GT Grade Elite gravel bike review – a good bike let down by its brakes

The GT Grade Elite is a good entry point to gravel riding. It would make a good commuter or winter training bike, too

GT Grade Elite on a red background
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

A decent frameset and drivetrain on a bike that rides well, but it's let down a bit by the below par brakes. Spend more for hydraulic disc brakes and you’ll have a decent bike.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Decent frame

  • +

    Handles well

  • +

    Good value for money

  • +

    Functional, no-nonsense drivetrain

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The brakes are not good

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

The GT Grade Elite is an entry-level gravel bike for those looking to venture off the tarmac and go further afield. It would make a good year-round commuter or winter training bike for someone with a ‘best’ summer bike.

“This bike would suit the weekend warrior or the cycle to work consumer and user perfectly,” explains Josh Whiting, GT’s UK Sales Manager.

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GT Grade Elite: Features
Retail priceUK: £1,100 / US: $1,300
Sizes44, 48, 51, 55, 58, 61cm
FrameGrade Alloy Frame, Triple Triangle design featuring floating seat stays, 12x142 thru-axle, flat mount disc, tapered headtube, external dropper compatible, BSA 68mm
ForkGrade Carbon fork, tapered carbon steerer, 12x100 thru-axle, flat mount disc
ChainKMC X8, 8-speed
CrankFSA Tempo Adventure, 48/32
Bottom bracketCartridge, square taper
Front derailleurShimano Claris, braze-on
Rear derailleurShimano Claris
ShiftersShimano Claris, 2x8
CassetteSunrace, 11-34, 8-speed
RimsWTB ST i23 TCS 2.0, 28h, tubeless ready
TyresWTB Riddler, 700 x 37c, wire bead
Front hubFormula RX-512, 28h, 12x100 Disc
Rear hubFormula DC-142, 12x142
SpokesStainless Steel, 14g
BrakesTektro mechanical disc, 160/160mm rotors
HandlebarGT DropTune RS, alloy, 10° flare
StemGT 3D forged alloy, 31.8
HeadsetFSA No.44, integrated, sealed bearing
SaddleGT Pavement, steel rails
Seat postGT two bolt alloy

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Jack Elton-Walters hails from the Isle of Wight, and would be quick to tell anyone that it's his favourite place to ride. He has covered a varied range of topics for Cycling Weekly, producing articles focusing on tech, professional racing and cycling culture. He moved on to work for Cyclist Magazine in 2017 where he stayed for four years until going freelance. He now returns to Cycling Weekly from time-to-time to cover racing, review cycling gear and write longer features for print and online.