transition smuggler – the review
We’ve seen plenty of changes in the mountain bike world over the last few years, with wheelsize options, improved geometry and better sizing leading to some open-minded and progressive design. Plenty of riders however, are following fashion and are often not choosing the best bike for their terrain, settling on a well-dialled 150/160mm travel machine with 27.5” wheels with the Transition Patrol being a good example.
Why the hell would we want to ride a shorter travel bike? The Smuggler is Transition’s answer to this, and is the bike you need if fast technical singletrack is at the top of your list.
“a stiff frame with up to date geometry and a well-dialled ‘four-bar’ suspension system adds up to a bike with a very different attitude”
With 29” wheels and only 115mm of rear travel you would think this bike would be very much aimed at the XC rider, but not so with the Transition Smuggler. A 130mm RockShox Pike up front, a stiff frame with up to date geometry and a well-dialled ‘four-bar’ suspension system adds up to a bike with a very different attitude.
The aluminium frame is very stiff and with a long wheelbase, short chainstays and low bottom bracket ticks all the boxes for modern day trail bike geometry. The standover height is exceptionally low (allowing you to size up if necessary) and it is reassuring to see the reach is based around a standard spec RaceFace 50mm stem. The Transition Smuggler takes the benefits of the larger 29” wheels (increased grip, traction and rollover) and adds nimble and agile handling along with an urgency not often felt on longer travel bikes.