Video: A Good Hardtail is Like a Good Espresso Coffee

Mar 20, 2015
by Transition Bikes  
Views: 55,038    Faves: 361    Comments: 18


This is the story of the 2015 Transition TransAM hardtail. Designer Darrin Seeds shows us why it is good for the soul to sometimes put away the full suspension bike and grab a singlespeed, steel hardtail and shred some of your favourite old school trails.


MENTIONS @TransitionBikeCompany




142 Comments

  • + 88
 Transition is by far one of my favorite companies. Great bikes, and great people.
  • + 14
 Amen to that!
  • + 14
 Im annoyed that they go rid of the bottlerocket and the tr250 though Confused
  • - 1
 2 cracked frames from them, I'd disagree but that's just IMO
  • + 2
 @duckcrisps
Was trying to buy a Bottlerocket, but they ran out of my size and stated they had no plans to introduce the Bottlerocket again. Only thing close to that is the NS Soda, so when the 2015 releases, I'm getting it!
  • + 8
 I really like this company, focus seems to be more on having a good time on your bike.
  • + 2
 proud onwer of a Bandit. Proud owner of an On-One 456c as well, which sits there in the hall of fame of ultra versatile hardtails.
  • + 70
 Anyone else not like the taste of any coffee or coffee affiliated drinks? I feel so alone. HT 's are cool though!
  • + 38
 As a die hard tea drinker I didnt get the analogies at all.

I do remember when I was without a proper DH bike for a couple of months I rode my hardtail on the DH trails. It was awesome fun even if I couldn't feel my feet at the end of the day. My mates had to coax me back onto full bouncers by saying things like "today I think we should just session that one gnarly rock garden ALL DAY" whenever I threatened to bring my hardtail out again instead of my brand new DH rig.

Still drunk tea at the end of the ride tho. And I don't think I've ever put whipped cream or chocolate sprinkles in it....
  • + 30
 I think it works just as well to say "A Good Hardtail is Like a Nice Cuppa Tea"... Comforting, there for you, reliable, and probably all you really need.
  • + 1
 With the kind and quality of coffee they serve in US and all those rubbish canned products even coffee addicts stop drinking coffee. The title of the article really makes sense in coffee drinking countries or to people who appreciate good coffee.
  • + 12
 Coffee, Tea, HT and FS they all taste good to me.

A great analogy Expresso - Hardtails, but the reality is if the coffee industry was anything like the bike industry the coffee legends: Expresso, Latté, Cappuccino's, Macchiato etc would've been seen forced redundancy and been sidelined many years ago, replaced with newer, improved industry standards of coffee, giving the drinker: greater control during your caffeine high, improved caffeine delivery mechanisms, 37% more effective, 23% lighter, 15% darker, stronger, weaker. All the stuff the coffee drinker really wants.

Personally I'm glad I can still get a normal coffee or tea at the end of my hardtail ride.
  • + 6
 Nah, just as there will always be appreciation for a good clean espresso, sp too will there be for a good steel HT
  • + 1
 @ModernApe can't give enough props to that Big Grin
  • + 1
 @gabriel-mission9

"As a die hard tea drinker I didnt get the analogies at all."

The saying is; "not shaking enough, have another cup of coffee"

The correlation... 'If you are not excited enough, get back on the bike'
  • + 7
 For those that don't get it: You can get away with a lower quality of coffee for a cappuchino/latte etc. For an expresso to be good the coffee has to be top notch. Same way you can get away with more sloppy technique on an fs bike.
  • + 1
 I fell your pain. I tried coffee for the first time up at Tremblant, 3 cups of the stuff. All I got was jittery and a big shit. I don't understand the appeal at all. Kratom for life.
  • + 0
 I think coffee tastes like a cup of mud mixed with dirty water. Yes, i have tasted both....
  • + 32
 Wait, what!!?? A serious transition video with no pony riding or dutch immigrants riding in super tight skinny jeans and a knitted sweater??? What?! I thought I knew you guys....
  • + 2
 My thoughts exactly
  • + 4
 dutch immigrants? Didn't get that reference? Captain!?
  • + 4
 Bas Van Steenbergen
  • + 0
 he's Canadian though, no?!
  • + 4
 go watch the tr500 maga release video and skip to 7:00 and you find out what i was talking about
www.pinkbike.com/video/354598
link if you need it
  • + 1
 Haha nice!
  • + 2
 Go watch the Pivot Mach 4 carbon video at Pivot's website. Then you'll realize why the intro of this video is hysterical. And yes, I want a Pivot Mach 4c and a Transition Transam....
  • + 1
 @Ruffletron : Nope, they moved here from the Netherlands (third paragraph). He also alludes to it in his Shoulder Season video at 3:09.
  • + 28
 lets just all take a moment and appreciate that we are among the lucky 1% that mountain bike.
  • + 5
 I need to upvote this 15x
  • + 25
 Great video! Nice promo, very well done PR material Transition, convinced me to ride HT this weekend Big Grin . But... a mountain bike with no rear suspension and carbon rims is not a hard tail - it is a Harder tail Big Grin
  • + 3
 dt revolution
  • + 0
 Boob design - even if you mounted those rims to hubs using 8 spokes, there would be less flex than with 823s on maxed out Alpinas III. Carbon is fast, some find it good looking, but it hurts on HT and my saddle still has 3 times as much padding as his
  • + 17
 Pro tip - You're supposed to stand up on the bumpy bits...
  • + 3
 Ruffletron... you are a genius! Gotta try it tomorrow! I see that we have all natural born Mark Weirs here, everyone pedals standing, all day out of the saddle!
  • + 1
 yea.... sorry never tried carbon rims. but i guess there is no real advantage over a good aluminium rim.... guess especially "low" profile rims are the thing to use on a hardtails rear
  • + 21
 That trail is amazing.
  • + 9
 It made my mouth water almost as much as the thought of espresso
  • + 19
 Some of us don't need to be converted.
  • + 14
 Aggro hardtails for the win!
  • + 4
 Thank God for you UK boys and Transition. It's hard to find an AM that isn't FS in the US. I'd love a Transition, but you guys are actually closer. I've been having a fling with a Blue Pig for quite some time now. When I'm feeling really flirty I have her say, "Aluminium."
  • + 8
 I recently built a Giant Glory DH 2010(old), which is my dream bike. Along with that I put together a Street bike from parts I had around the house and a Majesti home made frame and I ride that hardtail around 89% of the time. In the woods or street, hardtails are just an insane amount of fun and you should not knock em' till you try em'! Most of the people I ride with have some 5-7" bikes and keep asking me with astonishment how I am faster than them on some sections or how am I not afraid to go down stairs as fast etc. The thing is, you cannot, simply cannot learn basic bike control on a full suspension bike. I have learned to be delicate, yet aggressive and carry as much style as I can (if any).
P.S. Most of those people are on their 2-3 warrantied frame.
  • + 2
 FS is great! training wheels for the big jumps and drops!
  • + 1
 @scottzg
That is exactly how I felt the first time I got on a FS after 18 years of HT-AM/XC
  • + 4
 Got ya'll beat! Still rockin' a DH .243(0'5, 0'6). Just(rode to) hit up the skatepark TONIGHT on her, and hit up an urban ripper on the way home(sorry sun valley security team, better luck NEVER!)! You gonna have to pry my hardtails from my cold...you know,... dig em' out of my casket. I've looked at kick ass "fullies" but just can't commit. I've got a hardtail problem, bigtime! Carbon, Titanium, different flavors of Aluminum and Not ONE full suss bike in my 14 bike collection. Now this vid makes me wanna ride again! At least I got a 29'er!
  • + 6
 He looks to have fun on his bikes, I also have fun on my bikes, long live every kind of bikes ! (while they have the same components standars... :p )
  • + 6
 Without a doubt, the most refreshing, honest video I've seen in a long time. Very well done.
  • + 3
 I've been missing my old TransAM for a while now... and this video did NOT help one bit. Should I cash in on my fancy full suspension frame and get back to the basics? Unfortunately, lack of funds do not allow me to have both.
  • + 3
 You should totally do it. I ditched my fully for a steel hardtail. Hardtails are great. So simple and straightforward. Hop on and ride!
  • + 6
 A beefy hardtail frame and relatively shit components is still awesome...
  • + 3
 Ive been waiting weeks for this video to drop! Its so good to see some great, pure and simple riding. While I love my touring/commuter, just the same as my geared full suspention bike. My SS trail bike just has a quality to it that can never be matched by my other rides. It takes away all of my worries and lets me be a kid exploring on my bike again. It is my favorite bike, and it is great to see others love theirs as well!
  • + 3
 I ride a Covert, TR 250 and a TransAm. Love my Transition bikes and built the TransAm up originally to tow a Bob trailer for our annual, one-week, wilderness pilgrimage to the South-Chilcotin mountains. It's quickly becoming my favourite bike. Espresso all the way!
  • + 2
 Rancilio Silvia! Nice machine! It took me awhile to dial mine in, but its worth it. Great video.

Anyone know what trail that was? I'm assuming it was in the Bellingham area, but Galbraith is all I've ridden there, and this didn't look familiar.
  • + 1
 I didn't recognize it because mine is probably older....still rockin' every day since 2006! Love the Silvia.
  • + 1
 It's Chucknut. Mostly Ridge and Hush-hush...maybe some Double Black in there, too.
  • + 1
 Thank you! I've been hoping to get down to ride Chuckanut this winter. More incentive to now!
  • + 2
 Riding a slack HT while waiting for my FS frame to get back from warranty. After like 10 years of riding 5-6" travel bikes.. I am enjoying it. And will probably keep it around, but man sometimes I'm dying to get back out on my squish.. HURRY UP 167!!!
  • + 1
 I did the same about a year and a half ago and ended up selling my FS frame after it sat unbuilt for six months because I was having a blast on my Ragley. I'm just now starting to miss my wagon wheeled full squish bike. And that's just because of age and back soreness after long rides. I am using a 150mm fork, so burly terrain is doable. But I miss the support and climbing the rear suspension gives me.
  • + 3
 Wouldn't want one as my only bike, but I think everyone should have a steel SS hardtail in the garage if they can. TransAm is a great choice.

www.pinkbike.com/video/355745
  • + 1
 Cool video, nice area. Looks like enjoyable riding. Certainly no call for full suspension on those trails I'd say.
  • + 3
 Espresso not Espresso Coffee. The software is eDrawings by SolidWorks. Seriously nice trails and bike. I've got waaasy too much climbing to go SS, but love my sorta all mountain hardtail.
  • + 6
 should have taken his dog
  • + 1
 I had the same thought.
  • + 2
 His dog agrees!
  • + 3
 I've been riding a SS HT for a few years now and was completely fine with it until a slew of local demo days where I was able to test the best that Specialized, Trek, Pivot and Intense have to offer. Now I'm not so sure.
  • + 2
 I still have fun with my SS HT on a lot of rides (forest or city ones), while I now have fun with my FS bike for my freeride rides. Never leave something that gives you some good times !
  • + 4
 Dammit @Voxran, you're right. I'm going for a ride! Who's with me?!
  • + 3
 @BigMedicine that's cos your only 2/3 rd of the way to MTB Nirvana . You need a ridged , SS , steel bike..........(with center pull brakes if you want to out karma people)
  • + 2
 Honestly wasn't sure what to think of when I heard Bon Iver but it fit so well with riding sequences. Just made me want to get out in the woods. And that's pretty much how I got into mountain biking.
  • + 1
 I grew up riding hardtails but since getting a full sus a few years ago for a trip to Whistler I just can't go back to em. Tried a few times and I just hate how unbalanced they feel even with a firm fork. I'd only get one again for purely dirt jump stuff, or a fully rigid for our local boring trails to make em a bit more of a challenge. Kinda wish I'd never gone FS (woulda been a lot easier on the wallet) but I have much more fun on them I think.
  • + 1
 I sometimes consider swapping out my HT frame for an FS but I just can't do it. Perhaps I'll have two mountain bikes someday but I'll always have a hard tail. I do wish he had brought his dog though. Like others i'm glad they showed him riding two and from the trail, when that's what you've got to do a hard tail is definitely the way to go.
  • + 3
 I got rid of my full sis's to get back to my roots and shred hardtails again . Brilliant vid hits nail on head with the coffee analogy.....
  • + 1
 I sometimes put away my Full Suspension and my Hardtail and ride my full RIGID coaster brake equipped SS Beach Cruiser Clunker on the same trails I ride my other bikes Smile Not easy and it shouldn't and not many do it but it's freaking awesome Big Grin
  • + 1
 I don't like riding hardtails, and I don't like singlespeeds but I LOVED this video. Delicious setting. Great riding. Fantastic mood. Good music. Deep soul. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate people that do like hardtail singlespeeds, and I understand why they like them, but such bikes just don't give me joy.
  • + 1
 I keep coming back to this video - there is something about it. I watch it each time before my ride to work when I haven't got the motivation, and it somehow gets me ready for the ride! Music - check! HT - check! Sweet, sweet trail - Err... wish my commute looked like that!
  • + 1
 100 percent agree! I've got a '14 transAM 29 and after all the DH and AM stuff it's awesome to get back on a hard tail. It's like going back to the roots; back to where we all started on a bike. And the TransAM is one hell of a bike! Spec it right and with a hand-full of skill you can keep up with guys on 6 inch bikes all day long!
  • + 1
 This video makes me want to drag my old 26" wheeled 3" travel custom built desalvo hardtail out for a good trail ride! I'm in between my full suspension bikes at the moment.... Think a good xc trail ride is long over due!
  • + 2
 Yeah I love the simplicity of my hard tail. Coffee black. Not some beverage more akin to a melted Snickers bar. That said, I like my Bronson a lot too.
  • + 4
 mm espresso and steel AM hard tails. right in my wheelhouse
  • + 2
 Right on Darrin. I'm sold. Nice work throwing in the "ride to the trails and ride home" part too - I do that much less with the 6" bike.

Your kitchen counter is awesome.
  • + 1
 This video is dang DOPE!! Nice riding skills by the way! That was perfect form for that kind of riding!! Can't wait till the summer is here so I can hit up our trails like that!!
  • + 3
 Yeah and having that riding on your doorstep and that garage to come back to also really helps with standard of life too.
  • + 2
 Hmmm, I'm a unit guy but that Transition has some really good looking geometry. PB I like to see single speeders getting some love.
  • + 1
 Took my beater Hardtail out for a rip this morning. No name fork that barely works and I don't care. One brake that sorta works. One gear and all steel. Pure and simple and always puts a smile on my face.
  • + 1
 watch this video a thousand times. ride hardtails myself. but those are nice looking knee pads. what are those? dainese? TLD? need to find me a low profile knee pads not those bulky types!
  • + 1
 No doubt, one of the best soundtracks to chill out and ride flowy single track. This is my go to when riding out in the middle of no where by myself.
  • + 3
 Awesome video, awesome tune. Awesome.
  • + 3
 It hurts my soul to be compared to a frappuccino.
  • + 1
 just ordered a fox for my currently rigid salsa el mar ss. thrilled about it. this video has me reaching for my helmet. sick trail too! want to ride!
  • + 3
 For me this IS what mountain biking is all about...HT SS!!
  • + 2
 this videos seriously remind me my first bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss that bike so much!!!
  • + 3
 That was the best advertising I've seen in a while.
  • + 2
 A steel hardtail is my perfect bike. I keep coming back to it. This video is so good.
  • + 1
 Ah man, I'm stuck between this bike or a Canfield Nimble 9 for my next bike. They both seem so nice.
  • + 1
 Can't believe I sold my single speed hardtail to get a full suspension. It still haunts me.
  • + 2
 Oh boy that was delicious!
  • + 2
 That bike has almost nothing in common with a throwback to the past...
  • + 1
 Good video, even better soundtrack. Going with their native Bon Iver, love it!
  • + 1
 Nailed it. Sometimes it's nice to feel every nuance of the trail through the hardiness of steel!
  • + 1
 Love the transAM! So fun so playful, if ou haven't ridden a hard tail lately, get on one.
  • + 2
 And now I want to go ride. Thanks for the shot of inspiration!
  • + 1
 Kick-ass trails!, on your hardtail a kick in your ass! A dream to enjoy on my full suspension...
  • + 1
 I always love hardtail videos. It's nice and refreshing from all the enduro vids.
  • + 0
 he's cracked. That kind of trail is much more comfortable and faster on a 160mm fs bike. Now the buffed out trail he talked about, that's where a hardtail might be fun.
  • + 2
 The whole thing with hardtails is just that, not being comfortable and don't care about being slower.
  • + 0
 I completely understand that, which is why I don't ride my fat bike hardtail, unless there is no better option for the deep snow.
  • + 1
 Sold my fully year ago after moving to the NW, bought a hard tail and never looked back. Just feels more tried and true.
  • + 2
 That is the dream life! Hands down...
  • + 2
 Still riding my 26 transam ss and loving it 4 years later.
  • + 1
 hell yeah, my trans am 26" was the best bike ever for getting loose anywhere
  • + 2
 VOD...nay...VOM! What a great vid!
  • + 2
 Hardtails make the heart grow fonder.
  • + 2
 32x19 FTW That was the best video I've seen since the Queenstown Girls...
  • + 2
 What makes a steel SS HT frame better than an aluminum one?
  • + 1
 lots of people say steel absorbs vibration better than aluminum and delivers a less harsh ride. Not sure how true that is, but I do tend to think a nice steel hardtail a "feels" better than aluminum.
  • + 3
 For most people it's sentiment more than anything. Steel is a bit more forgiving than aluminum but it's also heavier so there's a trade off. It's more retro, to some it looks better. It's theoretically more durable as well but considering what it would take to break an aluminum frame this isn't a real benefit. When it comes down to actual performance and fun out on the trail aluminum is probably the way to go. If you don't already have that steel bug you probably won't get it but for a lot of people they are still awesome.
  • + 1
 I love my steel KM. I've had it since 08 and it still rides like the day I bought it. That said, I've ridden aluminum frames and noticed fatigued cracks after a year. I think durability is a big factor as to why people buy steel frames (make sure you frame saver them though). I also agree it is in part due to the Retro "cool" factor.
  • + 1
 Which aluminum frames were you riding? In the past ten years I've never seen one fail. Between me and my family we really only ride Treks, Giants and Cannondales though but still a good aluminum frame shouldn't fail under normal use. I sure do like good steel frames though.
  • + 1
 Specialized Stumpjumper M5.
  • + 1
 Luckily it was replaced. I'm not saying they are not perfectly good frames. Just that aluminum is inherently weaker than steel or titanium. Both of which I prefer.
  • + 2
 Just switched to a steel On One 456. My first steel frame and I absolutely feel the difference between how compliant and lively steel is compared to how overly stiff and dead aluminum is. (granted the Rocky Mountain Reaper aluminum frame I was on had massive square chain/seat stays for strength. I've rode less stiff aluminum hardtails, but they wouldn't have taken the same abuse. The On One 456 takes the same hits with it's skinny steel stays!)

I'd literally get bounced out of my seat sometimes riding the aluminum frame. (granted you learn to stand up more switching from full suspension back to hardtail. But still, I'm use to sitting and climbing, and I tire out standing, so I still sit and spin a lot on a hardtail!)

Anyway, it's not just the retro "cool" factor. A steel hardtrail really has a great ride!!! It's a bit heavier, but unless your racing it's totally worth it!!!
  • + 1
 Still ride my steel hardtail NS Bitch on trails on the regular... over my Turner 5 Spot. Steel is the deal.
  • + 2
 Videos like this make me remember why i ride a hardtail ..
  • + 1
 Hardtail rules!!

This video is quite fresh, nice to view it early morning Smile
  • + 0
 AWWWWW Was he having a hard day copying all of Specialized's hard work. Poor Transition CAD designer. It's a hard life giddy uping and down the mountain
  • + 1
 Cool vid! Simplicity its my word.
  • + 1
 Pretty sweet stuff right there. Stock 120mm or 140mm fork on that?
  • - 1
 Sorry hardtails are just punishment, especially if the trails are rocky. Also it depends on the frame material, alu can be torture, but steel and ti are much more forgiving.
  • + 1
 Anyone knows which software is he using at the beggining?
  • + 1
 Solidworks I believe
  • + 1
 Awesome clip... ! I want a HT now Frown
  • + 0
 Once again a video where i have to wait more than a minuet to see any proper riding.....
  • + 1
 Looks like a fun trail for my full suss.
  • + 1
 fuck sake you lot darn arf talk a load of old bollocks.
  • + 1
 Song name?
  • + 1
 Says at the very end - Bon Iver/Wash
  • + 1
 ...
  • + 1
 Greatness
  • + 1
 #bikeporn
  • + 0
 it's more of a regular or decaf thing for me
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