GT Fury Expert - first ride £3,499.99

Designed to be the fastest bike possible

BikeRadar score4/5

GT was on a mission to create the fastest bike possible when it began the massive redesign process for the Fury downhill bike. Big changes in geometry, tweaks to the suspension and a full switch from carbon to aluminium have had some very positive results.

Frame and equipment: lighten up, not loosen up

The new alloy frame is a claimed 300g lighter than the old carbon model. It’s been stiffened up around the bottom bracket and head-tube, for better pedalling efficiency and more precise handling. The use of through-axle pivots and the way GT has spread the pivot bearings as far apart as possible bolsters stiffness further.

Geometry changes include a slightly lower BB (348mm), shorter chainstays (432mm) and slacker head angle (63 degrees). The most notable difference is a much longer front end – our medium frame measured 795mm from bottom bracket to front axle, giving a wheelbase of 1,240mm.

GT’s Independent Drivetrain suspension system has been made lighter and more compact. The tail end of the stroke is now more progressive, while travel jumps from 210mm to 220mm (8.3in-8.7in).

Speccing the sticky Black Chilli version of Continental’s great all-rounder Der Kaiser tyres is a nice touch, as is the dependable and smooth Shimano Zee clutch mech. The fork and shock come courtesy of Fox and, while not top-end models, they’re both solid performers.  

Ride and handling: rock-solid recklessness

The first thing you notice when you jump aboard the Fury is that lengthy front centre. Yes, it takes a couple of runs to get acclimatised to, but that’s no bad thing, as the stability on offer when the speed picks up and the trail deteriorates is seriously impressive.

Some of the fun chuckability offered by more compact bikes may have been lost, but it seems a small price to pay for outright speed gained on the hill.

Threading the Fury down tighter trails remains a rapid affair, thanks in part to the short chainstays and lower BB. That massively stiff back end and low-slung centre of mass let you really get loose and hit turns hard, knowing that when you commit to a line, the Fury will do its best to keep you on it, with precise and accurate handling.

GT have done a good job of making the Fury pedal as efficiently as possible too. Out-of-the-saddle sprinting results in very little suspension bob and it’s surprising just how quickly this 38lb rig gets up to speed.

The suspension is well sorted too, offering a supple initial feel and a well behaved mid stroke, with a smooth ramp-up towards the end. Using the entire 220mm of travel isn’t a regular occurrence, but when you do, it isn’t harsh too. 

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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