GT SENSOR CARBON EXPERT 29 2020
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that wading through mountain bike options can leave you feeling confused. There’s no straightforward answer. Trust me, I’ve been there.
The GT Sensor Carbon Pro (2020) may not have been on your radar, but it should be.
Because the Sensor Pro is designed to be a versatile trail bike.
And in this preview, I’ll explain who should buy the Sensor Carbon Pro and make you aware of the key components. This is so you can make an informed decision before buying the Sensor Pro.
WHO IT’S DESIGNED FOR
The GT Sensor Carbon Pro designed for:
Someone who is riding a hardtail and wants to make a big-upgrade. You love the sport and you want to go carbon (I’ll explain why you should next),
Or, you already ride a dual-suspension mountain bike but it’s getting old and worn out - at least 4 years old. And deep down you know it’s time to make the shift.
You’re local trails include:
Red Hill Mountain Bike Park, Lysterfield Mountain Bike Park, Silvan and the You Yangs.
gt sensor geometry chart
But you’ll also ride places with more elevation, such as Lake Mountain, Mount Buller and other alpine regions.
You’re the sort of like rider who prefers their wheels on the ground. You don’t really do massive gap jumps or drop-offs. But you also want a bike that delivers superb confidence at slow-technical and high-speed descents.
The main triangle is made from carbon and it’s then paired to a solid aluminum rear swingarm.
And you might be asking: Why should I buy carbon?
First, carbon is torsionally (twisting) much stiffer than aluminium. This means it’s going to transfer a lot of your power into forward motion.
There is very little waste and inefficiency.
This is good because:
It delivers better traction and handling, especially over tree roots and through rock gardens. The Sensor doesn’t deviate from the line you pick - it’s incredibly precise.
This extra stiffness can also be felt on climbs. When you’re trying to pedal up rocks, tree roots and ledges, the Sensor responds instantly.
The second reason for buying carbon is that it’s brilliant at muting and absorbing trail vibrations and impacts. You feel less tired and fatigued after your ride because the frame is absorbing a lot of harsh impacts - instead of your body.
The Sensor Carbon Elite comes with a Flip Chip.
This chip delivers two types of geometry - High and Low.
In the High position, the Sensor Carbon Elite is a little XC-ish.
In other words, the bike sits higher (+6m), the seat tube angle gets steeper (+1 degree) and the head tube angle gets steeper (0.5 degree).
Use this position if there’s a lot of climbing and not many technical features on the descent. Places like Lysterfield Park will benefit from the High position.
In The Low position, the reverse happens.
Use this for places like Red Hill, Mount Buller, Lake Mountain, Silvan and the You Yangs.
So, GT has made the Sensor super versatile because you’re not fixed into a single geometry.
This is where the Sensor Pro delivers exceptional value.
Fox’s Performance Elite suspension package. This is the second-best Fox product consumers can buy. In other words, it’s one of the best suspension products ever made.
Easy to set up. Easy to service. And it performs brilliantly.
A Fox 36 Float helps suspend the front of the Carbon Pro. The 36 refers to the size of the tubes; they’re 36mm in diameter. The 36 range is designed for aggressive trail riding. Like, really aggressive trail riding.
You can notice the difference, especially when you’re charging over rock gardens, tree root sections. These are situations that place a lot of torisonal (twisting) strain on the front end.
If there’s too much twisting (like what’s probably happening on your current bike), the bike can’t track and corner well.
And if it can’t do that, the rocks and roots will force the bike off-line.
And if that happens, then two things will happen; you’ll lose traction and slow down or you’ll crash.
The big Fox 36 minimises this from happening.
At the back, the Fox DPX2 rear shock is one of the most advanced rear shocks in recent times.
And it makes the mid-travel Pro far more capable.
See that extra reservoir on the shock? It actually serves a purpose.
Simply, it allows the oil in the shock to move in a circular pattern - not just up and down. This stops the DPX2 from overheating and causing cavitation. This is where the oil mixes with air. Ever felt your rear shock go stiff? That’s cavitation.
If you’re not aware:
Both the Fox 36 and DPX2 are air sprung systems. You must have the right air pressure. Read that again. Then there are two additional adjustments; Low Speed Compression (blue lever) and Rebound (the red knob).
LSC has three modes; soft, medium and hard. Use this if you need to firm or soften the suspension without adjusting air pressure.
Rebound is the speed at which the suspension responds. Make it faster, if your trails have lots of rocks and tree roots.
Slow it down for flow trails or trails that are smooth and don’t have constant sharp impacts.
The GT Sensor Carbon Pro uses SRAM’s latest Eagle drive train.
For those who are not updated:
Anything Eagle is 12-speed. Engineering in Germany, it’s dominated mountain bike group sets for years. I can’t quite convery how good it is in words. Suffice to say that it’s one of the best group sets I’ve ever used. Much better than 11-speed SRAM and Shimano. And if you’re considering this bike, you’ll likely have a pleasant experience with how accurately and smoothly the gears shift.
Because the Pro model uses a X01 Eagle (second-tier) cassette and rear derailleur. Both these components are a work of engineering art
The cassette is machined from a single block of steel.
Through an intensive machining process, the cassette delivers exceptional stiffness, durability and a unique mud shedding design. You have to see it to appreciate the level of design that’s been invested into it.
These are special. And like the group set, I can’t make you understand the level of components you’re buying into.
But I’ll still do my best:
Stan’s No Tubes Flow MK3 rims are designed for aggressive trail riding, enduro and even DH.
They measure 29mm (internal) and 32.3mm externally. You might also notice from the main image that they are not very deep (16.1mm). This low profile shape stops pinch flats and helps them roll faster.
The Flow MK3 are also made from 6069 aluminum. It’s much stronger than regular alloy rims. Both rims are laced to Stan’s Neo hubs.
stans neo hub 1
stans neo hub 2
36-teeth and 6-pawls deliver power every 10-degrees.
This means power gets delivered faster when you’re: climbing and accelerating out of corners. It also helps if your climbs are slow-speed and technical; cranking over tree roots or rocks, for example.
I was fortunate enough to spend a few weeks testing these hubs. And they are the one of the best hubs I’ve ever used.
The tyres match the wide rims perfectly.
A Schwalbe Magic Mary front tyre and Schwalbe Nobby Nic rear tyre help deliver grip and traction - both in a 2.35 inch width.
Schwalbe also uses two compounds for front and rear specific. Soft on the front and the SpeedGrip compound on the rear. Perfect.
As the names imply, the Soft front compound delivers superb grip. And the SpeedGrip rear tyre compound is a good balance of durability, rolling efficiency and grip.