Transition Patrol Carbon 1 - Review

Jan 25, 2016
by Mike Levy  





Transition's 155mm travel aluminum Patrol has been in their catalog since 2014, so it wasn't too much of a surprise when a lighter weight carbon fiber model was spotted under Transition rider Lars Sternberg last summer. This is the production version of that bike. The long and low geometry that saw the aluminum bike be received so well has been carried over to the Patrol Carbon, and Transition claims that the new frame is 700 grams lighter than its predecessor, with a total weight of 2,400 grams (without shock) versus 3,100 grams.

The new frame and a slew of top shelf components on my Patrol Carbon 1 test bike all add up to 27.25 pounds, which is a pretty damn reasonable number for a 155mm travel bike with proper tires and a 160mm travel fork up front. It also adds up to a $7,599 USD MSRP for the banner model you see here, but $5,199 USD will get you the Patrol Carbon 3, or you can pick up a frame and RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair shock for $3,199 USD.
Patrol Carbon 1 Details
• Intended use: enduro / all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 155mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• Frame material: carbon fiber
• Threaded bottom bracket
• ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
• Not compatible w/ a front derailleur
• 12 x 142mm thru-axle
• Weight: 27.25 lb (medium w/o pedals)
• MSRP: $7,599 USD


Transition Patrol Carbon


Frame Details

Transition recently released a tongue in cheek video that mocks the approach that a lot other brands take to marketing their designs, which might have some people believing that the PNW-based company doesn't have much going on when it comes to the tech side of things. That's certainly not the truth, though, as the Patrol Carbon frame is both lightweight and smartly designed. Actually, it's almost as if the company has included a number of practical features to make working on and living with the bike easier.


2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
Full-length internal cable guides should make maintenance a cinch.
2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
The rocker link is one of the few aluminum components on the 2,400 gram (w/o shock) Patrol Carbon frame.


Transition has used carbon fiber for nearly all of the new Patrol's construction, including the chain stays, but you'll still find an aluminum rocker link and a threaded bottom bracket shell at the center of its ISCG 05 chain guide tabs. The threaded shell (they refer to it as their "Bottom Bracket Storage System,'' or BBSS) makes it much easier for home mechanics to remove and install bottom brackets, and to cut the frame open would reveal full-length internal housing guides (''Tubes In Tubes System,'' or TITS) that will keep riders from fishing for the cable or housing end they can't quite grab. And, unlike way too many designs out there, you can fit a massive water bottle inside of the front triangle.


Transition Patrol Carbon review test Original uncropped photo by Paris Gore
  The Patrol Carbon's 155mm of rear wheel travel is controlled via Transition's four-bar GiddyUp suspension design.


The Patrol's Suspension Explained

Transition isn't trying to reinvent suspension design with Patrol's 155mm travel GiddyUp system, but rather execute a four-bar setup that works well with a smidge more sag than what you see recommended from some other companies, without requiring any pedaling aids. The GiddyUp moniker is a play on words that refers to the Horst Link suspension design, which makes more sense when you see that Transition has moved the rearmost pivot from the seat stay on their older link-driven, single pivot bikes, to the chain stay on their Patrol and other new machines.

Transition turned to Level One Engineering when it came to dialing in the kinematics for the design, and the result should see improved suspension action and more independence from braking forces compared to their old bikes.

The Patrol is intended to be run with 35% sag, which is a touch more than some other bikes, but Transition is adamant that the 155mm travel bike performs best when run on the soft and forgiving side of suspension setup. The 35% figure also jives with the point at which the bike's chain growth is at its most, and as the bike goes deeper into its travel, the rate of chain growth decreases, allowing the suspension to remain active for small and large bump absorption.
2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
The rearmost pivot has been moved from the seat stay on their older link-driven, single pivot bikes, to the chain stay on their Patrol and other new machines.





Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2016
Price $7599
Travel 155
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir
Fork Fox Factory 36 Float RC2 15QR 27.5, 160mm
Headset Cane Creek 40 Series Headset
Cassette SRAM XG1195
Crankarms RaceFace SixC Cinch w/ 32t chain ring
Bottom Bracket RaceFace
Rear Derailleur SRAM XX1
Chain SRAM XX1
Shifter Pods SRAM X01
Handlebar RaceFace SixC 35, 800mm x 20mm
Stem RaceFace Atlas 35, 50mm
Grips ANVL Rasp
Brakes SRAM Guide Ultimate
Hubs DT Swiss 350
Rim Easton ARC 30mm 27.5, 32h
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 3C 2.3'', Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO 3C 2.3''
Seat ANVL Forge Ti
Seatpost KS Lev Integra w/ Southpaw remote

2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review










Climbing

Some people don't mind slugging it out during an all-day mission on a thirty-something pound bike that pedals like it has flat tires, but I'm not one of them. Sure, I'd much rather have a heavy bike that works well over a light bike that's a complete dud, but given the choice, I think we'd all reach for the machine that's both relatively light and that rides superbly. The 27 lb Patrol Carbon 1 is that machine. As far as bikes in this travel bracket go, it's a flyweight, which means that it never felt like I was being punished for my many sins when I was three hours into a six-hour adventure. There's no getting around the fact that it's a slack, long-travel bike, but both extended uphill slogs and short, steep walls don't feel like as much of a chore when you're on the black-and-blue Transition as they do on others.
bigquotesLeave the shock wide open, don't pedal like you're trying to match your cadence to a Skrillex beat, and you'll be surprised at how well the Patrol gets around.

The bike's weight helps, no doubt about it, but the Patrol also pedals with a pretty good amount of composure. It doesn't quite burst forward with the urgency of Mondraker's Dune or Yeti's SB6C, but it's damn close, and I didn't reach down for the Monarch's pedal-assist lever unless I was going to be spending a lot of time chugging up a gravel road. Leave the shock wide open, don't pedal like you're trying to match your cadence to a Skrillex beat, and you'll be surprised at how well the Patrol gets around.


2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
  Big climbs on enduro bikes are usually shitty, but they're a lot less shitty on the Patrol Carbon.


When Transition's Lars Sternberg told me that they designed the Patrol to be run with 35% sag, I immediately had images of a slacked out bike that, when I was in a seated pedaling position, would have more in common with a recumbent than anything I'd want to wiggle up a tricky climb. It turns out that isn't the case at all. The bike's 75.4° seat angle kept that from happening, and because I tend to stay glued to the seat for almost the entirety of a climb, the Patrol never felt more long and unwieldy than is acceptable from a bike with its travel and intentions. You still need to climb with care - it does have a 65° head angle, after all. Employ the usual aim wide, cut in hard like you're about to miss your exit off the highway, and depend on the good amount of traction that the beefy rubber and reasonably short chain stays will deliver, and you'll get wherever you need to go.



Descending

In the past, I've talked about how bikes in the same class as the Patrol are actually starting to form two categories. One group leans more towards a rider who prefers a relatively spritely, playful all-mountain bike that doesn't suck the life out of you on flat ground or slow technical trails; on the other side of the fence are the bikes (often with the same amount of travel) that definitely sacrifice some all-around performance in order to make you feel like champ when the riding is more vertical than horizontal. Somehow, the Patrol Carbon 1 manages to put a foot on both sides of that fence by being nimble when you need to bob and weave, but without losing that plow-ability that any good enduro race bike needs to have. The Patrol Carbon is the bulldog that can win an agility contest; the Motorhead fan who secretly knows how to dance the salsa. Sure, the recipe to make a 155mm travel bike that shines on rowdy descents is relatively straightforward these days, but few companies have figured out how to bake-in the kind of all-around versatility that Transition have given the Patrol.


2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
  The Patrol Carbon is extremely versatile, with the ability to be fun on tame terrain as well as be inspiring when things get rowdy.


This was never more obvious than when pointing the Patrol down a section of watered-down trail that used to be rowdy, a building trend that's making a lot of all-mountain bikes feel like they're complete overkill. The Patrol isn't one of them, however, as it doesn't steer with a heavy, slow feel at lower speeds or on flat ground, despite the slack head angle, and it pedals well enough to keep you from feeling as though you're mired in quicksand. The result is a bike that's fun on the tamest of descents, and one that's more enjoyable in such settings than much of its competition. That's not something I'd be expecting to say about a bike that sits into 35% of its travel - which should steal some of its pop but doesn't - but Transition has obviously done something right when it comes to all the other numbers.
bigquotesThe Patrol Carbon is the bulldog that can win an agility contest; the Motorhead fan who secretly knows how to dance the salsa. Sure, the recipe to make a 155mm travel bike that shines on rowdy descents is relatively straightforward these days, but few companies have figured out how to bake-in the kind of all-around versatility that Transition have given the Patrol.


2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
  It doesn't take much effort to get the Patrol airborne, which makes it a fun bike on all sorts of terrain.


That same agile personality is going to make a precise, skilled rider quite happy if they'd rather hold an exact line though a chunky section of trail, with the bike's light steering yet stable feel rewarding someone who uses their brain over just their balls to get down the hill. It's easy to place, holds a line, and simply doesn't ride like a full-on enduro race bike... until you want it to, that is. With a slack head angle, a bunch of sag, and some of the best suspension money can buy, Patrol Carbon riders aren't going to have any qualms about throwing themselves into the thick of it. The bike can go through nasty terrain faster than I get through a box of donuts, and while it's not quite as at ease as something like a Trek Slash or Devinci Spartan when it gets properly hairy, I don't think that a skilled rider is going to lose much (or any) time in these moments. It's not quite as glued to the ground as those two bikes, but that very fact could make the Patrol even quicker in the right hands.

The bike's easy to get along with personality is going to make a great choice for those who like the idea of a burly all-mountain bike but maybe don't have the skills to push such a machine to its limits, but I also don't want to sell it short when it comes to its capabilities. It's a full-on beast when there are more scary rocks than dirt, or when the trail is steep enough that you forget to blink until you get to the bottom.

My only real gripe when on the descents is how much chain slap the bike seem to suffer from, and also how weird it sounds. In fact, I could actually feel it through my feet strongly enough that I first suspected that something was off with the Monarch shock, despite the bike coming with a molded plastic and rubber chain stay guard. The good thing is that it's a pretty easy issue to solve - some extra protection on the chain stay will go a long way to helping, as would a chain guide with a lower roller to add tension - but it's certainly one of the oddest chain slap quirks I've seen.



Suspension

Here's a quick, two-step guide to putting together a rear suspension design that's more absorbent than a fresh Shamwow: take one RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 with a coil-like DebonAir air can on it, and bolt that to a bike that's designed to run a relatively low spring rate that provides a ton of sag. Make sure the shock has the correct tune, of course, as well as some volume spacers inside, so it ramps up enough to keep you from clanging off the end of the stroke, and you're all set. It's obviously not nearly that simple, but Transition have done all that and more to create a very forgiving rear end. It's sensitive enough to be offended by a questionable joke, and it ramps up at just the right rate when you see the landing pass under you, but not so quick that you can't take advantage of all 155 millimeters.

To be truthful, I did start with the bike at 30% sag, mostly because I didn't believe Sternberg when he told me the Patrol pedals and handles fine at 35% (sorry, Lars, you were right), and the bike does work okay when it's set to run slightly firmer. Even so, at 30% it isn't anything special, doesn't pedal or handle any better, and is less forgiving, so you're better off just listening to the guys at Transition. It's almost as if they had a part in designing the bike or something...

Up front, the Fox 36 Float RC2 was flawless. I'd probably add a volume spacer or two if I were going to spend most of my riding time rubbing my ass on the bike's rear tire, but that's more of a terrain-specific comment than an actual complaint. It's extremely adjustable, extremely active, and an extremely nice fork overall.
2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review



Technical Report

• An Adhesive Issue: Just in case you couldn't tell, I really, really enjoyed riding the Patrol Carbon. I did run into an issue, though, when the cable guide for the rear brake broke off of the chain stay, either from the brake line tugging on it when the bike bottomed out or from line catching on the tire and ripping the guide off. Whatever the cause, it's not a good thing, especially on a frame that retails for over $3,000 USD. ''I'd love to chalk it up to the bike being an early test sample,'' Transition's Lars Sternberg explained, ''but the reality is you tested one of our first production bikes, and it turns out the bonding adhesive used to fix the cable guides wasn't strong enough.'' He went on to say that they've made changes to the production line shortly after learning about the issue and that only a very small number of frames were affected. ''We are acutely aware of this, and if that happened to one of our customers, they'd get a nice shiny new chainstay that won't have the same issue. There isn't much to do other than deal with it and move on. The important thing is, if our customers have a similar problem, we will cover them completely.''


• ANVL Rasp Grips: My average-sized paws have always preferred to hold onto the thinnest grips that I can find, but downsizing in diameter means less padding and usually harsher feel. The ANVL Rasp's 29mm diameter is extremely slim, and they're one of the few grips that have actually made my hands sore by the time the ride is done. And just in case you're thinking that I have soft, office-type hands, I wasn't the only one came back from a ride on the Patrol with sore mitts. It turns out that the Rasp grips live up to their name.


2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
The bike's reliable ARC 30 rims aren't as flashy or brag-worthy as a set of carbon hoops, but they cost a lot less and work just as well.
2016 Transition Patrol Carbon 1 images for review
If you have a cable-operated dropper post, KS' Southpaw remote is worth trying to get ahold of.


• Easton ARC 30 Rims: These aluminum rims, with their understated graphics, are nearly invisible on the bike. They're nearly invisible when you ride them as well, which is very good thing. They stayed true and dent-free during my time on them, and the 30mm width is sizeable enough to support the meaty tires that a bike like the Patrol deserves. The rim bed isn't sealed like Easton's higher end rims, but it also doesn't require the funky double-threaded nipples, a trade that I'd make all day, every day.


• KS Southpaw Remote: The Patrol Carbon 1 came from Transition with a 150mm travel KS LEV Integra dropper post. Due to cost considerations, many bikes come spec'd with KS' godawful plastic remote that, while being very ergonomic, tends to crack faster than a twelve-year-old Mike Levy who was hauled in for shoplifting. Thankfully, Transition chose to go with the KS' amazing Southpaw remote that is infinitely adjustable and can be made perfect for everyone from a young child to someone with the hands of a large gorilla.





Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Patrol Carbon is the most versatile all-mountain bike that I can remember riding. It's slack and forgiving like a proper enduro race bike should be, but then it seems to transform into not just a completely manageable package when the terrain isn't burly, but one that's an absolute blast to ride. Transition hasn't employed any buttons or dials to change the bike's geometry, either, but rather just built a smart, easy to live with bike that's fun to ride everywhere and anywhere. - Mike Levy




Visit the feature gallery for high resolution and additional images





About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedaled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



217 Comments

  • + 194
 At least he is honest about the chainstay issue, good attitude gets my vote.
  • + 68
 It's the first time I've ever seen a problem on a review bike that isn't down to a pre-production issue. Well done to them for admitting it head on, rather than the bull spouted by ENVE and others
  • + 10
 exactly my thoughts
  • + 39
 Great guys making great bikes. I'm a current Transition customer ('16 Smuggler) and the Transition guys have been very forthright when dealing with a couple of minor issues (unthreaded derailleur hanger arrived with frame and last week, bad rocker link bearings after 4 months). When the company shoots straight with you, it sures makes these kind of situations less painful. I'll be a repeat customer.
  • + 30
 First time I've seen a defect make me like a company more. Good job Lars (the nutjob at Marzocchi could learn from you)!
  • + 14
 @bishopsmike - Transition was responding to a hardware failing in a review bike, while the Marz guy was responding to questions regarding how one corporation that purchased a subsidiary corporation would set up its bureaucratic structure going forward. Can't imagine why the two might take different approaches to answering a question.
  • + 13
 We've owned 2 Transitions over the last 5 years in our house(TR450 & Covert) and although we've never had any problems with them Transition have offered great customer advice and service. Email them and Lars usually gets back with the answers within 24hrs (once you yanks wake up).
They're a company I'd buy from again in the future without hesitation.
  • + 2
 @honourablegeorge couldn't agree with you more on your ENVE statement. Every review I have read about them has led to a cracked rim or them blaming spoke tension
  • - 3
 They didn't say it was a "pre-production issue" exactly, but they gave what amounts to the same explanation:

''but the reality is you tested one of our first production bikes, and it turns out the bonding adhesive used to fix the cable guides wasn't strong enough.'' He went on to say that they've made changes to the production line shortly after learning about the issue and that only a very small number of frames were affected.

It's cool that he goes on to say that anyone who has a problem will have the chainstay immediately replaced, though.
  • + 1
 the only reason there is chainslap issues is because of the sram rear der! the clutches on those are awful. mine went out 6 times last season. useless design With an XT rear der i would put money on it that the slap would disappear!
  • + 2
 Gorilla Tape FTW !
  • + 2
 First thing I said as well...well they fessed up and made the changes to future production and moved on. transition gets my vote.
  • - 11
flag Matt76 (Jan 25, 2016 at 11:12) (Below Threshold)
 If it was made of metal and welded on it would not have broke. If made me laugh out load when i read the glue wasnt strong enough!!
  • + 2
 Yeah, the Transition boys are an absolute pleasure to deal with. Super easy... not many in this industry are as good like that. Bloody great bikes too!
  • - 6
flag stiingya (Jan 25, 2016 at 19:11) (Below Threshold)
 Much less of an excuse than many other companies have came up with in similar situations. BUT, IF they already knew they had defective chainstay's they would have looked even better to just be up front and mention that to product testers instead of knowing they might end up getting stuck single speeding back to the trail head...
  • + 3
 Single speeding because of a hose clamp for the brake line broke?!...What bike are you riding were you've ever needed to do that.
  • - 5
flag fecalmaster (Jan 26, 2016 at 0:06) (Below Threshold)
 Trek really put together a nice looking frame this time and after 85 years of unrivaled insanity put the rear pivot in the correct chainstay location.
  • + 65
 Well my Student Loan has just been approved, so......
  • + 41
 "The Motorhead fan who secretly knows how to dance the salsa." Finally a bike that fulfills my wildest dreams! Good review, Levy. I have (and love) the alloy version and for the first time, I find myself lusting after a carbon bike.
  • + 14
 Great review & great sense of humor = "Due to cost considerations, many bikes come spec'd with KS' godawful plastic remote that, while being very ergonomic, tends to crack faster than a twelve-year-old Mike Levy who was hauled in for shoplifting."
  • + 6
 I agree, great review, nice little comparisons with other bikes in the same category
  • + 5
 This bike sounds amazing(I drank the kool-aid)! I hope the scout is next for the carbon treatment.
  • + 38
 I can't wait for my frame to arrive! Transition you had me at T.I.T.S.
  • + 27
 Make an E-bike version of it and call it PETROL.
  • + 4
 Or the P-Troll
  • + 16
 Some nice real talk from Lars Sternberg, not trying to hide problems with the chainstay. You can always blame it on being a prototype, but handling the issue in an honest way is always best. Telling people you know about a problem and offering a solution gives you a good feeling when deciding for a bike..
  • + 13
 After a year with my Patrol, I'm a TR customer for life. Seriously, it just checks all the boxes and does so in a fun manner. The bike has seen a summer in the PNW and BC, ripped all the elevation in the UT Wasatch, trips to Moab each month, and a month in NZ and it has handled everything like a champ. Could not say enough good about it. Oh and threaded BB. The bike is incredible, the guys at Transition are fun and super nice. I stopped by their old shop last summer as I was driving by and although they were in the middle of moving, they had no problem hunting down some stickers and pointing out where to go ride in Bellingham.
  • + 14
 Carbon is so bad for the environment. How stiff and light and expensive do you need. Aluminium is bad enough, atleast its recyclable.
  • + 29
 Qué?
  • + 8
 I think he is talking about the manufacturing process, thin woven carbon layers bonded with epoxy resins, lots of chemicals and steps maybe?
  • + 4
 Carbon can't be recycled like aluminium, so when you are done with your bike that frame is still there.
  • + 32
 ..so walk. And stop breathing out CO2 while you're at it.
  • + 10
 Its highly energy intensive to make carbon, something like 2 or three times the amount of fossil fuels have to be burned to create carbon parts. Plus, broken carbon ends up in a landfill. And when not created in a safe workplace with proper ventilation and breathing masks, the workers have been known to succumb to long cancer usually in less than five years. Soylent green is people.
  • + 48
 Go do some research about the environmental effects of strip-mining aluminum (mostly in developing countries in the tropics and Australia), and how much coal is needed to burn for smelting. Yes, some aluminum is post-consumer but the demand FAR outstrips the supply of recycled beer cans. Bottom line is that it's all pretty bad for the environment and it's all for a luxury sport. If you're so concerned about the planet, don't have kids. It'll just be one more carbon-frame riding, resource-consuming methane-emitting pinkbike user.
  • - 2
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it next to impossible to recycle an aluminum bike frame?
  • + 11
 Aluminum is pretty much a winner in polution terms, for each Al2 you release one and a half CO2 in the process. This is just the basic chemical reaction of the final step. It's extremely energy consuming. As for the carbon, it probably is in the same ball park. Steel is under half of aluminum footprint.

All in all, you have to look at how much carbon / aluminum are used in the bike production market. Is it 100 000tons a year? how is this comparing to other industries? what are the alternative? how long will my bike last?. their are many many factors in this equation...

Dope bike, I already own a transition and can say it's the best service I ever had with an almost maintenance free frame. They are in the good direction
  • - 3
 carbon fiber is one of the strongest materials on earth so you wouldnt go through as many frames as you would with aluminum frames.
  • + 32
 i have a bakelite dildo
  • + 25
 Wrong forum
  • + 22
 Yea carbon bikes are a problem for the environment - what else? Do you want me to use reusable diapers for my kid? I also use a non organic glue to put together a model kit of a Messerschmitt. Think of hollywood movies, what a waste of resources, the sets cannot be used afterwards. MTB as a whole is not environmentally friendly my any means, particularly the gravity kinds of riding, stop fooling yourself. There is only one species that never has fun and never does anything above what it needs to operate and survive - machines. Start praying for that Terminator world right NAO!
  • + 8
 Haha Waki is John Connor
  • + 5
 Check out Xprezo cycles if you have concerns about how your bike is made.
  • + 5
 Steel FTW
  • + 19
 Actually Waki we do want you to start using reusable cloth diapers. You'd be surprised at how much money you would save not to mention the bulk waste you then wouldn't be contributing to your local landfill and the chemicals that your child wouldn't be exposed to.
  • + 0
 Pmsl that's not what im seeing
  • + 10
 Nah! Think of how much water and energy you consume to get the nasty poop stains out and cotton farming is not exactly ressource friendly either. Waki's kids need to go bare ass and shit everywhere and waki gets hay bales and changes the hay every day. The shitty hay is used for building the luxury condo's his office designs. Pay me.
  • + 8
 Some people make me want to order Blue Whale steaks.
  • + 5
 But they're all salty and full of fat, not good eating.
  • - 5
flag DJDrysdale406 (Jan 25, 2016 at 13:24) (Below Threshold)
 freakin hippies, go set up a slack line in the park and gather people up for a hacky sack circle
  • + 9
 In spite of the childish responses (gasp, on Pinkbike? I know right?) this is an interesting topic. If you ride a mountain bike and don't care about the environment, well I'm not going to try and argue with you, that would be like giving medicine to a dead body. It seems to me manufacturing either material isn't a clean process, so there's something to be said about a bike that lasts - using a bike longer is the best answer rather than hand wringing over materials. That said, an American made bike like Guerrilla Gravity must meet US standards for manufacturing (not nonexistent Chinese standards), doesn't need the long boat ride and will last longer than most of us.
  • - 2
 I can't speak to the specific differences in resources required to fab a carbon frame vs. aluminum, but something to consider with carbon is that its highly repairable. A cracked aluminum frame is scrap no matter how minute the damage.
  • + 3
 @GeorgeHayduke Does American-made necessarily mean that the aluminum itself was manufactured responsibly? They could buy it from wherever, I guess?

@furnissj You can weld cracked aluminum frames. Pinkbike ran an article about Intense some time ago and they said that welding a broken an aluminum frame and then heat treating it results in the same strength as the original.

All in all, I would definitely be interested in an article that approached the topic from a bunch of perspectives and mentioned some statistics on what's actually more environmentally friendly.
  • + 4
 @Pedro404 good point. Over on Bikemag.com the Durango Bike Company owner was going off on how carbon bikes are disposable, only last 2 years and aluminum will last longer - I'm not sure if I buy that Carbon is that frail - I know a lot of people riding older Santa Cruz and Ibis bikes in particular. Maybe a Pinkbike poll? How long did your bike last, what material, how long do you keep a bike?
  • + 5
 Just for anyone interested, the process of making carbon usually starts with long chain hydrocarbon based polymers like rayon heated in some type of acid, usually some mixture with acetone, to above 1000 degrees Celsius- I am not sure of the exact temperature. It is then bundled, sometimes pre-pegged and refrigerated, shipped, and laid up by hand at some other facility, where it is covered in polymers, which are hydrocarbon based, and sometimes baked in an autoclave at high temperature. It's like sugar coated sugar snacks, with the sugar replaced by oil. I would recommend picking your poison wisely: you can have radioactive hydraulic waste from mining or fracking, but either way you'll breathe more radon from the coal fired power plants producing the power and lots more CO2. Carbon fiber is like drinking a soda with that sugar coated sugar snack.
  • + 3
 @GeorgeHayduke As far as I know, carbon (unlike aluminum) doesn't fatigue over time, so theoretically it should outlast a comparable aluminum frame. It's also supposed to have better strength to weight ratio, so it definitely should perform better than aluminum if you made it the same weight as an aluminum frame, instead of shooting for similar toughness and lower weight, but no one does that.
  • + 4
 SUGAR COATED SUGAR SNACKS!
  • + 5
 LOUD NOISES!
  • + 5
 2008 Nomad- still going, 2 year old blur TRc, cracked. 3 kilos of alu vs 2 kilos of carbon. Deal with it in any way you want. For me - impossible to compare since every hit is different.
  • - 2
 It only took transition 10 years, 750,000 complaints, 2.6 million angry posts and 110,000 brake jacking noobs going OTB to locate the correct pivot placement on the chainstay.
  • + 2
 @GeorgeHayduke you said "....an American made bike like Guerrilla Gravity must meet US standards for manufacturing"
Exactly what standards are you talking about? I don't believe there are any.
  • + 1
 @El-Train there are EPA laws, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Toxic Substances Act, OSHA Laws and so on - not sure how each applies to a bike frame manufacturer, but I would bet the same frame made in the US ends with less waste and crap than one in China.
  • + 1
 @WayneParsons I like the looks of them but the bearing and pivot hardware sizing is off putting. Use your pull to help them sort it out!
  • + 2
 I put two years on all the same hardware with no issues. I'm not sure where that concern is coming from. They use hardened steel bolts and thick aluminum thru-axles where it counts. Looks don't equate to strength or longevity. And to be honest, Xprezo has been using the same kind of hardware for the past 12 years, so I think if it were a problem they would have sorted it out by now.
  • + 2
 @WayneParsons Good to hear. Probably my concern was the few on NSMB. I recall you saying you sub'ed skateboard wheel bearings in.

It looks like a solid time to buy a Cdn frame
  • + 2
 I like readily available parts and if I can source bearings in a very widely used size then that means better options for me. The stock enduro max bearings are good units, but you can sub in there 10mm longboard bearings if availability or price is an issue.
  • - 3
 Bozo. Ok nuf said.
  • + 10
 It was nice to read a bike review that acknowledged suspension performance is not necessarily dictated by its general type i.e. single pivot or horst link, but instead the pivot locations. I was starting to get a bit sick of reading ridiculous generalisations such as 'single pivots don't perform well under braking but pedal very well' or 'horst link bikes are too active'.... This is not necessarily true as single pivot designs can be tuned to have good braking performance (split pivot, Treks ABP), and horst link bikes can be tuned to have higher levels of anti squat for better pedalling performance. Everything about linkage design is tuneable via pivot placement, and its almost an insult to the designers to generalise their unique design without much thought.
  • + 2
 Amen to that! I wish I could give more props to this comment.
  • + 8
 "the Motorhead fan who secretly knows how to dance the salsa" This has to be the craziest/ most awesome description of a bike's handling!
  • + 6
 @mikelevy how would you place the Process 153 in the two all-mountain categories you mention? Is it another bike you'd say fits both, agile but can brawl?
  • + 4
 I'd say that the Patrol is the more agile and playful of the two bikes.
  • + 7
 better start saving my Canadian Dollars in a Wheelbarrow, this thing sounds awesome!
  • + 2
 Just sell your car.
  • + 5
 That extra loud chain slap goes away when you remove the 2 volume bands from the rear shock. And it gets even more supple, despite adding 10psi to maintain support and bottom out resistance.
  • + 5
 Do you know if the chain slap is from the top or bottom? I don't have my Patrol yet and I'm curious what it's from and how to prevent it. Great review @mikelevy ! Thank you! Can't wait to get mine!
  • + 7
 It's from the derailleur. Nsmb also mentioned it in their review of the alloy Patrol. In my experience it happens when the rear wheel hits obstacles during a G-out, I found this by noting places that it was happening on my local trails and going back and repeat riding these sections. It is caused by the progressive suspension curve combined with a progressive air spring working with the compression damping that has the effect of locking the rear shock under some situations which on a Patrol means bumps during a G-out. Light riders running less psi won't notice the effect as much because having less starting psi makes the shock more linear through its travel. It's a known phenomenon for some hydraulic systems and there is some reading about it on Avalanchesuspension.Com if anyone's interested. It actually caused me to wreck my rear wheel (on a 1" talk rock) on my 2nd ride on my Patrol. For my weight and shock psi, removing one volume band (from two) greatly reduces the problem by probably 80%(estimate) and removing both volume bands eliminates it.
  • + 1
 Running a chain guide... never noticed any chain slap.
  • + 21
 Having your bike in your room as decoration, of course you will not notice any chain slap.
  • + 2
 @ChachiArcola
I noticed some "evidence" at the seat stays - just some minor chips - will get some slapper tape or put on an old tube -> problem solved.

Maybe that has something to do with the small diameter of the 1x11 chainrings - never had that issue with a 36er
  • + 3
 Running XTR with 34T front ring... no chain slap.
  • + 10
 @abzillah
Not true, i live in california, we have earthquakes.
  • + 2
 does this chain slap feel like a really harsh suspension/pedal movement. Its really hard to explain, but while riding two different patrols, at high speed chatter I noticed the suspension ( or what I thought was the suspension ) go harsh, and feel almost like metal smashing together. I ve read small references to this in a few review articles, but it seemed like a bigger deal to me than just a small mention...anyone? @mikelevy?
  • + 1
 In my case that was exactly what I was feeling. On some bumps the bike felt like a hardtail. On others it would feel excellent.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic
did you set your bike up with the recommended 35% sag? at the beginning i did not measure it exactly (what difference would 5% make?) but it is crucial to get the patrol suspension working like it should. after that the small bump resonsivenes was great and now my pike is the limitation :-)
  • + 1
 Yes 35%.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic
that´s strange - maybe the shock needs to be replaced (warranty)?
  • + 1
 What? My bike doesn't do it anymore because I don't run any volume bands anymore.
  • + 2
 "It is caused by the progressive suspension curve combined with a progressive air spring working with the compression damping that has the effect of locking the rear shock under some situations" suspension curve is degressive on the patrol: linkagedesign.blogspot.co.at/2014/08/transition-patrol-275-2015.html I'm by no means a suspension design expert, but your explanation seems not right. Two volume bands makes the suspension just barely more progressive - it will certainly not "lock" the shock
  • + 4
 I'm still waiting for a bike company to make this rad of a bike for 3k, which leads to them selling a 25000 bikes and resets the entire bike pricing scale for the whole industry....... also dope bike..
  • + 1
 The Devinci Troy Alloy RS is almost as rad of a bike for 3k. Pike, 1x11, Shimano Brakes, all you are missing is a dropper post. Comes complete with a lifetime warranty too.
  • + 4
 Just one more comment agreeing that, as a Transition bike owner (TR450 and now 500) their customer service is second to none.
I WILL purchase another Transition because of this
  • + 2
 I haven't ridden the Carbon model, but I got to Demo both the Patrol and the Scout at Snowmass Bike Park this past summer, and the Scout was indefinitely more fun, snappy, poppy, and took berms wayyy faster. Only thing I liked better about the patrol is it felt more stable when airborn, and it didnt bottom out as easily (obviously). I definitely did not find the Patrol playful like this article describes. However, that may be partially attributed to me only being 5'2" and most small size bikes are still too big for me. Also, it may be because mt daily driver is an 09 Turner 5 Spot, but I couldn't stand how low the bike was and how long the cranks were. Pedal strikes like whaaaa?
  • + 3
 Love this company! My first Transition was a bottle rocket (which I still have and love) and my others are a TR250 (such a fun bike!) and a suppressor (thanks for still making 26in bikes!). I am a costumer for life!!
  • + 3
 @mikelevy it seems like you usually ride Larges in most of your reviews. Did you size down because of the longer reach on the Patrol?
  • + 1
 I love the way the bike looks. Super clean lines, and I love the simple paint job/color scheme. Even the 3 has a solid, functional component spec, one you could tweak over time if you want, but there's no glaring "replace me immediately" parts.

I really really really wish I could afford one of these. Even if I sold all 6 of my bikes, I still don't think I could.
  • + 5
 Anyone know how a Suppressor compares to a Patrol, for us 26" lovers?
  • + 6
 Pretty much identical except the BB is 12mm higher for wheel size and ground clearance reasons. It'll shred.
  • + 3
 I had read that Lars had plugged 650b wheels in the Supprerssor...the super low BBs are a bit of a negative when you have way more roots and rocks to contend with than berms to carve.
  • + 3
 Now that I've lived in the Pac NW a couple years it feels downright unpatriotic to keep riding my Nomad with the beauties coming from Evil and Transition...
  • + 5
 @mikelevy so whats better SB6C, Patrol Carbon or Evil Insurgent..........
  • + 0
 evilllllllllll.
  • + 0
 Do yourself a favor and check out the evil before you buy a bike.
  • + 3
 I really like Horst Link bikes. I used to love my Turner 5 spot back in the day. I'm thinking this may be a good replacement, and as a bonus, I can avoid a Specialized.
  • + 2
 Postponed the long term dream of a carbon demo for this thing. Hopping on a Patrol 2 in a couple of months and just moved to the north shore. Maaaaannnn it's gonna be fun!!!
  • + 3
 7599$..... will make 8000€ i dont know how but it will.. who wants my kidney
  • + 3
 Kidney and a lung in CAD
  • + 2
 Stick an 11-6 on the back of it and watch it really come to life.I absolutely love my patrol.Simply the best bike I've ever had.Pefectly happy with the alloy version too.
  • + 4
 This bike has TITS technology? Sign me up!
  • + 2
 This was up on Jan 15 yet has only one comment, did PB glitch out and miss it off the front page or something? I certainly don't remember seeing it.
  • + 5
 It hasn't gone on the main page yet. Next week.
  • + 2
 First bike I've read about since getting my Scout that makes me want to start saving. Its more of the Brilliance I have, at a lower weight!
  • + 3
 wait for the carbon scout!
  • + 1
 Weak Knees, Shiver, stroke Credit Card
  • + 2
 Great review, thanks @mikelevy and PB! We love our Patrol, come demo it any time you want!
  • + 2
 when a company says the stuff {about the cable mount problem} it makes me want to buy their products period.....
  • + 3
 is it bas van steez approved ?
  • + 2
 we demand a new edit to prove it is shreddable!
  • + 3
 Is the 35% sag measure when seated or in the attack position?
  • + 3
 Usually the more accurate way to measure is in the attack\ready position - on your feet, where you should be at those moments the suspension really has to work for you Smile
  • + 3
 I agree and this is how I do it.
  • + 2
 That's how I do it too, it would be nice to know how it was done in the review though, alot of people do it seated as well
  • + 1
 Same here. It would be good to know since it seems that the Patrol performs much better with the correct sag.
  • + 6
 Here you go - www.transitionbikes.com/PDF/TheMoreYouKnow_GiddyUpSetup.pdf.

Check in the seated position as described.
  • + 1
 It would be nice if companies said something like "35% seated or about 32% standing" or similar.
Cause I couldn't give a damn how my suspension performs seated.
  • + 1
 You're missing the point. The key is that if you measure standing once, always measure standing. If you measure seated, always measure seated. That way, each measurement is relative to you and your bike, and consistent between each measurement.
  • + 2
 Correct but the important thing is to measure it not only consistently but also also correctly according to the specifications of each company. So since we received an official reply then seated it is.
  • + 2
 Love this quote, "crack faster than a twelve-year-old Mike Levy who was hauled in for shoplifting."

Noice.
  • - 1
 Wait, wait, wait: Levy, you like the Southpaw? I have one ,and it has got to be the WORST part I have ever tried. On mine, the clamp is split at the top so in order to get it tight enough to where it didn't shift when depressing the lever I had to crank the hell out of the bolt. So much so, that if I had carbon bars, I'm certain it would have cracked right through them.

On top of that, the lever its self has some play that causes the lever to rattle when riding. Totally poor design if you ask me. I replaced it with a Specialized SLR lever, and that thing is so much better.
  • + 11
 Hmm, none of those issues with mine. Weird! I just really, really like how adjustable it is, and it feels spot-on for cable-pull and leverage.
  • + 2
 I really wanted a southpaw or specialized slr, but both are stupidly expensive and im stupidly cheap. Was gonna do the shimano shifter mod but instead tried a Sram x7 which i hadn't seen done before but was worth a try, its amazing, i removed a plate and the release lever and it has zero play and a massive paddle. Well worth a try.
  • + 3
 Never had any problem with my standard carbon switch on my Lev
  • + 7
 I agree that southpaw's clamp is badly designed but if you use carbon paste on it you are not going to have problems with slipping. And if it rattles it means that you didn't have enough cable tension.
  • + 2
 Southpaw is best out there,butter smooth and consistent. I also have a Reverb and a DOSS droppers so I get to compare weekly.
  • + 1
 I have a southpaw and love that thing. Mine has been perfect for over a year now.
  • + 1
 Yeah I much prefer the plastic lever over the southpaw, all you do is flick it, not actual afford needed.
  • + 1
 I've been using the same carbon KS remote for 3 years that include more than a few noteworthy off-bike experiences. No cracks here. Every time I hop on a friend's bike with a Reverb I'm reminded how good the KS remote is.
  • + 2
 Like some comments above, I've been using the SouthPaw for over a year and it's been a huge upgrade from the stock lever. When I installed it I had the same issue with it slipping on my carbon bar. I just took a rubber shim from an old tail light and voila, hasn't wiggled a bit.
  • + 2
 @intensemack10

-For carbon bars, run two little strips of double sided carpet tape. It's thin as paper and has fairly high strength adhesive. Also you can eliminate the play in the lever simply by extending the barrel a tad into the stroke.

It's a really good design, and one that needed to come to market years ago - it needs some redesign for a rev 2 for sure - but for now, they're 95% there.
  • + 2
 You guys should try the crank bros remote. It's TITS
  • + 3
 Pinkbike Awards 2016 Mountain Bike of the Year Winner)
  • + 1
 Wow, talk about throwing everything you have at something, that's quite an expensive bike.
  • + 2
 How do they get the bikes to stand up without leaning on anything?
  • + 1
 Damn Mark- tib fib recovery must've sped up!! Way to get back to crushing!! Yeah boys- sick sled
  • + 2
 I have never wanted anything built out of carbon. Until now.
  • + 2
 Anyone know any bike shops that accept kidneys as payment?
  • + 3
 Better to go to the open market, kidneys are worth well over 100k, the LBS will be super happy to swap a bike for one.
  • + 2
 Looks like a killer bike, can't wait to get mine!
  • + 1
 Nice review, when will you be reviewing the damn Following?
  • + 1
 The PB's Take paragraph makes me want this bike.
  • + 1
 T.I.T.S (tubes in tubes system) or A.S.S (already super sick)
  • + 2
 Looks very nice bike
  • + 1
 Patrol or Reign...someone from Canada please weigh in.
  • - 4
flag ICAS (Jan 25, 2016 at 6:29) (Below Threshold)
 That's not even close I'll take there Maestro linkage all day uryday
  • + 2
 @ICAS really? You think the reign is going to be that much better than this bike? please explain... trying to decide between those two myself
  • + 4
 I've ridden both (in aluminum) and they feel like completely different bikes. Unless charging into something crazy the Reign felt dead to me, lacked a lot of pop. I figured since it's almost identical in numbers to the Patrol, which is one of the most fun and rad bikes I've ever ridden, it would feel similar and I was severely disappointed.
  • + 2
 thanks @briceps the patrol looks like such a nice bike
  • + 2
 I've been eyeing both and the Kona Process 167. Reign are a huge success in BC for good reasons, shredability and price CAD... shopping USA is currently very expensive. Couple things bother me though, but not necessarily deal breakers. Reign has a chunky mount for front mech (why), press fit BB, and no 'frame set' only option. I don't know anyone on a patrol nor have I seen one, but the peeps I know riding Reign have only positive things to say.
  • + 5
 I've owned Both, the Reign felt Sluggish to turn, hard to lay over way flexier and way less supple than the Patrol. the patrol has way more pop and pedals much better and because of the collet pivots and threaded bb you can work on it yourself. The Patrol wins... its no contest.
  • + 1
 I have a 2012 reign and i replaced it by a patrol. The patrol pedals better, and is way better in downhill BUT i'm comparing with the old reign which have an old geo. It was also the dilemna I was facing and I chose Transition for the threaded BB and to try a different suspension design. I'm happy with my choice
  • + 1
 Definitely cannot compare the new Reign to the old version, vastly different bikes. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but my Carbon Operator felt more playful on the downhill than the Reign did, and it's 5 lbs heavier. The Patrol's suspension makes for such a poppy and playful ride, its impossible not to have a shit eating grin from riding that bike.
  • + 1
 I just sold my al reign to get one of these. The reign was sweet in the steeps and was very stable at speed but dead if not hauling on mellow trails it felt like riding a couch on top of a magic carpet at 25% seated sag with 5 bands in the shock. Was fine in the bike park but elsewhere wasn't my deal.
  • + 0
 I would agree Spech lil too steep for my liking. Hence the Trance 150mm I run. Just never been a fan of the Transition linkage. Feels sloppy. Had a Covert for 3 years
  • + 1
 Major immovable lava rocks on my trails, almost need the plushness of a dh bike. Kinda biased towards the Reign, hence the reason for asking Canadians to weigh in, although Transitions stomping ground is pretty close to Canada. Both are absolute shredders. Love the Process too. Probably gonna come down to which one I can find used with the best spec. Been stuck on Reigns ever since this vid...absorbs everything in it's path. www.pinkbike.com/video/402395
  • + 1
 The transition is much much plusher than the reign, feels like it has more travel. I'm considerably faster on my local (very rocky very steep) DH tracks on the transition.. and still have more fun on the flatter stuff too. IMHO its a much better bike.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy What about the wheelbase? Does it affect the agility in the tight stuff?
  • + 0
 Duh.
  • + 1
 Where is the Following review?
  • + 1
 what size bike was mike on?
  • + 1
 nice. (Transition): Does the black hardware fit the alloy frames?
  • + 1
 That transitioned in to a great review
  • + 1
 @mike how does it compare to a nomad or bronson v2?
  • + 1
 Looks like a remedy.
  • - 1
 is that a crack where the cables go into the frame where the top tube and down tube meet?
  • + 0
 nice one,wish it had carbon rims at that price point though
  • + 1
 Looks like a Remedy
  • + 0
 shitty cable routing!
  • + 0
 Ew carbon
  • - 3
 These slack 65 degree head angle bikes are absolutely worthless unless you race EWS. Owned the Nomad and just rode the new Reign. No FUN.
  • + 2
 Yup, completely agree. I race enduro and that is what these bikes are designed for, going fast and getting good times. I demo'd a 5010 and it was a total blast, yeah, it may be a little slower on rocky, steep tech, but I felt like I was riding a bike again rather than 160mm and slack angles sorting everything out for me.
  • + 1
 Haha,

"that is what these bikes are designed for, going fast and getting good times"

Why would that not be a selling point?? That is at the top of the list of things I want in my bike.

This bike delivers that in a fantastic way.
  • + 3
 I don't race, but I love to go fast. I like how my Patrol was able to replace a Devinci Dixon and my TR250. More fun than a downhill bike on the way down and completely manageable on the way up. It's not all about racing. I want a bike that is capable of climbing but geared more toward downhill. A 5010 may be more fun for straight XC, but do you want to hit 30 foot gaps and 15 foot drops on it? The Patrol can ride XC in the morning, and hit anything in the bike park that afternoon. It's range of usability is the selling point for me. If I didn't have so many expensive action sports habits and a child; sure I would love to have a more XC oriented bike in addition to the Patrol, but I don't think I would ever buy a downhill bike again over an "Enduro" bike. "Enduro" bikes are just more fun now. Also, I have not ridden the Nomad but I have ridden the Reign. Completely different than the Patrol. Reign is waaaaay more DH oriented and terrible at going uphill seated due to the slack seat tube angle. Much more planted and less poppy than the Patrol. Not that one is better than the other, but very different. The Patrol is far from worthless to me. I love it.
  • + 1
 @tetonlarry sounds like the ideal bike for the type of riding you do!! Smile
  • + 2
 Yeah, I have never raced enduro and only maybe a dozen DH races (mainly just to hang out with friends)(not much of a race guy).

Quote: "I want a bike that is capable of climbing but geared more toward downhill. A 5010 may be more fun for straight XC, but do you want to hit 30 foot gaps and 15 foot drops on it? The Patrol can ride XC in the morning, and hit anything in the bike park that afternoon. It's range of usability is the selling point for me."

I couldn't agree with you more tetonlarry, It's all about what kind of riding you enjoy the most. I'm a little sad to say that my love for my Banshee Legend has diminished a little since riding my Patrol. I've done plenty of Forest Rd grinds standing on the pedals just to get in some good DH, but don't see the point of taking the DH bike anymore with the Patrol. The Legend will only see chair lift country now. I too have always been drawn to bikes that never leave me making excuses for why I can't hit something (jumps & drops). I had a first gen Nomad and loved it. I still laugh at the fact that it came with a 90mm stem from SC (changed that to a 50mm 1st thing). Shows how different the thinking still was in early 2007. I also spent years on a TR Dirtbag (still hangs in the garage), an Intense Uzzi, a Canfield The One (Breifly), just to give you an idea of what kind of riding I place the most importance on. None of them however nailed it like the Patrol.

I think there are people buying bikes now based on what is trending or popular (Enduro bikes) and not being honest with them selves about their skill level and what they like to actually ride. I'm not saying that my type of riding or any type of riding is any better or worse than another. Just saying if you don't ride what this bike is designed for why would you think it is a good choice for you? Of course if all you ride is XC you won't like this bike as much as another. It's not a XC bike.
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