Monday, April 20, 2009

GT RTS

OK, I may have an addictive personality after all!
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I've never liked full suspension bikes, and I've always resisted having a modern longer travel rig...and my experience with a Cannondale Rush left me convinced that I was spot on. For my style and local trails, I don't need 4-5 inches in the rear. I could probably make due with a Moots YBB type soft-tail actually. I'm also coming to terms with the realization that I'm more enamored with the idea of liking my new EWR, as opposed to actually liking it. When I ride locally, I always reach for the white EWR, and the blue re-release EWR hangs on the rack. One of my buddies has an orange re-release EWR with a Maverick SC32 inverted fork, and he says that the fork is a night and day improvement over the Rock Shox Pike that he had on the frame originally. I'm running a Rock Shox Revelation on my blue EWR, which aside from the standard axle as opposed to the 20mm thru-axle on the Pike, is essentially the same fork. Maybe the Maverick SC32 is what I need for the EWR? I need to build some wheels for it anyway...hmmm...
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Revelation and the Shimano Deore XT/ Mavic 217 wheels from my blue EWR would work nicely on a GT RTS...where the Noleen coil-over rear shock on the RTS would balance well with the Revelation, which is also a coil unit...hmmm...
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I've always heard the knock on the GT RTS is that it firms up quite a bit under pedal forces, and is only reactive while cruising. So here's my idea. I want a cross country bike to help me take the edge off...hey what can I say my back isn't getting any younger! I don't want to ride a couch either. The rub is, I don't want to spend a load of dough on what would essentially be an experiment. So, as I've got loads of parts for a build up of just about anything, I've decided to pick up an Asian made RTS frame on the cheap and build it up to see if the suspension design fits what I'm looking for.
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Again, this is not a USA made RTS, but rather an imported RTS-3 that I picked up on the old fleabay. (I don't have it yet, so forgive the auction pics) I was drawn to this frame because of the completeness of all the little geegaws like the brake cam and the cable noodles. I'll be able to use the original brake arrangement while I proof the concept, then the cro-mo butted steel rear swing-arm assembly on the RTS will allow me to have a local builder weld up a disc mount and burn off the rim brake fittings.
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The blue and silver color scheme will die a slow death... I'll polish the blue main frame up to a finish similar to the Zaskar's, and the rear will get gloss black spray...compliments of my staggeringly skillful backyard abilities with a rattle can. I may drink heavily while I do the deed...maybe with an old lawnmower engine swinging from one of the trees in the backyard as a backdrop...
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My one question...can any of you GT gurus out there confirm for me that the geometry of the RTS-3 is the same as that of the USA made RTS? Are there any GT gurus out there even remotely interested in my blog? Hello?
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I'm going to build up the 3 and if it fits the bill for a firm-under-pedaling limited travel, durable full suspension bike, I may move up to an RTS... Or maybe I'll just continue to collect frames that have no actual chance of seeing the light of day on a trail...
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And for those of you cynics out there that think I'm squandering my child's college dough on old crappy bikes...let me assuage your fears. Old crappy bikes are CHEAP! This old RTS, the beauty that she is, is on her way to me for the measly sum of 99 bucks, plus shipping, of course. Considering that I sold my Cannondale Rush frame for almost $900, I'd say I'm doing ok! Besides...like the Light Action derailleur in a previous post, this junk is therapeutic! Cheers!

4 comments:

Steve said...

I'm not a GT guru, but I play one on TV.

Utahdog! said...

Ha!

You know, I never really liked them when I was in college, so I'm not sure why I care now...

Anonymous said...

The GT RTS was designed to be rigid under pedal pressure and only to give under the biggest bumps. It's not a true down-hiller and wasn't designed to be. It's basically a hard-tail bike and was designed before the soft-tail craze took off. I love this design and have two Team RTS bikes. LOVE them! They won several championships...

michael see said...

hi i am also an owner of RTS3 ,year 1993,been riding this bike for a long time,had it completely refurbished ,all the components and the groupsets and recently replaced a new front suspension fork from a rockshock judy to a fox,the color is similar to yours,candy blue ,however mine wasnt made from the USA but Taiwan instead.i'd say the rocker tune suspension isnt too responsive,more like a hardtail to me,use to go offroad years back but i seldom these days,still love this bike like i used to:)