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Chris Akrigg Parts Ways with GT

Jan 6, 2023 at 3:38
by Ed Spratt  

Chris Akrigg has announced on social media that he is leaving GT after three years. Chris joined GT at the start of 2020 after being with Mongoose for 12 years. As part of his announcement Chris also mentioned he is leaving Cycling Sports Group who he has worked with for 15 years.

bigquotesIf someone had told me way back when I first saw @hansnowayrey on a GT on the front cover of a magazine riding trials that one day I’d be a Pro rider for GT bicycles also, I would of probably laughed but over the last three years that is exactly what I’ve been!

My time has come to move on from GT ! It has been an awesome three years and I am honoured to now be a small part of GT’s amazing history alongside so many legends of the sport!

I would like to thank everyone that I’ve worked with at GT and also cycling sports group who up until 5 days ago I have been a part of for fifteen years!

So this chapter has come to an end, but there is another one starting very soon! Watch this space, start the rumour mill up…..
Chris Akrigg

We don't know what Chris' plans are just yet, but we'll keep you updated when we learn more.

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,242 articles

  • 155 1
 Absolutely love Chris's riding. Honestly I get as excited, or more, when Akrigg drops a new video than any other rider - even Danny Mac. I hope he lands with a good brand and release many new vids. Best of luck, Chris.
  • 44 0
 Absolutely. This guy underexposed for what he does. He needs a marketing advisor
  • 3 5
 But maybe he forgot to drop a new video recently
  • 29 0
 100% - Akrigg riding is a bit more understated than Danny and some of the others but for me, Akrigg rules them all.
  • 15 0

To me, Akrigg's riding has always somehow seemed more raw and physical, whereas Danny has always seemed more calculated/practiced.

I love them both (as well as a bunch of others), but the stylistic differences on what otherwise might be similar skills/moves, makes watching all their videos different and fun.
  • 85 1
 Haibike has an opening. Just sayin'. Hope Akrigg will not fill it.
  • 25 1
 But Hope could fill his garage
  • 1 0
  • 23 2
 Ive never understood GT's marketing strategy, they must've spent a small fortune sponsoring some seriously big names over the years yet that doesn't seem to have translated to bikes on the trail, at least in the UK anyway. What's missing? Crap distribution network? Wrong riders?
  • 35 31
 The bikes look bad, I've no idea how they ride but they all look ugly. They also aren't flowing enough money to mountain bike sites because I see endless information on new Santa Cruz bikes that all look the same but never see any info on GT.
  • 30 3
 GT Damage has been done already being in Halfords in the UK. Even my mum yesterday said she didn't want a GT hybrid because it was a Halfords bike, she knows so little about the bike world but even she remembers.
  • 42 20
 You can slap lipstick on a pig and pay someone to kiss it but that doesn't mean I'm going to fuck it.
  • 27 51
flag kiisseli FL (Jan 6, 2023 at 4:12) (Below Threshold)
 I think the only retailer selling GT in Finland is XXL, Norwegian sporting goods giant. They currently offer one ebike, one acoustic mtb, la bomba and three different bmx bikes.

GT used to be bigger here, as seen in the Suomi DH documentary (highly recommend).
  • 59 15
 @kiisseli: Downvote for the use of the term 'acoustic mtb'!!!
  • 3 18
flag thewanderingtramp (Jan 6, 2023 at 4:40) (Below Threshold)
 Had no idea he even rode for GT, maybe Santa Cruz but not GT
  • 6 2
 @hexhamstu: the top tube/seat tube junction on that bike above. Eeesh.
Good luck to Chris with whatever he does next.
  • 7 0
 You need to look to the master behind the sock puppet for that answer. What was Dorel is now better known as Cycling Sports Group.
  • 4 2
 Hardly ever see them on the trails in South Oz either.
  • 15 0
 My 2000 GT Pro Performer is the main reason I still remotely consider a GT mtb. Nostalgia. Oh, and Brage and Wyn...
  • 2 6
flag krystianj FL (Jan 6, 2023 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: COTY sealed up already.
  • 6 0
 That's a great thought. I bought my transition because they sponsored some trail builds locally. I hope other bike companies put some of their advertising and outreach funds towards building places people like to ride. It's worked on a lot of people where I live
  • 10 0
 @hexhamstu: yeah I think historically they've been ugly but the new Force carbon looks great IMO.
  • 3 2
 @hexhamstu: thought I'd see what you meant, and all the bikes just look old. Not quite sure what it is but they look years out of date, and there's not really much range either, even compared to some low volume brands. So, yeah, no point spending money sponsoring athletes if there aren't really the products to sell off the back of that
  • 11 0
 I don't know, but Bradge makes that Fury look pretty good....
  • 12 8
 They went bankrupt in the early 2000's, dumped all their riders, just didn't even pay their employees, destroyed their reputation...and then got their logo bought by a mega-corporation to try selling the logo in Dicks Sporting Goods. GT isn't a brand anymore...they're just a logo. The only thing they do good is keep food on Wyn Masters table so we can see insane wheelies the world over.
  • 3 0
 @silentbutdeadly: Dorel and CSG aren't related. CSG is a UK based company that distributes brands like GT and Mongoose. They also have smaller brands like Charge who I think they may have more involvement with beyond just distributing.

They're totally distinct of Dorel though. As Chris has been through Mongoose and GT the only other big brand CSG do are Cannondale - if they don't have a spot he doesn't have much option but to leave CSG as well.
  • 4 0
 @blowmyfuse: what I don't understand though is that there's quite a lot of those kind of brands that have been bought up and now trade off've their heritage, but GT actually still sponsor some of the best riders in the world yet seem quite happy to squander their potential.
  • 1 1
 @bigtim: +1 on the -1
  • 4 0
 It happens the same with Cannondale, since Forever. My opinion? Too focused on numbers, just efficient brain work but not heart drive.
They just follow
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: But perhaps a date and snuggles afterwards?
  • 6 0
 @blowmyfuse: when Rich Long died, GT went with it not long after. We were a dealer, BMX team was sponsored by them for years and as you know John knew many folks their. Rich's passing did them in. Gary made good bikes, Rich was the guy running things
  • 2 0
 @hexhamstu: I want to downvote half of your comment and upvote the other half
  • 4 3
 @CleanZine: CSG are owned by Dorel and are an American company.

Yes they have a presence in the UK but it's not distinct from the US operation.
  • 6 0
 I feel like it is a complete disconnect between the marketing division and the sales division. I don't think they talk at all?

The bikes themselves are decent. I had a 27.5 force for several seasons and honestly it performed very well. However, when something went wrong, there was absolutely zero support to be found anywhere! One of my local shops theoretically is a GT dealer, but they'd just have to order parts online (which at least they could after a lot of digging).

I feel like they sell a lot of demo/rental fleets to bike parks etc.? Otherwise I have no clue how they support their racing/marketing budget.
  • 1 0
 @hexhamstu: shallow
  • 1 1
 @scott-townes: don't talk bout yer mum like that!
  • 1 0
 @bman33: I had one of their old BMX bikes for the longest time after I replaced the Diamondback bike which weighed 6 tons.
  • 5 0
 @bonkmasterflex: GT online customer support is actually quite good - they emailed me back very quickly, provided links to a company that makes bearing press/pullers for GT's rear suspension (made in UK too and work superbly). They've also answered a few other tech questions I've had over the troublefree years I've still enjoying on my Aluminum GT Sensor 29. It's a great bike, as I've upgraded almost everything over the years, and it's so much fun to ride. GT's ain't fancy, but they work great.
  • 1 0
 @Ma5her: Thanks for the info, I didn't realise that. I knew Hot Wheels had become CSG, but didn't realise that seemingly coincided with Dorel acquiring them.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: nah...he's more of a sheep guy
  • 2 2
 I can only speak to this side of the pond, but mass retailers is what happened. I'm 38, and until about 5 years ago i didn't know that GT even existed anymore let alone made what appeared to be decent mountain bikes. I never knew GT sold anything outside of a Walmart or a sporting goods store, which severely tainted the brand name and image.
  • 2 0
 @bigtim: the horror, the horror
  • 5 0
 @CleanZine: CSG was a division of Dorel that GT and Cannondale was under. The CSG division as well as all other Dorel cycling brands like Mongoose and Schwinn have been owned by Pon for about a year. Pon owns a bunch of other brands including Santa Cruz and Cervelo.

  • 4 1
 GT died when Richard Long died. It's true one person can make a difference.
  • 2 0
 @bonkmasterflex: Pretty sure GT stays afloat from the Whistler Bike Park fleet.
I ride a 2018 Fury with the older linkage. It is a really nice riding bike, but dread needing to replace any parts. There appears to be no parts anywhere listed online. It has about 40 or 50 linkage bearings too.

@jokermtb: I see your comment about online support. I'll see if they can point me in the direction of small part suppliers.
  • 3 1
 @kiisseli: i saw their e bike gt force was on sale, was 5000€, now 3500€. Still, with low specs and shimano 7000 engine, its still a no go!

Shout out to Rousniemi, and their trail crew i tried out the hill last summer.
  • 2 0
 When the athertons were on gt, i saw them alot more
  • 2 0
 Badly specced, priced and ranged Uk bikes have been for ages. Way off the mark. Big shame. I sold a ton in the 90s, I’d love to stock them again
  • 2 2
 I think they might've lost the trust of anyone that's owned one of their entry level bikes. They are absolute junk, and likely turn potential future customers off by selling them that garbage.
  • 1 0
 I don't think they have the best online presence. They seem to prefer sponsoring grass roots BMX.
  • 2 0
 @CleanZine: GT are owned by PON
  • 1 0
 @trnxxx: yip… the cooperation sacked the the fun decision makers and now it is just churning numbers
  • 3 0
 In about 1998 the distributers "BikeNet" went bust - Halfords took over a year or two later.
As a result Halfords have their own range of GT bikes which were very mildly better spec'ed but I think they've not had a good distributer since BikeNet.
Literally as a kid - everyone has a GT Zaskar..... well those whos parents could afford a GT and the rest of us had Raleigh or Carrera haha
  • 18 0
 Did he put out less videos while riding for GT, than before? Feels like there were less.
  • 2 1
 He still puts a lot of social media type content out, the 30 second type clips.
  • 23 5
 Less videos, no. Fewer, yes.
  • 1 1
 @bigtim: Yea, clips from his longer videos...
  • 7 2
 My boy races DH on a GT Fury and absolutely loves it. He's got a spare GT Fury in the older generation shape which looks like it will outlast the planet and be left with the cockroaches at the end of time. It can be a struggle to get parts at times, but we seem to manage OK up to now.... But in 12 months when he moves onto a bigger bike i don't think it'll be a GT any more.
  • 9 1
 At least gt still has Phil!
  • 9 5
 There's been an avalanche of team swaps recently. It's hard to say whether the companies have been the aggressor or if these moves, riders saying i-drive now, have awoken their fury. Zaskardly a way of finding out. Amid the ruckus for sure some are feeling the force of time.
  • 5 0
 I am always surprised by how many GTs I see at the parks on the east coast. It's not that many to be honest, but more than expected. When I ask how they chose that bike, people seem to like them. They must be good...
  • 4 0
 they're made well, reliable, and handle great
  • 6 0
 I have tried two GT bikes and both were good. GT fury is one of the best looking bike, but never tried one..
  • 5 1
 Great rider, GT had a real asset there. Don't go to Haibike Chris, their bikes are fugly no matter what Sam Pilgrim used to say. (Canyon are way nicer)
  • 6 1
 Hope he gets a good deal, be awesome to see more of him than we do at the moment.
  • 3 1
 As a gt fan since 1998, I can say that since 2006 their marketing strategy has been pretty bad.
Just look at the Zaskar "trail", quite basic geometry and not very good components, besides only being in 29"
Hey you!! GT marketing chief, bring back the LOBO (obviously improved and more updated) and the RUCKUS hardtail, only in 27.5+ and with geometry and parts to complete an entire enduro race.
  • 6 0
 I\m old enough that in my head a GT Zaskar is a high end desirable machine; the Zaskar of today is nothing like that...
  • 5 0
 Looking forward to the Trial Noir revival.
  • 2 1
 Seems like there's a bunch of brands, GT, KHS, Mongoose, Cannondale, Schwinn, that were big at one point, but lost their way. Triple triangle frame was the hotness way back when, but then GT had a few years of weird FS designs and never really established a popular design. I don't know all the history, but a lot of those brands were sold off to new owners that wanted to get a foot in the door with bad designs and bad bikes.
  • 1 0
 When I think of Chris I always think about him either on that insanely lovely Pace trials frame or doing crazy brakeless trials! I really hope he lands a contract with another good brand! The videos he's been dropping over the last few years have been awesome, I have loved all his GT videos - the guy still got it!!
  • 1 0
 I started riding on a steel GT Timberline, everyone rode a GT back then (1990's.) I lusted over a OG idrive, but GT had all but disappeared in New Zealand as far as support went.
  • 2 1
 Everyone harping on GT but remember Chris' last sponsor? Mongoose, ich! GT was a huge upgrade and I hope the direction on the next bike is also upwards. Maybe Santa Cruz?
  • 4 0
 Would be cool to see him on Santa Cruz with McCaskill, but more likely hope or another boutique British brand in my opinion.
  • 1 0
 What is crazy to me is that both gt and mongoose has become players in the bmx world again.
  • 4 1
  • 2 1
 @jaame: or Cotic would be cool.
  • 3 0
  • 2 0
 @iwhizz: I could see that actually. Akrigg would be a great way for them to show off their frames and custom to you capabilities.
  • 3 0
 His IG story showed that he's in a video call with someone from Mongoose
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes. You say that now buuuuuttttttt, after a few beers you’ll be walking home in the morning with messy hair holding your shoes.
  • 3 0
 Canyon maybe???
  • 1 0
 I still cannot wrap my head around "brakeless"

Can't wait for the next video.
  • 2 0
 When I think of Akrigg, I'll always think of Mongoose.
  • 1 0
 He will always be riding Pace to me.
  • 1 1
 Akrigg joins pilgrim on canyon at a guess lol two epic riders to add to the canyon list
  • 1 1
 No need for me to suggest now what you already did .
  • 1 0
 He will be back with mongoose again.
  • 1 0
 Canyon enters chat!?
  • 2 3
  • 1 1
 I honestly thought he was still on Mongoose... Oops
  • 2 1
 Chris is amazing
  • 1 0
  • 4 7
 Rip ken block
  • 1 0
 Because you want to derail the thread?

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