LIVIGNO, Italy (BRAIN)—GT reinvented its road, downhill and 6-inch travel all-mountain bike frames for 2009, introducing carbon fiber to the latter two platforms and increasing stiffness in its GTR road frame.
Other initiatives for 2009 include a new 29-inch Zaskar high-level hardtail cross-country frame and a new urban style single speed called the Gutterball.
“It’s one of those things where to stay at the forefront of cycling you really have to do a lot of different things in different categories,” said Mark Peterman, GT’s director of product, at a press camp this week in Livigno, Italy.
The most talked about change is the full carbon fiber frame Fury downhill bike, which replaces the DHI.
While using carbon fiber for the frame was controversial, GT felt carbon was the best material to improve on the toughness of the DHI because it’s 10 times stronger than aluminum, Peterman said.
The Fury has 8.3 inches of rear travel and weighs in at about 38 pounds, about the same as last year’s DHI.
“We designed this bike to be strong. We didn’t use carbon on this bike to make the lightest thing possible; we wanted to make the strongest bike possible,” said Robert Stemen, research and development manager for GT.
The Fury is available at two spec levels and will be priced from $3,999 to $5,999.
With the GTR road bike, GT aimed to bring the bike up to par with its competition in terms of weight and stiffness.
“Last year’s model was a very comfortable riding frame. We weren’t 100 percent happy with it as far as its stiffness and it being an all out race bike,” Stemen said.
GT updated the frame’s geometry with a more race-oriented design, implemented a new integrated seat mast, replaced the forged aluminum dropouts with full carbon dropouts and added a new carbon fiber fork that was designed in-house.
The new model, which is available in five frame sizes, weighs about 15 pounds.
Also for 2009, GT shaved 1.2 pounds off the all-mountain, 6-inch travel Force by creating two carbon models to add to three existing aluminum bikes. The lightest spec’d Force weighs about 26.4 pounds. Cost ranges from $1,599 to $5,499.
All GT’s full-suspension bikes use its patented Independent Drivetrain suspension system. The technology is the same as the I-drive with GT changing the name last year to give it a new identity, Stemen said.
“The I-drive name has so much relation with the original I-drive with the big canister. We kind of felt we were kind of being held back by some of the negatives we got from that older frame design so we wanted to go with something new,” Stemen said.