Outerbike Test Sessions: Transition Patrol Carbon

155mm of rear travel with plush ride, long front center, slack head angle

27.5 All Mountain Trail Outerbike Test Sessions

Interbike Mtbr

The carbon frame was fairly light and laterally stiff, and there was little noise or commotion while plowing over rocks and chop.

The carbon frame was fairly light and laterally stiff, and there was little noise or commotion while plowing over rocks and chop.

Editor’s Note: Once again, Mtbr welcomes longtime forum member Kent Robertson to the front page. Kent — or KRob — has been riding and evaluating bikes for two decades. This year, he and testing partner Ben Slabaugh headed to Moab, Utah, for the annual Outerbike consumer demo event where they rode as many bikes as possible. These posts are first ride impressions only — not full reviews. However, they stand by their opinions, and feel like they are good at feeling out the true identity, strengths, weaknesses, and soul of any given bike. For each session, they attempted to get set-up and suspension as dialed as possible. Test rides usually last 30-60 minutes. All bikes are then rated on a scale of 1-5 for visual impression/looks, climbing ability, descending, cornering, general agility, fit, and an intangible factor. Lowest possible score is 7. Highest is 35.

Check out the entire Outerbike Test Sessions archive and see all of Kent’s First Ride Reviews.

I’ve been wanting to ride the Transition Patrol since it came out in aluminum two or three years ago. They didn’t have the carbon Scout at the Transition booth when I stopped by so I took this opportunity to swing a leg over its big brother.

The Pike and Fox 36 forks felt relatively equivalent this year. Both very good. I could easily live with either.

The Pike and Fox 36 forks felt relatively equivalent this year. Both very good. I could easily live with either.

The Patrol was like the Rocky Mountain Slayer’s Canadian twin. They both felt very similar and rode quite a bit alike, so I’ll focus on their differences. The Patrol sits squarely in the big bike category despite just 155mm of travel due to its plush ride, long front center, and slack head angle. It did feel a little sluggish on more XC trails (like all the bigger all mountain bikes we rode), but we felt it climbed and pedaled a bit more briskly than the Rocky Mountain Slayer.

Never been to Outerbike? Find out what this consumer demo event is all about.

The carbon frame was fairly light and laterally stiff, and there was little noise or commotion while plowing over rocks and chop. The size large frame fit me very well at just under 6-feet tall and it did not complain at the more pedaly ride I took it on. In fact, the seated pedaling position felt pretty upright and comfortable, though not quite as centered as the Slayer.

SRAM Guide brakes are an acquired taste… and after riding nothing but Shimano XT on my personal bikes it takes awhile to get used to the more gradual engagement of the Guides.

SRAM Guide brakes are an acquired taste… and after riding nothing but Shimano XT on my personal bikes it takes awhile to get used to the more gradual engagement of the Guides.

Overall, I liked this bike quite a bit, though it didn’t do anything outstanding to really set it apart from the crowd. I could certainly live very happily with the Patrol as a bigger, do-all enduro crushing steed, but would I spend my hard earned money on it? That’s the question we all have to answer. Go ride it if you have a chance. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Outerbike Test Session Score: 30 out of 35

For more information visit www.transitionbikes.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Kent Robertson

Kent Robertson (better known to Mtbr forum users as KRob) is just a guy who likes to ride. A lot. Kent’s 52 and has been riding mountain bikes for almost two decades, though he says his love of two-wheeled conveyances began when he was 5. His favorite trail type is any, be it fast and flowy, steep and chunky, or jumpy and droppy. Even a mellow bike path cruise with his wife makes him happy. “If I’m on two wheels it’s a good day.” Kent calls Ely, Nevada, home, but he’s ridden all over the western U.S. from Moab and Fruita, to Tahoe and Oregon, to a bunch of places in between. And while Kent focuses on the ride more than the bike, he’s ridden and tested a ton of bikes and knows what makes for a good ride — and a good bike. You can read more from Kent on his personal website, www.stuckinthespokes.com


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