Great geometry, sizing and suspension

Product Overview

GT Sensor Carbon Pro

Pros:

  • Great geometry, sizing and suspension. Competitive pricing.

Cons:

  • Big feet rub the stays. Needs a softer compound front tyre for increased corning traction.

Product:

GT Sensor Carbon Pro first ride review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£3,999.99

In the low position the new 29er GT Sensor Carbon Pro sports a 65.5 degree head angle, which is pretty slack for a 130mm travel bike.

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GT Sensor Carbon Pro need to know

  • 29er trail bike with 130mm travel
  • LTS suspension linkage is a genuine 4-bar design
  • Grove tube in carbon front end conceals cables
  • Flip-chip in the lower shock mount offers two geometry settings
  • Fully compatible with 27.5 Plus wheels
  • Five models; starting with the entry-level Sensor Sport at £1,599
gt sensor carbon pro

Beefy head tube hints at the Sensor’s gung ho character

GT Sensor Carbon Pro first ride review

Over the past 25 years GT has developed multiple suspension platforms. It all started with RTS; a short-travel design with a high single-pivot and linkage actuated shock. It was GT’s second suspension platform however that really revolutionised full suspension bikes, transforming GT into an MTB powerhouse with the likes of Nicolas Vouilloz piloting the LTS (linkage tuned suspension) to multiple title wins.

gt sensor carbon pro

Groove Tube offers easy cable access while keeping clean lines

LTS then made way for the more complex and less effective i-Drive design that later morphed into GT’s Angle Optimised Suspension, which was basically a highbred design combining a Horst link pivot with i-Drive. And while these floating BB designs pedalled exceptionally well, GT trail bikes became less relevant in the modern ear.

gt sensor carbon pro

Now GT has almost come full circle as it reintroduces LTS on its longstanding Force and Sensor platforms. The new suspension layout looks nothing like the original but it retains all of the key features that made LTS so effective, including a Horst link pivot on the chainstay and a Trunnion mounted shock. Granted, the shock is now a Metric design and rather than threading the shock through the mount to adjust the geometry, the latest version has a simple flip-chip that offers two settings, high and low.

gt sensor carbon pro

Dialled-in LTS suspension yields a well-balanced rig

The sizing is progressive, the reach number on the size L a generous 470mm. It gets a threaded BB of ease of maintenance and GT had shunned internal cable routing on the carbon front end. Instead, it uses a Grove Tube, which is basically a recess in the upper side of the downtube that gives the smooth sleek appearance of internal cable routing without any of the hassle.

gt sensor carbon pro

SRAM Level TL brakes use 180mm rotors front and back

The build kit on the Sensor Carbon Pro ticks most of the trail bike boxes. SRAM Level LT disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear mean you’ll have no issue modulating your speed and they will get you out of trouble just a quickly as the Sensor can get you into it. Control is enhanced further with the whopping 800mm Race Face handlebar. If you think that’s overkill, it’s not a problem as you can simply cut it down to your desired width.

One area where I found the Sensor’s build kit to be somewhat lacking was tyre choice. The 2.35in Addix Speedgrip Schwalbe Performance tyre is okay on the rear as it rolls well, but given how hard the Sensor can be ridden I’d like a softer compound tyre up front for optimum control.

The frame and fork are both Boost, and unlike some 29ers the Sensor has sufficient clearance to swallow 27.5in wheels with full-blown 2.8in Plus tyres fitted. That’s where the geometry flip-chip really comes in handy, the high setting compensating for the reduced size of the 27.5in Plus wheels. It’s also why the alloy stays on the rear of the Sensor are a little wider than some and why I ended up rubbing the heel of my shoe on them. Not while pedalling though, and it was just my back foot, so it must have been happening when carving corners, and boy does the Sensor love to carve corners.

In fact, this bike feels superbly balanced, the combination of the modern geometry, generous sizing and dialled LTS suspension combining to put the rider in a very neutral position on the bike. As such, it can be ridden much harder than its 130mm travel suggests. It pedals well too; not in a hardtail firm kinda way, but it remains settled in the sag position providing good traction on lose climbs without too much movement at the shock.

It’s a great 29er trail bike and while I’m not sure if the latest LTS design is going to be enough to bounce GT back to the dizzying heights of its success in the 90s, the new Sensor 29er platform puts it squarely back in the running.

Details

Frame:Carbon/aluminium, 130mm travel
Shock:RockShox Deluxe RT3
Fork:RockShox Pike RCT3, 130mm travel
Wheels:All Terra Boost hubs, Stan's NoTubes Flow MK3 rims, Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance 29 x 2.35in tyres
Drivetrain:Truvativ Descendant 7K, Dub 32T chainset SRAM XO1 Eagle r-mech and GX shifter
Brakes:SRAM Level TL 180mm rotors
Components:Race Face Next Carbon 800mm bar, Race Face Turbine R 50mm stem, KS LEV Ci 150mm dropper, Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport saddle
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size tested:L (low)
Head angle:65.5°
Seat angle:76°
BB height:349mm
Chainstay:435mm
Front centre:787mm
Wheelbase:1,222mm
Down tube:725mm
Top tube:620mm
Reach:40mm
Contact:gtbicycles.com