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  1. #1
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    Is the GT Zaskar Carbon 9r Expert worth it?

    My search for a lightweight 29er bike with a 2x10 drivetrain and decent components has led to the GT Zaskar Carbon 9r Expert that is priced at $1,664.

    The weight without pedals is less than 24 lbs. The Zaskar features a SRAM drive train (x7 front & x9 rear), Reba RL fork, DT Swiss wheels, and Formula RX hydraulic brakes.

    GT Zaskar Carbon 9R Expert

    I had originally looked at the Airborne lineup, specifically the new Goblin ($1,275) and Goblin XO ($2,475). The GT Zaskar is 31% more expensive than the base Goblin but also weighs 18% less (28 lbs). The Goblin XO is 49% more expensive than the GT Zaskar and weighs 24.5 lbs. Airborne Options

    Looking at the specs it seems to me when you add up the carbon frame and various individual components the GT Zaskar is worth the extra $389.

    Anyone care to chime in on a better priced, lighter weight option, or critique why this isnít such a good deal?

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    Don't forget BMC Team Elite SLX for 1,199.00

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by caprivi View Post
    Don't forget BMC Team Elite SLX for 1,199.00
    You make the choice more difficult. I like the looks of the BMC and the weight at 24.91 lbs. I dislike the 3x10 drivetrain, but if I can shave $465 off the price the BMC becomes a compelling choice. I am not sure how the components match up but thank you very much for pointing this bike out to me.

  4. #4
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    People are getting the weight for the BMC off the competitive cycles website. This is for the build kit only not the frame. No way with a Recon fork and cheap wheels does it weigh 24 pounds. More like 29 to 30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shammer5788 View Post
    People are getting the weight for the BMC off the competitive cycles website. This is for the build kit only not the frame. No way with a Recon fork and cheap wheels does it weigh 24 pounds. More like 29 to 30.
    You are correct. The 24ish lb. claim is based on the XO bike, not the SLX one. I'm pretty sure that the SLX version comes in around the 27ish range.

    I had been looking into this bike for a friend a few months back.

    To the OP, the Zaskar looks like a decent scoot for that price. Reminds me of my first mountain bike back in '95, a GT Tequesta. Memories...in the corner of my mind...LOL!
    Stay aware of those who hide in plain sight.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopavi View Post
    My search for a lightweight 29er bike with a 2x10 drivetrain and decent components has led to the GT Zaskar Carbon 9r Expert that is priced at $1,664.

    The weight without pedals is less than 24 lbs. The Zaskar features a SRAM drive train (x7 front & x9 rear), Reba RL fork, DT Swiss wheels, and Formula RX hydraulic brakes.

    GT Zaskar Carbon 9R Expert

    I had originally looked at the Airborne lineup, specifically the new Goblin ($1,275) and Goblin XO ($2,475). The GT Zaskar is 31% more expensive than the base Goblin but also weighs 18% less (28 lbs). The Goblin XO is 49% more expensive than the GT Zaskar and weighs 24.5 lbs. Airborne Options

    Looking at the specs it seems to me when you add up the carbon frame and various individual components the GT Zaskar is worth the extra $389.

    Anyone care to chime in on a better priced, lighter weight option, or critique why this isnít such a good deal?
    Wow. Now you've got me trying to come up with $1600 that I don't have for a bike I probably don't need! I may be clueless but that looks like a near unbeatable deal as far as bang for your buck considering the carbon frame. Again...wow, great find.

  7. #7
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    BMC SLX Medium weight

    Quote Originally Posted by shammer5788 View Post
    People are getting the weight for the BMC off the competitive cycles website. This is for the build kit only not the frame. No way with a Recon fork and cheap wheels does it weigh 24 pounds. More like 29 to 30.
    Someone on the BMC forum indicated "FYI, my SLX size Medium was 28 pounds completely stock..."

    So the BMC weighs the same as the Goblin and has a 3x10 drivetrain and I am not sure if the SLX components are better or worse than the Sram x7/x9. Any other bikes out there you can think of that would provide a better bang for the buck?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopavi View Post
    Someone on the BMC forum indicated "FYI, my SLX size Medium was 28 pounds completely stock..."

    So the BMC weighs the same as the Goblin and has a 3x10 drivetrain and I am not sure if the SLX components are better or worse than the Sram x7/x9. Any other bikes out there you can think of that would provide a better bang for the buck?

    Not sure about the X7 FD, I hear they are bendy, but this is not from experience.

    If this will fit you it may be a better deal than the Zaskar. I personally like Shimano over Sram

    2011 Fuji Tahoe 29er 1.0 Hardtail Mountain Bike - Mountain Bikes - Complete Bikes - Shop by Item - Bikewagon


    Todd

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAPnTX View Post
    Not sure about the X7 FD, I hear they are bendy, but this is not from experience.

    If this will fit you it may be a better deal than the Zaskar. I personally like Shimano over Sram

    2011 Fuji Tahoe 29er 1.0 Hardtail Mountain Bike - Mountain Bikes - Complete Bikes - Shop by Item - Bikewagon
    Thanks Todd, we are getting closer. You trimmed the weight by a pound compared to the BMC ( Weight:12.28kg (27.02lbs) approx for the 19 Inch size, with pedals (built). *(PLEASE NOTE: Weight is approximate and is provided by Evans Cycles as a guide only, actual weight may vary due to manufacturing processes and other factors) and the price was shaved by $200 or 16%.

    The Fuji brand is under appreciated in my opinion and this setup provides a good value. When I asked my finance committee what she thought a nice 29er bike would cost, her answer was - under $1,000. So you are a hero in her book. Thanks for your comments.

  10. #10
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    I owned a GT Carbon Expert for about 3 years and I must say one of the funnest bikes to ride I've ever owned. I deceided to go back to a hardtail and switch to the big wheels based on my area.My 1st choice was a Zaskar , but they had just come out and there were no good deals available. So I ended up building a Niner Air9. Had this deal been out there I would have jumped all over it. Even though the GT brand has been trashed, they still build some nice high end bikes that are worth a look.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tailwaters View Post
    I owned a GT Carbon Expert for about 3 years and I must say one of the funnest bikes to ride I've ever owned. I deceided to go back to a hardtail and switch to the big wheels based on my area.My 1st choice was a Zaskar , but they had just come out and there were no good deals available. So I ended up building a Niner Air9. Had this deal been out there I would have jumped all over it. Even though the GT brand has been trashed, they still build some nice high end bikes that are worth a look.



    Bikewagon does not have any of the 19" frames, but if you look at the geometry the top tube and stand over on the 21" are the same as most manufactures 19" with exception to the seat tube of course. I know the geometry on the 2012 Tahoe 1.0 29er 19" is over the 21" 2011 model.

    I think the Fuji bike offers the best components for the money. I added up all the parts on that bike and here is what I came up with, these were the best prices I could find on the parts and did not give much for the Fuji branded parts.

    Fuji Tahoe 1.0 29er

    $249 Main frame: Fuji A2-SL
    $462 Fork: RockShox Reba RLT 29 RMT
    $160 Crankset: Shimano SLX Hollow Tech II with integrated spindle, 24/32/42T
    $45 Front derailleur: Shimano XT SGS Shadow top normal 10-speed
    $85 Rear derailleur: Shimano XT SGS Shadow top normal 10-speed
    $70 Shifters: Shimano SLX Rapid Fire, 3 x 10-speed
    $40 Cassette: Shimano SLX, 11-36T 10-speed
    $30 Chain: Shimano HG-74
    $250 Wheelset: Fuji sealed bearings disc, 32H hubs, WTB Laser Disc Trail 29", 32H DW with single Eyelet rims
    $90 Tires: WTB Vulpine 29 x 2.1 Kevlar bead folding
    $250 Brake set: Tektro Orion hydraulic disc, 180/160mm rotor
    $30 Headset: Fuji custom 1-1/8 to 1-1/2 press-fit Integrated, 30mm spacers
    $10 Handlebar: Oval M-200 15mm sweep double butted 6061 riser 31.8mm
    $10 Stem: Oval M-200 RBT 6061 alloy 31.8mm
    $10 Grips: Fuji dual-density Kraton rubber
    $10 Saddle: Fuji MTB with steel rails
    $20 Seatpost: Oval M-200 31.6 x 350mm

    Total $1821


    VS the Zaskar Carbon expert 9r

    GT Zaskar 29 Carbon

    $250 Brakes: Formula RX
    $35 Cassette: Shimano CS-HG62-10, 11-36T, 10-Speed
    $25 Chain: KMC X10, 10-Speed
    $160 Crankset: SRAM S1400 2.2, OCT Hollow Forged 39/26T
    $500 Frame Material: Carbon
    $400 Fork: RockShox Reba RL w/100mm Travel QR, Motion Control Damper, Adjustable Rebound, Lockout, & Tapered Alloy Steerer
    $30 Front Derailleur: SRAM X7, 2x10
    $45 Handlebar: Crankbrothers Cobalt 2, 680mm
    $60 Headset: FSA Orbit C-40-ACB, 1.5" to 1 1/8"
    $85 Rear Derailleur: SRAM X9, Mid Cage
    $40 Saddle: WTB Silverado Race SL
    $50 Seatpost : Crankbrothers Cobalt 2, 31.6mm x 350mm
    $60 Shifters: SRAM X7 Trigger
    $45 Stem: Syncros AM, 3D Forged, S/M = 80mm, L/XL = 90mm
    $90 Tires: Maxxis Aspen, 2.1", Folding Bead
    $250 Wheelset: DT Swiss X470 29er 32H

    $2125 Total

    I am sure some prices I am wrong about, but I dont think I am too far off.

    Todd

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tailwaters View Post
    Had this deal been out there I would have jumped all over it. Even though the GT brand has been trashed, they still build some nice high end bikes that are worth a look.
    Good to hear from someone who has actually spent some fun time in the saddle of a GT Carbon. Like the Fuji, the GT name has a little tarnish. That is probably what makes both of these bikes pretty good values.

    Todd - Thanks for the detailed component pricing list. I did a less detailed comparison and came up with similar values. I guess it boils down to is the GT Zaskar's lighter weight worth $350 since it has slightly higher priced components. $120 a pound sounds like a lot. This site has a side by side comparison without pricing detail with a $1,000 difference between MSRPs:
    Fuji Tahoe vs GT Zaskar

    I was also impressed with some of the photos of the GT Zaskar on this website (you need to click on the individual photos at the bottom of the page):
    GT Zaskar Photos

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopavi View Post
    Good to hear from someone who has actually spent some fun time in the saddle of a GT Carbon. Like the Fuji, the GT name has a little tarnish. That is probably what makes both of these bikes pretty good values.

    Todd - Thanks for the detailed component pricing list. I did a less detailed comparison and came up with similar values. I guess it boils down to is the GT Zaskar's lighter weight worth $350 since it has slightly higher priced components. $120 a pound sounds like a lot. This site has a side by side comparison without pricing detail with a $1,000 difference between MSRPs:
    Fuji Tahoe vs GT Zaskar

    I was also impressed with some of the photos of the GT Zaskar on this website (you need to click on the individual photos at the bottom of the page):
    GT Zaskar Photos

    No doubt about it, that Carbon Zaskar is one sexy bike.

    Todd

  14. #14
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    I'm not sure there's much to think about. I'd go with the Carbon as well as the components are of better quality on the GT over the Fuji

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    Quote Originally Posted by tailwaters View Post
    I'm not sure there's much to think about. I'd go with the Carbon as well as the components are of better quality on the GT over the Fuji

    Wow really!!! I thought both XT derailleurs were superior to the X9/X7. As well as the Crank set. SLX vs X7

    I prefer the index finger shift on the SLX vs Sram, but that is personal preference.

    The DT swiss wheels are not very good on the Zaskar, most prefer the WTB on the Fuji.

    I am a complete noob though, I am not going by experience, just what I have read in the reviews.

    Todd

  16. #16
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    Just looking at the frame, would you select
    1. the GT Zaskar (carbon)
    or
    2. the BMC TE29 (aluminum)
    ?

  17. #17
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    After reading the article below that discusses the differences in 2x10 vs 3x10 drivetrains I am a wondering if the 3x10 or 3x9 gearing might work better for a more casual mountain/trail rider. My current hybrid bike is 3x10 and I often find myself in a granny gear on severe ups. Without the lower gearing I would be challenged on many trails.
    Deep thoughts on low gears

  18. #18
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    And you're correct it really does come down to personal preference. My GT I had came with full XT and must say was very smooth. However prior to that my Trek had X0 which was smoother than smooth. My current built is X9 with SLX brakes. So personal preference is key. I prefer the shifting of Sram but the stopping power of Shimano. I think at the end of the day if you were planning on selling the bike after a season. The GT will hold its value better. I think we all agree the GT has the eye candy thing going on.

    With that said the most important thing to remember....I'ts what makes you happy and your happy riding it.



    Quote Originally Posted by TAPnTX View Post
    Wow really!!! I thought both XT derailleurs were superior to the X9/X7. As well as the Crank set. SLX vs X7

    I prefer the index finger shift on the SLX vs Sram, but that is personal preference.

    The DT swiss wheels are not very good on the Zaskar, most prefer the WTB on the Fuji.

    I am a complete noob though, I am not going by experience, just what I have read in the reviews.

    Todd

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by caprivi View Post
    Just looking at the frame, would you select
    1. the GT Zaskar (carbon)
    or
    2. the BMC TE29 (aluminum)
    ?
    I think the frame decision is a matter of personal preference if you are considering either the GT Zaskar or the BMC TE29. I think the weights would be similar and I really like the looks of both frames. The BMC has a little more clutter on the lower rear so I would likely pick the GT Zaskar.

  20. #20
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    i'm for Zaskar

  21. #21
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    I ram a 3x9 for several years and last year built up two Niner's and went with a 2x9 setup. The 2x9 had everything I needed for my areas for climbing. I've now switched to a 1x9 ob eone of the bikes and love it.


    Quote Originally Posted by kopavi View Post
    After reading the article below that discusses the differences in 2x10 vs 3x10 drivetrains I am a wondering if the 3x10 or 3x9 gearing might work better for a more casual mountain/trail rider. My current hybrid bike is 3x10 and I often find myself in a granny gear on severe ups. Without the lower gearing I would be challenged on many trails.
    Deep thoughts on low gears

  22. #22
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! do yourself a favour ...

    ... and get a GT TI Xizang

    that will keep you happy for years to come

    by the way - one of the most advanced Ti 29er frames one can buy - periot

    YES I do own an Erickson, IF, Moots etc. blablabla



    marTIn

    they're on sale right now at

    GT Xizang 29er Frame - americancycle.com bmx bikes parts frames cranks wheels online sale acebmx
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race" - H.G. Wells

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAPnTX View Post


    Bikewagon does not have any of the 19" frames, but if you look at the geometry the top tube and stand over on the 21" are the same as most manufactures 19" with exception to the seat tube of course. I know the geometry on the 2012 Tahoe 1.0 29er 19" is over the 21" 2011 model.

    I think the Fuji bike offers the best components for the money. I added up all the parts on that bike and here is what I came up with, these were the best prices I could find on the parts and did not give much for the Fuji branded parts.

    Fuji Tahoe 1.0 29er

    $249 Main frame: Fuji A2-SL

    Total $1821


    VS the Zaskar Carbon expert 9r

    GT Zaskar 29 Carbon

    $500 Frame Material: Carbon

    $2125 Total

    I am sure some prices I am wrong about, but I dont think I am too far off.

    Todd
    Good comparison but I think yo uare off by quite a bit a good namebrand warrantied carbon frame can not be had for 500, period.

    This bike entices me a lot as well, I had the original alu zaskar 9r pro bike, sold it because it was a size smaller than what I has gotten used to riding once I was spending more time on my FS, but it was great bike, OP if your still looking can't go wrong here just bite on the GT!
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Good comparison but I think yo uare off by quite a bit a good namebrand warrantied carbon frame can not be had for 500, period.

    ....OP if your still looking can't go wrong here just bite on the GT!
    It does appear that name brand carbon frames are expensive if you can find them. Right now I am still weighing the gearing of the GT Zaskar (2x10) and if the the weight benefit of a carbon frame offsets the lack of lower end gearing.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Good comparison but I think yo uare off by quite a bit a good namebrand warrantied carbon frame can not be had for 500, period.

    This bike entices me a lot as well, I had the original alu zaskar 9r pro bike, sold it because it was a size smaller than what I has gotten used to riding once I was spending more time on my FS, but it was great bike, OP if your still looking can't go wrong here just bite on the GT!

    I really could not find good info on the GT carbon frame, it was just a guess. Technically it is just a Chinese frame with a 3 year warranty.

    On the other hand Fuji has Lifetime.

    Todd

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