Thursday, 27 June 2013

Transition Bandit

Some shots of my new Transition Bandit build, so far it feels rather nice, it has a very playful nature which makes you smile.

Monday, 17 June 2013

New bikes are faster. Right?

After a successful demo of a Transition Bandit last weekend, I made the rather impulsive decision to buy one, well the frame at least. I've been hankering after one of these for a while, and I always wish I had demo'd one much earlier. So on friday afternoon I popped back to Edinburgh and back to to pick up my rather bright yellow Bandit frame, and a few extra bits to help with the new build.

This weekend I took it for it's first two rides. On Saturday I did a simple lap of Whinlatter blue to check shock set up and overall build quality (it was a rushed build job friday night, quickly finished saturday morning). Then on Sunday we did our own version of the Borrowdale Bash, a classic Lakes route.

Chilling at Whinlatter

Initial impressions of the bike are good, with the three positions of the Fox CTD shock, it climbs well, has a nice inbetween state for just general trail ambling then a rather soft setting when in it's descend mode (I only used this on the rough castle crag descent as the Trail setting is pretty good). Sizing felt good also, I went for the medium frame (18") and a shortish 60mm stem, combine this with 750mm bars and I felt comfortable with the overall size.

A detour to Black Moss pot, bit cold for swimming today mind

So far I'm pretty happy with the build and how it rides, it has quite a playful nature about it and feels more manoeuvrable than the Nukeproof Mega frame that this will be replacing. I wasn't 100% sure on the yellow of the frame in the shop but once built up I actually think it looks pretty cool. Looking forward to more rides out on it.

The not so surprising view at Surprise View.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Ride 50: Glentress

So it's nearing the middle of the year and i'm at the half way point of making my 100 rides in 2013 goal. The 50th ride was my first time round the black loop at Glentress testing out a couple of Transition bikes; the Bandit and the Covert.

We started the day out early as the bikes had to be picked up from in Edinburgh first. The shop was possibly the smallest bike shop i've ever been in but the two chaps working in there were super friendly and charges for demo bikes are very reasonable too.

The Bandit: Climbs well, descends better, looks lovely.

Once sorted we headed out to Glentress, the sun was shining, the air-con was on in the car and I was very much looking forward to riding the black loop on a bike i've wanted to ride for quite a while (the Bandit). As expected on a sunny Saturday, Glentress was fairly busy but once out on the trail we actually saw very few people. The first climb is shared with the blue and red trail but once you reach the second car park the black goes it's own way and the hussle and bussle of busy car parks and other people are soon forgotten.

As I mentioned above the two bikes being demo'd were the Transition Bandit and Transition Covert. The Bandit is a 130mm trail bike while the Covert is a 160mm all mountain style affair. I spent most of the day riding the Bandit as that's the one I was mainly interested in but I couldn't resist the allure of the burlier Covert too.

The Covert: A very capable bike, just needs bigger terrain to challenge it.

The black route at Glentress is a nice mix of long switchback climbs leading to some equally long downhill sections. The route isn't overly technical for a black, but provided a good variety of sections to test the bikes. Both bikes were stable climbers, neither suffered from excess pedal bob though the Covert could well benefit from a travel adjust fork as the front end did wander on some of the steeper ascents.

Once pointed downwards both bikes were a barrel of fun. The Covert was happy to hold it's line and let it's longer travel, big tyres and weight get it through, while the lighter Bandit was happy to be hopped and popped and let it skip across the rougher stuff.

One of my favourite sections of Glentress is the last section of the black trail that leads back down to the main car par. I ran this section a few times with both bikes to see the differences, and to see which bike I preferred. Overall I came away liking the Bandit just that little bit more, it felt a little more playful and a bit more responsive than it's burly big brother, though I would have preferred a slightly more aggressive front tyre than the narrow nobby nic fitted.

If you do get the chance to ride at Glentress I can recommend the black loop. It's not overly technical for a black so don't expect a big challenge but the descents are really quite good and offers a little more variety than the red loop does.