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GT Chucker - Update Part 3

thedktorthedktor Posts: 234
edited May 2007 in MTB buying advice
(Part 1 and 2 further down if you're interested)

So, 8 months on and the bike has had a lot of use. My 2 boys are not interested in cycling any distance but instead want to go to various BMX tracks or round our local woods playing on banks, jumps, etc.. The Chucker is perfect for this sort of thing and has proved great fun - a LOT of fun actually considering its relatively low œ300 purchase price (Halfords).

I love the solid flex-free feel from the oversize bars and stem, and wheels and frame are reassuringly stiff. The forks are very basic with no damping, but for single bump /jumps prove up to the task and are so far rattle-free.

The SRAM gears click away reliably, but the Tektro cable disks are no better than V's. I have considered upgrading to hydraulics, but the simplicity of cables suits the bike's use and are cheap to replace if damaged.

Having gears, bash-ring, and a nice low seat position available makes the bike very versatile:

Over the months I have built up the confidence to land from 3 foot high jumps, do some small table-tops, and in seat-down trials mode go over big-ish logs and tree stumps.

Not amazing I know, but bear in mind I'm the wrong side of 40, and though used to doing more extreme things on my motorbikes, this is all new to me on a MTB.

Going over this ramp took some build-up, and now I go over it both ways - in reverse with the aid of the bash-ring.

My latest conquest is this fallen tree - good to practice on as it starts low one end and gets progressively higher. Took quite a few attempts, and some blood, but got there in the end!! [:p]

The bike has lapped it up, proving tough and low-maintenance, what more could you want. I did change the rear brake cable to smooth the brake action though it wasn't that bad.

Quite pleasant also for gentle tarmac cruising, but for speed the extra pounds show, and the back end is pretty harsh over bumps - not a lot of give in that solid frame!

In summary - highly recommended as a 2nd/3rd bike.


Update Part 2

Yeah, really pleased with it - does everything you could ask of a bike of its type, and overall feels like a lot of bike for its 300 quid.

I've mentioned the brakes in another thread, and to be honest its not a big problem that they need a good tug - they do at least modulate well so no unwelcome surprises.

The gears remain crisp and reliable, and the range seems perfect for what I need. Forks are much better after I discovered the front skewer felt tight but was actually very loose! Fork action now quite plush (and quiet) but does rebound a little too fast on certain big bumps (no damping of course).

Its been interesting seeing how a hard-tail behaves after riding mainly suspension bikes for some time - the big tyres do help comfort and traction over lumpy surfaces, but for XC use it really is hard to beat rear suspension.

I do like the solid feel from the back though, and the greater ease that the back end can be jumped (just small for me!) compared to a sussie bike that will, by design, try and keep the wheel on the ground as much as possible.

I get a lot of reaction from kids when out: "Cool bike mister", "Giz a go", etc . Funny.

Initial Impressions Part 1

Bought this just recently from the dreaded Halfords, and though only just dropped the sling after mashing my shoulder was able to ride it a bit over the weekend to get some initial impressions.

Its a Halfords spec , based on a GT Chucker 2.0.

I paid œ300 which seems like a good deal to me - couple of changes from the 2.0 spec is:
X-7 triggershifters
Tektro IO front and rear (mech) disc brakes

Not sure if the brakes are better or worse - they work but are not amazing (probably need bedding in more anyway). Tyres are big 2.3" with a street/BMX type tread so roll well on tarmac but grip reasonably well on dry dirt.

I got them to change the gears (free!) to 11-30 as the standard is 12-25 for some reason. Gear change very good actually - I have lost my Shimano bias at last! Oh, yeah quite why Halfords show it as an 18 sp is a mystery as its clearly 16!!

OK, so to ride, well, really sweet actually. With the seat low it feels very small, kind of like an adult BMX which is exactly what I was after. Seat up and it will just extend enough for my 5' 10" to make it feel like a x-country bike, but a short and compact one. Plenty comfortable enough to go a reasonable distance.

I think the main significant thing about the bike is that it does actually feel reasonably light - the frame is beefy, but aluminium of course, so unless you are looking at really serious drop-offs its plenty strong enough without ruining the ride with excess weight. Its lighter than my son's GT BMX for example!

Bars and stem are chunky and solid feeling, forks ok given they have no damping - not brilliant but for the price quite adequate. First thing I will upgrade probably, but no rush.

Pedals I have to mention as they are the BMX style ones with the pins made from individual Allen screws - quite impressive for a 300-quid bike ?!

Overall, very chuffed. Looks great, rides great. Unfortunately it fits my elder son rather too well so might not get to ride it as much as I would like
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