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GT made quite a splash in the gravel grinding world with its Grade frame, and the GTS Elite 105 Complete Road Bike incorporates many of the same design features that earned the Grade so many BOTY nods. A few key differences recommend the GTS as a road-specific rather than all-terrain bike, including the lack of additional rake on the fork and an elimination of the third arm on GT's triple triangle design. The result is a ride that's lighter and more nimble but less stable and less forgiving on terrain like gravel and dirt roads.
That limited functionality on surfaces other than tarmac is fine by us, because the GTS Elite is built to capitalize on road riding. The drivetrain is no exception. Shimano gets the nod for the wheels and most of the build kit with FSA's Gossamer crankset and Tektro's dual-pivot brakes filling the only non-Shimano gaps. This spec sheet will seem familiar to anyone shopping for mid-range alloy bikes because virtually every large manufacturer sells a model kitted the exact same way. What won't be familiar is the price; most bikes with this build kit run for around $500 more than the GTS Elite — an additional cost that we're assuming is for the decal on the down tube.
The drivetrain and deviances from the award-winning Grade formula don't mean this is a crit-only race bike, though. Its hydroformed aluminum frame includes clearance for fenders, and the combination of 25mm Continental tires, a compact crank and a generous 12-28t cassette range mean it's equal to all manner of conditions and terrain. The GTS Elite isn't necessarily for the racing cyclist; it's for every cyclist.
- Item #GTE0018
- Q & A
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- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've got about 500 miles on my gts elite, purchased from competitive about a month ago. I've been riding primarily in the NYC area, but also in the Catskills and in Boston. I've even taken it on some doubletrack and single track that I found myself on by accident in Van Cortlandt park. The frame is responsive and the 105 5700 shifters are really smooth. I don't know that I can notice that the front derailleur is a tiagra model - it is just fine! I wish that it had come with slighty better brakes, the 105 model for example, but otherwise no complaints. The wheelset is surprisingly decent, although it will be my first major upgrade. After a few rides, I swapped out the saddle for a selle italia from my other bike. Nothing wrong with the initial saddle, just a little too narrow for me - I went to a 155mm. Competitive did a great job packaging it and the build was easy. This bike was the best I could afford (it was on a sale last month) and it was money well spent.