GT's Full suspension MTB Bicycles has been the weapon of choice for many International professional athletes. These bicycles are usually upwards of Rs.1 lakh due to its superior frames and suspension systems. GT have managed to give customers the option of a sub Rs.1 lakh full-suspension performance MTB bicycle with the GT Verb Elite 27.5 (2016). We did our bit to unravel what this bicycle has to offer.
When we first took delivery of the GT Verb Elite, and we lifted it for the first time, we really felt the excess weight that the entire bicycle had on it. A part of this is because of the strong and oversized full suspension frame. The Verb has an impressive frame geometry that is depicted by its longish front center coupled with a short stem that is attached to a wide handlebar. All through the ride we felt our weight well behind the bike that allowed us to take on ascents, descents and corners with a lot of control. It is a geometry that is best suited for intermediate off road cyclists.¾
The frame is made up of 6061-T6 Aluminum frame (27.5). It comes with a 120mm travel Suntour XCR RL front suspension with a lockout, and GT's proprietary Independent Drivetrain system (I-Drive / IDS). The I-Drive system that is usually found on higher end full suspension bicycles, finds its way on the Verb Elite in an updated but simplified version. To decode the I-Drive technology, It is a suspension system that is connected to Bottom bracket to allow it to move separately from the front and rear triangle. It ensures that the distance between the seat and the pedal does not change, thereby giving you the added efficiency to pedal while traversing bumps and rocks.
We got to test drive the Verb Elite in this magnificent shade of neon orange, and it got us hooked at first sight. The paint finish and quality was good, and it complimented the massive and unique frame design of the Verb. The semi tapered and oversized down tube gives the frame a unique character, while making it look the part of being an all-terrain performance machine. The two-tone combination of Black and Neon orange gives the bicycle a sporty and aggressive look.
The Verb comes equipped with Shimano Deore, (FD-M618L) in the front and Shimano Deore (RD-M592 SGS) in the rear. This 18-speed (2 * 9) gear system shifted well through out the ride. It gave us the right gear ratios to allow for quick climbs and fast gear changes. The Shimano Alivio rapid fire shifters come with the option of 3 gears in the front, which means that there is room to add the additional Crankset in the front, if need be (although not required). We must make a mention of the I-Drive system that actually played it's part in allowing us to shift consistently and without a lag, while we were going on heavy undulated surfaces or when we came across an extremely bad stretch that required gear shifting while riding over these surfaces.
The GT Verb Elite 27.5 comes fitted with Shimano BR-M355 Hydraulic brakes, with 180mm rotors. This system seemed like a good addition to the Verb as this kind of super responsive braking power is required while handling the weight and momentum of the Verb, while on trails.
The extra weight is always something that will be evident though your ride, which does not make the Verb Elite the quickest full suspension bicycle in the market. This being said, on the road the frame geometry with a slew of good componentry actually made the handling responsive. The one real benefit of this weight is that you will be able to climb and descent with aplomb, and you will be in control in most terrains.
The Verb Elite comes as a 27.5'bicycle. It is equipped with GT's in house brand of Tires in the All Terra Cypher (27.5 * 2.1). They worked well on the terrain it was tested in. We have not extensively ridden on All Terra tires and therefore cannot give you an in-depth insight on its performance and longevity. These tires are fitted on to sturdy and good-looking Disc specific Alex (ASD10) 27.5'Double wall rims. The Wheelset performed well to aide the weight and handling requirements of the Verb Elite.
The overall comfort and ride quality on the Verb was quite enjoyable. Like we mentioned earlier, the combination of a 120mm travel (air sprung) front suspension along with a rear suspension, and GT's I-Drive technology combines to give the rider a superior ride. While travelling on flat roads, you may feel the bicycle's suspension system constantly working even though you may not need it, especially at the rear. On the trail the bike really pushes the bar and keep the rider in control through all terrains. GT have used the All Terra MTB saddle, which is sporty but felt a tad longer that usual.
The Verb for us was purpose built for the enthusiastic trail rider who wants a well balanced and built performance full-suspension bicycle from a world renowned brand, and with the added advantage of being priced at Rs.87,000 (sub Rs.1 lakh). You will take some time getting used to the weight of the bicycle, but once you get used to the gear ratios on call, you will be able to enjoy what the GT Verb Elite was truly built for, the harsh and unforgiving trails of the hills.