Before getting into the meat of the GT Timberline 2 29er review I think I should make it abundantly clear that I’m not a cycling pro – merely a keen amateur. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy it, on the contrary I love a good blast round on two wheels. And when the rare chance arises for a more challenging ride I’m stoked to get involved.
My history with bikes is chequered to say the least. Mechanical failures, unceremonious dismounts (after thinking I’m better than I actually am); there’s always been a slight hinge with my mountain biking life.
I owned numerous steads when I were a nipper and mostly all fell by the wayside. My most recent trike was a cheap and cheerful affair that I’d purchased from UK retailer Halfords. This was almost six years ago and was simply a means of transporting my backside to the train station. A full suspension jobby, with in house brand name adorning the alloy tubing, it served its purpose – even though in hindsight a full suss bike wasn’t what I actually needed.
I must hold my hands up here: I’ve hardly done my best at looking after it. In fact, failing breaks, rusted chassis and punctured inner tube are quite embarrassing. And yet it’s still rolling, like the very hardiest of troopers, and will therefore serve as a backup until finally being laid to rest in mountain bike heaven – which at this rate may be never.
Becoming a parent actually prompted my latest parting of cash. Both my wife and I enjoy cycling through our ‘hood and one thing we plan on doing is getting the babba perched on the front – when warmer weather swings back in.
After researching a few models I plumped for GT’s Timberline 2 29er. To those hardy pedal power types this won’t be the highest spec of bike on the market. In fact many of my cycling friends advised as such prior to buying. Which is all well and good, but I’m not planning on burning up super technical switchback trails, smashing it round forested berms or dropping huge ledges. Nope, I save that type of adrenaline fuelled activity for my watery hobbies – brine hurts a lot less than terra firma when you inevitably stack it!
My gleaming new toy is actually the best bike I’ve ever owned and when it was delivered I was like a toddler at Christmas. Peeling away cardboard packaging the GT Timberline’s good looks (or so I think) were just begging me to jump on and go for a ride – after I had affixed handle bars and pedals that is.
The Timberline’s comfort levels are through the roof. What I hadn’t considered was the easy fit of wide handle bars and large oversize wheels. It feels, in many ways, akin to riding a chopper style motorbike – or at least it does me.
Living in a breezy part of the UK, a bug bear with my previous ride was its lack of momentum, due to energy being expending unnecessarily via rear suspension. The GT, in complete contrast, just goes – even with a blustery headwind. Obviously you have to put in effort to achieve desired results, but I’m not going to lie, the GT Timberline 2 29er does everything that little bit more efficiently. And I certainly don’t miss a full suss bike.
My new bum rest (saddle) is also worth a mention. Having previously experienced arse ache from dodgy seats I was slightly anxious about GT’s offering. But I shouldn’t have worried as I’m still walking upright.
The GT Timberline 2 29er is a fab piece of kit in my book and I’m stoked to own it. Cracking when burning along the flat and to cope with moderate off road terrain, I’d be more than happy razzing along forest trails (if I get the opportunity).
So while it isn’t GT’s top shelf mountain bike, it certainly does the job I require and I’m sure my daughter will love it as well.
I’d also like to say thanks to Wiggle who provided a faultless service, and of course the obligatory Haribo! Cracking…