GT Avalanche Bike Review

GT has a variety of hardtail bikes that are aimed towards enjoyable, efficient mountain biking. These GT Avalanche bikes include the Sport, Comp, Elite, and Expert, and they cover a range of both quality and price. Avalanche bikes have been growing in popularity for quite some time, with one of the top features being the GT triple-triangle frame. GT Avalanche bikes come in a variety of sizing options from extra-small to extra-large, allowing cyclists to pick what works best for them. These bikes are a great value for the price, but they don’t necessarily standout in any specific area of mountain biking. Instead, they give cyclists a great riding experience overall.

GT Avalanche Sport

            The GT Avalanche Sport is the cheapest option out of the Avalanche models. The Avalanche Sport is equipped with a standard aluminum frame and an SR Suntour fork with 100mm of travel. The bike also has mid-range Tektro M275 hydraulic disk brakes, which provide strong and reliable stopping power. The drivetrain on the Avalanche Sport is a mixture of Shimano Alivio and Altus components.

Along with the Shimano components is a 2×9-speed Sunrace cassette, which provides riders with a total of 18 gears. There is an SR Suntour fork equipped, which is a slight downfall for this bike due to the cheaper, and slightly heavy coil-sprung fork, but it can also be upgraded! The WTB rims are available at either 29-inches or 27.5-inches, with 2.25-inch Ranger Comp tires which ensures control and traction in all types of weather conditions.

GT Avalanche Comp

            The GT Avalanche Comp includes GT’s signature 6061 aluminum frame, with the triple triangle design. The bike also features an internal cable routing system, as well as routing for the Boost 141 forged drop-outs with disc brake mounts and a dropper seat post. One of the best features on the GT Avalanche Comp is the 1×10 Shimano Deore groupset, which includes an 11-42 SUunrace cassette and a 32T crank. The Deore components are one of the higher-quality Shimano groupsets, and they’re rarely seen on bikes in this lower of a price range. The drivetrain is made up of Shimano components, including the MT200 hydraulic disc brakes and the hub combination.

            The wheels include a pair of WTB SX19 rims which are wrapped in WTB Ranger Comp tires. The tires feature a DNA Compound, which helps to increase traction. The equipped SR Suntour fork is a bit below standard for this bike, and allows only 100mm of travel. The coil-sprung fork is heavy, cheaper-quality, and has been known to leak often.

GT Avalanche Elite

            The Avalanche Elite provides cyclists with the best value for their money. Despite not being the most serious model on this list, it’s still one of the best choices for a number of reasons. The upgraded fork and drivetrain are available at more affordable prices, and the Elite is also able to handle rougher terrains, which the more standard models can’t take on as easily.

The GT Avalanche Elite includes a few notable upgrades, including the fork. The GT’s Avalanche hardtail mountain bike is equipped with an air-sprung SR Suntour XCR-RL fork, which is a great upgrade compared to the cheaper coil-sprung forks seen on the Sport and Comp Avalanche models. The air-sprung Suntour fork doesn’t leak oil and also has reliable responsiveness, as well as 120mm of travel. The drivetrain features an 11-speed Shimano SLX, which is slightly lighter than the Deore drivetrain components, and it also provides smoother shifting for riders. The drivetrain is paired with an 11-42T Sunrace cassette and the Prowheel 30T crankset.

The brakes used on the Avalanche Elite model are Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, which are often seen on higher-quality mountain bikes. These brakes are of good quality, but also affordable, so the more serious components won’t cause you to break the bank. The Avalanche Elite is a little over 33lbs, which could be considered a bit heavier than some would want for a mountain bike. When you consider the price, slightly lighter weighted components would have been ideal.

GT Avalanche Expert

            The GT Avalanche Expert is the top model in this line, with a hardtail and major upgrades on both the components, and the price. The Avalanche Expert has a great build with high-quality components, but it may still seem slightly overpriced for some.  The Avalanche Expert utilizes the same aluminum frame as seen on previous Avalanche models. The fork used on the Expert is the RockShox Recon RL fork, which is often found on professional-level mountain bikes. The high-quality air-sprung fork provides smooth and reliable reactions while riding. The drivetrain on the Avalanche Expert is the 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, which provides cyclists with smooth gear shifts and unmatched durability.

            The Expert has continued to utilize Shimano components for the brakes, with an upgrade to the MT400 hydraulic braking system. The brakes are similar to previous models, and they feel relatively close to the MT200 brake set, except they are made from a slightly lighter material and also more durable than the brake components used on previous Avalanche models. The Expert is a high-quality bike with a reasonably higher price, but it’s well worth the money spent for the higher-quality components and reliability.

            The GT Avalanche has a wide variety of components, both standard and higher-quality, as well as a considerable range to choose from in regards to the overall quality and price. The Sport and Comp models include entry-level components, which may not be the best choice for experienced riders. These standard models are more likely to be affected by mechanical issues if they’re used too seriously, which makes them best for casual trail riding and smoother off-road terrains. If you’re a more serious cyclist, the upgraded components featured in the Elite or Expert models may be the better choice. The more serious models are pricier, but well worth the money spent for the overall quality of the components and an enjoyable riding experience.

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