First Impressions: GT Grade From issue 88 • Words by Brad Roe

If you are keeping track (we are), you may remember that in 2014 GT launched the Grade, the first production carbon gravel bike with flared bars (before gravel riding was a “thing”). It turned a few heads and won a few awards. Fans of the brand probably know that GT has a history of being ahead of the curve. It had triple-triangle bikes at the Tour de France in 1999, Paris–Roubaix the following year, and it was prominent in Olympic bike design and manufacturing and more. So, GT was early again with the Grade and has just completely redesigned it for 2020.

SIX HIGHLIGHTS ON THE REDESIGNED GRADE
Triple Triangle: This is a GT staple and we are glad to see it return on the new Grade. When you see this unique frame design, it instantly reminds you how long GT has been making high-end bicycles for elite riders and the rest of us.

Floating Seatstays: The unique floating-stays design is more than just a look; it is engineered for long adventures and all-day rideability. Available in both carbon and aluminum models. You can feel the comfort after a few minutes on rough terrain.

Flip-Chip Fork: This cool option allows riders 15mm of adjustability (from 55mm to 70mm of fork offset) so the bike can be race-ready and then converted to 70mm for bikepacking adventures.

Dual-Fiber Dynamics (DFD): The seatstays on the Grade are
built with two different fibers: A fiberglass core is used for damping and toughness and the carbon outer layers are utilized for stiffness.

Mounting Points Galore (MPG): The 2020 Grade was designed to accommodate eight water bottles for longer adventures with frame and fork mounts galore. Top-tube feedbag bosses and fork-leg bosses offer almost limitless options. The aluminum frames also feature bottle bosses on the seatstays!

Increased tire clearance: The 2020 Grades come equipped with 37C tires, but you can go up to 42C easily.

FIRST RIDE IMPRESSIONS, GIRONA-STYLE
We spent two hours on a trail network outside of Girona, Spain, on the all-new Grade that featured single track, gravel roads, rocky and rooty sections, drops and steep dirt climbs—and the new Grade performed flawlessly. There is definite and noticeable compliance in the rear; the handling is spot on; and the bike feels like it could handle more and more. While Peloton readers will likely gravitate to the Pro model at $3,900, we were inspired to learn about the $2,000 Carbon Elite option in gunmetal gray. GT continues to keep it fun and you can feel that instantly on the 2020 Grade. gtbicycles.com

From issue 88. Buy it here.