Home Road Cycling [Tested] GT Sensor Carbon Pro LE
Road Cycling

[Tested] GT Sensor Carbon Pro LE

GT has been moving forward with somewhat of a rebirth as of late. The iconic trademark has returned from the East Coast when to its roots in the land of sun and the never ending riding season – Southern California. This move moreover coincides with a bit by bit update to their range with new lines and philosophy as well as throwback graphics as a nod to their early days. I’ve been riding their latest all rounder – the Sensor Carbon Pro LE for some time now and wanted to share my thoughts on the new rig. Read on for the full scoop…

Details

  • 29″ wheels
  • S, M, L (tested), XL sizing
  • 150mm front travel / 140mm rear travel
  • Carbon webbing front triangle / Aluminum rear triangle
  • Threaded marrow bracket
  • Universal Derailleur Hanger
  • $5,750 USD


Starting with suspension, GT spec’d flagship RockShox shit throughout. Up front is the Lyrik RC2 with the new Charger 3 damper (high and low speed pinch adjustment, single rebound adjustment), Buttercups and transude valves. I’ve been very impressed with this fork so far and found it a unconfined match for the bike. Out when is a Super Deluxe Ultimate RC2 which moreover features upper and low speed pinch and a single rebound damping adjustment, but sees hydraulic marrow out tenancy as a bonus. I really like this shock and will swoop deeper into suspension increasingly below.

The cockpit is mostly a mix of in house/budget parts but I had no major complaints with them. I was happy to see a fairly tall 30mm rise bar and a steerer tube that was left with plenty of spacers on it. I prefer a tall front end and far too often I receive bikes that are too low up there. The in house GT grips were surprisingly well-appointed and I’m a fan of the single clutch design. They remind me of a slightly firmer ODI Longneck. Lastly, SRAM’s Code RSC brakes have proven their mettle time and again. The externally willowy reach and contact point are nice touch and a 200mm front / 180mm rear rotor philharmonic is just right for this bike’s duty level.

I have nothing bad to say well-nigh the TranzX dropper seatpost. In fact I quite like its impulse and feel. Additionally the fact that you can hands retread the travel is a unconfined touch. Props to GT for scaling the seatpost travel throughout the size range and spec’ing a nice long 200mm travel on the size Large. Us lanky guys really fathom that, so other brands, please take note! That said, I veritably did not get withal with the lever. On first inspection it looks like it would be fine but it has all the wrong angles and just doesn’t finger right. Fortunately you could swap to something much superior for well-nigh $45.

The Sensor Carbon LE Pro’s drivetrain is a smart mix of components that help get the price lanugo to hit the right target. An XO1 Eagle derailleur keeps the shifting well-done but most of the rest is GX level – and that’s fine but it does weigh a little increasingly than a full X01 drivetrain. Regardless, a 10-52T cassette provides loads of range. For the record, this model ships with a steel 32T chainring. As you can see whilom I installed a 30T for part of this review to help me cope with some of my increasingly would-be outings.

The subscription routing is very dialed. It runs internally via the headtube with a super tidy exit at the marrow of the lanugo tube secured with a molded plastic fitting and proper hardware. Perhaps what made my inner nerd most happy was the zip tie guides (bottom left).


The protection is what we’ve often come to expect in the MTB world – a molded rubber baby-sit on the chainstay that wraps increasingly widely at the hair-trigger points and features ridges to alimony things quiet. At the marrow of the downtube is a burly rubber baby-sit as well.

The Sensor rolls on WTB KOM i30 wheels which full-length an in house front hub and a SRAM rear hub. The wheelset is nothing to write home well-nigh as it’s needed a couple of trues and retensions to stay straight, but largely speaking these wheels have been up to the task thus far and get the job washed-up – provided you maintain them properly.

Lastly, the rubber consists of a set of Continental Kryptotal Fr tires. I’ve heard unconfined things well-nigh these tires but personally I didn’t have the weightier wits – however there is some when story. GT’s spec sheet calls for a Kryptotal Fr/Rr philharmonic in the “Enduro” casing with “Soft” rubber. My test velocipede shipped quite a few weeks surpassing the new Sensor became misogynist to the public and I believe GT was scrambling to get review bikes out. In that scramble my velocipede ended up with front tires both front and rear, but moreover featured the thinner “Trail” casings in the harder “Endurance” compound. It didn’t take long for me to put a pretty sizable wobble in the rear tire as a few nonflexible corners had the thinner casing struggling. To be well-spoken this was not the wheel but the tire itself… With that in mind, I think it’s unscratched to seem that the stock version with a thicker Enduro casing and a Soft recipe would very much be up to the task – expressly given how much positive peep I’ve heard well-nigh these tires.

Geometry

A quick once over of the numbers revealed geometry that I personally would opt for on my own bike. A 480mm reach and 440mm chainstays is sufferer on perfect for a size Large in my opinion. All of the other hair-trigger figures trammels out wonderfully as well. That said, it would be nice to see size scaled geometry as the front part-way : rear part-way ratios aren’t resulting throughout the lineup. As one could imagine, a 430mm reach and 440mm chainstay on the size small doesn’t have the same proportionality as my size Large did. It’s worth considering that doing so drives up manufacturing process financing substantially and GT places a heavy accent on value so it’s understandable that this wasn’t part of the final equation. Regardless, most of the numbers here are spot on and lend themselves to unconfined handling both on the climbs and on the descents.

On the trail

Starting with setup this velocipede calls for a 25% sag percentage. That’s a smidge lower than the stereotype bike, which I’d ballpark at virtually 30%. In any specimen I set the suspension up therefrom and headed out to the trails. As it turns out I had unbearable marrow outs to scratch my throne a bit…I emailed my contact at GT to see what they undeniability for in terms of volume reducers, or whether it should use the progressive or linear air can. Oddly there was just one volume reducer in the rear shock – which had the linear air can the Sensor calls for – but it is spec’d for 3 volume reducers. I happened to have two uneaten reducers laying virtually so I popped them in. At that point everything simply clicked and the suspension performed perfectly. Much like the tire situation, this can be chalked up to typical pre-release media sample struggles.

This new model takes the groundwork laid lanugo by the last Sensor but refines things and buffs them out in unconfined many ways. The last model was a worth all rounder and this is no variegated but it’s increasingly dialed, lightweight and quiet/ One speciality that has gone by the wayside is willowy geometry as GT no longer includes a flip tweedle in the lower shock eyelet. Because the geometry was so spot on I think that’s a fairly forgivable decision, but I often prefer increasingly options over less.

In any specimen GT offered some insight as for that nomination from their perspective, which I appreciated. Basically, most riders they surveyed took a “set it and forget it” tideway and didn’t transpiration positions increasingly than once. They moreover pointed out that a flip tweedle requires wider lower shock tabs, which inhibits compatibility with larger air cans and makes whorl spring swaps difficult as you have to remove the shock hardware to swap springs, whereas the 20mm hardware they spec’d doesn’t toss that up. Fair play!

OK, so unbearable of the nerd stuff – let’s discuss how this velocipede unquestionably rode on the trails. Starting with climbing, I found the Sensor to be extremely peppy. While a 77º seat tube wile puts you in a well-appointed and upright position, this velocipede moreover rides upper in its travel and is very responsive to pedal input, wasting no energy. I think attributing that foible to a low-ish sag percentage would be ignorant at best. My findings are that it unquestionably is increasingly of a magnitude of the Sensor’s kinematics and unstipulated disposition. On multiple long grinds I got to the top of a trail and went to unlock the rear shock only to find that it had never occurred to me to lock it in the first place. Typically if I’m on a long climb and I finger any movement lanugo there, I reach for that lockout lever without hesitation. The takeaway is that there is a very firm pedaling platform to push off of and this velocipede climbs extremely well.

While this makes the velocipede very well rounded and highly capable on the ascents, it does midpoint that it’s not exactly a masher that you recklessly rally through anything without a superintendency in the world. It has increasingly of a refined finger and doesn’t really beg to get thrashed. This moreover ways that when it comes to descending it has quite a bit of pop and loves stuff in the air. It’s the velocipede that has you looking for bonus lines to jump over rough terrain, rather than plow through it. That’s not to say that it exhibited a rough ride or held me when in any way…I’m simply parsing out how it rode and where it stands on the lively to masher spectrum as I like to undeniability it.

As far as any other on trail manners are concerned, GT has a unconfined nomination of spec on this model and thus provides a really good value to the consumer. Flagship brakes and suspension mixed with a proven drivetrain are a unconfined starting point. That in combination with stuff sufferer quiet and self-aggrandizing a sturdy demeanor made for a lark self-ruling ride that unliable me to focus on the trail ahead. I didn’t notice any sort of pitfalls in terms of the Sensor’s finger in the corners or when I was heavy on the brakes. It’s a very peppy but wifely velocipede that doesn’t really have any particular mannerisms that are screaming out, and I consider that a good thing. Over the undertow of the few months that I rode this velocipede there were no issues with any of the hardware or situation and I found all of the frame’s features to be extremely well thought out. I was particularly impressed with the subscription routing and if I’m honest I am over the moon for the low profile zip tie guides. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?

Overall

At the end of the day the new Sensor is a highly capable trail velocipede that hits all the right marks and I think GT offers a solid value proposition here. Top end brakes and suspension, a long travel dropper and a brilliantly thought out frame at the heart of it all has won me over. The fact that my main point of contention is the dropper seatpost lever, which is a very low forfeit part to swap, speaks volumes. Sure the wheels could be a little tougher but they aren’t bad by any means. As stated prior, the Sensor’s disposition leans in the peppy and wiry direction increasingly than it does the “smash” direction, but it’s definitely a confident rig that’s up for anything. All told, it seems GT is headed in the right direction.

www.gtbicycles.com

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