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Thread: gt distortion

  1. #1
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    gt distortion

    I'm seriously considering a stable consolidation by replacing a single speed STP and a fairly heavy bottlerocket with a distortion. I know there have been a few posts about it, but I'm specifically wondering how it pops and handles rough dh trails. I've heard that it pedals super well (thanks I-Drive), but I hear conflicting reports that it "handles everything my dh bike does" to "gets over its head quickly on rough trails". I also haven't heard much at all about how well it pops off lips.

    Any owners care to chime in?

    FYI, I'd build it up burly (most likely a travel adjust lyrik or 36, transition revolution wheelset, 2.3ish tires, etc.)

    I really appreciate any feedback, including about other aspects of the bike.

    Finally, anyone got one they're trying to get rid of?
    "Don't just huck yourself: be skilled, be trained, be ready, be prepared, then give 'er." -Dylan Tremblay

  2. #2
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    I build my to be more of an AM bike that can take some abuse, not much of a freeride build at all.
    I'll preface this by saying I'm a BIG dude, 250lbs.
    Pedals great as you know, I run 1x10 with a 34t ring and 11-36t cassette and get up most anything, albiet slow.
    It could handel a lot of what my DH bike does, but it can get a bit sketchy since obviously the geo isn't that of a DH bike. You wouldn't want to just rail this thing down a real DH trail. I take it to my local DH spot to pedal up then ride the DH trails down and it handles that just fine, it's just a little sketchy on the super steep stuff. Rough stuff this bike is great, I've ridden super rocky but not super steep trails and this thing can go as fast as you can; it won't hold you back.
    I'd say with 2.5 tires I'd take this down most anything, especially if I had a Fox 36 on there.
    Now, it is a bit heavy for the kind of riding I'm using it for, but I'm confident it can handle it and not fold when I'm hard on it.
    Jumps great. It doesn't absorb the lip of steeper jumps like a DH bike. It'll pop as much as you make it pop I guess. But it's not sluggish by any means. I don't know if that answers your question or not but I've never really struggled to find "pop" in a specific bike, it's all in how you jump and how you set the bike up.
    The reach was a bit short with the 50mm stem for climbing, I put a 70mm on there and that's improved a bit without suffering in the handling department. Also it's got a fairly low BB so cornering is great but pedal strikes on climbs is the trade off. If you're not going to be climbing a lot both this points are kinda non-issues.

    TLDR:
    Pop - Jumps great, it's somewhat of a slope style/mini-DH bike so it handles it well
    Rough DH - Great, but can get sketchy when grade goes super steep, I'm talking butt buzzing rear tire steep, anything less than that it's great.

    If you have any more specific questions just hit me up or ask in this thread.

    Here's mine. Builds around 33lbs.



    Oh, and I may be selling this guy in a bit.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingwalrus View Post
    I'm seriously considering a stable consolidation by replacing a single speed STP and a fairly heavy bottlerocket with a distortion. I know there have been a few posts about it, but I'm specifically wondering how it pops and handles rough dh trails. I've heard that it pedals super well (thanks I-Drive), but I hear conflicting reports that it "handles everything my dh bike does" to "gets over its head quickly on rough trails". I also haven't heard much at all about how well it pops off lips.
    Dude, it's a xc bike. It will handle no way near like a dedicated dh bike on rough dh trails, could you ride it?...ofcourse, but you can also ride a unicycle on dh trails, question is would you want to? Hell no. It will cost you more in the end due to broken parts.
    A xc bike will never handle like a dh bike and will never be as strong as a dh bike. Why not look for a freeride bike or dh bike, as you keep comparing it to dh. Anything under 5" travel is classified as XC.
    You could buy the distortion, spend money upgrading so it can handle dh trails, and in the end will cost you more than if you bought a dh/freeride bike to begin with.
    If you really want a Gt that can handle freeriding and dh, get an IT-1.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    A xc bike will never handle like a dh bike and will never be as strong as a dh bike. Why not look for a freeride bike or dh bike, as you keep comparing it to dh. Anything under 5" travel is classified as XC
    Really? So when you watch a slopestyle contest, they're all jumping XC bikes? IF so, those are some of the damn burliest XC bikes ever. Cam zink 360'd a 5" bike (so technically an XC bike) off a 40 foot drop at crankworx in 2010? Sign me up for one.

    The distortion is a Slopestyle bike. Tyler McCaul and Kyle Strait ride them and hit 30+ foot gaps and 30+ foot drops on them. i think it can take the abuse. Tyler even hit a 60 footer at joyride on his.... I think it's safe...

    I say do it. I've been riding 8" bikes for two seasons, and this season switched to a 6" FR bike, and it's awesome. It's rougher on the true DH sections, but it can take them. I'm not a racer so it doesn't matter to me. Where it lacks in DH, it more than makes up for it in jumping. It jumps phenomenally well. Its great. I can also do a little bit of XC on it, but I don't usually do XC anyway, so it doesn't matter.

    I say go for it. Looks sick, is plenty strong, and with a heavy FR build, it should do just fine.

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    ^^
    The op is talking about a bike that he can use on dh trails. There is a reason why dh bikes are built burly, basically bigger than any other discipline associated with biking. That doesn't mean you cant take a rigid bike and ride slopestyle. I'm talking in a lanugage that the op gets, xc, am, freeride and dh. There is a minority that can do amazing stuff on small travel bikes, but this doesnt apply to the majority. I would never recommend the op to buy a slopestyle bike and do 30 ft drops, but i would recommend the op get a freeride bike for big drops, why becasue he doesn't have the talent that Tyler has, or strait, and god knows how long it took them along with broken bones to achieve what they can on short travel bikes, good luck to them. I'm just being realistic. The op will not enjoy riding a slopestyle bike on dh trails, sure it can be done but no sane person would. I really don't give a hoot what they can achieve in contests, this is about the op.
    What I can't fathom is that the op is asking if it can handle rough dh trails, and you are recommending a slopestyle bike that has 4.4"? You can also ride dh on a rigid or unicycle, but this is just flatout bad advice no matter which way you look at it.
    4.4" for dh, lmao.
    Last edited by SV11; 02-13-2013 at 04:54 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    Dude, it's a xc bike.
    Dude, no it's not.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DHgnaR View Post
    Dude, no it's not.
    My bad, I should of said it has the same travel as a xc bike.
    I have a habbit of referring to the discipline of a bike by it's given travel.

  8. #8
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    flyingwalrus, you might check out this thread for some more info on the Distortion - GT Distortion
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

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    Great thread, thanks SV11.

    I recently built up a Distortion but I have very little ride time. It is a perfect middle ground between your STP and BR. It might have only 4" of travel but the geometry makes up for it. The frame is burly, definitely not light, the bike could easily huck a 30 footer...your body on the hand might not do as well. I'm 6'3" on a large with a 65mm stem, I'm pretty much at the upper most limit.

    With such little travel and mostly ridden as a slopestyle bike...It'll pop just fine.

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    The GT distortion looks like it would make one helluva park bike.

  11. #11
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    gt distortion

    Sounds like we need to know more about what you ride. Do you climb or usually shuttle? Primarily ride flowy jump trails, or tech? If you're primarily shuttling tech downhill, then it seems like a bad idea. Are you happy riding your DH trails on the BR? this probably won't be much better. But if you are climbing with BR and you're sick of it being heavy and sluggish, then it makes
    sense.

    In my experience, replacing two different bikes with one inbetween-er tends to take all the riding quality down a bit.

  12. #12
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    Thanks so much for the replies and opinions, everyone, and sick bike dhgnar.

    I mostly ride trails because that's what's readily available near me and I don't have as much time to ride as I used to (boo 9-5!). I've been riding the BR on those trails, and yes, I'm tired of it being sluggish and I dream of a snappier bike that I could rail around my home trails.

    Those home trails also have dirtjumps of all size and steepness, and I've been djing for years, so I'm a bit wary of getting rid of the dedicated dirtjumper. Of course, that dedicated dirtjumper is a long (23" tt) Giant STP with a 110mm fork, so I'm used to jumping a much longer, slacker bike than most people who ride dedicated dj hardtails. This makes me think that the transition to the distortion wouldn't be too difficult.

    As far as DH, I mostly wanted to clarify the conflicting reports I've seen. I don't expect the distortion to ride like a DH bike on rough trails (duh), and I don't need it to. I really don't ride downhill all that much, but I'd like it to handle the occasional lift-accessed riding weekend, given that I'm out there to have fun, not crush rock gardens at mach 4. When my fabled trip to Whistler finally happens I'll probably rent a bike.

    I'm also not the ballsiest rider out there (see signature haha) but I've been riding for a decade now (WOW! first time I've written that out!) and I'm pretty smooth, not real heavy (165 with gear), and while I love FR and jump trails, I don't go huge.

    So you guys have pretty much confirmed that this looks like an awesome quiver killer for me I hope that the bike consolidation won't bring down my overall ride quality, and that's honestly my biggest concern. But I think the weight and efficiency advantages over my usual "trail bike" will be awesome. And I may keep the STP around for now... We'll see.

    Thanks again for the input, and I'd love to hear any other opinions.
    "Don't just huck yourself: be skilled, be trained, be ready, be prepared, then give 'er." -Dylan Tremblay

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    The op is talking about a bike that he can use on dh trails. .
    You need to re-read his post. He quoted some other people that said the bike was able to handle dh trails, but never said that he was considering either the Distortion, or a dh bike. The OP is talking about selling his Bottlerocket, another 5" slopestyle type bike.

    Here's some advice for you, SV11 - first spend some time riding a Distortion, or similar bike, then maybe you'll be qualified to give an educated response.

    I rode a 4" travel Specialized SX for 3 or 4 seasons as my primary bike. I raced super d on it, and poached dh courses during practice at all the races. No, it's not a dh race bike, but was super fun, and if I could only have 1 bike, I'd have taken that over a dh bike any day.
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  14. #14
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    gt distortion-screen-shot-2013-09-27-11.27.06-am.jpg
    Just to close the loop on this one, especially for anyone interested in picking up a distortion:

    I found a 2012 frame—a factory GT rider's bike, kept in really great condition—and built it up with a few new parts and many parts from my old bottlerocket.

    Very long story short, this bike impresses the hell out of me pretty much every time I ride it. It's very playful and poppy, but lands and handles rough trails like a much bigger bike. I've taken it to a downhill resort once, and it was a blast on the smooth trails and didn't hold me back hardly at all on the rough ones. I certainly wasn't as fast as on a DH or long-travel FR bike, but given this thing's slack geometry and super balanced feel, I was more confident on it through burly stuff than on the much longer-travel Trek Slash that I borrowed for a couple runs. It was also easier to whip around and generally more fun when the trail smoothed out. I'm also not a DH crusher and wouldn't ride super fast anyway, so the fact that it makes me slow down a bit and choose my lines is just fine with me. Basically, I feel like it's a bit faster than my bottlerocket through steep, technical terrain, which is cool considering it has more than an inch less travel.

    It's also quite an efficient pedaler, which makes it enjoyable for trail rides and fun on jump trails after you land low (because of the POP!) and have to put in a couple hard cranks to clear the next jump.

    The only place I've been a bit disappointed is that it doesn't handle lippy, steep dirt jumps as well as I'd hoped, but I was also running DH levels of sag, and I imagine that if I'd firmed up the suspension it would've felt much better. It feels more like a mini freeride bike on steep dirtjumps (soaking up the lip rather than popping) than a full suspension dirtjumper like an old specialized SX or Transition double (both of which I've jumped, not extensively, and both of which felt lower, shorter, and firmer than the distortion). But again, with a sufficiently firm suspension setup, I'm sure it would jump more efficiently.

    I'm heading to Snowshoe this weekend to really wring it out on technical, steep trails, so maybe I'll write again to confirm that it's as good as I think on the scary stuff, but my hopes are high that it'll handle it swimmingly.

    The only other possible complaint is that the frame is pretty heavy, but that and the 12x142 rear end helps the bike feel super solid. I honestly don't notice the weight on trail rides thanks to the pedaling platform on the rear shock and the overall pedaling efficiency.

    This bike gets a 10/10 in my book. Most versatile bike I've ever owned—it really does seem like it can do everything.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gt distortion-screen-shot-2013-09-27-11.27.06-am.jpg  

    "Don't just huck yourself: be skilled, be trained, be ready, be prepared, then give 'er." -Dylan Tremblay

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    [SPAM]I'm selling mine if anyone's interested![/SPAM]
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    Looks nice, I've seen a couple people up at Mtn Creek killing it on those.

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    I just scored a new frame off ebike looks just like this one! Blacked out gt logo and only says disto near the head tube.


    Quote Originally Posted by flyingwalrus View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 11.27.06 AM.jpg 
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    Just to close the loop on this one, especially for anyone interested in picking up a distortion:

    I found a 2012 frame—a factory GT rider's bike, kept in really great condition—and built it up with a few new parts and many parts from my old bottlerocket.

    Very long story short, this bike impresses the hell out of me pretty much every time I ride it. It's very playful and poppy, but lands and handles rough trails like a much bigger bike. I've taken it to a downhill resort once, and it was a blast on the smooth trails and didn't hold me back hardly at all on the rough ones. I certainly wasn't as fast as on a DH or long-travel FR bike, but given this thing's slack geometry and super balanced feel, I was more confident on it through burly stuff than on the much longer-travel Trek Slash that I borrowed for a couple runs. It was also easier to whip around and generally more fun when the trail smoothed out. I'm also not a DH crusher and wouldn't ride super fast anyway, so the fact that it makes me slow down a bit and choose my lines is just fine with me. Basically, I feel like it's a bit faster than my bottlerocket through steep, technical terrain, which is cool considering it has more than an inch less travel.

    It's also quite an efficient pedaler, which makes it enjoyable for trail rides and fun on jump trails after you land low (because of the POP!) and have to put in a couple hard cranks to clear the next jump.

    The only place I've been a bit disappointed is that it doesn't handle lippy, steep dirt jumps as well as I'd hoped, but I was also running DH levels of sag, and I imagine that if I'd firmed up the suspension it would've felt much better. It feels more like a mini freeride bike on steep dirtjumps (soaking up the lip rather than popping) than a full suspension dirtjumper like an old specialized SX or Transition double (both of which I've jumped, not extensively, and both of which felt lower, shorter, and firmer than the distortion). But again, with a sufficiently firm suspension setup, I'm sure it would jump more efficiently.

    I'm heading to Snowshoe this weekend to really wring it out on technical, steep trails, so maybe I'll write again to confirm that it's as good as I think on the scary stuff, but my hopes are high that it'll handle it swimmingly.

    The only other possible complaint is that the frame is pretty heavy, but that and the 12x142 rear end helps the bike feel super solid. I honestly don't notice the weight on trail rides thanks to the pedaling platform on the rear shock and the overall pedaling efficiency.

    This bike gets a 10/10 in my book. Most versatile bike I've ever owned—it really does seem like it can do everything.

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    gt distortion

    That's exactly how I feel about my distortion. Well said
    This I took yesterday while out
    " I only Ride Enduro'

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingwalrus View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm heading to Snowshoe this weekend to really wring it out on technical, steep trails, so maybe I'll write again to confirm that it's as good as I think on the scary stuff, but my hopes are high that it'll handle it swimmingly.
    So how did it go? I'm looking hard at one of these and would be interested in your thoughts after some steeper, technical riding.

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    Ive had mine for awhile now, It handles steep and technical for breakfast, then comes back hungry for more. Absolutely no regrets, the perfect shore bike..

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    I couldn't agree more with the reviews on the bike. Been hawking them for a year or so and finally got an affordable deal on an '11 that maybe had 50 miles on it. Couldn't be more impressed. I've always loved shorter travel, low slung, little rides like these because of their liveliness, cornering ability, and general playfulness, but this thing is so so far superior to any other I've ever owned. Kept coming back to the genre (Ndiza, Rampant, Double, Bottlerocket, Wildcard) but never found one bike that maintain that profile, climb, and handle the chunk with any confidence. They always seemed to lack severely in one area.

    On my first few rides I did get the feeling that it couldn't handle the chunder that well, and a local suspension guru recommended to speed up my rebound in the rear considerably, but still keep the 30ish% sag, and I have to say it did wonders. Feels like it has much more rear travel than it does, but still stays so lively on the trail. That being said, definitely in the market for a new fork. I don't want to throw off the geo, but I would like something with stanchions larger than 32mm… I've seen the lowered lyrics, and 36s.. Anyone want to chime in on experience there? or sell me their lowered lyrik?

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    Well, I pulled the trigger on one. Got a good deal on it from a friend, and after reading reviews like these all over the internet I felt pretty confident it would suit my needs.



    He put some nice stuff on it, like a Lyrik Solo shock (he lowered it to 150mm) Truvativ Descendent crankset with a RaceFace 34t narrow/wide ring. Wheels are Stans Flow laced to DT 240 rear and an MSC Ultralight front hub. Maxxis Ardent 2.25 rear and Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.4 front, both setup tubeless, which is new to me but pretty cool, although I had to run and get a presta adapter form my air compressor!
    It's got Sram X0 type 2 rear derailleur (which I scratched on my first ride.. errg) with X9 shifter, Shimano XT 11-36 rear cassette, Avid Juicy Ultimate brakes with 180 front and 160 rear rotors and KS i950r 150mm dropper post, which is also new to me in terms of tech I was not aware of, but that dropper seat is super cool.

    I've been riding dirt bikes (the throttle kind) off and on for years and haven't had a MTB since 1996... so I'm pretty excited to be back at it again, and I enjoyed my first ride on the Distortion.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmj831 View Post
    Well, I pulled the trigger on one. Got a good deal on it from a friend, and after reading reviews like these all over the internet I felt pretty confident it would suit my needs.



    He put some nice stuff on it, like a Lyrik Solo shock (he lowered it to 150mm) Truvativ Descendent crankset with a RaceFace 34t narrow/wide ring. Wheels are Stans Flow laced to DT 240 rear and an MSC Ultralight front hub. Maxxis Ardent 2.25 rear and Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.4 front, both setup tubeless, which is new to me but pretty cool, although I had to run and get a presta adapter form my air compressor!
    It's got Sram X0 type 2 rear derailleur (which I scratched on my first ride.. errg) with X9 shifter, Shimano XT 11-36 rear cassette, Avid Juicy Ultimate brakes with 180 front and 160 rear rotors and KS i950r 150mm dropper post, which is also new to me in terms of tech I was not aware of, but that dropper seat is super cool.

    I've been riding dirt bikes (the throttle kind) off and on for years and haven't had a MTB since 1996... so I'm pretty excited to be back at it again, and I enjoyed my first ride on the Distortion.
    Nice catch you are going to love it.

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    Ok so I've got fox36 kashima lowered to 140 on it.(2012) Got barely used and cheap so had it tuned and lowered.
    Great match to this stiff frame. DO IT
    Go 36!
    Also had rear tuned. Added .4 cu volume spacer and upped boost valve to 225. Never bottoms out now and uses 10 psi less to sit at same sag.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmbass View Post
    I couldn't agree more with the reviews on the bike. Been hawking them for a year or so and finally got an affordable deal on an '11 that maybe had 50 miles on it. Couldn't be more impressed. I've always loved shorter travel, low slung, little rides like these because of their liveliness, cornering ability, and general playfulness, but this thing is so so far superior to any other I've ever owned. Kept coming back to the genre (Ndiza, Rampant, Double, Bottlerocket, Wildcard) but never found one bike that maintain that profile, climb, and handle the chunk with any confidence. They always seemed to lack severely in one area.

    On my first few rides I did get the feeling that it couldn't handle the chunder that well, and a local suspension guru recommended to speed up my rebound in the rear considerably, but still keep the 30ish% sag, and I have to say it did wonders. Feels like it has much more rear travel than it does, but still stays so lively on the trail. That being said, definitely in the market for a new fork. I don't want to throw off the geo, but I would like something with stanchions larger than 32mm… I've seen the lowered lyrics, and 36s.. Anyone want to chime in on experience there? or sell me their lowered lyrik?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    ^^
    The op is talking about a bike that he can use on dh trails. There is a reason why dh bikes are built burly, basically bigger than any other discipline associated with biking. That doesn't mean you cant take a rigid bike and ride slopestyle. I'm talking in a lanugage that the op gets, xc, am, freeride and dh. There is a minority that can do amazing stuff on small travel bikes, but this doesnt apply to the majority. I would never recommend the op to buy a slopestyle bike and do 30 ft drops, but i would recommend the op get a freeride bike for big drops, why becasue he doesn't have the talent that Tyler has, or strait, and god knows how long it took them along with broken bones to achieve what they can on short travel bikes, good luck to them. I'm just being realistic. The op will not enjoy riding a slopestyle bike on dh trails, sure it can be done but no sane person would. I really don't give a hoot what they can achieve in contests, this is about the op.
    What I can't fathom is that the op is asking if it can handle rough dh trails, and you are recommending a slopestyle bike that has 4.4"? You can also ride dh on a rigid or unicycle, but this is just flatout bad advice no matter which way you look at it.
    4.4" for dh, lmao.
    You are clueless. If you have not ridden distortion you don't know what you are talking about..
    They handle black diamond Dh shore trails with no problems.
    xc my ass
    " I only Ride Enduro'

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