At the Bike Press Camp event held recently in Park City, Utah, GT was on hand showing their newly updated "EnduRoad" bikes. What is EnduRoad? It is the newest name for a gravel grinder/adventure/touring rig with gravel tires and a play on the popular "enduro" category of mountain bikes.
Originally released two years ago, GT expands the Grade line for 2017. Instead of seven models (5 alloy, 2 carbon) for last year, there are eight new models (4 alloy, 4 carbon) that will feature pricing aimed at drawing in more "budget" buyers. Pricing has not yet been set, but the new Grade will be offered in an entry level carbon version that will be priced in the ballpark of last year's highest alloy version. The options for 2017 are:
- Grade Carbon with SRAM Red
- Grade Carbon with Shimano Ultegra
- Grade Carbon with Shimano 105
- Grade Carbon with Shimano Tiagra
- Grade Alloy with Shimano 105
- Grade Alloy with Shimano Tiagra
- Grade Alloy with Shimano Sora
- Grade Alloy with Shimano Claris
Although the entire line has increased by only one model, the number of carbon options has doubled (from two to four) with a higher spec (SRAM Red) and a lower spec (Shimano Tiagra) now available. We talked with GT Digital Marketing Manager (and former pro slopestype mountain bike competitor) Andrew Cho who explained, "We saw a need and demand for lower priced carbon bikes and the new versions of the Grade are the result of that."
The top of the line Grade comes with a SRAM Red drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, carbon fork with carbon steerer and thru-axles front and rear.
Highlighted here is the Grade Carbon with a Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, carbon fork with alloy steerer, TRP cable actuated hydraulic disc brakes and standard quick release axles. Above the Tiagra level, the Grade comes with thru-axles and a carbon steer fork.
Cho describes the carbon frame, "By utilizing GT's signature triple triangle design, we can use one continuous line into the top tube so road vibrations can get dispersed into the top tube as opposed to going directly in to the rider like on a traditionally designed frame." The Grade features what GT calls dual fiber dynamics so the rear stays are completely solid and it's made from low modulus carbon material that is designed to flex under load for comfort. Again, Cho explains, "This allows the rear of the bike to deflect by up to 12mm depending on the size of the frame, over rough terrain."
GT's signature Triple Triangle Design allows the seat stays to feed road vibrations into the top tube instead of directly into the seat tube (and the rider's rear).
The Grade can fit up to a 35c tire but the Tiagra version shown here comes spec'd with a 32c. The more affordable versions of the Grade will be available late July and the higher level models (Ultegra, Red) will be available late summer/early fall.
According to GT, the Grade has been designed with "comfortable geometries paired up with a stiff and durable frame." There is no doubt that the market for adventure road riding is expanding and it is smart for GT to give options for the gravel rider with limited funds.
For more information on the current EnduRoad models, visit www.gtbicycles.com