His love for his son, a motocross enthusiast, made American welder G. Turner the world’s best BMX bike manufacturer. At the end of the 20th century, the appearance of the new design on the market caused a lot of noise and statements in the press. Today, GT produces world-famous models that have won top prizes in prestigious championships.
Let’s understand the unusual history and features of the GT bike, which enjoys incredible popularity regardless of the age of the biker and sports discipline.
GT brand history
Gary Turner’s career began in his own garage. In 1972, a professional California welder fabricated a lightweight chrome and molybdenum alloy frame for a bicycle. The original design proved to be much more successful than the steel device of the branded models. With the rise of BMX as a sport, the demand for the invention increased.
An enterprising motorcycle racer, Richard Long, who opened a bicycle store, offers a partnership. The men formalize the partnership. Activities expand from selling frames to producing finished bikes.
For 20 years, the established firm has been considered the best BMX manufacturer. Products are replenished with a new line of mountain bikes. Five years later, sales are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The search for venture capital to expand production leads to the East Cost Investment Group, through which the partnership is converted to a publicly traded company. Gary sells the lion’s share of his stock and becomes a consultant.
In 1996, Richard Long goes on a motorcycle to support a team of mountain bikers at the NORBA National, but dies in a collision with a truck. With the death of one of cycling’s brightest merchants, the history of GT changes. Competition increases in the marketplace. Twice, GT is taken over by cycling concerns that quickly go bankrupt. In 2004, Canadian manufacturer Dorel Industries became the owner of the assets. Today, products are made in Korea, China and Taiwan. Development and design of new models is carried out by designers in the United States.
The main share of the product falls on mountain bikes, designed for riding outside of paved roads. The manufacturer has taken care of models for both beginner riders and professionals.
The feature of the GT mountain bike, suitable for any kind of sport races:
- reinforced frame;
- thick tires with special tread;
- high ground clearance (clearance between the pedal and the road);
- air spring;
- additional shock-absorbing parts;
- improved rebound and preload.
GT hardtails are immediately recognizable by their distinctive frame geometry. A distinctive feature is the triple triangle, made using proprietary technology. The engineering solution lightened the weight and made the cost of the bike cheaper.
Highway bikes without shock absorption are adapted for high-speed travel on paved roads due to the narrow, but mechanically strong wheels.
GT line is widely represented by city bikes. Children’s models differ from adults only in size and weight. For the little ones, single-speed bikes are available. Bikes for children in the age of three to six years set side wheels with tubeless tires.
A separate species is represented by bicycles made according to proprietary brand developments. For example, the I-Drive suspension system, which provides stable pedaling.
GT bicycle models
GT has been making high-quality products for 50 years. New frame geometry, improved assembly, special technologies are applied to all bikes. The task of the manufacturer – to help consumers choose a bike that matches the level of riding, abilities, age category. The 18 series are represented by different configurations. For example, the Sport GT models are characterized by simple units. Prestige Pro – complex, advanced.
Examples of popular bikes are shown in the table.
|Avalanche Sport||Entry level
Downhill and Uphill—how-to-learn–tips riding
|Robust aluminum frame (6061 T6)
New construction geometry (triple triangle at the rear)
Closed bearings (industrial type)
27 speeds with Shimano derailleurs
SantourXCT-HLO 100 suspension fork
Wheels – 27.5 inches
Weight – 14,5 kg
|Zaskar||GT Avalanche alternative
Rigid construction using dropouts for through-axles
Stainless steel spokes
Tapered steering column
29 inch wheel diameter
Rigid suspension without the slightest bit of travel
|Aggressor Comp||Tarmac and light off-road riding
Designed for everyday cyclists of all genders
|Tripe Triangle frame technology
All-Terra spring fork
24 speeds with Shimano derailleurs
Wheel diameter – 27.5 inches
Dual aluminum rims
Cartridge, sealed bearings
Weight – 14.14 kg
|GT Force||Pro bike
Used as a “light freeride” bike
|Transmission, Shimano XT brakes
Rock Shox suspensions
Wheel diameter is 26 inches
|BMW GT Slammer||For beginner riders
Teaching BMW disciplines
|High Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances ability
Reinforced steel frame
Wide tires for long life
|GT Traffic||Touring bike
On asphalt, dirt roads
|Tripe Triangle aluminum frame
Rigid front fork
Number of speeds – 21
Hydraulic disc brakes
Wheel size – 28 inches
|GT Laguna||Entry level bike for women
|Lowered tube aluminum frame
21 gears (Shimano)
Wheels – 26 inches
Weight 13.2 kg
The children’s segment is represented by Vamoose pedalless bicycles (1-5 years). The Grunge and Stomper hardtails are available for teenagers.
Recommendations for selection
With a wide range of bicycle products GT pick up the appropriate model is not difficult. The Canadian concern controls not only the financial flows, but also the brand itself. Therefore, advice on the choice can be formulated in a few points:
- Two-wheeled transport is selected depending on the purpose and place of riding. For example, a mountain GT should be purchased for off-road riding. And on a BMW GT it is possible to master sports disciplines.
- Pay attention to the year of manufacture of the model range. With the same name bikes can differ in technical characteristics.
- The weight of the mountain bike should not exceed 15 kg, and for the hardtail weight limit is 13.5 kg.
- Aluminum frames make the design easier, steel frames are characterized by greater strength and reduce the cost of the bike.
Own developments of GT brand
Gary Turner’s idea of using the latest technology in the manufacture of bicycles was developed in modern conditions. The company’s engineers work hard with professional athletes to create quality bikes that meet the latest trends in the industry. It is difficult to list all the innovations of GT, so here are six examples.
The high-mounted pivot cushions shocks, allowing you to overcome obstacles with sharp rocks. The system includes a hollow lever that eliminates the problem of increased chain length.
Cycling adjustments take women’s anatomical features into account.
Legit Fit Design.
The program focuses on design solutions for children’s bikes.
Monocoque XM Metal.
A unique development of aluminum frame geometry.
Best-known technology to increase frame torsional rigidity.
Improves the structure of aluminum at the molecular level when forming the metal.
Strengths and weaknesses
In the 50 years of the company’s existence, professional athletes and ordinary consumers have identified the main advantages of GT bikes:
- the widely represented lineup;
- well thought-out construction;
- high-quality workmanship and component assembly;
- easy operation;
- reliable transmission;
- accurate frame geometry;
- use of lightweight and durable materials;
- Constant work to create their own technologies.
Disadvantages that are characteristic of some models:
- The eights at the wheels;
- conservatism of design;
- redundancy of thin feathers;
- poor coloring;
- high cost.
The 18 series of GT bikes are designed for a wide target audience, from novice bikers to professional athletes. The models have proven their worth in the UCI World Cup and the NORBA National Championships, where they have won numerous prizes and awards.