Few DH bikes can claim the kind of success achieved by the GT Fury, which has taken riders to World Cup, World Championship and Red Bull Rampage wins since its launch in 2013. We couldn’t wait to try the new 650b model.
Frame and equipment: tweaked geometry and rock-solid spec
The 650b bike sports a series of geometry refinements compared with its 26in-wheeled predecessor. The effective top tube length has been reduced (to 618mm on the medium frame) while the front centre and chainstays have been lengthened (to 801mm and 442mm respectively) to give an extended wheelbase (1,243mm).
GT’s floating BB Independent Drivetrain design keeps things efficient under power
At the heart of the Fury rests GT’s Independent Drivetrain suspension system. This delivers 210mm (8.3in) of supple yet progressive travel – 10mm less than the 26in bike – via a floating bottom bracket design that helps keep things efficient when you’re putting the power down.
The hallmarks of a solid DH spec are good brakes, tyres and suspension – all of which the Fury has. While the Zee brakes lack the adjustability of Shimano’s pricier Saint units, they still dish out the power in spades and the heat-beating Ice Tech rotors and pads are a nice touch. The Fox 40 fork and DHX rear shock, Stan’s NoTubes rims and Continental Der Kaiser Projekt tyres reinforce the GT’s race pedigree – and at 17.35kg (38.25lb) it’s no heavyweight.
Ride and handling: point-and-shoot pedigree
The Fury’s all about all-out speed and stability, just as GT intended when they overhauled the bike back in 2013. At slow speeds and on tight, awkward trails the long wheelbase and relatively high (351mm) bottom bracket make it feel less nimble than more compact bikes, and mean it needs to be muscled about to go where you want it.
Offer the Fury a taste of gravity and things start to make sense very quickly
But this bike isn’t for messing around in the woods. As speeds increase – not a hard thing to achieve on the Fury – things fall into place. On serious downhill tracks, that race-winning pedigree shines through. The GT feels fast, predictable and confidence inspiring, covering ground quickly and encouraging you to hammer hard lines, and racers will love its point-and-shoot accuracy and speed.
The balanced Fox suspension helps deliver a predictable ride feel and provides plenty of adjustability to help you fine tune the bike’s set-up. The Conti rubber works well on most terrain, but can come unstuck in muddier conditions.