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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on 2012 GT Karakoram 3.0

    I'm planning on hitting the LBS to check out the GT Karakoram. Its gonna be my first 29er the reviews seem to be good on all the Karakorams. Just wanted some thoughts on the situation

  2. #2
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    At this price range the components will be low-end and the bike will be heavy, the frame is worthy of upgrading as needed though. I would test ride and buy what's most comfortable to you, ride wise and price wise. Good luck!

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    Thanks bro yeah I don't know much about components yet. I've been reading reviews seeing what people say about it they mostly change the forks, brakes, and pedals. I will ride as is for awhile just see how it is then upgrade a few things as time goes on.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnSapp View Post
    Thanks bro yeah I don't know much about components yet. I've been reading reviews seeing what people say about it they mostly change the forks, brakes, and pedals. I will ride as is for awhile just see how it is then upgrade a few things as time goes on.
    I am about to get the 2.0. I really like the frame and the components are decent. I have use to higher end stuff but lately have been buying stuff that is "good enough".

    I would normally tell you your first upgrade should be pedals but GT slimlines really arent that bad. Best advice is to make sure you get the one that fits the best and just ride it to determine which parts you dont like.

    Pictures are a must!
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  5. #5
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    Depending on how you ride and where you ride you'll figure out what to upgrade. The fork will be expensive to swap out, just look for good deals on ebay etc. You can also find great deals on many online sites like JensonUSA, Pricepoint. I would just ride it and have fun, upgrade as needed. Have fun! Oh and post pics!

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    Yeah bro that's all I really wanna do Is just ride. I will definitely post pics thanks for the advice

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnSapp View Post
    Yeah bro that's all I really wanna do Is just ride. I will definitely post pics thanks for the advice
    Thats the right attitude.

    I am throwin some parts from my 26er on my 2.0 and I might sell the stock fork to upgrade. Maybe.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LONRGR View Post

    I did not like the stock pedals at all, upgraded them to a cheap 10.00 pair and that was the best thing so far.

    L.R.
    That was my first thought but I thought the pedals looked OK. I have not tried them yet. Pedals make one of the biggest differences for me.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  9. #9
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    It is the same bike as the 2011 except the brakes on the 2012 3.0 have been upgraded to mechanical disks.

    I am liking my 2011 thus far but am looking at a new wheelset (Hadley hubs and Arch rims) that will be my big $$ upgrade. Will run them tubeless and I think will save a few pounds of weight where it counts most.

    I did not like the stock pedals at all, upgraded them to a cheap 10.00 pair and that was the best thing so far.

    L.R.

  10. #10
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    Yeah Chap the 2.0 is a nice bike looks good too. LR your right it is the same bike except for brakes. It seems like a good bike if your just getting into 29ers and tubeless sounds like a good idea

  11. #11
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    I'm getting my 3.0 today and in the future my upgrades will probably go like this:

    - pedals to some proper platforms or SPD (it will be my first 29er so I don't know yet what will work best for me) - it's probably the first upgrade on every stock bike as OEM plastic pedals are just a "placeholder" for real stuff chosen depending on user personal preference.

    - rear casette to new Alivio 11-34 - cheap upgrade that should vitally boost shifting performance and range of easy gears;

    - bolted wheel skewers - had good experience with them as they improve stiffness a bit (I guess it could be an issue with 29er with 9mm fork and cheap wheels) and they look sleek

    - brakes to new Deore - mechanical Tektros will be probably ok for everyday use, but the new hydraulics from Shimano looks like a worthy upgrade for more "proper" braking performance and maintenance-free use;

    - fork to some Rock Shox with Motion Control (Tora/Reba) - it will be most expensive upgrade so it's low on the list, but I guess it will be also the most noticeable on the trail. I suppose that switching to Reba would also drop a lot of weight off the bike;

    - crankset to external-BB Deore - mostly weight saving but improvement in stifness and shifting performance also won't hurt.


    What do you think?
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  12. #12
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    Sounds like you have a good start there. I got my 2.0 a couple days ago and its begging for some different parts. Everything you listed is what I will be putting on mine, I already have everything from my 26er to put on the GT.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  13. #13
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    I've got a 2011 Karakoram 1.0 with Shimano hydraulic oil brakes and a 09 Peace with the Tektros.

    In my opinion, both feel exactly the same with braking power. I actually prefer the Tektros because I can maintain them myself easily with a brake cable kit. I can't really think of any repair job on a bike that is more annoying than servicing a hydraulic cable system.

    I've never used mechanical brakes on a suspension fork though- so it could be that they are far inferior to hydraulics when factoring that in.

    As far as the other upgrades: the pedals are an absolute necessity. I think you should ride the bike for a bit before doing all the other upgrades listed. After all those upgrades you would have hit a price point where you might just be better off buying a better ride.

    When I bought my Karakoram I thought it was an awesome bike that did everything I could ever want. Now it is a year later and I've changed a lot as a rider. The geometry of the Karakoram and the behaviors of a front suspension/hardtail bike do not appeal to me anymore. If I had to do it all over again I would have bought the Peace and then bought another bike instead of the Karakorma. You may find that you love the bike, and it is a great deal, but my point is that you shouldn't go dropping a bunch of money on it until you are sure you love the frame and geometry.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    I've got a 2011 Karakoram 1.0 with Shimano hydraulic oil brakes and a 09 Peace with the Tektros.

    In my opinion, both feel exactly the same with braking power. I actually prefer the Tektros because I can maintain them myself easily with a brake cable kit. I can't really think of any repair job on a bike that is more annoying than servicing a hydraulic cable system.

    I've never used mechanical brakes on a suspension fork though- so it could be that they are far inferior to hydraulics when factoring that in.

    As far as the other upgrades: the pedals are an absolute necessity. I think you should ride the bike for a bit before doing all the other upgrades listed. After all those upgrades you would have hit a price point where you might just be better off buying a better ride.

    When I bought my Karakoram I thought it was an awesome bike that did everything I could ever want. Now it is a year later and I've changed a lot as a rider. The geometry of the Karakoram and the behaviors of a front suspension/hardtail bike do not appeal to me anymore. If I had to do it all over again I would have bought the Peace and then bought another bike instead of the Karakorma. You may find that you love the bike, and it is a great deal, but my point is that you shouldn't go dropping a bunch of money on it until you are sure you love the frame and geometry.
    Of course you're right, and that's why I wrote "in the future" I had a first ride today, 40km+ of local trails and the bike works really well as a package. I'm even happy with the pedals - they are surprisingly decent: large platform, rather low profile and good grip if you have grippy shoes (5.10 in my case). Rear casette works well, so it stays until problems start to occur. Also the brakes are pretty ok and will stay for now - just have to clean them from some shop-**** and bed them in properly.

    But one part just doesn't suit the rest and it's the fork, which is rubbish. I suppose that it also has to break in, but from my experience, it won't help very much in this case... There are many places where I didn't feel the difference between front and rear when passing obstacles - fork just didn't work. And after the ride only about 60% of travel was used, and damping is as basic as it gets. Better fork would definitely transform this bike, because other than that, it just rips!
    Unofficial Balfa Cycles website and forum
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  15. #15
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    I just took my 2.0, first 29er, home the other day and road it to work today. I am basically using this bike as my gateway into 29ers to see if its something I really want. So last night I tore it down to frame and fork and robbed some parts from my 26er to give this bike a fair chance (I did not like a lot of the parts this bike comes with).

    Funn Hooka DH Crank
    Welgo LU Sealed pedals
    PG980 Cassette
    X7 Short cage
    X9 shifter

    Now the bike feels a little better, partly because those parts are what I am used to. The crank was a big upgrade! The stock pedals are OK but no grip and the FSA crank with square taper BB wasnt doin it for me. The fork and wheels are my next upgrade which should really transform this bike. I cant stand this fork but I keep telling my self to shutup and ride. Handlebars are stem will be changed out as well if I decide to keep this.

    Overall this is a pretty good starting point to decide if 29er is for you or not, which for me, I hope it is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thoughts on 2012 GT Karakoram 3.0-gt.jpg  

    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  16. #16
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    So here it is (stock except seatpost and wheel skewers):



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    Ibis Mojo HD / Giant Trance X / GT Karakoram

  17. #17
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    Sweet, now get'er dirty!

  18. #18
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    Wooyek, that looks awesome! I have to say I like the red better then my yellow. Any plans for future upgrades?

    EDIT: just read your previous post about the fork. The fork and wheels are going to be the next to go from mine.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  19. #19
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    I will have almost twice the value of my 2.0 in just my wheels and tires alone. What size frame is that black one posted above? that top tube has some serious sweep in it, is it a lady's bike or something?

    I am looking for one for my wife (29er)


    L.R.

  20. #20
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    Both mine and the black/red one are smalls. Not women's bikes. If you go Med it has a normal straight top tube.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  21. #21
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    I've had mine about 4 weeks.
    First upgrade was fork (Rockshox Recon Silver TK) great price $267 That suntour weighs a ton compared to RS.
    I just put Speedplay Frogs on the other day.
    Next will be clamp on grips and bar ends.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by owtdorz View Post
    I've had mine about 4 weeks.
    First upgrade was fork (Rockshox Recon Silver TK) great price $267 That suntour weighs a ton compared to RS.
    I just put Speedplay Frogs on the other day.
    Next will be clamp on grips and bar ends.
    I am trying to figure out what fork and wheelset to go with. Make sure to post some pictures
    "Never mistake motion for action."

    "If I can bicycle, I bicycle."

  23. #23
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    Ok, reentry/noob here. I just ordered a 2011 2.0 from Blue Sky because the discount was pretty sick - $519.00 - but all this upgrade talk is worrying me. My last bike, purchased in '99 and last ridden in 2006-7 was a pre Walmart rigid Mongoose DX3.3. Am I gonna see enough difference in this bike from the Mongoose that I won't feel disappointed and ready to upgrade immediately? The only upgrades I did on my last were suspension stem and seat post.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    Ok, reentry/noob here. I just ordered a 2011 2.0 from Blue Sky because the discount was pretty sick - $519.00 - but all this upgrade talk is worrying me. My last bike, purchased in '99 and last ridden in 2006-7 was a pre Walmart rigid Mongoose DX3.3. Am I gonna see enough difference in this bike from the Mongoose that I won't feel disappointed and ready to upgrade immediately? The only upgrades I did on my last were suspension stem and seat post.
    It's probably gonna be nite and day different. I don't think you'll be dissapointed at all. That 99 technology is pretty old compared to the new entry bikes. I say you'll love it then when you get better and faster you'll want to upgrade.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    Ok, reentry/noob here. I just ordered a 2011 2.0 from Blue Sky because the discount was pretty sick - $519.00 - but all this upgrade talk is worrying me. My last bike, purchased in '99 and last ridden in 2006-7 was a pre Walmart rigid Mongoose DX3.3. Am I gonna see enough difference in this bike from the Mongoose that I won't feel disappointed and ready to upgrade immediately? The only upgrades I did on my last were suspension stem and seat post.

    I purchased the 2.0 as well from bluesky. The deal is pretty darn good. Assembly is pretty easy...just take it step by step and look on youtube on how to fine tune the brakes, deraileurs and so on. Goodluck

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