Craig “Cowboy” McGinnity is not easy on bikes. He’s raced and killed it on the downhill scene, he’s shredded BMX on street and dirt and as anyone who’s ridden with him recently will attest, he absolutely kills it on a trail bike and can carry more speed through the shittiest corners than should be humanely possible. Out of all the bikes on the market today he chose this, the new GT Sanction. The release of this bike has kind of been non existent; I don’t even think I received a press release, so I thought I’d get Cowboy to swing past the office so we could check out the frame and his build.The single-ring specific Sanction was designed in partnership with Atherton racing and based closely on the new GT Fury downhill race bike. Using the same ID Suspension technology found on the Fury and similar angles (66 degree HA and a long front centre) this bike is pitched heavily towards the descending side of Enduro racing with many coining it a mini-DH bike.
The Independent Drivetrain is designed to minimize pedal feedback to give unrestricted, efficient pedalling freedom over rough terrain. The technology combines a supple beginning stroke paired with a progressive ending stroke to mitigate harsh bottom-outs.
On top of the Sanction’s enduro-tested geometry (66 HA/74 SA) Cowboy’s build features some pretty bulletproof parts that have moved from his last frame, like the Easton Haven bar/stem combo. As you may have guessed from the photos so far, Cowboy is not a fan of plastic, there’s no carbon here (except in the cranks). There are some sexy and solid 27.5 Atomlab Suprelite wheels, an XO single chainring drivetrain and some fricken rad 170mm Fox 36 forks.
Cable routing is on top of the downtube, which is the complete opposite of the Force and Sensor.
ODI Aaron Gwin grips and SRAM Guide brakes, a match made in heaven.