Bike Check | Hans Rey’s Custom GT Force & e-Force Mountain Bikes

Hans Rey is a rider who needs very little introduction. If you’re one of the three people reading this who aren’t familiar with the name though, perhaps ask one of the wiser mountain bikers amongst your riding crew, and get prepared for a proper history lesson! From bungy-jumping with his mountain bike, to riding across the highlands of Guatemala and along the Inca Trail in Machu Pichu, to bunny-hopping across cars on a busy Los Angeles freeway, staring in the cheesy American TV show Pacific Blue, and working alongside Mr Jiggs as part of the classic Monkey See Monkey Do video series, there is not a lot the German-born Californian hasn’t attempted on his mountain bike.

The ex-trials World Champion has been a mainstay of the mountain bike scene for, well, forever! Hans has perhaps one of the longest running sponsorships of any sport, having been sponsored by GT Bicycles for over 30 years. In this day and age, where professional athletes bounce from bike company to bike company, that’s an impressive amount of commitment, and speaks volumes of Hans’ professionalism and dedication to the sport.

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Hans Rey – the trials & mountain bike legend!
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Ooh – old school GT i-Drive! Bit different to Hans’ current bikes…

Having travelled all over the globe for both competition and to film his extreme riding videos, Hans’ first trip to Australia was way back in 1992, when he was invited to come out to Thredbo for the National Trails Championships. It was a while between drinks for Hans, who returned some 24 years later for a trip with GT Bicycles in 2016 to check out the opening of the Epic trail at Mt Buller, as well as the official opening of the Derby trail network in Tasmania.

Having gotten a taste for the incredible riding on offer in the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, Hans recently returned to Australia alongside his partner Carmen Rey. If you haven’t checked out the features yet, be sure to have a look at our story on Hans Rey riding the new Bay of Fires trail, as well as his return to Derby. For someone who’s been to some of the world’s best riding spots, Hans might have just found his favourite!

For his trip Down Under, Hans brought along two unique mountain bikes built especially for travelling duties. Flow’s gun photo/video man, Dominic Hook, took some cracking shots of Hans’ new GT Force and e-Force, and we caught up with Hans to get a little insight into his bike setup.

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Hans’ GT Force uses a carbon fibre mainframe, and an alloy back end. He’s riding a size Large.

The first bike is Hans Rey’s GT Force – a relatively new model that was launched alongside the latest Sensor trail bike, both of which feature the return of the iconic LTS suspension platform. The Force is the bigger rig of the two – it’s a 150mm travel 27.5in enduro bike, which Hans has setup with a 170mm travel Fox 36 fork on the front. There’s a Shimano XTR 1×12 drivetrain, 4-piston brakes, a Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3 wheelset, and 2.6in wide Vittoria tyres, making this a very robust, go-anywhere mountain bike for tackling technical trails all over the globe. Total bike weight? 14kg on the nose.

gt force hans rey shimano xtr 1x12
Shimano XTR M9100 drivetrain with the larger 10-51T cassette option for maximum range.
gt force hans rey shimano xtr
Hans runs an SQlab cockpit, including 780mm wide riser bars with a 12-degree backsweep, a 50mm long stem, and the ergonomic 7OX lock-on grips.
gt force hans rey sq labs saddle
There’s also a SQlab 6OX Ergowave Active saddle, which Hans uses in the 13cm width.
gt force hans rey crank brothers stamp flat pedals
Crank Brothers Stamp 3 flat pedals in the small size. As you’ll see further down though, Hans is running a pretty interesting pedal arrangement on his other bikes…
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The Vittoria Martello uses an aggressive tread pattern with a high volume 2.6in wide casing. Hans runs these around 22psi.

gt e-force e-mtb hans rey

Hans was an early adopter of GT’s first e-MTB. Called the eVerb, it was a 27.5+ full suspension bike with 130/120mm of suspension travel. GT has since released a bigger and more aggressive model called the GT-e Force, which not only features a much sleeker frame with an integrated battery pack, also moves to 29in wheels and ups the travel to 150/150mm.

Hans’ GT-e Force features Fox Factory Series suspension front and rear, with a Float DPX2 shock and a slightly longer 160mm travel 36 fork. The parts are similar to his regular Force bike, with Crank Brothers pedals and Highline dropper post, an SQlab cockpit, Stan’s NoTubes wheels and Vittoria tyres. Hans clearly digs the big rubber, as he’s got 2.6in wide Martello tyres here too, though he tells us that he can run the pressures a lot lower (as low as 10-15psi) with the help of Vittoria’s Air-Liner tubeless inserts. Despite the robust parts spec, weight isn’t too bad at 23.1kg for the complete bike.

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The GT-e Force is built around a Shimano E8000 drive system, with a neat on/off button integrated into the top tube.
gt e-force e-mtb hans rey crank brothers highline
150mm travel Crank Brothers Highline dropper post.
gt e-force e-mtb hans rey shimano deore xt
Shimano 4-piston XT brakes, though Hans is running the previous M8000 master cylinder.
gt e-force e-mtb hans rey shimano di2
Shimano’s Di2 controls integrate with the E8000 e-MTB system to control power modes and shifting.
gt e-force e-mtb hans rey flat clip pedals
Not sure about using flats or clips? The HalfWayRey setup could be exactly what you’re looking for!

Yes, that is a flat pedal on the drive side, and a clip pedal on the non-drive side. Hans calls it the ‘HalfWayRey’ setup, and it’s not exactly common.

This is a set up I’ve I actually been riding on my regular bike as well as e-Bike“, Hans explains. “It’s the best of both worlds. I run the clip pedal on my leading foot and I ride flat pedals (with a flat pedal shoe) on my rear foot. In the past few years I have been riding flat pedals only, even for XC rides. But with e-Bikes I noticed that one can climb better and steeper when clipped in. So I tried the HalfWayRey setup and I really like it. I think it’s the best of both worlds if you like to ride technical and steep terrain. But I think it is also a great way to learn how to ride clipless“.

So there you go!

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Shimano 1×11 Di2 shifting on the back with an 11-46T cassette. Looks a little small compared to Shimano’s latest 12-speed cassettes doesn’t it?
gt e-force e-mtb hans rey
The GT-e Force uses the four-bar LTS suspension design, along with an integrated battery pack hidden inside the alloy downtube.

gt e-force e-mtb hans rey
Hans riding his GT-e Force along the new Bay of Fires trail from the Blue Tier, all the way down to St Helens on the coast. Yiew!

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