By Paul Norman
The GT Grade was one of the original gravel/adventure road bikes, designed for riding on mixed surfaces where a normal road bike will not take you too easily.
The 2017 range expands from two to four carbon models, while the alloy range drops by one to four models. There’s a new CX version with a more cyclocross-based specification while the three flat bar Grades are carried over from last year.
The Grade differs from most road endurance bikes in having a longer wheelbase and slacker head tube angle for a more stable ride off road. There’s also plenty of flex built into the frame with very thin seatstays which meet the top tube forward of the seat tube and a skinny fork to take in the bumps. Disc brakes come as standard.
There’s also lots of clearance with 28mm for wider tyres and enough room for mudguards if you want to run them.
Watch: cyclocross bike buyer's guide
Top of the 2017 carbon range is a new model equipped with a SRAM Red two ring compact chainset, 11-32 cassette and hydraulic disc brakes. Wheels are Mavic Ksyrium Allroad: a tubeless-ready design shod with Clement 32mm tyres. It’s priced at £4500.
The next down Ultegra and 105 models are carried over from 2016, although there’s a wheel change to Mavic Aksium Allroads and Stans Radler respectively. 2017 prices are £2900 and 2250.
New is a Tiagra spec carbon Grade. Like the 105 variant it comes with Stans Radler rims on Formula hubs. The cassette goes up to 34 teeth. It’s priced at £1700.
New CX variant
In the alloy range, the single ring Grade X has been dropped, but the 105, Tiagra, Claris and Sora variants continue over from 2016, with prices ranging from £1100 down to £800. There are also women's specific alloy models priced at £1100 with 105 and £950 with Tiagra.
New for 2017 is the Grade CX. GT says that this retains the Grade’s mixed terrain abilities while also being suitable for cyclocross racing. It comes with a SRAM Rival 1 single ring groupset with a 40 tooth ring and 11-32 cassette. Rims are Alex disc shod with 33mm Vittoria Cross XG tyres (although the show bike has Clements).
The Grade CX comes with bars which don’t flare out into the drops, while all the other bikes with the exception of the CX get GT’s DropTune flared bars for additional stability when riding in the drops. Price for the Grade CX is £1600.
Alongside the dropped bar bikes, GT will continue to sell its three flat bar variants. Priced from £850 down to £600 they come with the alloy Grade frame, carbon fork and Kenda Kwest 28mm tyres. Derailleur options are Shimano Sora, Claris and Acera.
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