GT eForce AMP eMTB Review

GT eForce AMP eMTB Review

By Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Charged by RISE BREWING

GT Bicycles has recently joined the eMTB market with their new 29-inch wheeled eForce AMP. Designed to be a well-rounded 150mm trail bike, the GT eForce is currently not available in North America, but word is, that it may be available soon. GT has given a few bikes in their lineup EFI, or “Electronic Fun Injection” as they’re calling it, but the eForce AMP is currently GT’s higher-end offering. We were excited to get this new bike on the trails.

THE LAB
This 150mm aluminum frame is built around GT’s proven LTS four-bar linkage suspension platform. GT made some modifications to the suspension kinematics like increased anti-squat and anti-rise to improve the bike’s ability to deal with the heavier weights and demands of an ebike.

GT eForce AMP eMTB Review

Spec on the GT eForce AMP is respectable. It’s not flossy but it gets the job done. A Rock Shox 35 Gold RL 150mm fork with 51mm offset sits up front and a Rock Shox Deluxe Select R shock is bolted to the back of the frame. Shifting duties are handled by a SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed shifter and derailleur, while brake spec includes Shimano MT420 4-piston brakes with 203mm rotors.

WTB STX i29 rims are laced to Shimano MT400 hubs and sport Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR tires. As with all our eMTB test bikes, we swapped the tires out for Schwalbe’s ebike specific Eddy Current tires as they were the official tire sponsor for the roundup. The rest of the cockpit was spec’d with GT components and an All Terra 130mm dropper post.

Like many of our test bikes this year, GT uses Shimano’s Steps E8000 drive unit with a 504Wh battery. The Shimano system is reliable, runs well and is certainly a capable option, however they are in need of some updates to catch up with the new Bosch and Specialized systems.

Geometry on the GT eForce AMP is right in the ballgame with other bikes in the category. Our size large has a 475mm reach, 65-degree head tube angle, 76-degree seat tube angle to give the bike a 806mm front center. The wheelbase on our bike sat at 1,259mm and has 455mm chainstays and a 349mm bottom bracket height. Stack height on the large eForce AMP is 617mm.

GT eForce AMP eMTB Review

THE DIRT

Our testers were excited to try the GT eForce out. It’s hard to be a mountain biker and not have at least a little bit of nostalgia when it comes to the brand. Pretty quickly after getting this bike on the trail our testers began to find its strengths and weaknesses.

Compared to some of the other bikes in our Trail category roundup, the GT eForce rode a bit heavier and liked to stay on the ground. The bike is priced pretty reasonably however we feel that the suspension spec could have had something to do with the lack of pop. On the flip side, when it came time to hammer down the trail, the eForce did a great job. This bike really comes alive when the speeds pick up and the trails get rough.

The LTS suspension design does a great job of handling bigger hits and larger impacts. The weight of the bike and lack of playfulness weren’t quite as big of a deal once we got the bike on these types of trails.

Shimano’s Steps E8000 motor is arguably the most popular system out at the moment. We’ve ridden more Shimano Steps ebikes than anything else, but as we start to spend more time on Specialized’s 2.1 motor and the new Bosch CX Line, we’re realizing the system is in need of a major update as the performance that was once leading the charge, is now slipping back.

Our testers felt the geometry was pretty comfortable and capable on a wide variety of terrain. During the test period we rode a wide variety of terrain from high-speed rock gardens to very steep, technical trails with lots of obstacles and tight switchbacks. Regardless of the terrain, the GT was comfortable and kept our riders upright. Overall, the GT is a decent bike that delivers, although it doesn’t really have any stand out features that blew us away.

GT eForce AMP eMTB Review

The Wolf’s Last Word

GT’s foray into the ebike world shows promise in the brand’s awareness of the quickly growing category. If you’re a die-hard GT fan and want to get an ebike from your favorite company, you’ll certainly have a good time on the eForce.

The GT eForce AMP climbs well, it is fun to ride, corners nicely and feels very good on rowdier trails. While the bike has some great capabilities in the rough stuff, sports some very capable geometry and rides well, it isn’t quite a standout in this extremely stacked field for our 2020 eMTB Roundup. We are excited to see where GT goes from here.

Price: $5,469
Weight: 53.2lbs
Website: GTbicycles.com

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAIL ROUNDUP VIDEO
GT eForce AMP eMTB Review

CHASSIS
Frame: All New eForce Alloy 29” Frame, 150mm Travel
Fork: RockShox 35 Gold RL, 150mm
Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select R

POWERPLANT
Battery: Shimano STEPS BT-E8035 504 Wh
Drive Unit: Shimano STEPS DU-E8000 250W

COCKPIT
Brakes: Shimano MT420; 203mm
Handlebar: GT Alloy riser bar, 15mm rise, 780mm
Headset: FSA NO.42
Saddle: WTB Silverado Sport
Seatpost: All Terra Dropper Post, 130mm
Shifter: SRAM SX Eagle, 12-speed
Stem: GT All Terra, 31.8mm clamp, 35mm length

WHEELS
Hubs: Shimano MT400
Rims: WTB STX i29 TCS
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF, 29 x 2.6″, 3C compound, EXO+
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHR II, 29 x 2.6″, 3C compound, EXO+

DRIVETRAIN
Cassette: SRAM SX Eagle, 11-50, 12-speed
Cranks: Shimano FC-E8000, 165mm
Derailleur: SRAM SX Eagle

GT eForce AMP eMTB Review

We Dig

Reasonable Price
Good Geometry
Performance on Chunky Terrain

We Don’t

Rides Heavy
Not Poppy
Doesn’t Spark Us

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