2014 GT Fury Team
Size Tested: Medium
Frame: COR Downhill Design, 6069-T6 Alloy
- Fox Racing Shox 40RC2 FIT
- Fox Racing Shox DHX RC2
- Shimano Zee, BR-M640
Reviewer Info: 5’9”, 150 lbs.
Days Tested: 1
Locations Tested: Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, Nevada
Earlier this month, we tested bikes on the rocky trails around Boulder City, Nevada during the Interbike Outdoor Demo. We’ll keep rolling out First Looks of the other bikes we rode (including the Giant Trance and the Norco Range), so stay tuned. But before we get to our initial impressions of the Fury, an important caveat:
Riding bikes at a demo is always kind of tricky. For starters, we didn’t get much time on each bike—at most around an hour, and with many bikes it was just a 25-minute loop. 25 minutes can tell you a lot about how a bike handles, but it certainly doesn’t allow for our customary in-depth, BLISTER analysis.
In addition, these bikes are set up by mechanics at each company’s booth, and while these guys do a great job, there isn’t really time to get each bike dialed for how I’d normally set it up. (If nothing else, I probably would have put wider bars on most of the bikes I rode.)
And then there are the trails. Interbike’s Outdoor Demo takes place at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City. It’s a little bastion of awesomeness that overlooks the pit of despair that is Las Vegas, and the trails are fantastic: super rocky, with lots of sand, some rocks, some jumps here and there, and did I mention the rocks? Most of my time on these bikes was spent on the more cross-country oriented trails, even though the DH trail system is (in my opinion) the crown jewel of the Bootleg trail network.
The XC trails have a good mix of flowy corners, short punchy climbs, rock gardens, and a bit of chunder. All in all, they’re decent for testing out the different aspects of a given bike, but to really develop a feel for how a bike works, there’s no substitute for riding it for a long time on a lot of different types of trails.
So with all that in mind, let’s talk about the Fury. And if you’re interested in seeing a bit of the terrain we rode, check out this video.
GT came out with a heavily revised line up of bikes this year ranging from the shorter-travel Sensor, to the enduro-ish Force, to the updated downhill bike, the Fury. GT’s booth was a constant flurry of activity during the demo days, and while I had hoped to try out the Force as well, I ended up only being able to get a short ride on the Fury Team.
I should emphasize that it was a short ride—Bootleg Canyon, where the Interbike demo is held, has some awesome downhill trails to put the Fury through its paces. That said, the trails are pretty technical and I don’t know them well, so it was very difficult to get a true sense of a DH bike. I spent most of my time concentrating on the trail, and much less time getting a good feel for the bike. To make matters worse, I only made it about a quarter of the way down the trail before I flatted, cutting into my already short time testing this bike. But here’s what I can say about the Fury.
First and foremost, I was impressed by how well the Fury pedaled. To get to the shuttle truck, I rode up a dirt-road climb for a short distance. (I should also mention that it was 102 degrees out and there was a very hot headwind.) On most DH bikes, this short uphill sprint would have been utter misery. But on the Fury, GT’s “Independent Drivetrain” system works as advertised, and does a great job with pedaling efficiency.
Once I started descending, the Fury was certainly confidence inspiring. I found myself trucking over gnarly rock gardens without any concern. The Fury is a big bike—my medium test bike had a lengthy 48.5″ wheelbase and a 17.2″ reach. These measurements are quite a bit longer than previous iterations of the Fury, and this lengthening makes the bike extremely stable.
Even as I was hacking down through rock gardens and (inevitably) picking the wrong line, the Fury stayed composed. That said, the length and stability comes with a trade off of maneuverability—this is not a bike that is particularly excited to make rapid changes of direction.
There’s no denying that the Fury is designed with high-speed, straight-line pillaging in mind. It’s far from being a whippy little park bike.
The Fury gains a little of this maneuverability back by having a pretty stiff frame. When I found myself off line, I could throw the bike around and muscle it sideways to pull it onto a better line, and the stiff chasis would cooperate rather than flex around and fight me. Visually, the rear end of the Fury is massive, and all that material clearly translates to a distinct lack of flex.
While there’s a lot more to talk about with the Fury, that sums up my first impressions of the bike from my brief ride. I didn’t have time to get a really good feel for the suspension, though I didn’t find any noteworthy quirks. I’m hoping to get the chance to spend a bit more time on the Fury in the future and supplement this write-up with something a bit more substantial.
Until then, if you’re looking for a thoroughbred racer, check out the Fury. Besides, a quick glance at the World Cup podium this year is evidence that it’s a capable steed.