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  1. #1
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    Force Carbon 2013: not on webpage

    .....Just curious. The Force Carbon's don't show up when you go to gtbicycles.com. BUT if you search for them, they appear.

    http://www.gtbicycles.com/nor/2013/force-carbon-pro

    But, notice it's the Norwegian page. If you do the same on the US site, there are no pics.

  2. #2
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    possible that it isn't coming to North America. GT, in recent years, makes some very calculated decisions about which bikes to bring to which market. I really wanted the chrome and purple Ruckus DJ a few years back, but it wasn't included in the US lineup.

  3. #3
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    Hmm, that is odd - AL versions 1.0 through 3.0 but no carbon at all? I had already resigned myself to an online search for my next frame anyway (that raw Force Carbon had me at first glance) since GT doesn't make them available in the US, but I can kinda' see them deciding not to sell framesets here. However, not offering a complete bike when EVERYONE else is hyping their carbon all-mountain stuff for 2013? Maybe the final spec is still in the works? Maybe (just maybe) the geo has been updated (perhaps w/ some Atherton input?) and there's some lag in producing new molds, etc?

    Not to change the topic, but this is an example of one big hurdle GT needs to clear in order to regain a shred of their US market - availability. It doesn't matter if you're building the best product in the world if nobody can find or buy them. And getting back into LBS's means you gotta' have framesets - a large percentage of the high-end/hardcore market builds up their own bikes, so making at least a few of the highline frames available separately (even if they're special order or whatever) is a must, IMO.

    .02

  4. #4
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    I was actually going to start a thread asking a similar question. If you look at the german site for GT they have A LOT more bikes including the force carbon. Personally I think their US lineup seems quite limited.

  5. #5
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    The last few years have convinced me that America isnt their main concern any more.Overseas gets way more bikes,more swag/parts/ect.Often bikes are down graded here (my gtrs-1 has sram while every other country gets shimano ultegra) In some country that no one can pronounce,people are riding around on 26" xizangs like it's no big deal.Here in the US,just be happy with what you can get your hands on.
    Ignore them till they go away.It's corporate policy.

  6. #6
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    But why?

    There is a market in the US, that's for sure. Have they simply resigned over the strong competition? You guy's have a LOT more options than we have over in Europe. If we want the really REALLY sexy bikes, we have to order the frame from THE United States of America.

    They went bankrupt as we all know and perhaps they are being a bit more selective which market they spend their stretched resources? They can't be everywhere to everyone, all the time. But it's 2012, people find out this stuff. And when the company is EXTREMELY LOUSY at communicating with their customsers, it's just pissing people off. In the end, no matter how smart the marketing department think they are and how well they plan this stuff. Customers loose a little bit faith each time something like this happens. Be open from day one. Don't release stuff on foreign websites before or after the US site. There is no "Country" devide anymore really. If you sell stuff, you sell it to the world.

    It's a bit strange no matter what reason, because they are putting so much effort into their new Atherton image. Image is nothing, if you don't have the bikes to prove it

  7. #7
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    While I agree that the world is becoming smaller and whatnot, there is still a massive country divide. It is all economics and perceived demand.

    GT, as far as I can tell, never lost their namesake in Europe and Asia. This is likely because they were used as a big-box brand in North America during the years that Pacific owned the company. In Europe, GT seems to have the same name value as something like Cannondale does in the US. People recognize the brand, in Europe, as a high end bike company. In the US, GT is barely recognized, and those who do know the brand, see it like Schwinn. Since being acquired by Dorel (who also owns Cannondale, Schwinn, and Mongoose), GT has seen at least a rejuvenated effort to grow the US name, but that is a long road.

    Shipping bikes is still expensive, and the customer demand is different. I think that the higher end carbon stuff is still growing on the US market, where it is excepted and expected overseas. Europe has had a demand for Enduro style bikes for years, where the US has been slow to take that platform up. In the US we tend to jump straight from AT/XC to DH/Slopestyle bikes, and many of GT's latest offerings are in that in-between Enduro class. Bringing them to the US is a financial risk to the company, especially for a company that is trying to re-establish a reputation with their dealers.

    For the time being, GT needs to be conservative with their offerings, so that they don't put too many bikes into the very competitive market, and leave their dealers hanging with a bunch of bikes that they need to sell at cost to clear out at the end of the year. Also, because of the dealer system that the bike industry uses, GT can't sell direct to the customer (it would drive the dealers away). The best we could hope for, in the short term, is a dealer order system where US customers could order any of the bikes through their dealer. However, given that all their bikes are not warehoused in a central location, the logistics are difficult. Also, the shipping cost, and return ability, would need to be figured out with the dealer networks.

    All of these are non-trivial issues. If you really want to see their stuff, go bug your GT dealers, and have them send your interest up the line. US bike assortment is in their hands, their voice has power, people grousing on the internet does not. If they actually hear demand from their dealers, the lineup will get modified in subsequent years.

  8. #8
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    That my friend was one of the most intelligent analysis I've read here at MTBR. Here I thought I actually was quite knowledgeable, but NO hehe. But, seriously I had no idea that GT as a brand in the US was THAT deflated.

    But, I wouldn't put them anywhere near Cannondales reputation (in Norway at least). They are by no means a slacker, but they are one of the "big ones". I guess it's because GT has made very good XC hardtails (and expensive) since the dark ages. But, IMO that's what made GT go bust as well, the fact that they haven't made anything interesting since the dark ages.

    GT didn't really evolve.

    But, even if I agree 100% with you, they still have to take into account that the market is now "borderless". If they don't tell their customers this upfront what is available where and wny, it just might limit their brand standing. They COULD have shown them on their US site with a "European Models, available as special order". That way, people don't feel that things are kept from them and if you really REALLY want one, they are quite helpful to order you one. You probably won't, but it's the appearance of choice that's important.

    Quite interessting..........

  9. #9
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    It's a small world after all thanks to the internet,but certain type bikes are more popular in different places.You couldnt give away a trials bike in the states.It just never caught on.
    GT now has NOTHING to do with pre 2001 GT.It's a new bike company with a old name.
    A lot of people in the US lost respect for GT when Pacific started churning out low end garbage and selling them at wall mart.I still to this day get a "nice wall mart bike" comment here and there about my calafia.During the time Pacific was running things,(the dark years)there was no progression and LOTS of pink slips.
    Im thinking they could take pre orders on the high end bikes/frames.That way they would know how many to have made,and the people who want one can get their hands on one.Something on their site that would let you put your c.c. numbers and put down a deposit or pif.It would weed out the looky loos and hook up the people who are serious.
    Ignore them till they go away.It's corporate policy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blog hogs View Post
    Im thinking they could take pre orders on the high end bikes/frames.That way they would know how many to have made,and the people who want one can get their hands on one.Something on their site that would let you put your c.c. numbers and put down a deposit or pif.It would weed out the looky loos and hook up the people who are serious.
    They could, and should, do this. However, to accomplish it in numbers that are worth their time, they would need to bring a roaming demo fleet to the US and actually get people on the bikes. As much as we wax prophetic, very few people are going to pre-order a $5k+ bike that they have no wheel time on, especially from a brand that they haven't ridden anything similar from.

  11. #11
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    If GT is down on the rim in the US and they are trying to increase their brand value again (Atherton's) then what logic dictates that they shouldn't have any top of the line, insanely expensive bikes for that market?

    Expensive bikes sell lesser value bikes.

    People LUST after top of the line bikes, but go budget and keep that lust for later.

    Top of the line bikes set's a precedence in the way consumers value a brand. If you only sell "cheap" bikes, you've got a "cheap" brand.

    If a brand looses too much brand value (ie. cred) in the market it came from, then it will eventually loose brand value abroad. Nobody want an expensive bike from a cheap brand.

    In 2012, you either a) Elect to stay out of a market all together b) supply full line to the entire market

    As a brand and how it's valued, the entire range of products goes into the calculation. If the US market isn't supplied with the full range (OR the option to special order it) then the market value will be deemed lower than it potentially could.

    IMO there is definitely an extreme discrepancy in the branding of GT. On one side you spend (prob) millions to get top DH racers using your bikes and developing them. Then you cut out you top bikes in another category for the same market. I actually believe that DH bikes sell All-Mountainbikes. The Fury will give cred to GT's All-mountain range. If it was there........

  12. #12
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    Perhaps, GT should cultivate that "odd" brand image a bit more, show off as the small underdog that does things different then Trek. Heck, GT went bankrupt. It's not like they totally burned down great brands like Klein, Gary Fisher and Bontrager.

    Were the smallest of the big guys, we do everything they do, only better. We have a smaller organization and less people who want's a saying in everything. It makes us faster in the board meetings, shorter time between decision making and R&D. As a results we get out of the office riding more than the others, which in return coincidentally also makes our bikes faster than the bikes of the old overgrown dinosaurs.

    We'll gladly sell you our top of the range bikes, but beware. We're smaller, so we make less of each bike. We will update our webpage on the minute of estimated availability, but if you are not as fast as we are out of board meetings, you might not get the best.

    GT - earn your wings, earn your bike...

  13. #13
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    Excellent points Sebastian

    I agree completely. In the car business we have 'halo' cars, in my case the Porsche Carrera GT, upcoming 918 Spyder, and the various limited production, no-hold-barred special editions; all, by the way, order-able built to the owner's spec's. When true cost-per-unit (including engineering, marketing, etc) is compared w/ MSRP, Porsche probably loses huge on these individual cars. However, projects like these not only allow the engineers to truly stretch themselves and showcase their abilities and workmanship, but more importantly drive desire for the brand, and reinforce its overall value and credibility.

    As you point out, the carbon Fury and Atherton association provide that halo, but GT needs to work on means to supply that demand it creates. Your vision of 'smallest of the big guys' is dead on, GT can and should use their leanness and efficiency, combined with big boy buying power with vendors/suppliers to create (recreate?) a brand to be coveted. Kind of like Porsche.

    I firmly believe they have the expertise at the R&D level, in 30+ years on them I can't say that I've ever had a poorly-designed GT; poorly-manufactured at times, perhaps. The iDrive system has proven itself a valid, some of us may say outstanding platform. They have been pioneers in carbon fiber use, have always maintained strong race teams in BMX, MTB, and even road. And they have Hans Rey.

    Hopefully for those of us who have the habit (bad) GT is working on means to supply product we can not only lust for, but perhaps actually get our hands on. From the outside looking in it seems like they have all the tools at their disposal and with their new-found attention this past year, they should be primed to get back in the game.

    Ironically, as I'm typing this I'm looking at an ad for a 2012 Force Carbon Sport, MSRP $4180, marked down to $2299 at JensonUSA...

  14. #14
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    Odd...

    I just noticed that while the carbon versions don't show up in the US 'Bikes' heading, the Carbon Pro and Expert are both shown on the Specs page (of the US site). Interesting.

    Unfortunately, the reason I stumbled across this is because I was looking for the old iDrive parts breakdown pdf's, which have apparently disappeared. I just broke the i-link on my Force and of all the GT spares I own, that's not one. My regular GT guy has moved on to greener pastures, leaving me at the mercy of Performance Bike or REI for my special order needs. Past experience has shown that providing the part info to the typically-less-than-savvy shop kid at the big box of choice is my best hope of getting what I need on the first try, and like an idiot I never bothered printing out the pdf in the past because I figured I could always access it online if I should need to. Wrong, guess someone at GT decided otherwise.

    So, on a side note, anyone have a part number for the forged (non-carbon) i-link and bushings for an i5/Force/Sanction frame?


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