GT Bicycles Back in Stores

Courtesy of Dirt Rag.
GT as a brand has gone through several changes of ownership and high profile bankruptcies over the years. After making a big push for distribution through “big box” stores, Pacific Cycles, who owns the GT, Scwhinn and Mongoose brands, has decided to go back and court the independent bike dealers.

GT (named after founder Gary Turner) originally came up through the IBD ranks by starting out as a high-end BMX brand in the heyday of 20” bike sales. Then came freestyle, and again GT was the “go to” brand. Naturally, when mountain bikes boomed across the U.S., GT was in a great position to capture a good deal of that market just through brand recognition.

Not ones to rest on their laurels, however, GT innovated. Their Triple Triangle frames stood out on a crowded sales floor. They made aluminum frames by hand in Santa Ana, California, and they were hot. Their early Rocker Tuned Suspension designs (and the later LTS models) even had this jaded writer wanting one.

Can that appeal still work? Pacific is hoping so. The GT brand never lost its’ luster in European and Asian markets like it did domestically. Talking with longtime shop owner Tom Jones of Around Town Bikes in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Tom thinks the appeal may still be there for new bike buyers, since these same buyers were growing up when GT was on top of their game. Tom also noted that “dealers have room for another A level brand” in their shops.

Nick Andrade, an industry veteran with 48 years of experience, notes that his intention since coming on board with Pacific three years ago was to have the product line that would warrant going back to the independent dealers. “They are signing up, and it’s a good thing to see.”

Nick’s enthusiasm is contagious, and if that is any indication of GT’s ultimate success, then they are on their way.

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