it
  • 3 0
 This may be the bike I needed to get a few friends involved in the sport without sticker-shocking them or sacrificing too much capability as they progress. Seems like an easy bike to upgrade over time as a rider grows into it. That being said, Nukeproof and Ragley have set a very high bar on value HTs with great spec and this bike may have fallen *just* short.
  • 3 0
 I really like the idea of a coil fork on cheaper bikes.* Save the maintenance, complication and expense of an air spring, and gimme a simple coil fork with a quality damper on a sub-$2000 bike.

*There MUST be support for riders of all weights and riding styles. If there aren't enough springs available to set a decent-ish spring rate, there's 0 point in a coil fork. Did a very small bit of googling, and it appears that the Zeron springs are only available in soft or firm. Not good enough.
  • 5 0
 Really hope to see bikes like this, really the whole sub $2000 bike category specced with Microshift's AdventX soon instead of so much Sram SX.
  • 1 0
 I approve. Would like to have an idea of weight on the bike. I'm also curious when this will be available in the US, as my kid has been wanting a Zaskar for a while (he's a GT fanboy).

Not loving the colors, but that's mainly because I'm really over tan bikes. The Pro/Team colorway for the GT full sus bikes (the blue with yellow lettering) is also one of my favorites currently, so I'd like to see them continue with that bold look, not these sort of muted, bland colors. I might like this blue more in the wild, though.
  • 7 2
 I liked it until I saw the chain stay length... why?
  • 1 0
 Yeah, scrolled straight to the geometry chart, then straight to the comment section. Would be tight if it were in mm. But isn't GT now from the same group as Cannondale is? Cannondale typically gives the metric dimensions in cm so maybe GT is having some of that too. Those chainstays don't look particularly short so yeah, 45cm seems likely.
  • 1 0
 100% agree.
  • 2 1
 450mm chainstays? Um... no thanks. Imagine someone riding a size small. Your chainstays would be 25mm LONGER than your reach. That's like someone on a large with a 492mm chainstay.

And it appears to be a QR rear axle. Too bad, because with a few tweaks this could be a fantastic bike. Frown
  • 2 0
 Looks like it's a 12mm thru-axle. Good news on that front. I'd like to try one. Could be a great entry-level bike, as long as that chainstay doesn't feel a mile long.
  • 3 0
 Why whine? Wyn would wheely it whenever it's Wednesday.
  • 1 0
 Yup ! it's 40mm more than a Reeb ReDikyelous..
  • 6 2
 Shoulda made the top tube straight.
  • 4 0
 I'm looking forward to a Pinkbike review!
  • 2 0
 Great, will it be sold in the US?? Likely Not... Does anyone know why after the Zaskar 25th Anniversary GT stopped selling Zaskar in the US?
  • 1 0
 I collected my zaskar expert a couple of weeks ago, great bike to ride and so much fun to ride It was a toss up between this and the scout and ended up with the gt Really impressed so far
  • 2 0
 I cant real understand why nx against slx, tranzx is a good dropper, and 35 fork not to bad!
  • 4 0
 Despite similar MSRPs and prices in the aftermarket, NX is manufactured to a much lower quality standard, allowing SRAM to sell it whole sale to bike companies for much cheaper than SLX.
  • 1 0
 @alreadyupsidedown: How else could the reverb still exist?
  • 2 0
 I was thinking that it looks very nice, until I looked at the reach and seattube length on the xl that is.
  • 3 2
 I feel Like this is nothing to jump up and down about..... I feel there is nothing ground breaking or exciting here...... Or is it just me?........
  • 2 0
 If the expert comes into the US at $1600 it will be a steal. 10/10 would huck.
  • 1 0
 I miss my 1997 GT Avalanche hardtail, white with a white Z2 fork, damn that thing was hot! I'f I were get a new hardtail I'd love for it to be a GT just for nostalgia sake
  • 2 0
 A bit of compliance would be good. Loved my old Zaskar, but damn that ride was harsh.
  • 3 0
 Joey Gough and Akrigg on the same label makes for great content
  • 1 0
 Shocked and saddened by this comments section... How could a discussion of the music in the video not have been top comment? You should all be ashamed.
  • 1 3
 What's the problem with your standover heigts GT??? All the full squish bikes and now this trail bike have frighteningly high tob tubes. It gives me shivers when I feel a tob tube on my knee on a steep trail. As long as there are no 300mm dropper posts a 520mm seat tube also seems pointless on XL with so many riders considering upsizing to the next frame size when they prefer a longer bike. A long seat tube and high tob tube may just be the reason to go elsewhere for them. Other than that: great move... people must be reminded that the original Zaskar was not an XC bike by any means... actually it was just the top of the line (Xizang??) when all the bikes in the market were basically they same geo numbers, and had to do all and everything.
  • 2 0
 My dh seat height is 140mm lower than my hardtail at full extension... I think you (and most reviewers) need to re-evaluate needs versus wants.
  • 1 1
 48 cm seat tube on the GT is way to high. I have a 48 cm seattube on my old Cotic Bfe and cannot run a dropper > 150mm. With 180-200 droppers now widely available seat tubes should be 43-45 cm for a size L
  • 2 0
 That Stack number for the XL looks like it will break my back!
  • 1 0
 Geo charts are often full of typos and very loose approximations, to say the least.
  • 2 0
 Not for me, but I can see the appeal.
  • 3 1
 Can you buy/order these at Dick's Sporting Goods?
  • 1 0
 these days, does it matter where you get your new bike? seems like online/drop ship is the new way to go
  • 2 0
 @FarmerJohn: Doesn't matter to me....but I don't think you can order straight from GT.
  • 1 1
 Who knows, and did you really want your bike being put together by someone who isn't even given the proper tools? Last time I went to see the "bike section" at Dicks they just have a table and a toolbox for putting bikes together. Not even a bike stand.
  • 2 0
 @matadorCE: ha... yeah but it's just a bike and you can adjust everything pretty easy...so that's not a big deal. I'm just wondering where you purchase these?
  • 1 1
 @kymtb0420: Good question since GT seems to have disappeared from bike shops here in the US. Maybe online, but honestly I'd put my money elsewhere.
  • 4 2
 EXO Tires. Unrideable by Pinkbike reviewers.
  • 2 0
 Ehhhh I mean if you ride fast and hit berms and square edges hard, you'll need like 25+ psi in an EXO or similar casing to protect the rim and avoid squirming if you don't want to use rim protectors (and you're still at risk for sidewall gashes.) Versus around 20 in a Double Down, and even lower if it's on the front.

Don't get me wrong, thin supple casings have their place, but they're not on aggressive trail bikes.
  • 1 1
 GT needs to make a Ti version with higher-end components and call it the Xizang. And yeah, the Zaskar should be raw. They missed the mark hard.
  • 2 0
 The frame looks good, but those drivetrains are shait.
  • 1 0
 I've got no issues with the drivetrains. I know it's cool to complain about sx and nx, but they ride great and are way better than XTR from 10 years ago.
  • 2 2
 Zaskar should be xt and above. Pike at minimum and dtswiss non generics. These parts are fine at that price point but call it an Avalanche. The name deserves better
  • 1 0
 bike companies still making high top tubes clearly don't know what it's all about
  • 2 0
 Gotta love some TT!
  • 1 1
 Still waiting for the new Sanction; hopefully witha a free floating BB and rearward axle-path(I wish Frown ).
  • 1 0
 Does anyone has experience with SR Suntour Zeron? Looking for a review.
  • 1 1
 If it was 'Ball Burnished" I would have already have parted with my cash and have a new winter hack bike on its way.
  • 3 2
 Alloy hardtail? Pass.

Sounds like it's time to build another Chromag.
  • 1 0
 It was a cool launch video. I enjoyed that.
  • 1 2
 2104 was the last good year for the Zaskar. The carbon 100 9r with 100mm rear suspension. So its been a solid 6 years with GT still trying to get back to the good ol days!
  • 2 0
 Hello fellow time traveler. Did you come back to fix 2020 as well?
  • 2 0
 Would bang.
  • 1 0
 Damn, I still use a GT RUCKUS 3.0 and modified to 650b wheels...
  • 1 0
 A 140 mm fork would help with that H/A. And 'prolly ride better to boot.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a great winter hack option
  • 1 0
 How much travel does it have?
  • 1 0
 Marketed as a fun bike. 450mm chainstays.
  • 1 0
 Yup, the Reeb ReDikyelous seems the funniest with 410mm and still a 29er
  • 1 0
 @xzof: more mainstream : Kona Honzo ST, from 415mm to... more. A 29er too. And a lot less costly than the Reeb. But a whole lot more than the GT...

Maybe that's THE trick I search in fact : sliding dropouts. On the short side for jibbing, on the long side for speeding.
Anybody knows a frame with those sliding dropouts, 420mm max. on short side ?
  • 1 0
 XL Stack is rather low.
  • 1 1
 It doesn't look as much Zaskar as Zaskar used too.
  • 1 1
 That's a no for me, dawg.
  • 2 2
 52cm seat tube length on an XL is so....last year.
  • 1 1
 Sorry 2014....but it could be 2104 before GT figures this out again!
  • 6 8
 They should have used Steel instead, with a more aggressive slacker head angle, like 64deg.
  • 5 0
 Then it wouldn't have been a Zaskar more of a Karakoram. I think they still should take back the Karakoram model name on a 29+ krampus style adventure bike with the old tequila sunrise paint scheme. They won´t though cause it makes to much sense.
  • 1 0
 @feeblesmith: the steel version of the Zaskar was the Psyclone.
  • 2 0
 @feeblesmith: Don't forget about the Tachyon, which was a gravel bike before gravel bikes were a thing.
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