Transition Sentinel - Review

Sep 2, 2017 at 12:50
by Mike Kazimer  



As strange as it may seem, up until now Transition didn't have a longer travel 29er in their fleet. Sure, there was the Smuggler, which punched well above what its 115mm of rear travel would suggest, but that was it in the full-squish 29er department. That's no longer the case, and the Sentinel has made its grand entrance as a super slack, extra-beefy machine designed for partying on the descents.

There are three complete bikes in the lineup, with prices ranging from $2,999 USD up to the X01 Complete model tested here that retails for $4,999 USD. Component highlights include a 160mm Fox Float 36 fork, a Float DPX2 shock, SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain and SRAM Code RSC brakes. There's also a frame only option (with a DPX2 shock) for $1,999.


Transition Sentinel Details
• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 140mm rear / 160mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• Aluminum frame
• 64° head angle
• 435mm chainstays
• Boost spacing front and rear
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 32 pounds (size L)
• Price: $4,999 USD
www.transitionbikes.com



Transition Sentinel
It's an all alloy affair from tip to tail on the Sentinel.
Transition Sentinel
The frame's short seat tube allows it to accommodate longer travel dropper posts.


Frame Details

The Sentinel's aluminum frame looks like it was built to take a beating, with a generous amount of overlap between the top- and downtube. There's plenty of standover clearance, and the seat tube height is nice and low, allowing for the use of longer dropper posts.

The bike is fully up to date with the latest standards - there's Boost spacing front and rear, and a trunnion-mounted, metric shock that delivers 140mm of travel, but thankfully Transition stuck with the tried-and-true threaded bottom bracket.


Transition Sentinel
The Sentinel uses version 2.0 of Transition's GiddyUp suspension layout.


Internal routing is in place for everything except the rear brake line, which seems like the ideal compromise between fashion and function. Transition updated their internal routing design with a new plastic cover where the housing enters the frame, and there's also a length of foam tubing that goes around the housing to keep everything rattle-free. Even with a piggyback shock there's plenty of room to mount a water bottle cage in the front triangle, and there are ISCG tabs for riders who want to run a chain guide of some sort.


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Suspension

The Sentinel uses Transition's GiddyUp suspension layout, their take on a Horst Link design. The overall configuration isn't drastically different from prior models in their lineup, although the kinematics have been revised slightly, resulting in a slightly longer rocker link, and a more vertically oriented shock.

Boundary Pushing Geometry

It's the Sentinel's geometry that's been lighting up the internet lately, and for good reason. There aren't many 29ers on the market with geometry as aggressive as this – a 64-degree head angle, 475mm reach for a size large, and a reduced offset fork. Those numbers are all parts of Transition's Speed Balanced Geometry concept, which we covered in detail here.

There are five main components that differentiate Transition's new Speed Balanced Geometry from what they have used in the past, concepts that have also been applied to the Patrol, Scout, and Smuggler for 2018. The bikes have an even longer reach, a slacker head angle, a reduced fork offset, a steeper seat tube angle, and shorter stems. Even though on paper the longer reach numbers may seem daunting (a size large will now be 475mm), the new bikes are spec'd with 10mm shorter stems, and the steeper seat angle will also help to maintain a similar bar to saddle distance to Transition's previous models. The reduced offset fork will also partially counteract the wheelbase length increase that comes with a slacker head angle.


Sentinel



Specifications
Specifications
Price $4999
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock Fox DPX2 Performance Elite
Fork Fox 36 Float RC2 160mm
Cassette SRAM XG 1275
Crankarms SRAM Descendent Carbon
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 Eagle
Handlebar Race Face Turbine R (800 x 20mm)
Stem Race Face Turbine R (40mm)
Grips ODI Elite Flow
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Wheelset e*thirteen TRS+
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF & DHR II 29x2.3, EXO casing
Seat ANVL Forge Stealth
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth



Transition Sentinel





Climbing

Much of my riding over the last year has taken place on longer travel 29ers, so I'm familiar with what it typically takes to get them to the top of tricky climbs, but the Sentinel really is a different beast. Once it's in motion, its slack head angle and long wheelbase create a rock crawling monster, an immensely stable bike that'll scale pretty much anything, especially if the trail isn't too twisty and turny.

The way the Sentinel managed to find traction and remain calm even on the chunkiest trails was impressive, and while its handling feels quite different compared to a steeper angled, less sprawling bike, the Sentinel's geometry, including the reduced offset fork, makes it much more manageable than a cursory glance at its numbers would suggest. With the DPX2 set to 30% sag the bike has a very neutral feel - its acceleration isn't as snappy as the Hightower LT, but it still remains relativity bob free, although I usually ran the shock in the middle compression setting to get a little more support on the climbs.


Transition Sentinel
The Sentinel is long and slack, but it was still quite manageable while climbing.


The bike's steep, 76-degree seat angle makes it possible to keep plenty of weight over the front wheel, and no matter what mess of roots or rocks I aimed the bike at it would roll up, over, and onward without stalling out. Of course, there's no escaping the fact that the Sentinel is a little portly, and those extra couple of pounds are noticeable – it doesn't exactly leap off the starting line when you step on the pedals.

With the reduced offset fork it felt like there was less need to make micro-corrections to the front end, and I found that I didn't really need to pay as much attention to the bike to keep it on track, even on tighter uphill switchbacks. Compared to a bike like the Yeti SB5.5, where the front end tended to feel a little light on really steep climbs, the Sentinel remained glued to the ground, without any unwanted wandering or flopping.


Transition Sentinel


Descending

The Sentinel is an absolute beast when it comes time to descend, a downright monster when the trail turns steep and rough. There are plenty of long-travel 29ers out there that can handle the Whistler Bike Park, but when it comes to tackling the steepest, chunkiest trails there aren't many that can match the Sentinel's performance. The amount of stability is astounding, and the weight that held it back a bit on the climbs only serves to make it feel even more solid, especially when touching back down after spending time airborne.

The Sentinel does prefer to plow straight ahead rather than pop off trailside features – smashing straight down the trail is its strong suit. The slack head angle and reduced offset fork make the bike feel like it's on rails in the turns, a sensation that took a little getting used to. It's almost like carving down a slope on skis that haven’t been detuned all the way – initiating turns is easy, but finishing them is a little harder, because the skis (or bike) want to keep maintaining that same arc. It takes a little extra muscle to make quick direction changes, and you really need to lean into the whole bike, rather than steering from the handlebar.

The slightly different riding style quickly became second nature, but it does feel kind of strange going from the Sentinel to a bike with more traditional geometry, at least for the first few minutes – those steeper and shorter bikes almost feel twitchy and overly eager to turn.


Transition Sentinel


If you're hung up on numbers, 140mm may not seem to qualify as 'long-travel', but I never encountered a situation out on the trails where that wasn't enough. The 160mm Fox 36 helps take the initial edge off those hits, and the tune on the DPX2 shock felt great – it's plush without any wallowing, and if I didn't know otherwise I would have guessed that the Sentinel had more than 140mm of travel, and it can definitely go toe-to-toe with longer travel machines like the Specialized Enduro 29 or Trek Slash.

Which of those bikes is the best? That's a tough one, but I will say that the Sentinel feels more like a pure DH machine than either the Enduro or the Slash - it wants to bomb straight down the fall line at top speed whenever possible. The Enduro may have more travel, but I'd call it more of an all-rounder due to its lighter weight and slightly quicker handling, while the Slash feels racier, again partially due to its lighter weight, and also due to its stiff carbon frame.


Transition Sentinel
Whether it was on rougher, more natural trails, or on jump trails like A-Line, there wasn't anything in the bike park the Sentinel couldn't handle.


What About That Offset?

I've been answering all sorts of questions about offset lately, many from riders who are worried about getting left behind by some sort of new “standard.” Should you rush out and buy a fork with the least amount of offset you can find? Well, no. The amount of offset does make a noticeable handling difference, but it's not as cut and dry as saying that X amount of offset is bad and Y amount of offset is good – there's more to it than that, and installing a fork with the least amount of offset possible isn't going to automatically turn your bike into a magical shred sled.

I spent a day in the bike park switching back and forth between two Fox 36 forks, the one that came on the Sentinel, which has 44mm of offset, and one with 51mm of offset, which is what the majority of 29ers are currently spec'd with. I started off by taking three laps on the stock fork, and then made the switch to the fork with 51mm of offset. The difference is very noticeable – the increased offset felt more like what I'm used to, and the bike felt livelier, but it was also easier to oversteer and wash out the front wheel – the feeling of unlimited front wheel traction that the 44mm offset fork delivered wasn't there anymore.

I timed all of my runs, but the numbers didn't end up indicating any statistically significant difference between the two offsets; I felt like I was able to adapt my riding style fairly quickly to both forks. After swapping back and forth between the two offsets it was clear that there are benefits to the stock, reduced offset fork on the Sentinel – namely better front wheel grip and more stability – but the bike works just fine with a 'regular' 51mm offset fork as well.


Transition Sentinel
e*thirteen's TRS+ wheels didn't cause any trouble, but it would have been nice to see wider tires mounted to them.
Transition Sentinel
The DPX2's performance earned it high marks in every type of terrain


Component Check

• Maxxis Minion Tires: It's hard to go wrong with a set of Minions, but I do wish that Transition went a little wider – a 2.5” DHF WT up front and a 2.4” DHR II WT would be an even better complement to the Sentinel's abilities than the 2.3" versions it's spec'd with.

• Chain slap guard: The Sentinel's chainstay protector could stand to be a little longer – as it is, there's a weld that's left uncovered and in the line of fire from chainslap.

• Fox DPX2 shock: The DPX2 has an excellent on-trail feel, and its performance remained extremely consistent, even during top-to-bottom laps in the bike park.




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Sentinel is a burly tank of a bike, capable of taming the rowdiest trails around. With the heart of a downhill bike, and the geometry to go with it, it's not going to satisfy the desires of riders looking for a lightweight, lively all-rounder, but for riders who prioritize descending above all else the Sentinel is tough to beat.
Mike Kazimer










About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 35 • Height: 5'11" • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 160lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Twenty-two years deep into a mountain biking addiction that began as a way to escape the suburban sprawl of Connecticut, Mike Kazimer is most at home deep the woods, carving his way down steep, technical trails. The decade he spent as a bike mechanic helped create a solid technical background to draw from when reviewing products, and his current location in the Pacific Northwest allows for easy access to the wettest, muddiest conditions imaginable.



333 Comments

  • + 306
 E bike week is OVER!!!!!!! *corks popping everywhere*
  • + 79
 It was hell
  • - 170
flag sessionman123abc (Sep 4, 2017 at 9:26) (Below Threshold)
 e bikes are cool, why the hate?
  • + 87
 @sessionman123abc: E bikes are not cool. I hate them. Sorry.
  • + 23
 Nope , they're not and you're uncool for saying that @sessionman123abc:
  • + 21
 The future is bright!
  • - 86
flag gollub01 (Sep 4, 2017 at 10:23) (Below Threshold)
 I am stoked for the E-bike take over!!!! Its really only a threat to the fragile ego's of most mountain bikers! I don't want a little bit of E-juice though, I want UN-governed FULL power on my climbs! Sweating is for overweight people. Have fun on your struggle-buggies!
  • + 8
 @sessionman123abc: lol way to troll
  • + 77
 The rumor has it that if you strap a microwave oven to your bars, remove the door and hack the switch, it will emit EMP shockwaves that will irreversibly damage electronics on all e-bikes in front of you.
  • + 39
 @WAKIdesigns: ... and sterilize rider! Two birds, one stone.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Hopefully it can sterilize their riders too.
  • + 8
 @sessionman123abc: LOL. The only e bikes that are even kind of cool are the custom built many kilowatt ones that can keep up with a dirt bike... And they're only even slightly cool IF kept off of MTB trails.
  • + 40
 How to get some love for 29ers? Make an e-bike week.
  • + 1
 No need for shock waves to sterilize them all. It's well known that ebikers (except disabled people, old men with rheumatoid arthritis, trail builders carrying some heavy chainsaw and maybe PB photographers) are having trouble spreading their seed, probably together with roadies and xc cyclists.
Just downhillers who use lifts or trucks, and enduro riders are enjoying massive, lasting erections and full sex life.
About riders on trailbikes, it's not clear for now but one thing's for sure: it's small.
  • + 2
 Bring on the special worlds bike for ffs!!!
  • + 7
 @CanfieldBrothers: So ... what's cookin'? Please tell me 160 rear 29er. I need something to pull me off buying a wreckoning before christmas.
  • + 5
 @gollub01: and dumbest comment of the year goes to!
  • + 3
 @gollub01: struggle buggies!!!
Rolls right off the tongue.
  • + 12
 @sessionman123abc: I did.a lap today for the first time on an e-bike (thanks for the demo trek).

It was kinda fun.

It made the slight uphills feel like a downhill

The downhills still felt.like a downhill on a 50lb freeride rig from early 2000s (maybe a Santa Cruz bullit with a monster.t)

And steep climbs were almost enjoyable.

No burning gas shuttling to the top

Everyone should at least try a new hobby sometimes
  • - 1
 @bohns1: YOU!!!!!
  • + 1
 +1
  • + 5
 @onemind123: my girl likes trying a new hubby sometimes too. It's good to not always ride the same she says.
  • + 9
 @gollub01: I used to think similar to you ...that ebikes really were just a threat to the "old ways" of pedaling. That they eroded some of the macho from pedaling up hill. While there may be some of that to the hate it's not at all the priority. What lies at stake is the very land access that we enjoy as mtbrs. Those that have the power to grant the land access don't care that the bikes are pedal assist, they don't look that far into it. They only see a bike with a motor. Bike with a motor could equate to our land access being stripped. I feel like that is the main driver behind the hate.
  • + 10
 @cky78: it's quite ironic to see North America being more strict about land access than Europe considering the sheer size of your wilderness per capita. Also the scale at which you guys are utilizing the natural resources. There's no comparison. That bit about US authorities being anal about access to fkng desert is just plain ridiculous. No, desert is not equal to forest, there is a dramatic difference in a role that a forest plays in a local "ecosystem" as well as life on Earth as a whole, and a fkng desert. Few bushes and lizards don't count. I mean reality and legal system are different things, if you get a ban leading to potential prosecution, you get a ban, that's it. Law enforcement is there to enforce law, not solve philosophical disputes. But still, it's just fkng funny.

Now, the issue with E-bikes goes further than that. It has to do with safety regardless of legislation. E-bikes are an issue already in cities. Different challenges than in the mountains but still. There are already enough a*sholes on regular bikes bombing down the hill causing risk of collision with hikers. Scaring the sht out of ALL hikers. People hike with their kids. I personally have witnessed potentially dangerous situations when hiking. Now what E-bikes do, they introduce that risk also for climbing. Speed may be slower but they ride more silently that a bike rolling downhill and often hauling brakes. Also there is now a higher risk of collision between climbing biker and descending biker. At least on mixed trails.

Another risk is that E-bikes are getting equipped with strong motors which may be limited to 250W but there is a strong incentive to hack the computer an go full power, then why not mount throttle so you don't even need to pedal? Damn right people WILL do that.

In the perfect world e-MTBs should not be granted access to mixed trails at all. It should be clear. Fireroads be my guest: mountain paths - fk off. I see however no reason what so ever why e-bikes shouldn't be allowed on MTB dedicated trails. Here all the stupid haters are missing a huge opportunity in finding an ally in MTB specific trail advocacy.
  • + 3
 Talking about e-bikes just keep them alive...let them die in oblivion please!
  • + 6
 @NolanFJ60: E bikes are very cool, for the right purpose. As replacements for cars, they are awesome. Our shop sells tons of e bikes for cargo hauling, kid transportation, elk hunting, etc etc. I know of a dude who herds sheep on one. E-bikes are not cool as replacements for bikes. In that regard, they are so lame.
  • + 1
 @gollub01: Nice Troll work, but now that is over get to work on getting Lance and Chris to build carbon Jedi's
  • + 7
 @gollub01 fell victim to 5th law of thermodynamics, that is sarcasm doesn't work on internet... cope that with 65th article of online debacle on Pinkbike that is: If someone says something good about E-bikes it means he is a nazi sociopath set to destroy the true values of mountain biking. Stabbing him in the face is fully justifiable, but due to physical distance between the nazi and the justice warrior - impossible. At least with current state of technology. Negprop him just in case then.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: key word. In front of you
  • + 155
 Waiting for the carbon version!

Nice review and thanks for taking time to switch out forks/offsets -- that's the kind of thing we like to know and can't easily do ourselves.
  • + 7
 Yes, very well done.
  • - 26
flag barbasma (Sep 4, 2017 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 It calls.. trek slash
  • - 36
flag sessionman123abc (Sep 4, 2017 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 @barbasma: trek slash is garbage
  • + 40
 @sessionman123abc: This from the guy who said e-bikes are cool?
  • + 1
 Yes with a little lighter weight this would be the perfect one bike quiver
  • - 1
 @bsavery: maybe...if all you ride is DH but have no uplift...?
  • + 12
 @ThomDawson: Isn't that by definition not "only riding DH"?
  • + 6
 @bsavery: ok ok I was just kidding but what I meant was this sounds like (and from my experience seems like) a DH bike that you can pedal uphill without dying. I would never call a DH bike a quiver killer, it's the most specialised bike available. And the Sentinel is just shy of a DH bike. But if your quiver currently consists of a dh bike and a guy with a truck then yeah maybe Razz
  • + 5
 @ThomDawson: Oh ok. I was thinking more like the bike you grab everyday (here in the PNW) but still can race enduros with. Other bike we see using for that around here are the ones mentioned in the review, Trek Slash and Spec Enduro, as well as Evil Wreckoning. I like the ideas Transition have related to geometry though, if this was 28 lbs could see riding it all day and loving every second of the downhill. I wouldn't call this a DH bike you could pedal per se.
  • + 3
 @bsavery: you're not from round here are you? (Where "here" is the south of England).
  • + 2
 @bsavery: that said, no-one is riding back up at, say, Aston Hill.
  • - 16
flag dynamatt Plus (Sep 4, 2017 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 I commend transition for being s boutique bike brand that tries new stuff and pushes themselves to create better bikes. But not all of us are career riders that can push a 32lb size Large up our local fire roads. I really wish they would make a carbon version of this
  • + 4
 @sessionman123abc: Sounds like your riding ability is garbage.
  • + 37
 @dynamatt: Not all of us are career surgeons who can afford a carbon version of this. Just get fit. Or get an eagle.
  • + 41
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: this comment may not be popular...I feel like anyone who thinks that 32lb for a bike such as this (Aluminium 29er built for rowdy trails) is maybe missing the point of it. It has a 64° HA for goodness sake. The sooner we all come to the realisation that a 27lb bike just doesn't work very well for said 'rowdy' trails the better. Then maybe carbon will f*ck off too. There I brought it back to the OP at least.
  • + 1
 140/160mm 29er is a lot closer to typical trail than DH bud.
This looks like a great daily driver for folks who live in steep/ rowdy trail zones. @ThomDawson:
  • - 2
 @ThomDawson: my 27lb remedy begs to differ. It's a great daily pedaling, all day epic riding bike that can easily switch to steep appalachain riding with just a new set of rubber.
  • + 8
 I am getting a little tired of the hyperbole in the reviews....OMG IT'S AWESOME UP or DOWN! CAN'T BE BEAT!! Then they show a picture of Mike leaning over the front wheel struggling to make it up the hill....Then in his "PB Take" at the end he says as much... Yeah if you want an all arounder this bike isn't for you....Contradicting views from the same reviewer about the same bike in the same article?
An honest review would be great if you ask me.
  • + 3
 @allenfstar: anything less than 30lb surely hasn't got proper tyres on? What are you running? Oh wait just re read your comment - there it is. If you want proper dh performance the tyres will bring the lighter bikes up to 30lbs on their own. Weigh the bike with the pedals on like in real life - there's a good chunk of another pound. My lack of enthusiasm for pedalling has just forced me to remove some nice dh rubber in favour of lighter casings for Ard Moors, went to the bike park with em and I cried every run. And I weigh 62kg. You need proper tyres. That's my whole point.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: yea if you're running a 2ply tire it will definitely increase the weight but the overall weight doesn't make the bike feel squirrelly. I'll have to get a weight with the minion 2.5 and dhr 2.4 next time I head to shuttle
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: @ThomDawson: It's not that hard to get a burly bike with good tires under 30lb. I just built up a (heavy for carbon) Following with (heavy) full XT (w/ 11-46 cassette), (not light) i9/Flows, (heavy) MRP Stage, and 950g-1000g DHF front and rear. I have a bash guide, too. The bike weighs 30.5 w/ pedals.

That said, I'm dubious that a 27lb bike can do everything my 32lb Megatrail does.
  • + 1
 @scvkurt03: is it a 29er? Under a kg Minions? i.e not proper tyres?
  • + 3
 @allenfstar: Get back to us in 2 years when your Remedy has cracked and the Transition is still going strong. There is such a thing as too light. Transitions are built to take a beating, and I gladly accept an extra pound or two for a frame that will not just handle hard use, but hard abuse.
  • + 4
 @JustinVP: my real point was that if you are serious about riding off and over stuff (rather than just telling everyone about how light your plastic bike is when you pull into the car park with it on top of your 17 plate Golf) you might be well up for a go on this bike. But you'd also know that xc weight bikes ride like crap when it gets rough and ready for a number of reasons. People are all up for this super stability (64° HA with a 43mm offset...seriously lads) but want something that's gonna float away if they leave it too long outside the cake shop. It makes no sense. Yet it makes perfect sense when you take a step back, look at who bikes are marketed at these days and who's willing to pay the big bucks for brand new bikes; People who can't ride for shit but have a tonne of spare income.
I dunno why I'm getting agro about it though, if it were me I'd hardly try and market my bikes to riders that can't afford their rent because they ride too much. Appreciation from the small percentage of penniless peeps who can actually ride won't pay Lars' mortgage.
  • + 2
 @JustinVP: hey if the frame cracks that's a new bike I don't have to pay for.
  • + 1
 @sessionman123abc: ride a slash....it's almost too good
  • + 50
 'Boundry pushing' nah, just in the new league of proper fitting bikes exceeding the 500mm reach milestone. INCREASE CHAINSTAY LENGTH SIZE TO SIZE. Us taller guys need a longer wheelbase distrobuted evenly through the bike, a 445mm+ cs is still playful when you're 6'4+

But, on a positive note, steeper seat angles for bigger sizes, winner!
  • - 4
flag jclnv (Sep 4, 2017 at 9:14) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah these guys are getting there but they're still a ways off size specific requirements.

A guy on a medium doesn't need a 76 degree seat angle, 74 is fine and puts the wider part of the saddle a thinly bit more out of the way behind the BB. A guy on an XL will with a 76 degree seat angle will still have far more relative mass behind the BB than a guy on a small with a 73 degree seat angle.

Then, as you say, there's rear centre length. 435mm is killer for a small with similar reach numbers but barely long enough for a 450mm reach medium. Anything bigger than those sizes and you're into huge weight distribution compromises territory.

Still, congrats on Transition for actually doing some real R&D and bringing attention to the dumb offset forks we're all having to ride on 29".
  • + 22
 The reason taller guys need longer chainstays is because most current gen bikes are too short on the front end, and your CG ends up being too close to the rear axle. This Transition, along with Mondraker, Guerilla Gravity, and some of the new Scott's are solving the issue with better geometry. Between the longer reach and steeper seat tube, your CG is being pulled anywhere from 5-15 mm further forward in virtually all positions. So in the attack position the 435 on this bike is going to feel a lot like a 445 on a current/conventional geo'd bike.

Having ridden this thing a bit, it does not need any longer CS. Maybe a touch shorter even.
  • - 9
flag jclnv (Sep 4, 2017 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 @tsheep: A riders mass is on the BB. How is only changing front centre length going to change F/R weight distribution?
  • + 2
 @jclnv: i mean, if you ride like a stiff. makes sense that if you add material and make it longer on the front, but NOT the back, the CG moves forward.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: re: weight distribution compromises
Don't forget the front center on these is longer than most already for each given reach. Reach is only half the picture when we're talking about front-center.
Having said that I don't think Transition are the brand to look to if you're a Pole and Chris Porter fanatic. I don't think they've made these bikes to go the fastest for the least amount of rider input (like the aforementioned). I think Transition value attributes other than just how quick it is against the clock.
Their last current generation of bikes have been hailed for their ride characteristics despite so many other brands bringing out loooong designs, they'd have been foolish to stray too far from what was so clearly a winning formula.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: CG, not mass. The BB supports the riders weight, but it very rarely if ever does so in the perfectly vertical direction. Yes, I know there's that common line "you should be standing up directly on your cranks, with no weight on your hands." Sounds great in the parking lot, totally wrong charging down a steep rock garden or pumping a berm. So for most fun and relevant riding situations, your mass is not going to be vertically over the BB, and if the front center of the bike has been lengthened, on the whole it will tend to be further forward than a standard geo bike. Since your CG is generally pulled forward, the length between CG and rear axle is lengthened, which gives the same feeling as a longer CS during active, fun, rowdy riding.

I guess if you are super tall, this does run the risk of looping out doing wheelies in the parking lot. Sorry, can't help you there- just remember those chicks are laughing with you, not at you.
  • + 1
 Oh I get it now. I just stretch out and put more weight on the bars. Kinda like a superman position? Sounds rad!

Thom, if we're normalizing head angles at 65 degrees (which we seem to be) the front centre and reach are effectively the same thing. But yeah let's call them front and rear centres.

Go put your hands on a sofa and get into a push-up position. That's about 50/50 weight distribution between your feet and hands. Then tell me how long you could ride with that much weight, or even half that, on you arms?

Weight goes through the BB. Fact. Weight is easy to get rearward on super steeps. I'm not advocating for 50/50 but you can't throw 30mm on the front centre and do nothing to the rear centre without loosing front grip.

Unless I really do need to adopt the push-up position? Sounds a bit risky on blown out, loose, 30kph turns eh?

Anyway I'm bored of this argument. It's common sense and the MotoGP guys worked it out decades ago.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: just for the record, I agree with you completely about the weight thing.
  • + 5
 @jclnv: That's just reducto ad-absurdism. Did I say you'd have a 50-50 weight balance? No, that's silly and you know it.

"Weight goes through the BB". Yes, it does. The question relevant to the debate is "at what angle?" Unless it's perfectly 90 degrees 100% of the time, then your weight will have some component going to your hands. Basic physics matey.

"You can't throw 30 mm on the front center and do nothing to the rear center without loosing front grip." Did you mean rear grip? Because, basic physics again here, pulling the CG forward would increase, rather than decrease traction on the front wheel.

"It's common sense." I guess we disagree on common sense, but whatever. PS: MotoGP is MotoGP. I fail to see how riding super bikes on flat closed courses at 300+ kph has much to do with riding a bicycle down steeps and into bermed turns at 30 kph. Almost like they are two completely and radically different things!
  • + 11
 @tsheep: Your understanding of basic physics is incorrect, sorry.

If someone is standing/sitting on a bike stationary, and you had to pick up one end /wheel of the bike off the ground which end would you pick up? Of course you would lift from the front wheel. That's the basic physics of leverage.

And if we added 500mm to the front centre would that change your decision? Clearly it would make it easier to pick the front of the bike up.

I've ridden both long and short chainstay bikes. On the long stay bikes you don't need to consider forward/rear body position when cornering. On the short stay bikes it's a constant battle to keep the weight distribution right and not have either the front or rear lose grip.

I'll admit we all ride bikes differently and not everyone will notice this but a large number of us are annoyed at the death of the long chainstay.
  • + 0
 @tsheep: This is page one for me. I've been thinking about this shit for years.

Trust me, unless you're riding a DJ bike on pumptrack, you're not putting anything close to the force required through the bars to influence front wheel grip.

MotoGP is100% about even grip balance. Those guys spend hours at every race trying to balance F/R grip. Mountain bikes are no different in the sense that one wheel will break free and loose grip before the other based on the loads applied. Obviously angle of terrain has an influence on but as I said above it's vastly easy to unweight the front of the bike than load it. In addition if a bike has more balanced spring rates from neutral weight distribution it will compress further at the rear on steeper descents. Not to mention the more balanced tire pressures. A neutral bike is stable, stable is fast.

Look at Minnaar. Faster than he's ever been at 36 years old with a 460mm rear centre.
  • - 5
flag tsheep (Sep 4, 2017 at 15:24) (Below Threshold)
 @jclnv:
This is one of the most silly things I have ever read. Think more.

"Trust me, unless you're riding a DJ bike on pumptrack, you're not putting anything close to the force required through the bars to influence front wheel grip." I don't trust you, because this is a demonstrably ridiculous statement. Proof: Ever seen someone do a nose manual? How much force do you think is on their bars?
Even better proof: the Enduro nose-manual corner. Hmmm... that's 100% of the weight on the front wheel carving a turn. That seems like quite a lot of influence. Best proof: Sam Hill pulling out a two wheel skid in insert favorite loose off-camber turn here> by... putting all his weight on his bars, getting his front wheel to bite, and letting the rear do whatever it wants because it doesn't matter for correcting a turn.

"MotoGP is100% about even grip balance. Those guys spend hours at every race trying to balance F/R grip." And again, MotoGP is a radically different thing than mtb. For starters, the bike weighs a lot more than the rider. Also, they don't have steeps, rock gardens, and berms. They do have 250+ hp engines, and average speeds at least 10 times greater than mtb. Maybe that has something to do with what they choose to focus on?

"Mountain bikes are no different in the sense that one wheel will break free and loose grip before the other based on the loads applied." Yes, and in mtb you'd much, much rather have the rear break loose rather than the front. Which is why having more traction on the front is a good thing.

"Balanced spring rates" Spring rates have absolutely nothing to do with a frame's geometry. The spring rate is entirely a function of spring stiffness/air pressure, period. Also, balancing them front to rear is meaningless, because your front is always a 1:1 leverage ratio (barring linkage forks), and the rear is some constantly varying ratio always greater than 1:1.

"Balanced tire pressures." Er, what? Still nothing to do with frame geometry. Nor do you want them balanced.

"Minaar... 460mm rear centre" Which is what he was running in 2016. So it didn't actually get longer this season. See www.pinkbike.com/news/behind-the-bike-developing-the-xxl-santa-cruz-v10-2016.html

You know what did change for Minaar this season? His front center... it's longer. Hmmmmm.....
  • + 2
 Yes, more balanced spring rates from more neutral weight distribution. The ratio is irrelevant. The larger the differential, the more accurate the rider the has to be with position. Yes you want tires at an even pressure. What pressure is optimum for the sidewall and tread compound of the tires you use? Odd you run a different compound front to rear? You should do if you're running 30% more rear pressure.

You see, if you get the rider less rear biased everything else falls into place.

Yes I agree that I want the rear tire to break free before the front. 100%. The easiest way to ensure that is to have a bike that isn't massively rear biased.

Your Sam Hill point is absolute gold. Even the best DH rider I have ever seen, with confidence at an all time high, washed out his front tire on a loose flat turn while trying to load the front end. Now, do you think you can realistically ride in a similar manor to correct the deficiencies of a bikes weight distribution? I can't, not even close. But I have way more of a chance if I can put weight on the front end WHILE being in my natural riding position.

I've owned a shid load of bikes and the more rear biased they have been the more vague the front contact patch has been.
  • + 1
 @jclnv:
Riders mass is split between feet and hands. The further forward your hands, the further forward your CG.
  • + 0
 @jclnv: So now you've come all the way around and said yes, you do want more weight on the front! Sweet! We agree!

Why on earth do you think making the front end quite a bit longer, and the seat tube quite a bit steeper forces a rear weight bias? It will put the riders weigh further forward compared to a bike that has a shorter front end. You sit further forward with relation to the axles and BB, and you reach out and lean forward in a posture closer to the attack position. Everything about your riding is further forward. If anything, it is harder to get back over the rear wheel, but you discover you don't have to.

Longer chainstays are a band-aid for crummy design. Yes, you get more stability, but at the cost of even worse low speed handling and a short front end that is prone to bucking the rider. Keep the CS short and push out the front, and it's golden. You have greater leverage to load the front and keep from being knocked off line, and you keep the wheel base and handling reasonable.
  • + 3
 @tsheep: I don't think he ever debated what you want a bike to be. Both you guys want balanced bikes with more front grip. Just two different approaches and @jclnv makes much more sense.

Why on earth do you want so much more weight on your upper body and arms? Do 30 explosive push up's and then 30 jump squats. I'll take the weight and g-forces with my legs all day, everyday. Your arms are there just to make adjustments when needed and absorbing impacts coming through the front of the bike. And I believe the longer front ends of today make that much more comfortable. Nice, neutral attack position, while still at the ready to weight your hands. Go way longer and you rely on an inferior muscle group to do a job it shouldn't be doing, the extreme being the superman position mentioned above.

You want more front end grip? absolutely longer rear centre's are a much more efficient way of getting you that grip, but as you mentioned, you lose some "flickability". Horses for courses. Pros and cons.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: Also, for the record, I'm 100% with you on steeper seat tube angles. I finally don't have to look goofy with my saddles slammed all the way forward.
  • + 2
 I don't see why this could not be an option either. Want longer chainstays? Fine. Specify it in your order (maybe you would be charged an additional fee for this, but it's something one can live with when spending so much on a bike in the first place). It would serve both chainstay length camps, one advocating short ones like @tsheep and the other, myself included, cheering for frame size proportional chainstay length. Is it really such a huge marginal cost for manufacturers, especially with aluminium frames?

That being said, geometry-wise Sentinel is a nice improvement for tall riders. Especially those who find it hard to justify purchasing Geometron / ION-G (and that new ION-G15 does look superb).
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: different leverage ratio, different wheel travel, different frame characteristics in general (stiffness, compliance, etc), different frame weights...
I'm with you and I think getting the right chainstay length for your height/ preference should be prioritised over things like 'longer, lower, slacker, reduced offset', etc.
But I don't think it's a good enough gimmick for the manufacturers to sell to warrant the associated costs. It would likely take a redesign from the ground up with the varying chainstay lengths in mind from square one to ensure characteristics remain similar across the size range.
It's easy to add an inch to the whole range, reduce the offset to that of the next lower wheel size, drill some holes and call it internal routing...cut the seat tube down (and hey look that means we can claim a steeper seat angle too, bonus!)...maybe not quite as easy to do the chainstay thing..?
  • + 1
 @ciszewski: Where did I claim I want so much more weight on my upper body and arms? I don't want that. But making longer front ends with steeper seat angles does not put you in some sort of ridiculous superman position, that's absurd. All it means is in the attack position your hips are bent at a lower angle, and more importantly your CG is further forward in relation to the rear axle. That short CG-rear axle distance is what creates feelings of instability on conventional geometry bikes with short chainstay measurements since the rider is lacking leverage to control the rear end. Increase the distance between the two and you get more control, while still retaining the ability for the rider to shift their weight and whip a short rear end around if they need to.

Basically- CS length should be as short as reasonably possible while retaining optimal seat post angle, tire clearance, and suspension kinematics. For a modern 29er, this is around 425-435 mm. Now, instead of increasing the rear end a bit with each size to get more stability, the front end should just grow even more to keep the relative CG-rear axle distance the same.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: you are incorrect. Pls see @jclnv comments for correctness.
I can see whee you're coming from, I thought along the same path at one point as I'm sure have many others but the point remains. Lengthening the front end is the same as shortening the rear end aka rear wheel bias, which means less weight on the front end.
That's not to say rear wheel bias is wrong, but if you're arguing a point for a balanced ride and grip...well the word bias kind of gives it away.
  • + 4
 @tsheep: I see. I get what you are trying to say. To adapt to the longer bike, simply hinging at the hips to get lower/forward, while leaving leg positioning the same. I thought earlier you mentioned that everything about your position becomes more forward?

Still, that really only moves your head, arms, and a small percentage of your torso (maybe, roughly 15-20% of your total weight) roughly the same distance that your reach extended. Provided that you take all of that additional forward weight onto your hands. If you simply use your glutes more to support the deeper hip hinge, you've barely changed the distribution of weight at all.

Quite simply, the way I see bike design is as follows (feel free to agree or disagree, it's just my opinion):

1. A bike needs to be comfortable for the person riding it.
This means that they need to be able to push the bars away, and pull them towards their chest from their natural position with sufficiency. They need to move their butt towards and away from the natural position with sufficiency. If a bike is too long (in reach), you can't get weight far enough back at full extension. If a bike is too short, moving forward comes with great risks of OTB.

This also means that it depends on the person. There are an incredible number of people who can't simply hinge at the hips deeper to get the advantages of a longer reach. Whether it is a flexibility issue, or a strength issue, longer bikes will just cause some people to reach with their arms and severely inhibit the their ability to control the bike. And even if you do have the strength and flexibility, you will get to the point where you are too extended both in hip hinge and arms, that you bring your butt forward of the BB to get comfortable (a la the the ridiculous superman position that was brought up, I understand that we're far from going there, but it's definitely not an ideal position to get closer too for many, many reasons)

2. The bike is well balanced underneath me, in my comfortable position. (When I need to change the balance for the terrain, I am easily able to do that having the ability to move forward/rearward from my comfortable position.) This is why Transition started playing with fork offsets, and also why rear centres are still about much more than making them as short as possible. There is no denying that longer rear centres/shorter front centres (i.e bb to axle centres, and not reach) will move the distribution bias forward for the same body position, and shorter rear/longer front will move bias rearward.

This essentially means that if my bar reach and stack remain constant, and I slacken my head angle (Front centre increase) I either want to get reduced offset to reduce front centre to where it was (a la the bike being reviewed), or i get a longer rear centre.

3. Make the bike work (primarily suspension). I'm not an engineer, nor claim to be even an armchair engineer - so I'll leave that for the suspension experts.

Honestly, I think everything is damn close as far as comfort is concerned. I think everybody feels way better on their bike now, than even a few years ago when the standard position was hanging off the back to not go OTB. We absolutely agree on this (I think?). As far as making reach drastically farther than the current 440-455 size medium, I don't want to see it and I sure hope that they make small sizes readily available if that happens.

also, everything above is in reference to descending. Climbing control and comfort is always going to be the compromise on these bikes, but slightly steeper seat tube angles have made it much better. That's where my take on climbing ends.
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: Maybe I've expressed it poorly- geometrically lengthening the rear end vs the front end appear to do the same thing to the 2D bike geometry model, but this is deceptive. The key difference is points of contact. A bike has a rider, and a rider has no point of contact with the rear end, so lengthening the rear without changing anything else will not shift the rider's position (and CG) in relation to the BB or front axle. A rider does have a point of contact with the front end, so lengthening the front end does shift the rider's position (which is why the seat tube needs to get steeper as well), and does pull the CG forward with respect to both axles and the BB.

Lengthening just the rear end will result in a more centered rider, simply because the rider's CG is now further from the rear axle. The CG to the front axle has not changed. Accordingly, while you get the benefit of greater stability due to the greater rear-axle to CG value, you do not get the benefit of a greater front axle-rider CG, which leaves you more susceptible to big front hits bucking the rider.

Lengthening the front end instead will shift the rider's CG forward, although not as much as the front axle shifts forward. Since the rear axle to CG is increasing, you get those stability benefits, but you also get greater control over the front thanks to a longer front-axle rider CG. The cost of this is the wheelbase does grow by a greater amount than if you just wanted to increase the rear center, but the tradeoffs are worth it.
  • + 1
 @ciszewski:
Eh, I think we will just have to disagree on some stuff. See the above reply for rear center vs front center effects. I do agree that current bikes are definitely an improvement with not having to hang over the back wheel. However, I don't think sizing has gone far enough.

Basically, to me the Mondraker Dune is what sizing should actually be (note: I do not own any of their bikes, I just think they nailed it on the geo, along with a few other companies).

Reach is 452 for small, 472 for medium, 493 large, and 508 XL. It seems insane on paper until you ride one, and then it just makes sense.
  • + 2
 @ciszewski: Climbing-wise two geometry parameters are important, seat tube angle and chainstay length. Simple fact is, two riders of different heights, each sitting at their optimum pedaling height will not be able to hit the same maximum angle of incline with STA and CS values being the same. Naturally, it is the taller one who will get a raw deal.
How many bikes are designed in way to optimize these two parameters in order to achieve more or less the same envelope of incline angles for an envelope of sitting heights at a given frame size? At best an effort is made to adjust real STA's to achieve equal effective STA's across the sizing chart or as in Transition's case report true values. An effective STA is also a dubious parameter since it is given at a stack height and differs from STA at the real, rider specific, sitting height.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: I guess so. That's life haha.

Even so, I'll still debate further, haha. While you're definitely correct that lengthening the rear end does not shift the CG relative to the BB or front axle, it does, however, change the weight distribution between the front and rear axles or contact patches. Taking weight off the rear and placing it onto the front. What everybody seems to be asking for in some way.

And your point about points of contact does not seem logical. Just because your stem is connected to your fork, which draws a straight line to the axle, which is directly above the contact patch of the tires means nothing at all. Pushing perfectly downward (i.e. perpendicular to the ground - the grip component) on the front tire is damn near impossible without getting weight so far over the front of the bike and in an unridable position (I mean for actual riding, not nose manuals). Unlike the rear end, which is comparatively easy to push into the ground perpendicularly. Which is exactly why we're in this debate in the first place, front end grip is much harder to come by, especially while trying to keep bikes snappy, and not OTB happy. And as with any debate, there's obviously two sides arguing for what they think is the appropriate way of solving it.

Re: Mondraker Dune. Yeah I'll agree with you on that their geo actually looks on point. Although they (along with a few other companies, including the transition above) purposefully design around a 30-35mm stem while others still design the handlebar reach using a 50mm stem. So it actually makes them seem longer on paper, while handlebar reach is quite close to others when used with the appropriate stems.

Also with the Mondraker, they have grown chain stay lengths over the last few years in the long settings (the Dune never actually had adjustable chain stays, but obviously something triggered them to make it an option), while keeping the short around the same.
  • + 20
 I would love it for @Pinkbike to get ahold of the Scout and Patrol now for a review. I'm intrigued by the SBG, but 27.5" wheels are what I already have and don't particularly want to change.

Do they all 'prefer to plow straight ahead rather than pop off trailside features'. I'm looking for something that will be fun at non-warp speeds too.
  • + 3
 @oldmanfailing - like a short travel 29er? New Smuggler perhaps?
  • + 5
 @g-42: Nope. 650b for life bro Wink
  • + 14
 @oldmanfalling, it sounds like the Scout will be right up your alley. I only have one ride on it, but it's just as fun as the original version, with a little extra stability for when things get really rough.
  • + 2
 the ski analogy made me wonder a bit... that was exactly the problem with long travel 29ers I encountered (pivot switchblade) even with regular offset. and fast direction changes are pretty much the most fun things on trails I think... also the reach of the new large models is about 5 cm longer than my medium SB 66 with the same top tube length. I'm skeptical, which makes me want to test one of these..
@mikekazimer : in the vital test yeti specced the SB 5.5 with 44 mm offset too, not sure why...
  • + 5
 The patrol is the best bike I've owned, can plough or pop and pretty good on the ups
  • + 2
 Ditto! Sentinel looks like a great ride but I'm also curious how these changes affected the Patrol and Scout. Because one of these three is probably going to be my next ride.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: Are we going to get a review of the new Scout anytime soon, looks like it rips!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Another excellent review. I always enjoy reading them. Very clean writing, and you've got a great way of breaking things down so even tech dummies like me can understand concepts. Thanks!
  • + 16
 I would to hear what you guys would have to say about the Evil Wreckoning. It's travel is only matched by the Enduro and its numbers are more aggressive. Having pedaled both the Slash and the Enduro, I think it blows both of them away. Still, I look forward to taking a Sentinel for a spin.
  • + 9
 I second that, I'd also like to read a thorough comparison of those two, the Wrecker and the Sentinel
  • + 8
 Yes! I'd love to see a Wreckoning review and/or comparison.
  • + 7
 I'd love to hear more on a direct comparison. What puts me off the wreckoning is the thought that its slack seat tube will suck on climbs.
  • + 3
 @beast-from-the-east: Evil is one of the few companies that posts their actual SA as opposed to their virtual SA. This caused them some ire from reviewers when the Insurgent debuted as they used to only post the actual SA. I, like most thought it would be a horrid ascender, but that is not the case. Their virtual SA's are in line with pretty much every other brand. The climbing reality on all of their bikes (I've ridden all of them and own a Wreckoning) is beyond what's on paper. The only caveat with them is that you really need to get the right size and I think it wise to size up from what you normally run. If you are on one that is really too small you will quickly have the seat position too far back and the climbing will suffer. That said, I have actually PR'ed climbs aboard my Wreckoning and nothing descends like it.
  • + 2
 @hellbelly: I had the same experience with the Insurgent. At 6'2" I get pretty worried about slack STAs but found it about the same as my previous bike, a Nomad 3, in the climbing department.
  • + 1
 @hellbelly thanks, that's good to know!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer @astonator Given PB's review on the Pole Evolink, how does the Sentinel compare?
  • + 17
 First time I've ever seen someone hint that the slacker head angle might've actually helped the climbing.
  • + 7
 Also happy to see this, I've felt for a long time that slacker, calmer steering helps. At least it helps me. As I'm struggling to put in the pedal strokes I'm also pulling on the bars, even in the saddle, and on bikes with lighter steering that makes keeping the front wheel go straight/ where I want difficult. Calmer steering is one less thing to worry about on the way up meaning I can keep cranking and get to the fun bit that little bit easier.
  • + 4
 I wondered if this bike would benefit from the fox 36 that drops from 160-130 for the climbs as some people prefer to have a lower front end for going up@ThomDawson:
  • + 2
 Seems like it's the combination of slacker head angle and the shorter offset reducing the "flop" of the front wheel a bit, isn't it?
  • + 2
 @DrPete: shorter offset = more 'flop'
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: I thought it was the opposite... Maybe the Transition guys can chime in.
  • + 0
 @ThomDawson: I am thinking the opposite , the reduce offset helps reduce flop and allows the bike to climb better at slower speeds .
  • - 1
 @cheetamike: it doesn't
  • + 3
 @DrPete: they already confirmed in another thread that reduced offset = more wheel flop. Reduced offset = more trail = more wheel flop. But they stated this may not be a bad thing, hence their reasoning for doing it. I can only agree, it may not be bad but I personally don't see it as a good thing either. In the same thread I suggested the Sentinel would feel like a tank (through my past experience with a 64° 29er and short offset fork) and it would seem Mike agrees.
  • + 5
 @ThomDawson: I can confirm - it also depends on the frame design at sag - i.e what the rear axle path is and the reach, stack etc. I have much less flop with a reduced offset 29er fork. I just didn't feel the reach and cockpit was roomy enough and went back to 51mm. This new geo is both climbs and descends with more stability and traction.
  • + 1
 @nicolai12: it's quite well known bike geometry theory and fact that more trail leads to more pronounced wheel flop. I can't believe people are still getting this the wrong way around, Transition themselves have said the same thing and they never said otherwise!
The feeling of wheel flop may also be exaggerated by the weight on the front axle. This is something I haven't had chance to play with but I wonder if perhaps due to Transitions short chainstays and (therefore less weight on the front axle) that the wheel flop is less of an issue than I experienced on a bike with long chainstays and more weight on the front axle.
In any case the effect of increased trail on wheel flop will be less on the smaller wheeled and steeper bikes, the Sentinel will have the most wheel flop of the range.
  • + 1
 @eicca : "...stable bike that'll scale pretty much anything, especially if the trail isn't too twisty and turny." Recently climbed some pretty steep and rooty stuff on my swoop (in the 65° HA setting, model with vivid so zero climb switch) and I was pretty impressed. I confirm the "rock crawling monster feeling", it just takes some more watts but helped compared to lighter bikes.
  • + 3
 Guys, "wheel flop" is actually a technical term in bike geometry that is defined by a fairly simple formula, which depends solely on trail and head angle. Reduced fork offset increases trail and thus increases wheel flop by definition.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_and_motorcycle_geometry#Wheel_flop

@nicolai12 I agree that full suspension bike geometry is dynamic and the static numbers don't tell the whole story, but with 2 deg slacker head angles plus reduced fork offsets, I still think it's safe to say that these SBG bikes have more wheel flop even at sag.

Perhaps there are other factors that affect how much you can actually feel the increased wheel flop, though, similar to how seat tube angle and reach can affect how long the chainstays feel in some situations despite not actually changing the chainstay length.
  • + 0
 @dlxah: hallelujah
  • + 14
 LOL at the guys moaning about 32lbs as pictured. Isn't Enduro these days at least 30lbs. The sentinel build is high end indeed, but it's easy to drop a pound. Look at all the premium CARBON enduro bikes over 30lbs these days....
  • + 15
 If you have an enduro bike size large at sub-30lbs you're not including pedals and you have tires that will need replacing after the first turn.
  • + 0
 @nicolai12: cough cough... Keep hating on Trek, suckers!
  • + 0
 @mollow: Trek makes some decent stuff and the Slash is okay at best and alright if you factor in cost.

What's your experience on the 17' Trek Slash? How do you feel about the de-stroked FX2 shock, good idea? Oh, what about when the knock block chip which doesn't crack resulting in knock block components deforming leaving a creaky steering setup. It looks pretty, but that doesn't mean much when the drop-outs are 157mm and the rear triangle is out of whack from day 1 haha. The big question here is not about Treks layup abilities, it's why are manufacturers still struggling with the mathematics and vehicle dynamics?

Everyone has a new carbon frame and they think that just producing it is fine, the reality is no one is really thinking about the things the matter...well maybe a few. Transition slightly outside the crease, but it's just because they ride and they have good people at describing subjective things. I look forward to more sophisticated and improved dynamics from manufacturers...a few people are getting there.
  • + 0
 @nicolai12: I have the 2016 9.8 which is 650b. Weights in at 30 pounds with double ply tires and coil shock. I don't have the knockblock and no creaking issues either.
  • + 0
 @mollow: I have a 17 XL 29er with the same build and I'm above 32. Coil.
  • + 13
 This is the only 29in trailbike that i genuinely yearn for, more so than the spez and the trek.

one thing though, id love to see a re-review of the original sworks enduro 29. this transition is said to climb well but are the standards for good climbing getting lower? compared to new bikes the old enduro is short, steep and has a high bb, but i still in a heartbeat recommend it to all my friends looking for new 2nd hand bikes.
  • + 1
 Yeah, try a reduced offset fork and size up on the frame and you might have a real winner....hmmm
  • + 1
 I have a 2015 E29 (same geometry as the original I am pretty sure) - I'm also curious as to how they would compare these newer long-travel 29ers to the original E29. 67.5 HA vs. 64 HA is a big difference. My E29 already descends awesome so I can only imagine how the Sentinal would descend. Curious as to the climbing ability though. If anyone with direct experience could comment that would be great (anyone who has ridden both the original E29 and any of the newer sub 66 HA 29ers).
  • + 2
 @bull-dozer: I modified my 2017 slash and with I measured the HA to something near 64. Climbed and cornered incredible well and felt super stable. Given I was on a XL and needed to shorten the stem to kinda make the geo switch work (it was an experiment) it made the rear end feel 'long' but that is because I tried work work with what I had. These ride characteristics as stated by PB are on point....fyi my slash is similar to the enduro.
  • + 11
 Oh you guys and your opinions. A few things are for certain. It's got wheels on it. And it will go up and down mountains. And thanks for building it in aluminum. Plastic is the devil man.
  • + 12
 As usual props to transition for keeping the dream affordable
  • + 2
 sorry wrong reply
  • + 11
 Riding UP the breaking bumps on a long-travel 29er... New Whistler fad in 2018?
  • + 7
 Transition knows who they are better than most bike brands. People who buy Transition are looking for a bike to just have the MAXIMUM amount of fun on and it seems like they are keeping pace with the Sentinel. I would love a comparison between this and the new smuggler.
  • + 31
 What does that first sentence even mean?
  • + 13
 @Fluidworks: transition not trying to accommodate everyone i guess...
They know their niche/customers
  • + 3
 @Fluidworks: They build the bikes they want to build and are not trying to chase trends.
  • + 8
 @Fluidworks: It means that the Transition boys and girls ride their bikes everyday in a badass place, and know what makes them happy - and what should make other badass bike folks happy... vs. the douche bag company that lives in wisconsin, own and wear suits, and need to make everyone (including mostly other douche bags) happy.
  • + 28
 When I am riding I prefer moderate to small amounts of fun.
  • + 2
 I would have thought it is pretty obvious, Given Transitions history of making bikes a that they want, and not making bikes to fill an area of the market they are not into. No semi-fat offering for example. @Fluidworks:
  • + 7
 @EKrum: they build bikes to sell and earn a living, Transition is a business.
They market said bikes as "maximum fun" - very good marketing admittedly and their bikes are getting better and better, I really like the look of this. The whole "bikes for fun" thing always strikes me as such a basic marketing ploy and I'm always amazed how well it works with people. Riding/racing/jumping/dicking about on bikes is always fun, it doesn't matter what chainstay length the bike has!
  • - 2
 @GalenS: Buy a specialised then. A nice lawyer friendly dose of corporate fun.
  • + 2
 @GalenS: Exactly how I feel. If you were to set the bar at maximum fun every ride (and achieve it), maximum fun factor rides would therefore be meaningless. Ergo, moderate to small fun amount rides are best.
  • + 1
 @Fluidworks: Never question Bruce Dickinson
  • + 6
 I am a little bit confused about this bike. Is it an all arounder as the travel suggests or is it a mini DH bike as the head angle and the review suggests?

Because if it is an all arounder then the head angle seems to be too slack but if it is a mini DH bike then the rear travel seems to be not enough.

Personally I would have preferred it to be 160/160 because I also have a 160/140 bike and I always feel like something is missing (20mm of travel most probably Smile ).

Anyway I guess that the new Patrol may be a better for for me.
  • + 5
 That's isn't a problem with the Transition bikes, as all the reviews say they feel like they have way more travel than they do. Just got back from a weekend of riding park in the mountains on my Scout and I felt as confident on black tech trails as I do on a DH bike, despite it's XC-esque 125mm. Very balanced, very fun.
  • + 1
 It's an Enduro bike.
  • + 2
 @src248: I have read the same thing but just imagine how much better it would have been if it was 160/160!

It reminds me of smartphone batteries that become smaller and smaller but the excuse is that the battery management is better.

If this is true (both for the Sentinel & the smartphones) then I wouldn't want any compromise because it may ride like a 160 but when I jump or hit a drop hard most probably I will miss the extra 20mm. At least this is how I feel about my 160/140 current bike.
  • - 1
 @gpgalanis: if it was a 160/160 you would feel like it needs a 170/180mm fork. You can't compare a random german bike and a transition, they are not designed, thought and tested the same way
  • + 6
 It's nice when a review can dissuade me from a bike. I had a feeling this acre long wheelbase would be shit everywhere except for long sustained DH and that's what I'm getting from the review. My next longer travel bike will be a Canfield riot. Same travel and still playful and fun on regular trails.
  • + 20
 Forgot to say, thanks Mike for taking the time to switch out forks and directly compare offset.
  • + 2
 The direct comparisons to it's competitors was also helpfull. Great review on a bike that appears to be a great option for me! Thanks
  • + 2
 To be fair the whole point of this bike is long sustained DH.
  • + 5
 @grgsmith: That doesn't really match up with the travel. Despite geo trickery it still only has 140mm on the rear.
  • + 1
 That's my concern as well.
  • + 2
 @Fluidworks: how much travel does one truely need ??? When your not constantly hitting huge braking bumps and 40ft table tops and road gaps ??
  • + 6
 Agree. 160/140 will handle pretty much anything. @cheetamike:
  • + 1
 @cheetamike: yeah brake bumps are so rare eh! It's not like our dry af trails are full of it, is it?!
  • + 8
 @mikekazimer Please answer the only two questions that matter - Sentinel v Wreckoning. Which one? Why?
  • + 1
 + slash and enduro, but those are kinda covered in the article
  • - 1
 I wrecon the Evil is a better choice
  • + 0
 vs Santa Cruz Hightower LT.
  • + 5
 I would love to see a comparison between the Evil Wreckoning. I dont know why usually the tests only consider Specialized Enduro and Trek Slash when theres a interesting number of long travel 29ers.
  • + 3
 The Wreckoning is really good. I owned '15 '16 and '17 Patrols now I'm on a Wreckoning and couldn't be happier with it. I rode a '17 Enduro and wasn't super impressed. The Wreckoning is one of the best climbing bikes that I've ridden. When I first pedaled mine down the street after building it I couldn't believe how well it accelerated. In a blind test I probably would have said that it had 120mm travel and XC rims.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: nice to hear that. I have an Specialized Enduro and I´m sick of the problems with the rear shock, already change the CCDB for a DVO Topaz and didnt last 20 rides. For sure my next bike will be the Wreckoning
  • + 3
 While I think what Transition is doing is really cool, I'm not sure what type of trails a bike like this is made for. Maybe long dirt road climbs then long, tough, steep descents? Lift assist - I've got a DH rig for that. Trail/AM riding - seems like overkill.

140 out back on a 29er is good for an all-rounder. Pedals and descends well. But 160 up front with a 64 degree HTA ? Pretty heavy duty and seems would be overkill on anything but very rough descents. That reduced offset fork would need to have a pretty big impact to real this beast back in.

I was hoping this bike would be a good all-round, like most mid-long travel 29ers aim to be, but on paper looks like too much bike. I thought the Smuggler would get something like 130 out back and 150 up front with angles just a bit more conservative. That 130/150 split climbs and descends very well.


Sorry to generalize, but my impression is that many Pinkbikers are of the "I live for the DH" type. If so, why are you always looking for a bike to make that DH come to an end as quickly as possible? Maybe you'd want to savor the flavor?
  • + 6
 Transition's lineup reflects what works best in their locale. Burly climbs followed by even burlier descents. Their bikes are perfect for Upper left USA & BC trails.
  • - 1
 @cyclocrossmonkey:
Bellingham climbing is wimpy compared to sea to sky.
Very fun trails though.
  • + 1
 You've got the right of it. Long fire roads or purpose built climb trails, followed by steep and tough descents. I'm not sure of you're riding background but the geo and suspension aren't anything special in BC/Wash. I would go so far as to say that many people who buy this bike will up the front to 2.5 minions right off the bat.
  • - 3
 @cyclocrossmonkey: "upper left USA" come on, don't use "left" to describe a geographical zone, PNW is the term you're looking for
  • + 2
 Yeah, I do get the impression these guys design bikes what works well for them, in their terrain. Makes sense. I wasn't knocking the bike/Transition. Genuine question really.
  • + 0
 @zede: Left Coast=West Coast.....left used colloquially for "west" as in "left wing" vs "right wing" politics.
  • + 2
 @coachvernon: That's actually not true. Wikipedia made that stuff up. It's quite literally just that when one looks at a map, the West Coast is on the Left.
  • + 1
 @jflb: Maybe on the trails that you found...
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: ???....., you have never heard anyone casually say "left coast" referring to liberal coast so therefore that is an untruth? Wiki? Wiki made up the fake notion that someone may use left coast as a casual/colloquial tounge in cheek saying? I did not get that from wiki but from hearing people talk...lol.
  • + 2
 @coachvernon: That's an after thought, not what it was originally or even is commonly known as in the U.S. Whoever you're talking to may think that it's funny and it makes sense to them, but that's not actually what it means realistically.
  • - 3
 @pacificnorthwet:
Sure bud.
That's very bro of you to assume that I don't know your locals only trails but I do.
The climbs are easy.
  • + 6
 What I want to know is this 29er 4 or 5 seconds quicker than its 27.5 brother the patrol?
  • + 1
 Are long travel 29ers fasYES! but why, is the wheeYES! I don't think it caYES! Ride a good long travel 29er, or ride behind one ridden by a guy with skills comparable to yours. It will become rather obvious.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: 27.5's are sure holding Gwin back !
  • + 1
 @MX298: yeah and 29 wheels are holding Minnaar back, he's tall, he needs 30.5' !
  • + 2
 @MX298: considering the number of variables that go into the end result of Downhill race, the wheelsize argument effectively implies that DH racing is about throwing a two different wheels down a hill and measuring the time they get to the bottom, considering they take exactly same path and don't flip. I am more than certain that if YT made a revised 26" Tues, Gwin would still deliver same results. So what you should be looking at is whether Gwinny is faster on 27,5 than on 29. Also, the bigger the obstacles the less it matters on what wheelsize you are as suspension plays more important role. So another question arises whether Loic Bruni is faster on Öhlins than he was on RS. Would Loic be even faster if he had the same support that bikers get from Öhlins on moto GP. Another question: what is the relation between wheelsize and likelyhood of puncture. If you are not getting even more questions of that nature then your opinion is rather limited. I'm not tossing red herrings here. It's all real.

Now this summer I rode with my buddy, we are both on similar level. Him on 2014 E29 Comp, me on Antidote carbon jack. 160 travel with better suspension. I was staying on his tail for the most part. After we swapped bikes I just took off. Moral of the story: E29 suits me better. I'd love Antidote to make a long travel 29er
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns:
and given your love for the Antidote, that is quite a statement!!
  • + 3
 I'm on a 2017 Patrol and love it, no plans to switch the frame out for a few years but I might go for a new fork next spring. So fork offset may have to be considered. I know that the reduced offset is just one aspect of Transition's new geometry philosophy, but would a shorter offset on an oldschool Rolleyes 2017 Patrol (or any trail bike for that matter) be worth considering? Maybe a good comparison article for someone to write.
  • + 1
 I'm in the exact same spot. I am on an xl after riding a large for 6 months (which I'm willing to consider selling). I slammed my seat forward, got a 40mm stem, and I love it. However, I've wondered the same thing. Having a slightly shorter wheelbase from the reduced offset wouldn't hurt and if it gets a little too twitchy you can bring the fork up to 170 or put an angleset on it. You wouldn't have the same rear travel, but it would be a little like the new scout on steroids. Buuuuuutttttt.....you don't have the fox rear shock or the revised suspension.
  • + 1
 Yeah I'm kind of wishing I had got a Works +5mm reach adjust headset in my XL after all. Thought that the Patrol would feel too long at first (+35mm from my old Bronson) and take some adjusting but it felt natural right away and think I could go longer. Tried a 50mm stem instead of my usual 35mm but 35 just feels better to me especially in the slow tech terrain I ride a lot at home.

Works don't do anglesets in the right size and I've heard too many bad reviews of Cane Creek's to bother, but a 170mm fork would slacken it a bit, could even go for an external bottom cup too. Slightly higher BB wouldn't bother me.
  • + 5
 @mikekazimer doesn't the fox have 42mm offset and the rockshox 44mm?

www.transitionbikes.com/images/Sentinel_Geo.jpg
  • + 2
 If this bike had 450 cs in a medium I would be interested but the pole evolink and the geometron are looking a lot better than this with the new reduced offset forks fox and rs are planning. This is the only one shop available in the us though
  • + 2
 So the big complaint about 29er's was they were to slow cornering in the tight turns and front wheel slow and floppy through tight switch backs. To remedy this they put 51 offset forks on 29er's. Speed up the steering/make them more agile.
Now Transition is saying 46 offset is good and will make it conrner like it's on rails. Great but won't this make the 29er slower and floppier in the tight stuff again? I guess this is why they say in the article it will work fine with 51 offest as well. Keep the front more agile.
Too bad Transition always makes the heavier aluminum bikes first and waits a year or two to offer the carbon version. By that time I've move on to another lighter carbon bike available now. They should really offer the carbon and aluminum versions at the same time.
  • + 4
 looks like my perfect bike, just need to swap the guides for the new 4 pot XTs and i don't think anything else except saddle would need changing.
  • + 2
 So it sounds like old geo and more offset is obsolete. I should not buy a Hightower LT and I should definetly not buy a current fork with 51mm of offset.

Right?

Seems like a crappy time to buy a new bike right now. Everything is going to be longer, slacker and less offset next year. And it also seems like 27.5 is about to go the way of 26 now that they have this new offset standard. If DH bikes are 29, why should anything be 27.5.

Seems like I definetly should not drop money on an HD4 then right?
  • + 3
 Yeah exactly. The Hightower LT is simply a stop-gap bike, meant to fill the hole in the SC lineup and steal some market share from the Enduro, Slash, and even this bike, for instance. I'm positive SC will be coming out with a 140-155 mm travel 29er with proper geometry in the next 18 months. If they don't, they'll get left behind by everyone else at 65 degrees and slacker.
  • + 1
 My opinion on all this 'new' geo isn't gonna be popular but here goes anyway - if you know what you like and are comfortable with just buy and ride that. All the changes lately stemmed from making going faster easier, giving the rider more and more confidence but what started out great has got gone too far (why not just bolt a motor to it?) Everyone is trying to make bikes that will go the fastest with the least rider input. They will have the most impact for the least able riders. More experienced riders won't see much of a benefit, in fact a bike that is super planted, super stable is actually more difficult to handle for somebody who knows what they're doing. People are starting to look at the like of Santa Cruz and call them 'old fashioned' and theyre seen as behind the times by all these neo geo upstarts but I think what we'll see (if they stick to their guns) is that Santa Cruz become the bikes of choice for experienced riders looking for a more neutral handling bike that can do whatever the rider tells it to.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson:
Hahaha
Haha
wow thank god there's some really experienced guys like you out there to sift through it all for us.
  • + 0
 @jflb: that's just what I was expecting. Thanks for ripping off that band aid
  • + 4
 @ThomDawson: I have thought the same thing, kind of like what has happened with plus tires. Greatest thing ever for four weeks, now they are for people just starting and "real" bikers wouldn't be caught dead on them.

Stability at speed will give less skilled riders confidence and make them feel faster.

one of the biggest difference between the truly great riders and schlubs like me is cornering. Anyone can point it down hill and let go of the brakes. Skilled riders will be able to "turn" better letting them truly ride these bikes to their potential.

What's driving things now is after fighting every standard, everyone wants to be the first to jump on the bandwagon to show how smart they are. I think there are some real merits to the new geo but the people pushing it, especially in Europe and the Euro media are absolutely insufferable.
  • + 5
 @keillor: For me personally a seat tube angle, especially the real STA, is the biggest deal breaker, both with Slash and High Tower LT.
  • + 0
 @ThomDawson:
Have you ever thought of your own website?
  • + 3
 What a bike.

Aluminum - Check
Threaded BB - Check
BLACK Fork/Shock - Check

This beaty would not look half as good with this f*ugly Kashima colour.
  • + 1
 "Even though on paper the longer reach numbers may seem daunting (a size large will now be 475mm)"

Makes me chuckle when my Bird Aeris one45 in large has a reach of 506mm and Geometrons are even longer. The additional reach and corresponding growth in wheelbase makes the bike unbelievably stable on proper rough downhill trails and through corners as my weight is always between the wheels, and yet the steep seattube angle makes climbing a dream as the front end never feels light no matter how steep the trail is.
  • + 4
 There are certain bikes that you'll find if you go looking for long reach numbers - your Bird being one. Transition isn't one of them. For fans of their current geometry the reach does look 'daunting'.
  • + 1
 Hi Mike, hoping you see my comment.
Wondering since you've ridden both; thinking my next set of wheels will be a 29" for trail and enduro proposes. I'm leaning towards the Sentinel but am considering the Patrol and the Jeffsy 29 as well.
I'm 6' 200~ lbs and 32" inseam. Ride AZ babyheads mostly with an occasional CO or CA ride.
All my friends are riding endure and XC now (switching from DH) and riding alone isn't as fun. Lol
Fitness levels are pretty good and I still love to comb Hills and kick some pretty good jumps.
I'm bummed because demos are once a year here in Sedona. No telling who'll be there until week before.
Looking to buy this Oct.

Any info is appreciated. Thx
  • + 5
 She's a real beaut, Clark!
  • + 1
 OK Eddie.
  • + 1
 This bike looks fun af and I can't wait to ride one. My Lg alloy 2016 patrol 3 with dmr vaults weighs exactly 32lbs on our scientific bathroom scale. The nice thing is Mike tests these bikes on the exact same trails I ride and he hasn't let me astray yet. At this point if Transition and Mike tell me the bike climbs fine and descends like a beast I'm into it. Hard to believe they've made a bike that'll be more fun than my Patrol!
  • + 4
 On the specs it says the front derailleur is a Fox 36 ,I want oneSmile
  • + 3
 I'm sure it handles like a monster, but the graphics / color need some love.
  • + 3
 I for one am quite happy with the colors offered this year. I'm not a huge fan of the green and yellow day glows on bikes these days. More subdued paint will be in style much longer.
  • + 1
 I would have liked to have seen more comparisons to the Yeti 5.5... Same exact travel after all. Yes the front end stays planted on steep stuff better, but what about pedaling performance? Descending?
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer How did the offsets affect climbing? My experience is higher offsets are calmer climbing but less stable descending. And that a 2mm offset difference is quite noticeable let alone a 7mm difference.
  • + 2
 This might be a rowdy bike for rowdy trails but there was no mention of rowdyness
  • + 3
 How can a front wheel wash out with oversteer?
  • + 1
 @editor please edit --> "the increased offset felt more like what I'm used to, and the bike felt livelier, but it was also easier to OVERSTEER and wash out the front wheel – the feeling of unlimited front wheel traction that the 44mm offset fork delivered wasn't there anymore"

Should be "understeer" if the front wheel is washing out.
  • + 0
 @sutter2k: No, it is correct.

Oversteer is too much steering input. When you do this, one of two things will happen:
You turn tighter than you intended, causing you to have to correct. This is a manageable and desirable scenario as the driver can control the direction of the bike (or whatever) with subtle steering corrections.
OR
You input too much steering to the front, overcoming the traction. This is a washout on a two wheeled vehicle, usually resulting in a low side crash. In a car, it would be overshooting a corner.
  • + 3
 Pinkbike poll: Patrol, Scout, or Sentinal and why. Ready set go:
  • + 2
 I need to demo them all, because they all seem awesome.
  • + 2
 all of them if/when my wallet allows it
  • + 2
 Scout because
  • + 1
 I've already got a Scout and it's pretty much perfect for me but I'd love to try the Sentinel. Bigger wheels might work better for my height and the extra travel would let me hit drops I'm afraid of on my Scout
  • + 2
 Smuggler
  • + 2
 Scout - fun lines > fast lines
  • + 1
 So does it lean like a motorbike with that fork offset/Ht angle ?

I mean can you lean inside the corner instead of the opposite ?
  • + 3
 Crazy that 32 lbs., is now considered "a tank of a bike."
  • + 2
 Why is it that Transition choose to spec their bikes with less travel in the rear than in the front?
  • + 10
 If you've ridden any of the giddy up bikes you'd know that even the scout and smuggler with their relatively short travel can keep up with bikes waaay above them in travel. Whatever the guys did over at transition its fucking magical
  • + 2
 @nfontanella: 150mm Lyrik on my Smuggler feels amazing. I think a ton of people have been "up-forking" their bike so they just rolled with it.
  • + 6
 @briceps: Yup! Started back in the day with Totems (180mm) on Bottlerockets (140mm)
  • + 3
 Better pedaling without sacrificing the front end travel you need to ride aggressively
  • - 1
 @Odinson - my best guess is that they made a prototype, rode with a few different forks on different settings and decided that they like it with 150 fork best.
  • + 5
 @nfontanella: love that reply, my smuggler frame (non-sbg) is still in the box, but will be built up soon. very much looking forward to it. i've been riding honzos since 2014 with 120 and 130 forks, i'm really curious how the smuggler will fare. that being said, as a hardtail rider the concept of up-forking does not seem THAT unconventional Smile
  • + 1
 I have banshee spitfire with 140/160 set up and have built up scout for the misses with 125/140. What you end up getting is a bike that can pedal very well but take harder hits than something with same travel all round
  • + 1
 @briceps: in the early years of full suspension , a lot of us ran the reverse . My bike was 4" up front and 5 1/2" in the rear , triple clamps where still few and far between , same with long travel single crown,s . For a while the RST Mozo 4.5" was the most travel single crown one could get .
  • + 2
 @mattvanders: 160F/140R Spitfire here too. If anything I'd say the fork used to get out of shape before the back end does - though it's now running a -2 deg Works headset for a 63.7 or 64.2 deg head angle (depending on dropout position), which allows it to take on the gnar almost like a DH bike.

I did recently realise that the actual vertical travel on a 160mm fork is about 145mm (fork travel x sine head angle) so maybe everything should have a longer fork?
  • + 2
 @threehats - it's a bit more complicated with your last paragraph. It's a lot about geometry changes and that depends on stuff like SAG, compression. Then it has to do with "Actual Reach/Stack" that is distance from grips to the BB. There will be some sweet spot for your body and range of movement. Forking up naturally changes position of grips in relation to BB, which can be adjusted with bars/stem/spacers. Then fork travel is not only about eating bumps and G-outs, you want to adjust compression maybe even SAG depending on terrain you ride, average speeds, how grippy is the surface. Even freaking tyre choice can affect some of those settings. More grip - the faster you can ride, but maybe you are into less rolling resistance. So, you ditch Minions for Agressors, so your grip goes down, maybe then you reduce Sag by a few %, 2 klicks of LSC less, one click of HSC up. There's plenty of variables in the basket. One may like to think that manufacturers, especially ones like Transition (which a re a smaller company) take all that into consideration when designing a bike, but quite frankly if they are not making a bike that they themselves like to ride, that they believe is the best comprpomise, then hello, make bikes sellable to Wallmart instead.

Also some people, get nuts, like I did 3 years ago. Sell 160 bike, buy 120 trail bike, then toss 160 fork and Minions on it. Fkng ridiculous. Oh yea it descends faster than 120 bike with 120-140 fork, just not as fast as 140 bike with 140-160 fork. Given you use same tyres, as you would on bigger bike, your "pedalling advantage" goes out of the window.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm guilty of doing that. I blame the Evil Following for looking so damn good.
  • + 2
 @briceps: I would love a Following, make no mistake about it. But as a third bike. After long travel bike and 26"HT. And I'd build it up as a beefy XC bike. 120 Pike, Minion SS up front, Ikon in the rear. Procore or Dean easy inside. But I have a first world problem: I'm too poor to have two carbon bikes...
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: any idea of the weight? I keep reading "it's not light", but somehow it's the best kept secret of the year it seems. And that makes it scary! Is it really so heavy? Did you weigh yours? What was the size?
  • + 7
 It's in the details section - 32 pounds for a size large without pedals.
  • + 2
 Transition frame aren't that heavy actually. Kind of inline with the evil wreckoning weight wise.
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: thanks Mike. Probably what happens when you look too much for something. Or when you wanna get to the conclusion too fast.
Aouch that's quite heavy. Targeting an XL that will bring it largely over 15kg with pedals.
Worst is to think they'll probably bring in a carbon version next year Frown speculation...
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Mike have you guys thought about doing a short video review with a walk around and some short up and down clips? The compression vids are great tho
  • + 4
 @LuvAZ, we did a video first look for this bike: m.youtube.com/watch?v=4RlM556rgmE, and we're planning to keep increasing the video output.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Oh good stuff didn't know you were doing those! Maybe put a link in the article for people?
  • - 1
 @mikekazimer: thanks for the review!

A bit intimidated by the weight. One question: we're the tires on the test bike tubeless or did it have tubes?
  • + 4
 @aisaloma: this is 2017 bro
  • + 1
 @bikingbayarea: yet bikes are more often shipped with tubes than tubeless.
  • + 1
 @aisaloma: 32 pounds with tubes would be nice...
  • + 1
 @bikingbayarea: looking carefully I can see e13 tubeless valves on the rims... crap. There goes that weight saving possibility.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: meh. It is easy enough to shed some pounds. Swap out the bars for carbon, Ti seat rails, etc. It won't be huge, but you can bring it down a bit.
That being said, I've been riding on a 32lb Kona for years. You just get stronger. Smile
  • + 3
 I think I made a mistake ordering a Hightower LT now..
  • - 1
 No you didn't Wink
  • + 2
 Totally agree that 51mm offset leads to understeer, rockshox need to get the lyrik 29er in 44mm offset sorted pronto!!
  • + 2
 Really? Never had a sniff of "understeer" on my hightower. I've never had a more neutral handling bike.
  • + 2
 @mikeep: The benefits of shorter fork offset are really only experienced with the other geo changes along with these bikes. You haven't felt understeer on the hightower, mostly because that has been the norm for so long, it's a sensation that is very obvious when you have spent a day or two on an SBG bike. Definitely try to take one for a lap when they become available!
  • - 1
 Is anyone else a little disappointed? After all the hype this summer, I was hoping for a perfect all rounder... Like a souped up version of last years bike of the year. Instead, Transition redesigns the Patrol to have more travel and line up with the big enduro bikes, and the Sentinel turns out to be a DH sled as well. I guess I'll just have to buy a Yeti SB5.5.
  • + 1
 Check out the Scout. It is plenty capable. I own a Scout and Patrol and would recommend the Scout for most people unless they were doing EWS rounds.
  • + 1
 I'll sell my Hightower in a heartbeat if they make a Smuggler Carbon this year... This is just too much bike for me! Looks rad though.
  • - 1
 I need a clicker on my fork crown so I can adjust offset by 0.5 degrees, and maybe a remote lever on the bar so it can be adjustable on the fly. I will pay up to $1000 for this upgrade, but not a penny more, or else I'm just going to buy a whole new bike.
  • + 1
 Very bold geo for a 29er with 140mm of rear travel. I can imagine a few others will be following suit when the 2019 models come out next year.
  • + 1
 Next year the overlapping weld will be gone and we manage to cut down 5% of the weight. Then carbon comes in the latter.
  • + 2
 64 degree head angle, wow, that seems totally extreme on a trail bike.
  • + 2
 i dig it, whens the carbon version coming.
  • + 3
 This bike is T.I.T.S.
  • + 0
 How much does the Sentinel frame weigh with the DPX2 on it?

How does this compare to others in its class? (Enduro, Slash, 5.5, Wreckoning, etc)
  • + 0
 Thanks for the write up, though I wouldn't call it a review - more like an initial impression. I did however like your thoughts when it came to the fork swap out.
  • + 2
 What is the correct lenght of the rear shock?
  • + 1
 Just noticed and got very excited.... the shock mount on the downtube will actually drain water.
  • + 2
 We know what stroke does the cushion have?
  • + 2
 Are these bikes huck to flat approved?
  • + 1
 most definitely!
  • + 1
 PS, thanks for your reviews! Really enjoy reading them all.
  • + 0
 Mike,
How does the Sentinel compare to the Rallon? Similar geo but Rallon seems like better all rounder.
  • + 1
 That seatstay bridge gets so close to the seattube!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer what the shock size?
  • + 1
 What are the ETT measurements?
  • + 1
 Love those suspension clips
  • - 3
 Seeing a modern Transition frame almost makes me feel Sentinel-tal about the Old Peston FR, Dirtbag and Bottle rocket. Good on them for evolving the geometry game. All for the shorter offset, at least 46mm which is a standard.
  • + 2
 Nice Truax....
  • - 3
 Always skeptical of bike reviews these days with the amount of wanna bes and guys who can't really ride giving pretend informed opinions. Pinkbike however I always give a chance even though I read with a skeptical eye. I always look to see who the author is. I recognized Mikes name but couldnt remember if he was trustworthy or not (lol) but I vaguely remember him being legit.

His review is awesome and what in a perfect world would be the bare miminum requirement for a non shill/frill review. Very fair and honest and obviously some homework was done beforehand. The explanation of the difference in feel was excellent and also the fair explanation of its pedaling, weight and climbing characteristics. Also the fair comparison between the other bikes.

Now n days if you look carefully and read between the lines you can see that the reason most reviews are full of fluff is because the person riding them doesn't really know how to truly really ride right and therefore don't really have subjective opinions and its typiccally just fluff and shills.
  • + 66
 So you are a review reviewer.

I'm always skeptical these days of the bike review reviewers because of the amount of "wanna bes" and guys who can't really read amd give pretend informed opinions.



Now n days if you look carefully and read between the lines you can see that the reason most review reviewers are full of fluff is because the person reading them doesn't really know how to truly really read right.
  • + 11
 @dwmetalfab: Now that's a pretty good review of a review reviewer.
  • + 7
 @expatrider: Your review reviewer reviewer review was soo fake. Didn't even reference the review or offer any critique. I doubt you even read that review before pocketing the cash. Shill.
  • + 5
 @L0rdTom: your review reviewer rewevierewirrvewwre aw forget it I'm going for a ride!
  • + 6
 It's not that the reviewers can't ride (though I'm sure some are marginal). "Reviews" have evolved to be a vehicle for press releases. This happens in many industries. Reviewers are invited to an awesome weekend with decked out bikes, guided on great trails, what do you think they are going to say "this bike is too slack, heavy, and doesn't ride as well as an Enduro or Nomad"? Of course not, you are essentially uninviting yourself from these future events. Pinkbike reviews seem to be the most honest to me (mostly because of how critical the comments section is), but there's still plenty of dubious reviews on the site. I'm not saying this is one of those reviews, just talking generally. I already know on every review of a 160mm + trail bike it's "climbs better than the geo would suggest, can handle any descent." On any 150mm or less trail bike it's "climbs great, punches well above it's weight on descents." It's just not realistic that every reviewer likes every bike they ride, there's a lot of personal preference, if a reviewer never has a negative experience on a bike or isn't able to say "well it's pretty good, but [x competitor in it's segment] is a bit better" I can't take them seriously.
  • + 1
 @dwmetalfab: Thanks for that. One of the first times I've genuinely burst out laughing at the PB comments.
  • + 1
 Oh look it's my next bike!
  • + 0
 Isn't this pretty much the same geometry as that Pole bike that was reviewed a month ago?
  • + 3
 Nope, Shorter chainstays and reach are the main differences.
  • + 3
 The Pole is longer with longer chain stays. The size S has 450 mm reach.
  • + 1
 Why have 29er if it's not going to climb as well as it descends.
  • - 5
flag the-lorax Plus (Sep 4, 2017 at 20:02) (Below Threshold)
 That's what I've been asking and I just get downvoted...
  • - 7
flag the-lorax Plus (Sep 4, 2017 at 21:34) (Below Threshold)
 ^Case in point
  • + 6
 Because such a bike doesn't really exist, and everything is a compromise. 100% of the bikes being raced on the EWS descend better than they climb while 100% of the bikes being raced in the UCI XCO World Championships this week climb better than they descend. Wheel size is irrelevant.
  • + 1
 @Chadimac22: Then what happened to all the reviews on pinkbike that were quoted as saying "climbs like a xc bike and descends like a dh bike?" lol
  • + 1
 Didn't yt have a reduced offset fork as well on the
29er jeffsy?
  • + 0
 I thought they run a 46mm and guys where going to the 51mm offset . Matt Slaven has been running a Devinci Django 29er with a reduced offset since last summer . He runs a 36 up front with the 27.5 lowers .
  • - 1
 This 29er article just makes me want an Evil Wreckoning even more Big Grin @theminsta @turco999 @BakerDusty
  • - 1
 Can we get a 47.5 offset fork now let's get this market going lots of $$$$ out there waiting to be spent
  • + 0
 mmmmmonster killl
  • - 1
 This bike had me moist.
  • - 2
 That Reach and Wheelbase of the XL is just sooo long.
  • + 4
 Agreed. This was on my list for next bike, but that's just too long for woods riding here in TN. If I still lived on the west coast it'd be great.
  • + 3
 @Fluidworks: just go down a size.
  • + 0
 Go buy ur shit santa cruz bro
  • + 1
 Maybe if your name is Webster; buy not if you're 6'4".
  • + 1
 @Fluidworks: I disagree - My Bird Aeris one45 is longer (reach 506mm) and lower (seattube 470mm) and yet is faster on every single trail I've ridden. And that includes very tight UK riding and steep, technical, flat out Alps tracks.
  • - 3
 I am 6'5" btw, and yes, I would indeed go down a size. But I just wonder for who was the XL designed?
  • + 2
 Longer reach but shorter stem, works out to the same as the previous versions
  • + 2
 @MTB-Colada:
No bud.
  • - 2
 what was the weight of the bike?
  • + 2
 14.5kg Tamanho L sem pedais. 32pounds
  • - 2
 @nunonobrega: esta de topo certo?
vais mandar vir uma?
  • - 2
 @tiagomano: Ainda não sei mas queria mudar para experimentar.
Tenho é de a meter leve. Sub 14kg era perfeita.
Agora a cena do offset é que me esta a dar cabo da cabeça
  • - 2
 @nunonobrega: eu também estou a pensar trocar de bike e tenho que exprimentar pois não sei se 27 ou 29, exprimentei um hightower e gostei(não era a lt sequer) mas foi pouco
isso sim, se te disser o peso com que a minha está até te assustas
de se é algo bom ou mau?
  • - 2
 @tiagomano: Qual é o peso?
  • - 2
 @nunonobrega: 15,650

nesta sentinel esses 14,5 pelo menos para mim ia aumentar, que não consigo andar com os pneus exo
  • - 1
 Said no one ever.
  • - 3
 Pity the X01 version actually features a GX cassette... Looks very much like my next bike though!
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