Zaskar LT is a great value trail hardtail

GT Zaskar LT 29er hardtail
Zaskar LT Elite is great value at £1,000 (Image credit: GT)

GT has reconfigured its legendary Zaskar as a progressive geometry hardtail.

Since the early 1990s, Zaskar has signified the very best of GT’s XC racing technology, but this latest iteration of the celebrated mountain biking nameplate, is a touch different.

With the new Zaskar LT, designers and product planners at GT wished to produce a value bike for trail riders, instead fo pure XC racers.

Constructed from aluminium and rolling 29er wheels, the Zaskar LT features a departure from GT’s classic triple triangle frame shaping. There are floating chainstays which clear the seat tube and only join the frame at its top tube.

Data harvested by GT’s engineers in testing, recorded 50% better vertical compliance, justifying the floating seatstay design. In real-world riding conditions, these new seatstays should take some of the harshness out of riding a hardtail down black rated trails, when buzzing through rock gardens, or rolling at speed over a series of roots.

GT’s Zaskar LT has geometry optimised for a 130mm fork, although its headtube is rated to safely run 140mm front suspension if you wish to slightly overfork it. With a 66-degree head angle and 465mm of reach (on a size large), the Zaskar GT’s geometry numbers are on trend for a 2020 trail hardtail.

Frame details on the Zaskar LT include 148mm rear axle spacing, enabling adequate room to run 2.4in tyres, and a BSA 73mm threaded bottom bracket for improved durability – especially in muddy conditions.

GT is marketing the Zaskar LT in two grades. Its Elite version retails for £1,000 and runs a SRAM SX 12-speed drivetrain, with Shimano MT410 brakes. Tyres are WTB’s 2.3in Breakouts and suspension is provided by Suntour, with its 130mm coil-sprung Zeron 35 fork.

Upgrading to the Zaskar LT Expert will net you a RockShox coil fork, but most importantly, far superior Maxxis Minion tyres, with a 2.5in DHF up front and DHR2 rolling at the rear, sized 2.4in. The Zaskar LT Expert prices at £1,300.

Both the Zaskar LT Elite and Expert feature internal cable routing, 780mm handlebars and TransX dropper seatposts.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.