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Thread: Smuggler

  1. #51
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    I wouldn't say it's a deal breaker but personally I'd at least like the option to run a FD if I wanted, as the other bikes in the new range give me, even if that meant a slight compromise in CS length. Heck, if a FD is good enough for Nico Lau, it's good enough for me. It also makes cheaper full builds easier, for those switching kit from existing bikes, or building up with a mid range Shimano groupset, which is much more affordable than an X1.

  2. #52
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    I for one am thrilled they dumped the FD for the sake of the CS length. It really makes a difference for the 29er breed. Short CS's make an otherwise cumbersome 29er rear end actually maneuver. Go rip around some tight corners and switchbacks with a short rear and you'll see the light. My order has been in on this bike for a while now and I'm ready. The more I look at the numbers, the more I salivate.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by fracaxis View Post
    I for one am thrilled they dumped the FD for the sake of the CS length. It really makes a difference for the 29er breed. Short CS's make an otherwise cumbersome 29er rear end actually maneuver. Go rip around some tight corners and switchbacks with a short rear and you'll see the light. My order has been in on this bike for a while now and I'm ready. The more I look at the numbers, the more I salivate.
    this.

    my 1st 29er was a full squish bike with long chainstays and a steep head angle. its handling was uninspiring in corners, and it pretty much sucked when descending anything steep or technical. to be fair, it climbed pretty well, but i got rid of it.

    my 2nd 29er has short stays and a slack head angle. unlike my 1st 29er, it's a blast in corners and is way more capable descending technical trails. it also climbs pretty well.

    considering that the 2nd bike is a hardtail with zero travel, and its frame isn't made from carbon or titanium with seemingly "magical" properties, the only explanation i have for why the 2nd bike rides better than the 1st is geometry: the combo of short stays and a slack head angle are where it's at for 29ers.

    my current full squish bike is one of these short travel 29ers with new school geometry like the smuggler, and it's one of the most fun bikes i've ever ridden since i started mountain biking 20 years ago.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesinmud View Post
    BTW, the smuggler reminds me of my TNT Sultan with spot rockers and a 130mm WB fork up front. With Mountain King 2.4s it owned the whole enchilada.
    Nice, I rode a TNT Sultan with 120 Reba for 5 years, did the whole enchilada with a pair of 2.4 Ardents on it one year, awesome. I built up a Covert 29 last year and love the bike, realized the long TT on the Sultan was not a good thing. I really don't get this new style geometry, long TT and wheelbase just so you can run a short stem? Short stays are not gonna make up for the long wheelbase in tight technical cond's. Also, I would take a FD option over short stays any day of the week but I guess I'm in the minority there.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Most people completely fail to understand this and just look at gear ratio.
    I agree with you !

    I live in the French Alps, and demoed an XX1 build. It's not ok for long sustained high altitude steep climbing (and i'm not of the climber morphotype)

    This is a deal breaker for me, i will have to looks elsewhere.
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  6. #56
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    When do the first Smugglers hit the trails? Looking forward to some ride reports!

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    When do the first Smugglers hit the trails? Looking forward to some ride reports!
    I have a Smuggler demo waiting at my LBS to take out tomorrow. Trying out side by side with a Banshee Phantom, very excited and will certainly report back here.

  8. #58
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    Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    I have a Smuggler demo waiting at my LBS to take out tomorrow. Trying out side by side with a Banshee Phantom, very excited and will certainly report back here.
    You lucky dog! Please do. Everyone here would love a side by side like that.



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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by fracaxis View Post
    You lucky dog! Please do. Everyone here would love a side by side like that.



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    Yeah, I'm pretty lucky that my LBS (so local it's at the end of my street!) does both Banshee and Transition, so was surprisingly easy to arrange. Can't wait, here's hoping I have a new bike ordered by Sunday night!

  10. #60
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    Here they are in a lineup, ready and waiting! https://www.facebook.com/pedalsedinb...type=1&theater

  11. #61
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    Smuggler

    I'm green with envy man. I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on that smug.


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  12. #62
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    Re: Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    Here they are in a lineup, ready and waiting! https://www.facebook.com/pedalsedinb...type=1&theater
    We're counting on you!!!!!

    Don't let us down

  13. #63
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    If you could please compare the tire clearance for us that would be super awesome. If you have a caliper to measure the width...more awesome.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    We're counting on you!!!!!

    Don't let us down
    ha! i've been counting on you C+M to compare the smuggler with phantom, prime, punk ass behemoth, and every other similar bike you've owned or ridden. that comparo would be one helluva good thread ;^)

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    We're counting on you!!!!!

    Don't let us down
    No pressure then.....

  16. #66
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    Re: Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by slo_rider View Post
    ha! i've been counting on you C+M to compare the smuggler with phantom, prime, punk ass behemoth, and every other similar bike you've owned or ridden. that comparo would be one helluva good thread ;^)
    I should do a comprehensive review one day

  17. #67
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    Just in case anyone wants to get their e-speculation going a little more...

    Transition Smuggler 2015 - Linkage Design

  18. #68
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    Interesting read. Overall it looks pretty impressive I'd say.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    I should do a comprehensive review one day
    That would be awesome, please do!

    I'm going to be picking up a new frame in the next few months to build up before spring. I'm looking for something that I hope ends up being the FS equivilent to my Nimble 9. Right now my short list consists of the Smuggler, Phantom or the Behemouth.

  20. #70
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    Hope I get a chance to demo one of these. I can't decide whether I want to go the long travel route (Enduro 29er, Tallboy LT) or something like this (111, Phantom, Smuggler). I have a Honzo that I am going to keep. I think there may be too much overlap between the two.

  21. #71
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    Re: Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Wankel View Post
    That would be awesome, please do!

    I'm going to be picking up a new frame in the next few months to build up before spring. I'm looking for something that I hope ends up being the FS equivilent to my Nimble 9. Right now my short list consists of the Smuggler, Phantom or the Behemouth.
    The Phantom is the best one yet. Super quick and agile. A complete blast.

    I will be trying the Smuggler as well once it's available.

  22. #72
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    Reporting back as promised.....
    In short, had a great day riding these 2 bikes, and of the two, the Smuggler was hands down the better bike to me.

    It was a pretty wet day to be out, so pretty accurate for me getting a feel of how the bikes handled typical Scottish conditions! For those that might be in the UK, the ride was at Glentress but with a heavy dose of off piste. Good trail centre stuff and some nice natural, steep, rooty and muddy tech. It's not the toughest riding in the area but it is somewhere I've ridden a lot, so was a good place to really evaluate both bikes. The Strava file is here if you are interested Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Transition v Banshee near Peebles EH45, UK | Times and Records | Strava

    A bit about me- I currently ride a 2010 Trek Remedy, I've been testing a few 29ers recently and have a Trek Remedy 29er, Stumpy Evo and Tallboy LT to compare to this. I race Enduro and prior to that DH, but prior to that I was at a slightly better than average Junior XC level, so I've always appreciated bikes with a bit of zip uphill.

    Points of note in the spec between the bikes- The Banshee had MRP forks while the Transition had Pikes, Banshee had Hans Dampf up front with a 2.35 Nobby Nic (2014) out back, while the Transition had the 2015 Nobby Nics in 2.25 at both ends. Otherwise the specs were pretty comparable. I didn't take the bikes to the scales but the Transition was noticeably lighter, a quick read at the stock spec weights online suggests maybe a lb or so?

    Uphill the Transition had the edge. Sitting and spinning away both bikes were fairly similar, though the Transition did have the feeling of being slightly less effort and towards the end of the ride this became more noticeable, this difference could easily be explained by the weight difference and tyres though. When the climbing got tech the Banshee maybe had the edge in grip, but it was pretty equal. Where the Transition really started to show superiority was as soon as you were up out the saddle, the Banshee really seemed to suck the power out your legs when you really needed to get the power down. The Smuggler was significantly better, it wasn't quite at the level of the Remedy or Stumpy in this regard but was pretty damn good.

    Downhill the Transition was significantly better when things were twisty and fast, it felt sprightly, fun, coming out of tight turns into hard acceleration the same traits that separated the two under power on the climbs was obvious, the Transition jumped forward while the Banshee felt a bit lethargic. The Banshee started to edge ahead a little when the downhill got steeper and more tech, for the most part due to the levels of grip, however it's really difficult to tell whether this was down to the bike or the tyres. I did actually set the faster times on the steep tech stuff while on the Transition, but it didn't feel quite as comfortable- Still very comfortable, just not as much.

    Downsides of the Transition? The BB was pretty low and I had a lot of pedal strikes, I'm sure I'd get used to it but there was times on less steep tech stuff when I really wanted to get on the gas but just kept slamming the pedals. It also was at it's best when you really put the effort into chucking it about, as we got later in the ride and running out of the energy to really chuck it around, it was pretty dull, still fast but dull. But let's be honest it's pretty inevitable that was going to be the case on a slack angled wagon wheeler.

    Between the two the Transition was absolutely the better bikes. My buddy who rode with me was in no doubt either. A couple of LB off the weight with a carbon frame would be the only thing I could reasonably suggest to improve it. Don't get me wrong the Banshee was a great bike, but the Smuggler was better in pretty much every way.
    Colin+M- You specifically asked about clearance, apologies but I forgot to take a tape measure. On the standard 2.25 tyres the clearance to the side was fine, but clearance to the top of the seatstay brace was fairly tight. I certainly wouldn't want to go any bigger, 2.25 on a wider rim (the stock rims were 23mm) would be the ideal to me, which is what I'd intend to do.

    So did I love it enough to buy one......maybe! I went in today with this being the deciding ride with me ordering the best bike. The Remedy 29er alu I had ridden was nice and I like the Trek suspension design, but the geometry of these bikes is horrific- short and high. The Stumpy Evo was an excellent bike, very fast, but I maybe wanted something a little more fun. The curve ball came in the shape of a 2015 Remedy Carbon owned by the manager of the bike shop at the trails. Trek really seem to have sorted the geometry problems for the carbon version of the Remedy 29er, being significantly longer and lower than the aluminium version, in fact even more so than the geometry charts from Trek seem to show. It fits me, where the aluminium version didn't, and I already know I like the Trek suspension setup. For little more than a full build Smuggler I can get similar spec Trek but with the carbon frame, a bike that I already feel is the better climber but 2lb lighter, so I'm pretty certain it will rip uphill. It also has an extra 30mm travel, not that I feel the Transition suffers from it, but it gives a little more get out of jail, and I certainly don't feel the Trek is more sluggish as a result.

    So I'm between the 2 bikes, it's a nice decision to have to make but hard! I'd rather be giving my money to the guys at Transition, but at the end of the day it's a lot of cash so I've got to go for the bike that's best, regardless who makes it. It may well come down the weight (ie. the frame material) and the impact that has on the ride of the 2 bikes, if the Smuggler came in carbon flavour I'd order it now, but without that option, it's going to be a hard call!

  23. #73
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    Thanks for the detailed write up!

  24. #74
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    Smuggler

    [QUOTE=Tenacious Doug;11565455

    Downsides of the Transition? The BB was pretty low and I had a lot of pedal strikes, I'm sure I'd get used to it but there was times on less steep tech stuff when I really wanted to get on the gas but just kept slamming the pedals. It also was at it's best when you really put the effort into chucking it about, as we got later in the ride and running out of the energy to really chuck it around, it was pretty dull, still fast but dull. But let's be honest it's pretty inevitable that was going to be the case on a slack angled wagon wheeler.

    [/QUOTE]

    The super low BB has been on my mind since I first saw the numbers. I'll try it stock first for sure, but I'm contemplating a 150 fork with a -1 angleset. Might make the front a little more dh capable and the BB a little less in the pedal strike zone. Definitely don't want to give it an unbalanced ride front and rear, but it's an idea. Per my calculations it will bring the bb up .25" and keep the HA the same. Anybody try something similar to this on another bike? Thoughts?


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  25. #75
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    Smuggler

    ... And thanks for the report Tenacious.


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  26. #76
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    In regards to seat stay brace clearance, its good to know that wide rims don't make the tires taller. I'll be running 30mm I.D. rims on it so I'm glad the chainstay clearance is good to go.

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    Curious to know which rear shocks were mounted to each. Thanks for the comparison.
    Mrwhlr's stepmom rides a 5 spot

  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndurBro View Post
    Curious to know which rear shocks were mounted to each. Thanks for the comparison.
    Monarch on both

  29. #79
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    Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    the Banshee really seemed to suck the power out your legs when you really needed to get the power down.
    I am pretty surprised at this comment. I have a Phantom and this has not been my experience at all. I find it to be a fairly efficient climber that does well when I am out of the saddle.

    I guess there is a lot of variability given shock setup / pressures etc.

    No doubt that the Smuggler would be a great bike. I owned a Bandit 29 before my Banshees (Prime then Phantom) and really liked it. Transition knows how to design a fun bike.

  30. #80
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    Same here.

    I can't say I'm disappointed in the Phantom in terms of efficiency. That being said, I am directly comparing it to the Prime. It's been over a year since I had the Ripley so that comparison is a no go although I'm sure the Ripley was more efficient. Maybe it was the tires/shock? Although that's not the first time I've heard someone who has ridden both say that the Smuggler edges it out ever so slightly.

    Comparing the linkage graphs of the Smugg and the Phantom, the Smuggler should edge it out due to slightly higher anti-squat.

    Needless to say, both seem to be great bikes. The Phantom, I know personally. The Smuggler...TBD.

  31. #81
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    Of course the shock setup may be a factor, it was set up for me, but with half a day to ride both bikes, I didn't spend spend hours tweaking suspension. Tyres and overall weight were certainly a factor, but there's no getting away from the weight difference between the 2 frames so its a reasonable comparison. Out of the saddle especially, its climbing efficiency was notably behind the Smuggler. Still, really nice bike, just not for me and not as good as the Smuggler.

  32. #82
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    I was asked over on another thread what my thoughts were on a Remedy 9.8 I took out at the weekend were compared to the Smuggler, it seemed to make more sense to put them here since my main opinion of the Smuggler is just above.

    I took out a Remedy 9.8 last weekend, spec was exactly as stock, it was one size too small for me, as had the Smuggler been I took out a couple of weeks before. I rode the same test loop as on the Smuggler, conditions were almost identical- Wet & muddy. I don't know about US prices but in the UK the Remedy is £4000 & the top end Smug I rode £3900, so very comparable price points.

    I've owned 2 Remedy 26ers and have previously test ridden the aluminium Remedy, so I've got a pretty good benchmark of how they ride. I won't go into an in depth Remedy review since this is a Transition board, but my thoughts on the main differences between the two.

    Climbing- The Trek is an absolute weapon. It's not to say that the Smuggler was a bad climber by any means but the Remedy was a rocket on both tech, steep, short, long, basically everything. I'd put the main differences between the two bikes down to the weight difference, the longer CS and the performance of the Reaktiv shock on the Trek in keeping the bike high in its travel and minimising bob during seated climbing. Itís difficult to say for certain which of these three was the main driver of the difference, but it was obvious. It's worth pointing out the Trek had lighter, narrower wheels and more XC tyres, which did help overall but I've had enough saddle time on various Remedyís to be able to know how much of a difference those made to the performance and isolate the benefits between the two bikes to the shock, weight and angles.

    Tech descending- More comparable than I thought to be honest. The Smuggler felt more comfortable overall but I feel most of the nervousness of the Trek could be put down to the narrow rims, less aggressive rubber, longer stem and narrower bars. The Remedy really surprised me here but it needs serious tweaks to spec to get the best out of it. The Remedy did edge ahead when you needed to get the power down on the more tech stuff as the higher BB height gave better clearance (worth noting I measured the BB height and it doesn't seem as high as it is on paper). That said, having gone back to the Smuggler spec it would appear the demo bike had 175mm cranks on it, so a set of 170s would really help.

    Fast/Flowing descending- I'd say on the smoother stuff at low to medium speeds (say sub 15mph??), especially when the corners were slightly tighter, the Smuggler had the edge. As above I don't think the spec of the Trek did it any favours but the lower BB and shorter chainstays certainly helped chuck the Smuggler about. As the speed went up and the corners started to open out, the Remedy felt more stable and carved through fast turns like nothing I've ridden recently

    Stiffness- The carbon helps here with the Remedy, but one thing really noteworthy was the rear end stiffness from the Boost 148 Hub on the Trek. Pretty confident in saying this new standard is not marketing guff, it's a real benefit that I would love to see other companies using on their 29ers. The Smuggler was not a flexy bike, but the Trek was great in this regard.

    Spec- So hereís where my big problem is with the Remedy, not just compared to the Smuggler but overall. The Remedy is a good bike for tech and descending, but it has the potential to be outstanding, the carbon version in particular is way ahead of its aluminium counterpart in geometry terms, in fact the geometry was (apparently) specifically developed with Tracy Moseley and Justin Leov based on what they wanted in an Enduro race bike, so you could say it is designed for the purpose of going downhill fast. But the way it is specced up is totally out of line with the capability of the frame on the downs- 760mm bars, 70mm stem on a 19.5Ē frame, 21mm wide rims shod with trail rubber. With comparable spec, I think the Remedy could marginally edge out the Smuggler in every area other than the chuckability in low and medium speed turns. Donít get me wrong, if I was on a shorter travel trail bike and wanted a bit more descending capability without compromising climbing, this would be a great buy and the spec is ideal, but it feels like Trek are adamant that if the public want a long travel Trek trail bike (or Enduro bike if you will) then they must go with the Slash, despite the fact that the Remedy carbon frame has been developed with their team to be the ultimate long travel trail/enduro bike. I really feel like they are selling the capability of the bike short with the spec, heck even if they offered a frame only option or better still did the equivalent of the Specialized Evo line, it would be great.


    So between the two, as they come off the shelf, the Smuggler is hands down the better bike for what I want. If you are maybe coming from a more XC background then the Remedy would be the better buy for its superior climbing ability. Were the spec comparable on the two then Iíd probably go with the Trek but I simply canít justify buying a bike at that price and then have to shell out to replace wheels, tires, bars and stem, nor can I get a frame only. Heck even if the aluminium Remedy had the same sizing and geometry Iíd be tempted by its lower price to allow budget to make the necessary changes.


    Iím 90% set on the Smug, it might seem like Iíve knocked it here but it is an awesome bike and really close to what I want, some 170 cranks to get over the clearance issues and some carbon rims to improve stiffness and give a bit more zip when climbing and it should be pretty much ideal. Given the choice Iíd maybe have a bit more CS length and a bit higher in the BB (basically as per the Trek), but Iím starting to get really fussy. Iím going to hang on a few weeks to see what Evil launch with their new 29er, but otherwise Iíll be pulling the trigger on the Smuggler.

  33. #83
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    great review! thanx for your thoughts!

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    Interesting read. Do you know what's the weight difference between the two frames? Thanks

  36. #86
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    From what I can gather the Smuggler is about .5 LBS lighter if that much.

  37. #87
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    Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    From what I can gather the Smuggler is about .5 LBS lighter if that much.
    That sounds about right. My Bandit 29 frame was right at .5 lbs lighter than my Phantom frame. I would expect the Smuggler to be similar weight to the Bandit.

  38. #88
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    I'm gonna just ride the Phantom until a hopefully carbon Smuggler materializes.

    As it stands I can't see the point in replacing the Phantom with an alloy version. Still looks like a phenomenal bike and if I didn't already have the Phantom,I'd be all over it.

  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by the evil bunny View Post
    Interesting read. Do you know what's the weight difference between the two frames? Thanks
    From Transition's site, claimed weight for a medium Smuggler frame w/ rear shock is 7.34 lbs.

    Real world weights for L Phantom (from the Banshee forum) are below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregdogg View Post
    ...Picked up my large phantom

    Frame weight of the L was 7lb 15oz with shock, seat clamp, 142x12 dropouts and axle...
    For comparison's sake, QR seat clamps weigh about 50g and a 142x12 maxle lite weighs about 75g so if you subtract 125g (or about 4 oz), then L phantom w dropouts and shock weighs about 7lb 11 oz (7.7 lbs), which is pretty close to AOK's weight below:

    Quote Originally Posted by AOK View Post
    ...I mis-read Gregdogg's post. I was thinking he said 7.15 lbs when he actually said 7 lbs 15 oz. My large frame with shock and dropouts (no seat collar or axle) was 7.78 lbs...

  40. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    I'm gonna just ride the Phantom until a hopefully carbon Smuggler materializes.

    As it stands I can't see the point in replacing the Phantom with an alloy version. Still looks like a phenomenal bike and if I didn't already have the Phantom,I'd be all over it.
    of transition's 2015 giddy up link bikes, the only model rumored to be coming out in carbon is the 27.5 patrol:

    TRIBE-TRANSITION-Listino-Pubblico-2015.pdf

    from this site

    but teases of that new evil 29er look great--if it rides anything like their 26" Uprising, then i might need to sell one of my kidneys soon to fund a new frame.

  41. #91
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    I've also heard carbon only for the Patrol in 2015, but who knows what comes later

    Agree on the Evil 29er. Curious to see the specs.

  42. #92
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    Smuggler

    On weight - just for grins I looked up the weights of my last few FS frames (all size large):

    Bandit 29 - 7.21 lbs
    Banshee Prime - 8.5 lbs
    Banshee Phantom - 7.78 lbs

  43. #93
    AOK
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    Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by slo_rider View Post
    teases of that new evil 29er look great--if it rides anything like their 26" Uprising, then i might need to sell one of my kidneys soon to fund a new frame.
    And here I thought the only new FS bike I might be interested in is the mythical Yelli Squishy from Canfield.

  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK View Post
    And here I thought the only new FS bike I might be interested in is the mythical Yelli Squishy from Canfield.
    not to derail this fine thread, but i need to stop chasing unicorns and maybe just take my chances with a red headed hairdresser named tiffany instead

    the trail bike i'm most interested in, for the moment anyway, isn't in even production yet and i want the 29er version that only exists as a one-off prototype (but only if i can convince its builder to cobble mine with clearance for the new 2.8" and wider "27.5+" tires from WTB and Vee). Smuggler-image.jpg

  45. #95
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    Is that Chris Currie's project? Looks like the suspension design he was showing off on Canootervalve, but it's all gone a bit quiet since then!

  46. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarly View Post
    Is that Chris Currie's project? Looks like the suspension design he was showing off on Canootervalve, but it's all gone a bit quiet since then!
    no, not his project. i don't wanna go further off topic so i sent you PM.

  47. #97
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    Love that color!

  48. #98
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    Do we have an update on when these will hit US soil?

  49. #99
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    I was told very soon...by the end of December.

  50. #100
    The Tyranical Teabagger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    I was told very soon...by the end of December.
    Patiently waiting for mine to be shipped. I feel like a 10 year waiting for Santa Claus.
    I like bikes.
    2012 Transition TransAm 29er
    2010 Rigid Salsa Selma SS
    2015 Transition Smuggler
    2015 Cannondale Scalpel

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