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  1. #1
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    The Great 1995 LTS Dilema

    So heres the deal...

    I used to be into bikes in a huge way a little over a decade ago. I started racing BMX when I was 9 and was racing expert class by age 10 all over So. Cal. I started racing USCF (road bikes) when I was fifteen until I was ~ 18 and had several top ten finishes. I worked at the LBS (my dad owned it) since I was 9, up until I was ~ 25, with a few breaks off/ on in the later years. I rode Mtn bikes recreationally from age 13 when the first commercial models came out until I was 25 and then that was it, I stopped riding. I got totally out of bikes and never looked back... until now.

    Of all of the custom race quality bikes that I have had over the years they have all long since been sold. All but one, a 1995 GT LTS that I bought as a frame and put together with various semi- high end parts. The bike had hardly been ridden before I shelved it for the last decade so it is almost like new in condition, pivots great, finish, etc., everything is in great shape. When I built it this model was the "cats meow" and was a second bike that I rode on the weekends when I was'nt riding my Zaskar.

    I started riding again a couple of weeks ago and once again fell in love with the sport. Since then I have been tuning up the "old" LTS and even though it is obsolete by todays standards,to me it is still a good bike. It seems to ride good for a suspension bike, although, I havnt ridden anything modern to compare it to. I ride mainly XC type of trails, 10 - 15 miles in length, a few times a week. However, I have had some issues with it since its comeback. For example, I have the Rock Shox "Super Deluxe" rear shock, which was always prone to problems. It appeared to have lost all damping. I recently took it apart and rebuilt it so now it works good again, but if I blow a main seal its done for. Also, the elastomers in my Judy DH fork are toast... I found a replacement spring set on e-bay, hopefully they work. The deraileur hanger was also a concern as I constantly dodge boulders on my single track adventures, but they apparently are still reproduced and available, so at least thats some good news.

    So my dilema is that despite some recent advice from a LBS that my LTS is "totally dated" and not worthy enough to even be ridden anymore I cant bring myself to believe it. Sure its only a 7 speed, 3" travel, old design bike... but it cant be THAT bad? I intend to keep riding it and have made a deal with myself that if I am still happy and excited about riding in a year, I will buy a new modern bike then. By then I will have re-learned whats hot, and whats not, since I'm still stuck back in 1996 when I last walked out of our old bike shop. I dont intend to dump a whole lot of money into this bike other than the essentials, i.e. new tires, grips, saddle, and repair parts. I just hope I can keep the old girl running that long until its time for her to re-retire.

    Are there any other old LTS'ers out there still riding or are these machines really that outdated?

  2. #2
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    Good job!

    I wouldn't say they are all that outdated. Consider the suspension design: the "Horst link" and pivots are still used in some of the more optimal "modern" suspension setups. Many riders really liked the manner in which the suspension felt while riding. There are reports the action of the shock could reverse, throwing a rider ass-over-teakettle, but I have not experienced that at all with mine.

    There is much one can do to update this bike to current "standards", as all componentry that bolts on to the bike can be updated. You can even update to disc brakes, providing you change to a newer fork with disc tabs and clamp a Brake-Therapy or A2Z adaptor to the rear. The pivot bushings can be changed out to bearings (BETD in the UK) and the shock can be updated to an air shock available from Risse Racing.

    I have only had my recently rebuilt LTS-1 out on a couple of rides, but it has received some admiring looks and several questions/comments. As far as I am concerned, the LTS is certainly still the "cat's meow". In fact, it is the whole feline, from the cat's meow to the cat's ass.

  3. #3
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    ^ ^ ^ Thanks for your insight. Do you have any model/ part #'s for the Risse air shock? I have no problem with my XT V-brakes, my main concerns really are the longevity of my Rock Shox fork and shock seals. If they last, great. If not, I need to know my options. It seems that Marzochi still makes a few decent V-brake compatable forks with suitable travel for an LTS (~ 100mm).

    As for the newer bikes, well I simply dont know how they ride as of now. However, I see guys riding around on "freeride" or "all mountain" style bikes and they look heavy and slow to me. Ideal for going downhill and dropping off of cliffs, but I ride XC and go uphill as much as I go down it. I dont see myself getting all that crazy jumping stuff. I just want a good, heavy duty, quality bike that can run the gammut of rocky, hilly trails in the Las Vegas area.

    I will post a pic of my LTS soon.

  4. #4
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    Good find on the BETD and Risse sites, I bookmarked them for future referrence. Hopefully I wont need pivots anytime soon but it's good to know they are available still.
    The rear shock on the other hand I dont have alot of faith in it lasting more than a few months. Do you ride the Risse shock, how's it compare to the old Fox air shock that they used on the first gen. LTS's.

    My bike is actually a hybrid; it's a 96 rear section coupled with a 95 front triangle... so a 95.5 hybrid. GT had a speacial on them at the time trying to sell up their inventory of front frame sections while allowing the customer to use the new (at the time) rear V-brake. It was such the hot ticket back then...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojavehanna
    Are there any other old LTS'ers out there still riding or are these machines really that outdated?
    I've been riding mine for the last 12 years.



    Are there better (newer) bikes out there? Probably. That doesn't mean that the LTS isn't a great bike.

    I sent my shock in to RockShox a few years back and they rebuilt it for me. Not sure if they still offer that service. If I rmember right, there were some specialized tools needed to deal with the pressurized gas charge - it wasn't a DIY job.
    Shocks, springs and even frames show up on ebay fairly regularly. I've been able to grab spares over the years.

  6. #6
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    Yeah I know there for sure are better bikes now, no question about it. There are sooo many to choose from DH, FR, XC, DJ, Trials, Trail, etc. etc. It's gotten rather confusing, I just like to ride. I think my LTS will suit my needs for quite awhile now that I know I can find some replacement parts if/ when need be.

    I too had my rear shock rebuilt by Rock Shox back in 96 when it was still about 3 mos. old. They fixed it under warranty for free... Im pretty sure the warranty period is over on it now. My Super Deluxe has no air/ N2 charge in it, it's easy to rebuild if you could find the parts. I remember back in the day they (RockShox) telling me the same thing... However, Im much better with shocks now then I was then. If it blows I'll buy a Risse shock and see how that works.

    Heres my ride...



    I found a factory LTS sticker set on e-bay for it so that, and some new tires and I'll be in business until I break something.

  7. #7
    GT LTS Hoarder
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    Here's my LTS that I still ride. Old and outdated, yes, but the same could be said about the rider as well.
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