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Thread: Buying Opinions: 2001 GT I-drive 4.0

  1. #1
    Mojo Road Warrior TXRAiDR's Avatar
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    Buying Opinions: 2001 GT I-drive 4.0

    I was doing some shopping for my company in SAMS the other day and saw several GT I Drive 4.0's for around $699. I thought that was a good price considering the bike retails/retailed for about double that. What's the I-drive gimmick? What does it do exactly? Also, being the tradionalist that I am, what's up with the integrated headset? I've been "told" that when and if I get an integrated headset bike, to go a head and pick up a couple of extra headsets too. Is this just advice, or a warning? I'm still riding hardtails, and was only looking to get a FS if I got a sweet deal on it. I know GT is going/gone out of business, so a concern of mine is the warrenty. Another concern is the assembly of the bike. Not doging Sams's employees, but the riser bar was mounted upside down, the tires were flat, and the brakes were deathly loose. Sloppily put together at best. I'd redo it if I felt the overwhelming need (which I do). Here's the spec list from their website:

    Frame i-Drive design with monocoque style front triangle, butted and machined aluminum, 4.6 inches travel
    Rear Shock Fox Vanilla, coil spring
    Fork Rock Shox Judy C, 80mm travel
    Crankset Truvativ Firex, 44/32/22
    Bottom Bracket Shimano UN-40
    Pedals Ritchey Comp clipless
    Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Shifters Shimano Deore 9-speed
    Freewheel SR Power Flow 9-speed index cassette 12-32
    Chain Shimano HG-72 9-speed
    Rims Syncros "Big Box" 32 hole CNC sidewall

    Tires WTB Velociraptor, 26 x 2.1
    Front Hub Shimano Deore
    Rear Hub Shimano Deore, QR 9-speed cassette
    Spokes Stainless steel 15 gauge
    Nipples Brass CP
    Front Brake Avid Single Digit 3
    Rear Brake Avid Single Digit 3
    Brake Levers Avid AD-3
    Handlebar Syncros 6061 Butted
    Stem GT MTN, TIG welded threadless, 10deg rise with 2-bolt face plate
    Grips GT Camshaft, Dual Density
    Headset WTB Momentum Comp
    Saddle SDG Comp
    Seat Post Alloy micro adjust


    Any comments from the board would be enlightening as all ways
    "As long as I breathe, I attack"-Bernard Hinault
    I've got more skill on two wheels than the majority of people have on two legs.

  2. #2
    Just another day in MoJo land! Greg's Avatar
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    The I-Drive system is designed to maintain the same distance between the seat and the pedals even when you are going over bumpy terrain therefore eliminating any loss in power. It works pretty well from what I've heard. However, several people I know have cracked their frames on the GT I-Drive bikes I would not recommend getting one of these bikes but what the hell, it's just my .02

    There are other FS bikes out there in that price range that are better. Also, I would recommend purchasing your bike from one of the LBS to assure quality assembly. Most of them will also give you free "minor" adjustments.
    TeaM BiKe MoJo Member
    People don't stop doing things beacuse they are old...they get old because they stop doing things!!

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  3. #3
    Mojo Road Warrior TXRAiDR's Avatar
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    Yes Greg, I've heard the same thing too. About cracking the frames. I really even shouldn't be looking at buying another bike (the money for the would be addition to the family is coming at the expense of a couch! *haha*). So the I-drive just acts like a stabilizer in a sense for the chain length? Is that it? Thanks for your .02
    "As long as I breathe, I attack"-Bernard Hinault
    I've got more skill on two wheels than the majority of people have on two legs.

  4. #4
    Just another day in MoJo land! Greg's Avatar
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    Well I've been told by some people that a FS bike can be like a couch...LMAO!!

    If you're serious about a FS, you may want to just get the frame and swap components.
    TeaM BiKe MoJo Member
    People don't stop doing things beacuse they are old...they get old because they stop doing things!!

    Greg Atwell
    STORM Race Director

  5. #5
    try explaining the internet to a bum!
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    carlos's Avatar
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    soooooo many options. you could:

    buy the bike. pros are, a good deal, and a new bike that has a really nice sus system. cons are that the new incarnation of GT/Schwinn/Pacific is not really established.....yet. also, parts and warranty may have been revised so it may not cover the same things as it did, before the buy out. also, serivce after the sale. if you take it to a shop they will charge you full price for labor cause you didn't buy it there.

    you in town?

    buy the bike and sell the parts. pros are that you'll have a nice frame to build up anyway you want and spec some nice parts to suit you. cons see above.

    throw a couple of hundred more in the pile of cash and get the next model up. you'll save some weight and upgrade costs. cons, see above.

    spend 700 on a hartail....yummy! cons, it's not fs.

    spend 700 on upgrades for the current bike. cons? any cons with the current steed?

  6. #6
    Mojo Road Warrior TXRAiDR's Avatar
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    Carlos,
    No, I'm not in SA, but I know that the SAMS off of I-35 South carries them too. I've been looking at getting it and just wearing down the parts that come with it. Or selling some of the parts to a guy I ride with here so he can have an extra set up. I guess what is concerning me now is frame warrenty. I read some of the other internet reviews, and the frame seems to crack at the rear shock mount. I don't know if it was on the earlier models or that these people giving the reviews were going down stairs or huge drop offs just because of a little spring in the rear. I'm going to sit on the issue a little, maybe even shoot an email off to GT and see what kind of response I get back from them about possible warrenty issues. Besides, I'm going side with most of the people that stroll into SAMS think $699 is a lot to pay for a bike. Maybe cut a deal and buy it for cheaper!

    I don't have a con with the current off road steed. It's been a great hardtail (99 Fisher Marlin w/XT Truvativ drive train, still got the POS RST shock on it though). I enjoy being on the trails with it. Call it peer pressure, keeping up with the Jones', or even a little bit of swagger in the decision to start looking at FS bikes. I figure that a 1/2 off FS bike that's never been ridden is a good deal.
    "As long as I breathe, I attack"-Bernard Hinault
    I've got more skill on two wheels than the majority of people have on two legs.

  7. #7
    Yo
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    TechniKal's Avatar
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    A few points:

    - GT is kaput.
    - FS bikes wear things out.
    - GT I-Drives have had a history of cracking at the shock mount.
    - GT's Warranty Support is spotty at best right now. (I think Kiwi has been waiting over 6 months for replacement of his cracked I-drive.)


    Given that, there is no way I'd invest money in a GT FS bike at this time. A hardtail may be a good investment since there's a lot less that can go wrong with the frame, but I would not buy an I-Drive.

  8. #8
    MoJoel
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    joetoeclips's Avatar
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    Why is the bike at Sam's?

    The Asian manufacturer demanded full payment from Schwinn/GT earlier than expected, when Schwinn/GT couldn't come through the bikes were sold to the highest bidder (Supergo, Sam's, etc.)

    Future Schwinn/GT?

    Only selling kid's bikes mass market(K-Mart, Target)so far. I-drive and Rocket 88 still alive, no more Homegrown. I don't know of any dealers that will be carrying either brand.


    I doubt GT would warranty the bike if it wasn't purchased at a GT dealer. I'd only purchase from a local dealer - usually the money saved on the break in and 6 month tune up makes up for it.
    If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

    Herman Hesse

  9. #9
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    carlos's Avatar
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    TXRAiDR, the I Drives that used to crack were the mostly the high end ones at the point on the main frame where the shock was bolted to.

    most of the problem came from loose shock mount bolts. if those things aren't (on any FS frame) to the proper torque...big problems.

    THEN, a few months later, more started to show up and GT realised that the plate (where the shock mount was) wasn't thick enough, so they did the warranty thing.

    they later, beefed up the plate across the line but at that point the bankruptcy was in full swing.

    as for the usage of those GT, who knows? there are a lot of folks riding XT rigs that ride at places like....oh...say...SA Ranch. thier frame cracks at teh head tube or top tube or wherever and they blame the company the made the frame and say that they suck.

    this gets into a shady area. are the people riding certain types of bikes using them for what they were not intended every once in a while? even every once in a while can destroy parts. on drop off an 8 foot ledge could cut the fatigue life of a frame in half. maybe it won't crack that one time. maybe it'll happen at a race? maybe on a ride downtown? who can say?

    most frames though have a warranty. the original owner is covered, to a point, and then he has to shell out some cash for repairs.

    i try to stay neutral in cases like this 'cause i don't believe any company sits down and says "lets make some light parts that will break under normal use and the occsional stupid jump". it's a hassle for them to deal with warranties and all teh shipping of stuff back and forth. it's in their interest to make stuff that doesn't break.

    but there are riders who seek to ride on the bleeding edge of bike fashion. for a good example, see MTBR.com and go the "Saving Some Weight" Forums. you'd be amazed at what people to to shave 4 grams here and 4 grams there. a collective 100 grams is saved and they feel good. the cost? most of those folks don't race. just to be clear on that for everyone who visits those forums. most of those folks don't race.

    nutty things are, aluminum chainring bolts on small chainrings, all titanium cassettes, Chinese made titanium cranks bolts, clipping the brass valves off presta tubes to save 5 grams, using Dremmel tools to remove metal from seatpost clamps.....

    the last one that i got a kick out of was, some guy wanting to cut the right leg off of a SID Race to make a Rock Shox Lefty. i'm not even sure where to begin with that one!

    anyway, all this aside. the main thing is, light parts, if used in teh right place for performance advantages work wonders. in the wrong place and...well....you know.

    as for buying the I Drive, 1/2 off for a new bike is a good deal, so long as you take into consideration the possible warranty issues and GTs current state, in limbo.

    sounds like you have a nice hartail. i'd probably go for the upgrades. but that's me.

    also, consider this other little gem, if GT/Schwinn goes full bore with department store sales and there are no remaining GT/Schwinn dealers left in your area, you might get turned away at teh door for service.

    Bike World dropped Schwinn like TechniKal dropped Lance Armstrong at that race a while back. they won't service either brand unless you know one of the mechnics or used to work there. not teh way it should be but.......

    hope this gives you more food for thought.

    also, do you know a good mechanic in your area that you can count on for good work? that usually ends up saving you cash in the long run too. if the bike is dialed AND is "clean" (meaning that everything that needs grease has grease and everything is at proper torque. this is all stuff that can't be seen or felt) then you shouldn't have any hassles on down the line.

  10. #10
    Beeeerrrr Brian's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late reply, didn't notice this thread until now. I believe I can offer an opinion, I have a cracked '99 I drive 3000. Which I doubt I will get a replacement.

    Before the cracks, I absolutely loved this bike, and it was probably as fast as my 2002 Sugar 2 in 70% of the terrain. However, I cracked the bike in 2 places, the top of the seat tube, which in later models was made stronger. I believe I had been riding for a while with the broken seat tube and didn't know it. The other place, wasn't entirely GTs fault. The bolt holding the shock broke and it slammed the shock in to the frame.

    As far as riding, the idrive really works, you do have to change your riding style however. It climbed much more like a lighter bike than the 30+ pounds it really was and descending was great. I rode really hard and did some descent drops and never really worried about it. I was always very comfortable on my idrive. I know 5 people that either rode or are riding the idrive, and they all love the bike.

    In my opinion $700 is a great price for a great bike, just think if it never cracked. I rode hard for over 2 years and I weigh in at 200lbs and it was my only bike for the most part. Just think, they made much of the bike stronger, you won't be exclusively riding this bike all of the time, and if my memory is correct, you weight in much less than I do, it may last forever. If it doesn’t, buy a new frame and switch over the parts that still work, that is what I will most likely have to do, but for some reason it really isn't bothering me to bad, maybe I can find another cheap I-drive frame. My penny.

  11. #11
    Mojo Road Warrior TXRAiDR's Avatar
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    Thanks B! I was at SAMS the other day again, and they still had all the bikes there. I'm going to sit on it a little while longer, gather a bigger cash deposit, and then go and buy. I'm also looking at Marin and Gunnar now.
    "As long as I breathe, I attack"-Bernard Hinault
    I've got more skill on two wheels than the majority of people have on two legs.

  12. #12
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    TechniKal's Avatar
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    I noticed over on the TMBRA.org classifieds that someone is selling a used Racer-X frame for $600 negotiable. Sweet bike.

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    TXRAiDER...GUNNAR? ooohhhhh BABY! a Rock Hound?

    those are soooooooooo nice.

  14. #14
    Mojo Road Warrior TXRAiDR's Avatar
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    Yesh, Carlos, I would be eyeballing the Rock Hound. Looks pretty good on the site! "STEEL IS REAL"!!!
    "As long as I breathe, I attack"-Bernard Hinault
    I've got more skill on two wheels than the majority of people have on two legs.

  15. #15
    try explaining the internet to a bum!
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    carlos's Avatar
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    i dig the green paint job....and the blue is nice too.

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