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Downhill Bikes

GT Fury downhill bike Test

A bright bike from a beacon like brand

Words: Ieuan Williams  Photos: Ben Winder

GT Fury – The review

 

Someone at GT must have read the memo incorrectly when the boss said let’s light a candle for the new Fury and hope it burns brightly. This bike is a bonfire VISUALLY AND PRACTICALLY.

With the Athertons on board they certainly put it on the map, Gee totally dominating the start of the 2013 season before a miserable root in Norway knocked him off course to the title. Recently he claimed a World championship title on this bike and Rachel was pretty much untouchable on it.

A bright bike from a beacon like brand then. As it’s always been. GT has king size pedigree with some huge names such as Steve Pete, Fabien Barel, Mike King, Nico Vouilloz being associated with the company. The bike comes with expectations.

First impressions of the Fury are certainly on the rough edged industrial look, and with no hiding from the yellow and with no carbon in sight it’s unlike most of the other top bikes out there, but colour or welds don’t always make a good bike. Ours was a large and size wise it simply cannot be faulted, it is one of the largest bikes in this size, and would fit riders around and over the 6ft mark a treat. In this respect it is one of the few genuinely accurate fitting bikes.

Suspension

The GT Fury is bang on the money with the Fox 40 float Factory fork up front, we really do feel it is the best fork on the market at the moment and a great choice for a top specification build. The Fox DHX2 damper at the rear felt a bit linear to start with but with some setting up and having to change the spring rates gave the shock some more life and support. Apart from adding some compression damping to the rear and changing the spring there is nothing that you’d be going out to upgrade on this bike.

Read our downhill bike buyer’s guide here

Componentry

With the damping dialled in and dealt with by Fox exceptionally well, it is pretty much down to a Shimano Saint groupset to carry out the rest of the tasks. The gearing and crank on this bike have been spot every time I have been out but the brakes are far from the most polished or quietest performers. They had to be bled after the first ride and have not stopped making noise the whole time. Even after bleeding the Saint brake if the bike is stood upright on an uplift the brake feels vacant when back on level ground sometimes taking half a run to come back to life. It’s an issue that we’ve encountered on other Saint clad bikes.

With Stans rims, Maxxis tyres and the Athertons PRO finishing kit, it makes for an altogether well rounded build straight out of the box however, but we’d like to see a higher bar or stem on it and there could be a touch of weight shed from the bike as it weighs in at 36.10lb but as we found out in Pila last season, weight isn’t really an issue that many make it out to be. It certainly doesn’t hold this bike back.

DIRT MOUNTAIN BIKE | BIKE REVIEWS

Feeling

First impressions after a few rides out highlighted the fact that even if it’s a big old bike when you are stationary it’s incredibly nimble in the corners, aided no doubt by the fact that the bottom bracket is a good height (345mm although stated at 351mm) and the chainstay is relatively short measuring in at 442mm making the bike manouverable when you need it. The I-drive system works well on the Fury to keeping the bb low as it goes through the travel and also limiting the amount of chain growth.

When opened out, the GT Fury still has a particularly stiff chassis, reminding us of the Nukeproof Pulse slightly. There’s a tendency to really feel it on the body while trying to tame the beast on those hard to get lines. On the flex/stiffness balance it certainly weighted towards the latter, yes it’s very much a man’s bike.

Limitations

In terms of shape the bar height feels slightly low, and when riding I did feel over the front wheel and had to adjust to deal with this. At a shade over 40” it was some way off 42” which we feel to be a good average height. The Race Face stem did flip over for more height however and even though it was a bit of a faff with crown spacers to get the clearance for the bars on the fork adjusters it was worth it as it transformed the bike making it far more comfortable.

Being a full-on race bike if not ridden hard and fast some might find the bike lacks a bit of life in its sturdy chassis. This is partly the price you pay for a bike which is designed for pure downhill riding, its not a park style jump bike which some downhill bikes lean towards. It’s great that GT have not compromised the Fury in this respect.

Verdict

A super fast bike which is stiff enough for the world fastest could benefit from a touch more give in its bones. But then it’s also a fantastically robust work horse too and for many the slight stiffness is a price worth paying.

The Fury is all together components wise and definitely a “ready to race” bike. It’s a great package at just under £5000 and even though many direct sales bikes are making it a challenging environment what the Fury has is a bullet proof build and proven reliability. That’s worth loads.

When you open the taps out the positives that the GT Fury had to offer really do get unleashed. And what an incredibly stable bike this is. A total charger that will not shy away from any challenges, one that holds its line and poise. In big breakers the Fury is an inspired ride certainly one of the most stable downhill bikes in the business and easy to see how Gee had such great results on this bike.

If you can get past the chunky industrial look that it has and some of the overkill welds and you aren’t after a beauty queen with the spec and sizing it’s a great bike.

PRICE: £4999

cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk

gtbicycles.com

 

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