Aimed at the XC and trail market, the GT Sensor Carbon Pro features the company’s new Path Link suspension platform with 130mm travel.
GT has radically revamped its long-running Independent Drivetrain to produce Path Link, which it has used on two brand new bikes this year: the 150mm enduro and gravity-focused Force, and the XC and trail-orientated 130mm Sensor here.
Like the Force, the GT Sensor Carbon Pro has 650b (27in) wheels but is packaged with a lighter carbon-fibre frame with a steeper head angle. The high pivot of the new Path Link produces good small-bump sensitivity and big-hit capability, plus very little pedal bob on smooth trails and climbs. The shock has been tuned to produce a slightly firmer ride so it’s more efficient on the climbs, and this is where the GT Sensor really excels.
One key advantage of the repackaged suspension is that it has allowed GT to mount the shock low in the frame, producing a compact design with a low centre of gravity. The bottom bracket is also low, further increasing stability. GT has equipped the Sensor Carbon Pro with a 740mm handlebar, 80mm stem and a Reverb Stealth dropper post which, combined with the longer front end, produces a bike that is planted and stable at speed with predictable handling and good manoeuvrability. It rails turns and handles bigger terrain, and unlike some shorter-travel bikes doesn’t easily get out of its depth.
GT makes a good case for a triple Race Face chainset but it would be nice to see a 2×10 option for the UK market. I didn’t get on with the Continental Race X King tyres either. They were puncture-prone on the Deer Valley trails in Utah — dry, loose and rocky — and they didn’t offer much confidence or traction at speed.
Available in a choice of aluminium or carbon, I rode the GT Sensor Carbon Pro model, which hit the scales at 12.6kg (27.8lb), a good couple of pounds lighter than the equivalent-spec Force.
While the GT Sensor is a very good advertisement for the in-between wheel size, it may struggle against some top 29er bikes in this category. Even so, if you’re looking for a short-travel 650b bike that is a lot of fun and very rapid, the new GT Sensor hits the spot. Dave Arthur
We Love: Its speed, instantly at-home handling and the stiffness of the carbon frame. Revised Path Link suspension is an improvement and it makes the bike climb and descend with confidence.
We Hate: The Continental tyres limit how hard you can push the bike on the descents, and are puncture-prone.
Frame Ultra Carbon frame, 130mm, Fox Float CTD shock
Fork Fox 32 Float CTD FIT 130mm
Wheels e13 TRS+, Continental X-King 2.4/2.2in ProTection tyres
Brakes Formula T1
Drivetrain Race Face Turbine 42/32/22t cranks, Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus mech, XT shifters
Components Race Face Turbine 740mm bars, Thomson Elite X4 80mm stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth seatpost
Sizes S, M, L, XL
Weight 12.6kg (27.8lb)
Size ridden M
Head angle 68.5°
Seat angle 73.5°
BB height 335mm
Front centre 696mm