WHAT ARE THE FRAME FEATURES?
Constructed using aluminum alloy from end to end, the frame
is available in small, medium, large and extra large. Its slack
geometry is designed around 27.5-inch wheels that attach to the
rear triangle via a 12x142-millimeter rear axle. GT’s Independent
Drivetrain Suspension system provides 160 millimeters of travel,
damped by a Fox Float X CTD Remote Kashima shock. While
switching the shock over to Climb mode may be easy to do before
starting a transfer stage, the remote enables riders to make
on-the-fly adjustments to the shock damping when transitioning
between massive senders and flat-out sprints.
Just as there is more than one way to skin a cat, there is more than one way to build a bike specifically for enduro racing—not to be confused with all-mountain riding. When
we talk about enduro racing, we mean rocky deathtraps called
courses, starting gates abuzz, long and seemingly endless transfer
stages, red course tape and hordes of hollering fans. The most
common way to build a bike for these conditions is to beef up a
trailbike by adding a high-speed-hit worth of travel and slacking
out the head tube angle by a degree or two. But, GT took a different approach to building a purpose-built enduro bike. The engineers knew that it must hold its own through climbs and descents,
but they wanted to emphasize improving the split times of those
descents. With a World Cup downhill bike already in their quiver,
why not model a bike after it that was also efficient on the climbs
and nimble through tighter trail conditions? That’s exactly what GT
did with its Sanction Pro race-specific enduro bike.
WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND IT?
The desire to make enduro bikes more marketable to a larger
group often results in bikes that are over-built for most all-mountain trail riding but still aren’t capable of dominating the most
demanding enduro racecourses. GT set out to create a race-specific enduro bike that specialized in devouring rock gardens at
pinned speeds for riders who keep one eye on the trail and one
eye on the podium. What’s the catch? Although enduro racing is
popular in Europe, the relatively small number of enduro racers in
the United States only justified the bike being sold as a frame and
shock (Fox Float X) set. For intermediate-level racers, this may be
a deal breaker, but the Sanction Pro is designed for avid racers
who are used to replacing a majority of OEM parts with ones that
better fit their riding style and needs anyway. Racers are able to
purchase the frame and shock for $2170 and build their dream
machine from there.
Pointing the way: Our test rider
sure had the end destination in mind!
Pointing forward with a focused
stare that seems to be burning a
hole in the finish line, he reserves
room for a little extra style.
Dan’s the man: We had the opportunity to put this custom-built
GT Sanction to the test on the racetrack at the Sea Otter classic
amongst the fastest racers in the world, including GT’s fastest
race family, the Athertons. Dan Atherton here gives his personal
Sanction a quick inspection on practice day.