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.
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 1x11 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...
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.
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.
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.
Easton's new grips combined with X0 Trails make for a super comfy setup...
Oh and I've been channeling my inner Jerome Clementz with these new BlackBox Pro model 750mm carbon bars.
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.