20-second review: Transition TransAm

When we talk about all-mountain hardtails over here, I often cite the Transition TransAm as a great example of a do-all machine. Last week I got to ride one. Briefly.

Teaching a clinic at a rocky park in NorCal. Eleven hardcore students including Joe, a high school sophomore who got to take off school that day because he maintained As. The other students were all successful professionals on high end machines. Joe’s TransAm, which he cobbled together at the Trail Head Cyclery swap meet, stood out.

I honestly don’t know. The fork seemed to be a pretty clapped out Pike or similar. It had some play, but it was plush. The brakes worked well enough.

We were sessioning a boulder-pocked series of corners that dumped into a mess of rocky horrors. The idea was to cultivate an oscillation and time that oscillation with the terrain sine wave style. If you don’t know what that means, watch any video of Curtis Keene.

The dudes on the Ibis Mojo HDs were attacking the section like the men they are. Joe was dancing on his hardtail and making it look just as fun.

I had to try.

20 seconds
Push the bike up the section.
Bounce on the fork. Squeeze the brakes.
Re-calibrate my inner trampoline for the new frequency.
The bike took off like a shot. It hopped over frontsides and pumped the backs. It snapped the turns and skimmed across the violence.
The section was over about that fast. And it was just as fun as the Mojo SL I was riding.

Bottom line
From my experience the Transition TransAm has a nice ride and sweet geometry. It’s definitely a good choice for an all-mountain hardtail.

From the Transition site



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8 replies
  1. BrianS says:

    You looked comfortable on that run. I enjoyed watching Joe hit everything on his hardtail all day. Makes me humble sucking with 6 inches of travel on both ends. 🙂

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Hey Brian!

    Yeah man, Joe showed us all what’s up. It makes me feel stupid talking about lactate threshold training, advanced damping, carbon wheels, etc. That kid is flat out ripping it — and having maybe more fun than us dudes on Enduros, Mojo SLs and Mojo HDs.

  3. Gabe says:

    By chance was it an orange TransAM frame? If so, I’m the one that sold it to him. Hopefully that’s it. It would be good to know it went to a good home.

    Its a very fun bike though. I was bummed to part with it, but I never got along with the medium. I really needed a large.

  4. Alex says:

    They’re cool looking frames and the geometry makes sense! Over here in the UK we have lots of ‘all-mountain hardtails’ to choose from – I ride a Cotic Soul with 140mm bolt-thru forks, dropper post, 1×9 with bash, flat pedals, 50mm stem, 28″ bars, strong wheels and big tyres and it is so much fun! Frame only weighs 4.4lbs (853 steel) so this burly build comes in at 26.5lbs – light enough to enjoy flatter pumpy twisty pedally woodland singletrack; slack and stiff enough to batter down through steep rock gardens and off drops – racing Enduro and XC on it this year. For those going large with big gaps and massive drops they do an even stronger version, the BFe, which can take up to 160mm forks (same geometry though) and is tough enough for serious dirt jumping, hardtail DH, 4X, but still lighter than the TransAM. No affiliation, just a happy customer. Bike sorted, rider working on skills, strength and fitness!

  5. Joe says:

    Thanks Lee!
    Yeah man, I love that TransAm. It does everything I want it to do, but it keeps you on your toes, which is good.
    And Gabe, thanks for hooking me up on that frame! I love it to bits!

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