First Look: Transition Smuggler

Bike Hub Features's Photo Bike Hub Features 17 Feb 2017

Introducing the third long-term test bike to arrive at Bike Hub HQ, the Transition Smuggler. Admittedly, the Smuggler is a bike that I've had my eye on for a while. I'm a huge fan of short travel bikes designed for ripping single track. Slap on a set of 29er wheels and I'm in trail bike heaven.

 

Having reviewed Transition's all-mountain bike the Patrol, I know that the Giddy Up suspension is super capable, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it translates to this shorter travel bike.


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Nick's Photo Nick 17 Feb 2017

I know a few Hubbers own or have owned this bike. Care to share a brief review? And what should I be expecting?

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BigTom's Photo BigTom 17 Feb 2017

Wow.  Great looking bike.  Eager to hear the long term report!

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ØÐINSȪƝ's Photo ØÐINSȪƝ 17 Feb 2017

R23k for the frameset? Eish!

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hellocolour's Photo hellocolour 17 Feb 2017

Mini Review from my experience: I never thought I could possible like a 115mm rear travel bike which you have to set @ 35% sag... and a 29'r. It went against everything happening in the industry and a lot of logic. In fact I questioned my sanity when buying mine but then consoled myself with the fact the Banshee Phantom runs even less travel at the back and that takes no prisoners. 

In an industry busy in a shock-travel arms race, Transition have taken a different direction and make their own bikes, in their own ways, with they eyes firmly on their gravity roots. 

They don't focus on the numbers, rather eye up really great geo' and making a aggressive, playful (yup on a 29'r) trail bike that can be pushed incredibly hard... and often further than the pilot wants to go. It's a 29'r but it does feel poppy and fun, loves to go down, over and off fast. 

To say the rear seems bottomless is a cliche but every time you look down that red ring is all but hanging off the shock but I have yet to bottom it out on everything or anything. From Blacks to gully jumps to all day trail ripping it is a great 'all rounder' for SA. Not an all rounder as in 'it's pretty average at everything' but it works IN everything and leaves you with a massive smile, tail wagging and wanting to go again. 

I've set mine up with a 140 Pike and I run a 125MM dropper. My medium won't take a Lyne 150mm dropper because of the seat tube kink. 

The only issue Transition face in SA is that trail / enduro people will look at it and see a 115 Semi XC package that they think the'y bottom out every 2 seconds and XC people will look at it and see it's not matching up to XC weights or angles.

To be honest, some people will get it and love it, some won't but Transition will keep on making great bikes made just for riding and having fun where ever, whenever... and that will keep me as a customer. 

Trivia Edit: They called it the Smuggler as an tribute to all lycra wearing, budgie smuggling riders because people keep looking at it and thinking it's an XC bike. If it is an XC bike then it's an XC bike for British Columbia or the North Shore... pedal up big hills then hammer back down as fast as you can. 
 


Edited by hellocolour, 17 February 2017 - 12:07 .
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BaGearA's Photo BaGearA 17 Feb 2017

Looked at it : Yep thats  sexy  :thumbup:  :thumbup:

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Myles Mayhew's Photo Myles Mayhew 17 Feb 2017

R23k for the frameset? Eish!

Believe it or not, that's actually a pretty darn good price. 

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BigTom's Photo BigTom 17 Feb 2017

Mini Review from my experience: I never thought I could possible like a 115mm rear travel bike which you have to set @ 35% sag... and a 29'r. It went against everything happening in the industry and a lot of logic. In fact I questioned my sanity when buying mine but then consoled myself with the fact the Banshee Phantom runs even less travel at the back and that takes no prisoners. 

In an industry busy in a shock-travel arms race, Transition have taken a different direction and make their own bikes, in their own ways, with they eyes firmly on their gravity roots. 

They don't focus on the numbers, rather eye up really great geo' and making a aggressive, playful (yup on a 29'r) trail bike that can be pushed incredibly hard... and often further than the pilot wants to go. It's a 29'r but it does feel poppy and fun, loves to go down, over and off fast. 

To say the rear seems bottomless is a cliche but every time you look down that red ring is all but hanging off the shock but I have yet to bottom it out on everything or anything. From Blacks to gully jumps to all day trail ripping it is a great 'all rounder' for SA. Not an all rounder as in 'it's pretty average at everything' but it works IN everything and leaves you with a massive smile, tail wagging and wanting to go again. 

I've set mine up with a 140 Pike and I run a 125MM dropper. My medium won't take a Lyne 150mm dropper because of the seat tube kink. 

The only issue Transition face in SA is that trail / enduro people will look at it and see a 115 Semi XC package that they think the'y bottom out every 2 seconds and XC people will look at it and see it's not matching up to XC weights or angles.

To be honest, some people will get it and love it, some won't but Transition will keep on making great bikes made just for riding and having fun where ever, whenever... and that will keep me as a customer. 


 

Thanks for the mini review.  Definitely makes me want to try one!

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hellocolour's Photo hellocolour 17 Feb 2017

Thanks for the mini review. Definitely makes me want to try one!

If you see me out on the trail on a bright blue one and you're a M then just ask and You can have a crack.

Also Stoke in CT can get the demo one from A-Line if you fancy one for a proper test.
Edited by hellocolour, 17 February 2017 - 11:54 .
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BigTom's Photo BigTom 17 Feb 2017

If you see me out on the trail on a bright blue one and you're a M then just ask and You can have a crack.

Also Stoke in CT can get the demo one from A-Line if you fancy one for a proper test.

Thanks for the offer!  Think I'm going to need to find an excuse to figure out where you ride ;)

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BigTom's Photo BigTom 17 Feb 2017

If you see me out on the trail on a bright blue one and you're a M then just ask and You can have a crack.

Also Stoke in CT can get the demo one from A-Line if you fancy one for a proper test.

I have to admit - this is one of the things I love about the hub.  I don't know hellocolour.  hellocolour does not know me.  I've never even had a direct conversation with hellocolour.  And yet, because of a common passion for cycling, hellocolour is willing to make an offer such as this with a bike of this caliber.  Even if it never happens, the gesture is greatly appreciated!  :thumbup:  :thumbup:

 

EDIT - And I'm not even close to meeting the Routjxie rule. ;)


Edited by BigTom, 17 February 2017 - 01:34 .
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Zebra's Photo Zebra 17 Feb 2017

Trivia Edit: They called it the Smuggler as an tribute to all lycra wearing, budgie smuggling riders because people keep looking at it and thinking it's an XC bike. If it is an XC bike then it's an XC bike for British Columbia or the North Shore... pedal up big hills then hammer back down as fast as you can. 

 

...could not resist...

:w00t: 

Attached Images

  • budgie smuggler.jpg
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Peach.'s Photo Peach. 17 Feb 2017

Hopefully ill be able to give my 2 cents in a few weeks time, cant wait to see what the Smuggler can handle

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Gramevloen's Photo Gramevloen 17 Feb 2017

Believe it or not, that's actually a pretty darn good price. 

Yeah last time I looked, that was what Pyga framesets were going for.. Oh and speaking of Pyga, anyone else put a Oneten29 next to a Smuggler and squinted a little..? Rad either way although the smuggler seems to have gone further down the longer slacker road.

 

Based on what folks have been saying it sounds like Transition could really do with a series of demo days to let the bikes do the talking..

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NotSoBigBen's Photo NotSoBigBen 17 Feb 2017

I have to admit - this is one of the things I love about the hub.  I don't know hellocolour.  hellocolour does not know me.  I've never even had a direct conversation with hellocolour.  And yet, because of a common passion for cycling, hellocolour is willing to make an offer such as this with a bike of this caliber.  Even if it never happens, the gesture is greatly appreciated!  :thumbup:  :thumbup:

 

EDIT - And I'm not even close to meeting the Routjxie rule. ;)

 

 

It would appear the 'Rouxtjie Rule' has anyway been put on hold since he has absconded ....  :ph34r:

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Iwan Kemp's Photo Iwan Kemp 17 Feb 2017

It would appear the 'Rouxtjie Rule' has anyway been put on hold since he has absconded ....  :ph34r:

 

He's stuck in an infinite loop of doom where he's not allowed to post cause he doesn't have 1,000 posts and can't get 1,000 posts cause in order to get those he needs to be able post which he can't cause he doesn't have the 1,000 posts needed in order to post to get 1,000 posts.

 

It's like a chapter in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 

 

(Or a chorus of one of Rihanna's sons...)

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