There’s been a huge amount of interest and speculation around GT since they announced the signing of the Atherton family at the start of the year. The carbon Fury's US$6,050 pricetag and lack of availability in the UK puts it out of reach of many so we got hold of the new alloy model instead to see what all the hype’s about.
Ride & handling: Fun, but short wheelbase and basic shock limit potential
As soon as we sat on the Fury, we noticed the top tube seemed on the short side, especially considering we’d previously had a spin on the carbon version, and the top tube on that bike (which was also a medium) measured a good 15mm longer. With the direct-mount stem ﬁxed on the longer setting and the saddle moved back on the rails, it felt a little more comfortable.
At just under 46in, the wheelbase was noticeably short (despite the 64-degree head angle), and although this meant we could throw the Fury around and get it sideways in the air with ease, it did mean that the bike felt increasingly unstable when it came to taking big hits at speed. The Fox Van RC rear shock had a tendency to wallow through the mid-stroke too.
With some compression adjustment and a harder spring, we did manage to counter this problem, although sitting higher in the travel meant that the bike felt even more unstable than on the softer, wallowy setting. The short chainstays also meant that the Fury had a tendency to pop the front wheel up out of tight, hard-hitting corners – interestingly, the chainstays on the carbon bike are longer.
On the positive side, the Independent Drivetrain was effective, and didn’t suffer any of the efﬁciency issues we’ve experienced on GT's shorter travel bikes. Generally, we found the alloy Fury to be a fun bike to ride, albeit once we’d accounted for the suspension and short wheelbase.
Frame & equipment: Heavy, but a solid all-round spec
The Fury looks amazingly sleek and clean-lined, and we’re big fans of the subtle graphics. Up close though, you can’t help but notice the massive welds along the seams of the front triangle construction, and the healthy amount of reinforcement around the straight 1.5in head tube that’s there to cope with the many stresses and strains that are likely to be put upon it.
It’s no wonder then that the new alloy construction and trademark Independent Drivetrain system push the scales a little further than many other similarly-priced downhill rigs – this bike weighs 18.48kg (40.7lb). The GT’s spec list is solid to say the least, with no real compromises or odd choices.
A RockShox Boxxer RC fork takes care of eating up any front-end bumps, while the basic but well performing Fox Van RC shock does the same duty at the rear. We love the Maxxis Minion DHF 3C tyres, the SRAM drivetrain works exactly as it should, and the Avid brakes are well-proven performers too.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.