At a glance
With its fluid lines and matt black finish the Force 1.0 is an aesthetically pleasing sight that has sense of stealth about it.Buy Enduro Bikes on
For the money, £2299, the equipment levels are excellent and the ‘Independent Drivetrain’ suspension system is remarkably tidy considering how complex it is.
The 6061 aluminum monocoque frame is capable of 150mm of rear wheel travel through GT’s tried and tested ‘Independent Drivetrain’ system, a Fox RP23 with Propedal takes care of things at the back while a Fox Float 32 R 150mm 15mm bolt thru matches that up front.
Modular dropouts are a nice touch and mean that you can go to any rear axle system takes your fancy.
Considering the amount of travel available the head tube angle of 69º seems a little steep. The seat tube angle of 73º is pretty much standard and suggests that the Force will pedal well.
On our medium size model the effective top tube length comes in at 585mm and the wheelbase is a fairly short 1105mm.
Kit levels are excellent with Shimano XT taking care of the drivetrain and braking.
The bulk of the finishing kit comes from Ritchey, they provide the somewhat lengthy 100mm stem and the low-rise bars that measure 675mm wide. The seat pin is Ritchey to0 and the saddle comes in the form of a WTB Rocket.
XT hubs are laced to Mavic XM-719 Disc rims providing a reliable wheelset and these are finished with Kenda Nevegal DTC tyres, you get a 2.35 on the front and the 2.1 on the rear.
Our medium test bike weighed 30.5lbs on our scales without pedals.
On the trail
The Force feels smooth and easy to pedal straight away, it actually feels more like a shorter travel bike than it is.
Running the GT around our local training route a few things became apparent.
Firstly, it has to be said that this bike climbs nicely and the compliant rear end is excellent at seeking out traction. This is aided by the steep head tube angle and the stretch that you get from the long stem.
Secondly, through tight singletrack the short wheelbase and steep head tube angle makes the bike quite manoeuvrable and you soon find yourself sweeping along at a decent pace. Push hard though and that flick-ability can morph into a slight nervousness.
Thirdly, heading downhill even on our local training loop revealed that there is a sense of sitting on the bike rather than sitting in it. This was not an issue on what would be considered normal XC or trail riding but if you were to throw yourself down a steep rock garden secure in the knowledge you are riding an all mountain rig then you may find that the bike gets overwhelmed. You definitely need to pilot this bike in order to get the most out of it downhill.
There is a lot going for the GT, it is excellent value with kit levels above what you would expect at this price point.
Weight wise it is very reasonable for the amount of travel on offer and that travel is delivered smoothly with no fuss.
Climbing on the Force is a pleasure, if you like that sort of thing, and on flat ground you can get up a good head of steam and the bike is fun to flick through singletrack.
The matt black finish and curves make it a good-looking bike and even though that suspension system looks and is complicated it is well sealed and does not require anywhere near as much tlc as you might expect.
GT market this bike as an All Mountain bike and with 150mm of travel that seems like a reasonable claim…. But
There is no doubt that the Force provides 150mm of smooth and well controlled travel but that is only half the story. Geometry is what ultimately dictates the way a bike rides and that is where the Force is something of an enigma.
Yes it has the travel but not the feel of an All Mountain rig, what this means is that if you ramp up the speeds and attack technical terrain then there is a chance that you may well be pushing the bike beyond its limits.
So while this bike is not the All Mountain bike that GT market it as that is not to say it is not a good bike.
The fact is it is a cracking Trail/Enduro bike that would suit the typical weekend warrior that just loves to get out and ride.
Great value, good suspension and geometry that is easy to ride, we think the Force is a bike that you should definitely get a test ride on if you are looking to get into the world of full suspension and are not likely to be tackling Alpine descents or hucking off 5 foot drops.Buy Enduro Bikes on
This review was in Issue 4 of IMB.For more information visit GT Bicycles
By Rou ChaterRou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.