GT’s Zaskar is a name that needs no introduction. If it does, let’s just say that it was one of the mostly highly sought hardtails from the 90s that was able to turn its hand equally to cross-country racing as it was hucking off drops and racing downhill.
For 2012 it’s been brought right up to date, as part of the company’s grand plan to revitalise the brand and restore some of the shine it’s lost over the past decade. And part of that plan involves giving the Zaskar range a complete overhaul.
The revitalised range extends to seven models, with prices starting at £899.99 and including two full suspension offerings and for the first time, a 29er. Four of then. GT sees that the type of customer buying into the Zaskar name will also be the sort to be keen on the advantages of bigger wheels, so the frame has been updated with new geometry to benefit 29in wheels.
They’ve spent six months sorting the numbers, and are confident they’ve got them just right. And right at the top of the range is the stunning Zaskar Carbon 9R Pro. Costing £3299.99 you get an all-carbon frame made using a carbon layup process called FOC Ultra, which eliminates some of the resin needed during the moulding and in doing so saves 300g.
Despite the modern materials a connection to the original model still exists, with the signature Triple Triangle design. Here the seat stays overlap the seat tubes to great visual effect. It’s enough to make anyone who has been in the sport for a couple of decades go all misty eyed. The clean lines extend to the cables routing internally, a short tapered headtube keeping the front end stout.
Versatility was key to the original Zaskar. It could be pressed into action in any way you wanted, whatever your riding preferences. This continues with the reborn frame, with a new alloy bolt-on dropouts, which allow the bike to be run with gears or swapped to sliding dropouts for a singlespeed setup. It’s a design that’s been very neatly executed.