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Thread: GT Sensor 9R

  1. #1
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    GT Sensor 9R

    Anybody have any experience with this bike? I am looking to jump to a FS. Performance has them on sale for a fairly reasonable price. !20mm fork and frame shock. Looks like it would be a good candidate for a FS. I know that test rides are the tell-all, but I just wanted some opinions on it. Thanks ladies and gents.

    BTW, I ride Blankets Creek and Taylor Randal memorial trls (woodstock, Ga). Also do some riding on other local trails in other nearby counties. (Allatoona Creek and Mt. Tabor Park). The trails are rooty and rocky with some climbs and some good flow.......a good mix.
    Rub some dirt on it and walk it off!

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    I found lots of good reviews but didn't like the components of the newer ones and nobody was selling used. After months of deliberating over the new models a 2010 came up and I put a new drivetrain, brakes and hubs on it.
    I'm more than happy riding the kind of stuff you describe and think I got a lot of bike for the $$.

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    I was looking at buying a used one. Check the top tube length before you buy. They run very short for the size!

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    ......and post up some pics of your axe.....catalog/ad pics dont seem to do some bikes justice as far as looks go. thnx
    Rub some dirt on it and walk it off!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlee197853 View Post
    I was looking at buying a used one. Check the top tube length before you buy. They run very short for the size!
    I would more-or-less agree with that. TT = 23.8" for the L, and 24.8" for XL.

    There isn't a whole lot of information on these bikes and I don't think they have sold many of them. I personally think my Sensor 9r is one of the best pedaling FS bikes out there, but I'm not hearing any one else state that. My current shock is an X-fusion that seems to have little to no compression damping, which IMO is exactly what you want with the I-Drive suspension. Very plush compared to the Fox shocks I've tried on this bike. Even with the loose shock I can hammer it out of the saddle, and it just goes. I even leave the shock open on the street (granted I don't street ride much). If there is a Performance Bike near you, try throwing a leg over one. Keep in mind when testing this or any other FS bike, many shocks have a lot of compression damping built in, which lets the bike pedal great, but won't be plush on the trail.

    My 2012 is 8 months old now, and is holding up great. I'm 225, ride plenty of rocky trails, and catch air now and then, but nothing major. I did have the pivots start creaking 2 months ago, but I took them apart and greased them and all has been well since. The pivot bearings are basically headset bearings.

    Sensor 9rs don't have tapered headtubes or ISCG tabs, and have a standard QR in the rear. None of that is a big deal to me, but if GT wants to play in the bigs they are going to have to add those features.

  6. #6
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    I have the 2012 GT Sensor 9r Elite.
    Love the the bike.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    There isn't a whole lot of information on these bikes
    Too true, on the GT site it says something like 'when too much information isn't enough' below the tech link which leads to a few old catalogues that don't include my 2010.5 model. It's a shame the website isn't up to the standard of the product.
    I concur on your other points JACKL

    I posted this pic in the GT forum sensor pic thread


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    Very Happy with my 2012 GT sensor 9r Elite. I am 6' 33" inseam and the Large fit me very well.
    The Deore drive train has held up very well, and works flawlessly. about every Month I pull the pivots apart and clean and grease them (about 30 mins).

    Todd

  9. #9
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    GT Sensor 9R

    I've built three or four at work, and I've gotta say they're awesome bikes. I'm especially a big fan of the comp version, loved it when I rode it.


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    2013 Rockhopper 29- The hot rod fun bike
    2013 Stumpy HT Comp 29- The racin' machine

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    Bought a new GT Sensor Elite 29 in early April and love it.I did add FSA SL K seatpost to help lower the weight and ODI lock on grips!

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    I had a 2012 sensor comp and sold it because it felt like a noodle and I only weigh 140. If you ride real aggressive, this bike is not for you. The front is stiff but the rear flexes like crazy. Aside from that flaw which drove me nuts.....its a great bike just wasnt for me. I do miss how great it climbed because i now suffer pedaling my enduro around but it rewards me with a bigger smile going down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    the rear flexes like crazy
    I weigh 180 and don't know what you're talking about and can only assume you thought it was a hardtail.

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    No issues with flexing in the rear here. I am 175 lbs and I am no slouch on the trails.
    So I will agree, I have no idea what you are referring to.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  14. #14
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    My buddy has the comp version. In stock form, the front end is a bit high, cockpit is a bit long. Things that can easily be fixed. I'm 220, and didn't feel any flex. This was with stand up and mashing. Climbed great, even though I couldn't get the rear shock dialed in. Rear end wasn't very active on the downhill. Sits a bit high, I think this bike would do well with a wide, flat bar, and short, low degree stem.

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    Sensor 29er Pro

    Got my Sensor 6 months ago at the start of our summer.
    Done 800km on it - mostly single track and some events.

    I love it, seems small to me now and fits like a glove, climbs nicely and hasn't done anything wrong.

    I'm 83kg, no flexing at the back either.

    I got it for a bargain as a run out - and still think I got a lot of bike for my $$
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GT Sensor 9R-gt-sensor-pro.jpg  


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    Sits a bit high, I think this bike would do well with a wide, flat bar, and short, low degree stem.
    Have not changed the bar but the stem had to go.
    I put a 40mm Hussefelt on it. Worked like a charm.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    GT Sensor 9R

    Got a Large 2012 9r Elite model and the end of last year. I'm 5' 9" and 155lbs and was on the fence about getting a Large. But it works great for me. Bike pedals well and climbs even better than my 29er hardtail.

    Sometimes the shock feels a little too plush, but doesn't seem to have adversely affected how it climbs for me.

  18. #18
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    225, hammer it hard, and no flex here either. However if the "film reels" on the pivots are not properly adjusted, the rear triangle will be able to move around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I have the 2012 GT Sensor 9r Elite.
    Love the the bike.
    I had the same bike and despised it. Returned it and bought a Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro.

    The frame weighs a TON compared to bikes in its class and it comes with some really garbage level components. My fault for impulse buying before researching but there was really nothing redeeming about it in my eyes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    I had the same bike and despised it. Returned it and bought a Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro.

    The frame weighs a TON compared to bikes in its class and it comes with some really garbage level components. My fault for impulse buying before researching but there was really nothing redeeming about it in my eyes.
    When you say "bikes in its class", you do know that the Sensor Elite 9r is almost half the price of the Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro?

    Sensor Elite 9r msrp = $1999
    Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro msrp = $3889

    Not really the same class if you ask me.

    Now if you compare it to $2k full suspension 29ers, it specs out nicely and is at the top of its class. Considering I paid $1035 for it with $65 cash back to spend in the store, I got an even more fantastic deal.

    As far as the frame weighing a ton, did you strip it down and weigh the frame and compare it to the weight of the superfly? I wouldn't be surprised if it does weigh a little more but I would bet most the extra weight is in the components and not the frame.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
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    Feel my pimp hand!

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    When you say "bikes in its class", you do know that the Sensor Elite 9r is almost half the price of the Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro?

    Sensor Elite 9r msrp = $1999
    Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro msrp = $3889

    Not really the same class if you ask me.

    Now if you compare it to $2k full suspension 29ers, it specs out nicely and is at the top of its class. Considering I paid $1035 for it with $65 cash back to spend in the store, I got an even more fantastic deal.

    As far as the frame weighing a ton, did you strip it down and weigh the frame and compare it to the weight of the superfly? I wouldn't be surprised if it does weigh a little more but I would bet most the extra weight is in the components and not the frame.
    BAAM...Pimp hand!!! I heard that smack all the way from the Single Speed thread! At $1035.00 it's like 3 to 1. I'd take 3 of them personally and pimp them out all different...but I'm funny that way and cant seem to make myself put the proverbial "all the eggs in one basket". Even 1 at $1035,00 and another $1035.00 in upgrades still saves you the rest for a lifetime membership at Ray's Indoor LOL
    Where there is choice, there is misery...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    When you say "bikes in its class", you do know that the Sensor Elite 9r is almost half the price of the Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro?

    Sensor Elite 9r msrp = $1999
    Trek Superfly 100 AL Pro msrp = $3889

    Not really the same class if you ask me.

    Now if you compare it to $2k full suspension 29ers, it specs out nicely and is at the top of its class. Considering I paid $1035 for it with $65 cash back to spend in the store, I got an even more fantastic deal.

    As far as the frame weighing a ton, did you strip it down and weigh the frame and compare it to the weight of the superfly? I wouldn't be surprised if it does weigh a little more but I would bet most the extra weight is in the components and not the frame.

    Of course those two aren't in the same class, the Trek is WORLDS better. Whatever poverty class the Sensor is in was what motivated me to get ahead of it by 3-4 classes

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post

    As far as the frame weighing a ton, did you strip it down and weigh the frame and compare it to the weight of the superfly? I wouldn't be surprised if it does weigh a little more but I would bet most the extra weight is in the components and not the frame.
    Good point. I'm curious to know what my frame weighs, but not enough to strip it down at this time. Bottom line, it's an aluminum frame, and until we get one weighed, there is no reason to conclude that it weighs significantly more than a comparable FS aluminum frame. But if your build uses less-expensive components, then yes the bike will be heavier. Not a big deal to me, but as parts wear out or break, I will be swapping lighter stuff on. On my 2012 Elite, the wheels are skinny and heavy, so I already swapped those for Flow Exs and an XT cassette. The 5lb Marz TST2 fork will probably get swapped at some point, but for now it's working great so I'm going to leave it be.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Of course those two aren't in the same class, the Trek is WORLDS better. Whatever poverty class the Sensor is in was what motivated me to get ahead of it by 3-4 classes
    That's cool whatever floats your boat.
    Of course the last guy that spoke like you and thought his $4k bike was so awesome, I climbed right past on my heavy pig of a GT Sensor.

    (And yes, that is a true story)
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  25. #25
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    GT Sensor 9R-970393_10151950250954488_434133207_n.jpg
    I was visiting my Dad in Palm Springs, in April, and rented a Sensor 29er Elite, it was a 2012 model with the Marzocchi fork. Initially, I was a bit leery as to how this rental bike would ride, seeing that GT is not exactly on the radar like they used to be in their glory days. I rode it on a variety of trails out there, the Goat Trails, Wildhorse, Target trails - all the local Palm Springs stuff, and I fell in love with the bike. Sure, it's no lightweight ballerina bike, but as you've heard, the bike rides well above it's class. The feel of the bike climbing, the balanced feel, and what I consider to be very snappy handling, really encouraged me to push the bike harder. And it handled all the light chunk and scree just fine. I even rode over some stuff that gave me pause on my own personal bike (that bike is a 2008 Turner 5-Spot, and I shipped it over there a few years back so I could ride the local trails while visiting) - There is a particularly technical spot on this trail - a combination rock squeeze, and drop off, into another S-turn squeeze - all at low speed. It gave me fits on my 5-spot previously because this bit of trail was chock full of wheel stoppers, but I decided to just go for it and see what the Sensor could do with this tricky bit o' trail. I couldn't believe how little drama there was! Those big wheels really do help! After clearing this spot that gave my 26" fits, I couldn't believe how easy it was on the big wheels - it was at this moment, I became a huge fan of this Sensor 29'er (and 29'ers in general).. That said, I'd ridden a handful of 29'ers in years past (the last one was the latest Santa Cruz heckler-style 29'er), but this was the first 29'er that really fit my riding style and handled/rode very similar to my Turner. I like a bike that feels like it can go over anything.

    So when I returned home to Michigan and got back onto our woodsy, twisty, glacial terrain trails, I couldn't get that Sensor 29'er out of my brain - I tried.... After one too many beers, I ended up buying one on Ebay a few weeks ago - got it for $1450 to my door, a 2012 Elite, yes - the one with the Marzocchi fork (I'm a fan).

    I rode it last night for the first time on my 'benchmark' local trail - heavily wooded, short steep no-warning climbs, blind loose gravely corners, long flowing sweeping downhills, etc. and the bike was an absolute blast. It even wheelies pretty good too. I had to apologize to my wife and her riding girlfriend for leaving them in the dust, because I had to see what this bike could do. Compared to my Turner 5-spot, the biggest difference was that I was carrying eye-wideningly huge amounts of speed into corners - way more than I ever generated on my 26'er. I really had to reconfigure all my approach speeds - and once leaned in, the bike tracks true, and mid-corner adjustments are easy. I did notice that these 29" wheels generate more of a gyroscopic effect than a 26" wheel, and one quickly learns to give the handlebar a little more to get the same amount of lean as would one on a 26" wheel bike. Still, I loved how stable the bike was, yet could be easily leaned from one side to another for S-curve type trail sections. Handling is top notch!

    The suspension really surprised me - I kinda guessed on the PSI front and rear - I really only put enough air in to get the proper amount of sag at each end, figuring this was a good start. The X-fusion shock has a bit of a static platform that you need to bust thru in order to see what sag you're getting in the parking lot, but other than that, no real tricks needed. The ride was very balanced, once you set the sag front and rear for your weight (trial and error). You could feel distant thuds from big hits coming from the rear end, but never felt that the shock was struggling to sop up the little stuff - very controlled back there. And, like others have said - the pedalling is very very snappy - great response from the engine room. I will have to wrap the chainstay, cuz there was some annoying chainslap going on. As for the fork, I absolutely love Marzocchi's and this inexpensive model really was perfect for this bike. I couldn't believe how nice the action was, considering it wasn't even broken in yet - it's a shame GT didn't spec' the Marz for the 2013 lineup - it really compliments the bike's "is that all you got?" attitude. Heavy? Really not a bother - it's lighter than my Turner, and the Sensor does not feel like a heavier bike, even when pedaling into zero speed uphill burst climbs, where you have to get the wheels moving "now". I can't make sense of it, but it feels better than a 26'er!

    I have a 32" inseam, and weigh about 195lbs, and decided that the size Medium Sensor I rode in Palm Springs was sized perfectly for me - this is the same size I got. I'd not tried the Large, but noticed that the top tube was 3/4" longer, or so. I like a compact cockpit, so Medium is perfect. The bike does seem to run on the large size, dimensionally, so if you normally think you ride a Large, you really might be better off with a Medium, especially if you're at the tipping point between Med./Large. And on the medium the top tube does lightly touch the nutt area, if you're more towards the front, fyi.

    All in all, after only ONE ride on my fave local trail, I'm unanimous that I've made a great decision, bikewise. It's one of those bikes that is way more than the sum of it's parts - A bike that is woefully overlooked and ignored by "the mainstream bike media". I must admit, had I never rented one while in Cali, I would have never ever considered getting this bike, just because I'm probably a bit of a bike snob (just a little). I'm glad I got the chance to try this bike out, and even gladder I bought one. I just feel bad that my Turner will likely become a home for wayward spiders.....
    Last edited by jokermtb; 06-04-2013 at 11:46 AM.
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