Anyone who grew up in the 1980s will have fond memories of the BMX’s heyday. The GT Performer, in either its Pro or Pro Tour iterations, was the model to have, and the Power Performer is inspired directly by the bikes of that era.
Its predominantly understated grey primer finish is highlighted with plenty of 80s-style neon graphics.
The oversized frame bears signature GT BMX details too, from the straight-blade unicrown fork through to the back end with its seatstays that extend into the top tube to create a platform (with lots of frame-stand flatland tricks based on this feature).
All that said, the Power Performer isn’t a BMX for retro trickery, but it does put the same stupid smile on my face that my pre-teen self sported at my local skatepark.
GT Power Performer specifications and details
The build of this electric bike is all good stuff. The three-piece crankset is classic GT BMX stuff, and the wide, tough double-wall alloy rims are shod with GT’s own fully slick Smoothie tyres.
The squishy saddle is comfortable for cruising around town, though it wouldn’t be my first choice for longer commutes (I tested the GT on my 60-mile round trip work commute).
The GT composite platform pedals are grippy yet kind to shoes, and the classic mushroom grips are as comfortable as it gets.
The 1×9 drivetrain uses Microshift components. The Advent rear derailleur shifted quickly and with no issues at all, so I came away quite impressed.
You do get a bit more chain vibration under shifting than with a quality Shimano mountain bike setup, but as budget drivetrains go, the Advent setup was easy to use, reliable and has stayed true throughout testing.
The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes do a very good job of stopping you (and are good for skids too). I did get the occasional vibration on the front brake under heavy sudden stopping though.
GT Power Performer geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||72|
|Head angle (degrees)||71|
|Seat tube (mm)||460|
|Top tube (mm)||600|
|Head tube (mm)||131|
|Fork offset (mm)||55|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||60|
|Bottom bracket height (mm)||315|
GT Power Performer ride impressions
Get on board the GT and the big-scale design based around 29-inch wheels still retains that familiar BMX riding position: tall bars, low saddle, short reach and nimble handling.
As soon as I started riding the Power Performer, it was all about locking up the rear tyre at every opportunity, riding down steps rather than avoiding them and remembering that curbs and traffic-calming furniture are features to launch off rather than roll over.
The ability to throw the bike around and its massive fully slick 2.5in-wide tyres inspire big-lean angles into corners. It’s a bike that turned me back into a big kid.
GT Power Performer ride motor and battery
The key to the bike is the e-power system. GT has used a Bafang rear-hub motor combined with a compact LCD screen controller mounted on the bars.
The screen shows current speed and has +/- buttons to scroll through the five power levels.
The on/off button on the controller also scrolls through a simple amount of information: trip distance, average speed, max speed, range and odometer. A battery graphic complete with percentage figure is also a constant on the screen.
Unlike a lot of rear-hub control units, this one doesn’t suffer from oscillating battery levels, which means you know accurately how much energy you have left in the tank.
The five power levels feel a little like overkill. Level 1 is a barely noticeable nudge in the back and level 5 uses the system’s full 45Nm of torque.
Level 5 helped the GT conquer some pretty tough local hills. That said, because BMXs have small frames, you’ll have to stand and crank the bike to get real power on steep sections.
The battery, a fairly small 418Wh, combined with a rear-hub motor without the big torque of systems made by Bosch and Shimano, doesn’t promise huge mileage. However, I’m pretty impressed by the GT’s performance.
I managed 40.5 miles/65km with 1,099ft/335 metres of climbing. The charger is quite compact and easy to stow in a bag should you need more than 40 miles a day, and the battery is removable and charges in a little over four hours from empty.
Thanks to a USB port on the side of the battery, you can also charge your phone from the bike.
I do have a couple of niggles, however. The rear mudguard stops plenty of spray hitting you, but by no means all of it and I arrived at work with a dirt-spattered jacket and beltline.
Since GT has decided to add guards to this kind of bike, I also think it may as well go the whole hog and stick a rear rack on the bike (or even a front rack for some ET-inspired action). It’s a practical solution for what’s essentially an urban/commuter or electric hybrid bike, and I’d rather let an ebike carry the load than wear a backpack.
GT Power Performer bottom line
On paper, the GT Power Performer is a bike that simply shouldn’t work. It’s a 29-inch wheeled BMX with full mudguards, nine gears and a 250W rear-hub motor.
When I mentioned it to BMX-loving friends, they turned their noses up at its mishmash of styles and components.
When I talked it over with friends who are more interested in road bikes and commuting, they thought the BMX shape would be a compromise.
However, when both groups saw it in the metal and got to have a quick spin around, they loved it. It’s simply a fun machine.
It’s very well priced and, despite first impressions, it’s actually pretty practical (besides a couple of niggles). It really is one of the most fun ebikes on sale right now, so why not channel your inner child?
Buy one for your commute and you’ll arrive at work with a smile on your face.
|Price||GBP £1800.00USD $2625.00|
|Weight||23.42kg (One size)|
|Features||Display: Bafang HMI high-contrast LCD
Charger: 2 Amp Battery Charger
Battery: Removeable, 418Wh, 1.5amp USB Charging Port
Extras: Sporty Fenders, Kickstand, 1-Piece TT Pad
|Tyres||GT Smoothie Session 2.5", Light Guard 1.2mm, Reflective Sidewall|
|Stem||GT NBS Front Load 40mm, 10mm Rise|
|Shifter||microSHIFT, 1 x 9 Advent, 9-speed|
|Seatpost||Alloy Micro Adjust 27.2 x 350mm|
|Saddle||GT Comfy Code Railed|
|Rear derailleur||microSHIFT, Advent, 1 x 9 with Clutch|
|Motor||Bafang 36v/250w, Torque= 45Nm|
|Handlebar||GT Power Performer 4pc. 100% Cr-Mo|
|Available sizes||One size|
|Grips/Tape||GT Super Soft Flangeless|
|Frame||GT Power Performer eBike, 6061 Series Alloy|
|Fork||GT Power Performer, Alloy Leg Blades and Crown|
|Cranks||GT Power Series 3pc Alloy 170mm, Square Taper Spindle, Narrow Wide 38T Steel Chainwheel, Alloy Guard|
|Cassette||Sunrace, 11-36T, 9-speed|
|Brakes||Tektro Hydro Disc, 160/160mm Rotors|
|Bottom bracket||Threaded, Square Type|
|Wheels||29inch Alloy Double Wall, 36h|