GT’s new Sensor range is small on price but big on performance

GT Sensor on steep corner
(Image credit: GT)

GT are in their 51st year since starting as a SoCal BMX brand and exploding as one of the biggest MTB brands through the 90s. It’s been uncharacteristically quiet times for the brand recently but new ownership under the Ponhub mothership alongside Santa Cruz, Focus, and Cannondale opens up a fresh chapter in their history. 

Judging from our first experiences of their all-new Sensor range it looks set to be a successful one too.

Sunset POV riding shot

We're stoked that GT's Sensor revamp signals a new dawn not a sunset on the deeply storied brand (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Sensory perception

There’s a full review on the top-of-the-range Carbon LE version of GT’s 150/140mm travel all-rounder that goes into the frame details shared across the Pro and Elite models and the two 120mm ST (Short Travel) options. 

The headlines are that the carbon mainframe shares the Y split top tube format with the high pivot GT Force enduro bike but you get a conventional four-bar rear end. There’s no internal storage or XS and XXL models and chain stays are all the same length. Reach numbers from 430mm to 515mm matched to shorter 380mm to 460mm seat tubes span a wider range of riders with room for long-stroke droppers on the L and XL bikes. There’s room for a full-size bottle on all frames, removable ISCG mounts, trunnion-mounted shock and neat tube in tube cable routing, and rubber rattle/rock strike protectors where appropriate. 

The addition of carbon chain stays and refinement of the alloy chainstays and other fixtures saves 600g of weight while gaining 10mm of travel on both ends over the previous Sensor bikes. There are two alloy frame Comp and Sport models too completing a notably affordable range.

New GT Sensor

The Force comes in two alloy frame option as well (Image credit: GT)

Sorted not spendy

Lower prices don’t mean lower spec either with the Sensor LE we tested getting Ultimate versions of RockShox Lyrik fork and Super Deluxe rear damper. Add a quality SRAM analog stop and go set up and it’s competitive with direct-sell online brands despite being sold through ‘proper’ shops.

Sensor geometry is equally sorted with 65-degree head angle and 77-degree seat angles (alloy models are 0.5 degrees steeper) either end of those extended reach numbers blending underlying confidence with engaging agility. The four-bar suspension is naturally fluid, surface conforming, and traction rich too, although hustlers might want to firm up the compression damping for a more aggressive pedaling and cornering feel. Even with the 600g saving they are relatively heavy for a mostly carbon framed bike at just over 15kg for the LE in a medium.

New GT Sensor being jumped

Sensor comes in two 140mm fork, 120mm rear short travel options too (Image credit: GT)

Sensor Short Travel 

Test riding the ST version is still on our to-do list but 140mm fork and 120mm rear travel give it the same steeper angles as the alloy Sensor bikes (65.4-degree head angle) and faster rolling tires are fitted to complement what’s presumably a tighter feeling ride at the rear. 

We’ll be jumping on a sample as soon as possible to confirm that on the trails but for now both versions of the Sensor look to be well up in the running as excellent value options, particularly for riders who enjoy a fun and fluid bike.

Specs and pricing

GT Sensor Carbon Pro LE

GT Sensor Carbon Pro LE

GT Sensor Carbon Pro LE (Image credit: GT)
  • Frame: Sensor Carbon 29in Frame, 140mm 
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, 150mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RC2T
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle, 12 speed
  • Seatpost: TranzX +Rad, Adjustable Height (S - 150mm, M - 170mm, L/XL - 200mm)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200/180mm
  • Wheels: WTB KOM Trail i30, Formula front hub, SRAM MTH746 rear hub
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal Fr / Continental Kryptotal Re
  • Handlebar: GT Alloy Riser Bar
  • Stem: GT Alloy
  • Size: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Price: $5,750.00 / £5,000.00

GT Sensor Carbon Pro

GT Sensor Carbon Pro

GT Sensor Carbon Pro (Image credit: GT)
  • Frame: Sensor Carbon 29in Frame, 140mm 
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik  Select + RC2, 150mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select + RT
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle, 12 speed
  • Seatpost: TranzX +Rad, Adjustable Height (S - 150mm, M - 170mm, L/XL - 200mm)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R, 200/180mm
  • Wheels: WTB KOM Trail i30, Formula hubs
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal Fr / Continental Kryptotal Re
  • Handlebar: GT Alloy Riser Bar
  • Stem: GT Alloy
  • Size: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Price: $4,950.00 / £4,200.00

GT Sensor Carbon Elite

GT Sensor Carbon Elite

GT Sensor Carbon Elite (Image credit: GT)
  • Frame: Sensor Carbon 29in Frame, 140mm 
  • Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z2, 150mm
  • Rear Shock: Marzocchi Bomber CR Coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM SX Eagle, 12 speed
  • Seatpost: GT DropKick, (S - 125mm, M - 150mm, L/XL - 170mm)
  • Brakes: TRP Slate T4 Hydro Disc, 203/180mm
  • Wheels: WTB ST i30, Formula hubs
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal Fr / Continental Kryptotal Re
  • Handlebar: GT Alloy Riser Bar
  • Stem: GT Alloy
  • Size: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Price: $3,800.00 / £3,400.00

GT Sensor Comp

GT Sensor Comp

GT Sensor Comp (Image credit: GT)
  • Frame: Sensor Alloy 29in Frame, 130mm 
  • Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z2, 140mm
  • Rear Shock: Fox DPS Performance
  • Drivetrain: SRAM SX Eagle, 12 Speed
  • Seatpost: GT DropKick, (S - 125mm, M- 150mm, L/XL - 170mm)
  • Brakes: Tektro M745 Hydro Disc, 203/180mm
  • Wheels: WTB STX i25 TCS, Formula hubs
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal Fr / Continental Kryptotal Re
  • Handlebar: GT Alloy Riser Bar
  • Stem: GT Alloy
  • Size: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Price: $2,600.00 / £2,500.00

GT Sensor Sport

GT Sensor Sport

GT Sensor Sport (Image credit: GT)
  • Frame: Sensor Alloy 29in Frame, 130mm 
  • Fork: RockShox Recon Silver, 140mm
  • Rear Shock: X-Fusion 02 Pro RL
  • Drivetrain: Microshift Advent X, 10 speed
  • Seatpost: TranzX Dropper, (S/M - 120mm, L/XL - 130mm)
  • Brakes: Tektro M275 Hydro Disc, 180/180mm
  • Wheels: WTB STX i25 TCS, Formula hubs
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal Fr / Continental Kryptotal Re
  • Handlebar: GT Alloy Riser Bar
  • Stem: GT Alloy
  • Size: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Price: $2,300.00 / £2,200.00

GT Sensor ST Pro

GT Sensor ST Pro

GT Sensor ST Pro (Image credit: GT)
  • Frame: Sensor ST Carbon, 130mm 
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Select + RC2, 140mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select + RT
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle, 12 Speed
  • Seatpost: GT DropKick, (S - 125mm, M- 150mm, L/XL - 170mm)
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC, 180/180mm
  • Wheels: WTB KOM Trail i27, Formula hubs
  • Tires: Maxxis Dissector / Maxxis Rekon
  • Handlebar: GT Alloy Riser Bar
  • Stem: GT Alloy
  • Size: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Price: $5,000.00 / £4,000.00

GT Sensor ST Elite

GT Sensor ST Elite

GT Sensor ST Elite (Image credit: GT)
  • Frame: Sensor ST Carbon, 130mm 
  • Fork:Marzocchi Bomber Z2, 140mm
  • Rear Shock: Fox DPS Performance
  • Drivetrain: SRAM SX Eagle, 12 Speed
  • Seatpost: GT DropKick, (S - 125mm, M- 150mm, L/XL - 170mm)
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide T, 180/180mm
  • Wheels: WTB ST i25TCS 2.0, Formula hubs
  • Tires: Maxxis Dissector / Maxxis Rekon
  • Handlebar: GT Alloy Riser Bar
  • Stem: GT Alloy
  • Size: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Price: $3,900.00 / £3,350.00
Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since launch in 2019. He started writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg