At A Glance
GT have stepped out of the shadows and taken their rightful place in the top tier of bike producers again. A blisteringly successful season, that saw great results for the Athertons and others onboard the new range of GTs, has put their bikes right back on the most wanted list.Buy Trail Bikes on
A complete revision of geometry and suspension design has bought results at international level, but what does the little brother of the family offer the weekend warrior?
GT use their Ultra Carbon to craft the Sensor frame, it offers 130mm of travel via the new A.O.S. suspension design. Frame and shock weight is 5.94lbs for a medium. Features include an integrated tapered head tube, 12x142 rear maxle and direct mount rear derailleur. Cables are run under the down tube and then the stealth dropper and rear derailleur cables disappear inside, unusual but it does give the bike clean lines.
The A.O.S. suspension is a high single pivot design, this gives excellent big bump absorption, which normally comes at the cost of pedal feedback…enter the Path Link. This link allows the bottom bracket to move in sync with the rear axle path, and depending on pivot placements GT can tune the amount of chain growth. In the case of the Sensor they have tuned in a stable peddling platform with a tight suspension feel.
Fox supply the suspension units, out back is a Float CTD BV and a 32mm Float FIT fork sits upfront.
The rest of the spec includes some choice picks…
A rather nice set of E.Thirteen wheels sport rims with a 21mm internal width. On these are mounted a set of fast rolling Continental 2.4 X King Protections.
Shimano XT kit keeps things running sweetly in the drivetrain department with the exception of a RaceFace Turbine triple chain set.
Formula T1 brakes are matched to 180mm discs.
Every Sensor sports an 80mm Thompson stem and 740mm RaceFace Turbine bars irrelevant of what size you go for.
Finishing things off is a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper seatpost topped by a Fizik Tundra2 saddle.
GT Sensor Carbon Pro Large
Seat tube 500mm
Effective top tube 629mm
Head tube 125mm
Chain stay 440mm
Front triangle 730mm
Wheel base 1170mm
BB height 333mm
Head angle 68.5°
Seat angle 73.5°
Weight w/o pedals 27.8lbs
On the trail
There is a sag meter to help with set up, although I found this a little too small so I used the traditional method which was difficult due to the shock being tucked away. I settled on 25% sag and matched the fork to the rear.
This gave a taut feel that proved very efficient when pedalling. Add to this the fast rolling tyres, low weight and ample cockpit and I found I was munching miles for fun.
Pointing the GT uphill showcased what a balanced bike it is. Minor body movements allowed the front to be lofted over obstacles or the rear to be weighted to ensure great drive through slippery root tangles.
It was on undulating single track where the GT Sensor really put a smile on my face. The combination of a long wheel base and low bottom bracket always hinted at a stable ride, but the 68.5 degree head tube angle, low weight distribution and taut suspension kept things agile, very agile in fact. Flicking the bike out of one corner straight into the next was about as much fun as you could have on a bike. Once into a corner the Sensor clawed at the surface hunting out grip and speed galore.
Being a 130mm trail bike every now and then you’ll be wanting to take it out of its comfort zone and opening up the taps on some seriously technical terrain. When the going gets really rough and steep the only real issue I found with the Sensor showed up. The carbon frame is stiff and tracks beautifully, taking big hits better than a 130mm bike has any right to; however the fork doesn’t quite match up to the frame. The damping is reasonably well controlled, but the 32mm chassis is not in the same league in terms of stiffness when pinging through rock gardens at speed…
The Sensor Carbon Pro is fast, stable and balanced, yet remains agile, taut and fun. It’s built up with some excellent kit that is just a little out of the norm.
Cleaning the GT is something of a mission; I found I had to let the air out of the shock on occasions to allow me to clear mud and leaves that had become trapped down by the Path Link
The GT Sensor Carbon Pro is an easy and enjoyable bike to ride.
It is a balanced bike with a playful and equally capable nature. The GT Sensor responds to rider input as well as any bike I have ridden. This made it a firm favourite amongst the test team, and it’s been taken across all sorts of terrain, sometimes braving terrible weather, for no other reason than I just wanted to ride it.
If you like a taut, sweet handling trail bike then I would recommend you swing a leg over the Sensor Carbon Pro, it really is a terrific bike… Welcome back GT.Buy Trail Bikes on
This review was in Issue 28 of IMB.For more information visit GT Bicycles
By Nigel GarroodNigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!