GT SANCTION 2.0: All Mountain’s Never Been So Inclusive
By the staff of www.mountainbiketales.com
Defining New School
Perhaps the most over-used term of the past decade would have to be “old-school” in referring to any process with a rich heritage. In that line of thinking, what exactly is “new school” and why doesn’t anybody ever say it? Not to worry if rhetoric doesn’t happen to be your strong suit, your friends at MBT are here to tell you all about new school through the GT Sanction 2.0.
In the world of mountain biking new school technology comes in the form of long-travel suspension, lightweight chassis, and the ability to pedal the bike to the summit before descending. In other words, riders today want a bike that comes pretty close to the downhill performance of a true shuttle-runner while maintaining the pedal-friendly habits of yesteryears trail machinery. The Southern Californian design team at GT understands this concept better than most and unleashed not one but two separate models aimed at accomplishing this very goal: The Force and the Sanction.
We’ll be honest; it was a difficult decision for the MBT camp to decide upon which camp we considered ourselves a part of after taking a look at GT’s impressive line. Both bikes offer 6 inches of suspension travel and the benefit of the proven iDrive system (now shortened to ID). If you find yourself in a similar decision-making dilemma, think of the Force as an aggressive trail bike and the Sanction as one of the lightest big-hit capable bikes on the market. Interestingly, the frames themselves are nearly identical in terms of material and weights so it is the component specs that make all of the difference between the two lines. We selected the middle-tier Sanction 2.0 (at $2299- it sits right in between the $1799 Sanction 3.0 and the $3299 Sanction 1.0).
Our test model came equipped as follows:
Squish in the form of a Marzocchi Bomber 5.5 fork, 160mm travel in the front and a Fox DHX Air 3.0 shock in the rear. 18-Speed drivetrain with SRAM X-9 rear derailleur and Shimano LX front derailleur; shifters of the SRAM X-7 variety. Shimano Hone cranks and dual-ring (22/32) with bash-guard. Braking is accomplished via Avid Juicy 5 hydraulic discs front and rear. Ritchey components make a majority of the connections while WTB provides the Pure V race saddle. DT Swiss X430 rims wrapped in Kenda Nevegal 2.3″ rubber get the power to the terra firma and yes; GT includes those Crank Brothers Acid pedals shown in the review.
Suffice to say, for $2200, we were quite impressed!
We know, enough about the design details already… You want to know what it’s like to spin those cranks. We’ll be coming to that in just a moment (impatient readers may want to skip ahead). The Sanction features an aluminum 6061 monocoque frame with absolutely gorgeous swoops and curves. The main and bottom bracket pivots are heavy duty and sealed. The i-link itself is forged and those modular dropouts are designed to work in conjunction with a 12mm Maxle. All told our Large test bike tipped the scales as just a tad over 35 pounds.