I have had my 2001 GT Zaskar Team built 1 x 9 and 650b for a few weeks now. I wanted to get some rides on it before I posted anything. This bike is absolutely the fastest, most forgiving ride in my stable. I also own a Stumpy 29er full custom, XTR, King hubs, etc. and a Giant Anthem Advanced with the DT Swiss fork, shock, and 1250 carbon wheels.
The GT is quicker than than the 29er, more forgiving than the Anthem, and is faster than pretty much any other bike I have tested or owned. I have had S-Works Epics, Stumpy carbons, and 29ers, and a bunch of other bikes in my long riding history.
The rear tire is snug with the quasi-moto but I don't get any scrub or mud build up, so I would say over all it is a perfect fit. The Fox F80X is a perfect fit for the Neo-moto and the terra-logic damping is ideal for a hardtail. I love the Misfit Fu2-bar as it just puts you in a mind to relax and really enjoy your ride. You simply can't take yourself to serious in that casual laid back position, that is not to say however, that you can't haul the proverbial butt!!!
I went 1 x 9 to keep things a bit more simple and elegant and I feel like i have enough top and bottom end. I am running a 36 tooth front so when matched with an 11-32 there is plenty of gearing for all but the fastest downhill fire road.
The last modification I need to make is to try and convert the velocity rims to tubeless. I know several people have complained about tubeless conversions on the Velocity rims, but we have done a few conversions on cyclo-cross setups at my shop, so I am not that concerned about the 650b. The next step may be some Stan's or American Classic rims if the Velocity rims prove difficult.
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Thread: GT Zaskar Team FULL 650b