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Question about the GT brand of bikes

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Question about the GT brand of bikes

Old 08-21-07, 10:38 AM
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Question about the GT brand of bikes

Hi,

I just discovered this forum the other day as I was doing some research on new bikes for my wife and I.

One brand I can't seem to find much info on is GT, since the search engine doesn't return results on 2 letter search strings. Specifically I'm looking at the Legato 3.0 (http://gtbikes.com/pavement/catalog/...usa&brand=pave) which I can purchase from a local retailer for $599.

Can anyone provide info on this brand, how does it compare against the well know brands such as Trek, Specialized, etc. It looks to be well built with a component set normally found on more expensive bikes, but I don't have enough context to know for sure.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 08-21-07, 11:16 AM
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I believe that the GT brand bicycle was sold because of liquidity problems and maybe even bankruptcy. This was maybe around 5 years ago. The company that bought out GT has a stable of bike companies that were purchased (Schwinn, Mongoose). The GT name was kept. Their main facility was located in Southern California, Santa Ana, California.

The GT hybrid was my first adult bike and I visited their Santa Ana facility once. As you probably know, Southern California has more retail bike shops than anywhere else in the U.S. It may be my perception, but I don't see too many GT bikes in the local shops. I bought the hybrid at Bicycle Discovery in Fountain Valley. I was told that they are no longer GT dealers. In GT's heyday, they had about 2,000 dealers across the nation and now maybe its a quarter of it.
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Old 08-21-07, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by vif350 View Post
Can anyone provide info on this brand, how does it compare against the well know brands such as Trek, Specialized, etc.
GT was a brand based in Southern California, started up in the late '70's I believe. They became a major brand. During the '90's, in particular, they turned out huge numbers of mountain bikes, from high end to entry level models. The main characteristic that set a GT apart was their use of the "triple triangle" frame design on both road and mountain bikes. It was debatable whether this actually made for a stronger or stiffer frame, and some argued that it simply made the bikes slightly heavier. In any case, it was very distinctive. During the '90's, GT introduced the I-Drive rear suspension design that had the bottom bracket "float" with the action of the rear suspension to help reduce pedal-induced rear suspension "bob". It was a well respected design.

Around '01 or '02, GT went bankrupt and the brand was eventually bought by Pacific Cycles, which at about the same time bought the also-bankrupt Schwinn brand. GT bikes sort of disappeared for a year or two while all this was going on, then Pacific put the brand back into production. I'm not totally clear what the dynamics of the GT brand are today. It used to be a high quality "bike shop" brand, and now you see GT's sold at some mass retailers that sell everything from camping equipment to shoes. This class of bike is probably just above the quality of a Wal-Mart bike. But I've also seen some pretty nice GT bikes, such as a claimed "improved" version of the I-Drive bikes, and I think these are indeed bikes that are sold at bike shops. I'm sure there are quality road bike models as well.

In my opinion, to buy a GT bike nowadays, or a Schwinn for that matter, can mean you'll either get a Big Box quality bike or a decent bike shop quality bike, depending on your budget. But unfortunately, because of the bankruptcies of Schwinn and GT, the only thing that's REALLY GT or Schwinn about these bikes is the name on the headbadge and some of the model names, nothing else-

Last edited by well biked; 08-21-07 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-21-07, 03:48 PM
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would someone care to comment specifically on the Legato 3.0? It looks to have a higher quality of componenty than normaly found on bikes for $599.
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Old 08-21-07, 03:56 PM
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The pre Liquidation GT bikes were not bad. Very Solid but a bit on the heavy side. Unfortunately- The new GT's are not a patch on the old ones. May be the same Frames made in the same jigs but Not the same Materials used and the quality is not there.

Plenty of bikes out there so why are you stuck on the Legato?
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Old 08-21-07, 03:59 PM
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How to really search BikeForums

http://www.google.com/search?as_q=gt...s=&safe=images
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Old 08-21-07, 04:46 PM
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I'm not stuck on the Legato at all. It was just the only bike I couldn't find info on.
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Old 08-21-07, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
The pre Liquidation GT bikes were not bad. Very Solid but a bit on the heavy side. Unfortunately- The new GT's are not a patch on the old ones. May be the same Frames made in the same jigs but Not the same Materials used and the quality is not there.

Plenty of bikes out there so why are you stuck on the Legato?
So what would you say the GT's of the early 90's compare to what bike of today? In terms of quality. Would you say perhaps something like an entry level Hardrock or Trek?
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Old 08-21-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
So what would you say the GT's of the early 90's compare to what bike of today? In terms of quality. Would you say perhaps something like an entry level Hardrock or Trek?
I used to sell those old GTs. Basically their mountain bike line matched everyone else's. On average, their frames tended to be overbuilt/heavier at every price point. In other words, they were fantastic bikes for clydes. Their x-country geometry was a bit slack for my taste, but new riders preferred its stable, long wheel base. Their high-end, full-suspension 'LTS' bikes had a four-bar linkage long before the Specialized FSR. For a long time these LTS rigs outclassed their counterparts made by Trek, Specialized and Cannondale. They also had a few nice steel road bikes and one inexpensive ti road frame. GT was also a joy to work with. It's sad that they went under.

GT's signature is the triple triangle design which is kind of gimmicky, but doesn't really hurt the overall design. If you see something like this, you know it's an old GT:

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Old 08-22-07, 10:20 AM
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I found this bike for $650 new from a local retailer and it looks like a much better value:

http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...as_valley.html

Thanks for the insight on GT.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:42 AM
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Unless you are an expert at assembling and repairing bikes, building and truing wheels, selected the "best" shop is more important than the decal on the frame. The "best" shop is a shop within a mile or so of your home, with skilled techs, and staff who care about bikes and care about their customers.

If you buy from that sort of shop, they will help you buy the best bike in your price range, after assessing your specific riding needs.

At a given price point, the difference between mountain bike "A" or "B", or road bike "A" or "B" are generally trivial. What is NOT trivial is that most folks buy the wrong style of bike, the wrong size of bike, and often the bike is not properly assembed, the wheels not properly trued...all because they did not understand the key issue: shop for the right shop first...and then you will get the right bike.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:36 PM
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Back in the day during the 80s both GT and MONGOOSE were premiere manufacturers of BMX Bikes. Never would you find them sold at WallyWorld or Kmart. Now I see people riding around on them all the time, down the wrong side of the street and without helmets. Not BMX bikes but the adult sized wannabe mountain bikes. Back in the 80s I saved up enough money to buy a Super-Goose BMX bike mowin lawns around the neighborhood. Saw a Mongoose in at the store the other day and it retailed for as much as my Super-Goose did some 20 years ago. Go Figure!
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Old 08-22-07, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
So what would you say the GT's of the early 90's compare to what bike of today? In terms of quality. Would you say perhaps something like an entry level Hardrock or Trek?
Compared to todays bike- I would say entry level up to Mid range. Say trek 800 series up to Kona Caldera. Definitely above the "Low quality to entry level that todays models would be.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:20 PM
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At the price point you are looking at there is very little difference in terms of frame quality. The specs on the GT look okay, but personally I think the Jamis line of bikes, specifically the Coda in your case, offer the best bang for the buck.

You rarely hear a bad thing about a Coda, people who have owned them (myself included) love them. There are several models to choose from. Below is the one that has an MSRP of $600.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...codasport.html
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Old 08-23-07, 12:32 AM
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Thanks for your help everyone. I ended up spending $50 more and picking up the Marin Lucas Valley. The sale price made the bike very compelling, and I really liked the way it road on my test ride, and found the combined feature set, including the carbon forks and seat stays a real value.
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