First Impression: GT Traffic 1.0

The folks at GT Bicycles recently approached me with a challenge: ride the new GT Traffic 1.0 day in and day out and share my impressions and feedback. Well… challenge accepted.

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The Traffic 1.0 is at the top of a three-bike line of multi-purpose, sporty hybrids from GT, each with disc brakes and aluminum frames featuring the trademark Triple Triangle. In fact, all of the brand’s new pavement bikes sport disc brakes, a decision that we can whole-heartedly endorse.

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Nothing on the Traffic 1.0 is revolutionary, but it represents an evolved example of an all-purpose bike. The Shimano 3×8 drivetrain has more gears than I really need around town, but people buy the bikes they want, not the bikes they need. The Acera shifters and Altus derailleurs shift crisply and easily.

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The frame features a full compliment of fender and rack mounts, and the bike even comes with a set of full-coverage fenders and a bell. The struts were a little short on the front fender so I had to attach them to the mid-fork eyelets, but they work fine mounted there.

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Rather than a flat or riser bar, the Traffic has a slightly backswept handlebar to keep you in a more comfortable position. It’s not as swept back as a cruiser but still gives a bit more control to the forward, poised rider position.

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The Shimano hydraulic brakes are great for dodging inattentive drivers and bombing hills. The levers are more than long enough for two-finger braking, though one finger is all you need.

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Keeping you rolling (likely without flats) are the 700×35 Schwalbe Road Cruiser tires with puncture protection and reflective sidewalls. The Schrader valves on the tubes aren’t as nice as Presta valve tubes but they are less expensive if you ever do flat.

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So far, the Traffic 1.0 and I are getting along great. With an MSRP of $660 it’s nice to know you don’t have to break the bank to find a quality bike that’s fun to ride.

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Watch for a full, long-term review of the GT Traffic 1.0 in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times. Order a subscription now to make sure you don’t miss it!

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Field Tested: Ritte Crossberg Disc

Photos by Justin Steiner

Ritte is an interesting company. With marketing that seems to drift between sarcastic, ironic, off-color, and bro-tastic, it continues to be polarizing. But even if one doesn’t care for the brand, its style is iconic and distinctive.

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It might be easy to dismiss the Crossberg as just another aluminum cyclocross bike, and in a lot of ways it is somewhat cookie cutter. But it fits in with its intended purpose as a race bike. A true cyclocross race bike gets beaten down over the course of a season: mud, pressure washing, getting jammed into the back of cars with another two or four race bikes. All these things take their toll, a toll that can beat down a carbon bike.

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Every time I rode the Crossberg I wanted to go fast, and that is what a race bike is all about. Other than a pair of water bottle mounts this bike doesn’t make any overtures to practicality. It isn’t for riding to work on Monday and racing on Sunday. You can’t install a rack and go for a short tour. But really, after riding it for a spell, I don’t want to. I just want to find a cross course and turn the screws on some fellow riders.

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I selected a size large based on top tube length, which run short across the board. The seat tube is tall as well, which makes it easier to shoulder during a race course run up, or up the stairs to your fourth floor walk up. It took me a while to embrace stem lengths beyond 100 mm again, as my preferences have followed the short stem trends in mountain biking. But once I got over my bad attitude, the 120 mm stem I settled on got me out over the front wheel, helping it to bite in flat, loose corners and made for an excellent position for out of the saddle climbs and sprints.

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Handling is solidly racy. Get on the gas, brake late for the corner, square it off, start pedaling directly after the apex, repeat, win races. This isn’t a bike that has the edge taken off for riding to the bar to compare mustache waxing styles, so be prepared to pay attention at high speeds, as letting your mind wander can lead to scary moments. Bombing dirt and gravel roads is certainly possible and still a ton of fun on this bike, but something lower, slacker and longer is a better choice if that is the majority of your riding and racing.

I was glad to see all the cables are externally routed on the Crossberg as it eases maintenance, something that is a regular occurrence on a race bike. Ritte says this aluminum model is a step in the development of a new carbon race bike, but I hope the carbon bike keeps the external cables, which is becoming a rarity in this day of internal routing.

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One of Ritte’s marketing lines is: “We make competition-focused bikes for unusual people,” and I think that is a very accurate way to sum up the company. The Crossberg Disc is an excellent race bike, and a viable option to the more mainstream brands. While it might not attract as much attention as more expensive models, like a Mazda Miata setup for track use only, it is more than capable of embarrassing carbon wonder bikes under the right rider. If something more road oriented is your style, Ritte just released a disc road bike, the Snob, made from domestically produced stainless steel.

Vital stats

  • Price: $1,250 (frame, fork, headset)
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L (Tested), XL, XXL
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