Our local trails provide a fix when we have a craving for dirt, but our favorite trail bikes are often overkill for the tame terrain. Sometimes a hard tail is the best, or more importantly, the most fun tool for the job. We have a 29″ XC set up that’s great for hammering, but the big wheels don’t inspire Danny Mac style moves on the local trail rides. After selling my 26″ all mountain hardtail this summer, I keep thinking about building another rig up, and the TransAM from Transition Bikes is at the top of a short list.
It has all the features one could hope for. Although the 6.08 lb chromoly frame is a bit heavy compared to carbon, titanium or aluminum, the durability means you can try difficult lines and bail without guilt. The 30.9″ seat tube means you can run a 5″ dropper post, a necessity for attempting hops and moves just outside of the comfort zone. Progressive geometry means it’s going to be fun: a long front end means (the medium frame has a 419mm reach) you can pedal up hills and still run short 30-50mm stems and wide bars. It’s slack enough that you open it up and go a bit faster than you probably should. The chain stay is 418mm, or 16.45 inches, which is decently short considering the wheel size. Short stays make manuals easier and what’s more fun than that?
The head tube is tapered for maximum compatibility with today’s forks, and the threaded 73mm bottom bracket shell mean you can part out that old 26″ trail bike to build it up. Did we mention the single speed friendly adjustable dropouts with the 142mm axle? You can also run it as a single speed thanks to the Transition FAST Dropout. You’ll just need a 650b fork and some wheels. And at $599 for a frameset, it’s priced reasonably, enough that I need to convince myself I don’t need one right now. It’s also available in a 29″ wheel version if that’s your thing.
Check it out: Transition TransAM