In case you didn't know... Jeff is the founder of Worldwide Cyclery. He actually spent several years racing mountain bikes before diving into the business side of bikes when the shop was born. Now you may ask, the owner of the best bike shop on earth... A man who can choose just about any bike you could possibly want... What would he choose to ride? Well, you are in luck. We were lucky enough to pull him away from his emails and get out on the trail with him. He put on his funny prescription sunglasses and some awkward short socks and went out to shred the latest custom build. Check it out below!
2018 Transition Smuggler with a custom build spec and custom paint in size large. It's got 29'' wheels and 120mm rear/140mm front travel.
I am a big fan of 29'' trail bikes. They go perfectly with where I ride most often. This bike specifically, I chose because of Transitions new Speed-balanced-Geometry (SBG). I've been a big fan of long wheel bases for ages now. So much so I even cut the seat-tube on an XL Yeti 4.5 so I could fit on it. I rode and raced downhill bikes for years and getting used to long, low, slack downhill bikes kind of makes every trail bike feel unstable at speed once you are used to riding a downhill bike. The wheel base on this Smuggler is seriously long at 1,213mm (47.76'') in the large size frame I chose. That is 6mm longer than the XL Yeti 4.5 I was on last. The crazy long wheelbase and a number of other things about Transition's Speed-balanced-Geometry really made want to ride one of their 2018 bikes. It's the geometry I've been chasing and wanting to ride for the last few years.
Well for starters I wasn't a big fan of Transition's stock paint work and I knew I could make it look a hell of a lot better (IMHO). So we did a custom powder coat on the frame that's a bright blue with a sparkle in the sun. You have to see it in person to really grasp the color. I love how it came out. Before we sent the thing to paint we also cut off the rear brake line tab mounts. I think external cables are ugly as hell. Yes that is an opinion I'm aware. So we cut the tabs off and modified the small plastic pieces of the frame that hold the cables in place so it could hold two cables instead of the single rear-derailleur cable it was originally intended to hold. Going full internal gave the bike that much more of the clean and simple look that I enjoy.
We also of course did some custom decals for the frame, put some aftermarket decals on the fork and shock, removed all the red paint that was on the rims originally to keep the color scheme consistent, painted a number of things black... oh and the wheels were custom built by Industry Nine with chrome hubs, black spokes but 4 chrome spokes each wheel. Oh and we modified the rear derailleur so it has no back swing unless the bolt is loose. This cuts down on noise a ton, you just have to remember to loosen the bolt in order to get the wheel off.
Well I haven't ridden an aluminum bike in a while. It's a bummer Transition only has this in aluminum but with such good geometry I had to have it, carbon or not. The thing came out at 30lbs even so it's not so bad. I have not ridden a 4-bar suspension design in ages but I am very impressed with it. The whole bike actually. I absolutely love the geometry, suspension kinematics, build spec etc. After only a few rides I've fallen in love with the bike and how well it works. Trail bikes continue to get more and more capable and I love that.
Well that's a big long drawn out answer that mostly has to do with my past of racing downhill for several years and also just being a complete bike nerd for so long. I've been riding mountain bikes now for 16 years and aside from being a nerd about geometry, components, suspension design etc. I also just love creating a unique, gorgeous looking bike that's one of a kind. I've always had that passion and how unique you can create a bike is inspiring to me and just floats my boat. I love dreaming up custom built bikes and then making them come to life. If you want to dive into my thoughts and personal preferences on bike sizing you should watch the video about cutting the seat-tube on last Yeti.
So far so good. I don't have quite a long term review on it just yet but the few rides I have been on so far have been my local flowly trails and a rough and steep DH-bike worthy trail. That is what I judge a bike on because it's trails I know extremely well and trails that can push a trail bike to it's limits. As of now I am wildly impressed with this thing. Mostly the geometry and the 2018 Fox Suspension.
As of right now no. Not at all, it's dialed :)
|Frame||Transition Smuggler Alloy (Large, Gunsmoke Blue, w/ Fox DPS Performance Elite shock 210x50mm)|
|Rear shock/fork decal kit||Fox Heritage Decal Kit for Forks and Shocks, Chrome|
|Frame Decal Kit||Custom Megla Design Transition Bikes Vinyl Decals Stickers Chrome|
|Headset||Cane Creek 110 ZS44/28.6 ZS56/40 Headset, Black|
|Fork||Fox 2018 Float 34 Fit 4 P Elite 140mm 29 Fork (44mm Offset, 15x110mm QR)|
|Axle||Fox Racing Kabolt Lightweight Axle Assembly, Black, for 15x110mm "Boost" Forks|
|Wheelset||I9 Enduro 305 29'' - Chrome hubs, blk spokes but 4 chrome spokes per wheel, 2 at valve, 2 at seam, XD driver, Boost 15x110 front, 12x148 rear, blk valve stems|
|Front Brake||SRAM Guide RSC Front Disc Brake 950mm Hose, Silver|
|Rear Brake||SRAM Guide RSC Rear Disc Brake 1800mm Hose, Silver|
|Front brake rotor||SRAM/Avid CenterLineX 2-Piece 180mm 6 Bolt Rotor with Ti Rotor bolts: Black|
|Rear brake rotor||SRAM/Avid CenterLineX 2-Piece 180mm 6 Bolt Rotor with Ti Rotor bolts: Black|
|Front brake adapter||Avid/SRAM Disc 20mm Post Mount Adaptor, Fits 180mm Front|
|Rear tire||Michelin Wild AM Competition Tire: 29 x 2.35" Black|
|Front tire||Michelin Wild AM Competition Tire: 29 x 2.35" Black|
|Stem||Race Face Turbine R 35 Clamp Stem, 32mm Length 0 Rise Black 1-1/8 Steerer|
|Handlebars||RaceFace NEXT 35 Riser Carbon Handlebar: 35 x 760mm 20mm Rise Stealth|
|Grips||ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grips Bonus Pack: Black|
|Shifter||SRAM X01 Trigger X-Act rear shifter, 11sp - right black|
|Seatpost||Fox Shox Transfer Dropper Post Performance 31.6mm 125mm Travel Internal 2018|
|Seatpost lever||Wolf Tooth Components ReMote for SRAM MatchMaker Dropper Lever|
|Seat||Fizik Aliante R1 Saddle 7x9 with Braided Rails: Black|
|Crankset||Race Face Next-SL G4 crank arms 68/73, 170mm Stealth|
|Bottom bracket||RaceFace Cinch Bottom Bracket: BSA 68/73mm BB Shell x 30mm Spindle|
|Chainring||Wolf Tooth Components PowerTrac Drop-Stop Chainring: 32T, for RaceFace Cinch Direct Mount, Boost Chainline|
|Stem cap||Wolf Tooth Ultralight Stem Cap with Integrated Spacer, 10mm Black|
|Chain||KMC X11SL Chain: 11 speed 116 Links Silver|
|Cassette||SRAM XG-1195 X01 10-42 11-Speed Cassette Black|
|Pedals||Crank Brothers 2016 Mallet Enduro Pedals: Black|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM X01 11-Speed X-Horizon Type 2.1 Rear Derailleur Black|