GT look set to return to the limelight in 2012, with reports that they've signed the Athertons. If these rumours prove correct – which seems likely, as the UCI have listed the GT squad as a British team for 2012 – Dan, Gee and Rachel will soon be seen aboard the Fury downhill rig.
Costing a whopping £6,000, the carbon fibre Fury – which we checked out at this year's Fort William World Cup round (see video below) – is a true superbike. But the pricetag puts it out of reach of the vast majority of people, especially younger riders who might want to emulate their heroes and have a crack at downhill riding.
In acknowledgement of this, GT have designed a ‘budget’ version of the Fury, with a frame made from aluminium instead of carbon. Two models are available: the black Fury Alloy 2.0, with a Marzocchi 888 RV fork and Roco R shock plus SRAM X5 shifting kit and Avid Elixir 5 brakes at £2,299.99, and the silver 1.0, seen here, at £2,999.99.
That's still not cheap, but you get some good kit for the price including a RockShox Boxxer RC fork and Fox Van RC shock, Truvativ Descendent cranks, SRAM X7/X5 and Elixir 7s. The Fury Alloy uses the same Independent Drivetrain suspension design as the carbon bike, with 210mm of travel, but features revised, more contemporary geometry.
It has a slacker head angle (63.5° instead of 65°) and slightly lower bottom bracket (352mm vs 356mm) – both things that GT's World Cup racers have resorted to using angle headsets and offset shock hardware to alter on the carbon bike. Wheelbase is the same, at 115cm for the medium size, because the top tube and chainstays have been shortened to compensate for the slacker fork. Look out for a review of this bike in an upcoming issue of Mountain Biking UK.