You probably already guessed without reading that Transition's latest Scout is longer and slacker than its predecessor, but the geometry isn't the only thing that's changed. The new Scout has 140mm of rear-wheel travel (up from 130mm), a 150mm fork, an all-carbon frame, and it's still rolling on 27.5" wheels.
The bike is available in three different builds and as a frame-only option. Prices range from $4,499 USD up to $6,599 USD. The Scout with the mid-level GX build that I've been riding sells for $5,499 USD and has a full SRAM GX drivetrain, SRAM Code RSC brakes, Stans Flow S1 Team wheels, a RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 fork and RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate shock.
Scout Carbon Details
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Travel: 140mm (r) / 150mm (f)
• Full carbon frame
• 64° head angle
• 430mm chainstays
• Weight: 29.8 lb / 13.5 kg (GX build, size M)
• Complete price: $4,499 - $6,599 USD
• Frame only: $3,199 www.transitionbikes.com
Frames are available in sizes XS to XL and all bikes fit a water bottle in the front triangle. The build kits are finished off with handlebars and a seat from Transition's house brand Anvl, along with Sensus grips and a OneUp dropper post.Frame Details
Visually, the lines and contours of the Scout's carbon frame are a bit different than what we've seen from Transition in the past. According to Transition, this new aesthetic is achieved via a latex coated EPS molding process that allows for sharper frame lines and tighter edge radius control.
All of the bikes can fit a water bottle inside the front triangle, and there are two bolts on the underside of the top tube for mounting tools or accessories. Cable routing is internal...for the most part. The rear brake cable is routed externally for ease in serviceability. There are ISCG05 mounts and riders can run a full chainguide if they so wish. There are sealed Enduro Max bearings which are covered with bearing shields to keep out muck and grime on the main pivot.
Other details include a threaded bottom bracket, molded chainstay, seatstay, and downtube protection with the chainstay/seatstay protection also designed to quiet chain noise in rough terrain. The frame will clear up to a 27.5" x 2.6" tire.Geometry
The size medium Scout has a 460mm reach and 604mm stack. The head tube angle is 64-degrees, seat tube 77.2-degrees, wheelbase is 1217mm, and all sizes of the bike get 430mm chainstays. There's a good deal of standover height, and a shorter seat tube than before, which makes it possible to run a 120mm dropper on the XS, 150mm on a small, 180mm on a medium and up to a 210mm on the large and XL frames. The previous Scout had a 10mm shorter reach, degree steeper head tube angle, slacker seat tube...you get the idea.
There aren't any geometry-adjusting flip chips to be seen, but Transition say it's perfectly acceptable to run a 160mm fork on the bike as is, with the 57.5mm stroke shock, or with a longer 62.5mm stroke shock that would up the travel to 150mm. Suspension
Originally, the Scout had 125mm of travel paired with a 140mm fork. In 2018, the bike bumped up to 130mm of travel paired with a 150mm fork, and now, in its latest iteration, the Scout has 140mm of rear-wheel travel paired with a 150mm fork.
The Scout comes from Transition with 140mm of travel delivered via a 205 x 57.5mm stroke shock that has a 24.5% leverage rate progression, a big change from the last generation that had only 11%. That should allow the bike to work with both air and coil shocks without any issues.
The air shock on the bike comes stock with one spacer, which leaves garage mechanics room to tinker and add more or less ramp up as the bike moves through its travel. Transition recommends that riders run 28-30% sag, but say that they can run anywhere from 25-35% without really throwing off the way the bike rides. I experimented around with this a good deal and that's true, and helpful for those looking to dial the bike in for a little more or less squish depending on how and where they may ride. I settled closer to 30% for my preferred setting.
Riders can use a 62.5mm stroke shock on the Scout in order to up the travel of the Scout by 10mm to 150mm. Transition provides recommended sag settings for this right alongside the other shock on the back of the seat tube.
The Scout is available in two different colors and as a frame only option.Ride Impressions
Transition says that the Scout is what they would call a modern-day Bottlerocket. If you're not familiar with the Bottlerocket, it's a bike that Transition made well over ten years ago that was short, nimble, playful, and very capable, especially for its time. I had one and I still wish I didn't get rid of it despite how much bikes have advanced, as it was one of the most fun bikes I've owned.
I've been riding the bike in Western North Carolina on all of my usual trails. With the suspension set up as Transition recommended, I settled on running about 30% sag in the shock, which was 147psi with 64psi in the fork.
I was impressed with the efficiency of the Scout while climbing both long grinding fire roads as well as in more technical terrain. There wasn't a lot of bob in the suspension and I never felt as if I was being bogged down. In addition, the seat tube is effectively steep enough to help keep my weight forward and keep the front end on the ground even when things pitch up.
Descending, the suspension is active and supple. There wasn't a bit of harshness in the initial part of the stroke and there was ample traction. The bike is easy to pop off of anything and everything, if you so choose, and doesn't lose composure when it gets up to speed either. Also noticeable is how quiet the bike is. The chainstay and seatstay protection do a phenomenal job of quieting chain noise.
So who's it for? The new carbon Scout is for riders who are looking for a versatile and capable 27.5" bike that's all about delivering an extra-fun time on the trails. It ticks the nimble and playful boxes, and it's a bike that I truly enjoy riding in a variety of conditions. As an ode to the Bottlerocket, the Scout delivers and then some.
Keep in mind that I've only had a short time on the bike and these are very initial ride impressions and not a full review. I'm looking forward to riding the bike more and gathering more concrete thoughts in the coming months.