Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it!
Last year, Transition Bikes went through a major facelift as it restructured the model range to employ its take on the Horst Link rear suspension design, dubbed the Giddy Up Link. The 155 mm travel Patrol is Transition’s longest-travel trail bike.
When I receive a test bike, I use a standard trail loop to initially take the bike for a ride on in order to gain a reference point for a model’s strengths and weaknesses. Right off the bat, it is apparent the Patrol is a solid platform that wants to be ridden hard through technical terrain.
On fast rocky sections, the Patrol has me looking for trail features to pop off of with little regard to where I land, and the Giddy Up suspension has so far eaten up as much as I can throw at it. Last weekend I spent some time on the Patrol doing laps on our local freeride terrain. I admire the bike’s ability to feel stable at speed and stick larger drops with little struggle.
Given the price point of this bike, component choices need to remain utilitarian and (more) affordable. At 32.58 pounds without pedals, the Patrol isn’t exactly a lightweight but isn’t a complete tank, either. The component spec has been rock-solid thus far, offering great value and performance.
I have, so far, found the higher weight to be mildly noticeable on the climbs but it hasn’t impacted me all that much if I settle into a gear and spin. Looking at the geometry sheet for the Patrol, you would think the 65-degree head angle would be cause for concern when the trail turns upward, but I have yet to experience any issues worth commenting on.
Stay tuned for more from the highlighter yellow Transition; I plan to continue to put more time on this bike in even nastier terrain. Check out Transition’s website for more info.