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  1. #1
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    2009 GT Marathon Elite

    I've been having trouble finding fs bikes in my area to test ride in my price range. <$1500.
    REI has this bike at a good price and one in stock to ride. Is this a good bike for the price? I know you can't beat REI's return policy. I'm looking for a good all rounder type bike, mostly trail riding.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Thanks. Performance is down to only an xsmall I believe and Rei has the satisfaction guarantee plus the ten percent back next year towards another purchase. Anyone else have an opinion on the Elite? Is the Sensor the replacement for it?

  4. #4
    FKA Malibu412
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor1
    Is the Sensor the replacement for it?
    Yes, sort of. IIRC, the Sensor is a little more trail/AM oriented: has more travel, has a more slack head angle than the outgoing Al framed Marathons, and lists for a little more. Other than that, the various levels are kitted very similarly.
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  5. #5
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    Seems to be kitted out pretty descently. I just got a used Marathon 1.0 frame from 2008 and I like the way it handles. It's built up with a 1x9 drivetrain, Fox suspension, Crossmax XL wheels. I also have a Force 2.0 and the marathon definitely climbs better, but I expected that. I still love my Force to pieces, the ride is awesome fun. I figure that for 1500 you won't go wrong.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  6. #6
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    I purchased a Marathon Elite'09 last Saturday, and today took it for its first real test; one and half hours around world-class single track heaven.

    The first thing I'll say about this bike it its fast....that's the feeling i had when i tested it, and today's ride confirms it. I tested this bike against the KONA 120, GIANT and Specialized FSR XC all of which felt stable, quick and capable, but my first few pedals of the GT marathon immediately had me thinking this bike 'feels' faster.

    I have ridden every day to work this week (10 kms flat one way) and it is sweet on the road.

    On the trail today it ate up the numerous rock gardens and rocky descents, and what really made me smile was the steep rocky climbing ability; i rode past a couple of XC rigs on a steep uphill rocky section who were having trouble getting traction. The grip this rig has is wonderful.

    On the long, technical downward section of this large loop track it handled some serious terrain really well. I was a tad cautious at first due to this bike being new and still getting used to it, but after 10 minutes of having the Avid juicy brakes retard the effect of gravity i let go, and rode at maximum speed through nicely sloped single track twisty trail.

    For a 4 inch XC bike this bike did so sweetly through the tough stuff at serious speed (but for the serious sections line choice is important). The bike flew of the jumps nicely landing politely and ready for more.

    Recommend the GT Marathon Elite for those who wants a fast bike, that climbs and descends well, but if you want to spend all you time on serious grounds, a choice of the Force would make more sense. Keeping on the trails and some serious stuff....go the marathon.

  7. #7
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    Marathon Elite

    Well, I just went ahead and ordered one of these from REI. For the price it seems hard to beat. I guess I can worry about test riding it once it arrives at the store, given REI's generous return policy.

    I've been testing Stumpys, FSR XCs, Blurs, and Superlights. Most of them have felt like mush - but I'm used to a hardtail so maybe I'm just not used to the FS experience. My biggest gripe has been that the FS bikes above don't feel as quick and lively as I would like - but everyone keeps telling me that FS with 5"+ of travel is essential here in New England. I'd check it out for myself but my old ride is too beat up to handle anything more than the commute to work.

    I've raced a little in the past, and I'm hoping for a bike that will be "not hopeless" for racing on, though I'm not aiming for any podium finishes. Anyone got any thoughts on racing a GT Marathon?

    I'll have this by the end of the month and will post my review here.

  8. #8
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    GT Marathon @ racing......

    The Elite is super fast, no doubt about it. If you want to race one of these in XC event it is a good choice.

    Could be the trails of New England are a bit more serious and that's why you were being recommended to choose a 5+" travel bike. I ride some serious trails on my Elite; just means you need to pick your lines mores carefully when you come across the nasty terrain.

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