November 15, 2015
Light weight full suspension bike
27.5" wheels - everything they are billed to be
GT's AOS suspension - it works.
front and rear suspension lock outs
frame dimensions are built for high-speed stability and confidence
For me - the Beeline tires don't work out for the terrain I ride - would be perfect for trails where traction is not a common worry.
The Elite is on the lower end of the GT Helion range, however the core components are there, the Helion frame & AOS Suspension get and deserve high praise. I moved from a 26" bike to the 27.5" it might be just the move however I find the 27.5" wheels make everything easier. I haven't ridden any other 27.5" full suspension bikes, however I am amazed at how well the rear wheel stays planted over tree roots and rocks on the trail. While I used to be a sharp eye out for such obstacles, I don't have to anymore.
If you are on the fence to get a full suspension bike - do it, you'll enjoy technical rides more - also - I am sure the new bike is heavier - it's not by much however due to the suspension it feels lighter. The ability to compress the suspension to prepare for a jump changed the way I ride - for the better.
One observation, I see that on lower full suspension end bikes - the front lock out will be on the handle bar vs. the rear - I ride technical trails and I use the rear lock out much, much more than the front. So if I had my choice of one - I'd choose having a rear lock-out on the handlebar vs. the front.