PressPortal has just spent the weekend with GT’s top of the range Fitness Commuter bike for 2009, the Transeo Ultra. We’re lucky enough to be spending a good part of the Australian summer with this baby so you can look forward to regular updates of our thoughts on this slick aluminium city cross bike.
The brand GT is well known amongst cycling fans as it has been one of the big players since its inception in America back in the late 1970’s. In its early days the brand was famous for BMX and mountain bikes and right through to this decade world champions in both disciplines are riding the brands bikes which are easily identifiable by the unique triple triangle design.
The City Cross bike is becoming the industries top seller and for good reason
Over the last decade bike brands including GT have started selling a type of bike, the ‘hybrid’ or ‘City Cross’, that takes attributes from tarmac based performance road bikes and off-road cross country mountain bikes. The Transeo Ultra is for the guy or girl who wants to get fit riding on a combination of road, bike track, or smooth mountain trails. Like an automotive crossover it’s supposed to be less ‘truck like’ on the road, yet still be able to venture a little further off road than a sports car. All the while offering a comfortable ride so that when you step off from a ride in the saddle you won’t have to visit the chiropractor to have your aching back re-adjusted. And just like how crossovers have become the big growth segment in the car world of late, so has the hybrid bicycle.
A GT in classic brushed aluminium finish… they’ve been perfecting this look for years now
At the heart of the Transeo Ultra is a lightweight handcrafted 7005 heat treated aluminium frame that looks mighty impressive in its naked state with only a shiny clear lacquer finish. Our test bike is a Medium however you can get it in four sizes, one smaller and two bigger (Large & Extra Large).
The tyre and rim combo should survive what you throw at it
The wheels are 700c size, which is the same diameter used on performance road bikes, subsequently larger than the typical 26” wheels found on mountain bikes. The tough looking black finish alloy rims are SCB A-Class’s with a unique 28 spoke design, with Quad spoke lacing. So far we’ve only ridden on tarmac and the odd rough bluestone city lane with the aptly named 35mm (which is significantly wider than a performance road bike tyre) WTB AllTerrainasarus tyres, featuring lots of small knobs, feeling more at home on the rougher terrain than a smooth road. We’re guessing this treat will be more than happy rolling over rough gravel bike paths.
Up front is an SR NCX-E RL air sprung front suspension fork with 50mm of travel. A very useful feature is the remote lock-out button on the handlebar so as you’re riding along you can opt to use the suspension when on the rougher stuff and as you ride onto smooth tarmac, you can flick the switch with your right thumb to lock the suspension rigid and the bike will accelerate forward with no suspension bob. Once again as we’re yet to hit the trails, so far the fork has mostly stayed with the lock on.
One very cool feature on the Transeo Ultra is the GT Exclusive Alloy Ahead type stem that can be raised and lowered with the tightening of only one Allen key bolt – no need to take apart the head stem. Combined with a quick release seat post, the Transeo Ultra can be ridden by a variety of different body types in a matter of seconds. More likely is that the owner will start with the stem set high than as you become more used to spending time on the bike, and your body adjusts, you’ll slowly lower the stem bit by bit.
Choose your position
You won’t have trouble finding the right gear here…
When it comes to stopping you’ll be able to pull up on a dime with the Avid Juicy Three dual piston hydraulic disc brakes. The drivetrain is made up of a mixture of quality Shimano mountain bike components. The Shimano XT rear derailleur is a top spec item seen on high end cross country race mountain bikes so those in the know will give you the nod of approval.
From first impressions the 2009 GT Transeo Ultra is a quality bike that will last for many years of hard riding thrown at it. It won’t look outdated in a year or two and with an RRP of $1,899 it should be considered by anybody thinking of riding a bike to work instead of sitting in traffic everyday or being stuck on public transport or those who just want to get fit on the weekend.
Stay tuned as in the coming weeks we’ll be writing more about our time aboard the Transeo Ultra.
2009 GT Transeo Ultra – RRP $1,899*
FRAME: GT 7000 series aluminium sport fitness frame
FORK: SR NCX-E RL, 50mm travel, air sprung with remote lock-out
DRIVETRAIN: Shimano 27 speed drivetrain with Shimano XT rear derailleur and Shimano Deore front derailleur; Shimano Deore 9-speed Rapid Fire shifters
CRANKSET: Shimano HollowTech, 48 / 38 / 28
BRAKES: Avid Juicy 3, dual piston hydraulic disc brakes
RIMS: Alex CT3 double wall disc specific with Quad spoke lacing
Additional models in the 2009 GT Transeo line-up.
Transeo 1.0 Disc – RRP $1549*
Transeo LTD – RRP $1099*
Transeo 2.0 Disc – RRP $1199*
Transeo 3.0 Disc – RRP $879*
Transeo 4.0 – RRP $699*
Transeo 5.0 – RRP $569*
*Australian pricing as at 8th Dec 2008
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