GT Distortion 2.0
Weight: 33.1 pounds
By Ryan LaBar
Of all the bikes in this issue, we had the toughest time pinning this bike to a specific category. The Distortion outweighs all the bikes in the trail category by nearly 3 pounds, has a head-angle that's slacker than most of the all-mountain bikes, yet the Distortion's 114-millimeters of rear travel seemingly lands it squarely in XC territory. All testers agreed on one thing: Of all the bikes in the group, the Distortion consistently proved to be one of the most fun to ride.
The 66.5-degree head angle and 140-millimeter fork gobble up bumps and keep the bike pointed in the right direction. Additionally, the Distortion's frame is quite stout and carries its weight low, making it a blast to rip corners, catch air and drop into steep sections of trail. The Distortion is a far more capable bike than its travel numbers suggest.
Aiding all this fun was a solid mix of quality components, which includes the RockShox Sektor TK fork, which we found to be surprisingly capable, as well as short stem, wide bars, Shimano SLX shifters and derailleurs with Shadow Plus and Maxxis Minion DHF tires front and back.
There are, however, some disappointments that tarnished an otherwise outstanding build. We had to trouble getting full power out of the Formula RX brakes even after bleeding them and resurfacing the pads, and the X-Fusion
Hilo R seatpost blew a seal and stopped working after just four rides. Another bummer is that the Distortion only comes in two sizes: medium and large. This means that if you're on either end of the height spectrum, you are
pretty much out of luck.
Yes, at 33.1 pounds the GT is quite heavy, but it only really showed its extra weight on extended climbs, and when lifting it off the ground and into the truck: This bike pedals with cross-country efficiency.
For more info, go to www.gtbicycles.com