The GT Aggressor 2021 model is our top choice if you are looking to buy a mountain bike under $500. This model is a ’29er’, meaning the wheels are 29″ high, opposed to the standard 27.5″ of most mountain bikes – a 29er can give you more speed and better overall traction. With this in mind, what is important to know about the newest GT Aggressor Pro?
The GT Aggressor comes in 3 models: GT Aggressor Comp (Basic model), GT Aggressor Sport which has disc brakes and the GT Aggressor Expert (Pro) which has hydraulic disc brakes.
If you are curious about the newest GT Aggressor Pro or, if you are wondering more about the brand, then this guide is for you. Read on to find out more about GT Aggressor and what model best suits your needs.
GT Aggressor Main Features
GT have been building bikes since 1972, where they developed BMX frames – so they know a thing or two about frames. The frame is the most important bit of any model. The brakes can be changed out, as can the gears, tires, and seats, but if the frame gets busted, that is the end of it. The frame, in this case, is modeled after Triple Triangle tech.
It makes it stronger and a lot more durable as well. This is just one of the things that make this model so appealing. This kind of frame is not only tougher but also more responsive over rough spots because the components in the rear are stiffer.
It is a design that has been proving its value over the last two decades. It has become more of a trademark perhaps and is a very simplistic design.
You do get straight tubes that have a little flare, in addition to plate dropouts and a large gusset that sits just underneath the down tube.
This is reminiscent of the Zaskar model in the nineties. The head tube is ring-reinforced and contains a headset that is entirely conventional. The placement of the cable is based on the shortest route possible. The rear gear and brake cables sit just beneath the top tube, and the cable for the front gear sits underneath the down tube. On the frame itself, there are two bottle bosses.
GT Aggressor Wheels
We do have to mention that the wheels are a little more lightweight than normal. This is because of the reduced number of spokes – four less than is standard. The company says it is to reduce the weight but it does not make a huge difference, so it is probably more about saving costs.
It is not a huge deal, though, and the wheel rims do still feel solid and well-supported.
The Kenda tires are a nice addition here. With a blend of knobs and blocks, there will allow you to tear down hills and get a decent grip.
It should be noted, though, that these are not full grip tires. Take care when going around a corner or when cycling through the mud. They may not grip well enough for the real muddy patches.
The Other Bits and Pieces
The handlebar is well-made and is nice and wide. It allows you to grip on tightly without risking cramping your hands. The seat post is a bit on the skinny side, but this is a good thing because it gives the rear of the bike a bit more give.
The seat can be micro-adjusted to get the perfect level of comfort for yourself. That said, you cannot expect as smooth a ride as you would get from a much more expensive bike. The transmission consists of your normal EZ-Fire shifters and there are two lower-end Shimano mechs. The Tourney unit at the back works on a pulley system that is designed to make shifting lighter and easier.
We will leave it up to you to decide how much of a difference this does make but there is no question that it helps to tidy the cable quite a lot.
The GT Aggressor Pro has made it a point to keep all the practical design features of a hardtail MTB and add their own taste to the design. Check out the characteristics that caught our eye.
Paint job – The GT aggressor mountain bike is dominated by black, blue, and green color variations.
A simple GT logo is painted on the downtube. The colorway is limited to three, making it effectively stylish and visible. However, the paint job is done more for functionality rather than style.
Bike type – The bike’s frame belongs to the hardtail category. There’s a particular deviation on the common hardtail frame design—the seat stay connects to the top tube instead of the seat post. GT commonly manufactures bike frames like this to make their bikes distinguishable from other brands. It’s called a triple triangle frame design. It adds style to your usual hardtail.
Tires – The tread patterns on the GT Men’s Aggressor Pro mountain bike are designed specifically for single-track mountain trails. It has a wide tire to accommodate evenly spaced-out treads. The patterns are uniformed to form a curved shape that takes from a dirt type of tire tread, but this prevents any debris or dirt from sticking onto the tires allowing for optimal traction on the mountain or dirt tracks.
The MegaRange cassette, in our opinion, is not great but this is not a deal-breaker. A beginner in the field might actually appreciate the bottom gear that it provides.
The big niggle that we have here is that the frame has no mounts to allow you to upgrade your brakes to disc brakes. The front suspension, provided by the SR Suntour Fork is made out of steel and not damped at all. It will work admirably well in terrain that is less demanding, but it is going to give a really unpleasant experience across really bumpy terrain.
That this was designed more as a hybrid for lighter use is evidenced by the mudguard eyes and the rack.
How Comfortable is the GT Aggressor to Ride?
This is aimed at beginners, rather than experienced riders. So, basically, people who are going to be attempted easier trails and perhaps not spending as much time in the seat.
• Very responsive, easy to control and simple to navigate.
• Extremely good pricing.
• Features GT’s Triple Triangle frame.
• Contains some All Terra and some Shimano components – both of which are excellent brands.
• Really responsive when it comes to roughish terrain.
• Can also double as a commuter bike.
• Quality components have been used, but they are still the lower end ones. So this is not a high-performance model by any stretch of the imagination.
• We felt that it was a bit heavy so not really a good option if you will be bike-packing.
• This will bore hardcore enthusiasts or those with a lot of experience to death.
Our Final Verdict
This is a good offering. You get a lot of features for the money that you pay, and it is going to last you well. It is, however, better suited for you if you are a casual hobbyist that is not looking at getting into competitions or more technical trails.
This is not the option to choose if you want to go tearing down the side of the mountain because the ride would be really uncomfortable, and the brakes might be a little iffy on corners. It can do double duty as a commuter bike as well, and that is a big plus, but this is really better suited to beginners. It looks cool, but there are limited opportunities to upgrade it, and this will frustrate someone wanting the best out of their bikes.
Overall, it is a responsive model and a good choice when starting out. Just don’t expect to be able to use it for a double-black-diamond trail. If you want to do a lot of uphill rides, this is not the model to choose.
Our first impression of GT Aggressor is that it’s one beast of a bike. We can say right away that this is one of the best mountain bikes we’ve had the chance to review. Though this model looks unassuming from the outlook, it provides one hell of a ride through adventure trails.
This model comes with a frame developed based on Triple Triangle technology. Basically, this tech allows the frame to last longer. Triple Triangle frames have stiffer rear components so the bike is more responsive on rough terrain. GT fans know that Triple Triangle is one of the unique features this brand offers.
In addition, this model combines Shimano and All Terra components to reduce vibrations and navigational problems on rough trails. The Shimano Drivetrain is particularly useful for shifting when riding up a hill. We were quite surprised just how smoothly nimble this bike is.
The cool features don’t end there of course. The model comes with aluminum riser handlebars and a “micro adjust” saddle for comfort. The frame is quite lightweight, comparable to GT Match One, but not Helion.
On the flip side, this bike model may not be suitable for BMX racers who like rough terrain. We recommend hardcore mountain bikers to invest in bike with higher-end specs.
GT is a reliable and recognizable brand and it’s hard to beat the quality and build for this price.
Both the men’s and women’s bikes have an aluminum triple triangle frame with a coil-spring SR Suntour XCT DS fork that has 80mm travel. The fork is not suited to big jumps or really difficult trails, but is enough to smooth out flowy singletrack (or tame the wildest bike paths and city streets if you’re aiming for more urban adventures).
The 8-speed drivetrain with a triple chainring is more complicated than more modern systems, but it has mostly Shimano parts and its wide gear range will help you spin up steep hills with less sweat. Surprisingly, you get mechanical disc brakes from Tektro, which are a huge plus on a bike at this price. It also has 27.5-inch wheels.
You may want to swap to better tires if you ride off road often, and wider bars will give you more control at higher speeds. But those are relatively affordable swaps, and don’t takeaway from the overall value of these bikes.
There’s no doubt GT mountain bikes are one of the stylish-looking MTBs in the market today. One look at the frame, and you’ll know it’s from GT. So, there’s a plus point on the style criteria for this bike.
On the other hand, we find that this bike is aggressively built for single tracks with about 80 percent smooth surface, which is really something we would expect for a less than $500 bike. It runs smoothly also as a commuter on the road, but you’ll have the most fun with the GT Aggressor on dirt lanes on the mountainside or grasslands with little to no bumps up ahead. If you want a no-brainer, easy ride hardtail, the GT Aggressor will give enough thrill.