One of the original big brand names in mountain biking
We’re here to guide you through the 2018 range of GT mountain bikes. GT has always been a popular and sound choice for a first proper mountain bike.
Getting to grips with 2018 GT mountain bikes
For such a hugely popular bike brand it’s hard to find a consistent and comprehensive explanation of their mountain bike offering. which is sort of where this guide comes in. Searching GT’s own website often ends up with some models being overlooked for some reason. And browsing the bigger online bike shops that sell GT mountain bikes will similarly result in gaps and missing models.
Who knows why online info about GT mountain bike has been such a hit and miss affair, and now it doesn’t matter because you’re reading this!
What type of mountain bike are you looking for?
Chances are you already know what style of mountain bike you want. Whether that be hardtail, full suspension or e-bike. If you don’t yet know what type of mountain bike you want then head on over to our feature What to look for in a mountain bike. Once you do know what type of bike you’re after, read on…
What type of riding are you interested in?
First of all, all mountain bikes are adaptable and capable of many differing types of riding. That’s what makes them so great in fact. So don’t worry that you’ll never be able to go downhilling if you buy a trail bike. Having said that, you’ll have a better experience if you buy a bike that best suits the type of riding that you do the majority of the time. Don’t buy a gravity sled if you only ride uplifts three times a year and spend the other 49 weekends slogging it around calmer terrain.
If you can’t really answer what type of riding you’re interested in, or the answer is something along the lines of “er… normal mountain biking please” then you’ll be best served with a trail bike. If you like climbing most and XC racing, get a cross country bike. If you only ride shuttle/uplift assisted downhill tracks, get a gravity/DH bike.
With your bike type chosen and your riding type chosen, all there’s left to choose is a budget. Choose one and stick to it.
GT hardtail mountain bikes
There are five hardtail models in GT’s 2018 range of mountain bikes: Palomar, Aggressor, Avalanche, Pantera and Zaskar.
The vast majority of GT’s hardtails – and their full sussers come to that – are made from aluminium. The sole hardtail offering in carbon fibre is the Zaskar Carbon. The two cheap cromoly steel hardtails are the Palomar and the cultish big-wheel BMX GT Performer (which isn’t technically a mountain bike but loads of you will be interested in it anyway because it’s… cool).
Starting at the lowest price bike, that we think can accurately be described as a mountain bike, there’s the £324.99 GT Palomar AL. It’s a pretty basic spec bike but one with sound geometry, 27.5in wheels and T6 treated alloy frame that will withstand some upgrading over time.
Most people shopping for a proper first-time mountain bike will more likely be drawn to the GT Aggressor. The main reason for this is that all three models of the Aggressor sport disc brakes, with the Expert version having hydraulic disc brakes. Rim brakes (as those on the GT Palomar) aren’t really up to task of proper trail riding. Aggressor price range from the GT Aggressor Comp at £349.99 up to the GT Aggressor Expert at £399.99. There is also a women’s version called GT Aggressor Sport GTW for £349.99.
Next up is the GT Avalanche. An incredibly popular model that a whole load of mountain bikers started out on. It’s a model that has been in GT’s range for years. It’s essentially a more affordable version of their iconic Zaskar model (see below). GT Avalanches come with capable suspension forks, good geometry, hydraulic disc brakes, wide-range gearing and a size-depedent choice of 27.5 or 29in wheels. GT Avalanches range from the £469 Sport up to the £799.99 Expert. There is also a women’s GT Avalanche Comp GTW and a GT Avalanche Sport GTW.
Topping out GT’s hardtail range is the truly iconic GT Zaskar. A groundbreaking bike in its day, the Zaskar has shed some of its aggro stance and developed over the years into a trail hardtail with a keen XC leaning. The Zaskar packs a modest 100mm of fork travel and likes the cut ‘n’ thrust of fast cross-country. There are four Zaskar models for 2018 with only the GT Zaskar Comp 27.5 being aluminium. The other three are GT Zaskar Carbon models which come in either 27.5in or 29in wheel size. GT Zaskars start at £999.99 and top out at £2,199.99.
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And check out the GT Pro Performer 29 if you like bikes with more form than function. It’s part of GT’s retro ‘Heritage’ range. It can’t really be categorised as a mountain bike but as a 29in wheel BMX it’s… just… well, super cool.
GT full suspension mountain bikes
GT have radically rationalised their full suspension offerings for the UK market. There are now only two types of GT full susser: the GT Sanction and the GT Fury.
The GT Sanction is the 27.5in wheel enduro bike. It is very much a scaled-down cersion of the aforementioned Fury downhill bike. 165mm of travel paired with aggressive geometry and sturdy componentry, the GT Sanction is the bike that Enduro World Series star Martin Maes regularly pilots to podium places. Price £2,499.99 up to £3,499.99.
The GT Fury is the downhill or gravity mountain bike. GT have been in at the very beginning of elite downhill racing and their Fury bike is the latest iteration of the Independent Drivetrain suspension design that’s designed to dish out a whopping 210mm of rear travel with minimal negative interference from pedalling and braking forces.
Just two models: £3,499.99 GT Fury and £4,999.99 GT Fury Team.