Luxury Bikes

(Tested) Transition Patrol Carbon | MTB-MAG.COM

When Transition launched the latest version of the Patrol, its debut was initially an all-metal affair, with the range of mixed bikes now available exclusively with an aluminum frame. A few months later, the Bellingham, WA brand released a much lighter carbon fiber frameset that we were able to spend some time testing as a frame. While this article focuses primarily on the on-trail characteristics of the Patrol frameset itself, we will still spend some time discussing the build on offer, which is most similar to ours. Backstory: Due to the lack of product availability in the bike industry in general, when we purchased our Patrol Carbon, the equipment wasn’t fully in stock, but we’ll do our best to provide some insight into the bread-and-butter GX Carbon Build further in the article…

Transitional Patrol Carbon

A lot of my time was spent on the bike pictured above, which has 170mm travel and a steel spring shock. Before the setup described above, I put a few kilometers on the bike in the original version with 160 mm travel front and rear and a Fox DHX2 air shock absorber at the rear. Needless to say, the bike offers more options than a simple high/low flip chip might suggest at first glance…

Details Transition Patrol Carbon

  • Mixed wheels – 29″ front / 27.5″ rear
  • Carbon fiber construction
  • Sizes S – XL (tested large)
  • 160mm travel front/rear – 170mm front/rear compatible
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Universal derailleur hanger
  • Increase hub spacing
  • $3,699 (frame only)
  • Lifetime guarantee

Transitional Patrol Carbon

The keen-eyed among us may have noticed that the Patrol’s head tube doesn’t look quite like the head tube of other Transition bikes. This is because it can accommodate a dual crown fork, which further increases its freeride capabilities. Before the TR11 came out, Nico Vink was spotted fairly regularly on an aluminum Patrol with Öhlins double-crown forks.

Transitional Patrol Carbon

As standard on most Transition models, there is a flip chip in the lower shock eyelet, allowing for 0.5° adjustment of the head and seat tube angles, as well as a 7mm difference in bottom bracket height.

Transitional Patrol Carbon

Rear tire clearance is generous, accommodating up to 2.6″ of rubber.

Although this can be a contentious topic, Transition remains committed to routing the rear brake line externally, while the rear derailleur and dropper seatpost cables are housed within the frame. Personally, I like this approach because you don’t even see the hose from the drive side, so it still looks good aesthetically. The most obvious advantage, however, is that this approach is a dream come true for mechanics and private racers as it simplifies maintenance.

Another nod to easy maintenance is a threaded bottom bracket, which is standard on every Transition.

The Patrol’s molded chainstay rubber did a good job of keeping things quiet while protecting the frame well.

When it comes to suspensions, the patrol has a 24% progress rate. The curve is fairly linear throughout with a subtle ramp at the end and no gimmicks. This makes it well suited for air or spiral shock absorbers. We praise the transition for keeping the average debt ratio relatively low.

The main protection of the downtube is a full rubber coating that extends from the bottom third to the bottom bracket. If you feel like it, you can grab some shuttle protection Here.

Transition ensures that you don’t stray too far from the relevant information during the optimization process.

Although Transition does not offer any internal storage space in the down tube, the solution on the frame is still very welcome. With a Wolftooth belt bolted on, I was able to easily attach a spare tube, tire boot, CO2 and head, as well as a tire lever and multi-tool. The frame also has space for a full-size bottle holder.

Finally, the Patrol is equipped with SRAM’s universal derailleur eye, so not only is it easy to find replacement parts, but it is also future-proof and ready for SRAM’s new Eagle gears.

Geometry Transition Patrol Carbon

Despite the somewhat limited selection of four sizes available, Transition still managed to introduce two different chainstay lengths, with the Small and Medium models separated by 6mm from the Large and XL frames. I found that the 480mm reach (high setting) of my size Large was just right for me at 6’3″ tall, as it should be. Numbers like a head angle of 63.5° and an effective seat angle of 78.1° suggest that this bike can handle going downhill well, but at the same time is very capable of coming back uphill.

On the path

The Patrol model closest in specs to what I tested is the GX model, which retails for $6,699 but features Race Face wheels and TRP brakes, as well as a Fox Float X shock has. Almost everything else I drove was the same as the original, and if I’m honest I’d prefer the TRP brakes over the codes anyway. As I mentioned before, the Large fit perfectly and in fact I wouldn’t change a single aspect of the Patrol’s geometry. As far as the layout goes, I’m personally completely sold on a mixed wheel setup as I think it just suits my riding style well. However, I realize it’s not for everyone… The Patrol could certainly hold its own in the occasional enduro race – especially with 170mm travel – but there will be plenty of people who would understandably hold out with a straight 29er.” Setup if you spend a lot of time racing – especially on confusing terrain. The Spire would be the hot ticket for that…

Starting with the climbing, the Patrol has a very upright posture and was therefore both comfortable and efficient on the more difficult climbs. This is mainly due to the steeper seat angle of 78.1° (high position). What’s worth noting is that while the bike’s effective seat tube angle is quite steep, this also applies to this actually Seat tube angle. Therefore, riders with longer legs do not end up too far back towards the rear axle when riding a high saddle position. As a long-legged rider, I particularly appreciated this. From a kinematics perspective, I found that the Patrol Carbon also climbed very well given its large travel. The rear suspension is very quiet and quiet without bobbing much. In the stock 160mm air shock setting the bike was a little livelier and more efficient on climbs, with the 170mm/coil spring option less so but still impressive. On most long climbs I would lock the rear suspension, but overall the Patrol will get you back up the mountain efficiently.

Once things start to go downhill, the Patrol is – in a single word – fun. It’s hard for me to put my finger on it, but all the Transitions I’ve tested have one thing in common: lots of pop. I’m not sure if it’s the carbon layup, the kinematics, or a combination of both, but the Patrol – like the Sentinel, Spur and Spire – has incredible thrust and loves to get airborne fly. I notice that on jumps that normally require a quick start, I can get well past the landing with just one small slip. This aspect, anchored in the bike’s DNA, as well as the excellent geometry, low weight and mullet format combine to create a bike that is just plain fun.

When it comes to off-road performance, the Patrol has quite a bit of anti-squat – which is partly responsible for its poppy character – so it’s not really a bubbly-feeling plow machine. I think the suspension is well thought out enough that it offers the magic combination we’re all looking for: light and sensitive at the top end, supportive yet compliant mid-stroke, and with good resistance to hard bottom-outs at the end stroke. Having ridden both air and steel spring shocks on the Patrol, I can unsurprisingly say that compared to air springs, a steel spring gives you just a touch more traction and better performance on successive medium-sized hits, and therefore a lot of the increased harshness /Reduction compensates You can feel the rollover on the smaller 27.5-inch rear wheel compared to a complete 29-inch bike. With that in mind, I really think the Mullet layout is a defining feature of this bike. For the rider who likes clay trails, steep terrain, late braking in berms and highly dynamic trails, he is in heaven because the back end of the bike is very maneuverable and loves to go wild while the front end of the bike goes beyond him is able to mow difficult terrain and overcome steep inclines.

In total

So where does the patrol stand in the grand scheme of things? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I really like this bike. It’s worth reiterating that a frame that only has a single flip chip actually offers almost endless setup options, from a lively all-rounder to a freeride rig with dual crowns, air or coil shocks, travel shocks and adjustable headsets All options are available to you. With that in mind, its stock setup and 160mm of travel front and rear puts it well between the Sentinel and the Spire and is a playful, functional ride that will put a smile on the face of the vast majority of aggressive mountain bikers out there.

Transitional Patrol Carbon

When it comes to assessing value, I think Transition offers excellent value for money across its range. The model most similar to the frame I tested is an excellent bargain. If I were a regular paying consumer looking for a finished bike, I would choose this over any other product currently on the market and I wouldn’t even think twice about it. With that in mind, I think the greater value lies in the complete bike, as $3,699 for a frame is a bit pricey. However, in this day and age when other boutique brands like Yeti charge $5,000 for a frame, I can’t be too harsh on this price. In addition, Transition doesn’t let anyone down because they offer this – and most models, for that matter – in a cheaper aluminum version. Aside from offering a lifetime warranty, Transition’s support is simply fantastic. At this page You can find and purchase every small part you need for the Patrol Carbon. All in all, the Patrol Carbon is one of the best all-round mountain bikes on the market right now. Two thumbs up!

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