Transition Bandit 29er First Looks

29er Pro Reviews Video

The Bike


There is only one build kit offered for the Bandit29. The size Medium (18) tested weighs in at 30.5 lbs but with changes I made, the test bike actually weighs 31.5 lbs . Stock components are workmanlike as befits the Bandit’s reasonable price (US$3,549 / CAD$3,599).

Fox 34 Talas140mm forks are available as an option for an additional $100 USD. Both the stock Float 32 140 RLC and the optional Talas forks are black and tapered with Kashima coating.

Frame weight is 6.9 lbs / 3.1 kg (Medium Frame With Rear Shock). The complete weight of the Bandit 29er in Medium is 30.5 lbs / 13.8 kg

Bandit 29 Frame with Fox RP2323 w/Kashima $1599 USD $1649 CAD Price Varies
Bandit 29 Complete Bike w/Fox 34 Float 140 RLC F29 QR15 Tapered w/Kashima $3549 USD $3599 CAD Price Varies

Bandit 29 (left) meets the Bandit 26 (right)

Rear Shock: Fox RP23 BV Kashima
Fork: Fox 34 Float 140 RLC F29 Tapered Kashima QR15
Stem: Truvativ AKA 60mm
Handlebar: Kore Torsion Trail 740x35mm
Headset: FSA Gravity NO.57E
Crankset: SRAM S1400 GXP 10S 175 38/24
Brakes: Avid Elixir 9
Tires: Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.25 Rear & 29 x 2.4 Front
Seatpost: Truvativ Stylo
Saddle: TBC Park N Ride Diamond Stitch Race
Grips: ODI Cross Trainer X Lock-on
Cassette: SRAM PG-1070 10SP 11-36
Wheelset: TBC Revolution 28 29er
Rear Shifter: SRAM X7 10SPD
Front Shifter: SRAM X7 2SPD
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X7 Medium Cage Carbon 10SPD
Front Derailleur: SRAM X7 HDM 2×10 38/36T
Chain: KMC X10.93
Pedals: Not Included
Optional Upgrade: RockShox Reverb Adjustable Seatpost

I made some changes which added a pound to the bike. In general, I tried to keep the changes to the bare minimum and only made changes that I felt any rider would make to personalize a ride. This includes:

  • Maxxis Ardent 2.4 rear tire
  • A Joplin 3 seatpost

Here are some random observations and notes about the components

  • The Fox 34mm 140 Float is aftermarket and sent to me by Fox for testing. What better bike to test it on? The lack of a 20mm through axle is beyond disappointing, More ranting about that in the full review. I will note that the 2012 implementation of the FIT cartridge has much better dampening than the 2011 version which invariably seemed to dive through its travel ending with a bottoming out klunk.
  • The Fox rear shock is 7.5 x 2.0 and is the Kashima-coated variation. Not much to say about it other than its the good old dependable RP23 that works just fine.
  • The SRAM front derailleur spec’ed in build kits is a dual cable pull. Current Shimano 10 speed XT and XTR front derailleurs are all dual pull as well so would work fine as replacements.
  • The headset is zero stack with 44mm top, 56mm bottom for tapered steerers. Obviously one can run 1.125″ steerers with a reducer.
  • Applause for spec’ing a nice wide bar on the Bandit 29er. Those who wish to can cut them down of course.

About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.

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  • Steve says:

    Niner’s RIP9 also has interchangeable rear dropouts. Thee RIP9 comes with the standard 10×135 rear dropouts but you can buy the conversion for 12×142 or even 12×135 maxle…

  • HawaiiFi says:

    @Lee, if it were your money which one would you buy, the Transition 26er or 29er?

    • LeeL says:

      Hawaii – for my trails (ultra-technical, low-speed, not a lot of momentum) the Bandit 26. But remember I only have a few rides on the 29er

  • walter italy says:

    Hi LeeL. I am exchanging my large Tallboy C with a Bandit 29 large. It seems that the wheelbase will be longer, but not the chainstays : how about cornering ?

    • LeeL says:


      I really like my Tallboy M for cornering but from the geo chart I posted it looks like the Tallboy L has pretty conventional wheelbase numbers. Honestly, I’d be guessing how the Tallboy performs. I can tell you that the Bandit 29er in M is not as nimble as my Tallboy in M.

  • jay says:

    Hi Lee -nice write. So my trails are like yours – chunky and tech. You said you’d pick the bandit 26 over the 29…….pretend you have the 26 bandit and your tallboy (not sure what fork you run) in front of you. Which is getting the bulk of your riding time?

  • LeeL says:

    Jay – the Tallboy is a 24lb light bling machine with pinner wheels and tires. The Bandit is way more value-oriented with tougher components. I’d drop the Bandit 29er off things without a thought that I’d rider the Tallboy around. So kind of a tough question to answer if you know what I mean

  • chris says:

    LeeL- how about a ride comparison between the Bandit and Lunchbox

  • Ryan says:

    LeeL- I live on the Big Island and I am looking to upgrade my GT Sanction 2 to a TallBoy LT or a Bandit 29er. I’m 6’1 175lbs, I ride hard DH, but I am participating in the XTERRA on Maui this year and need a climbing machine. Any suggestions?

    • LeeL says:

      Ryan – i”ve only hiked on the Big Island and never biked there so would be guessing as to what bike you’d need. The B29 climbs well if you have a light wheelset but for it to be light and strong it’d have to be $$$$. Hope that helps

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