Field Test: Transition Spur - Made to Descend

Aug 10, 2020
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Transition Spur X01



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Margus Riga



The all-new Spur is a 29er with 120mm of front and rear travel, which, if you've been paying attention, you'll know is not exactly an uncommon formula for fun these days. While it's designed to cover ground quickly and even be built up into a relatively light bike, Transition also says that it's ready to “descend anything you may encounter along the way.’’

Rather than using a race-focused frame with a bump in travel as a starting point, something Transition doesn't have in their lineup anyway, the carbon fiber Spur was intended for more serious terrain from the get-go. With that target in mind, it sports some relatively long and relaxed geometry for a bike with just 120mm of squish, especially compared to some of the other options at our cross-country Field Test.

Spur X01 Details

• Travel: 120mm rear / 120mm fork
• Carbon frame
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head Angle: 66°
• Seat Tube Angle: 75.9° (effective)
• Reach: 480mm (size L)
• Chainstay length: 435mm
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L (tested), XL
• Weight: 24.74lb / 11.22kg
• Price: $5,999 USD
www.transitionbikes.com

With burlier riding in mind, the 2,500-gram frame is also heavier than those bikes, but the 24.74lb weight isn't half bad given its intentions and build; this is a $5,999 USD bike, not one with another digit on the price tag.

Transition certainly has the most extreme geometry numbers of the bunch, with a 66-degree head angle and a roomy 480mm reach for my large-sized test bike. Remember, because the Spur doesn't have to pull double-duty and also be someone's race rig, Transition could take a much more aggressive approach with its geometry. There's also a 75.9-degree seat angle that helps to hide the long front center during seated climbing, and all sizes get a 435mm rear end.

The Spur is a straightforward looking bike, with the SIDLuxe shock compressed from above via a carbon fiber rocker link. There's no pivot to be found at the axle, either, as Transition skipped using sealed bearings and the required hardware in favor of engineered flex in the carbon fiber stays. Other details include a threaded bottom bracket shell and a headtube that accepts press-in cups, which means Spur owners could install an angle-adjusting headset if they want to tweak the handling. There's also loads of room inside the front triangle for a single large bottle, and a set of threaded bosses on the underside of the toptube for you to attach a tool kit of some kind.

Other details: Cable routing is internal and tube-in-tube (as it should be) to make repairs easy, and the rubber chainstay protection sits nearly flush with the frame and sure looks classy.




Transition Spur review. Margus Riga photo.
Transition Spur review. Margus Riga photo.

Climbing

The Spur wasn't made to dominate the climbs, but that doesn't mean it's allowed to feel like you're sitting on the backseat of a tandem by yourself while steering it through roots and rocks. Thankfully, it's nowhere near that bad on the way up, but there's also no hiding the Spur's length and angles when the trail gets tight. It was a soggy test period, which probably highlighted some of its shortcomings on the really tricky stuff, and back-to-back testing up the same climb in the same conditions revealed that the Spur requires a different approach than the Scalpel SE1 or Yeti SB115. While you can do more on-the-spot thinking when pointing those two bikes up a tangled mess of roots, the Spur responds best to more deliberate (AKA the easiest) line choice.

One of the trickier spots was a tight left-hander with some rocks perfectly placed to grab the wheels, followed by a right turn that folded in on itself to be impossibly tight. And of course, there were some roots and rocks in it because the trail wanted me to dab. Which is precisely what I did every time I went through on the Spur, while I eventually did clean it on all of my other test bikes. But hey, if you're considering a Spur, you likely care much more about what happens on the way down than a single, mega-tricky uphill corner. And if your climbs aren't tricky, then I guess none of the above matters.

But you know what's not technical? A gravel road climb, which the Spur doesn't mind at all. I never once reached down for the SIDLuxe's pedal-assist switch, with the bike feeling just as speedy as the lighter weight machines it went up against.

It's probably best to break it down like this: If you're the kind of rider who's happy to re-do a section of the climb to get through dab-free, or you want a bike to do a bunch of competitive racing aboard, you probably won't be a fan of the Spur's climbing abilities. But if that sounds like a terrible ride to you, and you'd rather just get to the top so you can have fun on the way back down, then the Spur might be your pony.


Transition Spur review. Margus Riga photo.

Transition Spur review. Margus Riga photo.
Transition Spur review. Margus Riga photo.

Descending

It's usually not a good sign when your first lap on a new bike includes getting tossed over the handlebar to a near-perfect, 9/10 faceplant into the ferns. I had let the long front-end get away from me on a fast, loose corner, but then it caught and, well, a high-side while wearing barely-there skin-tight stretchies never feels like it's going to end well. But it only got better after that mouthful of dirt and leaves. I had been dilly-dallying, going half-speed since it was my first time on the bike, and without enough weight over it, the front tire lost bite.

That's not how to ride the Spur.

It's when you stop riding the Spur like it has only 120mm of travel that it becomes obvious that it's more capable than the others. Do the same on the Scalpel or SB115 and you'll end up in the ferns while the Spur holds its line around the same corner; it offers traction and stability that's just not in-line with what you'd expect, and despite the light-duty Schwalbe rubber I installed.
Timed Testing


Our timed lap for the trail bikes was just shy of 20 minutes long and split into three sections. First, we powered up a smooth section of switchbacks before starting up a more technical, twisty section of trail that tested the bike's slow-speed handling and traction with tired legs. After that, we evaluated how the bikes maintained speed on a short bumpy traverse before the main descent, comprising of a small rock roll before a series of rough, suspension-testing corners and straightaways. Nothing too rowdy, but representative of the terrain the trails these modern cross-country bikes were intended to see.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Mike Levy: "The Spur had the third-quickest overall lap time, but it was just 1.85-percent behind the winner. Speaking of winning, I set my quickest descent time while on the Spur, with the Revel Ranger only 1.13-percent back."

It's as if the Spur delays what's coming at you in a Matrix-y way, but instead of dodging bullets in slow-mo while wearing cheesy gas station shades and a suit, you're eyeing up giggle-gaps and all the inside lines. Spandex suit not recommended, by the way. That surefootedness means you don't have to tippy-toe through fast, rough corners as you might on a more traditional bike.

Of course, the Scalpel and SB115 comparisons aren't really fair given their more well-rounded take on how to do it. Besides, those two are probably for a different type of rider than someone who'd prefer the Spur. The Ranger and Epic EVO make better rivals, but the three are still quite different. The EVO-fied Epic is easily the most versatile option, and while it's incredibly capable on the descents, I never got quite the same level of calmness from it when things were really rough and hectic. The Revel Ranger is up there as well, with all three letting you ride in a way that used to be reserved for bikes with an additional 30mm of travel. But it's the Spur that I felt the most comfortable aboard, and the clock agreed with me - I consistently set my quickest descent times when on the matte grey Transition.

Most of the bike's capabilities come from its geometry, but it wouldn't work at all if its suspension wasn't up for it. The SID Ultimate is kinda like a pint-sized Pike, and they've squeezed an impressive amount of suppleness, support, and bottom-out resistance into just 120mm of rear-wheel travel. That said, the fork did develop some noticeable bushing play; RockShox says that they'll look after anyone's SID that does the same.

In case it wasn’t obvious already, the Spur isn't your normal cross-country bike and it’s not for racers. Instead, it's a short-travel bike for riders who don’t care that they have a short amount of travel, and for those who love the responsiveness of a 120mm bike but don't want to be held back by it on the descents.


Cross-country Field Test 2020


Pros

+ Made to descend, and it shows.
+ Suspension performance to back up the handling.

Cons

- There are better climbers and more well-rounded bikes in this category.
- I guess you can sell your trail bike?





The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with clothing, protection, and support from Giro. Control tires provided by Schwalbe, and power meters provided by SRM. Filming took place at The Backyard pub in Squamish.




Photos: Margus Riga
Video: Jason Lucas, Cole Nelson, Max Barron



425 Comments

  • 228 3
 We were going to save the Spur for last but I thought there might be riots if we did Smile
  • 48 0
 So how's it compare to something like the Ripley V4? Seems very close.
  • 7 6
 Thank you! I cannot wait for the SB115!!!!
  • 15 0
 @dmondave: This is the comparison I'd like to hear about too.
  • 9 4
 I think it would be good to know how this compares to an Enduro bike/ trail bike. Obviously it wouldn't race Enduro better... Just seems like it's got the same intentions, so can it way out climb them and almost compete on the down?
  • 18 0
 Great review, Mike! And good choice on avoiding riots.

I'm 5' 9.5" and recently picked up the Spur in a size medium. With the seat moved backwards on its rails, the fit seems just about perfect for me in both the climbs and descents. I even reached out to Transition directly and they agreed the medium was probably the better choice for my height and desire to launch it off of every little jump on the trails.

At 5' 9.5" and 5' 10", you and I are always in that weird middle ground for sizing.

With that in mind, a couple of quick questions: do you think any of the climbing issues you had with your size Large could have been resolved by you simply downsizing to a medium? What made you go with the size Large instead?

Thank you again for the awesome field tests!
  • 17 1
 @opetruzel: Yup, for sure the bike's length was a factor. I could be on the medium or the large, but wanted to go with the recommended size. And for how the bike is intended to be ridden, the large made more sense. Conversely, while I'm on larges from the other four brands, I don't think I should need to step up to XL sizes to have their reach be closer to the Spurs. So it was size large all around, including the Spur Smile
  • 8 0
 @opetruzel Great question! Thanks for asking or I was about to type the same one. As soon as I started reading the climbing section I immediately thought...@mikelevy should be on a medium for this bikes intended use (that use being my needs of an XC-focused review :-) ). I'm 5' 10" and curious to demo this bike in a medium because I already have a 140/160 trail bike.
  • 10 0
 Random comparison: I would say that my new Spur (size M) climbs like a billy goat compared to my older Ibis Mojo 3 (size L). So, for anyone coming from something similar, it's going to feel like you've installed a turbo kit in both the ups and downs. No joke.
  • 70 4
 BUT CAN I FIT A 160MM 38 THO.
  • 2 0
 Not sure I believe this statement, as somehow riots on Pinkbike can be welcome, if not normal!
  • 1 1
 Smart move (*puts down the ax and sharpening stone). But seriously... Thanks!
  • 15 1
 They're going to make a killing when they release an alloy version.
  • 7 0
 @Shred-BC: except flex stays on aluminum bikes aren't a great idea (aluminum fatigues, carbon fiber doesn't) so it might need a bit of a redesign.
  • 45 4
 @dmondave: The ripley is for nerds. The Spur is for cool people who smoke doobies.
  • 3 1
 I wish you would touch on the tires the bike come originally specced with. I get the whole control tires thing, but I think it would still be a valid point to talk about. Other than that, great stuff !!
  • 2 0
 @chyu: HAHAHA
  • 6 1
 It is more likely that a riot is started because of the waiting for the grim donut
  • 1 0
 @SimbaandHiggins: I agree with this, it's definitely a decent factor

@Shred-BC: I'd love an alloy one too, but Transition has dropped aluminium frames from their whole lineup, so not going to happen.
  • 10 2
 @GeorgeHayduke: @giantkeeper: I bought this bike in the XX1/AXS build in size Large. I've ridden pretty much every boutique bike out there. The Spur is flat out amazing. The lightweight flickability combined with a suspension that really does a good job of feeling bottomless is a killer combination. A lot of armchair internet experts would have you believe a lot of pretty crap comments (i'm reading them below) but as an owner, I can tell you the bike is legit. Transition knew what they were doing. That said, i'm also selling my Spur in favor of an SB115 and it all comes down to STA. I live/ride in CO, and despite that, I just don't like the steeper STA of some bikes. If it wasn't for that factor alone, i'd keep the Spur in a heartbeat. I've also ridden the SB100, SB115, Tallboy, Trail429, Following and a bunch of other bikes so if you want more detailed comparison, I can provide it. Just know this, the Spur is flat out amazing. They nailed pretty much everything. Just my 2c as an owner.
  • 3 1
 @SimbaandHiggins: I'll touch on it, as I own it. Keep in mind that I ride in CO so there is a lot of kitty-litter (super small gravel-y stuff) over hard-pack dirt and rock. The Dissector is a masterpiece and suites the bike well. It's like a mini-assegai without the weight. Terra compound for grip and stability, and you 100% notice it. It suites both the bike in general, and the front end of the bike specifically. The Rekon is another pretty solid choice if you think about what they designed this bike for. It rolls well enough, while also providing well enough on the grip side. I wouldn't say its the king of grip, but its a solid B+. The way I see both tires together is this.. It's a lot of grip and stability but with a sharp eye towards weight. Ships with tubes, but also comes with a tubeless kit, which is how I ran them. Good choices, both front and rear. I wouldn't change the front at all, but you could wiggle a bit on which rear you ran. Just my 2c.
  • 4 0
 @fullendurbro: Yeah, but you can run a 140mm 36 on the Ripley. So the nerds can still chomp the descents pretty good and probably climb better (just guessing and maybe a little sensitive as a past Ripley owner).
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: Im right there with you and Levy size wise.... Im 5.9.5 ha ha like yourself .... ha ha Levy s reply doesnt make sense but perhaps he wasnt focused ha ha
  • 2 3
 @zarban: you could run a 140mm 36 on this bike too. It's not going to explode.
  • 2 7
flag thedirtyburritto (Aug 10, 2020 at 23:14) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: says some random internet bro with more likely than not, no f-in idea about the stresses a too long fork puts on a frame. Im gonna pass on that one, bro.
  • 3 0
 So "cheesy gas station shades" is a thing in North America as well?! Damn. Sending condolences up your way.
  • 5 2
 Geez, who dirtied you’re burrito?@thedirtyburritto:
  • 7 4
 @Chewbiker2: 18 years doing MTB frame development has shown me the real risk of over forking a frame. If you want to help make sure that your local dentist gets his new Yeti this year, then put a 140mm 36 on a bike where the manufacturer explicitly says not to.
Otherwise I am having a great day: I rode this morning, IT is giving me a new laptop today, nobody I know has Covid....life is good.
  • 5 3
 @thedirtyburritto: they haven't explicitly said not to. They've said they don't recommend it. Why, for some reason, people think this is like the only bike on the market pretty much ever, that apparently has absolutely zero tolerance for different fork travels is beyond me. A 130 fork has an a2c length that is 1.9% longer than the recommended 120. A 140 is 3.8% longer. So, you think transition has built this frame with zero safety margin for the added leverage of a fork that is a massive 3.8% longer than stock? Oh no! The headtube is just gonna shear off and you'll lose all your teeth!

Your dentist comment was cute, but yetis are so passe. All the hip dentists are on transitions these days.
  • 5 3
 @thedirtyburritto: hey bro, just wanted to add that transition has explicitly stated that there is no weight limit for this frame, bro. So, it's all fine and good for a 350lb fatty to ride it, but if you weigh 180 and use a 130-140 fork then the frame will catastrophically fail and you'll lose all your teeth, or worse, bro.
  • 3 4
 @mikelevy nipples piercing spandex...OMG!! MY EYES!!!!...also, wear a towel to hide your package man for god sakes there're children watching this site. ;p

*Sorry had to be done Smile
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: what length stem do you run ?? As I’m at the other end of the medium spectrum at 5’6” , so am building a medium and thinking a short stem and seat forward to get the best of both worlds
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: I would love to hear your thoughts on the Spur compared to the Trail 429. They seem to be in the same category (better at descending than climbing, but still good at climbing).
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: I've heard the same thing as I have a buddy with one. My post was meant to say "I cant wait for the SB115 REVIEW".....lol. Thanks for the feedback as it was only ever between the Spur and the 115 for me.
  • 5 0
 @wheelsmith: I have the 2021 Sentinel and the Spur. Jumping on the Spur a day after riding the Sentinel feels amazing. It is a very capable bike that is a blast to ride. It takes a bit of bike handling skills, while on the Spur, to hit the same rowdy trails that you would on an enduro bike, but it can handle it. I'm riding these bikes in Bellingham, so the geo feels good here. I swapped out the Rekon on the rear for a DHR II. The Rekon knobs were just a bit small for my liking. I also changed the bars to a 35mm rise.
  • 2 0
 @gerrycreighton: thanks brother and that's awesome I want one! I've primarily run my single-speed ti Honzo with a 140 Fox 34. It can almost smash everything the big bikes smash so this bike is Taylor made for me! Also had the transition covert 29 and it was one of the fastest bikes I've ever owned huge fan congrats on your fleet!
  • 1 0
 @scblurlt: My medium came stock with a 50mm stem. I initially considered bumping it to 60mm, but that became unnecessary after moving the seat all the way back on its rails. The fit feels just about perfect for me now, but I may still mess with the handlebar rise and setup a bit.
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: cheers , ive gone for 35mm stem and a 30mm rise bar which will hopefully make for a great combo on the downs
  • 4 0
 @thedirtyburritto: just my 2¢ but if you overfork a bike by 20mm that’s ~1° slacker than with the original fork. I’d assume any good frame designer works in some sort of large factor of safety when designing high stress areas like the headtube. So while a degree difference might lower that factor I don’t think it’ll totally catastrophically end the bikes ability to handle stress in the headtube. Also from personal experience I used to run a Kona Process 134 (140 fork stock) with a 170 fork and overshot some 15+ foot drops at highland mtb park in NH, bike is still being ridden by a buddy of mine w no issues.
  • 2 1
 @TannerValhouli: Bro, you're just a random bro from the internet with no teeth, and your 2¢ is worth exactly what we paid for it... nothing. Bro.
  • 4 2
 @sjc115: So.. man.. I really loved the Trail 429. I mean, I really loved it. I didn't like the Mach 4 SL at all, but I *loved* the Trail 429. So to compare it to the Spur? Hm.. The first thing I would say is DW-Link. Holy shit it's really good. The Pivot takes my favorite suspension platform and combines it with a fairly relaxed geometry. If you've never ridden Pivot/Ibis (DW-Link) then just know its a *very* efficient pedaling platform that doesn't really give up much on the down to obtain that efficiency. So if I love it so much, why didn't I buy it? Heavy. The Trail429 is heavy, and while you can throw a huge amount of money at it to make it lighter, its never going to be a Spur-ish weight class bike. The other thing I had mixed feelings on was SuperBoost+. Note, that comment doesn't reflect how it rode, but of the platform design itself. I absolutely loved the way it felt, but in my eyes it is still a fairly proprietary rear end. I'm just not in love with being in a platform that has a restricted, or limited amount of replacement/alternative parts available for it. Aside from those two things? I freaking loved the Trail 429.

Ok, so to compare the Pivot to the Spur. Let's start with the Pivot's Pros: DW-Link, check. More relaxed and easy-going Geo, check. More planted and stable feeling than Spur, check. More robust feeling frame (heavier layup), check. Very secure and super high amounts of grip, check. Cons: Heavy. Not nearly as poppy as Spur. Heavy. Proprietary rear end. Heavy(!) -- seriously, you really do feel the heft of the Trail 429, but the suspension design can almost fool you into thinking its a lot lighter than it really is. --- Ok, now onto the Spur. Spur is very, obviously, clearly lighter. You feel it in the ride. Its flickable, sporty, poppy and playful. It's like you took a Ripley and gave it a couple beers.. lol.. Both are absolutely fantastic, but approach the game from different angles. Both are amazing. If you've never ridden a DW-Link bike before, you owe it to yourself. If you come away from that thinking "Ok, but I don't get all the fuss" then you know where you're headed..

Oh, I know how to describe it.. The Trail 429 is like a bike that stepped up to the plate and cracked a homerun using power and force, then confidently strode around the bases back to home. The Spur showed up to the plate, hit the ball so hard it cracked the bat in two, made it to 2nd base, then stole 3rd on the next pitch with a huge grin on it's face. Yup, that about sums it up.
  • 2 0
 @stillclimbing: Thank you for the comparison between the two. It's always easier to make a decision on a bike when you can listen to the same rider giving an opinion on both. btw, I love the baseball analogy!
  • 2 0
 @stillclimbing: Using a baseball analogy on an MTB site is a bold move, and I, for one, wholly appreciate it. Nice! Smile
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing:

Thanks for the comparison. Feel free to throw in the Tallboy as well... provided you’re talking about the new one.
  • 3 0
 @WasatchEnduro:

Alright.. SC Tallboy.. the one I rode was newest gen in Stormbringer Purple, and I rode it at Alderfer / 3 Sisters for two days straight. On it's own, I think the Tallboy is a really good bike. Much better than the previous one, zero doubt on that. The first thing that strikes me about the Tallboy is it's VPP suspension design. It's a unique suspension platform that is probably the most velvety and active suspension that I've ridden (Tallboy/Hightower/Megatower), yet somehow still can be poppy and fun. That is a really unique trait for a bike to have, and I can see why Santa Cruz has endeared themselves to so many people. The frame itself also has this really solid and robust feel to it. Not quite to Pivot standards of robustness (no superboost rear triangle) but still very, very solid and confidence inspiring. The Tallboy steered fine, no major pros or cons there, just straight down the middle. The rear end felt fine as well, no major pros or cons there either.

So with all that said, I personally didn't end up with one because I place a *really* high emphasis on pedaling efficiency, and this is an area were no VPP bike really shines. It's not a major knock against SC or these bikes, it's just a fact said in comparison to other bikes that place an emphasis on that aspect. I'm a climber, not a descender (if that helps put clarity to my comment) and its because that suspension platform is so extremely active. I'll be my own devil's advocate here and say that there's basically no better bike (SC) to use a rear lockout with. It basically means the Tallboy (and Hightower, which is very similar, just with more travel) are like transformers, especially if you have a 3 position rear shock (and don't have to go all the way locked out on a climb). So yeah, expect a SC bike to be a lot more active and plush than just about any other bike I can think of. It's not a bad thing, its just a trait unique to them, and something that SC engineers into the bike. SC bike are really comfortable too, I'l give them that for sure..

Comparing Tallboy to Spur? Hm.. both are on the active side of suspension designs, but the Tallboy is more plush and squish-happy. The Tallboy is quicker to use its travel and more comfortable doing so.The Tallboy is more "Trail" while the Spur is more "XC/Trail" if that makes sense. Also, you have to throw a lot of money at a Tallboy to get it down in weight vs Spur. Tallboy does feel more robust on the down. Spur is more flickable, and quick to dart around, changing directions and whatnot. The Tallboy is probably a *little bit* more poppy than the Spur.. Hm, what else.. I mean the biggest thing between these two is probably the pedaling efficiency of the Spur and the plushness-while-still-being-poppy nature of Tallboy's VPP design.

There's no loser between these two bikes. Both are world class, they just take different directions into the scene. If you looked at each bike, then looked at where it's made, it makes a lot of sense. The environments of those two regions are reflected in their designs. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any more specific questions and I'll try to address them!
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing:

Yes that's helpful, and about what I'd expect. I demoed the new Hightower and thought it's at the top of the class for a 140/150 bike in the descending department but back of the pack in climbing. I think it's just the reality of that platform. The Tallboy seems like about the most shreddy bike in it's class (maybe with the Trail Pistol) meaning descending chops for a 120 rear. Still need to arrange a demo as I sometimes wonder if it could replace my longer travel bike if it's upforked to 140. The Spur looks rad as second bike for sure. I wouldn't try to make it the one and only.
  • 150 0
 That straight line from the headset all the way to the rear axle is what I've always wanted but didn't know I've always wanted.
  • 20 1
 That hardtail line - daummmmmn!
  • 15 0
 Yep, beautiful lines.
  • 6 0
 Agreed, It looks like a fun DJ or slope bike.
  • 2 0
 Yep looks sleek
  • 2 13
flag ricochetrabbit (Aug 10, 2020 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 Looks exactly like a trek fuel
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: Oh yeah, that is a sweet line
  • 2 0
 Smexy for sure.
  • 1 0
 It's the new Transition Double. Shhhhhh...!
  • 2 0
 All fun and games until you crack the unsupported seat tower knob - just like Mondraker Foxys
  • 2 0
 @Linc: Lifetime warrantee bro!
  • 78 5
 Best looking bike on test. Actually one of the best looking full sussers ever, IMO
  • 3 0
 At first, in the smaller pic, before opening the article. I honestly thought it was a hardtail, due to the straight line top tube thru the seat stays. Nice looking frame for sure!
  • 19 1
 I'm worried my wife is going to catch me appreciating pictures on PB instead of PH... Thanks Transition engineer, I'm blaming you for my impending divorce. Seriously though, this is the Mona Lisa of XC bikes.
  • 34 5
 So why buy this vs. something with more travel? I just don't get this when longer travel bikes climb so well. Why would you not take the extra travel?
  • 34 3
 This is still going to climb comparably much better, because the frame and suspension are so trimmed down. For example in comparison to a Sentinel, this thing weighs a good six pounds less. At least in relation to Transitions other bikes, there’s definitely a place for this in comparison to their other trail bikes that are so long, slack, and burly. I have a sentinel and I love it. I can ride it on anything, but if the trail doesn’t have steeps, rock gardens, and jumps, it’s overkill. There are some trails and some days where I’d like to just get in a long pedal and enjoy the descent on tamer terrain; I would love to have this bike in the garage!
  • 18 0
 I'm super intrigued by the spur and probably some others in this Down-country category. I came into mtb after a running career and I'm mostly XC/trail focused. I have no delusions of grandeur for winning titles, and espresso cafe's aren't conveniently located for my trails - so I don't need to be a Nino look a like. I do want to pedal hard on some days, ride to the bike park on somedays, and roll up to a weekend race without a 10lb penalty if I'm feeling feisty. Seems like the spur would be a good fit.
  • 15 1
 Because this is 24 lbs and has 120mm of travel. This will climb much, much better than longer travel bikes because those two things.
  • 10 0
 @tgent: and also be more responsive and 'sporty'
  • 13 2
 Because even a 140-150 can be too much bike for some terrain or riding styles.
  • 7 10
 @BiNARYBiKE: Good points, definitely agree but.. eh, I'll take the extra minute to climb with my long travel bike. It comes down to what is more important for your riding... would you prefer a bike that is easier to climb with and decent downhill or would you prefer a bike that's a decent climber but slays on the downs? For me, descending is why I climb so I will take the long travel bike any day. And if I was worried about climbing, I'd get an ebike, which I may in the near future. (Queue the haterzzzzz)
  • 17 1
 Most people don't use nearly as much of their suspension as they think they will when buying a bike. They go out on a 150 bike, and use 100-120mm of travel. But the geo matches the intended use, so they ride the burly 150 bike. This bike takes out the burly and overweight so you can climb more and descend more, but with the geo you want on those descents.
  • 2 5
 @stumphumper92: In my experience there are several different types of "climbing". I frequent a riding location with a few long 2-3 mile, 1000+ft climbs that are moderately chunky, rocky/rooty. I don't think a 24lb 120mm bike has much of an advantage there compared to a 30lb 150mm bike. Any speed lost with the bigger bike is regained (for me) plowing through the chunky sections of the climbs not caring about line choice or traction. Now if I were going to veer off the singletrack switchbacks and attempt several 3-4 minute sections of double-track that just goes straight up the side (less chunky) then I think the light 120mm bike has an advantage. Then there's the "climbing" sections of a local 4-5 mile per lap XC-style course. Sure there's climbs, but they are like 1-2 minutes long and basically smooth (not 30+min like the aforementioned) and you can sprint them on a 120mm XC bike and make up alot of time and its even more fun than the bigger 150mm bike on the rest of the lap since its quicker.
  • 4 0
 I will say, I've previously owned a carbon Smuggler, and recently rode this bike. It is far more efficient on the climbs than the Smuggler was, even with having the same rear travel/headtube angle. It did feel relatively similar on the descents, too. The pedaling platform feels far more efficient. That being said, I currently ride an alloy Sentinel, so I am no cross country rider.
  • 14 0
 @stumphumper92: If you have true mountains your position likely makes since. A lot of us however have mostly rolling rocky terrain with steep ups and downs and it's a lot more entertaining to ride if we can keep overall speed higher with a bike that's really fast both up and down.
  • 8 1
 weight is key , when it comes to multiple climbs and big days out , long travel bikes nowadays are for sure great at climbing , but when passing the 30k mark , fatigue will affect the fun of a long descent later in your day , so the ability to go further and higher and longer appeals to me
  • 3 0
 After a few really strong seasons on the bikes, and getting my fitness probably too an all time high, and a lot of rust dusted off the skills my Slash is still a freaking awesome bike but I'm kinda thinking I could climb and cover more ground quickly on a shorter travel bike. The Optic and this Spur really intrigue me because at 190lbs I'm pretty sure the lighter bikes wouldn't hold up to me.
  • 5 3
 @scblurlt: 30k feet climbing, or 30 kilometers distance? 30k feet and no one is having fun anymore climbing and descending (that's an Everest). 30 kilometers...well, I recommend working on fitness a little bit more before blowing money on a light bike. But that's my opinion (will make your wallet lighter though).
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: The weight is the real answer.

"Why not get a longer travel bike" is a fair question to ask about the Smuggler (which I have and love) when it's only 1-2 lbs lighter than the Sentinel. But 6lbs is a huge difference.

I personally think there's still room for a middle-ground Smuggler-on-a-diet in the future, that falls between the Spur and Sentinel, but for now there's a big difference between the 26.9 lb GX Spur and 31.3 lb GX Sentinel.
  • 6 0
 My local trails are rolling, not much vertical, lots of tight corners that need accelerating out of without the help of gravity (still great for a local network away from the mountains though). And my enduro bike is a lot of work through the tight stuff, and kind of acts bored. Only comes alive at high speed. I'm seriously considering how I can work the man maths for something like this.
  • 2 0
 @yupstate: At climbing speeds the traction difference between 100mm and 150mm shouldn't come into play since you are just using the 20mm around sag point. I find getting the extra 6 lbs up and over every rock/root ball to be the notable difference between the two.

Maybe the only difference I notice is with the XC bike I'll get going faster and make poorer line choices. The lightweight bike + a good quarentine training schedule gives me dreams of KOMs half the time. Pushing up a steep pitch into a rock garden invites some line choice mistakes at 175bpm. Grannying it on my Enduro means I go into the rocks at 1/3 speed and remember to stay left.
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: thanks for the advice , but actually stated when passing the 30k (distance mark ), , was answering the question as to why buy this bike , not replace an existing bike , your not saving any money by buying an equivalent longer travel bike
I also think greater fitness gains will be made by riding further and higher on a lighter bike , than on a longer travel bike
  • 2 0
 @scblurlt: time in saddle is time in saddle. Higher and faster by removing bike weight won't make you stronger. If the lighter bike motivates you to ride more, then that will help.

I'm running a power meter on all my bikes so I know what my training load is. Examples of my last big rides on my roadie, XC, and enduro (respectively):
100 miles, 4000', 2700 kilojoules
76 miles, 10k', 3200 kilojoules
62 miles, 10k', 4000 kilojoules

So my hardest effort ride was on my heaviest bike. I enjoy that bike the most, so I put in more effort on that bike. But if the lighter bike is more enjoyable for you, than yes, it will have a better training effect if you ride it more.
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: I don't know if the argument is as simple as more travel equals a better descending ride. I think preference is important also. Take for example Slopestyle and the use of short travel bikes- those riders are hitting drops as big or bigger than most of the aggressive freeriders out there- granted there is typically buff wide track between them. However, if what you are looking for is something really responsive (also often referred to as "playful") than I know riders who do size down the suspension and pump their tires a little firmer (Think BMX). However, if yo want to be velcroed to the ground and want a more forgiving ride on chunky stuff (less "playful") then more travel softer tires might be the way to go. Two riders can ride the same "burly" trail and want different things from their experience so I don't always agree with the "bigger trails are better with bigger bikes" argument. I could see being under or overbiked in others eyes to find a certain ride characteristic that matches what you are looking for. I ride the Sentinel and would argue it is overbiked for a lot of what we have in my area (I don't live in a flat/untechnical local either) but I like the ride of it. Ironically, I have had a number of comments about riding a bike with 140 in the rear vs. 160 in the rear that it is too little. So I definitely agree that it comes down to what you look for in your ride but think the climbing vs. descending argument is too simple... couple other factors to consider. Like how Taj described setting up his bike coming from a BMX background and finding what he looked for in a MTB from that lens.
  • 1 0
 @snl1200: bear in mind a slopestyle course is very smooth compared to many mountain bike trails. So, I guess optimum choice of bike is some weird matrix of your ability and style, trail steepness, trail roughness, trail speed. And what's fashionable this week...
  • 1 0
 @snl1200: more cowbell
  • 23 0
 Out of curiosity, why is this frame considered so XC “Down country” while a bike like the Norco optic (also 120 rear) Is considered an aggressive trail bike (a “mini enduro bike”)? Theoretically couldn’t you build up this to be equivalent to the optic? I’m just wondering if the “downcountry” categorization is based on the way a bikes travel behaves, it’s geo, or it’s build kit...
  • 11 0
 Serious question btw not trying to be snarky
  • 19 0
 @bridgermurray, yes, you could make this more like an Optic, but I think that'd dull some of the characteristics that make the Spur shine. The light weight and responsiveness are what help differentiate it from an aggressive trail bike. The Optic has a little more travel out back (125mm), a 140mm fork, and a total weight of around 30 pounds depending on the build. Six pounds makes a big difference, even if the geo numbers are very similar.
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: how do they compare though? Thank you for the differentiation you gave, it was a question I had as well. I'm wondering how the Spur would feel with a 130 up front. I'm so happy to see these short travel bikes being revamped to handle rougher terrain.
  • 2 0
 @lifeofloon: It's not recommended for the sake of the intended use of the bike, though I have a 130mm pike on the front of my spur and found it far more comfy descending compared to my sid with bushing play. i also think it has something to do with me being 5'9" and riding a large and not being able to get enough weight off the front wheel with the same amount of spacers under the stem. A higher rise bar might make this feel less XC more enduro as well. I understand with a 130mm pike i'm a few mm higher BB, but i also like compression adjustments which is a downside to the sid. Dont know why Levy made it seem arduous on the climbs, you just have to pick different lines but I would MUCH rather have a bike that is as stable as this is on the way down Vs a bike that climbs almost unnoticeably faster.
  • 1 0
 @vanagonaut: awesome. Thanks for your response.
  • 19 0
 Seems like it’s not an XC bike. I’d like to see this compared to trail bikes. If it’s as capable or more so than a trail bike (as Levy says) on the downs, and it smokes trail bikes on the climbs because it’s 5lbs lighter, it would likely dominate that class.
  • 22 0
 1.85% slower compounded by a 3 hour ride...still not late for dinner.
  • 17 1
 Great looking bike! So it doesn't handle tech climbing as well as the other bikes in the test, but how does it compare to some of the other mid-travel trail bikes out there (Trail Pistol, Ripley, Trail 429, etc)
  • 27 11
 Honestly a pretty meh review. We’ve jumped the shark on geo when a sub 25lb trail bike doesn’t like negotiating climbs and tight switchbacks.
  • 4 1
 Agreed. Just buy the enduro bike. This is the new Following everyone is gonna gobble up and then sell in a year because they actually really so need the 160mm of travel to survive.
  • 7 1
 I don't think he said it doesn't climb and switchback - it just doesn't do it as well as a more compact XC rig. And that's fine by me. Still going to go up faster than a full blown Enduro rig.
  • 3 3
 weight doesn't dictate how a bike handles tight uphill corners
  • 1 0
 @gafoto: it all depends on your trails. I wouldn’t want this as my only bike (as I like to ride trails that demand longer travel) but there are other trails and days where this would be all I need. I’ve been waiting for a bike like this for years.
  • 1 0
 @lognar: Wheelbase, head angle, and seat angle probably matter most, but all else being equal a lighter bike is still going to be easier to get around a tight corner. I will say my current gen Sentinel, which is a total yacht, is surprisingly capable in tight corners and on tech climbs despite being so long and slack. Does it excel in those areas? No. But I don’t care. That’s not why I bought it. But if it weighed six pounds less, it would be that much easier to negotiate around those tricky corners.

@CircusMaximus I assume the climbing ability is in comparison to the other bikes in the test. @mikelevy can you confirm? I think there’s plenty of room for a bike of XC weight that is downhill biased geometrically. Can’t wait to try it.
  • 15 1
 So this is 24 pounds, which is should be. Why then do all those other "downcountry" bikes reviewed in the past all tip the scales at 30-31 pounds, like that new Norco that everyone loves so much? Enduro bikes should and do weigh more than this, but there seems to be this big hole where 36-28 pound downcountry bikes should be. If this bike, with a "burly" frame is so light, why not others?
  • 32 2
 because people who are 30lbs overweight complain in the comments about flex, so downcountry bikes get shipped with the same parts as enduro bikes.
  • 5 2
 Other “down country” bikes come with heavier forks, shocks, wheels, tyres, and their frames are often heavier too. Those will probably be fine if you case some jumps on them, this one won’t.
  • 7 1
 EDIT 26-28 pound
  • 20 0
 That weight is with the Schwalbe tires that are a bit light duty for this bike, so I'd count on it being a touch over 25lb with EXO-ish casing rubber.
  • 15 1
 @mikelevy: Thats still nearly a 6 pound difference between itself and the Optic.

Where are the 120-140mm travel aggro trail bikes (downcountry) that weigh in the 26-28 pound range?
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez: I bet if you put a pike and a super deluxe on it, it'll fall right into that 26 pound range and be all the better for it.
  • 10 3
 @mikelevy: Then with more capable tires the fork begins to feel below par and the shock overheats, then those get upgraded, then you just have a 28# 'trail' bike which just so happens to be the weight of my Large 150mm travel bike.
I really dig this bike but that is the problem I see, it's like a fully capable trail/ endure bike, with not enough suspension underneath it.
Almost have to keep the XC tires (or very light trail tires) to keep it in check it would seem.
  • 6 0
 @hamncheez: Interesting point. My medium Yeti SB5 Turq XT is about 27lbs with stock wheels and heavy DHF/Aggressor rubber, and I know people have shaved it down to 25ish with wienie builds. I just looked and the newer SB130 appears to be a couple pounds heavier. I'm surprised - had assumed the new bikes would be a bit lighter. I wonder if companies have seen that riders are now going harder on these mid-travel bikes, and beefed up the carbon a little? I mean the geometry on these new bikes apparently wants you to ride enduro trails on 5 inches of travel....

Also, Yeti now offers a lifetime warranty on those new frames...Devinci is a Canadian brand that offered a lifetime-ish warranty for many years (no idea if they still do) and their frames were always a bit heavier/overbuilt as well. So it makes me wonder if a combination of the two is the big factor here.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: downcountry... I don't think that word means what you think it means.

As I recall Levy coined the term on the original SB100 review.
  • 2 1
 Up until a few months ago, Transition sold that bike and called it the Smuggler. But it was objectively too heavy at right around 30 lbs in an X01 build. I got mine down a bit, but the frame was the real problem. Hopefully they bring it back after they put the frame on diet, since I love everything about it besides the weight.
  • 2 0
 Norco Revolver's (I guess you are referring to Revolver and not Optic) frame weight is the same as Spur's, so with the same components, those two bikes would weight the same.
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: No, the term was presented in this article www.pinkbike.com/news/what-the-heck-is-a-down-country-bike-opinion.html. I would say it was inspired by Process 111 or RM Element.
In my mind, the first downcountry bike presented by one of the major players was Yeti's ASR. It had 120 mm fork, slack (for the period standards) HA, short offset fork, and an ability to run dropper.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: sensible build and moderately weighing frame provided, such a trail bike can be in the area of 26lbs with such light tyres as used in the test.

My Ripley V4 XL is at 11,75kg / 25.9lbs with XC tyres, MT5 brakes, light wheelset, without pedals. Size XL/500mm reach, so an M would be lighter.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Its called an Ibis Ripley
  • 17 0
 Levy's face when he's descending tho......
  • 39 0
 I know, I can't help it. You should see the photos I didn't use haha
  • 15 0
 Why didn't they just call it 76 on the SA? Because someone here would have found out that it was actually 75.9 and it would be FLAME ON!
  • 3 3
 The same reason we have 28.99??
  • 8 1
 @ReformedRoadie: It’s just the clearance, the bearing is 29mm and the spindle is 28.99. There’s a .01mm clearance.
  • 5 4
 this can only come from someone using the imperial system
  • 17 2
 This review may spur me into picking one up
  • 8 1
 I feel I may have transitioned from liking orange to liking the spur
  • 3 0
 @slimjimbikes: Stick with the Orange. Be unique. The new Evo geometry bikes are amazing.
  • 4 2
 That’s not a spur of the moment decision.
  • 2 0
 @chase2wheels: Either is the decision to transition from aluminum to carbon.
  • 4 0
 I must admit, those hateful rumours about me 'transitioning' are entirely 'spur-ious'.
  • 13 0
 Little bike make big fun. Although you're waaaaaay undergunning the rubber on that thing there.
  • 5 0
 True - control tires were used to even the playing field a little, but this is definitely a bike that works well with meatier tires.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Yeah, I get it. On the descents, you're going to run out of rubber long before you hit the limit on anything else here.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Out of curiosity, what tires would you run on this bike if you could choose anything?
  • 6 0
 @opetruzel, I'd probably go with something like a Maxxis Dissector front and rear - relatively fast rolling, but enough grip for steeper, looser terrain.
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: on a similarish bike I’ve been running a Dissector front and forekaster rear and it’s been great. Another dissector in the back would also be awesome.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: @BamaBiscuits : great info, thanks!

The good news is that it sounds like I can keep the stock Dissector in the front and only need to replace the rear Rekon that it came with.
  • 3 3
 @opetruzel: Dissector as a front tire.

That's... um... dangerous livin' right there.
  • 4 0
 @cooperquinn-wy: Why do you say that? As far as I can tell, the Dissector is a fairly decent choice. Anecdotally, mine has worked out really well in the dry rocks and dusty trails of Arizona so far. I plan to test it in Santa Fe, Steamboat, Bentonville, Knoxville, and Pisgah before the summer is over, so I guess I'll find out soon enough whether it's good for those conditions, as well.

I do wish to replace the Rekon in the rear, though. For that, both the Dissector and Forekaster options mentioned above are intriguing.
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: forekaster sux! I've had it on the front and the rear it's slower than a minion and does an offer reliable grip the knobs fold easy. I'm guessing it would be good only in the rain which I did not try
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: it's ok as a back tire but it wears super quick and I tore up my sidewalls real quick. I don't know if something was wrong with mine because I swear the 2.35 was way wider than my 2.4 dhrii. If you like a drifty rear tire, I think it works well as it is pretty easy to control. I replaced it with a dissector and while it is a little bit slower, it grips much harder. I ride in Colorado so if you have wet terrain, ymmv
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: Hey to each their own. I am not a fan of the Dissector up front.
  • 2 0
 @cooperquinn-wy: Yah that Dissector is a bit to slippery for a front ime, but ya know, it does roll real fast and how much load do you really want to put into the suspension of a Spur? The Spur doesn't need or want Assagais and if the rider wanted that, then they should buy a more burly bike.
  • 1 0
 @cooperquinn-wy: I should have been clear but I was only using it as a rear with a dhrii up front. I haven't had issues with it in the back but have never used it up front
  • 9 0
 Based on the comment sections for every down country bike, I’m going to assume everyone was shocked to see there were actually cons. I actually live a couple miles from the test loop trails and ride them all the time along with a whole bunch of other tight twisty trails. I am on the xc side of things but decided to buy a smuggler last year which has the same angles and reach as the spur. It sure was great at some things but it just didn’t work well on tight, rooty uphills. To be honest, it wasn’t great for slow, tight, twisty downs either. I sold it to buy a more traditional xc bike because I personally value a great climbing bike that lets me easily clean the tight stuff much more than I value a mini enduro rig that lets me to go way too fast on flowy, open downhills.
  • 2 0
 Such a great lap!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Yep, for sure. Your review awhile ago helped convinced me to get an SB100. Can you comment on whether you noticed any differences to that and the SB115?
  • 7 0
 @tweaked: HUGE difference to me - SB115 review tomorrow Smile
  • 12 1
 Anyone have a ride comparison of this to the Norco Optic?
  • 13 0
 Optic is going to be way burlier...
  • 2 2
 Easy: if over 80kg buy optic, else buy spur.
  • 5 1
 YEAH Mike, can you compare any of these with the Optic that you loved so much last year? even thought they're a bit different I think people will be cross shopping them!
  • 3 2
 @mikelevy can ya compare it to the Norco Optic real quick for us? the Spur seems to be good competition for that bike, maybe not quite as beefy, but what ya think?
  • 5 1
 It seems to me that a Trek Top Fuel is a closer competitor then an Optic
  • 11 0
 They tested the Optic doing bike park laps at Whistler, the Spur on a XC loop. One bike has a custom DH shock and the other has a SID. That 65 vs 66 degree head tube angle matters. 140 pike vs 120 SID. IMO it's a bit of a stretch to compare the Spur and Optic.
  • 1 0
 @Thirty3: other than the 1.5-2 deg HTA difference. They are otherwise quite similar in geo/travel.
  • 11 0
 An XC bike that you need to wear knee pads to ride.
  • 27 0
 Can you ride in spandex with knee pads? Asking for a friend
  • 2 1
 Not really an 'XC' bike. It has more suspension than the original Smuggler that Transition made, and a lot of us in Bellingham were riding the Smuggler the same way we now ride our Patrols or Sentinels. Wheel travel is just a number but can be so different based on other aspects of the bike.
  • 5 0
 @orcrash: if you are in Austria it's quite normal, hard shell with elbow pads to rock the full look on Saalbach high street.
  • 6 0
 So is this a bike that makes you just want to keep riding? Looking for something that dispatches climbs readily is ready for fun on the way down and makes you want to take the extra loop.

If I were to write a personal searching for a second bike; Ex Enduro racer, Ex-Ex Cross Country racer looking for a bike for long rides with enduro and xc buddies, last hour of daylight sprints, 6 hour long epics and everything in between but makes me not want my ebike on the climbs.
  • 1 4
 Sounds like an eBike to me!
  • 6 0
 I am curious about the sid. It seems to be a great deal lighter than the 34 stepcast from fox that is also seen on this type of bike. AM I wrong to think they are sacrificing some performance for the weight? My dad runs a 34 sc and says it is amazing. I would be interested to hear what people who run the sid say. I feel like If I ran this downhillers xc bike I would want a burlier fork as well as a short stroke shock with a negative chamber like we see on the optic.
  • 7 0
 I have both. This is the 35 mm stancion SID and I think the 34 is actually lighter. My SID was 1540 grams. The 34 seems much plusher to me, and the 35 seems to have some great mid stroke support. I have no complaints with either. I'd take the 34 for a rougher course though.
  • 2 1
 The 34SC is flexy when pushing into chunky corners. I've also warrantied it once for badly creaking CSU. Expect I will need to a second tome before my warranty is up based off of new creakiness.
  • 2 0
 I'm on a 35mm SID and have to say I really like it. Feels similar to a pike packed with tokens without the harsh ramp up, and almost like a plush dj fork because of the damper tune. It rides nice and high in its travel and ramps up well. Definitely not the most comfortable off the top but I think RS nailed the tune for an aggressive short travel fork. I find it much better than the (non-SC) 34 I rode previously, at least for how I ride. I also have a couple rides on a SC 34 and found it to be dive-y, it felt like an xc fork whereas the sid fells like a short travel enduro fork.
  • 2 0
 @McKai: Agree 100% I couldn't have said it better.
  • 6 0
 The fork developing some noticeable bushing play in a relatively short review period is very disappointing. There's going to be lots of new bikes out there with this fork on them and if that turns out to be a widespread issue that could be a nightmare.
  • 3 0
 I just picked up a Spur with this fork, but I'm not quite sure what to look out for to identify "bushing play." Can you provide a description of what that might feel/sound/look like while riding?
  • 4 0
 @opetruzel: feels and sounds similar to a loose headset.
  • 7 0
 @opetruzel: looseness between the fork stanchions and lowers, resulting in fore/aft movement. Like garrison said it would feel similar to a loose headset, if you held the front brake and rocked the bike forwards and backwards.
  • 2 0
 @garrisond5: @DevoMTB : Perfect, thanks guys!
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: like a loose headset but if you hold the lowers with 2 fingers and the stanchion with the other 2 fingers while you rock the bike forward and back with brake on you can feel the play/slop.
  • 4 0
 I have had the spur one month. The Sid fork and Sid shock have already been sent back for warranty. Don't even get me started.
  • 1 0
 @DetroitCity: Dang, that's discouraging. Especially considering over half the field in the Downcountry group is spec'ed with this fork along with tons of other new bikes.
  • 6 1
 @DevoMTB: That was the main point I was making to Rockshox. This is your top of the line stuff, trying to set the bar for performance, and it's failing at launch. After 3 rides the fork, and 7 rides the shock, needed to be sent to Indiana for warranty. On my brand new bike. That wasn't cheap. It's the way of the industry now though. Take huge amounts of money from our pockets and give absolutely zero fxxks about the consumer. It's no longer a niche hobby industry based on innovation, it's a straight up billion dollar industry based on capitalism. How can your top of the line equal fail, yet you still sell billions of dollars of stuff? Marketing. I'm going to switch over to Manitou r7 Pro and McLeod when I get back from Colorado.
  • 1 0
 @DetroitCity: That sucks. If I only get 3 rides on my new fork before it stops slopping around I'm going to be pretty upset.
  • 13 8
 This is getting into comic-book level. Now only Pinkbike is reporting timings not only in % (which is ridiculous) but to 2 decimal places (1.85-percent behind the winner. ... with the Revel Ranger only 1.13-percent back). Which just goes to show how people not only do not understand statistics, but don't even understand the irrelevance of differences like that.

And the funny thing is that despite the real and statistical insignificance of those difference they keep claiming that one bike or more, or less, down-country, or more or less, one would guess, up-country? What sillyness
  • 8 0
 Spandex definitely seems contrary to the spirit of this bike.
  • 10 0
 Agreed, it felt the least right when I was aboard the Spur haha
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Kneepads would've been confidence inspiring, considering the intentions of the Bike
  • 5 0
 @wheelsmith: For sure, but I just couldn't.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: good choice the heckling would have been tenfold over just the speed suit
  • 5 1
 I know this is gonna sound sacrilegious. Could you put an angle set in to steepen the head angle a half degree and put more weight on the front tire for flat corners? I would think that would also help improve technical climbing.
  • 5 0
 Slamming the bars and stem might be easier.
  • 1 0
 I'm with you!
  • 1 0
 Lower bars/stem like @MaplePanda said, as well as adding a click or two of rebound on the fork would help flat corners and tech climbing if those were specific issues you had on this bike.
  • 4 0
 This bike sounds like a lot of fun, but I’d want to dial it back a bit to clean some of those nasty climbing lines, so I’m waiting on the other reviews. Very curious about the Revel, and hope the wrap up includes comparisons to similar bikes not on test—particularly the Hei Hei, which looks like a good middle ground—get me up the techy ascents without killing me on the downs!
  • 1 0
 i forget exactly, but its pretty easy to mod the bike to 100mm with a different stroke shock or something.
  • 2 0
 You can use an angle adjusting headset in the Spur and short stroke it to make it 100mm out back.

Course if you’re going to ride it like that all the time you should probably get a different bike, but nevertheless it is a nice option if you want the Spur as-is for most of your riding and still have the ability to tune it down for proper XC stuff
  • 7 0
 Would like to see how the Spur compares to the Norco Revolver FS 120 instead of the Optic
  • 7 0
 this vs santa cruz tallboy!
  • 6 0
 As someone who currently has both, they're quite different.
  • 2 1
 yeah ive been really curious where the Tallboy stacks up too. Im stoked they are giving short travel bikes the attention the deserve, but now some of the "light trail" bike are getting lost in the cracks. They did get the "downcountry" category in the 2020 shootout, but now this new breed of 120mm travel bike is popular, i think it would be good to compare against the 120/130mm bikes rather than the 130/140mm bikes. Or reclassify everything again hahaha

Tallboy, Ripley, Stumpy ST, Trance, Habit, Optic, where do these all fit now?

Sub 120mm = XC
120/130mm = Down Country/Light trail
130/140mm = Trail bikes
140/160mm = All mountain
160/170mm = Enduro
170/180mm = Freeride?
180/200mm = Downhill
  • 2 1
 @Questlove967: The increasing spread is pretty wild. But I think there's a lot more to it than just travel numbers.

I'd put the Tallboy solidly in "downcountry" (ugh, I still hate that word, Mike.), but the Spur.... isn't. And its not an XC bike. Its Slack-C. The Tallboy is also like 3 full pounds heavier than the Spur. Which is like 3 pounds heavier than the Epic EVO, also with similar geo.
  • 2 0
 Agreed, I love the tallboy and even though I have the Hightower V2 my mind still wanders back to the Tallboy demo. The spur just stokes the fire even more. This category is where the fun is at.
  • 1 2
 @cooperquinn-wy: It's S, it's O...there's fit, geometry, kinematics, travel, suspension layout, frame construction, weight, and spec. What people do with it is their business. Why propagate mystifying hype? Because that's what sells bikes and grows the sport? Levy looks slightly more comfortable on this than on another recent frame poorly selected for size: Optic.
  • 1 2
 @Questlove967: DC is 120mm front (has to be a SID or 34SC... less than1700g), 110-120mm rear (no external reservoir), less than 67 degrees, and 23-26 pounds (low, long, and slack). The 130mm bikes are one class up... Trail.
  • 1 1
 @cooperquinn-wy: Yeah the spread is getting wild! I had the last Tallboy 3 and now the new Tallboy 4 and Even the difference between the two of them is ngiht and day, nevermind I what a Epic Evo would feel like compared to either of them.

I feel like bikes keep progressing before we can even categorize them, but id like to think this is as far spread as we could get? Jsut crazy what a difference there is between even such similar bikes on paper!
  • 2 2
 @Baller7756: Using your definition, I don't think a downcountry bike existed until this year, though.
  • 1 1
 @cooperquinn-wy: Id say it was around 2018 that it began. Im sure there were some one offs before that, but the momentum started about 2 years ago... and now most manufacturers are producing DC bikes... and component manufacturers are designing for the category as well (i.e. new SID lineup).

As more DC bikes hit the trails... others will see that they have been over or under biked and join the revolution as well!
  • 1 1
 @Baller7756: I'm just saying that no bike fit "DC is 120mm front (has to be a SID or 34SC... less than1700g), 110-120mm rear (no external reservoir), less than 67 degrees, and 23-26 pounds (low, long, and slack). " until this year.

AFAIK, the first bike that fits there was the Trail Pistol special edition thingy, followed immediately after by the Spur.
  • 1 1
 @cooperquinn-wy: Those specs ranges are what the category has evolved to. Any new bike that is targeting the DC market needs to be around them. Bikes that miss those specs get questionable reviews (like the SB115, and Scalpel SE we see here).

There are bikes that you can DC yourself of course… that's how it began. The Ripley could easily be DC'd… or the IZZO for example... maybe the Tallboy 4. Angled headsets are another innovation gaining momentum cuz of DC.
  • 7 4
 Why was the YT Izzo (and/or Canyon Neuron) not included in the DC group? I’m aware that this was somewhat addressed in the Pinkbike podcast regarding the XC bikes, but It would have been very interesting to see how the D2C bargain bikes compare - and also highly relevant as well, since price is what the majority of negative comments generally seems to focus on.
  • 1 0
 This thing looks exactly like an Izzo. Same top tube to seat stay line and same giant gusset/lower shock mount.
  • 2 0
 The Izzo is intriguing as it straddles that line between DC and trail in a very unique way. I keep coming back to it...
  • 2 0
 Izzo is also 130mm isn't it? That probably puts it into trail rather than "down-country". It does seem very competitively priced though, a good deal cheaper than the Spur.
  • 3 0
 Own decked out spesh Epic MY18 and tried the Izzo against it on a somehow techi trial. call it "Green to Black"
Not sure about this Spur as I have never ridden one, but "full on" XC bikes rides very different than the Izzo.
It will climb faster, weight about 2 LB less. It will have room for one more water bottle. It will also be way more nervous on the decends and the new SID SL fork wont accept WT (Wide trail) tire up front which is a bummer.
But Izzo can be hacked to flat from medium sized dropps (which the epic certianly wont like) it is way more fun and safe. I would certianly pick Izzo over my Epic for any trail ride which is not timed and therefore ordered one...
Hope it helps...
  • 1 0
 @kaftal: Great input, thanks!
  • 3 0
 Genuine question: Why are we putting a 66 HA on a 120mm travel bike with a SID fork?

To be fair: I have a devinci Kobain with specs of 67 HA @ 130mm travel. I over forked it to a 160mm lyrik and use it for literally all my enduro riding because it's fun. I can ride it hard but the rear end chatter is exhausting. 130mm was almost not enough for that kind of stuff.

Wouldn't people want to ride this bike so hard that there should be a fox 34 or something? I have 0 knowledge of XC suspension so excuse my ignorance if it comes across as dumb. It just seems to me like trying to spec what could be an agressive trail bike with a light XC build?
  • 1 0
 watching him ride makes me really think people would need beefier suspension (just watched the video)
  • 14 0
 @monkeybizz, the new SID has 35mm stanchions, and is a huge improvement over the previous models as far as stiffness and overall comfort goes.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: In terms of stiffness if i'm not wrong. a 130mm revelation has the same stiffness as a 160mm yari therefore even if it has 35mm stanchions wouldn't the loss of weight on the lowers make it that much less stiff?

I guess how it compares to a burlier fork is what I'm asking (i'm 210lbs and 6'4" so I worry about these things Smile )
  • 3 0
 Ultimately, modern geo is helpful even for less aggressive trail riders in that it feels secure and inspires confidence, even if that rider has no intention of going big, hitting medium sized and up natural drops, clearing gaps, and so on. It seems this is where this class of bike fits in really well and this is going to cover an awful lot of riders.
However if you intend to go a bit bigger from time to time, you probably need a burlier bike overall.
If you're a more aggressive rider that goes bigger at times, this bike for it's geo/ weight/ efficiency/ and gorgeous looks is really appealing and besides, some of those really rad dudes ride the same trails with no suspension or gears at all so how hard can it be? But I think once that more aggressive rider adds grippy tires and tries to ride this bike like their Enduro sled, shortcomings are going to become apparent and then if they continue to beef it up, they lose what it really is.
Riders need to be realistic about what this class of bike is, is all I'm saying.
  • 3 0
 To everyone asking for Spur vs Optic comparisons: PB tested the Optic doing WBP laps and the Spur on a XC loop. One bike has a custom DH shock and the other a SID. 65 vs 66 HTA. 140 pike vs 120 SID. Traditional Horst link vs flex stays.

I sold a '19 carbon Patrol to buy the Optic two months ago. 100% of riding in and around Bellingham WA. The Optic feels as fast or faster on 99% of regularly ridden trails. It's a few pounds lighter (with exo+ Assegai/DHRII) and is a relatively sprited climber. Easier to manual.

Surprised to say comparing the Patrol and Optic is not a stretch so far as capability. I'd never compare the Patrol and Spur that way.
  • 2 0
 Levy busting out the Blue Steel on the descents! @mikelevy

Question for @smooresmoore: You rode all these bikes, how do you feel they stack up with the Trail Pistol, which was described much like the Spur was in that they started with a burly frame and went lighter?
  • 2 0
 I didn't ride the downcountry bikes this time around, just the cross-country race bikes, so I can't speak to how the Spur compares to the Trail Pistol... The Spur is almost 5lbs lighter though which is impressive!
  • 5 0
 Hey @mikelevy would this bike be better if they just put a deluxe and 120mm pike on it and accepted the extra pound?
  • 6 0
 No idea re the shock, but I could see big boys wanting a full-sized Pike on the front. I'm only 155lb and felt zero need to swap the SID Ultimate for a Pike Smile
  • 14 0
 But then you've sorta defeated the "i'm buying a light bike" thing.

Which is part of what makes the Spur so interesting. If you start to overfork it.. you're gonna want more brakes. and more rubber. and... and... and... you probably just bought the wrong bike?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: nice im big boy and have pike ultimate waiting for spur frame (next year Frown
  • 1 0
 @cooperquinn-wy: you dont need to over fork it, i have 120mm pike
  • 2 0
 I don't think my Spur would be any better with a Pike on it. I considered it on mine, but to be honest the SID really does suit the bike's disposition. The SID combo hereafter kind of defines it. I wouldn't trade the Fork or Shock on mine. Overforking this bike kind of defeats the point of it, and you're probably better off with an altogether different bike at that point.
  • 5 0
 A coil + Fox 36 version will be bike of the day on Vitalmtb within the next month.
  • 1 0
 I have a Cane Creek Helm I'm going to run on my trip to Colorado I just started. 120mm still cause I don't want slacker on the climbs.
  • 4 0
 So the Sid has bushing issues? I was curious if the SID combo would feel overwhelmed on these kind of bikes. Surprised it wasn’t touched on in the video.
  • 1 0
 The SID combo used on this bike is the new SID. They revised the fork and shock in time for this bike's release. The fork sits up higher in its travel and resists using its travel unless you need it. I like that. The shock on the other hand, due to the bike geometry and what they designed it for has a lot of give with a lax rebound and compression. I wouldn't call it Trail feeling, but more like heavy-duty XC feeling. IMO, the SID fork in particular is extremely nice on this bike. I probably prefer it over the Fox 34SC, while being on-par with a straight Fox34 with little trade-offs here and there between those two. The shock? Hm.. It's kind of its own unique thing. I doesn't really feel like anything else that you would compare it to, but I'll say it has a lot of different ways to make it feel depending on how you air it and tune it. I'd give the Fork an A+, and give the Shock a B+. Both a great, and they feel like they work in concert with each other.
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: cool, sounds like you have some experience. So was the damper on the fork able keep up with long rocky descents? Could you feel or hear it heating up? If I end up with one will I be disappointed coming off a 130mm Pike debonair? I’m 190-200 lbs kitted up... Trying to decide if I should give it a chance or sell it as a new take off if/when the opportunity arises.
  • 3 0
 @Tonedelove: I thought so, yeah. Keep in mind, I don't bomb down hills. I carry a little speed, but i'm not out there pretending that I'm RR either. Thinking of how to respond to this.. Best way I can put it is, I think the SID(s) work really well for the way that Transition designed the Spur to perform. IE, they match up well. The difference between new SID and new(est) Pike in 130 is.. minimal.. to me anyway. If you *really* push it on the down, then ok maybe you'll notice they lightened up the Pike 130, made some tweaks here and there and then rolled that out as the new SID. I was also worried about the SID being too XC to handle it, but its not. Its a new fork. The video they made for the Spur really does show how its designed to be ridden, and represents what I feel like it can deal with in real life. I really like what the resulting SID turned out to be. Combine that with how it stays high in its travel and its a winner for the riding I like to do around CO's front range and surrounding areas.
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: thank you good sir.
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: I'm on i70 into Denver. I'm gonna know how the spur rides in the front range today. I do bomb it like RR ????????
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: If you could ride one 10-15 mile loop in the front range that really suits the Spur, what would it be? (I'm passing through there at the end of August and trying to pick one trail to ride while I'm there).
  • 1 0
 @DetroitCity: gotta give us your review on that SID stuff. I need input!
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: Centennial Cone Park - Full Loop (damn your 10-15mi restriction, lol, that 17mi loop is worth it!)
  • 2 0
 So what is it that helps bikes on technical climbs? I would have thought something like this would have done better on the tech climb as compared to how it did efficiency wise. Is it the kinematics of the suspension or just how long it is that hinders a bike on tech climbs?
  • 1 0
 yeah, this is my question, especially since i'd buy it replace my AM hardtail.
  • 4 0
 It's mostly the length, partly the angles Smile
  • 1 2
 Exercise, diet, tire pressure, and bike fit/sizing. Accelerability is clutch, so there'll be an advantage for a 26/27.5 rear wheel on a hardtail. This bike is too big for Mike=when sitting to rest at full saddle extension, front wheel gets too light.
  • 10 0
 @ceecee: Nope, it's not too big. If I had picked the medium, I wouldn't be taking advantage of the geometry that Transition chose. The bike rides as it does because of its length and angles, and it's going to be worth the tech climbing penalty for many people, especially as most don't have crazy tech climbing trails. In many places, you ride a gravel road, doubletrack, or a machined-made climbing trail, and the Spur has zero issues with those.
  • 2 0
 @wannabeabiker @mikelevy: Yep, agreed. I mostly focus on technical climbs, and I own the bike. I'd say the lightweight build is definitely front and center, but there are various geometry and frame layup aspects at play that "help" some bikes more than others. Look into the whole "progressive geometry" thing and you'll see what they're on about. That said, know your body, because for me I actually prefer bikes that are considered "relaxed" in this regard more than the "progressive" bikes while climbing here in CO. People are unique. Bikes are unique. It's all about the right combo of the two.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: 'It's mostly the length'
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: So you wouldn't use this bike as a tech climber? Why not? What bike would you choose? So to clarify, my idea of tech climbing would be rocky step ups, baby heads, scree, etc... like you'd find in the Sierras.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy How does the Spur compare to the V2 Smuggler? I love everything about my Smuggler that I’ve been riding for the past two years, except its heft. (Even with carbon wheels, it still comes in around 32-33 pounds.) I enjoyed riding the Smuggler in BC and frequent Pisgah and Pisgah style trails often and I like to pedal. Compared to the Smuggler, how much downhill/tech performance would I sacrifice if I replaced the Smug with a Spur? 120mm up front and flex stays make me a little nervous...
  • 2 0
 Been a lot of build up to this bike (riots!?) but from the review it sounds heavy, and it doesn’t climb well. Seems you’d be marginally slower going up on a 150 rig and enjoy the descent more. Unlike the Epic Evo or Oiz TR, this does not entice me away from a proper trail bike.
  • 2 0
 Oiz TR doesn't look as capable. Head angle is 1.5 degrees steeper than the EVO
  • 3 1
 The question for me that was not answered during this review is why one would buy this bike over a svelte trail bike? It was pointed out that this bike was only okay at climbing and I am sure there there trail bikes that can climb as well if not better while having even better descending manners and certainly a more durable spec. The big question is who is this bike for? Saying it's a downhillers XC bike is pretty nebulous when the bulk of DH guys are riding trail/enduro rigs when they aren't at a park.
  • 4 1
 They are comparing the Spur to these other XC/DC bikes... keep that angle in mind when they say it’s length has an impact on tight switchbacks or that its an amazing downhiller. Nowhere did they say it’s climbing was similar to a trail bike or make any comparison to a trail bike.

I think this bike in particular and this Downcounty class of bikes hurts some egos a bit. It’s a check for guys who unnecessarily have big travel bikes for theIr trails.

This bike will kill it on virtually any local trails out there. It will be faster, more maneuverable, and just as capable as any trail bike on your local trails.
  • 1 0
 Its a downhillers XC bike, not a downhillers trail/enduro bike.
  • 2 1
 @Baller7756: I completely agree with your thoughts here. I live next to a trail with 65 (!) switchbacks and I'm not entirely thrilled with the Spur there. Granted, it wasn't designed for it, but still. In a comparison with the Ripley/SB115 you really do notice the Spur isn't the happiest camper in the world doing those switchbacks. Its certainly not beefy-trail-bike kind of bad, but its noticeable. I think Mike's video review of the Spur also called it out perfectly.
  • 2 0
 Anyone knows how the Spur compares to the YT Izzo?
I used to downhill and dirtjump, but with work and all, I began to ride less and less. Now I'm looking into getting a bike to do everything basically, from riding to work to hitting some trails and the ocasional jump and that's what appeals me in the Spur, but it's way off my budget. The Izzo comp looks like a great alternative, but from the reviews it doesn't seem like something I can push as far, despite having 10mm more than the Spur and the numbers looking similar.
  • 4 1
 Glad to see lighter weight trail bikes available. If I was doing a trekking adventure or exploring long distance trails this would be a very efficient machine.
  • 11 8
 So it's like Giant Trance 29 but climbs worse and doesn't descent any better, has less travel in the front with a glorified XC fork instead of proper trail fork.
  • 25 5
 LOL The Spur descends far, far better Wink
  • 9 8
 @mikelevy: Any timed comparison between the two bikes? Geo is very similar. I don't see how it can descend far better with less travel and very similar had tube angle. Have you tried using 140mm fork and running rear shock without travel reducing spacer in it? This way you get 140/122mm bike with 66° HTA.
  • 13 0
 @msusic: No timed comparisons, sorry Smile I was only thinking of the old version, not the new one that I'm going to start riding soon. I'll do a lap of the Field Test course on it and see how it compares!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Are your referring to the new X 29 model with 135/150mm of travel? If so, that may not help much since it's an entirely different category of bike compared to the current Trance Advance 29 with 115/130mm that competes directly with the Spur.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: So how does the Spur compare to a Trail Pistol?
  • 1 1
 @nurseben: Different classes of bike. I know they somewhat measure up in terms of raw numbers, but they feel very different. Trail Pistol is a "tighter" feeling bike, while the Spur is more of a flicky, lightweight party-XC-Trail machine. The Spur feels like it has more versatility in it vs the Trail Pistol specifically. Keep in mind, I really like the Trail Pistol too. The Spur just feels.. Hm.. Hard to describe.. Like it can do a lot of things *very, very* well. Geometry and Suspension designs have a lot to do with this. They're really quite different feeling, imo.
  • 3 2
 @msusic: timed comprisons? Pinkbike is now reporting timings not only in % (which is absurd) but using 2 decimal places ... which just goes to show not only how this "tests" sell irrelevance for accuracy, but how the pinkbike staff doesn't even begin to understand how to properly compare timed runs.

Hire a statistician, would you? All this is doing is reporting random variation ... expressed in % ... and then making up stories (down-country or up-country!) to fit the randomness of the results!
  • 3 0
 @duzzi: "All this is doing is reporting random variation ... expressed in % ... and then making up stories (down-country or up-country!) to fit the randomness of the results."
I can't really argue with that but maybe its okay, I mean they aren't trying to plot launch trajectory to land a man on Mars or anything, maybe we are all just having some fun here?
  • 2 0
 @stillclimbing: I have a Trail Pistol, Shred, and Megatrail, so I know how GG bikes ride. What I'm mostly curious about is how the flex stay feels compared to a contemporary pivot swingarm, ie is it more responsive, firmer, etc...

The thing that I feel isn't always addressed in PB reviews is how a certain suspension works for different surfaces, so for example I know about PNW riding cuz I lived there, but now I'm in the Eastern Sierras, so comparing how a suspension works on loam, roots, dust, versus rock, sand, and chunder.

I can pound my way through a gnarly scree slope or down a rocky drainage, over and over on the Pistola/Shred, but only because those bikes can absorb the repeated impacts without excessive deflection. For contrast, you can get away with riding a hardtail in the PNW or on the East Coast, but out here you'd get your arse handed to you unless you stick to flow.
  • 1 1
 @nurseben: If i'm being honest, I would say the Spur doesn't feel as robust as the Trail Pistol. I never rode the other GG bikes, but i'm only guessing they are even more burly than the TP. That's not to say the Spur feels weak back there, it just doesn't feel as robust. I think you probably hit the nail on the head with the reference to PNW.. The Spur isn't limited to that region by any means, but it no doubt inspired by it if that make sense!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: How did you feel about the bottom bracket height? My only hesitation with this bike on paper is the fact that the BB is relatively low, especially since they're spec'ing it with 175mm cranks and they don't give you the third ISCG tab to mount a bash guard. Did you have issues with pedal strikes? Did you ride any terrain rough enough to be worried about catching your chainring on rocks?
  • 2 0
 I actually think the 175mm cranks are the only regret I have with the components on my Spur. I do experience a lot of pedal strikes that I think could be easily remedied with 170mm cranks. Then again, the trails here in southern AZ are basically miles-long rock gardens, so it may be perfectly fine on slightly smoother trails. I'll find out later this month when I visit Bentonville again.
  • 3 4
 @opetruzel: Pedal strikes likely more due to low BB than crank arm length. not much difference between a 175 and 170.

Maybe try some thinner pedals you may get the same result as a shorter crank.

Or try 170 cranks and thinner pedals?
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: I agree - got no rocks, just tree roots, loam and sand. with the lean needed on these long and low its pedal strike city on 175mm. Using CB Candy 7s too.
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: 165mm cranks will work well, long enough for cranking, short enough to clear obstracles.
  • 3 0
 "Cable routing is internal and tube-in-tube (as it should be) to make repairs easy"

Pic's show the rear brake line is exposed?
  • 3 0
 Doh, rear brake external. Good catch Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: and thank gawd! I hate internally routed rear brake lines, not necessary and always a PITA.
  • 1 0
 Its not so bad at climbing (only ridden in the summer parched dry lands), but at 30% sag on front/rear, low stack height (5mm spacer) and the stock oneup bars it hasn't failed to get up anything yet (including the odd 30%er) as weight is easy to get over front without any wheel wandering. I did think it was long at first, but then I get back on my 150/135mm enduro and its like a bus in the corners by comparison.
  • 3 0
 I thought we'd all come to a mutual understanding that front travel should be more than rear travel? Especially on a 120 rear bike?
  • 5 0
 Nino runs 110F/120R, So that’s out the window
  • 1 0
 @aquanut: Imagine that's about geometry and fit, but I don't know for sure. However, I don't care what Nino is doing with his bike and neither does anyone else considering a Spur, which is not a purebred race bike. Additionally, what Nino and other XC pros are doing is irrelevant to 99.9% of people that actually are laser focused on XC racing. Pros, and especially Nino, are different creatures than the rest of us.
  • 1 0
 Hi Mike please advise which bikes you were referring to when you said there are more efficient all round bikes out there? I am riding the Cape Epic next year and need a very efficient climbing bike that can cope with tight steep technical sections with some technical descents.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevi mentioned the long downhill oriented length 4 different times between 3 different videos. I can’t be more poignant in saying he should have been in a Medium Spur. It is literally within 3mm of the specialized evo large. The spur looked huge on you buddy, its a bummer you didnt pick the M that fit you, for a better comparison. I bet you could have cleaned that steep technical uphill section if you had the ability to throw the a smaller Spur around a little more.
  • 5 2
 This is the only bike that makes me consider parting ways with my Ripley V4.
  • 16 1
 Why? Your Ripley V4 is hardly deficient. It’s only the benchmark after all.
  • 13 1
 i suppose if you want something less capable
  • 6 11
flag bikeboyrick (Aug 10, 2020 at 12:05) (Below Threshold)
 The Ripley v4 is a more diverse bike. By changing the forks air spring ~$28, you can go from 120mm to 140mm and thereby change the geo... 67* (120mm), 66.5 (130mm), 66* (140mm). The fork on the spur cannot exceed 120mm according to transition. I personally wouldn't change a thing on the ripley, ride the shit out of it! way nicer than the spur IMO. I think they should have buried the brake cable on the spur rather than running it outside the frame, at that price point! clean that shit up transition.
  • 9 1
 Don't. The Ripley V4 is a direct competitor. It is not deficient in any possible way so long as you setup the shock to perform how you want it to. The Ripley V4 climbs better, straight up. DW-Link is damn hard to beat in that regard. That said, I might give the Spur the nod for better descending, but its not night and day. It's like, different shades of grey if anything. Don't give up your Ripley for a Spur. Give up your Ripley for an all-together different bike, like a Ripmo or Sentinal. The Ripley (especially V4) is still a world class bike, deficient in nothing.
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: But it sounds like the Spur is also super efficient, it just has more aggressive geo that (sometimes) makes it awkward on technical climbs. So it seems more like a choice between a bike built for PNW type terrain and a bike built for southwest/northeast type terrain?
  • 3 0
 @stillclimbing: My Ripley is built up as a 120/140mm bike with big 4 piston 203mm brakes and grippy tires. The bike is the best handling bike I've owned, but I do love Transition bikes and if I didn't already have my Ripley i'd probably snag one. I had a Ripmo and it was great as an all arounder, but with a 2 bike stable it kind of falls in between what I want. I have my Ripley for all day rides and looking at a longer travel bike to crush descents and take to the park. I'm in North Carolina and the Ripley handles Pisgah with ease, so I think the Spur could as well while giving me a bit more on the downs. I'd just like to demo one and see how it feels. Travel numbers rarely tell the whole story.
  • 1 0
 @bigwheels87: IMO, that's a nearly perfect assessment. From my experience, the DW-Link bike is the more efficient pedaling platform. That said, the Spur is the better descender of the two, with the SB115 falling in between.
  • 2 1
 @Jakemnm: I'm in the same boat. I'm going super short travel 29'er for 80% of what I ride, then something a bit heavier hitting for the gnarly chunk.
  • 1 1
 It sounds to me like I made the right bike choice! I got on the list for one when they were announced for my "XC" race bike for next season. Should be perfect for spending a whole lot of time on, and that it won't make me feel like there are some trails I shouldn't ride on it.
  • 5 1
 And I thought I was weird counting dabs on my rides...
  • 3 1
 Nothing is more irritating than a one dab ride!
  • 3 1
 So could save probably 500 g with a lighter brake and carbon rims. That'd bring it a lot closer in both price and weight to the XC race bikes we saw last week.
  • 1 0
 Super interested in this one but weighing 180lbs im wondering if the rear shock would break on rock hits here in CO, I recently demolished a old xc rockshock on a 2013 superfly lol.
  • 4 1
 Reminds me of the BMC Speedfox
  • 1 0
 One pesky typo(s).....I think that the rear brake hydraulic housing is external.

Keep up the great work, especially having more XC or DC content!

-XC4life
  • 2 1
 Correct, rear brake cabling is external, routing through little eyelets they molded into the frame. I was honestly a little worried about this on mine, but they did it elegantly, and its unique.
  • 2 0
 How does it compare to the smuggler? Does it seem like a reasonable replacement in their lineup?
  • 3 0
 Anyone ridden this and the Trek Top Fuel? Curious how those compare.
  • 3 0
 I haven't but this guy (Jeff Brines) has www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPQxeOeIb5E
  • 1 0
 I’d to end up wrapping my lycra clad ass around a tree if I ever attempted the kind of save Levy pulled in the first minute of the video
  • 3 0
 Looks like a lighter weight Whyte s-120
  • 1 2
 IMO... the geo is a virtual SB130 clone. Just lighter weight (without the pivots, linkages, and switch infinity, and big fork/shock)… and less travel.
  • 1 0
 Very strange that the Transition got this amazing review while the Whyte came out a year earlier got a lukewarm reception.
  • 2 0
 @Zwini: agreed
  • 1 0
 Great review, but I would like an opinion of someone who tried this vs Smuggler. Since it seems that Transition have replace the smuggler with this one.
  • 2 0
 How does it compare to evil the following? would you say its as fun descending or less fun?
  • 3 0
 I was able to compare these two within about 2 weeks of each other. Not necessarily A/B, but pretty darn close to it. I rode the Following in western CO, and bought the Spur and ride it mostly on CO's front range and surrounding trails. So.. I really hated the Following's geo.. I'm the exact opposite person for who that bike is meant for (body wise). The Following's 77 STA was straight up uncomfortable for me. I find it to be *way* to pitched forward and "aggressive". Of the two, the front end felt very different. The Evil is more quick to steer and make adjustments, while the Spur is more slack on the front and easy going in that regard. The rear end however was even more different. The Spur really wants to use its rear travel all the time while the Following tends to resist using its travel unless it needs it. The Following is like a go-fast trail bike and the Spur is like a party-time XC bike. The Spur also came in a lot lighter, which probably had a lot to do with it. Again, the Geo *really* put me off the Evil, so someone who favors those Geo numbers would probably really like it.
  • 2 0
 i miss the new EVIL following in this field test, would like to know how this bike compares to the spur..
  • 1 0
 You won't find that here.
  • 1 0
 I almost bought a new Following, but because of the Superboost I went with the Spur. Also, Evil's suspension design seems little more complicated (and heavier) for such a short travel bike.
  • 2 0
 Is the expected life of a carbon frame with engineered flex the same as a carbon frame without?
  • 3 0
 All other things being equal (which they never really are) that should be yes since unlike metal frames, a carbon frame has no fatigue/memory limit for number of stress cycles as long as those stresses are within the normal operating parameters. I'm sure an engineer could state this in more proper technical terms, but hopefully you get the idea.
  • 3 0
 Impossible to say. It's entirely possible for the expected life of flexy stays to last longer than stays with a pivot. All depends on what Transitions design targets are and how well they did their load analysis, simulation, testing, layup, manufacturing tolerances, etc. If the stress in the seat stay is low enough, it could have an infinite fatigue life.
  • 2 0
 Could the Spur be the “soft ride” 29er that all the old hardtail fans will accept?
  • 1 0
 That downtube looks like a pretty "Straight Shot" from headtube to BB, but it doesn't have/need a knock-block... interesting.
  • 8 7
 At the price of the Spur I’ll need to sell a lot more than my trail bike. Kidney anyone?
  • 3 0
 Transition are firmly in SC territory. Not that they shouldn’t be pricey as the quality appears top shelf.
  • 4 0
 @CircusMaximus: I'm not seeing this, the X01 Spur is $1k less than the similarly spec'd Tallboy...
  • 2 1
 @crj5: ok but here an x01 build transition is actually $50 more than an x01 CC Santa Cruz build.
  • 2 0
 Where does the Spot Ryve 115 sit in comparison to the Spur?
  • 5 0
 Ryve is a rocketship - I'd race XC on it and be stoked. Spur isn't that bike, but it's much more capable on the descents.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: But: which would you pick if you had only one bike and raced a couple-three marathon/stage races year...and the rest of time it was 4-6 rides a few times per week?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Completely agree. Honestly, probably can't say it any better than you did, so cheers!

@thegoodword: They really are different feeling. The numbers don't tell the story on this one =)
  • 3 0
 @stillclimbing: Around Boise, we have long climbs with short steep sections where a lightweight climber is ideal. These are sections I can clean on my 3x10 22 by 36 granny gearing after coughing up one of my lungs, but have to hike-a-bike push my 1x12 SB 5.5 up. Then it is all down. There are occasional chunky sections but most of the climb and descent are both pretty smooth.
The Ryve 115 strikes me as the ideal climber for those short steep sections, whereas the Spur would slay the chunky downhill sections. Both bikes would likely do just fine for most of the trail ride. Finding the middle ground via the field tests is the challenge. I am almost reading that a more well-rounded bike like the Epic Evo would be more ideal. I really want a bike that I don't have to hike-a-bike the steep sections, yet don't feel like I am riding a hard tail on the descent.
  • 4 1
 @thegoodword: Nice! I love ya'lls terrain over there! I wouldn't say the Spur is any less versatile than an Epic Evo. If anything, the Spur will probably take the edge on the down, but again that's more shades of grey than anything. I think those two are more alike than different for sure. While the SB 5.5 can be built up to be fairly lightweight, its not in the same realm as either of these bikes for sure. You'll pickup climbing efficiency going either way, but don't expect the Spur's 120 shock to eat garbage the way that 5.5 will. It can deal with a lot, but at the end of the day, it's still a 120. To me, there isn't a loser in your fight, it's more about which flavor you like more. I know the Spur might be hard to find for a rental right now, but I'd say that most of the reviews I've seen on it between here and Youtube are pretty darn accurate to what I've experienced. fwiw, i'd prob elect to support the smaller guys, but thats a whole different topic =)
  • 3 0
 @stillclimbing: I am thinking you are spot on and would rather support Spot with the Ryve 115 or Transition with the Spur than many companies out there. Spot has climbing prowess while the Ryve's downhilling is suspect. The Spur is the exact opposite with slightly deficient climbing capability and excellent descending for the 120mm travel class of bikes. When it comes to which flavor is better, it is paralysis through analysis. Taking a road trip to Bellingham to test the Spur and then another to Golden for the Spot may be the only way to ride these bikes in Covid times. At least both states have legal devil's lettuce. Maybe among the haze somebody out there will provide a long drawn out review of the Spur's climbing and the Ryve's descending as that detailed review is what is missing from my view. The SB115 and Revel Ranger's entry into this class of bikes creates an even more hazy perspective.
  • 2 0
 @thegoodword: +1 for devil’s lettuce.
  • 2 0
 @thegoodword: Totally, the Epic Evo seems a much more rounded performer for this *class* of bike and significantly lighter.
  • 1 0
 Is there any chance of this being released in a good old aluminum? Heavier and cheaper?
  • 2 0
 transition seems to have moved away from any offering in aluminum, so i wouldn't hold out for one.
  • 1 0
 @addingst: I hope that they release some aluminum versions of the new bikes next year!
  • 1 0
 Looks a bit lile the last gen RM Slayer but with even nicer cleaner lines from top tube to seatstay, what a beauty!
  • 1 0
 It's a "downhiller's cross-country bike" huh? If only there was a pithy way to say that
  • 1 1
 Ah finally! a short travel bike that's not put into XC category. This might be my next bike, a decade after the previous one.
  • 2 0
 Sweet ride! Now I just need a new job and I can get one!
  • 1 0
 This is a bike I'd really like for about 50% of the trails I've been riding.
  • 1 3
 Did... did all the trail bikes get longer, looser, burlier to make way for these XCTrail thingies? Or was there a void made by the longer looser designs?

It's a beautiful looking bike alright.

If you love climbing so much why not just buy an e-bike though?
  • 1 0
 As every category gets longer and slacker each iteration there are new categories popping up. Just like gravel bikes do what XC did in the past.

Are you really considering an e-bike?
  • 2 0
 @XIVXV: Ah no that last line was pure trolling. Each to their own when it comes to choosing a bike, my knees don't enjoy climbing so much anymore and I am starting to feel like I'll be monotonously droning on about power modes and battery life some time in the next decade.
Would love the whippet-like physique and fitness needed to do one of these bikes justice.
  • 1 0
 How do those internal cable tubes work out for those of us that run moto style brakes?
  • 1 0
 So, how does the Spur compare to a bike like the V4 Ripley? And, why wasn't the Ripley considered as a "down country" bike?
  • 1 0
 Levy in spandex is like a SPUR in my side
  • 7 0
 Same tho
  • 2 0
 I liked Levy's thigh in that huck to flat
  • 2 1
 Head to Head - Spur VS Topfuel - Let's see it!
  • 1 0
 Wait...am I hearing Bette Davis Eyes from 6:17 on?
  • 1 0
 Damn. Levy hate the Spurs more than Mark Cuban.
  • 2 0
 “Giggle-gaps”
  • 1 0
 New Transition bikes sure are pretty!
  • 1 0
 When will we see a raw Levy edit? Awesome riding!
  • 1 0
 @ Mark Levy, great review. Question for you the Spur or the Tall Boy???
  • 1 0
 They're quite different bikes, despite many of the numbers appearing very similar on paper.
  • 2 0
 @fedfox These are two very, VERY different bikes. Spur is far more XC/Trail while Tallboy is far more Trail. Spur climbs miles better (like, its not even a contest here) while you could argue the Tallboy could see the end of a downhill faster, safer and more plushly. VPP is a plush suspension design in its very nature. Newest Tallboy made big improvements in this, but it can't touch a Spur (or Ripley/SB100/115) on the climb. That said, if you like it plush, or just want more squish then Tallboy is for you.
  • 1 0
 VERDICT. On to sentencing
  • 2 1
 I legit don't understand the point of this bike.
  • 8 2
 @shralping-the-cube

I watched someone describe this bike a few weeks ago as the perfect bike for someone who thinks of themselves as wanting to go up and down with very high efficiency, but not giving up on being weight conscious. Honestly, it was a perfect description.

Another way to think about it is this: The Spur is a direct competitor to the Ripley / SB115 / Trail429 and a bunch of other bikes.. That's why marketing people try to think up a category for it and you get all those weird terms like Down-Country or like. It definitely falls into the not-a-typical-trail-bike-but-still-not-XC-either..

..and a third perspective might look like this. This is the bike category that a lot of people should probably be on, who usually end up over-biking themselves with more travel and weight than they will ever realistically need.
  • 2 1
 @stillclimbing: third perspective is the correct one.
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: so you're saying it's the bike I should trade my Firebird for now that I f*cking wrecked myself riding park and am dialing it back like 5 notches for next season when I can ride again.
  • 1 1
 @shralping-the-cube: lol.. i wouldn't say give up the Firebird (killer bike!), but maybe rock a beefy set of protection....and...yeah.. dial back 3 notches.. Spur (or similar bike) would be a good non-park compliement to your chunk-eating-and-then-spitting-back-out Firebird..
  • 1 0
 @stillclimbing: 6 broken ribs, broken clavicle, broken scapula, collapsed and bruised lung, bruised brain. Dunno that armor would have helped. broke my Bell Full 9 as it is. but yeah. I'll probably add a short travel bike or maybe a hardtail if i don't swap the firebird out for one.
  • 4 0
 @shralping-the-cube: omg.. my skin crawled just reading that comment...that sounds horrific.. you definitely have more full send in you than I do! Not sure what state the recovery is in, but if it still happening then I wish you a full bill of health once the process is over.. gosh...
  • 4 0
 @stillclimbing: I’m two months out. I can do normal life stuff now and even mellow flat rides and easy hiking. Won’t have full lung capacity back for a year. Just doing a lot of PT and hoping I can ski this year.
  • 1 0
 @shralping-the-cube: Angel Fire? Glad to see your up and about and on your way to full function!
  • 2 0
 @smartyiak: Yep. Thanks. Getting there slowly. Most of the pain is gone except for my ribs.
  • 1 1
 Forget the Field Test. We need the Behind the Numbers analysis to get the real answer.
  • 1 0
 i dont really mide the fork but the there like 20m in the back awfall
  • 2 0
 Brown Country
  • 1 0
 LOL
  • 1 0
 Ps. Levy looked sketchy af in some of those shots!
  • 2 0
 Tires! I wish they would have used "DC" tires on the DC bikes. One component of DC is aggressive grippy tires.
  • 1 0
 Why no Giant Trance 29 or Santa Cruz Tallboy in this field test?
  • 2 0
 This test isn't intended to be an exhaustive review of the entire category, which would be huge and unrealistic. Instead, it's a limited sampling and comparison between a small selection of bikes that have been released relatively recently and not been previously reviewed by pb.
  • 1 0
 Those new Transition bikes are just sooo pleasant to look at Big Grin
  • 5 5
 I'ld tap that for a weekend...
  • 1 1
 Great, another Transition I didn't know I needed. Yeah, thanks Transition
  • 1 0
 Great review, thanks
  • 1 1
 New slope style bike if you built the bike with components beefy enough?
  • 1 1
 What carnage would happen if I accidentally put a 130-140mm fork on this?
  • 1 0
 Grim Donut t-shirt
  • 1 0
 Check 'em in the store.
  • 1 0
 want SMUGGGLER gdmit
  • 1 0
 Spur vs Optic?
  • 1 2
 Already sold my trail bike for an e bike.
  • 1 1
 Home run on the review
  • 2 4
 sid. 29er. lol
  • 1 7
flag baca262 (Aug 10, 2020 at 15:46) (Below Threshold)
 just for those who don't get it - i got thrown off a 140mm 26" pike due to flex. this thing is a wet noodle compared to it, push this thing hard and you are getting thrown off the bike.
  • 3 0
 @baca262: I own the bike. I'm stupid sensitive to flex. The stanchions on this SID don't flex anything like older forks. This new SID feels like a Pike in terms of flex, and i'd put it a slight notch above the regular Fox 34. I find the Fox34SC flexes for me. I'm 6'1" 190lbs.
  • 7 4
 @baca262: You're a fatass. We get it.
  • 1 2
 @nozes: lol troll i'm 130ish.

would have to try it to believe it doesn't flex too much
  • 1 3
 @stillclimbing: my crash was a tankslapper scenario, a fast and due to speed hard corner, fork just started wobbling because i was on it. flex.
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