Field Test: 2022 Transition Spire - Suprisingly Versatile

Aug 31, 2021 at 19:47
by Henry Quinney  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Transition Spire



Words by Henry Quinney, photography by Tom Richards


Transition Bikes are a company with their finger on the pulse. Their vogue-worthy bikes seem to often just be riding the right wave at the right time. Whether it’s the down-country Spur, the evergreen Patrol or their new offering, the Spire, they seem to offer what is deemed “cutting edge” just two seconds after we’ve all decided what cutting edge even is.

So is it a crystal ball or sacrificial goats under a full moon? Well, probably not. What it does seem to be is pragmatic yet ambitious design that isn’t afraid to go to 11 only to take it back half a turn to the sweet spot.
Spire Details

• Travel: 170mm rear / 170mm front
• Wheel size: 29”
• Head angle: 62.5 / 63°
• Seat tube angle: 77.5 / 78°
• Reach: 480mm / 485mm (lrg)
• Chainstay length: 446 / 448 (S, M & L) 452 / 454 (XL & XXL)
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XXL
• Weight: 33.20lb / 15.05kg
• Price: $6,000 USD
transitionbikes.com

Take the Spire, for example. This new 170mm 29er is one of the few bikes that doesn’t have me lamenting the flip chip. Why? Because it’s a bike that is amply progressive in the steeper setting, with a 63 degree head angle combined with a 77.5 degree seat tube angle. If you’re crying out for something half a degree slacker then the Spire can accommodate, but it’s great to see a flip chip being used to take a bike between a good place and an extreme one rather than from one slightly conservative place to another. Flip chips can be good, but they should be there as a way to let a designer try something radical, not as a sticking plaster on something that’s 50 shades of beige.

So, this carbon vessel is certainly slack enough for 2022, what else? Well, it sports 170mm of travel front and back, a 480 or 485mm of reach depending on the setting for a large and a rear-centre of 446 / 448mm. Although the geometry is one of the more radical areas of the bike, the Horst Link suspension layout is one of the more traditional of the test bikes on this year's field test.

It’s got some great frame details too. That includes ample frame protection, SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger, size specific chainstays, Enduromax bearings throughout, and a gear accessory mount on the underside of the top tube. Not only that but it’s rated for a dual crown fork and can handle a reach adjust headset.

The bike has internally guided cabling, except the rear brake which is housed externally. Some people will love this, but I’m not particularly a fan. It’s just frustrating that my brake routing will never be that neat. First world problems, I know. It also doesn't lend itself to moto-style brake setups.

Prices range from $5,899 - $6,599 for the carbon version and $3,699 - $5,399 for the alloy. The version tested here is the GX build, which features the top tier RockShox Zeb and Super Deluxe, GX drivetrain and SRAM Code RSC brakes with a large 220mm front rotor. It also has a full Stans wheelset and even a One-Up 210mm dropper.

So, can the Transition keep pace with the idler-equipped sleds? How does it stack up against the more conservative numbers of the YT or the excellent suspension system on the WAO Arrival? Let’s find out.




Climbing

There is a word that is going to come up a lot both in this written article as well as the video, and that word is “versatile”. How can a bike with 170mm of travel and 29” wheels ever be anything other than a school yard bully? Well, it’s a combination of several key factors, but let’s start with how it climbs.

Firstly, it’s got the things that are important, even if they are ever more common. It's got the steep seat tube angle to give you a great climbing position, and longer chainstays that again contribute to front wheel traction. So what else does this Spire offer that separates it from the herd?

On the trail, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s a lightweight bike that offers tons of traction. That traction does come with a fair bit of suspension bob, and the Spire isn’t something that offers you a stiff pedalling platform that will hold sway even under high-torque outbursts. Instead, it's a bike that likes to spin up climbs and offers huge quantities of grip. The wheel does very well just getting up and out the way, and what stands out with the Spire is not how fast you can climb but rather how slowly you can go while the rear end maintains grip. I would often use the climb switch on the shock on fire road climbs but all in all I was very happy to leave it open on singletrack.

The high stack and relatively short 605mm top tube create a very upright position, which this put my contact points within a very useable range that worked well for me.

Some bikes ride as if they’re heavier than they are, and some bikes lighter. The Spire is definitely the latter. It's a mere 40g heavier than the Specialized Enduro and both of these outstrip something like the similarly weighted YT Capra because of the light footed characteristic that they offer. If you had told anyone five years ago that a 29er with this amount of travel would be so enjoyable to climb they would probably have you sectioned on grounds of insanity - but here we are.



Descending

So does this well-climbing bike mean that it’s limited on what it can offer on the descents? Absolutely not. I think the Spire manages to balance these priorities very well and it impressed me just as much on the downs as it did the ups.

Two things really stand out when riding the Spire downhill - first, the geometry is so willfully and deliberately aggressive it just feels like a breath of fresh air. This isn’t overproduced and needlessly ambiguous. No, this is a Ford Mustang or Guns of Brixton. It’s raw, it’s exciting and very very good.

The Spire manages to do one of the most basic and fundamental things a good mountain bike should do - it should make you smile, and it delivers in droves. The way the bike tracks and hunkers down when riding rough terrain is very confidence inspiring. It just makes you feel like you can bulldoze anything. For a bike that makes you think you can climb any hill of your choosing, this is doubly impressive.
Timed Testing

The enduro bikes were all tested on a section of trail that included a mix of everything you'd expect to find on a race track. There were tight corners, a few drops, some sidehill sections that get trickier the faster you go, along with some higher speed, open corners.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Henry Quinney: "The Transition's confidence inspiring ride didn't translate to all-out speed on our test track. With Matt riding it, his fastest run was around 4 seconds slower than the YT Capra."

In regards to the shock tune, this is the only area on the field test that Matt Beer and I didn’t agree. I found it to be very easy to set up and find the performance I wanted. Matt however had a different experience. He never really got the Super Deluxe Ultimate to perform as he'd like. He eventually arranged to try the bike with a Fox X2, which is included in other build options, and found the characteristics much more to his liking.

Who’s the ideal candidate for the Spire? This is a great bike for somebody that likes to ride shuttles or chair lifts but primarily wants a bike to pedal. It combines high-grip climbing characteristics, a lightweight package and very progressive geometry. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed riding the Spire and if I were to have just one bike, even at 170mm of travel, I think it could quite possibly be the one I’d go for.


Pros

+ Super capable geometry
+ Very sensible spec
+ About as versatile as a 170mm 29" bike could ever hope to be

Cons

- Confidence-inspiring ride didn't translate to all-out speed on our test track
- Low bottom bracket requires short cranks to avoid pedal strikes





The 2021 Summer Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel and protection, and Sun Peaks Resort. Shout out also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.





325 Comments

  • 365 13
 Please don't knock Transition for external brake routing... Internal shift and dropper cables aren't too bad, but brakes are the worst. You have to cut your brake line to swap them, figure out some way of plugging the line in order to not leak brake fluid inside your frame, and then re-bleed everything. Plus, how often are you riding down the trail thinking "Damn these externally routed cables! I wish they were rattling around inside my frame."?

Meanwhile, Scott is sitting in the corner laughing.
  • 65 76
flag jeremy3220 (Sep 10, 2021 at 9:47) (Below Threshold)
 I have to cut my brake lines when I buy new brakes anyway...and I ride a XXL bike, not sure where y'all are finding these brakes with the perfect hose length pre-installed.
  • 84 26
 Instead of down voting me tell me where to buy perfect length brakes so I can quit cutting mine.
  • 39 2
 @jeremy3220: I just upgraded brakes on my banshee and was very thankful for the external routing on the v2 spitfire. Sure, I had to cut the new hoses down to size, but my old brakes were easily swapped to my hardtail without any fuss. As long as the line is not routed below the bb, external routing is definitely a plus. Good on Transition for the logical approach.
  • 44 1
 Agreed. Transition gets the details like this.
  • 11 7
 @jeremy3220: I’d more interested in where you find the time to fiddle fu&$ around running lines through a frame when shit happens and you are supposed to be riding. You missed the point!
  • 7 2
 I guess I've only ever swapped brakes to a new set, and a new set of brakes need to be cut and trimmed anyway, so I don't get the need. Are you swapping used brakes with pre-cut hoses all the time?
  • 8 2
 @dthomp325: not speaking for anyone but myself here, but if I do choose to (and I have) I end up taking more time than necessary and it’s a messier job than necessary as posted above. To bust a line and borrow/buy a new brake to put in in a pinch I’d painful when the lift is only running 6hrs in a day.
  • 21 25
flag jeremy3220 (Sep 10, 2021 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 @Slapnutz: I replaced the brakes on my hardtail with external routing last year. I had to cut the hoses, unscrew 3 clips that hold the hose, 2 of which were under the bottle cage. When I install a hose on my Santa Cruz Tallboy I push it in one end and it comes out the other, no bolts to undo or anything. It's objectively more steps to deal with cable/hose mounts on an external routed frame than the single step of tube-in-tube routing.
  • 15 0
 @jeremy3220: With most brakes if they are brand new out of the box and externally routed if done right you can cut them put and put the line back in the master cylinder without having to bleed. I will be the first to say it Doesn't always work but it has worked for me numerous times.
  • 14 1
 @dthomp325: A couple months ago, I had a crash which ripped the brake hose out of the MC on my MT7s, which are notoriously finicky to bleed. I had external routing, so I was able to just clip the zip ties and separate the caliper from the frame in order to do the "push from the bottom, pull from the top" bleed technique, which led to a perfect rebleed in 10 minutes. The bleed process would have been a lot longer and involved a lot more cursing if I'd had to leave the brake on the frame to rebleed it - it's just all the more difficult to get all the bubbles out then.
  • 20 1
 This is it. I salute you guys! Fuck the accountants leading bike brands. The bike is stunning and the fact that it has external routing for the rear brake makes it ultra stunning. Nicely done!
  • 2 5
 @andeh23: I've never needed to remove a brake caliper from the frame to perform a bleed. Not sure how that would help, but glad you got going again quick.
  • 2 1
 I’ll knock it. It’s on the wrong side for me.
  • 3 0
 @jeremy3220: for me at least, I am often swapping brakes from a previous bike where they have already been cut to length, and most of the time, they swap over fine for me.
  • 6 1
 You're making a mountain out of a molehill
  • 7 0
 FWIW, I also appreciate external brake lines.
  • 2 1
 @dthomp325: You have never removed the caliper are you also telling me you have never contaminated a rotor in your life?
  • 3 5
 @dthomp325: @dthomp325: It's standard for Magura to remove the caliper. The bleed is incredibly easy when you just pop the caliper off and lift it up above the master cylinder before putting the caliper fill bolt back in so there are no trapped bubbles. External brake routing on my '19 Scout makes this process simple.

It's also always required to remove the caliper from the frame to bleed any brake correctly. That's why they all come with bleed blocks. You need to run the pads back in, insert the bleed block, bleed it, then reinstall. You can sometimes get away with leaving it on the frame, but that's not every brake and not every time. Bleeding with the rotor as the bleed block function requires extra fluid. Replacing worn down pads then becomes a shitty process because you can't push the pistons back in properly with too much fluid in there. You also risk getting brake fluid on the pads. It's just not worth it to mess around with doing it a hack way when it's two bolts to remove the caliper and do it right.
  • 5 0
 Trying to fish a brake hose through an internally-routed Hightower chainstay (seatstay?) is one of the most infuriating procedures I've ever had the displeasure of encountering on a bike.
  • 7 1
 @jeremy3220:
Just because there are more steps doesn't mean it's worse. I'd rather install five clips (5 steps) than cut a hose, push the hose through, install the olive, and bleed the brakes (4 steps). Because those five steps will take me like 5 minutes, whereas I know I'm going to be doing the 4 steps for at least 30 minutes on a perfect bleed. AND I have to have brake fluid with me. And, if some excess fluid drips onto the rotors or pads that you missed, well, there goes your day.
  • 9 0
 @rantlers:

I'm pretty sure most people just remove the wheel when they bleed the brakes, rather than remove the caliper.

Totally agreed on using the rotor vs bleed blocks. Just saying that I'd bet that most people drop the wheels out, and leave the caliper in place, because then they don't have to fiddle with their caliper centering/etc, which can be rather finicky at times.
  • 3 2
 @nickfranko: yeah but like I mentioned you usually have to cut the hoses on new brakes anyway.
  • 3 0
 @jeremy3220: I upvoted to try and resurrect your comment from Below Threshold Hades.
  • 2 1
 @DaneL Hot tip: You can gently crush the olive so you don't have to cut your brake line for internal routing.
  • 16 0
 100%. This situation just occurred this last weekend:
A friend ate shit on an evening ride, the first day of a long riding weekend way out in the woods. Broken brake lever. He was able to throw a new brake (pre-bled out of the box) on his Spur at camp, zip tie the extra hose out of the way, and rode the rest of the weekend. Trying to do internal routing and barbs and olives and bleeds at a campsite with a headlamp...nope
  • 3 9
flag Altron5000 (Sep 10, 2021 at 15:02) (Below Threshold)
 I have a transition and the brake cable routing is the worst.

It’s not just that it’s external - I’ve had loads of bikes with good external routing - it’s where it is on the side of the downtube. It flaps about, catches on stuff, looks terrible and gets in the way of rack straps.
  • 1 0
 @headshot: Awesome! We all need more mountains.
  • 11 0
 I think another benefit of external routing is if you have to remove the rear part of the frame at all for any kind of service it's so much easier. With external just pull the brake caliper and clips off and go about your business replacing bearings swingarms, etc. Internal routing through the stays adds a brake bleed to the procedure.
  • 3 0
 One hack I do now is I buy Jagwires universal brake lines. I feed it through and it stays in for the life of the bike, you only need to change the banjo fitting on the caliper side if you want to change brakes etc
  • 3 0
 @rantlers: I've never heard of anyone removing the brake caliper from the frame to perform a bleed, but maybe Magura's are funky. Sram and Shimano don't require the caliper to be removed to install a bleed block. You pop the pads out and insert the block from the bottom.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: I assumed it was something to do with straightening and/or orienting the line in a specific way
  • 2 0
 The Dainese helmet is more of an abomination....
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: Yeah it could be just a Magura thing to remove the caliper altogether, but it's not to facilitate the installation of the bleed block. It's specifically to bleed it correctly by raising and lowering the caliper at different steps.

Removing calipers is step 1 of their process, 0:15 into the how-to video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMRk916qJTg&ab_channel=MAGURA

I've owned Shimano and SRAM and never removed the caliper for those. When I first got Magura brakes I just watched their videos on the bleed process and figured the easiest way to avoid issues is to do exactly as they say. I've heard quite a few people say they have issues bleeding Magura brakes so maybe not removing the caliper and raising it at the right time is part of it. I've always had great luck bleeding my MT7s.
  • 2 0
 @rantlers: yeah, tried to skip that part on my front mt5 and it was a shit bleed. Rebled with the caliper removal and raise above the lever thing and it was solid.
  • 2 0
 @jeremy3220: You can order brakes with cables already shortened at Trickstuff... if you have the time to wait 18 months Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @rantlers: I find it fairly easy to do with internal routing using a bike stand and if you're going to work on your own bike it's a must.

Unbolt the caliper so it can hang and then take both wheels off. You don't need to spin the bike until you've plugged the master, so can just spin it on the stand. That's my way with Maguras anyway.
  • 1 0
 Am I missing something? Since when can you not run external cables moto style ...???
  • 3 0
 Bike mechanics the world over want external rear brake hose ...mostly just external on the left hand chainstay as it make the job so much easier and quicker when we are changing out the suspension bearings!. obviously not an issue if it's a twinlink bike and the bearing are in the links but on a 4 bar faux 4 bar it's a pain in the hoop having a pointless 4-6 inches of hose in the stay!.bravo Transition!.
  • 224 7
 Hi Transition, if you're reading this, please ignore the reviewers' comments about the brake hose and keep it external. You clearly already know the score.
  • 17 0
 Amen.
  • 9 1
 Yeah, Henry Quinney just need to show off a bit, don't take him too seriously Wink
  • 11 0
 Agreed. My rear brake blew up on my transition scout just before a weekend away biking and I didn’t have time to fix, i snipped the brake out, snipped the one off my transition vanquish, few zip ties and I was up and running 5 minutes later....
  • 4 0
 Form follows function.
  • 154 20
 Let’s be honest ...this is the one everybody’s been curious about.
  • 49 5
 I'd say the Range... But I'm biased.
  • 32 3
 shockingly, the lightest bike is the one that climbs best. a note to the "just take a dump before you ride" crowd... not that other design characteristics don't matter.
  • 126 0
 @shredddr: Should probably go ahead and take that dump though
  • 6 63
flag Balgaroth (Sep 10, 2021 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 @AlejoB: Force Carbon personally and Range second. Didn't care for Transition pretty much ever never got the point of them for some reason.
  • 16 1
 @shredddr: never dont dump before you ride. Otherwise you could be in for a bad time on the trail
  • 2 1
 part of me is kicking myself for picking up a norco sight, only because this has about .6in more rear travel than what I can run. Here's to hoping I wouldn't notice the difference lmao
  • 10 1
 @ will22e nope that would be the WR1
  • 4 0
 @DARKSTAR63: never ever plug your plumbing route
  • 3 0
 To me it sounds like this one wins.
  • 2 0
 @DARKSTAR63: Wise words. Taking a dump on the trail sucks.
  • 112 0
 Slacker than a substitute teacher going through a divorce - fantastic
  • 5 0
 pure gold!
  • 2 0
 Daaaamn savage review by chapwes XD. Using this.
  • 2 0
 yeah I mean we all remember when that guy was trying to keep our class in line
  • 6 0
 @j-p-i: to be fair, it came from the review hah
  • 43 2
 Seems like we need two test tracks that emulate the diversity of trails in an enduro race: one that might favor the bigger bikes, one that might favor the snappier bikes.
  • 16 0
 Probably, and also the results of different level riders.
  • 4 0
 @Balgaroth: It’s a crime this isn’t done already.
  • 42 4
 Stop trying to make nimbility happen.
  • 13 1
 i am for it RELEASE THE NEXT KEY WORDS, THE KING OF DOWNCOUNTRY IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING.
  • 10 0
 Also, "itineration" is not the lovechild of iteration and itinerary.
  • 5 1
 Nimbleness died today
  • 2 0
 @Gamertebo: LONG LIVE THE KING
  • 4 0
 @horkhork: Henry did that twice now. I feel like I’m being trolled.

He knows the damn difference between someone who iterates and someone who itinerates.
  • 41 7
 They forgot to say it is the best looking of them all...for sure!
  • 13 3
 Agree, this color on this frame tickles my balls just right. Of course that WAO is sick too....
  • 1 0
 Damn this looks so nice. I just wish Transitions weren’t so impossible to get a hold of. Would have been my next bike except I could not stand to sit out on a full season of riding just to wait for an out of stock bike without any definitive arrival date.
  • 1 0
 By far.
  • 1 0
 @blackthorne: i guess it really depends on where you live but transitions, in my experience, haven't been harder to come by than any other bike right now. if anything, they're easier to get than most. i do live in the PNW, where transition is based out of so i have that going for me but it's interesting hearing how much things vary based on where you live
  • 1 0
 @abotchway: I live in Seattle haha. When I last checked around 2 months ago there really was nothing. I wanted a Spur but had to settle for a pink epic evo instead. Since then managed to switch to a stumpjumper evo that became available out of the blue cause I needed more travel.
  • 2 0
 @blackthorne: I was just at a shop in Bozeman, MT and they currently have 18 Spires on the floor.
  • 28 2
 I know Matt's fast AF and a great test rider, and I also like the "Stig" type idea of having him test the bikes, but I do wonder if his size has had an effect on the timed testing. At 5'10" he had his best timed run on the YT, which was mentioned to be more of a M/L bike that would fit people who are 5'10" really well. Then the longer bikes like the Spire and Range have had slower times. I realize there are a lot of variables here, but could be something to consider.
  • 6 0
 Isn't that the case for all of us though? We all fit bikes slightly differently and that will affect handling.

If he was having to size down on the Spire/Range that'd be one thing but if he's on the right size versions of those, all is good in my eyes.
  • 5 0
 I think the track is a big factor too. We're only seeing snippets of the timed track and my guess is it's pretty windy, and has a lot of turns and not much jank where longer travel will really help you. It certainly seems to favor shorter bikes with shorter travel, and there's a pretty solid theme that as the bikes get bigger they get slower on this particular track. I'd really be interested in Matt's take on that.
  • 2 0
 @ihatton929: I agree that it is the case for a good number of people. I myself am 5'11" and could be lumped in that category. I was more just noting that it could be a point where there's not sufficient data to draw a real conclusion. Matt is faster than us (or at least me) and his times will be way better than ours, but what works well for him may not work well for some one who's taller or shorter. For instance someone taller may find the YT to be more twitchy and unstable at high speeds, and the GT easier to handle at lower speeds.

@tgent I do also agree that track has a big effect on this. The test track does look to be fairly smooth/bike parky from the sections in the videos. That may be how the whole trail is, or it could be that those were the best sections to grab clips for the video.
  • 18 0
 @tgent: The track conditions and my input levels were very consistent. The type of track certainly plays a role in how the bikes performed. It was previously featured in an enduro race and if the timed results show that the lengthier bikes were slower, then that's a result.

Those times should be taken with a grain of salt, because it's not the end all be all for how a bike feels or performs.

As discussed in our other Summer Field Test reviews, my height does fall in line with all of the brands' sizing guides, some of which have overlaps where they state the handling differences.
  • 4 1
 I wonder if it takes a long time to maximize the potential of a given bike if it handles differently to what you're used to? I mean, if one brand's bike was incapable of matching the speed of another brand no matter what, then only certain bikes would ever win, no? Can it really be that the ultimate speed potentials of these bikes are really separated by 4 seconds?

Then again, I am stupid-slow, old, and only own 1 bike. Why am I cluttering up the comment section with my nonsense? Because internet, that's why!
  • 3 2
 To me this seems most likely to be the result of the track. The fastest two bikes were the least aggressive (YT and We Are One) and the slowest bike was (arguably) the most aggressive (Transition), with the Range and GT slotting in the middle. I don't think you can take that to mean aggressive bikes are slow, but rather the results of this timed test on this track seem to favour the shorter travel, steeper, and more supportive bikes over the longer travel, slacker machines. On a different track the results would likely be different.
  • 5 0
 @shreddie-eddie: dude you're not 5'11"
  • 3 2
 Id say thats on the money. If you need wb and slack for stability, but have immense skill then you dont need giant wb and super slack. Slack bikes are the longboards or whatever people who get into something, realize theyre in the deep end, then get something to make the new passion manageable. Too Long too slack is that.
  • 1 0
 @eblackwell: whats the top 2 in ews riding, you know reach for their height?
  • 3 0
 @Grosey: Jack Moir is 193cm and rides a 464mm reach (Canyon Strive L), here is a link to his bike check from June: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r907JnskHLk. He talks about preferring the smaller size. Although to be fair he is only 1cm over Canyons height chart. Richie Rude is 180cm and rides a 460mm reach (Yeti SB150 M). Here is a link to a GMBN video with a quick interview: youtu.be/s3pnJOumiNs?t=298. He also mentions preferring a shorter bike in the tight turns. Again, to be fair he is at the very end of Yetis height recommendations for a medium.
  • 4 0
 @Grosey: on the flip side Minnaar's bike is constantly getting longer. It takes time and effort to adjust to a longer bike - something Minnaar has been working on for years. I do think longer bikes are quicker tho.
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: 5 10 is the top of the height range for a medium spire and bottom for a large. I have a large older patrol (475 reach) and it's a bit to big so I ordered a medium spire. Hope I made the right choice but feel confident
  • 7 0
 @fartymarty: The other thing to consider is Richie and Jack are riding things somewhat blind, where the extra agility of a smaller bike pays off. Jack even said pre-season that he's faster on his longer bike on trails he knows, but you need to be able to react faster to things on blind tracks so a shorter bike gives him more confidence.

By contrast, Greg will have his lines absolutely dialed come race run time, so the longer bike and increase in stability/decrease in agility is a bonus.
  • 3 0
 @CleanZine:
Correct me if I'm wrong but downhill trails don't seem to have as many true tight switchbacks as EWS courses do. I think that's a factor on why long bikes work for downhill races.
  • 1 0
 Damn you got me! 5'10 & 4/20"
  • 3 0
 @GBeard: I suspect this has to do with how tight a lot of the tracks in the EWS are. I get the feeling that brands are designing these bikes to be as capable as possible on DH style tracks as opposed to EWS tracks. A lot of people (myself included) are using enduro bikes as a one bike solution for riding park/DH trails because there's limited lift access or you can't shuttle, I think brands recognize this and are designing bike accordingly.
  • 1 0
 @CleanZine: good point.
  • 1 0
 @Grosey: Yeah the top two are definitely on shorter bikes, Jack is on a really short bike for his height. But as others have said, and Jack has said himself, the shorter bike is faster after 1 run on tight, awkward European tracks. The longer bike is faster on more flat out tracks, or tracks he knows better. I don't think it is a crazy argument that how fast a bike goes is track dependent (see the Grim Donut video for example). If you want to go fast, the question comes down to what kind of trails you ride most often, and if you are more interested in racing enduros (with 1 run of practice) or going fast on your local trails.
  • 24 3
 What's this? A long-travel bike that climbs pretty well?
  • 3 1
 Tire choice and body position are the two most important metrics that affect climbing
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: and ETT IMO, if im happy on where i sit on the bike, the bike will climb better 100%.
  • 2 1
 @mtbtrekracer: "where I sit on the bike" and "body position", same thing, no?
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: well depends how you define body position, is this bike seated position or is this the riders movements, ie standing, leaning forward etc
  • 20 5
 Can we read Matt Beer’s review? This one seems too biased…4 seconds slower is A LOT.
  • 6 8
 Yea they really wanted to like the bike despite the evidence. Substantial pedal bob was mentioned “but it’s a great climber” and it’s clearly the slowest downhill.
I expected big things from this bike and it’s a bit disappointing
  • 2 1
 Seems like the rear suspension was the biggest problem. The review says he never really found a great setting, and ended up changing it out for a Float X2. 4 seconds doesn't seem like much on a bad suspension setting.
  • 11 2
 One rider on one trail on a given day? Meaningless anecdotal statistics, like most of Pinkbike’s data. But to your point, they did seem to have supposing views and they’re both valid.
  • 2 0
 Maybe large was too big for these guys. It looks like they were faster on the smaller capra - i know theres more to it. But compare wheelbases to times.... coincidence?
  • 3 0
 @Daaaaaaaaaaaaan: if you are only out to win races or be the fastest down the hill then I could see it being slightly disappointing but if your just looking to have fun on a bike then timed testing doesn't really mean much
  • 18 3
 Transition always turns it up to 11!
  • 14 3
 Must be exhausting trying to write creative bike reviews when they're all pretty great at pretty much everything.

But did they figure out how to paint frames correctly?? I know it's cosmetic and a lame thing to worry about, but as someone who sells his bike often to try something different the hit on resale you risk with paint chips is a big bummer. One of the reasons I went stumpy over sentinel recently.
  • 9 0
 Ride wrap is pretty dang nice for that tho. It’s unmerciful hell applying that stuff but damn if it doesn’t help.
  • 7 0
 I didn't know that was a Transition thing, but now I get why my Spur is having paint issues. I bought the touch-up paint straight from Transition website, too, and it doesn't match.
  • 2 0
 Had my carbon spire for about a month so far. Done some local trail riding, chair lift laps, 2 bails, 1 road trip with a Thule T2, stuffed in 3 hotel rooms with other bikes, and spent some time on the back of a tailgate pad as well. So far so good on the paint.

With regards to the tailgate pad- they include a nice little silicone or rubber(I am not a scientist) stick-on piece to protect the downtube.

I've got helicopter tape on the top tube and the exposed parts of the downtube.
  • 4 0
 @stalkinghorse: just piling on the “why doesn’t the touch up paint I buy from you, the manufacturer, match what’s on my bike” train.

Some day in the future when I can buy new bikes again, they’ll all get RideWrapped before their first ride. The only issue I had applying it was getting things thoroughly clean enough, which wouldn’t be an issue with a new bike.
  • 1 0
 Is the paint on your specialized good? The paint on my 21 enduro is awful. The color is nice, but the finish is extremely rough around the head tube (feels like velcro on my microfibre cloth) and it chips really easily, revealing a glossy bright pink undercoat, which doesn't look good next to the matte dark red.

Do I have a lemon?
  • 1 0
 @stalkinghorse: doesn't match as in "it's close" or doesn't match as in "they shipped the wrong paint". If it's the same mix/code, it doesn't match because their original colour going over a primer, out of a spray gun, in an even coat, and then being cleared over top. If you were to sand back a larger area of colour, touch up prime, fade in the new paint, and then put a proper clear, (using an airbrush and a spray gun) you'd end up with a passable result.

Even when I touch up vehicles with the same paint brand and the exact code from the manufacturer, it's exceedingly rare to be perfect without taking the time and doing it right. Any touch up paint without following a process is always going to be "hopefully OK at 5 feet". It's why the paint pen at Advance Auto is like 20 bucks and getting it done right is like 500.
  • 1 0
 @Darwin66: rough clear around the head tube isn't good for a factory painted bike. Specialized is a big enough company to have a paint spec published somewhere internally (Trek does too). I doubt you'd get new frame day but you might get something if you make some waves. Who knows.
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: In my case, it was obvious enough that it looked worse to fix knicks than to just leave them. Definitely noticeable at 5-feet if you were looking.
  • 11 0
 I’ve had my Spire for a month now, and the main con I’ve found is that it’s most fun when ridden at dangerous speeds. I’m having to remind myself that I’ll eventually paralyze or kill myself if I don’t chill out a bit.
  • 5 0
 And I think this is turning out to be a problem for a lot of modern enduro bikes
  • 1 0
 It's the same with my '21 Altitude. The acceleration of that bike when you let go, and how comfortable that thing is at stupid speed, scares me. More than once I've caught myself thinking "if I crash at this speed I'm going to get seriously hurt". It's amazing and terrifying at the same time!
  • 21 6
 Very in-spire-ing
  • 4 1
 You're the first, but what's the bounty on how many times this will be posted? I'm going with 7 today alone
  • 9 2
 Yeah, I’ve been Patrolling pinkbike all week for this review
  • 8 1
 What a dirtbag thing to say!
  • 5 1
 @robokfc: really blindsided me w that response
  • 6 1
 Don't mean to Spur you on but I can't believe the Sentinels didn't pull the Ripcord and Scout this one out.
  • 4 1
 I’ve been waiting too, lighting bottlerockets to pass the time.
  • 4 1
 I’ve been on covert missions hunting down this review.
  • 4 1
 Your transition from comment to pun is impressive
  • 1 1
 @blackthorne: it's gone full throttle
  • 10 3
 Seems like the reviewers and most of the pinkers in the comment sections are made uncomfortable by the timed results. When facts are in disagreement with our beliefs, let’s dismiss and discredit the facts.
If Curt Kobain was alive today and was a pinker, he’d come out with an album titled Smells Like Cognitive Dissonance.
  • 18 3
 The Grim Donut put down the fastest time on the trail they tested it on. Does that make it The Best Bike?
  • 14 2
 @bdamschen: The Donut is 100% not the best bike haha
  • 9 0
 "50 shades of beige" is the nursing home version of 50 shades of grey. It's as gross as it sounds.
  • 8 0
 Henry mentioning the Spesh Enduro made me think that (at least at the final roundtable) the previous years winner should be included as a comparison.
  • 17 0
 Yup, it is! We've brought the Enduro to this Field Test for that very reason Smile
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: did the enduro also get timed runs and efficiency test?
  • 2 1
 @Div-NZ: probably won if it did. Its pretty wild how good it pedals.
  • 1 1
 @Grosey: I second that. I rode a 70k xc route with 2.1km of vert and the enduro climbed like a champ. Although I still fancy a Spur or Epic Evo for my xc ventures.
  • 2 0
 @Grosey: my friend tested one and hated how it pedals. Must have had a bad suspension setup
  • 5 0
 It makes me wonder if part of the well roundedness for these longer bikes has to do with the longer chainstays. I feel like the longer chainstays opens up the "margin of error" so to speak. Meaning it helps with your body position on both the climbs as well as provide more margin of error on the descents and cornering. It's a bit of a paradox as the longer chainstays adds to the length of the bike, making you think it'll be a sled, but perhaps it's also helping it become more versatile.
  • 3 0
 Balanced bikes ride in general and corner WAY better
  • 5 1
 As an owner of a 2019 Patrol, I can definitely agree with the con of pedal strikes! I scrape the ground with a pedal on almost every ride, and not in turns either, on simple straights with a 3" rock sticking up. I'm hopeful the 29" wheels will aid with that, but not holding my breath.
On a positive note, I can also agree that these bikes are certainly confidence inspiring! The geometry, center of gravity and wheel base make you feel like you can roll over anything on a fast or bumpy descent!
  • 1 0
 I agree, I had a V1 sentinel and while it rode great, it just wasn't appropriate for riding in both NE and the southwest. Anywhere that technical rocky climbs are a thing, I would just be pedal striking like mad. I'm sure its the perfect bike for PNW though!
  • 1 0
 I had a 2019 Patrol too. I would scrape the pedal in the driveway if I wasn’t paying attention. Man did that bike ever feel good under the right circumstances though. Get a decent grade and stay off the brakes and it would track just perfectly. Long front center plus a great suspension design, I think. Sadly, a high incidence of tight and off camber corners in these parts had me trade it in for a Specialized Enduro.
  • 1 0
 i caught a pedal pretty hard on my 2019 patrol a few months ago. the crank arm got bent i hit that hard at speed. but idk if i could go down to 165 cranks, that seems too short
  • 4 1
 @Mrtonyd: I got 165 Cranks for my patrol and am totally sold on them. No disadvantages and better clearance and pedaling efficiency (it's like doing a squat that's not as deep). I'm 5 10 for reference
  • 6 1
 Interesting to see it was the slowest... I would of thought confidence = speed. Maybe when hitting stages blind it might correlate more?
  • 17 3
 It would be interesting to have times from more average riders too. I bet that a confidence inspiring bike could yield better time for average riders, not like Matt needs extra confidence. Probably explains why the more efficient bike like the YT (and less stable) gave him the best time since his skillset compensated for the lack of "confidence inspiring" and he could use the extra rolling speed, thing that most of us couldn't do.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: Yep, great point. And as I mentioned above, even the the most skilled riders could use some confidence pills when riding a brand new stage at race pace.
  • 20 2
 It’s almost like these long wheelbase/ reach bikes aren’t actually very fast eh? Jeez maybe all these EWS pros who are sizing down seem to be on to something?
  • 3 0
 @jclnv: I know right! Crazy!
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: that and 170mm is usually about the max travel. Most EWS bikes have shorter rear travel (150-160mm).
  • 1 1
 @jeremy3220: And? A number of DH pro’s like Bruni also run way smaller than what the media tell us is what we should be on.
  • 4 1
 "I would have thought", or "would've thought" maybe, not "would of thought"
  • 3 0
 or slowness = confidence?
  • 5 0
 @jclnv: One thing to keep in mind is these EWS pros get one practice run prior to racing, on a lot of Euro tracks (old hiking trails and the like) with a good amount of very tight corners. I think the majority of us are riding trails we're typically more familiar with. I believe I remember Moir mentioning this, and him liking the XL at home on familiar territory.
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220:

Its good to hear that this bike is more than just a "downhill only" bike like I thought it might be. And I see on the transition website that you can short shock it to 160mm of travel.

Does anyone know what that does to the geo? I'm familiar how over/under forking a bike affects geo... but I have no idea what shrinking the shock does to it.

@mikelevy has anyone on the team talked about trying the bike with less travel in the rear? It "seems" like it might make it a bit more versatile for people thinking its "too much bike" (which we know isn't Seb Razz ).
  • 4 0
 @T174M: I would say EWS races have very varied terrain. I think it boils down to good riders simply being able to ride fast chunk etc on shorter wheelbase bikes and not having to compromise on tighter trails (where the real time is made up). Beginner intermediate riders seem to be the ones to benefit from long wheelbase stability.
  • 3 0
 @ocnlogan: The static geo stays the same because the eye-to-eye stays the same. 205x65mm to 205x60mm. The dynamic geo would tend to get a bit steeper but that will depend on air pressure a bit.
  • 4 0
 I think the timed testing results are purely down to the size of Matt Beer. This bike is too big for him, the YT wasn't. Simple as that.
  • 1 1
 @steezysam: No way. Everyone needs 1250mm wheelbase.
  • 2 0
 On the YT review, some Canuck commented that they are familiar with that section of trail, and that its very much biased towards shorter, twitchier bikes
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: a lot has to do with chainstay length and how balanced the bike is. Look at how balanced all those top dogs bikes are. All very proportionate front to rear vs these horrendously long front with super short tears in the bigger sizes that suck to ride. Even Bruni runs an eccentric BB and turns it 90 degrees so it actually shortens his reach 6mm while making his chainstay 6mm longer. Says he likes the balanced bike a lot better

If you look at the sizing and how proportionate all the top dogs bikes are (hill, Minnaar, bruni, remi, moir, etc…) you can start to see that they all ride and choose more balanced bikes regardless of what the size recommendation is
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez:
Can confirm the trail used for testing is “Sugar”. Given Sun Peaks terrain, it was a smart, well rounded trail choice for an enduro bike shoot out. There are a ton of sections where being able to carry your speed is key to a fast run, and there are some corner sections that would require some more manhandling on larger bikes like the Norco and GT.
That being said the trails that would’ve catered to those bikes would’ve been in full freeride or dh race bike terrain. something like “insanity one” or “honey drop”, the former being the bc cup dh course.
  • 1 0
 @T174M: think thats more due to his home trails being faster, but hes also tested both an in his training video prefers the shorter bike mostly even at home.
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: shouldn't affect the geo other than stopping before the last 10mm compress on the rear. It's literally the same rear shock with a little spacer that stops it from fully compressing
  • 1 0
 @steezysam: My thoughts exactly, agreed
  • 1 0
 @Frowzy: yep, I would imagine if you put a taller rider on the two bikes, the yt would be slower!
  • 1 1
 @Jaib06: not quite how it works.
  • 3 0
 I have had an XL carbon shimano/fox version for a little over a month now. The review is pretty spot on other than the fact that I don't give a crap one way or another about the external cable routing.

One of the first bikes in my whole life that out of shape me doesn't get arm pump at the bike park on. Not sure if it's the body position or what, but it feels good.
  • 2 0
 Can’t recommend some light weightlifting enough for arm pump. I’m no bodybuilder, but a few weeks of like a 5x5 routine with some bench pressing, overhead pressing, deadlifts and squats and my arm pump is gone. Even on park days on my short-travel Smuggler.
  • 6 0
 @atourgates: Everyone needs to do that actually… just everyone. Those squats and deadlifts strengthening the posterior chain are gold as we age. Not ultra heavy weight or silly CrossFit maxing, but certainly keeping those strong is critical for health in a society that sits a lot and has a mountain of back problems. Now if only I could be consistent…
  • 2 0
 @atourgates: Yeah, I used to have gym time, and I used to spend 2-3 weekends a month doing laps off a chairlift. It took a lot for me to get arm pump back then. Now I've got 2 kids and spend 1 - 2 weekends a year riding the lifts and no time in the gym.

This is the first bike I've been able to flog all day doing bike park laps with my soggy dad bod and not get the expected arm pump. I could pretty much tell first run too. I don't know what magic or voodoo that is, but I'll take it.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: should also clarify that “light weightlifting” was a poor choice of words on my part. Lift as heavy as you can/want to (without risking injury).

I just mean that a few weeks of lifting 3x a week with 5x5 reps of 3 lifts will make a noticeable difference.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy @henryquinney with a aggressive geo, if you were on the edge of sizes (M and L for me @5'10"), which direction would you go? My current bike (L SB150 w/760mm bars, 35mm stem) has the same reach as the large but shorter wheelbase than the medium.. planning to race enduro on this bike with some park laps and everyday trail riding. The 5'10" curse has me questioning sizing..
  • 1 0
 Go with a medium. Pros size down these days because bikes have become too big. Rude is 5’11” and rides a medium 150.
  • 1 0
 Ignore what size it says, XS/S/M/L//XL, and focus on the chart. Consider what level of rider you are. If your a novice, go longer, and the more capable you are, come back in. It’s clear reach has gone too far and will be getting reeled in over the next few years, but hey it’s a learning process (and also bought the industry a few more years of people purchasing the latest and greatest)
  • 4 0
 Both are good pieces of advice already.

I know this is a piece of advice that might not be overly useful to you but the way the Spire rode didn't make it feel like an oil tanker in a pot hole. It really did turn well as the nice healthy stack made it really easy to weight the front as I felt the bars were in a useable range. I know everyone does the whole offset thing nower days but Transition have been doing it longer than most and maybe that's how they can eek out so much performance in terms of fore and aft balance.

What about a medium with a +10mm reach adjust? It could be the perfect compromise with a 470/475mm reach and a similar wheelbase to what you're used to. Loads of standover clearence then and a short seattube of 390mm could have you feeling like the bike is ultra slammed and out the way. I also rode this bike with a 50mm stem (I'm old fashioned like that fml) and I absolutely loved it! So, another 10mm to play with there.

Alternatively, you could go 10mm shorter on a large too, just to make my answer really useless! Haha.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: thanks for the info. I'm 5 10 too and ordered a medium frame since my last Gen patrol size large at 475 reach seems a bit too big. I also test rode an S3 stumpjumper Evo that was a hair small. The ability to easily run a reach adjust headset definitely makes me less scared I ordered the wrong size. Looking forward to building it from the frame up. I hope any day now....
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: thanks for the response! I'm thinking a 45mm stem with a size medium might be the ticket.. I was able to parking lot test one and the medium felt fine length wise but might need some extra spacers underneath the stem to cater to what I'm used to for stack height
  • 5 0
 Am thinking about a cascade link for my V2 Sentinel and a 170mm fork. Anyone done this to theirs? Spiretinel.
  • 3 0
 I run a 170mm Zeb and a 205x65mm Super Deluxe Coil on my XL Sentinel to get 156mm of travel out back. It works great and has turned the bike into more of a brawler than with the air shock I had on there before. It might not work on a smaller frame though, there’s always the risk of punching the piggy back on the shock through the downtube.
  • 1 0
 I did this for a while on my V1 (but that only put it at 150mm in the back) and it really only made it feel number and track a little better on small bumps. Wayyyyyy less fun if I'm not absolutely pinning it specifically on like a blue "tech" trail. Went back to coil with stock link and 160 fork.
  • 3 0
 @CobyCobie: Apparently I posted from my “work” account…

Forgot to say that I did this on my V2 with the stock link. Still made the bike way more capable, calmer and a bit less poppy, much to my liking. We all have different tastes though Smile
  • 1 0
 170 Zeb, running Cascade link with the super deluxe coil. I find the setup is perfect. It is a little heavy, but climbs far better than it should. Be curious as to how it rides compared to the spire.
  • 1 0
 @Glisseur: For sure. Just wanted to point out that I had the same thought and ended up preferring it the way Transition designed it.

I like to feel every bump though haha

EDIT: Shock is custom tuned and that gave me WAY more than the link did (especially because it was only like $5 of shims).
  • 1 0
 @Glisseur: I was not aware of this
  • 2 0
 I’m running the V2 with the cascade link and 170mm zeb and I’ve run both the X2 and DHX2. I’ve put a couple thousand miles on it with this setup and it absolutely rips. I ride both steeps and more flowy jump trails, including some decent size doubles. It does well on both shocks and still climbs well. As expected it’s a bit more poppy with the X2, but definitely not a pig with the coil. I’d do it if you have some steeper stuff and features where you ride.
  • 1 0
 My friend did and has broken two hubs now in not much riding. It may be something else but all that makes sense is it looks like it adds pedal kickback that just destroyed a stans and a Novatech hub. Pawls and the toothed rings they sit in just turned to pieces and seized. I just built him a 350 hub with only 18t of engagement and hopefully that solves his issues. On the other hand, even after mysteriously ripping up the internals of two hubs after putting it on he still has no interest in taking it off cause he likes it so much. I have one on my patrol and wouldn't go back either.
  • 1 0
 @blankty: That sounds perfect.
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney : how would you compare Spire to Specialized enduro 2020+?

I am looking to replace my Enduro 2020 with something simple, durable and with similar riding caracteristics Smile
  • 3 1
 I own an 2020 enduro. Also pedaled around a spire (only around a shop). My thought is they are both likely similar on trail. I’d think the spire pedals a little better on steep stuff with that steeper seat angle. Hard to imagine the spire descending any better. If someone offered to trade me a spire for my enduro I’d say no. However if the tables were reversed might say no as well. I really can’t picture the spire outperforming the enduro as far as my riding goes (do all bike but really favor the decent). Curious why you’re not content with the enduro? Is if frame related or spec related?
  • 1 0
 @will22e: it is frame related.....failed frame design - stones get caught in linkages/between frame parts and broke frame, too many cracked in many places.....my first carbon frame and I am looking to go back to Aluminium...
  • 3 0
 @will22e: I'm not attempting to speak for the poster above, but I can tell you as someone that went from a very steep STA to a 2020 Enduro, that STA makes a world of difference in all situations. Not just very steep climbs. The reach was the same between both bikes, but I could never get comfortable on the Enduro because the STA was just too slack.

That being said, descending was phenomenal, and the pedaling characteristics were also exceptional. In the end I sold it and went back to the other bike because it was just that much more comfortable when climbing to the top.
  • 1 0
 That’s fair, I’ve been worried about that myself. Pretty brutal they put a shelf for collecting debris In pinch point locations near the linkages. @Andrazzz:
  • 4 0
 I just bought a spire after owning the new enduro for basically the exact reasons you mentioned. They ride pretty differently, but both are super fun. When it gets rough and steep I think the transition can monster truck a tad bit more with the super slack ht angle. On the other hand I think the enduro can change direction a little quicker on tighter terrain. I think I am a little faster on the enduro in most terrain but the transition is really fun to ride, especially on fast and steep trails.
  • 9 0
 Hello there. So, I love both of these bikes. I've actually got a direct comparison in the works which I hope you enjoy. In the mean time, I'd say that the Enduro is an amazing bike. I had one for four months and I can't say how much I not only enjoyed riding it but also how often I was happy to have those SWAT features. A jacket in your downtube over winter is just the best thing. The only geometry dimension that I didn't like on the enduro was the slacker seat tube angle. It's good, but could be better. It also has quite a long effective top tube which my limit you in terms of sizing. If we look at the Kinevo and SJ I wouldn't be suprised to see the Enduro get the same treatment in the next few years with the ultra adjustable geo. The Enduro is an Mercedes Benz and the Spire is a Mustang. Both very good, both very different. The Enduro is a very sophisticated bike and is laden with features. It's a more responsive ride and perhaps has a more supported feel. The Spire is more of a smash and grab style bike. It definitely comes alive when riding steep trails and is very light but on flatter terrain it probably dulls things down in a way that the Enduro doesn't. The Spire almost feels more like a downhill bike. On more relaxed trails it's not quite so much fun and needs some gradient or speed to really be at its best.
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to it, thanks! @henryquinney:
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: I have a Sentinel as my big bike and I think the same applies. It really isn't that much fun until the trail gets steep.
  • 4 0
 These guys really owe Geometron a major nod. Years and dozens of painfully incremental changes later they are almost at G1 levels. Glad you finally got here.
  • 1 0
 @eblackwell: or/and Mondraker
  • 2 0
 Perhaps in a future field test you could bring an "average joe" rider (Contest?) along for an all expenses paid trip to do similar back-to-back timed testing as Matt Beer, then team them up with a Tech Editor to download (read: translate) their feedback on each of the bikes to provide the perspective, and riding results of a person who may more closely reflect the purchasing and reading audience. As has been discussed re the high pivot bikes, perhaps the high level ability of the rider hides some of the nuances, or hidden flaws of the bikes. Additionally when it comes to confidence, set-up, etc. there may very well be some contrasting opinions to those of the tech editors based on ability, experience and what is likely a very different manner of getting down the trails.

I really enjoy the information and insight being provided, but the more I read the more it seems there is an opportunity to provide a view that may more closely reflect those of the masses.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy - accidentally lost the @mikelevy tag in an edit!
  • 1 0
 this is what every reviewer is missing, the average joe who isnt known and just riders for some fun, may not be fast or able to do big jumps or w.e but something relatable and all reviews mean nothing to me as im no where near as good, good at 70km sure but what about 50km as thats prob the max ill do lol
  • 2 0
 Never take the timing too seriously on these tests but I have to think theres a correlation between 5'10" Matt's fastest times being on the shortest bikes. As said in the review the track is also pretty flat and mellow which is a factor of course. Also could explain why 6' Henry seemed happier with the LG Spire compared to Matt
  • 8 3
 And I continue to wait for the WAO review. ugh.
  • 21 0
 Only 24 more hours!
  • 8 0
 @jasonlucas: but i want it nowwwwwwww
  • 6 0
 @chapwes: channel your inner veruca salt Smile
  • 12 7
 I love transitions take on Nicolai bikes
  • 5 0
 Seems like transition really is on fire lately. Very beautiful bike.
  • 3 2
 Reminds me my 170 mm Kona Stinky 2005 with Marzo 66 RC and Fox DHXAir that costed 3000€. Weighted 17 Kg with entry level FR/DH parts.
Only difference: alu frame and fixed seat post. So men il took you 16 years to save 2kg by making it carbon and double the price.
Haha
  • 3 2
 Except a 2005 Stinky had a 65.5 deg HTA and a 1030mm wheel base running on 26 wheels... not at all the same bike...
  • 1 0
 "It also doesn't lend itself to moto-style brake setups."

Has nothing to do with internal vs external. There are many many full-internal setups that don't make it easy to run rear brake left side.

However this way does let you easily do bearing maintenance, or just install a frame wrap, without have to bleed the rear brake, which is just way more important than a single little hose being on the outside down the down tube.
  • 1 0
 Glad I've got my alloy frame arriving any day now since after this review their gonna be hard to find! Building it up with a factory 38 and hand-built wheels. Went for a medium at 5 10 since my large patrol felt a little too big once I got used to it.
  • 2 0
 Wouldn’t it be great if @killed_by_death posted the WOA review tomorrow and after the intro there was 15 min of empty tape….and then they made us wait until Monday. That would be awesome.
  • 1 0
 I love that they offer frame only options, in both CF, and AL (unlike some of their other bikes like the Sentinel/Scout).

Personally though, the colors available for the AL models are... not great. It looks like even mid pandemic, and huge bike shortages everywhere, the Orange AL frameset is available today in my size, while the raw AL option is 3 months out at least.
  • 3 0
 So by process of elimination, there’s a fail in the We Are One video? They said it’s not the frame this time. Cranks? The vaunted WR1 rims? I guess we will find out soon.
  • 1 0
 Might be one of the ebikes too
  • 2 0
 I discounted this bike as just way tooo much but this segment has me thinking otherwise! Transitions are by far the most fun bikes I have ever owned! The colors on this thing look sick as well.
  • 1 0
 Seems like another homerun by Transition.

What I don't get is how a bike with such good responses, manages to be 4 seconds slower. That seems like quite a bit and I'm not knocking the bike at all, just curious why the large spread between the feel and the reality?
  • 2 1
 Would really like to know how this compares to a 2021 Rocky Mountain Slayer. I know PB hated on the 2020 Slayer because it came apart and put the PB reviewer in hospital but by all accounts that was a random one-off situation and it's frustrating not being able to read how it compares against some of its compatriots reviewed here.
  • 1 0
 So upsetting that you can't run the rear brake cable through the downtube, out through a shitty hole, then into a shitty hole, then through the chainstay at a shit angle, then out of a shitty hole at an angle. And then when you have a problem with your rear triangle take it all off and do it again.
  • 1 0
 Another proof that a timed run by a professional rider says little of how the bike will ride under the average joe. The bike might give an amateur tons of confidence and fun while taking a couple of second away from a timed run at a world cup… as an amateur I’m happy with that transaction ‍♂️
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: have you spent much or any time on the Scott Ransom?

Been riding mine for the past 2 years and when it's working I love it, however I've had no end of trouble with creaking pivot points, headset etc.

I also sometimes miss my 27.5 2015 Rocky Altitude. I find it harder to wheelie/manual/bunny hop the Ransom, and I find myself hitting my ass on the bigger back tire fairly often. I'm considering the base model Spire right now (Fox Float X, Marzocchi Bomber Z1), how do you think it would compare to the base Ransom from 2 years ago (x fusion shock, yari fork)? I'm looking for a one do-it-all bike - 95% pedaling, from warmup greens and blues in the springtime to steep, loose and bony in the late summer.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney @mattbeer - Been loving my Spire for a lot of the same reasons you guys have but I'm also having a tough time with suspension setup. Do you guys, particularly Henry, remember what exact sag percentage you set up the bike with? I know Transition gives a pretty broad range from 28-34% and I'm started to experiment with more sag to get a less harsh ride out of the bike, but it's still not as smooth as I feel it should be.

Also, how much do you guys weigh? I'm just shy of 200 pounds and I've ran out of rebound damping range on the shock. Will likely need to get it custom tuned or explore other options.
  • 1 0
 I really enjoyed my time on the Spire and quickly felt comfortable. I set the Super Deluxe towards the lower sag limit ~ 29%, while Henry ran a little more. As he mentioned, I did get to try the Spire with a Fox Float X2 after the Field Test, which did help with small bump compliance.

I recommend giving Transition a call for further setup help.
  • 5 1
 Can I just say @mikelevy you look glowing in these videos!
  • 8 0
 That's just his gnarly sunburn.
  • 4 0
 @jasonlucas: or a product of Outside’s makeup budget
  • 2 0
 Hypertension from excess poptarts.
  • 4 0
 I run 170mm cranks on my spire with no issues whatsoever.
  • 3 1
 Man, this review makes me want a carbon version of the new Patrol even more. Come on Transition, take my money! Signed, Vertically Challenged
  • 3 0
 how is this heavier than Specialized Enduro? no in-frame storage, no crazy frame/suspension design
  • 8 0
 Specialized is making some crazy light frames lately.
  • 5 0
 How do you think their relative R&D budgets compare?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: the Enduro frame is not crazy light though. (other than SJ and Epic)
  • 1 0
 @FloImSchnee: my S5 is 32ish with trail tires, 34ish right now with Maxxis dh tires. It’s really pretty good weight considering all those links and bearings hahaha!
  • 2 0
 And Transition has always favored “burley” over “light”. I tend towards weight weenie’ism, but damned if my Smuggler hadn’t taken everything I’ve thrown at it without any issues.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: The Enduro better have won or I will need a new bike
  • 2 1
 @FloImSchnee: my point exactly, Enduro is a tank. you have to try really hard to make bike heavier while being much less complicated in frame and linkage design.
either Transition sucks at carbon, or Specialized is way ahead of any competition (which wouldn't surprise me given they develop that shit for world cup level racing in every two wheel sport imaginable)
  • 2 0
 @vemegen: Transition definitely doesn't suck at carbon. My S5 SW frame was ~8.5lbs with the stock x2 and full carbon links (including midlink). Fanatik lists the S5 Enduro frame as almost a pound heavier than the even longer XXL Spire.

Also haven't heard of many people who have cracked TR carbon frames, can't say the same about the Enduro

No plans of replacing my enduro but I would strongly consider a Sentinel or Spire if I was in the market
  • 2 1
 Those dainese helmets looks fugly, bike look cool, packed with nice features;

I believe enduro-mtb posted article about time laps and bike sizes, downsizing lead to faster times on enduro tracks
  • 2 2
 I love these reviews...

Loved it going down, confidence inspiring.
How did it do against the clock.
.... Slowest.
.but it was better than the YT.
How did the YT do?
.... Fastest.

Being inspired when going slower isn't what I want from a big sled I have just pedalled to the top. I wanna know my effort has pedalled will have me going super fast rather than fitting perfect and feeling inspired (the data says it doesn't fit perfect, the data says it's the slowest and therefore not the best fit).

It does look lovely though.
  • 4 0
 Are you racing? Otherwise, why does it matter? If you had to choose between a bike that was faster and a bike that felt best but was a touch slower, why would you choose the faster bike, unless you were racing? It’s not like 4 seconds ought to matter to the average joe. Not too mention that the data from one rider on one trial doing one test against three bikes is not meaningful data.
  • 10 8
 So basically fastest to slowest: 1. Fox 2. Fox 3. Fox 4. RockShox 5. RockShox
  • 20 1
 So order the Spire with the Fox set up?
  • 7 0
 that's just because fox is so stiff it just skips across the top of the rocks and rattles your teeth out. the RS is soaking them up Wink
  • 3 0
 @matttie: That's what I did Smile . Get's here next week. Though I may end up tossing it all anyway. Some of my friends are having no trouble at all with their fox suspensions, but others are getting lots of creaky CSU's and blown X2's.
  • 2 0
 Imagine if Jack Moir was on Fox!!! Or Ritchie was on RockShox!!! Wow, just call the EWS season off...
  • 5 0
 I had fox on an enduro and it just wasn't worth the service time. It took like 3 months to get that stuff serviced. My rockshox on my epic was serviced in 3 days.
  • 1 0
 @shakazulu12: I’ve got one on preorder too, maybe I’ve been lucky with fox stuff. Got on well with 36/38 and avoided the csu issue, and currently have a dhx2 that’s been solid. We have a very good local service contact so maybe that’s part of it too.
  • 3 0
 Pretty sure this will be the replacement for my tr500 in a couple years.
  • 3 0
 The moment you’ve all been waiting for!
  • 1 0
 That's a stretched machine ... 1322/1324mm for XL. O.O

And BB height of Large is 350/343mm. My XL Optic is 337 and I find pedal strikes are more common than I'd like.
  • 3 0
 Looks like a hippopotamus to me!
  • 2 0
 Watching @mikelevy bite his tongue every time they mention the need for bigger rotors Smile
Your restraint is admirable
  • 2 1
 Oh wow, an endurance test that uses a fire road...what better way of saying the bikes in this field test suck ass at climbing.
  • 1 0
 62.5° HTA! Seems the bike I bought in March is already out of date...

I guess that's what angle sets are for. Steepening the Spire's HTA.

It is a very good looking bike.
  • 1 0
 FYI I am 5’-10” and I went with an alloy medium GX = 36.5 lbs. Also bought a 210 one up shortly after setting my seat height….
  • 1 0
 How's it fit? I'm also 5 10 and building a frame with a 210 dropper. I think a 180 would be close to max out? More interested in fit climbing in the saddle and descending
  • 1 0
 Every bike in the world should have this headset setup. So valuable to have the option to install reach adjust or angle adjust. Why don’t we see this on more bikes??
  • 1 0
 Intresting aboot the pedal strikes. Just built a Scout an getting MAD pedal strikes! Even with 170 cranks, reduced sag, an all the token in the shock.
  • 3 2
 How many of you had to look up Guns of Brixton to really understand what he was getting at?
  • 3 0
 One of my favorite songs of all time. I thought it was a pretty cool reference.
  • 2 0
 We know it because of song from The Clash.
  • 4 0
 When they kick at your front door how you gonna come, hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun?
  • 2 0
 Best looker of the bunch! Although WAO is pretty stealthy…
  • 2 0
 32 lbs wow! It's been a while since a lightweight bike released
  • 1 0
 How much did the reviewers weigh for those interested in ordering this with a RSD vs an X2?
  • 1 0
 So you guys mentioned angle headsets. Is there a 56mm top angle set on this planet? Couldn't find one
  • 1 0
 Works Components has angle sets and reach adjust in 56
  • 1 0
 @shami: Thanks much, they have a pretty diverse product line!
  • 1 0
 @papaweelie: You bet, I've had a few of their headsets and the quality is very good.
  • 1 0
 Did anyone catch what the significant difference is between this and the sentinel? Is it replacing?
  • 2 0
 More travel, more wheelbase and slacker. It's meant to go just that much bigger than the Sentinel. Though both are going to be pretty capable just about anywhere.
  • 2 0
 For one, the equivalent Sentinel build is about 2lbs lighter than the Spire.

If I was picking one for more "aggressive trail" and less "shuttle/park/enduro" riding, I'd pick the Sentinel. You know, in a world where you could actually order a Sentinel and it would show up at your local bike shop within the next year.
  • 1 0
 @atourgates: damn, i traded the sentinel for the patrol bc the 29 wheels on that much travel was just overkill, so a bigger bike than that is hard to imagine. THanks!
  • 2 0
 It's crazy that 63 Deg HA is the 'steep' setting
  • 1 0
 Been running 170mm cranks on my xxl spire without issue. Foot eye coordination is a thing.
  • 1 0
 The 1/2 a second of Levey eyebrow bouncing/gold toth grinning is the shadiest f*cking thing I have ever seen

I love it.
  • 2 1
 All these reviews need an onboard run so we can judge the skill level and terrain
  • 1 0
 I can't jive w/ 165mm cranks. I'm 5'-10 1/2" tall and on 175mm. Smaller it doesnt feel like I can get a full pedal stroke.
  • 1 0
 Just want to give a shout out to Henry Quinney's lively writing style: engaging, funny and informative.
  • 1 0
 This 'ultra low' bottom bracket is still considerably higher than my 2019 Patrol.
  • 1 0
 This is total bollx - recount!
  • 1 0
 The color is great. I'll take two.
  • 1 0
 So will the next gen of transitions bikes be slacker than DH bikes?
  • 2 0
 Clean design! Like it
  • 3 3
 2021, where 33+ lbs is now considered light weight.

It's as if bikes went on all fast food diets.
  • 1 0
 My Streetfigher 1098S must have had that diet too... and it is still much faster than the skinny 848 Smile
  • 1 0
 WELP- off the bikeshop I go....
  • 1 0
 Don't you think 62.5 degrees head angle is too slack for Enduro bike?
  • 2 0
 I road a stumpy evo that was up traveled and about that and it flopped like crazy. Was not a fan. Killer for higher speed stuff but climbing sucked and so did tech descents.
  • 1 0
 Feeling inspired after that one
  • 2 0
 PROS+ Purple
  • 1 0
 and to mention the industrial design is stellar
  • 1 0
 Giant Obtuse triangles are the best looking bikes.
  • 1 0
 Over and over 'Enduro' word misused, IMHO. Allmountain? Superenduro?
  • 1 0
 Wheelbase is loooooong.
  • 1 0
 They're supposed to beeeeeeeee! (If you're looking for stability)
  • 3 0
 If I dumped my current bike for a spire, I'd get between ~80-100mm of added wheelbase depending on which size I went with (I'm between L and XL on their charts).

So yeah, its quite long.

Although, looking at it differently, its still 50mm short of the wheelbase of the dirt bike I grew up riding, so maybe it wouldn't feel all that weird after all Razz .
  • 2 5
 I'm glad they brought up the crank issue. The torque difference from 175 to 165mm is significant - you're going to feel that 10%. I don't think any of the other bikes in the test have had to compromise here, have they?
  • 2 0
 It's 6%.
  • 2 1
 @borlowski90: Ah yes it is. Still feels horrible though lol
  • 2 0
 @Wesmacaulay: I've heard both sides but most liking the shorter cranks and/or hardly noticing a difference. I think the benefits outweigh the negatives!
  • 5 0
 There is no power difference when going to shorter cranks - any loss of torque is cancelled out by a gain in rpm. You do have to adjust the gearing by changing chainring size.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a G1 ......
  • 1 0
 Awesome bike Smile
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