This is a “First Looks” article. Its intent is to give the reader an overview of Transition’s Bandit 29er; a 130mm rear travel dual suspension mountainbike. An in-depth review canvassing, (among other things) the bike’s uphill, downhill performance and nit-picking its abilities in excruciating details will follow —- I promise!
The reason for such long-winded explicit babbling is that casual readers flipping through quickly will lambast “First Looks” articles for not having enough detail. Please be advised that the Bandit 29er is a new bike from Transition for 2012. I have had the bike for a grand total of 12 rides! While I realized that many other websites and magazine article writers will call it a day and proceed to write a definitive pronouncement with just a few rides that is NOT the way I do things and I accordingly refuse to crystallized definitive opinions about the Bandit 29er till I (and my guest author Kevin Bazar of Tahoe area fame) have given the Bandit 29er a thorough beating.
So, be patient. Take this for what it is; an overview of the frame and its components. Also some superficial first impressions about the Bandit 29er from someone who’s had experience with a few 29ers and many many mountain bikes but who doesn’t own the Bandit29er and who accordingly, is unbiased by not having invested money in it.
Transition Bikes is almost 10 years old. It was started by Kyle Young and Kevin Menard because of their passion for mountain biking and as a means of escaping their previous career paths at big bureaucratic telcos. Both the owners shared the same ethic of wanting to start a completely transparent customer-centric company where “the customers knew exactly who was running the company and why“. Their bikes started as downhill-focused reflecting Kyle and Kevin’s aggressive riding styles.
Increasingly Transition has branched out into bikes that are also climbing friendly. This is perhaps unsurprising given that the company and its customer base has grown. Despite this growth (in both sheer numbers of bikes produced and product line), Transition’s bikes have managed to preserve their reputation as solid, uncomplicated, businesslike bikes optimized for technical trails. The Bandit was Transition’s first foray into the “trail” category; balancing uphill versus downhill performance while maintaining Transition’s bikes personality of minimal downhilling compromise. The Bandit 29er capitalizes on Transition’s experience in pedally bikes and is the companies first foray into the 29″ wheel category.
Lee Lau’s biases
I am 160 lbs and 5’11″ and have had over 15 years experience riding bikes in North Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, the Chilcotins and many other areas in B.C. and Alberta. I’ve also made many bike trips to Switzerland, Utah, Washington, Oregon, California and the Yukon (for example) so I’ve had some experience biking in a variety of terrain. My bias is towards pedalling up and unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, I actually enjoy riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.
My personal bikes are a Santa Cruz Tallboy, Pivot Mach 5, and a Specialized Demo 7. In the 29er category I’ve tested/reviewed the Rocky Mountain Altitude, Norco Shinobi, and (informally) a Lenz Lunchbox
This is a test bike that will be given back to Transition at the end of the test period. I am not sponsored by Transition and have no commercial association with Transition.