Here’s where I took it…
Redhill Bike Park, GloucesterDate: 2nd October 2011 Riding conditions: Dry, dusty, fast and hardpack Course type: National 4X race track
The Bank was in heaven. So was I. The Transition made me (and everyone else who rode it) feel like a hero. The pump you can generate off the transition (no pun intended) of jumps is ‘se fantistico’ on this bike. It rails around corners, manuals like a BMX race cruiser and floats through the air with ease. I’d go as far to say that the Bank is the only 26” mountain bike that would actually work and work well (similar to a 20” or a cruiser) down the BMX track.
Ribersford Woods, BewdleyDate: 5th October 2011 Riding conditions: Medium ground, rooty with braking bumps Course type: Manmade singletrack with wall to wall jumps and off–camber root sections (how a 4X track should be?)
Considering the stiff aluminium construction of the Bank the ride was not as bad as we expected. In the hands of a World Cup 4X racer the Transition would excel as those boys (and girls) have the skills to get the most out of a bike such as this one. We aren’t all World Cup racers though, but most who rode it did like the bike and were surprised at how well it handled in the rough stuff. Braking bumps and rough root sections were sometimes a chore, but the beating we got was not as bad as what we thought it would be. The bike rips through turns and jumping the thing is effortless. This (jumping and pumping) is really where the Bank excels. I even went through the painstaking and sometimes scary process (to prove a point on how well the Bank pumps the ground) of seeing how close I could start my roll–in, out of a flat right hand turn, approaching a twenty five foot, wall–to–wall double. On any other bike I’ve ridden you have to pedal to clear it. I got dangerously close to casing, but thankfully the ‘Tranny’ cleared it, every time.
So people, what else is there to talk about? The overall frame finish is A1. Class. There are two sizes to choose from, so whether you’re a midget or a giant there is a Bank available that’s suitable. It has a tapered headtube for stiffness while coming out of the gate and carving through turns, banked or otherwise. It sprints from a standing start quicker than Usain Bolt, and probably manuals better than any other mountain bike I’ve ever ridden (including the Yeti DJ even when set on its shortest chain stay length). The eccentric rear dropouts are like a work of art and work a treat if you ever fancy running it as a singlespeed (which I actually did and loved). It builds up into a respectable overall bike weight, without breaking the bank. There’s no real need to build it up with carbon this and carbon that (you know what I mean). Oh, and it looks pimp.
What do I really think? Let’s put it this way, every time I went to a 4X race track with the Bank the racers there lined up to have a blast, and when the UK 4X National Champ borrowed it the bike was gone for such a long period of time that I thought I’d loaned it by mistake to either Bonnie or Clyde. Cara ‘the minta’ Murray (women’s elite class 4X racer) was so sold on the frame and how it rode that she’s since emptied her bank and bought one.
If you are after a well made aluminium hardtail for 4X racing, messing about on down the BMX track, murdering your mates on pump tracks (the Transition pumps unbelievably well for a bike with 26’s), or doing the occasional dirt jump/park/bank session then the Transition is as good, if not better, than most other aluminium hardtails. What’s that you say? You think there are better frames out there? Don’t bank on it.Price: Frame £545.00, Complete £2350.00 Surf Sales 01303 850 553