The new wave of shorter travel yet hard hitting 29” wheel trail bikes are a hit with us here at Dirt and we’ve found a real love for the Smuggler from Transition. Read on and we’ll fill you in.
Words: Sean White Photos: Callum Philpott
The 2016 Dirt 100 is chock full of long travel 27.5” wheeled bikes, but you’ll notice that there are also a good number of well dialled 29ers that hold a place in those pages. For good reason too, as for many of us here, we more often than not will be rolling a bigger wheeled bike out onto the dirt when trail riding. We’ve found that the 29 inch wheel with up to date geometry and sizes and equipped with the right bar and stem set up really is the best tool for the job. There are plenty of sceptics out there, many of whom may not have spent enough time on the right bike to realise the potential benefits they can bring. The days of saying 29ers don’t rail corners are over. Right now, bikes like the Transition Smuggler, YT Jeffsy , Canyon Spectral, Orange Segment and Norco Optic are setting a new standard for trail bikes. Fast, agile and very capable.
With 115mm of travel out back, you’d be right in thinking this Smuggler has its roots in cross country rather than hard hitting trail riding. Paired up with progressive geometry, good sizing and a 130mm travel RockShox Pike up front, this blend has won us over before with bikes such as the Kona Process 111.