Bikes in the 8in rear travel range are impressive when gravity's doing the work, but hefting one up a climb without the benefit of a chairlift can put a sweaty, damp blanket on any day in the saddle. GT's 2017 Verb Expert Complete Mountain Bike doesn't have a gravity rig's big-hit capabilities, but its Independent Drivetrain (I-Drive) suspension design isolates rear axle travel from pedaling input, making the Verb every bit as aggressive going up rocky trails as it is coming down them. The Verb Expert is made for the trail-riding trenches, not the covers of glossy enduro magazines, so it rushes in with abandon where flashy plastic bikes fear to tread. The I-Drive suspension maintains chainstay length throughout travel. The rear axle orbits the bottom bracket in a steady arc through travel, letting the X-Fusion Pro RL shock's tune dictate the suspension's behavior while I-Drive preserves an independent, feedback-free pedal feel, so you can hammer away, even when rocky climbs are hammering back. The suspension's no-nonsense simplicity is mirrored by the 6061-T6 aluminum chassis and durably reliable Shimano Deore build kit.
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