First Look: 2014 GT Speed Series Carbon
As part of the pre-Winter Nationals hype, GT Bicycles hosted an exclusive press event to bring us up to speed on their forthcoming carbon frame and fork set, the 2014 Speed Series Carbon.
We were to drive 45 minutes out of town, then look for the address in the coin return of a pay phone at an abandoned bike shop (actually, just pasted the address into Google maps, but there is no cloak & dagger in that). The fragrance of the desert was heavy in the air, as Phoenix-proper slipped into the rearview. Coming from 19 degrees in Chicago, this was a windows-down drive, both ways.
Once at the secret location, the entire GT Factory team and some of the behind the scenes folks from HQ were there to greet us. An organized press availability is a pretty rare thing in BMX racing–and something we hope to see more of.
It was a great evening of food, mingling, talking about the stoke weekend to come, and sharing GT Stories from every era of the brand…then down do business for the big reveal.
Jason Halverson–Product Manager for GT’s BMX Race product line–broke it down for the audience, in a way that was both impressive, and just at the tippy-top of techieness. Almost over our heads…but not. Well maybe a little–but it’s good to broaden one’s horizons. “Force-Optimized Carbon Construction,” and “High-Mod Carbon Matrices” are both GT technologies that the Speed Series Carbon makes use of. And are both terms likely to impress when used in just about any context.
Though it’s a 2014 Model, the Speed Series Carbon is due to hit stores on August 1, 2013. It’s carbon, so you’d be a rube to be shocked at the $1299 frame & fork kit sticker price. Take comfort in the fact that it will also come with an integrated quick-release seat post clamp, FSA Integrated headset for the tapered head tube, and a threaded adapter to step-down the BB30 Bottom Bracket shell to standard sizes.
BB30 is making its way in to BMX racing, and this is one of the first frames on which you will be able to use, for example, the BOX Components Vector Crank Set. The 1-1/8 – 1.5″ tapered head tube, has a very slick beefiness to it, and the carbon construction allows the lines to give a more “molded” curb appeal.
The “Quick Change” rear dropouts are a key feature. Bolted-on CNC’d aluminum receivers that allow you to go wide, with a 15mm, or use a standard 3/8″ axle. Word is a 20mm set may also be available as an accessory purchase after launch. Tyler Brown told the tale of having to change the gear on one of the built-up samples, and it was a process measured in seconds, not minutes–everything went back together as before, with no reinventing the wheel-alignment required. Pretty cool.
Since Area 51 was all booked up, the stealthy “rider samples” had to come out of the prototype protection program, and we will see them live, and in person on the track here at the Winter Nationals, piloted by Joris Daudet, Jordan Miranda, Jonas Harmon and Sean Gaian.
There will be three sizes in all (Pro, Pro XL and Pro XXL). The rest of the team who ride those sizes will be migrated to the new platform as additional near-production prototypes hit US shores.
The lead photo above is how the final graphics treatment will look–which we think is Double-A-Awesome! BMX News will bring you more on the 2014 GT Speed Series Carbon, as it becomes available.
Here is the Geometry