The GT Grade took home a Eurobike award back in 2014. Gravel hadn’t come into its own yet and disc brake road standards were still on the drawing board. But the bike got everyone’s attention and set a standard that many others have followed.
For 2019, GT’s iconic “Triple Triangle” is back, with a twist though as the GT Grade uses the triangle as floating stays, significantly increasing the frame compliance without sacrificing lateral stiffness. Yep, there’s air between the seatstay and the triangle now.
The stays aren’t 100% carbon fiber either, but instead employ a solid fiberglass tube at the core to allow for more flex. It’s a unique design for sure, it’ll be interesting to see if on road performance matches the promise of better ride quality.
The 2020 GT Grade also features a flip chip to change the ride characteristics, as needed. This allows the Grade to go from stable bikepacking rig to gravel racer in a matter of minutes. To accomplish the change you simply remove the front axle and swap the chip fore or aft. It simply swaps the offset from 50mm to 70mm for a longer wheelbase and less sharp handling.
One thing that stands out to me, the GT Grade doesn’t have any proprietary anything, so you can customize it as you like. Dropper post is stealth-routed, of course (on carbon models).
Tire clearance is stated at 700x42mm measured. No word on 650b, other than it’s compatible.
The new GT Grade is available now in two alloy and three carbon models at price points from $1,000 – $3900.