Suspension and Frame Design
Transition didn’t invent the whole long, slack head angle, steep seat angle thing, but they’re one of the brands that have fully embraced that sort of thinking. And now they’re applying their 'Speed Balanced Geometry' to the all-new Spur, a 29er with 120mm of front and rear travel. This isn't your typical cross-country bike, though, with Transition saying that it's designed to be relatively light and cover ground quickly but, as Transition puts it, “descend anything you may encounter along the way.’’
To underline that capability, the Spur comes stock with stuff that you wouldn't usually see on a 120mm-travel bike. There are 2.4" wide tires from Maxxis with EXO casings, long-stroke dropper posts (my size-large test bike has a 180mm OneUp dropper), and four-piston brakes on all models. Further making the Spur's intentions obvious are the 800mm wide handlebars and 50mm stems across the three-bike range.
• Intended use: Everything?
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 120mm
• Fork travel: 120mm
• Frame material: Carbon fiber
• Threaded bottom bracket
• SBG geometry
• Four-piston brakes, long-travel dropper posts, wide tires stock
• Weight: 24.74lb (X01 build)
• MSRP: $4,999 - $8,999 USD
• More info: www.transitionbikes.com
The Spur’s suspension layout is pretty straightforward, with the SIDLuxe shock being compressed from above via a cute little rocker link that’s also carbon fiber. Like some other short-travel bikes, Transition has skipped using a pivot at the axle, with a “carbon-tuned pivot-less flex stay
” doing the job instead. Engineered flex pivots always seem to get a bit of heat from people who are wary of such things, be it for a good reason or not. They’ve always been reliable in my experience, though, and I’ve owned and ridden a bunch of different bikes that use flex pivots. Remember, there are barely a few degrees of movement down at an axle pivot, especially on these short-travel bikes, and engineered flex can easily do that job.
Transition doesn’t make any weight saving claims about the flex pivot, but other brands have said that they’ve shaved around 200-grams by not using sealed bearings and all the required pivot hardware. Word is that the suspension works well when running anywhere between 25 and 35-percent sag, a relatively wide range for a bike with just 120mm of travel, and the 30-percent progression has a "consistent linear rate of change."
Oh, and if 120mm is way too much suspension for you, Transition says that you can swap out the 45mm-stroke SID shock for one with 37.5mm to convert it to a 100mm-travel Spur.
There are a handful of details on the Spur worth mentioning, starting with the threaded bottom bracket shell and headtube that takes press-in cups to allow for angle-adjusting headsets. It’s almost like these Transition guys read Pinkbike comments or something… Hmmm.
On that note, there’s a ton of room for a bottle inside the front triangle, as well as a mount under the downtube for when you want to suck on a muddy nipple. There’s another set of threaded bosses on the underside of the toptube for some sort of bolt-on tool kit. Other details: Cable routing is internal and pass-through to make repairs easy, and check out the rubber chainstay protection - it sits nearly flush with the frame and sure looks classy.
Suspension travel doesn't define geometry, but the Spur is sporting some forward-thinking numbers relative to its travel. There's a 66-degree head angle - the slackest of the nine bikes in our upcoming cross-country Field Test video series - and my large-sized test bike has a 480mm reach. That's 20 to 30mm longer than many other large-sized bikes that aren't feeling so large these days.
There’s also a 75.9 - why not just call it 76? - degree seat angle that really helps to make the 480mm reach feel not so long, and the rear-end is 435mm on all sizes.
It may have just 120mm of travel, but the Spur didn’t start life as a cross-country bike like the Scalpel and Epic EVO, and that allowed Transition to take a much more aggressive approach in the geo department because they didn’t need to make a bike that was originally born as a racer. Spur Models
There are three different versions of the Spur, all based on the same 2,500-gram carbon frame and shock, and starting with the GX build at $4,999 USD and followed by the bike I'm currently testing, the X01 version that costs $5,999. That gets you a SID Ultimate fork and SIDLuxe shock, a set of DT Swiss’ XR1700 wheels, and guess what kind of drivetrain, all of which adds up to 24.74lb. Want less weight and a wireless drivetrain? The AXS bike costs $8,999, although that does get you a set of carbon rims as well. The frame and shock cost $2,999.
I've been putting in a ton of miles on the all-new Spur, so stay tuned for our upcoming cross-country Field Test video review series where it'll be covered in-depth.
As for the unbroken line, I do agree it looks pretty but I can imagine the shorter shock would turn it into an even more fun ride and if so, I'd be more than willing to break that straight line as a consequence.
Echoes of the Focus Raven hardtail
So yeah, short travel XC/trail bikes designed to be ridden hard make a lot of sense and despite this marketing, they've been around for a good while (also outside the slopestyle niche). I recall Dirt magazine (UK) had an article where they were even pushing the Specialized Epic and the Cannondale Rush marathon/XC bikes. They're definitely up to it. Not sure about the angles though. My 2007 Cannondale Prophet already has a 67deg head angle, so that would drop to 65deg with a Slackerizer headset (though it won't help you increase the reach, obviously).
@thisspock: it's actually $400, but true. I think complete GX builds are the same price, though, and Yeti has an SLX build for a couple hundred less than GX.
Anyhow, Transition ain't exactly cheap bikes no matter how you slice it. Not sure how Yeti gets one reputation, and Transition gets another. . . other than @thegoodflow 's point.
I bet more than 1/2....
Fox 36 can be run at 130.
Cane creek Coil IL do a 190x45.
It will be a Norco optic challenger.
Levy will call it a down-country bike, like the Norco Optic.
So no non-sense putting a coil on it given the ratio progression, high AS and flex stays that will add progressivity at the end of travel.
Spur - Afternoon Delight Edition
"Can I run a fork with a different amount of travel?
The Spur was designed to run a 120mm travel fork and can be run with a 110mm fork as well. We do not recommend running a fork with more than a 120mm of travel."
So I would guess running a 140 fork would void the warranty?
Shame as it looked promising for that short travel do most everything bike. Guess this is not quite the Smuggler replacement afterall.
Just lots of the comments here are about upforking the Spur, yet Transition is saying "don't do that".
Keep the 120mm travel but add a little more capable fork (and shock, maybe) like a Pike or Fox 34, Z2, Diamond, etc... would do the trick nicely.
I'm sure we'll see a Smuggler soon-ish for all those wanting a little more robustness for their ride. And if you're after something more playful, there's already the Scout available.
There are forks (leaf forks) with suspension designed around flex of carbon leaf forks alone.
Engineered right, it's there are no issues with fatigue failure.
I think the one issue with both locations on a bike like this is that a lot of the tame trails can turn rowdy pretty quickly if you want them to (i.e. pedal up a bit higher in the military reserve, ride at speed on Hulls). I'd love to have a Sentinel and this bike. I can "afford it", but I think my fiance will kill me if I spent 10k on bikes in a year.
Infact they look identical. And geo is almost identical bar a bit more reach.
Pinkbike - please compare in your review ;-)
It's a nice bike, but you can buy a Trek Top Fuel 9.8 XT (or GX) and you get Fox 34 Stepcast Performance (Grip2), carbon wheels, XT or GX drivetrain, carbon bars, and it weighs the same, for the same $7100CAD.
The Spur has more balanced builds as well. There is no real top model of the Izzo, as they have mixed in (too many) cheaper parts to lower the price.
What cheap parts on izzo?
Apart from tires, that is?
Meanwhile the Izzo is $1400CAD cheaper.
For $400CAD more than the BASE MODEL Spur GX build, you can get the Izzo Pro Race with Fox Factory suspension, XMC 1200 carbon wheels, X01 drivetrain. Transition is charging a premium it seems.
Whether or not all of that is worth it to you is the question.
I have a transition and a YT.
They are pretty much on par quality-wise.
Both ride AMAZING.
Both don’t have the best paint quality.
Is this the death of the Smuggler though? I am eagerly awaiting to replace my alu Sentinel with a carbon Smuggler... Sentinel was too much bike for my trails, this will be slightly too little. If I could afford both I'd want this and a Sentinel, but I am looking for that middle ground....
I have a 210 x 50 DPX 2 on mine, and it's a great ride. But I would have definitely gone with 210 x 55 if I thought I could have gotten away with it.
I suppose that carbon layup has gotten to the point where this is feasible and inexpensive to do, but it's weird to think about the many years the industry went through while the Horst Link patent was still valid, and this idea wasn't popularized.
A friend had the Ti one, so I thought I was correct, but an image search only pulled up the carbon version.
No dementia yet...
That said, super sharp looking bike.
The thing with an alloy Spur is the flex stays? For sure putting a horst link back on the metal version would be an option? But I don't think an alloy flex stay would ever work as well? (almost bought a Trek liquid back in the day though) Honestly I'd say keep the Spur what it is because I don't think you can get another bike this light for such a low price??? (sure not with that kind of geometry!) It may not really be "cheap", but it is cheap for a bike that's this light? Heck.GG just put out that 8 thousand dollar build at 26lbs. The Spur can hit that weight for under 5 thousand. (not an apples to apples comparison as you could Park ride your Trail Pistol all day long VS I don't think a bike with flex stays is in the same league?? Part of WHY it's so light. BIDK...)
I think the Spur is very cool; I'd just like them to keep the Smuggler in the lineup TOO, but yes I think an Alloy option would be great for most of their frames! With all the anti carbon rhetoric we've seen lately I'm surprised we didn't start seeing alloy Sentinels when all the carbon frames sold out? But perhaps Transition will be only carbon from here out???
Geometry doesn't really cost anything "extra". When the Giant Stance 29 was created they could have easily taken a degree off the head tube angle and there is NO REASON to keep those 15, 17, 19, 20" seat tube lengths anymore...??? Shorter seat tubes and adding an XXL frame size so people could size up would greatly improve the bike. I would argue it actually costs Giant MORE to be so conservative with geometry because there is no longevity.
I'd counter the excuses go the other way around. Kona usually has very good geo, Process 111 was ahead of it's time and pretty much EVERYONE keeps wondering why they have never made a new one.
Giant got things mostly right with the Reign 29. But imagine if they would have used modern geometry on the last Trance 29 with 115mm travel. Hell they would have been 2-3 years ahead of everybody who's only just now jumping on the short travel "downduro" rush. As far as the Stance, if any bike manufacturer can figure out a way to squeeze the best bang for the buck it should be the largest bike manufacturer on the planet...? WHY does their bike still have quick releases compared to the other bikes in the field test? If they don't make a good bike nobodies going to buy it and so whatever profit margin they were inflating by using QR's doesn't ACTUALLY make them any money...
Banshee has always made great bikes. Sometimes they were heavier than they should have been and conversely seemed like some failure issues in the past. But again, the only knock against the current Phantom is being able to easily get one. Can't just order it online, can't just drop by your local dealer and pick one up. Sucks... I wish them further success so they can remedy those issues.
Knolly is honestly pretty sweet. But I do hate the 157 thing. I know the manufacturers that have made the switch are just trying to get out ahead of it this time. But I still don't like it...
The Rift Zone is a sweet bike, again I don't get seatstay pivots after the HL patent expired. It doesn't cost any more or create any more complexity to use a chainstay pivot and get the braking benefits. But I don't think that should keep anyone away from it. When they had the last carbon Smuggler frames for $2400 it was the idea that I could get a whole Alu RZ bike for less than that, OR a pretty comparable bike in the carbon rift zone for just another grand that kept me from ordering the last Smuggler frame... HUM so sad. (and I was wondering if they'd drop the Smuggler frames down lower... me = cheap bastard!)
Thing for me is I have some good bikes and there are lots of really good bikes to rent to keep trying different bikes so there really just isn't any huge RUSH to buy or build up a new one. I'm totally interested in something like the Spur or the previous Smuggler. And I'm sure I'll buy something here soon. But there is no "need" other than that same N+1 all mountain bikers have.
time to punch out and go for a RIDE!
Having only quickly ridden a Sentinel and a few DH laps on an SB6 and being pretty stoked on both, I was pretty interested to see both Trans' & Yetis' approach with the Spur and SB115 bike geo/specs, especially given I literally just bomb-wholed my credit card on a new Izzo ("did I pull the trigger too soon?!"). On paper nothing between these two new bikes makes me think they're more fit for my purpose than the YT, *phew*, but I'm sure as hell looking forward to hearing some comparisons from the PB team. (not to mention all these market-hype/anti-hype inflated opinions in the comments, hours of fun).
It would be a shame if this killed off the Smuggler. Perfection must surely be a Smuggler carbon frame with vastly improved rear tyre clearance (it's main Achilles heal) and a bit of a weight loss plan.
Wonder if that comment on Instagram is just to mess with us? Or just an offhand comment not meant to be taken verbatim?
Since they seem to be sharing frames or parts between the Scout and Sentinel it's a shame they weren't able to add a 2nd rear triangle with pivots and longer travel to make a Smuggler out of this front triangle. Course then they'd never have got to such a low weight? (Guerilla Gravity problems)
Anyway very cool bike. Impressive weight VS price...
It's TRUE that they aren't going to leak info about the smuggler while trying to hype the spur, but that's because they want to keep buzz going, not because of some nefarious scam.
It's a similar tactic to when companies release a bike in aluminum first and then release a carbon version a few months later. How many people bought a ripmo af because of the geo and progressive rate, and then sold a few months later to upgrade to the v2 carbon? Same with the stumpy Evo. It's not a scam but if you think these companies don't strategize about releasing new models in an effort to sell more bikes, that sounds a bit naive.
If you spend 6 grand on a 120mm when you want and need a 140 bike and replace it in 6 months, naive doesn't start to describe you.
The mountain bike world is full of people with a lot of money wanting to try new things, and plenty of people who wait for those people to sell their bikes so we can buy them for less! As well as a lot of people who over spend/get buyers remorse/find out how much interest their paying on their CC for a bike they don't ride enough to justify it/discover they got too much bike for their trails/not enough bike for their growing skill set, wrong size, even wrong color. (Kalimotxo anyone? I'm still scarred) It's naive not to be aware of how often people buy and sell bikes for the smallest reasons!
I don't claim to know what or why Transition is doing what they are doing. I mean perhaps the reason we didn't get the "super sentinel" was because they planned not to replace the smuggler and were trying to keep the gap somewhat in check? (though if that was the case you'd think they'd have sold it as 140mm and let people do shock changes to go 150?) It wouldn't be so bad if the Spur was an overfork/semi-park approved sort of a bike. But with how light the frame is and the flex stays and paying for lifetime frame replacements my guess is the 120mm fork limit is more a way to temper peoples riding habits to keep those light frames in one piece? This isn't just the difference of a 20mm fork, the Spur and the last Smuggler seem to have different intentions. You could build a Smuggler up with a 36/lyrik, decent brakes and have a burly wheelset for park days and be OK not having a Sentinel. (let alone overshock with offsets and up the fork travel) I don't think the Spur would ever scratch that itch...
I think if it was 100% the end of the Smuggler than this bike would have been the new Smuggler and not the Spur?? My guess is they are either doing some marketing magic OR they are just leaving themselves the option? 120mm 25lb bike and then a 150/160mm 31 lb bike is a pretty decent gap. The Smuggler could fill both of those roles, but neither the Spur or Sentinel can. (back to the idea of trying to get you to buy more bikes! )
To big of a gap in the modell range I guess?
I've had both (150/125, 160/140,160/160, 150/150, 150/145), and I think I like equal or almost equal slightly better, though this may be due to a more off-the-back riding style that tends to use lots/most of the rear travel but rarely bottoms out the fork. On the unequal bikes I almost always get the o-ring to the bottom of the shock even if the fork still has 10% left, where on equal travel both front and rear usually had the same travel used (whether 10% or 0% left)
That said, the fork is pure XC, had to really dial up the rebound and add a token (it comes with zero tokens). It is fairly stiff though. The rear SID shock is good so far, but lacks any real adjustability. Just rebound at about 6 clicks and doesn't seem to make a huge difference. But the rear does feel dialed.
For what I wanted, this is 10/10, Transition you nailed it.
If you owned one you know what I’m talking about.
I'd love a alu Scout......
I bought a patrol in 2015. The base model alloy frame weight was a touch over 30lbs. Now the new carbon Patrol frame weighs the same as the older alloy frames. The top spec'd bike weighs more than older lower spec'd bikes. The alloy frames are 3 pounds heavier than they used to be... why? don't tell me boost adds 3 pounds to a frame.
That’s a good thing
I understand what you are saying..but, this is a 4 year old design. Not a bad bike but a relative old one.
And those guys are world class athletes, Nino is actually an olympian; he could 'work' a Huffy on a WC track. That does not mean we should also try that.
I'm not contradicting myself. If anyone wants to spend between 3500 and 10k on a bike then, that bike better be the most advanced bike in existence.
And, yes, we all know that bikes have a life cycle around 4 years. Maybe you should have considered that aspect before purchasing your new bike. Then again, maybe it is of little relevance to you so yeah, have fun riding your new bike!
I get it, taking an ATX One DH to the bikepark today would feel weird (I'd still love to do that), but buying (literally) into the other extreme of always chasing the latest is part of the reason why we get stupidity like 2021 models starting in like Feb-March 2020 and tiny, almost meaningless on the trail, incremental changes designed specifically to leave room for more of the same next time.
Consider as well that the Spark RC is an XC race bike and it has a different geo to the Spur because it's intended for a completely different application, not because it's 'outdated'. And so far, it has been and still is very successful at that application, so good on Scott for sticking to a winning formula for a while and not changing for the sake of it.
Which suggests to me that if you're spending 3500 to 10k on a bike, you should think long and hard about what works for you rather than getting "the most advanced bike in existence". Otherwise, let's all sell our bikes and get Poles (ironically, it's geo is at least as old as the Spark's and still one of the most progressive on the market so what are we even talking about if we assume advancement trumps preference).
Why do ppl always assume that one cannot reply without taken into consideration diff. aspects of bike design, purpose, etc.
Mgs781hd said, and I quote, "must have this bike; who wants a 2020 spark?"
I replied continuing on his logic; should I had give a reply along the lines "but hey, spark rc is a race bike (although I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with Nino's 110 front-120 in the back WC Spark) and this(Spur) is more of an all rounder marathon cross-country..like the new hei-hei..or the new revel...or the new epic evo...or the new scalpel SE..or the new..well, you get the point". Should I have started a discussion in which mgs781hd would have thought that I am implying he does not know anything about bikes as, per his reply, he is confused by diff bike genres.
The only appropiate thing to ask, at least imo, was about the reason behind purchasing a 4 year old design race bike; as, if you want a race bike, you probably want the fastest one, which, for sure it is going to be one launched this year. If he wanted an all rounder/marathon style, why the spark rc in the first place?
Back to your reply: don't be condescending when you have no superior arguments and/or logic; I also urge you to try different bikes from 4 years ago against current/modern bikes and see which ones are faster, stable, have better suspension design...basically, are better bikes; then we can discuss about incremential changes with no effect.
From my experience, doing the same 77 kms with 1800 m of ascension on 2018 Orbea Oiz and then on the 2019 model, the difference was about 23 minutes.
As for going down the hill, I have not timed anything as I am still getting used to the bike but, based on feel, my current 150-130mm nukeproof reactor is faster than my 170-160mm 2016 GT Sanction team edition and almost as fast as my 2019 custom(spec(parts) and geo) GT Sanction.
From where I'm standing, those changes do make a difference. It all depends if you care about it or not.
Man...my reply to bananowy was a theoretical one and in regard to his hypothesis.
Every type of riding and/or rider has place under the sun. I know some xc-guys(no pros) that would shame me on any down the hill ride and one dh guy(big, strong, trail builder type) that can shame me on any(and every) up-hill. So, I have(tried to) let go of the stereotypes for some time now.
I too, as I am not a xc racer, consider that most of 90-120mm bikes can be very good for xcm racing, especially since most of them can be build around 10 kgs with pedals.
I still don't understand why you have purchased a bike at the end of its life cycle instead of buying a modern(latest design) one but, that is your decision and your money so, basically, it does not concern me.
I can tell you that I have sold my big(and very customized) enduro bike and my custom Oiz precisely because of the fact that the geometries are keep changing in xc and enduro and I really did not want a bike that, by the this time next year, would be obsolete. That is why I'll wait and use my gravel bike for xc rides and my trail bike for everything else; although.., in all honesty, that's not really a trail bike..punching above it's paygrade with ease.
As for the riding...plenty of mountains, lots of foot/hiking/natural trails; plenty of amateur xc and xcm races(last year) with the occasional xco racing format. 6 national enduro style races with one being and ews qualifier + one national championship, also last year as this year, there was(still is) a break like all over around the world. To sum it up, our mtb is growing.
Cheers!(you should still have waited for the new Spark, at least imo)
P.S. I think you meant Iasi, not Lasi; and your business is probably IT related or agricultural related.
love the geo but geo is free.
call me when these bikes are $3 to $4k
until then ill keep riding my honzo.
That said if I had XC trails a 25 pound bike with 5 by 5 travel would be the perfect bike.
"We do not recommend running a fork with more than a (sic) 120mm of travel."
Same thing I told my "max 180 rotor" fork. Seems like a 203 will fit. Bike hasn't burst into flames yet.
I wanted this to be a 140/120 bike cause I'm not putting a longer fork on the 3500USD (here) frame that will void the warranty if something goes south.
Anyway, this is not the smuggler replacement I was hoping for....time to look elsewhere.
I'm a very happy 2019 Carbon Smuggler owner, and with a DPX2 it's a great all-arounder.
The Smuggler's a fantastic bike, but has a frame-weight that puts it at a disadvantage to other similar bikes (actually heavier than a Ripmo). I'm much more-often surprised at how well the Smuggler eats up rough terrain, than I am worried that it isn't enough bike. But, pretty regularly I do use up all 140mm of front travel, and every once in a while I wish for a bit more travel in the back for the rough stuff.
There's a pretty big gap right now between the 120mm/120mm XC-focused Spur and the 150mm/160mm Sentinel. Another 29" model somewhere in the middle is basically my ideal 1-bike quiver, and I hope Transition comes out with a new bike in that sweet spot soon.
I mean of course it doesn’t make sense to run Saints on a XC bike, but I don’t think I’d ever wish for less braking power instead of more. Less force required to pull the lever, less stress on the hands, etc.
If anything the trend of manufacturers speccing more light 4 piston brakes on short travel bikes is great, as too much available braking power is better than not enough.
looses at the first corner with lighter less power car with better susp and brakes....
Same reason I ride 2.3" Eliminator and Slaughter combo instead of ubiquitous Minions - because they're lighter, have great grip, roll much faster and proved to me to be much more durable and longer lasting compound.
Similarly, I don't need cush core or bashguard as I don't plow through stuff unnecessarily but like more active and engaging ride that's much faster and more fun on the trails I ride compared to some 15kg 170mm bulldozer with 2.6" tires. That's why my bike weighs 12kg and is very fun to ride everything and can rack up miles with ease and not feel like I'm pulling boat anchor.
1- The joke isn't funny.
2- Using something so serious as the murder of unarmed civilians due to the colour of their skin to try and make a joke is extremely distasteful.
BLM tbh as do most of the nation.
Did you not get the satire of the comment ? whoosh,
a lot of people slagging the the bikes off lately.
It was a joke .To defend Transition bikes in a tongue in cheek way ,
You obviously took offence because you are a “cock” Now fook off back to your Wokish high horse. @Patrick9-32:
BLM tbh as do most of the nation."
Anti Semitic, Anti Police,
It’s way off the subject of the satire in my Transition Lives Matter comment which you twisted like the privileged sheep that all probably “Took the knee “
But since you pulled out the Race card like only a Snowflake could !! You should broaden your narrow mind and get off the bandwagon.
- My original comment clearly stated that your "satire" wasn't funny and was distasteful.
- You keep calling me a snowflake but only one of us seems offended by something the other one said.
- Stop listening to right wing media about what people believe and read first hand: blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe
- You "Pulled out the race card like only a Snowflake could" when you made a racially motivated joke on a mountain bike website.
And why did you feel the need to insult someone you don’t know over something you misinterpreted by not getting the satirical meaning of the comment.
You presumed it was insulting BLM when it was poking fun at a bike company.