|Transition Bikes Bandit 29|
It is a 130mm rear/140mm front bike that should be interesting, given the way their 26"ers have gained a lot of notoriety for being great handling trail/AM/DH rigs.
But it is interesting from another standpoint. Transition Bikes has a rather vocal, passionate fan base that always thought, (much like I did), that 29 inch wheeled bikes would never be great at 5 plus inches of travel, and certainly would not work as Down Hill/All Mountain rigs. Brands like Transition were places riders were enjoying not having to hear about, much less think about, 29"ers.
Now that they do have to consider the possibility, some of the riders on their Facebook page are saying they "sold out".
Wow! I never thought I would see the day that 29"ers were considered a "sell out". That says something about big wheelers when riders are saying and writing those types of comments. It's as if 26"ers were.....well.....I don't know. I just think that comment makes it seem the folks thinking this feel threatened by something. Hey. It's a bicycle. Ya know?
|All Mountain hard tail: Kona's Honzo|
My take on these bikes and the full suspension, 130mm travel rigs coming out is that they represent a new change in 29"er geometry. Gone are the days when head tube angles that were 71 degrees were considered "slack" for 29"ers. Now we're taliking about XC racing bikes with 70-71 degree head angles and full suspension bikes are considered too steep if they wander above 69 degrees head angle.
Anybody remember the first generation Mamasita with the 73 degree head angle? Whoo boy! Them's old times now! (And that was just 5 years ago!) That was 1.0 geometry. Then we got the longer fork offsets, and head angles pulled back a degree or two. That was 2.0 geometry. Now we're entering the era of 3.0 geometry, and anyone holding on to steep-ish head angles and long-ish chain stays will be "off the back", as they used to say in roadie parlance.
|Kona's Satori 130mm travel rig|
We're Gettin' There Now: I have to say that I think this 29"er full suspension geometry is headed in the right direction. I felt it with Fisher's Rumblefish, and now that would be considered a "steep" full suspension trail bike. I felt it on LenzSport's Lunchbox, which really opened up my eyes to what a "slack" bike could ride like. I felt the old geometry was wrong with my Big Mama. Too XC-ish, which was made plain to me on my wreck-shortened Texas ride.
That's why I find bikes like these to be very interesting. I think we're headed in a very good direction, and I am thinking the bikes are getting refined to become very capable rigs for the rough stuff.
Well, I'm off to Northfield Minnesota for the weekend. I hope ya'all have a great Holiday weekend, and that you are safe, and that you all ride a bicycle.....a lot!