Transition Syren - Trail Tested Review

Aug 6, 2008
by Tyler Maine  
Source: Ian Millar

Once again the folks in Ferndale Washington have broken the mold on bicycle design. Transition Bikes latest hit comes in the form of a female specific freeride frame titled the Syren. So how does Transition define a freeride female specific bike? Simply by building a bike with the help of 30 female rippers based on the current trends they are seeing in all-mountain fun. A bike designed for bike parks, local trail networks and of course epic singletrack.

Lets start with the angles, the 67° head tube provides an immediate sense of comfort the moment you throw a leg over the saddle and park your butt in the seat. The easy angles make the bike descent friendly as it oozes with confidence immediately. The 27.5inch low-slung top tube creates a very lady-friendly stand over. The first thing noticed by all of our women test pilots was the immediate comfort factor of the bike. There was no adjusting to the set up, the Truvativ Holzfeller 40mm stem combined with the easy fit cockpit provided an instant connection for the ladies.

One of the reasons this bike feels so incredibly friendly is because the folks at Transition listened to women and gave them a bike that weight wise, is proportionate to a female’s needs. Realizing that the bike would take a little less abuse, and also be attending to a woman’s physical strengths, all 3 available builds are spec’d with parts that provide an easy to maneuver and nimble ride. Our trail-tested model was the Freeride (Dual Ring) build kit. A Fox DHX 5.0 air shock with ProPedal provided a plush 6 inches of travel and the Fox 36 Float R gave a balanced travel to match.

Other notables defining the Syren are the Transition Revolution 32 spoke wheelset, SRAM X9 shifting, Avid Juicy 7’s with an 8 inch rotor upfront, 6 inch rotor in the rear and a Truvativ stem, bar, cranks, and post package. The bike comes well built and for the first time in a long time we had no desire to make any of our own mods to make the bike friendlier to our immediate trail environment. She was ready to roll straight out of the box.

The first thing we did was send the Syren out on a climb-to-descent type ride. The winding, medium grade singletrack ascent provided many tricky root and rock littered corners. Our first pilot commented on a few awkward moments in technical corners, and taking a few attempts to adjust to the plush 6 inch fork. With the slacker geometry the bike tends to sit in the rear a little more than most bikes in this travel range. But let’s be clear, Transition did not make this bike to climb technical singletrack. Despite that, after a few rides with the Syren our testers came to enjoy climbing the bike. Every one who took a turn in the saddle agreed that if the Syren had an adjustable travel fork or compression lockout, it would be an amazing little up and down bike, and open another personality for it. Transition says that they spec it with a base model fork to keep the weight minimal. I think for most people that would be fine, but we feel an adjustable front travel system on the Syren would make this bike unstoppable and really open up on the uphill. In the end it is an easy upgrade and would only set you back an extra hundred bucks or so.

Trail wise our reports show that this bike loves low angle and high-speed singletrack. One tester commented that the bike “danced.” As promised the lightweight build really allows you to control the ride with your legs and steer with the seat, letting the rider search out all the nooks and crannies to milk on the trail. This was probably the most common remark made about the Syren. Every rider loved its ability to be where you put it; with no forcing, pushing or pulling. Combined with the Transition Stepdown pedals the bike sticks to you and your line of travel.

As previously mentioned the cockpit is extremely friendly to bike park and shuttle type atmospheres, basically anything slightly downward would have the bike in its glory. Transition bikes never want to stop rolling, we’ve experienced this before with other models they offer and the Syren in no different. It’s a very cruising ride and is just waiting for the next challenge on a trail. A taller (5’8”) rider commented on the T-Bar’s (handlebar) width, saying it could be a little wider for more high-speed stability on the descents while others had no issues with it, even commenting they would likely chop some off.

Our build had a dual-ring setup with bash guard; surprisingly we never dropped the chain. A few times it dropped to the little ring but no one was ever forced to stop to put the chain back on. Suspension-wise Transition has it dialed; smooth rides are a common place on all their full suspension bikes. One rider commented on getting some brake jack on steeper terrain. When the bike goes through its suspension, the wheelbase shortens up and pushes a rider forward on steeper brake inducing terrain. With an already shortened wheelbase the cockpit tightens up quickly. On the flip side, and in the corners, when the suspension contracts in the gut of a turn, it springs the bike out in its full glory. It feels really good to corner this bike especially in the deeper corners. With every bike there are going to be trade offs, you just have to figure out what you are willing to sacrifice.

In the end-
The Syren is as fast and sexy as it looks. Our ride was Black Glitter with a magenta sticker kit. Most girls loved the paint scheme while one of our grittier riders commented the flower and bird details were a little too girly. The white Revolution rims and matching pink hubs really set off the ladies’ first impressions. To quote one rider “ I love it, I love it, I love it! Can I have it?”

We believe Transition has successfully delivered another bike that we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the near future. As a person who likes to ride mid-travel bikes I see this bike covering many different types of riders. It’s perfect as an entry-level bike. The immediate comfort factor is sure to sell new comers to the sport. While the geometry and build will appeal to riders with more experience, and also appeal to riders who want to add a little edge to their game. If you’re a guy reading this and thinking about getting your girl into the sport or a girl looking to upgrading your current ride, we strongly recommend inspecting the Transition Syren in person and throwing a leg over it to see just what were talking about.

Please visit to learn more.

-Ian Millar


  • 39 5
 i almost wish i was a girl
  • 39 11
 you know how i know you're gay?
  • 14 4
 'i almost wish i was a girl'

thee best thing ive heard all day hahaha! Big Grin
  • 9 1
 just buy one, who cares if it's for a girl. Just take off the flower decals. No need to be insecure about it
  • 1 0
 I'm a male and I want it Smile
  • 9 2
 i went from a big hit to syren and it's sooo fun! flys off stuff, light front end, and just love it! with the air/air, it even dirt jumps awesome...can't wait to take it to whistler once my knee heals up....highly recommend transitions in general and esp. the syren!
  • 8 1
 why cant guys buy it? The geo looks way better than the bottle rocket! I would love that bike, and im not getting a sex change so i can have it! Girls ride "guys" bikes, so why cant we ride theirs?
  • 5 0
 thats sick looking. Can't wait to see more ladies doing the freeride thing! Racing is competative sure, but seeing some creative style thrown down...BETTER!
  • 7 1
 man im a guy and id buy one of them
  • 2 0
 the front end is light as women tend to not be as strong in the upper body as guys, less pulling up on the front end is required, the low standover means there is clearance, and the thing is easy to manuvere - apparently if you are a guy you can buy it but they won't warranty it if you break it - also everyone will say "The Syren! Wait, isn't that a girls bike? Why didn't you buy a Bottlerocket?".
  • 1 0
 My wife got one a bout a week ago, and LOVES it! Only complaint is the paint, it come off with just a bit of cable rub, get clear decals for it where the cable are., Other then that size wise is AWESOME! made her far more confident on the DH.
  • 1 0
 I have the same problem with my syren. I didn't tape it up for my first trip to the mountains so my syren got a little lovin' from another bike's break leaver and now i have a nice spot the size of a twoonie on my top tube. Same goes with no paint under my cables.... kinda sucks but what can you do. Otherwise I love my syren. Learning so many new things on it.
  • 1 0
 I've had my Syren for about 6 weeks, and have zero complaints! I pedal it up everything (much better than my last bike!), and it sees lots of freeriding action at Pajarito here in NM. Very confidence-inspiring--I grew into a droppin', huckin' fool in only a few rides! Oh, and mine's electric yellow (compliments of Dropnzone) with red components and a white Marzocchi 66--only when it's not smothered in dirt, the way I like it! TOO MUCH FUN!!!
  • 2 0
 Good to see more bike companies catering to the ladies! You can never complain with having more gals out on the hills rippin it up!
  • 0 0
 I bought one for my wife, and I ride it occasionally (mostly around town). It rocks it for sure, though it has a tendency to loop out real easy while wheelieing (but the light end is great for my wife - she can now do some short wheelies herself). I'd personally have no problems riding it on some of the local trails, and I probably will form time to time.
  • 1 1 many times i read so many ridiculouse blogs and comments. So half witted and sounding so obviosely un experianced they should just be quiet! I am Cali Syren (i call mine Baby Bottle), im 29 year old male wth ballz enough to Rock the Syren! That bike is so fricken perfect fer anyone who can ride! I am 5'9" 170 and it was iteresting to set up but its soo dialed now! Obviousley not one bike can do every type of riding perfectly but this one excells at what it made for and is Toootally do-able fer every thng else..If you can ride and are a bit of a bad ass for the climbing!
On a silly note: i have mine blinged out all white wth a touch of gold and it totally gets me all kinds of attention from Girls!So Cool!So Nice!
  • 1 0
 Dammit i couldnt figure out how to edit my first entry cuz i fugged up on the props rating. I ment to choose the highest option! Baby bottle(cali syren) signing out! Peace Out Side!
  • 3 1
 sad thing is i would too.
  • 5 2
 Transition Bikes Rock!
  • 0 1
 That is wicked for a womens bike!! Glad to hear/see more girls riding more often gives the male dominated sport some more diversity... never know WHO you're going to run into on the trails Wink Ride on peoples!! \m/
  • 1 0
 ya the syren is a sick bike if it wasnt sparkle black with magenta stickers i would ride one!
  • 1 0
 if ur man enough ud ride it anyway
  • 0 0
 I would totally get one, but they don't warrant it for dudes to ride. Although its not likely you will break that frame ever anyways
  • 2 1
 ive noticed mtbs have become more female oriantated thats great.
  • 1 1
 Those syrens rock!!! I wish they would make a mens version with 7" of travel...
  • 0 0
 I know a DJ kid who shreds his Syren, and yeah, he got razzed for riding a girls bike.
  • 0 1
 Love my Syren! Only issue is the space between the dropouts is just barely too wide so the rear wheel wiggles loose after a day of riding...somebody should correct this!!! Smile
  • 1 0
 I want one ohh well
  • 0 1
 Wow, great bike. Actually it's probably my favorite Transition, all genders included.
  • 3 1
 Transition needs to consider a 6" bike for men; even just beef the syren up and paint 'er red.
That linkage is promising
  • 4 8
flag PedalUpBombDown (Aug 6, 2008 at 16:22) (Below Threshold)
 What do you mean "That linkage is promising?" It's nothing more than a single pivot with a linkage actuated shock. It doesn't provide any difference from say a Commencal Meta 666. Transition already has a 5.5 in travel frame mainly aimed at men (Bottlerocket) so I highly doubt they'd make a 6 inch frame for guys too. Maybe in the next generation BR, but not at the same time.
  • 0 1
 The bottlerocket is aimed for freeride, not all mountain like the syren. Transition does however make the covert which is a 5.5" travel all mountian bike.
  • 0 0
 i want one as a long travle DJ park bike, i love how they ride
  • 2 3
 i want one it looks so cool
  • 1 1
  • 1 1
 wenderful bike ...
  • 0 1
 What makes it a girls bike?
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