Blur inducing: We’ve found the GT Sanction Pro to excel at high speeds where the low-slung geometry and long wheelbase really
come to life.
Flying high, very high: One of our star test riders, Patrick
Reynoso, is known notoriously around the office for his
“Reynoso bar turn.” Here it is in full effect, playfully pushing
within the hefty limits of the GT Sanction Pro.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Cornering: The faster we could pitch it into a corner, the happier it was. While the high speeds of enduro racing are naturally
conducive to leaning low in corners, the long wheelbase and front
center of the Sanction Pro made bar drags a possibility, and we
found ourselves allowing the front tire to guide us way out in front.
Even in an aggressive attack position, the long front center of the
bike left the front tire lofting out in front of us, finding every little
bit of trail to grab onto. The wide (800-millimeter) bars we built
the bike with provided cornering confidence and responsiveness,
but had us scraping trees on the tightest sections of trail. In this
category of racing, riders carefully determine their handlebar width
to strike an optimal balance between steering responsiveness and
the ability to blaze past trees without getting snagged.
Descending: It only took one run on the Sanction Pro for it
to become clear that 95 percent of the design focus went into
building a bike able to slay racecourses at speeds that truly test
the limits of the sport. By the end of the first run, we were already
riding in scary-fast mode, but the bike inspired the confidence
required for us to keep it up. On level stretches of trail and mild
descents, the bike certainly doesn’t hop around like a nimble rabbit, nor did we expect it to; however, as momentum builds, speed
increases and the trail steepens, it’s quickly apparent where the
Sanction Pro feels most at home. Once up to speed, it’s a hard-charging bike that requires an equally determined pilot. It plowed
through rock gardens that would have left us quivering or pitched
over the handlebars on many other long-travel bikes. That being
said, it certainly isn’t going to make bombing through chunder a
mindless act. It’ll work hard for the rider who puts in equal work
throwing it around, being playful with the front end, preloading it
through rollers and cranking it out of corners. Remember, this isn’t
a downhill bike, regardless of how much it tries to convince you
it is. Enduro racing finds riders pinned with their heels down on
rough descents, yet also requires them to push through technical
corners and grab hold of off-camber traverses. The Sanction Pro is
a great descender for the racer who understands how to capitalize
on such aspects of the discipline.