Spoke Magazine

Sensor and Sensorbility

Posted by Caleb Smith on Tuesday July 30 2013

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I’ve been back from the US and Switzerland for a while now and I just realised that I haven’t given you a proper look at my new 130mm 650b/27.5/medium-wheeled GT Sensor. I should point out that the only thing stock on this bike is the Reverb Stealth post. All I left the GT launch with was the frame, everything else is custom. So as you can see it’s running a XX1 drivetrain with a 32t ring up front, Rock Shox’ new Pike and a new Rock Shox Monarch handle the suspension duties. The thing rolls on E13′s TRS+ Alloy wheels and Maxxis High Roller IIs, and the cockpit features Jerome’s BlackBox bars and Easton’s new grips. Stopping power is provided by SRAM’s Elixir Trails. The main difference between my build and the stock one is the fact that an off-the-shelf Sensor features 130mm travel front and rear, while my bike features the standard 130mm out the back with the Pike offering up 150mm of travel. Angles are pretty sweet with the 20mm of extra travel adding 1 degree of slackness, taking the head angle from 68.5 to 67.5 which makes for a fun and playful bike.

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This is my first time on XX1 and it’s been over a month now; it’s a game changer for me, I know it’s a little pricey but with the trickle-down X01 not far from release ,going 1×11 isn’t going to be so cost prohibitive. Also this is the first time I’ve ever ridden High Rollers; this set has been ridden in the summer of Utah, Colorado, Santa Cruz and Marin, but for the last few weeks they have been ridden in Wellington’s mud and rain and they have been amazing. Why it took me so long to switch to these guys I don’t know…

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Here’s a drive-side look at the AOS Path Link and shock placement. You can see by the rear of the shock the mount for a front mech or a front direct-mount guide, there’s no ISCG tabs on this thing so really that is your only option. Given that the whole link moves front to back we aren’t too sure what a BB mounted guide would do, but it’s something we might look at a bit later on. That said, all new GT builds come with triple cranksets so the guide thing is a little redundant. As far as mud and the shock go, surprisingly it stays pretty clean with the Path Link deflecting a lot of it.

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To be honest, I haven’t switched the new Monarch RT3 out of its fast rebound setting once. The suspension platform on the new GT is so good, there is no discernible pedal feedback whatsoever; things are the same with the stock Fox Float as well. Designer Peter Denk knows what he’s doing.

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This is where the magic happens; GT’s new Path Link. Watch the video below for the full rundown on this thing. I’ve been through it with you all before.

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Easton’s new grips combined with X0 Trails make for a super comfy setup…

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Oh and I’ve been channeling my inner Jerome Clementz with these new BlackBox Pro model 750mm carbon bars.

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And I can’t forget what was once the coolest fork on the planet. The new Solo Air 150mm travel Pikes are doing a stellar job living up to their namesake and have been performing flawlessly in all conditions so far. And the new Maxle doesn’t work loose! There’s a full review on the Pikes in Issue 53 out in September and we will be bringing you a full review of a production AOS GT in the near future. But this build has me grinning every ride and I’m stoked when I roll it out the garage door.

Image Gallery (8 Photos)

Categories: Exclusives, New products

  • Rubber up

    Rate the High Roller II better than nobby nics?

    • http://www.spokemagazine.com Caleb Smith

      I haven’t had enough time on the Nobby Nic’s but I had one on the rear of the Tallboy and couldn’t believe how quickly it wore out… But the High Rollers definitely have a bit more heft…

  • Phil

    How have you found the durability of the 1×11 cassette and chain with the mud and clay of winter Caleb? The chain seems too narrow to be hard wearing.

    • http://www.spokemagazine.com Caleb Smith

      i guess its to early to tell as its only been ridden here in July, but so far its all roses…

  • Hoz

    Nice build Caleb. Look forward to trying it out next time we cross paths bro’.

  • timjim

    Keen to check this beast out – any idea of what she weigh’s in at?? Nobby Nics are great for durability so long as you only ever ride on grass…..

    • http://www.spokemagazine.com Caleb Smith

      its not that light tim… it’s an XL Alloy frame… and the tyres weigh a bit… but i’ll get it on the scales

      • timjim

        Choice, be interesting to see how it compares to my SB66 – that build of yours is pretty sweet so weight must be okay. Maybe time for me to step up the wheel size so I look less like a dog humping a tennis ball…

  • Henry

    Caleb, how tall are you?

    • http://www.spokemagazine.com Caleb Smith

      6ft 4″, if i were 6ft 2″ i’d get a large, i’m the bottom end of the XL…

  • alexptdmg

    Hey caleb, this is Alex from Moab. I ve been trying to contact you.
    I n in NZ right now, till August 23rd. Do you have an email I can reach you? Have you been using some of the pics?

  • Ross McLachlan

    How is the e13 wheelset holding up, realy keen to get a set but want to know how durable they have been

  • Paul

    Hey Caleb. Why did you opt for the sensor over the force? price or angles or just coz?