Founded in 1979, GT bikes (named after founder Gary Turner) is well-known for its BMX and mountain bikes, and didn’t start making road bikes until 1993. In the early noughties, GT took a break from the road bike game, but is now back with the Series range, starting at £450 through to £1,200. The Series 2 is the second most expensive in the range.
The new ‘GTR compact frame geometry’ is formed from an alloy main triangle and chainstay, and a carbon seatstay. The butting of the alloy helps provide a strong-yet-light platform, while the carbon seatstay and front fork aim to reduce some of the rattle and roll of the road. And it works – to some extent: the ride isn’t unduly harsh and, even with the vicious-looking San Marco Ponza saddle, doesn’t deliver knockout blows to your delicate areas.
It wears a somewhat uninspiring paint job, but if the purpose is just to grind out the winter miles without too much discomfort, then does the colour of its coat make a difference? The carbon front forks also do their job reasonably well, absorbing some of the bounce and vibration from the road.
The weight of the bike is well distributed, giving you good control over cornering even when descending. Climbing, either seated or standing, is no more of a chore than you want it to be, and the bike responds nicely to a change in pace when testing your friends on the sprint to the next lamppost. The Vittoria Zaffiro tyres aid a comfortable ride, and should also offer good puncture protection and enough grip on days when the wind and rain strews debris across the road.
The significant point to note is the performance of the brake callipers: the lack of responsiveness is likely to prompt a desire to upgrade them. They seemed slacker than others available on other bikes in a similar price range.
The FSA compact (50/34) chainset certainly helps those who like to spin the pedals, particularly for winter base training. Supplied with Shimano 105 levers, you might have thought that would mean skimping on the frame (for the overall price), but that isn’t the case. Any money saved appears to have been in the brakes: the Tektro ‘skeleton’ callipers are supplied to save pounds, but are more likely to help the rider
lose weight through worrying that they may not be sufficient in bad weather conditions.
The combination of the compact chainset and the 10-speed cassette offers a good range of gears, and the Shimano 105 derailleur gives a distinct ‘click’, providing smooth changes for those winter days when technique takes precedence over gear-grinding. The comfortable, slightly down-sweeping shape of the handlebars in combination with good chunky bar tape and the sturdy 105 brake hoods also gives a feeling of control.
A pair of tri-bars would transform this into a race-suitable bike for those who don’t want to spend the same (or more) again on a summer/race bike.
Frame New GTR Compact design with smooth-welded, hydroformed Kinesis 6061 butted tubing
Forks Kinesis Carbon with Integrated Design, 1 1/8in threadless aluminium steerer
Groupset Shimano 105 with FSA Gossamer MegaExo, two-piece, 50/34T
Wheels Alex D22, black anodised with silver sidewalls
Cockpit GT 6061 Alloy, black anodised with 3D forged alloy, black anodised stem
Seating San Marco Ponza with Ritchey Pro Carbon seatpost
Weight 9.07 kg (20lb) without pedals
Sizes 50, 52, 54, 56, 58cm
Contact : Hot Wheels 01202 732288 www.hot-wheels.co.uk