Saturday, 12 November 2016

GT Gradex review

so here we have my new cross bike for a long term review,  So i did a few cross races started to love it and felt an upgrade was needed, i wanted a pure cross bike, So went on the hunt, when talking to my LBS they said about the Grade x, I said no as i wanted a cross race bike not a gravel bike, They sent me the link to the X, Its very much the sleeper in the Grade range, while the rest are gravel bikes named after the group set the the X does not, It also does not stand for the X factor, but Cross, as in cyclocross.. Next year GT will make this more clear by calling it the cx, So the frames the alloy model from the Grade range, so its burly slack and low, The fork comes from the carbon range with a bolt hub, Spec wise GT show they know how to spec a cross bike, the flair bars from the other Grades has gone for a more cross style bar and the group set comes from Sram in the shape of the Rival 11 speed. Wheels are jalco with some cross tyres from Clement. The only part i changed was the seat, just because i had a nice blue Fabric to match the colour, but the stock saddles a great Fizik.

 First look and you cant help but spot how bloody slack that head angle is!(74.5 on a 51). quick jump on the bike and up a tarmac hill and it feels like you have a front flat, that angles so slack the steering feels dead.. will this work, or making the Grade in to a cross racer a stretch for the well loved adventure/gravel bike..
 First race and i felt maybe the 40 tooths a little big, or it might be for some, other than that we lined up and went racing! boom, how did the bike handle in a race.. It does work! yes the slack angles might not be stock cross angles but dont be fooled in to thinking that the old style handling can not be updated! now the climbs im just focused on the power and not the twitchy front wheel and on the off camber and dh sections i had such a stable bike, that front wheel might look way out front but i feels so planted i was picking some nice tight lines in the turns and riding the off cambers others could not hold, loads front end grip plus a stable feel lets the bike rip on a race track.
parts wise im sold on it, even the bar tape looks and feels good, Its like GT has reborn the Zaskar!! because much like that bike when it first came out the grade x is a little bit more than just a race bike, the frames a little more hardcore, the looks not like other bikes at the races, Yes i love to see a LE made in the USA alloy grade cx in the future maybe in ball burnished to keep its good looks in the winter races rather than a carbon high end option, till then we will keep on racing this and report back.

1 comment:

Chad G. said...

Is there more clearance for the Grade X than the other GT Grades? Was told by Jensonusa that 650 x 47 tires would fit w/no problems. Jensonusa has the Grade X for $1299. Thanks for the review, still liking the GT Grade X?

Thanks!
Chad