Eurobike 2017: Transition Unveils 2018 Range

by Wil Barrett 3

For the 2018 model year, Transition is unveiling an all-new lineup of full suspension bikes, including brand new versions of the Patrol, Smuggler and Scout, and two new models: the TR11 downhill bike, and the Sentinel long travel 29er. The frames are all-new with updated suspension kinematics centred around metric rear shock sizes, increased travel, upgraded linkages with higher quality sealed bearings, and a all new geometry.

After first spotting Transition’s new long travel 29er back in June, the Washington-based mountain bike company spilled the beans several days later when it officially announced the bike as the new Sentinel. Equipped with 140mm of rear travel, 160mm fork travel and chunky 29in tyres, the Sentinel was brought along to the Eurobike show along with the other new full suspension models, plus a rather novel display designed to help explain the brand’s first three letter acronym; SBG.

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Transition has unveiled its 2018 range at Eurobike.

Standing for ‘Speed Balanced Geometry’, the SBG concept is the reason behind the all-new full suspension line. The concept consists of five elements; a steeper seat tube angle, a longer reach measurement, a shorter stem length, slacker head tube angle, and a reduced fork offset. That last one is particularly important, as it essentially means custom fork uppers from Fox and RockShox, designed just for Transition. In the case of the 29in models, that means an offset of 42mm (compared to the more standard offset of 51mm), and for the 27.5in models, it’s 37mm (compared to the usual 42/44mm offset).

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SBG (Speed Balanced Geometry) is the first TLA (Three Letter Acronym) from Transition Bikes.

Transition is pretty excited by the new geometry concept, which it believes has created the best riding mountain bikes it’s ever produced. For the time being, the new SBG lineup will only consist of alloy models, though Transition informed us that carbon models will be coming in the future.

To help run us through the 2018 full suspension lineup and the new SBG geometry ethos, we caught up with Kevin from Transition Bikes at the Eurobike show, who despite being jetlagged as hell, kindly did a stellar job of explaining what it’s all about.

transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
The new Sentinel 29er features 140mm of rear wheel travel and a four-bar suspension design dubbed the ‘Giddy Up Link’.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
All the new frames update to Boost 148x12mm spacing, with a Syntace X12 thru-axle locking down the dropouts.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
Transition’s Giddy Up link. Definitely not a horst link.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
You’ll find threaded bottom bracket shells and ISCG05 chainguide tabs on all the new full suspension trail bikes. Cabling is mostly external (boom!), except for a short run for the rear mech inside the chainstay, and the stealth dropper post line.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
Metric rear shocks have been implemented, with a Fox Float DPX2 shock watching over the Sentinel’s back end.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
For the bikes without RockShox shocks, the sag range is conveniently printed on the inside of the rocker linkage.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
The Sentinel is only available in an alloy frame. For now…
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
Nice tapered head tube and an internal cable port for the stealth dropper post.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
A complete Sentinel decked out with E*13 wheels and a SRAM 1×12 drivetrain.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
All pivots are rolling on higher quality bearings, after Transition experienced issues with previous models.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
The Float DPX2 rear shock combines the ease of adjustment of the Float DPS shock, with the control of the bigger X2 shock.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
The new Smuggler also uses 29in wheels, but shrinks travel down to 120mm on the back, and 140mm on the front.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
Whilst not strictly brand new, this was the first time we’ve gotten a look at the new carbon trail hardtails from Transition.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
The Vanquish is a 29in hardtail with a 120mm travel fork, while the Throttle is a 27.5in hardtail built with a 140mm travel fork. Both frames are built with a full carbon frame.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
Look at the clearance on the rear tyre! That’s how you get a 420mm chainstay length while providing clearance for up to 2.4in tyres.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
Not a whole load of mud clearance…
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
As you’d expect, the Vanquish and Throttle frames are 1x only. Rear hub spacing is 148x12mm, and the bottom bracket is a 73mm threaded number.
transition sentinel smuggler scout patrol eurobike
They may be made of carbon fibre, but the Throttle and Vanquish are burly trail bikes at heart.

Comments (3)

  1. Does the Vanquish need the reduced offset/semi-custom fork?

  2. Arent these reduced ofset forks not the same ones as Whyte are using on the S150?

  3. @chrismac – correct. For the Sentinel 29er, Transition is using a 42mm fork offset, which is the same as what Whyte is using on the 29er S150.

    What’s interesting is that the trend for shorter fork offsets doesn’t appear to be restricted to long travel stuff. Specialized has implemented a 42mm fork offset for the new Epic full suspension race bike, which according to Specialized, is all about adding stability for more technical XC race courses;

    http://singletrackworld.com/2017/07/specialized-epic-2018-farewell-fsr-hello-single-pivot-carbon-brain/

    Likewise, Canyon decided (for the same reasons) to stick with a 46mm fork offset for the Exceed hardtail (instead of the more typical 51mm offset used on most other 29ers).

    http://singletrackworld.com/reviews/review-canyon-exceed-cf-slx-9-9/

    At the moment, both Fox and RockShox are making the shorter crown offsets available to other brands, so it’ll be interesting to see if others follow in the future.

    ST Wil.

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