This GT Avalanche hardtail has been through it all! Our customer Grant DeLaney decided to upgrade his 20-year-old bike with a new Rockshox Recon Silver TK Fork. Let's see how the Recon fork transformed this legendary bike with some new technology.
How the RockShox Recon Silver TK Fork brought my old GT Avalanche Back from the dead. Thanks Worldwide Cyclery!
I love this bike. My GT bike was with me through college, and I put plenty of miles on campus with this in the mid-90s; I rode down every set of stairs (while some people surely thought I was crazy flying down long sets of stairs or jumping down 8-10 step drops), and this bike’s been with me across thousands of miles on trails… but my once replaced shock from probably 2002 was totally shot. My old fork had tons of miles on it, and it was no longer giving me any rebound… so as I have upgraded pretty much everything on it lately, I finally decided a new modern shock would not only be better but also simpler and less costly than trying to revitalize my old classic one. The aluminum frame is still as good as new, but… the modern geometry is slightly different on my newer bikes. Carbon is lighter and absorbs some chatter, but this bike only ways 24 lbs, maybe 2-3 lbs more than my KTM Carbon setup.
I’m convinced this bike can hang with most other hard tails out there now that I have finished moving the components from my newer bike onto it; where I ride the only “need” for a full suspension bike is for comfort – I’m old and old school, but as I see it that squishy rear end is a bunch of extra weight for no reason unless you go to the mountains. I am also sick of rim brakes, but I do also still love my Avid Brake Levers from 1995. (Can anyone tell me why SRAM / Avid no longer make anything beautiful like this?). The only reason these brakes still look so great is thanks to the Onza Bar Ends that I used to rock on this bike. Those are so out of fashion now, and wider bars do make them less necessary, but the old school 580mm bars and bar ends were effective and brought with them hand/brake lever protection – plus they did help for climbing and were especially useful in tight tree areas compared to modern 750+mm bars.
A huge bonus and selling point for me with this Rockshox Recon Silver fork is the ability to use either disc or rim brakes. I’ve installed TRP Spyke mechanical disc brakes and they are awesome. About as good as hydraulic brakes, but very simple and allow the use of my old Avid levers (I used an A2Z adapter on the rear for the mount which required nylon spacers for a perfect fit). I am also amazed that these 27.5 rims work on my 26’er frame, especially amazed they fit on the rear, and they feel great on this bike. I do need a lower-profile tire on the front with this wheel, as my 27.5 x 2.1 Rocket Ron will just barely avoid rubbing once I drop the pressure to about 28 lbs.
A new properly working front shock is key to a decent bike. Go RockShox Recon! There’s no better upgrade!
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