Productivity - GT 2017 Complete Bikes

The revamped line of completes containing appealing combo of both retro homage and forward-thinking...

9 Aug 2016

2016 7 Gt Bmx Bike Launch 1

Words and Photos by Rob Dolecki

Last month, 5050 Skatepark in NYC hosted GT’s 2017 complete bike launch/ jam, and gave everyone in attendance a first glimpse into their completely revamped line, which focuses on quality, affordability, and nods to GT's 40+ year deep, rich history in BMX. Here’s a look at the latest bikes, along with some words from team riders BK and Jason Phelan, as well as Ben Ward, who’s taken control of the GT ship and steering it towards newer, bright horizons.

BK TEAM SIGNATURE

2016 7 Gt Bmx Bike Launch 7

FRAME: Revamped, 100% Cr-Mo Tubes, DT Gusset, Integrated Seat Clamp, MID BB, Integrated H/T w/ Removable Tabs and Seat stay Brake Mounts

FORK: Revamped, 100% Cr-Mo, 1pc Threaded Steerer, Tapered Legs, 3/8” Axle x 31mm Offset

CRANKSET / CHAINWHEEL: GT Power Series Cr-Mo 170mm 2pc, 19mm x 48T Cr-Mo Spindle, GT 5mm 25T AL Chainwheel

BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed MID

PEDALS: GT Low Profile Platform, Cr-Mo Axle

FREEWHEEL: 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver

CHAIN: KMC Z510

RIMS: Alloy Double Wall, 20" 36 Hole 

TIRES: GT Pool 20" x 2.3" 

HUBS: GT, Alloy, 36H (F) Female 3/8” Sealed, (R) 9T Sealed 14mm Free Coaster

BRAKE: Aluminum U-Brake

BRAKE LEVER: Hinged Alloy

HANDLEBAR: GT Freestyle 4pc. 100% Cr-Mo, 9"H x 29"W, 5°Up, 9° Back

STEM: GT Topload, 32mm Rise, 50mm Length

GRIPS: GT Super Soft 155mm w/ GT plug

HEADSET: 1 1/8" Integrated, 45x45 Degree Sealed Bearings

SADDLE: GT Pivotal Padded

SEATPOST: Alloy Pivotal 25.4 x 200mm

Brian Kachinsky

How involved were you with your signature complete bike spec and design?

I was involved from the start. It all started with a text message about picking three colors. I started looking around for inspiration. I tried to get inspiration from outside of bikes, and sort of metal I see outside in the world. We did a trans black, that has a translucent feel to it. The translucent copper has a lot of character, and a color I haven’t seen out there a ton. It ended up turning out better than we expected, and we got a ton of compliments on it. The gold color turned out amazing I’ve never has a yellow bike, but kind of always wanted one.  I didn’t want a bright bumblebee yellow. The yellow we chose was basically translucent again, but has some kind of flakes so when the sun hits it it really shines. The bike in general is kind of a reflection of my entire BMX history. How I got into BMX was I needed a new bike and I walked into a bike shop in my hometown of Neenah, Wisconsin. I ended up going home with a chrome GT Vertigo. That was my first legit BMX bike. Fast forward a couple of years, that same bike shop was my first job. Chicago has been my home for the last twelve years. It’s a city I love, and a city that inspires me. We have a lot of Chicago references on the bike. The decals on the down tube are inspired by the Chicago elevated train; it also has a subway map on the seat. The thing I’m most proud of is the head tube badge. Neenah, Wisconsin is world famous for building street fixtures like sewer covers. We ended up doing a sewer cover design. Ironically the replica of that manhole cover is right in the center of Grant Park in downtown Chicago. To have the GT logo incorporated into the sewer cover logo to reflect my hometown and my current city, and just street riding in general, is a perfect fit and something I’m really psyched on how it turned out. The high end model comes stock with a freecoaster, and my signature Elevated stem which is named after the elevated trains in Chicago, and is a few millimeters higher than the average stems out today.

How similar is your personal bike to your high-end signature complete?

It’s actually really similar. The main difference is it doesn’t come with pegs. I wanted to leave the peg preference up to the consumer- some people like plastic pegs, some people keep it real with the steel.

You went to Europe recently on a GT trip.

Yeah, it was only a seven day trip, and went to several cities. We rode everything- trails, street, parks. Frenchy’s  Distribution has been around a long time, and for them to bringing us over there, take us around and show us a good time was incredible. I had some problems with my foot on the trip, but was just awesome hanging out with the crew. In Europe, you see so many things in such a small span of distance. It’s really awesome seeing the diversity and seeing the different cultures.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

I’m moving out to the East Coast. My fiancé got a job in Maryland. I’m excited to explore some new territory. I’m going out to Woodward, and then I’m going to Hastings for the Hastings jam in September.

PHELAN TEAM COMP

2016 7 Gt Bmx Bike Launch 6

FRAME: Revamped, Cr-Mo Front Tri (T/T, D/T, S/T), DT Gusset, Integrated Seat Clamp,  MID BB, Integrated H/T w/ Removable Tabs, Seatstay Welded Brake Mounts

FORK: Revamped, Cr-Mo 2pc Threaded Steerer, Tapered Legs, 3/8” Axle x 31mm

CRANKSET /  CHAIN WHEEL: GT Power Series Cr-Mo 170mm 3pc, 19mm x 8T Cr-Mo Spindle, GT 5mm 25T Steel Chainwheel

BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed MID

PEDALS: GT Low Profile Platform, Cr-Mo Axle

FREEWHEEL: LHD 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver

CHAIN: KMC Z410

RIMS: Alloy Single Wall (F), Double Wall, (R) 20" 36 Hole

TIRES: GT LP-5 20" x 2.35"

HUBS: GT, Alloy, 36H (F) 3/8” Sealed, (R) 9T Sealed 14mm Cassette

BRAKE: Aluminum U-Brake

BRAKE LEVER: Alloy

HANDLEBAR: GT Freestyle 2pc., Steel, 9"H x 29"W, 3°Up, 11° Back

STEM: GT Topload, 32mm Rise, 50mm Length

GRIPS: GT Super Soft 155mm, w/o Flange, w/ GT Plug

HEADSET: 1 1/8" Integrated Design, 45x45 Degree Sealed Bearings

SADDLE: GT Pivotal Padded

SEATPOST: Alloy Pivotal 25.4 x 200mm

Jason Phelan

How did the frame graphics come about?

I’m a true Irishman, and I like living by stereotypes, and I’m a jolly guy, so why not have a jolly Irish man stuck to the side with some lucky charms and shamrocks floating about? There’s not really that many Irish BMX’ers out there who have their own signature line. I’m quite lucky to have gotten this far in BMX, so by all means that’s why I want to push anything I do back to where I grew up riding. In terms of colorways, I like a bit of wackiness, and I’m a colorful guy.

How similar is your personal bike to your signature complete?

You could pretty much get the splatter team bike and you’d think you’re riding my bike. My parts are a little bit better, but all in all, it’s pretty identical. What’s kind of special about my complete is that it’s left-hand drive.

You went on a trip to a few countries in Europe recently.

Yeah, France, Switzerland and Germany. It was a pretty full-on trip; it was really good to meet the new team guys. I feel like it’s an older team; it’s nice to see the older guys being recognized still. The trip was awesome. It was good to hang out and ride with everyone.

How do you feel about the whole "Brexit" ordeal?

I live in Scotland now, so I’m kind of among it all. I stay out of politics, but now I kind of need to learn a little bit. I might affect me; I might have to get myself a visa for the country I’m living in. It’s a bit of a nightmare.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

I’ve got a pretty big project coming up this month. I don’t want to give too much away, but we’re going to build ramps on a boat and add divers into the equation, at an amazing loch in Scotland.

Loch Ness?

It’s not Loch Ness, it’s the Holy Loch. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

WISE TEAM SIGNATURE

2016 7 Gt Bmx Bike Launch 3

“Everyone loves translucent. Each color is hand-masked. They are pretty identical, but unique. It’s sick to offer a complete bike that’s camouflage like that.”

-Ben Ward

FRAME: Revamped, 100% Cr-Mo Tubes, DT Gusset, Integrated Seat Clamp, MID BB, Integrated H/T w/ Removable Tabs and Seat stay Brake Mounts 

FORK: Revamped, 100% Cr-Mo, 1pc Threaded Steerer, Tapered Legs, 3/8” Axle x  31mm Offset

CRANKSET / CHAIN WHEEL: GT Power Series Cr-Mo 170mm 2pc, 19mm x 48T Cr-Mo Spindle, GT 5mm 25T AL Chainwheel 

BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed MID

PEDALS: GT Low Profile Platform, Cr-Mo Axle

FREEWHEEL: 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver

CHAIN: KMC Z510

RIMS: Alloy Double Wall, 20" 36 Hole (F/R)

TIRES: GT Pool 20" x 2.3" (F/R)

HUBS: GT, Alloy, 36H (F) Female 3/8” Sealed, (R) 9T Sealed 14mm Free Coaster

BRAKE: Aluminum U-Brake

BRAKE LEVER: Hinged Alloy

HANDLEBAR: GT Freestyle 2pc. 100% Cr-Mo, 9"H x 29"W, 3°Up, 11° Back

STEM: GT CNC BK Elevated Topload, 34mm Rise, 48mm Length

GRIPS: GT Super Soft 155mm, w/o Flange, w/ GT Plug

HEADSET: 1 1/8" Integrated, 45x45 Degree Sealed Bearings

SADDLE: GT Pivotal Padded

SEATPOST: Alloy Pivotal 25.4 x 200mm


Ben Ward

How long have you been at GT, and what do you do there?

Coming up on two years now. I am the product manager for GT BMX Freestyle and Race, with a little bit of crossover into MTB. I’m officially the BMX Freestyle team manager too.

How’s everything been going since you took over the design of the product line?

Things have been pretty incredible; I’ve been given full control. It was a little bit of pressure. There are crazy long nights where I’m at the office until 4AM, then back in at 8AM, but when we have a day like we did at our launch and the jam afterward, it makes it all worth it.

You worked for a few companies in the past, like at Odyssey/ Sunday and FIT/ S&M; how are you doing things differently at GT?

I’m so thankful for those years. Working with the team at Odyssey taught me some amazing things, and it really changed the way I approached the work. And working with Moeller…the dude has a lot of amazing experience to give you. My work style isn’t much different at GT, but it is a different brand and a different audience. It’s one of the original BMX brands. It’s a huge responsibility.

What do you think separates the 2017 line from previous years’ releases?

Almost everything is new in the 2017 line. I’ve learned some really good things from the previous brands I’ve worked for on what makes a complete bike a good thing. At GT, I want to bring in reliable complete bikes at a price point that more kids can afford, so hopefully it introduces more riders to BMX. They’re all new frames, re-designed from top to bottom.

How do you think GT’s new complete bikes are different than other companies?

We want to offer a great product at an affordable price point to match our consumer’s budget. The other brands we compete against have strong reputations and are established, and that is something I’m working to improve for GT. GT is a small brand, and we are growing back our core audience because even though we’ve been around since 1972, we are the new kid on the block again.

What’s your take on the GT four-piece bar controversy?

In the 90's all of our bikes had GT parts. Those parts inspired a lot of today's products, including but not limited to the handlebars. For a while no one was making the bars, and I wanted to update them and bring them back to the brand where they began. These are true to the originals not just in appearance, but also construction, making a stiffer stronger handlebar.

GT has been pretty quiet over the past few years, before you were hired. What are your plans?

GT BMX has been out of the public eye in recent years, and my focus is on our Freestyle team. I learned a lot over the years on building teams, and this is 100% me. My secret to design was always, I make the products I want and need, and I find the right rider to make it a signature part of the line.

I don’t know what the future holds yet. I have ideas, but with the state of the industry, you need to have flexibility. Today, it’s a product launch, but later, it’s a BMX jam for the NY community. I want to use this vessel to do cool things. The brand’s success isn’t for me; it’s to put us in a position where I can get people excited about BMX.


SLAMMER

2016 7 Gt Bmx Bike Launch 5

“I tried to deliver a cassette hub at a great price, that was also easy to fix if something goes wrong. I tried to make it as simple as possible.” -Ben Ward

FRAME: Revamped, Steel Tubes, DT Gusset, Integrated Seat Clamp, American BB, External 1-1/8” H/T w/ Removable Tabs, Seatstay Welded Brake Mounts

FORK: Revamped, Steel 2pc Steerer, Tapered Legs, 3/8” Axle x 31mm Offset

CRANKSET / CHAINWHEEL: GT Tubular Cr-Mo 170mm 3pc., 19mm x 8T Cr-Mo Spindle, GT 25T 5mm  Steel Chain Wheel

BOTTOM BRACKET: American Loose Ball

PEDALS: GT Low Profile Platform

FREEWHEEL: 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver

CHAIN: KMC Z410

RIMS: Alloy Single Wall, 20" 36 Hole (F/R)

TIRES: Innova FS 20” x 2.3” (F), 2.2” (R)

HUBS: GT, 36H (F) Steel 3/8” Loose Ball, (R) Alloy 9T Sealed Mechanism 14mm Cassette

BRAKE: Aluminum U-Brake

BRAKE LEVER: Alloy

HANDLEBAR: GT Freestyle 2pc., Steel, 8.375"H x 28"W, 3°Up, 11° Back

STEM: GT Topload, 32mm Rise, 40mm Length

GRIPS: GT Super Soft 155mm, w/ GT Plug

HEADSET: 1-1/8" Threadless, Steel

SADDLE: Integrated Saddle w/ Post

SEATPOST: Alloy, 25.4mm x 200mm

PERFORMER 26"

2016 7 Gt Bmx Bike Launch 4

“The cranks are amazing. The past bikes had Power Series cranks with the classic pad print style, and the first ride, your foot rubbed it off. The new ones are laser-etched.” -Ben Ward 

FRAME: Revamped, 26” Cr-Mo 1986 GT Performer, BTS (Built to Shred) Geometry, Mid BB, 3/8” Dropouts, Chainstay Welded Brake Mounts

FORK: Revamped, Cr-Mo 1986 Performer, 1pc Steerer Tube, 31.8mm Straight Legs, 3/8” Axle x 36mm Offset

CRANKSET / CHAIN WHEEL: GT Power Series Alloy 175mm 3pc, 22mm Cr-Mo Square Spindle, GT 5mm 28T AL PowerDisk

BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed MID

PEDALS: GT Low Profile Platform

FREEWHEEL: 16T Cog

CHAIN: KMC Z410

RIMS: Alloy Double Wall, 26" 36 Hole (F/R)

TIRES: Innova FS 26" x 2.2" (F/R)

HUBS: GT Mohawk, Alloy, 36H (F) Female 3/8” Sealed, (R) Female 3/8” Sealed Cassette

BRAKE: Aluminum U-Brake

BRAKE LEVER: Alloy

HANDLEBAR: GT Performer 2pc. 100% Cr-Mo, 7.5"H x 29"W, 5°Up, 9° Back

STEM: GT CNC BK Elevated Topload, 34mm Rise, 48mm Length

GRIPS: GT Super Soft 155mm, w/ GT Plug

HEADSET: 1 1/8" Integrated Design, 45X45 Degree Sealed Bearings

SADDLE: GT Railed Padded

PERFORMER

2016 7 Gt Bmx Bike Launch 2


“It’s paying homage to the past, in a fun way. It’s a modern bike that an old-school'er can shred and be stoked on it.” -Ben Ward

FRAME: Revamped, Steel Tubes, DT Gusset, Integrated Seat Clamp, MID BB, Integrated H/T w/ Removable Tabs, Seatstay Welded Brake Mounts

FORK: Revamped, Steel 2pc Steerer, Tapered Legs, 3/8” Axle x 31mm Offset

CRANKSET / CHAINWHEEL: GT Power Series Cr-Mo 170mm 3pc, 19mm x 8T Cr-Mo Spindle, GT 5mm 25T Steel Chainwheel

BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed MID

PEDALS: GT Low Profile Platform

FREEWHEEL: 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver

CHAIN: KMC Z410

RIMS: Alloy Single Wall, 20" 36 Hole (F/R)

TIRES: GT LP-5 20" x 2.35" Front, 2.2" Rear

HUBS: GT, Alloy, 36H (F) 3/8” Sealed, (R) 9T Sealed Mechanism 14mm Cassette

BRAKE: Aluminum U-Brake

BRAKE LEVER: Alloy

HANDLEBAR: GT Freestyle 2pc., Steel, 8.5"H x 29"W, 3°Up, 11° Back

STEM: GT Topload, 32mm Rise, 50mm Length

GRIPS: GT Super Soft 155mm, w/o Flange, w/ GT Plug

HEADSET: 1 1/8” Integrated, 45x45 Degree Sealed Bearings

SADDLE: GT Pivotal Padded

SEATPOST: Alloy Pivotal 25.4 x 200mm

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