Transition Bandit Review

26er All Mountain Trail Pro Reviews Video


I elected to test the Transition Bandit in the Bandit 2 build kit. The size Medium (18) tested weighs in at 28.2 lbs (The Bandit 1 weighs in at 26lbs but is $1600 more). . Stock components are workmanlike as befits the Bandit’s relatively modest price (US$3,149 / CAD$3,199) but note that core components (front fork and rear shock) are the same across the line. From Transition, theĀ Bandit 2 Build Kit‘s highlights are as follows:

Rear Shock: Fox RP23 BV Kashima (7.5x 2.5)
Fork: Fox 32 Float 140 RLC Tapered w/Kashima QR15
Stem: Truvativ AKA 60mm stem
Handlebar: Kore Torsion Trail 740x35mm
Headset: FSA Gravity 1/DX Pro
Crankset: SRAM S1400 GXP 10S 175 38/24
Brakes: Avid Elixr 5
Tires: Kenda Small Block Eight 2.1 Folding
Seatpost: Truvativ Stylo
Saddle: TBC Park N Ride Diamond Stitch
Grips: ODI Cross Trainer X Lock-on
Cassette: SRAM PG-1050 10SP 11-36
Wheelset: TBC Revolution 25
Rear Shifter: SRAM X7 10SPD
Front Shifter: SRAM X7 2SPD
Front Derailleur: SRAM X7 HIGH CLAMP
Chain: KMC X10.93
Pedals: Not Included

I made some changes which dropped a half pound off 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:

  • Chromag 70mm Ranger stem and Acute bars (700mm)
  • Gold Chromag QR, gold seatpost and Chromag DT Lynx saddle (gold components make you 1.7 % faster)
  • Maxxis Ardent 2.2 front tire
  • Occasionally a Joplin 3 seatpost whenever I could tolerate the slop

Riding in North Vancouver, BC

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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  • Mark M says:

    I purchased a 2011 Bandit frame last a few months ago and am super happy with this bike. I agree with most of this review. However, the reviewer claims this is “basically a single pivot design.” This is totally wrong. There are four pivot points and four “bars” (the frame itself being one of them), so this is “basically a 4-bar pivot design.” Did you check with Transition before making this claim? Other than that, good review.

  • Pringle says:

    Sorry Mark, it is a single-pivot suspension with a linkage actuated shock. The wheel path is dictated by the single-pivot. The linkage actuation lets them keep side loads off the shock for smoother travel, and gives them flexibility in tuning the shock rate through the travel, but it’s still a single pivot and has the inherent pros and cons of such a design. Single-pivot isn’t an insult though, they do have their good points. Nice review, btw. I too have a Transition single pivot bike.

  • Tom says:


    Sorry to tell you this, but the Bandit is not a 4 bar design. The main element that make s bike 4 bar is the rear picot being located on the chainstay in front of the dropout, not on top of the dropout. Specialized own the patent on this design, called the “Horst Link:”

    The reviewer is correct.

  • leel says:


    Reposting as the earlier response did not show up. Thanks for the comment. The Bandit is a single pivot. It’s a variation sometimes known as a linkage-driven single pivot. I didn’t get too much into the technical details since it’s out of the scope of the article but let me know if you need clarification.

  • Mark M says:

    Thanks for the explanation all. I stand corrected. I was giving wrong information on this from somebody else.

  • Helena Juhasz says:

    Thanks for the info guys. Obviously I am biased in my opinion about Transition, but I’ve had such great riding experiences on these bikes, that I can’t speak highly enough about their designs. I’ve found my 250 pretty good at climbing Fromme, so I’m keen to check out one of their bikes that’s actually supposed to go uphill too.

  • Chris says:

    Thanks for the review. Really interested in this bike. What size did you ride? I’m you’re height, so I’m interested in your thoughts on sizes.

  • dan j says:

    hi there, in case i missed it what size was the demo bike? as it says the rider is 5.11 and in the pic the frame looks to be medium, just curious thanks.

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