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  1. #1
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    Transition Bandit 29 vs Salsa Horsethief vs Kona Satori

    All three appear similar in design and intent, with just minor differences. I read the Horsethief vs Satori thread (even chimed in) but it is mostly just bench racing based on geometry and spec. I really like the Bandit on paper but snagging a legit demo might be tough compared to the other two. Any one actually been on these bikes that could share their thoughts?

    FYI, I currently ride a Salsa Spearfish. Love it for fast, XC type riding but there are a few trails in Austin where more more squish and slacker angles would be perfect.

  2. #2
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    You're probably only going to get bandit info here.

    My bandit is certainly a do it all bike, it's very easy to flow and pump through singletrack up or downhill. One great thing I noticed right away was how good it feels when I'm standing and sprinting, feels like you are inside the bike(might be a 29er thing).

    You don't really notice the wheel size, there's not any areas where I feel like I'm going slower than I used to.

    Handles drops and "stair" like situations awesomely, I don't really notice the bump absorbing people claim 29ers are great for but that's probably because I'm running 30-35 psi in tubeless..... kept getting puncture and tire pinching when I was lower

    Maybe with a 110-140mm fork adjust with a DP air rockshox fork or fox talas It would suit your XC style riding. I know being able to drop down to 110mm helped my climbing a lot.

    The bandit also has a better stock build kit in my opinion, and the Kashima really is smoother.
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  3. #3
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    It's a Transition! What else do you need to know?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenblur View Post
    All three appear similar in design and intent, with just minor differences. I read the Horsethief vs Satori thread (even chimed in) but it is mostly just bench racing based on geometry and spec. I really like the Bandit on paper but snagging a legit demo might be tough compared to the other two. Any one actually been on these bikes that could share their thoughts?

    FYI, I currently ride a Salsa Spearfish. Love it for fast, XC type riding but there are a few trails in Austin where more more squish and slacker angles would be perfect.
    Yeah, i'm in the same boat.

    The Horsetheif looks pretty nice and there is a Salsa dealer pretty close to me. The nearest Transition dealer is a state away. I don't think I could buy sight unseen but i lust more for the Bandit.

  5. #5
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    Bandido!!!

    I ride a Bandit and last night I rode along side a Horsethief. Never through a leg over it because I was having too much fun on mine! I will say that under a capable rider, there is almost nothing that either of these bikes can't excel at. We rode Holy Cross in Grand Junction, CO. There were 3 TR B29's on the trail, and 1 Horsethief. We were rippin! My eyes opened to an entirely new way of riding that trail- lots of time in the air and cleaning sections that have stumped me for years, down and up!. SOO MUCH FUN!

    Again, of the three bikes I can only speak from a rider's perspective on the characteristics of the Bandit. The B29's suspension action is the best I have ridden. Supple to the small stuff and bottomless when charging through the chunk and off drops with absolutely no wallow and still climbs efficiently, especially with the new adaptive logic PP.

    You can't go wrong with any of them, but the Transition is BY FAR the best looking shred sled of the bunch. Both the Salsa and Kona look better online than the do in person. Their finish looks cheap and flat. The opposite is true for the Transition. I have a pewter frame and it is hands down the sexiest bike I have ever seen. The color is gorgeous and the build quality is phenomenal. Big, smooth welds, a bottomless paint job that takes on the hue of its surroundings, and a frame that screams I wanna play, HARD!!!

    I can't speak highly enough of the B29. Thank you Transition. I am in rider heaven.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by karatemonkey View Post
    I ride a Bandit and last night I rode along side a Horsethief. Never through a leg over it because I was having too much fun on mine! I will say that under a capable rider, there is almost nothing that either of these bikes can't excel at. We rode Holy Cross in Grand Junction, CO. There were 3 TR B29's on the trail, and 1 Horsethief. We were rippin! My eyes opened to an entirely new way of riding that trail- lots of time in the air and cleaning sections that have stumped me for years, down and up!. SOO MUCH FUN!

    Again, of the three bikes I can only speak from a rider's perspective on the characteristics of the Bandit. The B29's suspension action is the best I have ridden. Supple to the small stuff and bottomless when charging through the chunk and off drops with absolutely no wallow and still climbs efficiently, especially with the new adaptive logic PP.

    You can't go wrong with any of them, but the Transition is BY FAR the best looking shred sled of the bunch. Both the Salsa and Kona look better online than the do in person. Their finish looks cheap and flat. The opposite is true for the Transition. I have a pewter frame and it is hands down the sexiest bike I have ever seen. The color is gorgeous and the build quality is phenomenal. Big, smooth welds, a bottomless paint job that takes on the hue of its surroundings, and a frame that screams I wanna play, HARD!!!

    I can't speak highly enough of the B29. Thank you Transition. I am in rider heaven.
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    Thanks for your input. I had almost convinced myself to go with the Salsa. Good thing they aren't in stores yet.

  7. #7
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    geez! you need to be a writer!!! It's true...this morning i was at the top of the trail staring over the valley, sun peaking out and my green just shined! Plus...it's transition!!! Those guys are just the most awesome bike company i know of!

  8. #8
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    The only problem I have with the Bandit is it looks too big for me. I am 5'7" and the small Satori or small Horsethief looks like it would fit me better. Correct me if I am wrong but the Transition Bandit only comes in a Med. and according to the specs it looks a bit big for me. Also the price on the Bandit is about $1000 more for the same build, am I wrong, please tell me so.
    Narrow and rugged is the path that leads to life and few find it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojoman View Post
    The only problem I have with the Bandit is it looks too big for me. I am 5'7" and the small Satori or small Horsethief looks like it would fit me better. Correct me if I am wrong but the Transition Bandit only comes in a Med. and according to the specs it looks a bit big for me. Also the price on the Bandit is about $1000 more for the same build, am I wrong, please tell me so.
    I'm 5'9" on a medium B29 and wish i got a large sometimes. It would fit me better if i was an inch or two shorter. B29 has elixir 9s vs the Horsetheif's elixir 5 brakes. B29 has top of the line shock and fork compared to the Horsetheif. I liked that the Horsetheif has the stan's flows though.

    My wallet said Horsetheif but my wiener said B29.

  10. #10
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    One thing about the Horsethief that's weird to me is the one-peice rear end (relies on flexing of the seatstays instead of pivoting near the rear axle). Intentional flexing of aluminum has never been a good idea as aluminum has a fatigue limit. That said Salsa is a stand-up brand and they are built for long, torturous lives so I'm sure it will be fine.

    On paper they are similar, but I would revert to each brand's priorities: Salsa's are for adventure and epic explorations, while Transitions are all about fun and playful tearing of trails. Of course that's a generalization of each, but it's got to ring true to some extent in how each rides.

    Salsa is one of the very few brands I like as much as Transition so I'm biased both ways, personally.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostBoyScout View Post
    One thing about the Horsethief that's weird to me is the one-peice rear end (relies on flexing of the seatstays instead of pivoting near the rear axle). Intentional flexing of aluminum has never been a good idea as aluminum has a fatigue limit. That said Salsa is a stand-up brand and they are built for long, torturous lives so I'm sure it will be fine.

    On paper they are similar, but I would revert to each brand's priorities: Salsa's are for adventure and epic explorations, while Transitions are all about fun and playful tearing of trails. Of course that's a generalization of each, but it's got to ring true to some extent in how each rides.

    Salsa is one of the very few brands I like as much as Transition so I'm biased both ways, personally.
    Yes, aluminum does have a fatigue point but you won't reach it in any reasonable amount of time on a Horsethief. Salsa has been using flexy stays for a long time as well as any number of brands. Why do I say that? Because the the intentional flex in the stays is less than the unintentional flex seen in any number of frames on the market.

    As for Horsethief vs. Bandit... I'm torn. I own a Horsethief and I can confidently tell you that the Horsethief is the perfect mountain bike for places without mountains. I also own several Transitions and I can say without any doubt that I have more fun on them than any of my other bikes.

    So the question I would respond with is: what is more important - having a bike that performs brilliantly but does so more seriously or having a bike that performs less brilliantly but that you have tons of fun on?

  12. #12
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    I have a Horsethief and I am loving it. It has a sturdy feel like no other. I have riden several other 29er bikes like the Stumpy FSR, and a HT Trek also demo a trek rumblefish. I like the Horsethief because of the slightly more slack head angle and because the frame just feels more solid. I am hard on my bikes and constantly put them threw the tough stuff. So far the Horsethief has been stable and without fail. The stock build is a bit week so I am saving up for some new wheels and new drive train, for now it is just fine.
    Narrow and rugged is the path that leads to life and few find it.

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