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Facts About GT Bicycles
|Country of Origin||USA|
|Headquarters||Sta. Ana, California|
|Parent||Founders: Richard Loing & Gary Turner|
History of GT
Did you know...?
Did you know that Julie Furtado was a member of the GT Bicycle international racing team?
Julie Furtado is one of the all-time cycling greats and in the 1990s; she held the world record for the most World Cups won by any single rider. Part of her success can be attributed to the fantastic build quality and superb speed of the GT mountain bicycles she was riding.
GT was founded in California by partners Richard Long, who was a BMX race track operator, and engineer and former drag racer Gary Turner.
The original products of the duo were BMX bikes for boys, made out of chrome-moly steel frames. In 1984, they expanded and went into producing Mountain Bikes challenging the dominance of Cannondale, who was the market leader at that time.
Creating Awareness for the Brand
To create more awareness for the brand, GT Bicycles relied on more traditional and personalized forms of marketing. Richard Long personally went to bike races held during weekends to meet customers, dealers, the press people, and the vendors.
This aggressive and intimate approach worked well for the company as awareness for the brand, and revenues began to climb. In 1993, road bikes, and specialty bikes were added to their line-up of products.
Going the Harley-Davidson's Way
In May of 1997, GT focused on a growing fad of retro-styled bikes. Like its humble beginnings, it had to compete with industry giants who at that time were Schwinn with models such as the Black Phantom and Huffy's Causeway.
The company released a bike with a low-rider frame, springer fork, oversized fenders, white- wall tires, and chrome plated wheels called the Dyno Roadster Ltd.
Furthermore, as testament to its innovative style and attitude, GT Bicycles struck up a deal with legendary motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson and said that it would build 1,000 limited edition bicycles mimicking the iconic form of the Harley with a distinct black frame, 1950s styled chain guard, a motorcycle saddle, and even a Harley-Davidson emblem sign on the front.
This special bike was sold for about $2,300 a piece and was released just in time for Christmas. This out-of-the-box thinking once again proved to be effective for the brand which reeled in approximately $2.3 million in revenues for the company.
Aside from its arrangements with Harley-Davidson, GT showed its commitment to the cycling lifestyle by partnering up with Honda and Pioneer in creating a television show revolving around the BMX culture.
Crank, as the show was eventually called, aired on the Fox Sports Network and consisted of 19 episodes which showcased the authentic BMX lifestyle complete with races, stunts, tunes, art, and wild rides.
The "Triple Triangle" Frame
As far as engineering is concerned, GT Bikes (specifically its Mountain Bikes) sports the "triple triangle" frame design. Meant to reduce the vibration transfer from the rear wheel to the rider, this design is unique to the brand and has become its trademark look.
Its BMX rides also have a one of a kind design that is distinctly GT in that the top tube intersects with the seat tube and extends for about an inch-and-a-half longer towards the back of the bike. Again, this setup was intended to lessen the shock felt by the rider while giving the bike its own personality.
Merge with Schwinn
Sometime in 1998, GT Bicycles merged with one time rival Schwinn under the business conglomerate Questor Partners which was then bought by Pacific Cycle, and again eventually acquired by its current owners, Dorel Industries.
Its track record of producing quality rides which are full of attitude as well as providing quality performance make it a recognizable and respected brand to this day. Staying true to its "rough" roots, GT Bicycles are still primarily known for their mountain and BMX lines.