Previewed: GT Fury Downhill Race Bike

The single biggest news from the GT Bicycles 2009 product release, currently underway in Livigno, Italy, is the new Fury downhill bike. Kept under wraps until its unveiling yesterday, the new all-carbon fiber monocoque-framed machine will replace the DHi model currently being sold by GT.

The most important point about the frame that GT engineers stressed was that the Fury was designed out of carbon fiber for strength purposes and not for lightweight purposes. Many carbon fiber frames have been designed in the past to be lightweight, and when they are designed to be light, they can fail easily if improperly used, leading to the misconception that carbon fiber is a weak material. The fact is that carbon fiber has a strength-to-weight ratio over ten times that of aluminum. So it should be possible to design a much stronger frame from carbon fiber, at a similar weight as an aluminum one.

The Fury uses a complete monocoque frame design, meaning its front triangle is all one piece, as is its rear triangle. By making it from one piece the design avoids lugs or welds that could form stress risers. The design has optimized tube construction and tube shape using FEA analysis as well as a proprietary blend of fiber types. The engineers have gone so far in their testing of the fury frame they have even, albeit not so scientifically, banged on it to failure with a ball peen hammer—and it did not fail quickly. This frame was designed to be tough, the engineers assured us that rock impacts should not be an issue.

The new Fury features an increased top tube length compared to the DHi, a 1.5-inch integrated headset, a 64-degree head angle and 8.3-inches of rear wheel travel. The frame uses a standard-sized shock for compatibility and a 2.8:1 leverage ratio. The lone model shown here was functional, but we were not allowed to ride it unfortunately. Team GT downhiller Bryn Atkinson has been hanging out with us in Livigno at the product release and he hasn’t even ridden it yet, but is slated to race the Fury in the future. The Fury has a claimed weight comparable to the existing DHi, or around 38 pounds. It will be sold in two models and one frameset at retail prices of $5999 and $3999. The frame-only price is still to be determined.

What do you think of the new Fury? Leave a comment below.