GT Talera Mountain Bike - Teal
As I write this, the temperature outside is a bitter 24 degrees, and there's a foot of snow on the ground. But let's forget about the frigid weather and rewind to a beautiful autumn day not long ago. The sun was shining through the trees, the forest floor was layered with brown and yellow leaves, and the weather was perfect for a ride through the woods on this teal GT Talera mountain bike.
Sunny fall day or not, I didn't ride the Talera through the woods. I probably rode it down my street to see if the brakes and shifters worked. That's about as far as I usually go, and believe me, the 3% grade on the way back up from the end of the cul-de-sac is torture.
But I did lean it against the fence and shoot some photos. This GT Talera is a tall beast, in an amazing metallic teal color, with just enough wear and scratches in the paint. It has GT's Triple Triangle frame, like the orange GT Outpost and black GT Palomar. The combination of the tall frame, triple triangle, and fairly small-diameter tubing give the Talera the graceful look of a fine piece of machinery, and the rear gumwall tire evokes 1990s mountain bike nostalgia.
I'm not in love with the tall teal stem, because it looks dorky, and since it serves as a stop for the front brake cable, raising or lowering the stem requires a brake cable adjustment. The seat tube also protrudes a little too far above the top tube. The pedals are plastic and the cranks are boring and low-end. I'd probably - okay, definitely - get rid of the mirror and bell. Shimano provided the brakes, derailleurs and Exage hubs, and a GT Gel Lite seat tops the alloy seat post.
Before we get started taking the GT Talera on a mountain bike ride through the woods (which is purely hypothetical, because I don't even own this bike anymore) there are a few things to address. First, check the photos above and below, and the next-to-last photo in the series. What do you see? The front tire is severely cracked from age, and the rear tire's sidewall is dry-rotted. If your bicycle tires are cracked or dry-rotted, you should replace them, so this Talera will definitely need some new tires. I've discussed mountain bike tire selection before, but for the Talera I think knobby mountain bike tires are the only way to go.
It's not obvious in the photos, but the brake pads are also cracked from age. They'll probably stop the bike for another 20 years, but for better braking and safety, all new brake pads are in order. The chain is old and greasy, so it might be smart to install a new chain. And a tune-up wouldn't be a bad idea.
(See product links above and below for some of the parts that this bike, or your mountain bike, may need. Make sure to check your bike for compatibility before buying parts.)
Despite the dorky stem and unimpressive cranks and pedals, this GT Talera is one of those rare bikes that I genuinely liked, and would have preferred to keep. But I can't keep 'em all. In fact, I don't keep any of them. So I'd like to think that someone, somewhere, is riding the Talera through the woods.
Well, maybe not today. Because like I said, it's 24 degrees, and there's a foot of snow on the ground. You'd have to be insane to ride through that.
Scroll down for some more photos of this teal beauty.