I live and ride in Squamish. This is the single best training ground for products on the outdoor industry, especially mountain biking. I had the opportunity to demo the new Transition patrol, a 155 mm travel machine clearly aimed at the all-mountain/enduro segment. Either super short chainstays and a 65 degree head tube angle, this machine was made to party. Transition is a small company based out of Ferndale, Washington. Since I recognize many of my home trails in Squamish in their promo videos and pictures, they clearly get it and have designed these bikes to rip. The model I rode is the Patrol 2. Probably the biggest change to the transition line is the development of the Giddy-Up link. What I found most defining about this style of suspension over single pivot style designs is rhat it feels very stable under pedal load even with a full compliant shock setting (descent mode?) This is basically an adapted Horst link style four bar linkage rear end. Recently the minoplly on this suspension design has opened up, patents have expired and more, smaller bicycle companies could exploit this design. Essentially what happens is that throughout the rear travel, the chain tension and related braking forces are no longer connected to suspension travel by de-coupling the rear axle from the main pivot link by means of an additional pivot allowing the rear axle to rotate with respect to the first link In the system connected near the bottom bracket. This allows a very supple and independent suspension that stays active under hard braking and pedaling forces. Picture above shows the Giddy -up link. Previous models had this connection located above the axle, thereby creating a glorified single pivot bike. The part spec identical to what is summarized on the website. Highlights include: -Rock Shox Pike RcT3 set at a fixed 160 mm travel -Rock Shox monarch plus, piggyback air shock -Shimano SLX brakes -Schwalbe Magic Mary front tire paired with a Rock Razor rear tire. -Wheels are decent, 23 mm wide WTB Frequency’s laced to a DT Swiss 370 rear hub (onyx pawl style not a star ratchet) This is also an interesting trial for me with the 27.5 inch wheel size (as an interesting note, the overall diameter of this tire and wheel combination is almost exactly 28 inches) since I one from a number of long travel 29er bikes over the years. There is surprisingly little information and opinion of people going from 29er to this wheel size since I have found the overwhelming majority of converts come from the 26er wheel size. Transition added collet style hardware to the main pivot shown in the picture below. I did not have a chance to take it apart, but it no doubt allows a more accurate pivot bearing preload and a more secure connection less prone to loosening or stripping by inexperienced mechanics. Internal cable routing starts with all cables entering the down tube, including the rear brake and dropper post. This lends to more complicated maintenance, but also a much cleaner look. Suspension setup was straight forward and the Rock Shox Monarch Plus took about 225 psi to get the recommended 33% sag. This felt about right and only bottomed out on the largest hits during my two day trial. A few more thoughts on riding the Patrol: •Stable climbing but does not have the traction of a 29er, this is an aside however on my personal experience going from a 29er long travel platform •My ankles would hit the chain stays on hard efforts out of the saddle. This happened often enough to be an issue and I ended up with bruises. •Looking forward to a full carbon layup and a higher end component spec (Patrol 1 ) to shed a few pounds. •Bottomless rear travel feel, begs to be thrown off drops and eat up the rock gardens. •For the love of Peat, put a dual travel setting fork on this thing. We are not all enduro queens and some of us do appreciate more climbing prowess and don’t want to feel like we are sliding off the back constantly, it brings the front down and makes climbing better. All in this is a solid bike with real potential including Transition’s new suspension, this is a small rider owned company with a small, tight product line geared for the dirt. If something different is your seize, then give these bikes a look.
2015 Transition Patrol Review