Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 54

Thread: GT Avalanche X

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117

    GT Avalanche X

    Just ordered a closeout 2011 GT avalanche X for a STEAL and am more excited than I can possibly note. The stock specs are awesome, especially for the price. I do a lot of heavy trail riding, and previously had a Mongoose Otero "squishy", so this is definitely quite an upgrade . Now I was wondering any thoughts about small upgrades anyone recommends? I'm thinking of going clipless, because flats do not really give me much confidence. Also, the bars seem quite long and definitely will not need that much leverage.

    And for all you snobby "its not an all mountain bike because it doesn't cost $3000 and has an aluminum frame". Save it. I could care less about your "little-man" syndrome.

  2. #2
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    I always wonder why these type of threads show up in the All Mountain forum instead of the Bike and Frame discussion forum.

    What are you looking to achieve with upgrades?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    Why wouldn't it be in all mountain? I'm going to be riding trail and light DH, thus what the bike is designed for... not XC.

    Pedals, bars, grips, adjustable seatpost, etc. I don't need to upgrade any components just yet (only if or when they fail or break).

  4. #4
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by velveteer View Post
    Why wouldn't it be in all mountain? I'm going to be riding trail and light DH, thus what the bike is designed for... not XC.
    Because it's about bike and frame discussions.

    Pedals, bars, grips, adjustable seatpost, etc. I don't need to upgrade any components just yet (only if or when they fail or break).
    So, you're looking to have brand names called out? I'm confused, as I asked what you're trying to achieve. But if you already know what you want, then I guess I don't understand.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    I'm looking for suggestions. You know, from experience. Such a suggestion could entail the following:

    Hey man you know, I made a switch from flats to THESE pedals and absolutely loved them. Or yea, you know if you're not going to be doing some major descents, this dropper post is reliable and not an arm and a leg...

    Or, you know, you could be an *******. Either one.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    Just someone looking for suggestions from fellow bikers. Not looking for condescending "forum advice". I don't get why you people get on your high horses. You seem to have a lot of posts and "reps". You must know everything there is to know about biking. Can you teach me how to do a wheelie?!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AndesJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    105
    @Velvet: I am not too sure about the specs of your bike but I can share my experience. I had a GT Avelanche 2 once and I rode it pretty much on the same trails as I imagine you are referring to. The first thing I did was change the pedals to Shimano SPD's, I was unfortunate to have the GT handlebars break off right next to the GT stem so that was replaced by a beefier 7050 aluminum bar, do try out some bars before you buy as too wide or too narrow will effect your overall experience, ask one of the guys at your LBS for some tips. The next to go was the crankset, replaced with an entry level Shimano Deore crankset which worked wonders on those long climbs en rough descents. The fork that the bike had was of the poorer performance range and was replaced first by a 150mm Marzocchi AM3 (which I happened to brake after ride number 5, lesson learnt) and was replaced by a Rock Shox Tora 130mm Coil version which was most probable one of the best performing, cost-effective parts I've ever bought, thinking back. As the riding progresses and the rider level increases I had to replace the wheelset as the original set was no longer up for the task. The changes were made oveer a period of time to accomodate the wallet. If you search the web you will be able to find some good prices to get your new parts. Do make a turn in the Bike and Frame forum as you will get more positive results with your current search in that one. Happy riding!!

  8. #8
    rebmem rbtm
    Reputation: juancho142's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    416
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    I always wonder why these type of threads show up in the All Mountain forum instead of the Bike and Frame discussion forum.

    What are you looking to achieve with upgrades?
    Because its a 140mm hardtail, not an XC entry level bike like previous Avalanche models.

  9. #9
    rebmem rbtm
    Reputation: juancho142's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    416
    I have a 2011 Avalanche 2.0 set up fot AM use, like an avalanche X but w/ a Pike U turn instead of a Sektor.






    If you go w/clipless but want to keep it steady and stable on descents i recommend Crank Brother Mallet pedals. I got them on my ride and they work great:



    Next im getting a Joplin for it.

  10. #10
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by velveteer View Post
    Just someone looking for suggestions from fellow bikers. Not looking for condescending "forum advice". I don't get why you people get on your high horses. You seem to have a lot of posts and "reps". You must know everything there is to know about biking. Can you teach me how to do a wheelie?!
    Heh, chip on your shoulder?

    Quote Originally Posted by velveteer View Post
    I'm looking for suggestions. You know, from experience. Such a suggestion could entail the following:

    Hey man you know, I made a switch from flats to THESE pedals and absolutely loved them. Or yea, you know if you're not going to be doing some major descents, this dropper post is reliable and not an arm and a leg...

    Or, you know, you could be an *******. Either one.
    Yeah, I'm asking you what you want to achieve with upgrades. In other words, weight? Bling? Or just plain stuff to change for whatever reason? check the fit first before you muck with the stem and handlebar. it's an area of constant tweaking for some.

    FWIW, I know someone with a GT Avalanche, rides it as a trail bike and the stock parts haven't broken yet. Anything more aggro would be a problem with the stock parts.

    parts i've used and not had problems with

    Stem - truvativ hussefelt, chromag ranger, sunline v1 am/fr.
    Handlebar - Truvativ boobar, chromag os/os x
    seatpost - gravity dropper, ugly but functional. either way you may want to look into a 0 offset seatpost if you intend to climb. it helps a bit to be more forward, although your bike doesn't look to be too slack. going down you're off the saddle anyway, so it doesn't matter.
    pedals - hard to say, I know guys that use all different types and they each like them. I use flats, which isn't what you're looking for, so it don't matter.

    maybe look into an external lower cup, to slacken things up a bit. i couldn't find much about your geometry, but it looked to be the same as the regular avalanches? it's XC geometry, but people do OK with it. You should be able to go up to 40mm without negative effects (seat post angle) if the frame can handle it, but RWC's headset cup (15mm) should feel good.

    I'd probably look at wheels for the first major. I'm not too familiar with the ones on the stocker, but a tubeless set would probably be lighter and faster with better hubs. if you're going to ride it till it folds or breaks a spoke, then it can wait.

    the other stuff looks pretty good, maybe better brakes later and upgrade the fork to 150mm.

  11. #11
    rebmem rbtm
    Reputation: juancho142's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    416
    2011 Avalanches have slack trailbike/AM geo, 68.5 HA/73.5 SA w/140mm fork, which is the same geometry as the GT Force.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    That PIKE looks damn good. How much of a difference did you notice coming from a 100mm?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,173
    I upgraded my Avalanche 1.0D 2010 to RST Titan140 fork. Took awhile to get used to the higher BB. Certainly was worth it, the bike rides better this way, due to both slacker HT angle and more of ground clearance.

  14. #14
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by juancho142 View Post
    2011 Avalanches have slack trailbike/AM geo, 68.5 HA/73.5 SA w/140mm fork, which is the same geometry as the GT Force.
    interesting. their 2011 catalog lists 69.5/73.5, the same as all their other avalanches.

    the rwc lower cup would slacken it out to a bit over 67/72 if starting from 68.5/73.5, but 68/72 is not bad either if starting from 69.5/73.5. if you've got an angle gauge measure it first. after the fork is sagged (while riding) the active geometry will be a bit under 2 degrees steeper (69/74 or 70/74).

  15. #15
    rebmem rbtm
    Reputation: juancho142's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    416
    According to the page it was 68.5 for the Avalanche X, and 69,5 for the 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, the 1.0 having a 120mm Tora and the others having a 100mm fork. Mine came with a 120mm Suntour XCR w/100mm effective travel but the A2C height being the same as a 120mm fork. Happens the same for XCM's used in 3.0 Ava's.

    Change was freakin' amazing. Besides the PIKE absolutely outperforms the XCR by far. I've recently fixed the U-turn (actually bought a new knob) which turns it into an incredible XC-ish climber at 95mm and into an amazing descender when at 140mm. I use it mostly at 130-ish.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    Here she is. Of course, 5 miles in on her first ride I blew a tube. Luckily I had a spare
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GT Avalanche X-imag0036.jpg  

    GT Avalanche X-imag0037.jpg  


  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    I need to take that stupid noob disc off

  18. #18
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by juancho142 View Post
    According to the page it was 68.5 for the Avalanche X, and 69,5 for the 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, the 1.0 having a 120mm Tora and the others having a 100mm fork. Mine came with a 120mm Suntour XCR w/100mm effective travel but the A2C height being the same as a 120mm fork. Happens the same for XCM's used in 3.0 Ava's.

    Change was freakin' amazing. Besides the PIKE absolutely outperforms the XCR by far. I've recently fixed the U-turn (actually bought a new knob) which turns it into an incredible XC-ish climber at 95mm and into an amazing descender when at 140mm. I use it mostly at 130-ish.
    Which page? I was looking at http://www.gtbicycles.com/media/pdf/g_11_Catalog.pdf towards the back in the geometry section.

    If it was 68.5, it sounds like it's the same frame with a bigger fork and upgraded parts. That is good news, since it's a "supported" configuration, so when Nashbar blows out frames for $50 at the end of the year, it could make for a good backup frame or a new build.

    I knew the frames were pretty stout (my friend didn't break his Avalanche 3.0 yet), but didn't think it would be that stout.

  19. #19
    rebmem rbtm
    Reputation: juancho142's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    416
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    Which page? I was looking at http://www.gtbicycles.com/media/pdf/g_11_Catalog.pdf towards the back in the geometry section.

    If it was 68.5, it sounds like it's the same frame with a bigger fork and upgraded parts. That is good news, since it's a "supported" configuration, so when Nashbar blows out frames for $50 at the end of the year, it could make for a good backup frame or a new build.

    I knew the frames were pretty stout (my friend didn't break his Avalanche 3.0 yet), but didn't think it would be that stout.
    There ya go:


  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    226
    I have the 2011 Avalanche 3.0 which is the same frame only with cheap parts everywhere else. So for what its worth here are the only things that I have complaints about. The stock wheels sucked and wouldn't stay true even on mild terrain, I bent the front wheel in a minor wreck, the bearings in the hubs kept loosening up so I had to readjust the axle often so I after all of that I upgraded the wheel sets, and the bottom bracket is started to get pretty noisy for some reason (its like a strained creaking kind of sound) after 140 miles of use on my bike. I'm not sure what the bottom bracket sound is yet but I'm going to take it apart to find out soon. The brakes squeal a lot if they aren't cleaned regularly which is annoying but not to big of a deal.

    Those are my major complaints. The cables could be better, they seem to have more friction than they should especially for the brakes and I think its starting to be a culprit of some more sloppy shifting I've been having lately. You have hydro brakes but I'm not sure about your shifting cables. The frame is excellent and the stock brakes have had plenty of power after the pads seated in well.

    I did put crank bros candy 2 pedals on my bike. The pedals performed great but I wouldn't buy them again personally. The body of it is very strong but whatever they call the piece that actually clips your shoe in is made of a very soft metal. I misjudged the pedal height and hit the bottom of the pedal on a root. It bent the soft metal so I couldn't clip my shoe in on 2 of the 4 sections to clip into and the other 2 fit very loose. I bent it back but the metal is stretched now so it still fits loose and I can feel it when I pull up on the pedal. I also managed to pull my foot out of it once (on the good pedal) but my cleat may have had some mud in it. There are better options out there than these things.
    Last edited by Fajita Dave; 06-20-2012 at 12:15 AM.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    juancho142 I am interested to see what smartass reply iamholland has to that...


    But for what its worth, the bike rides amazing and is exactly what I was looking for. Such an upgrade to what I was riding before, and it feels more solid and trustworthy than many other higher end bikes I've ridden. Going to be taking it out today to a more rough trail system with some pretty technical sections. Can't wait to see how it handles.

  22. #22
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by juancho142 View Post
    There ya go:

    Interesting. Here's the snip from their 2011 Catalog, linked above. It's probably a misprint or unedited information.

    Yeah, some manufacturers list certain angles, but change the forks between different models.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GT Avalanche X-screen-shot-2012-06-28-10.36.05-am.jpg  


  23. #23
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by velveteer View Post
    juancho142 I am interested to see what smartass reply iamholland has to that...
    good job, tough guy.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    good job, tough guy.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Univega777's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    179
    yeah im thinking about an avalanche for my first modern bike. the antique i have now prolly wont last very long. so ill take it easy until i can afford an avalanche. i was looking at a few recently at the bike shop. my penis twitched a little i have alwasy liked GT. hopefully i can get a good job and get one of the better avalanches. if not ill just get the cheaper one and upgrade.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    So how's the Avalanche X working out for you? Could you give a detailed review (i.e., ergos/comfort, performance with climbing, descending, braking, suspension, handling, durability, etc.)? I have yet to read a detailed review on this bike.

    I just purchased one yesterday and it should arrive here in a couple days. This is my first new mountain bike in 10+ years. I got into dirt bikes 5 years ago and haven't done much pedaling lately, other than some rail-trails with my wife. A bunch of local moto buddies are getting new mtn bikes again and riding a lot so I got the bug again, lol. My current bike is a Cro-Mo KHS Comp Soft Tail with a 80mm Manitou coil/oil damped fork, v-brakes, and the 1" travel rear "shock". It's served me well, but I'm looking forward to the Avalanche's 140mm air fork with lockout, 15mm axle, the hydraulic brakes, the better drivetrain, and the heavy duty frame. I'm just a little hesitant on the ride compliance with the aluminum frame (vs my cro-mo) and the lack of any rear suspension, albeit the KHS soft tail design isn't nearly as forgiving as a true full-suspension bike.
    Last edited by OhioPT; 07-14-2012 at 03:44 PM.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nauc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,526
    nice ride man!

    heres my GT. theyre great bikes

    Last edited by nauc; 07-15-2012 at 03:00 PM.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    117
    Quote Originally Posted by OhioPT View Post
    So how's the Avalanche X working out for you? Could you give a detailed review (i.e., ergos/comfort, performance with climbing, descending, braking, suspension, handling, durability, etc.)? I have yet to read a detailed review on this bike.

    I just purchased one yesterday and it should arrive here in a couple days. This is my first new mountain bike in 10+ years. I got into dirt bikes 5 years ago and haven't done much pedaling lately, other than some rail-trails with my wife. A bunch of local moto buddies are getting new mtn bikes again and riding a lot so I got the bug again, lol. My current bike is a Cro-Mo KHS Comp Soft Tail with a 80mm Manitou coil/oil damped fork, v-brakes, and the 1" travel rear "shock". It's served me well, but I'm looking forward to the Avalanche's 140mm air fork with lockout, 15mm axle, the hydraulic brakes, the better drivetrain, and the heavy duty frame. I'm just a little hesitant on the ride compliance with the aluminum frame (vs my cro-mo) and the lack of any rear suspension, albeit the KHS soft tail design isn't nearly as forgiving as a true full-suspension bike.
    After about a month of solid riding on it, I absolutely love it. It's surprisingly light right out of the box, although I have upgraded the wheelset and pedals which further lightened the load.

    Mini Review:
    It IS an aluminum hardtail, so yea it likes to buck you around it rough terrain at high speed, but that it is the fun part! With that, you can feel the rigidity of the frame, which is a very comforting feeling to me. It is a beast on really, really steep climbs. The only thing I had problems with were small slips, but thats due to the stock 2.10 rear tire that will be replaced with a beefier tire once I wear these out. As for descending, well, let's just say I've gotten a lot more confidence, which has led to the 140mm travel of the front shock saving my ass countless times . The sektor is f***ing rock solid . Handling is great, the 15mm TA is a huge upgrade in stiffness and response. The drivetrain is great, had a scare yesterday and thought I wrecked my rear derailleur but got lucky and the derailleur hanger did it's job.

    Some weaknesses: I knocked the rear wheel out of true on the first ride, so those were the first that went. The lighter wheelset shed about a pound or so, which was rather nice. Second are the brakes. Now, I am not saying the stopping force is sub-par on these brakes, they are actually pretty damn powerful. But once you break them in, you'll notice that they "click or pop" every time they're engaged with substantial rolling force (descending or if you are stationary and rock the bike back and forth with the brakes engaged). I thought there were something with them, but found out its just the design of the calipers and its the brake pads hitting the caliper housing. This is more of an annoyance than anything, but I'm starting to look past it until I decide to upgrade them down the road.

    IMO there really is no better bike out there for the money. Anyone that I have shown or let ride it could not believe I got it for less than a grand and were pretty envious. The color scheme was a little much at first, but the teal is slowly growing on me. The flat black is pretty sick though.

    Overall:

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Thanks for the review

    I'll be sure to check if the hub bearings need repacked/adjusted, and make sure the wheels are trued when mine arrives.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fredfredburger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    46
    Some weaknesses: I knocked the rear wheel out of true on the first ride, so those were the first that went. The lighter wheelset shed about a pound or so, which was rather nice. Second are the brakes. Now, I am not saying the stopping force is sub-par on these brakes, they are actually pretty damn powerful. But once you break them in, you'll notice that they "click or pop" every time they're engaged with substantial rolling force (descending or if you are stationary and rock the bike back and forth with the brakes engaged). I thought there were something with them, but found out its just the design of the calipers and its the brake pads hitting the caliper housing. This is more of an annoyance than anything, but I'm starting to look past it until I decide to upgrade them down the road.

    Are you sure that the sound is not the headset being loose. my bike used to make a sound similar to that when the brakes where locked and the you rocked the bike forward and back. It might be something to check just in case.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Good idea. On motorcycles we check this by pulling/pushing the fork legs fwd and backward with the bike up on a stand. If you feel any play, the headset bearings are loose. I would imagine the test is the same for a pedal bike. This would cause clunking in the front end when braking (just had this issue on my drz250 actually). It could be the caliper, but rule out the headset first.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Also, I know someone who bought a 2012 GT Karakoram 1.0 and had trouble with his wheels early on. His needed trued. Might be a good idea to get it done before riding, which I plan to do. GT doesn't appear to true them well at the factory.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529

    My Review

    So I purchased this bike a couple weeks ago and figured I'd give a review.

    GT ships their bikes almost totally assembled. Basically, just unpack everything, bolt the rotor to the front hub using a #25 torx bit (the 6 screws with loctite already are in the bag, along with the rotor fixing plates), install the front wheel, attach handlebars to stem, adjust stem so it's straight and loads the headset bearings properly, make sure the cables are routed properly and secure them with the included clips or zip-ties. Attach seat post, inflate tires, attach pedals . I didn't have to adjust my derailleurs; they came set up pretty well. Hydraulic brakes don't typically need adjusted. I added some air to the forks for my 200 lb weight. You can't beat the components for the price. The Sector RL air fork alone goes for around $500!

    My size XL Avalanche X weighs 27.5 lbs without the pedals, and 29lbs with the included platform pedals. This was on a digital bathroom scale that only measures in 1/2 lb increments so it's not super accurate. I saw a picture of one weighed with a precision scale and it was like 28.5 lbs, with pedals (size M or L).

    At 6' 2.5" (long inseem and shorter upper body), my XL frame fits me like a glove. The handlebars are relatively high so it's easy on my back and neck. It's more of an All Mountain cockpit compared to a pure XC bike. I personally like the handlebar width, but that's probably due to my motobike background and wide shoulders. The stock saddle has little padding, but it didn't bother me much. I'm sure on longer rides with more roads (i.e., sitting) it would be irritating.

    I just took the bike out for an intense 2+ hour trail ride last week at Brady's Run Park in western Pennsylvania. The bike performed better than anticipated. I do a lot of enduro riding on my dirtbikes so I'm used to hitting stuff hard with 12" of front and rear suspension. My other mtn bike is a 19" cro-mo KHS Soft tail with 80mm fork. It always felt twitchy on technical downhills. I was very close to buying a full suspension mtn bike, but I couldn't commit to paying twice as much as I did for the Avalanche. Well, this bike feels very solid and composed when ridden aggressively. It's likely a combination of the robust 140mm fork with it's solid 15mm axle, and the bike's geometry (slacker HA and wider wheelbase) and ergos. The hydraulic brakes are awesome and instill a lot of confidence on the long descents. I was impressed how well the bike climbed. I never felt the front end get too light or out of control, unless I was trying to hammer a gear that was too tall. Traction was great. The tires hook up well, but they really seem to slow the bike down on the pavement. It seems to pedal very efficiently offroad, perhaps because of the external bearing bottom bracket/crankset. There were several times when I found myself passing my more experienced friend on his 29er Trek Mamba. Shifting was good, except if you tried changing gears when pedaling hard uphill (I try to always shift before the hills, but I'm a little rusty). Gearing selection is excellent offroad with the 2x9 setup. I never searched for a gear higher or lower than what was available. I'm used to clipless pedals on my KHS, but I decided to just use the included platforms for now. I'm shocked how well I can pedal with them, and it's nice to be able to bail quickly, since I'm just getting back into mtn biking after a several year hiatus. The pedals a really big though, and I found myself catching them a few times on rocks, roots, and when corning (more my own fault than the pedal's, lol).

    The only downside I found so far is some dragging of the front rotor on the brake pads (when I spin the wheel, installed on the fork). Yesterday I put the front wheel up on my truing stand and only measured .025" of lateral runout on the rim, so I don't think it needs trued. I was reading the Shimano brake instructions that came with the bike, and it appears you can adjust the caliper mounting slightly to stop the rubbing, so I'm going to give that a shot.

    Overall, my initial impressions are

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    114

    My two cents...

    I had been eyeing the 2011 Avalanche X on Nashbar for a while, thinking it would make a good bike for my fiance, who has been wanting to do some off-road riding with me. When I got their latest 20% off coupon, I decided to pull the trigger and ordered it for right around $680 shipped. It arrived the day after I received the shipping notice. We were on our way out of town for the weekend, so I stuck the box in the garage for a couple days. When I got back I opened it to find the bike nearly assembled, just as OhioPT indicated. It went together in about 1/2 an hour and within an hour we had it tuned to her liking.

    My fiance is 5'5" and the small frame, while looking a bit goofy with it's curved top tube, fits her well. My initial impression is that it's well built, and at this price point I don't think there's much to compare it to. The SRAM X7/9 drivetrain shifts pretty well right out of the box, and the Sektor RL is probably twice the fork on any other bike that can be had for $700 new. It will be a good while before her skills require any upgrades to this platform. The two things I plan to do in the near term are: 1. cut the handlebar down - it's quite wide; and 2. Replace the pedals with something a little less bulky.

    Her front disk rubbed a bit and whined for a while at first, but it seems to have seated itself after a bit of use. At least the whine has gone away; I still need to get it on the stand and see if it's still rubbing. I've never used Shimano hydraulic discs before, and after riding this bike I'm trying to figure out how to justify some XTR hydraulics for my bike. The feel is so much better than the Avids I'm running, and they use mineral oil instead of DOT brake fluid. What's not to like?

    Thanks to everyone else who posted in this thread. Your opinions helped me decide to go ahead with this purchase, and I'm glad that I did.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    13
    Looking for some advice here. Forgive any obvious ignorance but I'm a newbie.

    Been looking around the local bike shops in the $500-800 range and tried a few things from Cannondale, Specialized, Raleigh, Kona, Trek.

    Definitely more comfortable on a 26" and found my local Performance Bicycle shop selling the 2012 GT Avalanche 2.0 for around $650 including tax. I am 5'10" and 190lb. The medium Avalanche 2.0 seemed to fit me perfectly and jumped to the top of my list.

    Then I found this thread and see that Nashbar is selling the 2011 GT Avalanche X for around $865 including CA tax and delivery

    For the $215 extra I would be getting the following, from looking at the specs:
    • same frame (I think?)
    • RockShox Sektor RL fork rather than XC28
    • Shimano FC-M545 rather than FSA Dyna-Drive CK-300 crankset. No idea what difference it makes apart from the number of rings.
    • SRAM X9 rather than Shimano Deore rear derailleur (2 steps up?). Prefer the Shimano shifters but I guess I'd get used to SRAM.
    • Shimano SLX rather than Acera front derailleur (2 or 3 steps up?)
    • Shimano M445 rather than Tektro Draco hydraulic brakes


    Reading the above discussions about geometry I am confused which would be the better bike for me.

    As I said I am a beginner but I don't plan to stay one for too long. I'll be riding mostly dirt trails and some singletrack, not freeride and don't plan to be jumping off anything much bigger than a kerb, but if my biking turns out to be anything like my skiing and snowboarding I'll sometimes find myself in places I shouldn't have gone. But on the other hand I also expect to do some lazy Sunday fire roads in the Santa Cruz mountains with the wife who's also a beginner and looking for a bike.

    I see other people referred to Nashbar coupons. Can't find anything by searching so did I miss out or can someone help me with a valid one? Do they come around fairly often?

    Thanks

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by potfish View Post
    Looking for some advice here. Forgive any obvious ignorance but I'm a newbie.

    Been looking around the local bike shops in the $500-800 range and tried a few things from Cannondale, Specialized, Raleigh, Kona, Trek.

    Definitely more comfortable on a 26" and found my local Performance Bicycle shop selling the 2012 GT Avalanche 2.0 for around $650 including tax. I am 5'10" and 190lb. The medium Avalanche 2.0 seemed to fit me perfectly and jumped to the top of my list.

    Then I found this thread and see that Nashbar is selling the 2011 GT Avalanche X for around $865 including CA tax and delivery

    For the $215 extra I would be getting the following, from looking at the specs:
    • same frame (I think?)
    • RockShox Sektor RL fork rather than XC28
    • Shimano FC-M545 rather than FSA Dyna-Drive CK-300 crankset. No idea what difference it makes apart from the number of rings.
    • SRAM X9 rather than Shimano Deore rear derailleur (2 steps up?). Prefer the Shimano shifters but I guess I'd get used to SRAM.
    • Shimano SLX rather than Acera front derailleur (2 or 3 steps up?)
    • Shimano M445 rather than Tektro Draco hydraulic brakes


    Reading the above discussions about geometry I am confused which would be the better bike for me.

    As I said I am a beginner but I don't plan to stay one for too long. I'll be riding mostly dirt trails and some singletrack, not freeride and don't plan to be jumping off anything much bigger than a kerb, but if my biking turns out to be anything like my skiing and snowboarding I'll sometimes find myself in places I shouldn't have gone. But on the other hand I also expect to do some lazy Sunday fire roads in the Santa Cruz mountains with the wife who's also a beginner and looking for a bike.

    I see other people referred to Nashbar coupons. Can't find anything by searching so did I miss out or can someone help me with a valid one? Do they come around fairly often?

    Thanks
    Nashbar seems to be running the 20% off sale about every other week lately, so keep checking their website. They usually raise the price to $799, so you can get the bike for $639 plus tax and shipping.

    The upgrades from the 2.0 to the X (aka, Expert) are well worth any difference in price. The fork alone is a huge upgrade. The Rockshox XC28 is an entry level fork that you can pick up for about $100, whereas the Sector RL Air on the X model goes for $450+. The difference is the air spring vs coil (lighter and no need to swap springs for your weight), lighter materials, the 15mm thru axle and 32 vs 28mm stanchions (keeps the fork solid and planted in the rough), the longer travel, and rebound and compression adjustability.

    The Shimano brakes are much better than the Tektros. Derailleurs, shifters, crankset, and wheels are all a step or 2 better as well. The X's Maxxis High Roller tires are a little wider, so better traction and cush on the trail, but more resistance on the road.

    As far as I know, the frames are basically the same. The X has a 1 degree slacker head angle (HA) due to the longer travel fork (20mm = ~ 1 degree HA change). This makes the bike feel a little more planted on downhills, and less "twitchy." It still climbs great, so I don't see any downside here. The longer fork raises the front end and results in a slightly more upright posture. I love the ergos, but that's a personal thing.
    Last edited by OhioPT; 08-05-2012 at 02:43 PM.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by SlipperyToad View Post
    I had been eyeing the 2011 Avalanche X on Nashbar for a while, thinking it would make a good bike for my fiance, who has been wanting to do some off-road riding with me. When I got their latest 20% off coupon, I decided to pull the trigger and ordered it for right around $680 shipped. It arrived the day after I received the shipping notice. We were on our way out of town for the weekend, so I stuck the box in the garage for a couple days. When I got back I opened it to find the bike nearly assembled, just as OhioPT indicated. It went together in about 1/2 an hour and within an hour we had it tuned to her liking.

    My fiance is 5'5" and the small frame, while looking a bit goofy with it's curved top tube, fits her well. My initial impression is that it's well built, and at this price point I don't think there's much to compare it to. The SRAM X7/9 drivetrain shifts pretty well right out of the box, and the Sektor RL is probably twice the fork on any other bike that can be had for $700 new. It will be a good while before her skills require any upgrades to this platform. The two things I plan to do in the near term are: 1. cut the handlebar down - it's quite wide; and 2. Replace the pedals with something a little less bulky.

    Her front disk rubbed a bit and whined for a while at first, but it seems to have seated itself after a bit of use. At least the whine has gone away; I still need to get it on the stand and see if it's still rubbing. I've never used Shimano hydraulic discs before, and after riding this bike I'm trying to figure out how to justify some XTR hydraulics for my bike. The feel is so much better than the Avids I'm running, and they use mineral oil instead of DOT brake fluid. What's not to like?

    Thanks to everyone else who posted in this thread. Your opinions helped me decide to go ahead with this purchase, and I'm glad that I did.
    Your welcome Thanks for your review as well. It seems very similar to mine.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    13
    Thanks OhioPT, you've persuaded me that I want to go for the X

    Now the question I have to answer is do I wait for a coupon and take the chance they'll sell out of my size, or do I just bite the bullet and order it now? (If I order it now I'll be able to ride it sooner too, but it's well over $100 potential saving...)

    Quote Originally Posted by OhioPT View Post
    Nashbar seems to be running the 20% off sale about every other week lately, so keep checking their website. They usually raise the price to $799, so you can get the bike for $639 plus tax and shipping.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by potfish View Post
    Thanks OhioPT, you've persuaded me that I want to go for the X

    Now the question I have to answer is do I wait for a coupon and take the chance they'll sell out of my size, or do I just bite the bullet and order it now? (If I order it now I'll be able to ride it sooner too, but it's well over $100 potential saving...)
    I'd wait, but that's up to you.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    13
    Free shipping coupon just started today for 2 days only. I've placed my order!

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    114
    I think you'll be happy with your purchase. Just a brief update on ours... yesterday I took a pipe cutter to the bar and shaved 1.25 inches off each side. It's a wide bar to start with (nearly 27.5"), which someone with a larger frame might appreciate, but for my fiance on her small it was just too much. I think we may eventually take another .25 to .5" off each side, but I didn't want to take too much with the first cut. Now when I sit on the bike it feels more natural, less like I'm trying to hug a pig. She hasn't ridden it hard yet, but around the yard she liked the new feel.

    I also checked that front wheel and found a bit of drag on the disc, so I loosened up the bolts and got the caliper centered. It took a couple tries, but I was able to get it positioned where it's not rubbing at all. The rear was perfect right out of the box.

    We're now a handful of rides into it, and I'm still impressed by this bike. If it was a little bigger, I'd put some more air in the shock and go hammer on it myself. As it stands, it's going to be years before my fiance's skills rise to the level of needing another bike. At that point, I'm sure we'll have gotten more than our money's worth out of this sweet little ride.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Potfish: congrats!! Post a review for us once you get some time on it

    Slippery Toad: I adjusted my front caliper as well. All you have to do it loosen the 2 caliper mounting bolts a little, then grab/hold the front brake lever and simultaneously tighten the mounting bolts. Very quick and easy. Now my front wheel spins freely without any drag. I should have done that during the initial setup. At least now all you new owners know what to do.

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation: unknown-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    249
    27.5" bars may be wide to a some people, but they are narrow compared to the bars a lot of people run nowadays on all mountain bikes. The bars on my all mountain hardtail are 30.5" wide, now that is wide! Ha. But I guess wide is all relative... ;D

    Those GT avalanche X's do look really sweet!
    Buy a f-ing bike maybe you wouldn't be fat

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    36
    I just got directed to look at this bike for my new whip (yeee I said it :P) as well from the helpful peeps up on this board but I don't know that much about it, though doing minimal research around here and the net, it looks like a pretty dang good bike.

    My question to the good people of this site:

    Is the bike worth the ~$699-799 price tag for someone looking to get more into hardtail dh/singletrack/commuting/ac riding? Is it better/cheaper/significantly-more-rewarding to build a similar bike up myself or should I pull the trigger and purchase the full price bike if I can get a deal on it?

    Thanks y'all~mratomix

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by Mratomix View Post
    I just got directed to look at this bike for my new whip (yeee I said it :P) as well from the helpful peeps up on this board but I don't know that much about it, though doing minimal research around here and the net, it looks like a pretty dang good bike.

    My question to the good people of this site:

    Is the bike worth the ~$699-799 price tag for someone looking to get more into hardtail dh/singletrack/commuting/ac riding? Is it better/cheaper/significantly-more-rewarding to build a similar bike up myself or should I pull the trigger and purchase the full price bike if I can get a deal on it?

    Thanks y'all~mratomix
    Start adding up the cost of the components on this bike. I think you'll quickly find your answer.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    36
    I ended up pulling dat trigga and bought the avalanche x from nashbar for 749.99 (it was free shipping when I purchased during their promotion oct. 15-16).

    I'm really excited; anything I should know/mod/upgrade about the bike from those in the know?

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by Mratomix View Post
    I ended up pulling dat trigga and bought the avalanche x from nashbar for 749.99 (it was free shipping when I purchased during their promotion oct. 15-16).

    I'm really excited; anything I should know/mod/upgrade about the bike from those in the know?
    Congrats! I've been riding my bike 100% stock since I purchased it 4 months ago. I've been riding about 2x/week, for 2+ hours each ride, all technical offroad trails. There is nothing that really needs upgraded/modded, unless it is to improve the fit (stem, bars, etc).

    Assembly is pretty straight forward. Go to the Park Tool website and read up on adjusting the derailleurs. You will need to bolt the rotor to the front wheel hub, then install the wheel and align the front brake caliper. All you have to do is loosen up the caliper mounting bolts, then squeeze and hold the front brake lever while tightening the caliper bolts. The wheel should spin freely, without the rotor rubbing at all (it's noisy if it does rub, so you'll know). You'll need a shock/fork air pump to properly set the fork up for your weight. It's a good idea to check wheel spoke tension within the first few rides.

    Some recent ride photos with my X:









  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    13
    I'm still a noob to mountain biking and not had time for as many rides as I'd hoped so far but I'm really pleased with the bike. I found it pretty easy to set up and the only modifications I've made are changing the pedals and at the weekend I cut an inch off the handlebars (not ridden since though).
    The rides I've done have been mostly easy trails (because the wife is a beginner too and more nervous/sensible than I am) but I did do a couple of harder trails and had fun, except for one where I was totally out of my depth.
    This bike will be better than my ability needs for some time, I think.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    16
    I have a GT avalanche 1.0 and I would highly recommend changing the tires because they don't grip well and you could make the bike a lot faster.

  50. #50
    Wēk Ss
    Reputation: IAmHolland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by Mratomix View Post
    I ended up pulling dat trigga and bought the avalanche x from nashbar for 749.99 (it was free shipping when I purchased during their promotion oct. 15-16).

    I'm really excited; anything I should know/mod/upgrade about the bike from those in the know?
    you mentioned you wanted to use it to commute on norcal. get some cheap slick tires (from performance bike or other lbs) to save your knobs for trail riding. it depends on your ratio of rides vs commute in order to judge for yourself if changing tires is worth it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •