1st 29er.....Santa Cruz Tallboy V4 or Transition Spur- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    1st 29er.....Santa Cruz Tallboy V4 or Transition Spur

    So I think I finally want to try a 29er. I have demoed a few bikes.....Hightower, Tallboy V3, Smuggler and they just didnít convince me I wanted to make the switch. Fast forward to the two bikes in the title and these bikes really talk to me and what I want from a trail bike.

    My current bike is a 150/130 27.5 bike that I will be keeping, and selling my 160/150 27.5 bike and getting the 29er. As I get a little older, and more grounded about the riding I do, and should be doing, I see that I really need to focus on a dedicated trail bike that is more efficient, but still a ton of fun. I donít need a race bike or XC machine, but these two bikes seem to have not only the efficiency Iím looking for, but also the ability to get a little rowdy, if if my rowdy isnít what it used to be. I just donít need a bike like my 160/150 one.

    So anyway, Iíve been reading a lot about the Tallboy V4 since itís been out awhile now. I have owned a bunch of Santa Cruz bikes so I like their bikes, especially the lower shock mounted VPP.

    I also owned a couple Transitions Bikes and like their bikes as well.

    Really donít think I can go wrong with either one.....price for the builds will be identical....so which should I get?

    Looking for some insightful opinions on which to get.

  2. #2
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    Interesting that you've ridden the Smuggler and V3 and didn't like either but are interested in both the Spur and V4.

    Transition built an Endurance XC race bike for people don't wear spandex and want to party in the woods. Santa Cruz built a... actually I don't know exactly what the current geo Tallboy is all about. I've only read mixed reviews based on previous Tallboy owners who didn't like the updates. Rumor is it's less XC and more Trail.

    Based on your previous bike experience and desire for a bike that is more efficient, the Spur is likely more efficient and up your alley.
    SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Interesting that you've ridden the Smuggler and V3 and didn't like either but are interested in both the Spur and V4.
    The demos I did were kind of short and inconclusive at the time. I can see the benefits of the larger wheel size but what I really want is a bike that has the playful character of a 27.5. The reason Iím leaning towards these
    two bikes is Iím hoping the limited travel will mimic/resemble that feeling I get when I ride my shorter/mid travel 27.5er.

    The Smuggler wasnít far off from my TR Scout, it had similar travel so it felt......similar but sluggish with larger wheels.

    TB3 was a small bike even in a Large, just didnít feel comfortable.

    Both of these bikes seem to be more trail than XC, plenty playful, and rewarding when taken up to speed, but very manageable when your just pedaling around.

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    Well, depending on which build you're going with you have a bit of a choice in regards to suspension brand with Santa Cruz and only 1 Rock Shox SID with Transition.

    Granted, we all can swap things out to get the desired build but dammit it can be a pain in the azz!

    -Personally, I've had not-so-good experiences withe R.S. Rear shocks in the past, they seem to be a lot better now but I'm just squarely in the Fox-camp. And you have a Shimano option at Santa Cruz too!

    I guess 1) Try to ride BOTH. 2) Buy the one you can get a better deal on & make it "yours" from there......

    "There's two kinds of people in this world - Walkers and Talkers." Which one are you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMFT View Post
    Well, depending on which build you're going with you have a bit of a choice in regards to suspension brand with Santa Cruz and only 1 Rock Shox SID with Transition.

    Granted, we all can swap things out to get the desired build but dammit it can be a pain in the azz!

    -Personally, I've had not-so-good experiences withe R.S. Rear shocks in the past, they seem to be a lot better now but I'm just squarely in the Fox-camp. And you have a Shimano option at Santa Cruz too!

    I guess 1) Try to ride BOTH. 2) Buy the one you can get a better deal on & make it "yours" from there......

    Transition Demo is rare in Upstate NY. I donít have many dealers that carry a lot of bikes let alone have demos. I bought one bike from a dealer that is 3 1/2 hrs away. Another I bought online from TR....no demo...leap of faith purchase.

    Santa Cruz I can probably get a demo.....maybe. There are much more opportunities to take a ride on SC bikes.

    Iím looking at the C S build and GX build respectively, so swapping out parts is common for me.

    The few reviews I have read about the TR Spur remind me how I felt about my Scout V1. The Spur seems to be more.....edgy/polarizing/cutting edge.

    The Tallboy is definitely polarizing, but more on the conservative side.

  6. #6
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    Very different bikes.

    Spur is a long travel XC race bike.

    Tallboy is a bike for surviving climbs and focusing on the descents.

    That said, unless you like pedaling hard, might as well go with the Tallboy.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Very different bikes.

    Spur is a long travel XC race bike.

    Tallboy is a bike for surviving climbs and focusing on the descents.

    That said, unless you like pedaling hard, might as well go with the Tallboy.
    Majority of the climbing we do is short, punchy, tech stuff. There are a few places that have long sustained climbs, but not many places. We have a lot of grind up, grind down riding that really has few opportunities to open it up. That's why I am considering these two bikes. I would like the roll over capabilities of the larger wheel size to help in those rocky/rooty old school tech we have, but in the short instances the speed turns up a little you can let it go.....briefly....not plow through....just open it up where you can pick the line and scoot, rather than plow the section.

    The geo of these bikes is similar to my bikes now....both should be pretty fun for the travel they have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Very different bikes.

    Spur is a long travel XC race bike.

    Tallboy is a bike for surviving climbs and focusing on the descents.

    That said, unless you like pedaling hard, might as well go with the Tallboy.
    I completely disagree with statement of Tallboy ďsurviving on the climbs.Ē No itís not a race bike but climbs extremely well. I am faster on the T4 than my previous Tallboy1 that was 4-5 pounds lighter. My rides are least 2,000 feet of climbing and I am keeping up no problem with guys on XC race bikes. Oh and I older too!! That said the Spur looks sweet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbrockenchain View Post
    I completely disagree with statement of Tallboy ďsurviving on the climbs.Ē No itís not a race bike but climbs extremely well. I am faster on the T4 than my previous Tallboy1 that was 4-5 pounds lighter. My rides are least 2,000 feet of climbing and I am keeping up no problem with guys on XC race bikes. Oh and I older too!! That said the Spur looks sweet.
    Just saying your rides are at least 2000 feet of climbing doesn't really mean much without providing more context. Are you sitting and spinning up two 1000 ft. climbs and then bombing down or are you standing and hammering up twenty 100 ft. climbs?

    I live in SE MI and it is considered essentially "flat" here yet on my 35 mile ride last week I had over 2200 feet of climbing. That was on a trail system where the biggest climb is barely over 100 ft.

    A good friend of mine rode an earlier gen Tallboy for years. But when he went to replace it and demo'd both the new Tallboy and the Blur he said it was no contest, the Blur was a much better choice for him given the short punchy out of the saddle efforts our trails require.

  10. #10
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    The Tallboy may not pedal as well as the Blur or other XC bikes because it's a trail bike. The Tallboy is a bike I feel confident sending 15-20 ft gap jumps on. It's nearly just as capable as my old Hightower LT (150mm travel). However, it's not an enduro bike that's only good for spinning up smooth climbs either. It's faster and more efficient than my 130mm steel hardtail and way faster than any enduro bike I've ridden. It does great on rolling terrain. So yeah, it's not an XC race bike but that doesn't mean it's an enduro sled either. Personally, I wouldn't want to give up any more capability for efficiency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    Just saying your rides are at least 2000 feet of climbing doesn't really mean much without providing more context. Are you sitting and spinning up two 1000 ft. climbs and then bombing down or are you standing and hammering up twenty 100 ft. climbs?

    I live in SE MI and it is considered essentially "flat" here yet on my 35 mile ride last week I had over 2200 feet of climbing. That was on a trail system where the biggest climb is barely over 100 ft.

    A good friend of mine rode an earlier gen Tallboy for years. But when he went to replace it and demo'd both the new Tallboy and the Blur he said it was no contest, the Blur was a much better choice for him given the short punchy out of the saddle efforts our trails require.
    Yes I live in the mountains and some climbs are over an hour long. My point was ďsurviving the climbsĒ was a major exaggeration. The Tallboy & Blur are completely different bikes. Sounds like you should get a more XC focused bike for your terrain. Lots of good ones these days. Specialized Epic Evo & trek top fuel as well as transition Spur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbrockenchain View Post
    Yes I live in the mountains and some climbs are over an hour long. My point was ďsurviving the climbsĒ was a major exaggeration. The Tallboy & Blur are completely different bikes. Sounds like you should get a more XC focused bike for your terrain. Lots of good ones these days. Specialized Epic Evo & trek top fuel as well as transition Spur.
    Got it. I do ride an XC bike. The point of my post was to help get clarity on your 2000 ft of climbing comment so the OP would have better context to help him/her make a well informed choice between the two subject bikes.

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    Owning a TB4, it is a super versatile bike down for whatever (within reason). The thing is, people compare its climbing manners with pure xc bikes. Yes in that context it is not the bike that will fly up climbs but it has loads of grip and goes about the task efficiently if you sit and spin.
    Its mainly on very mellow terrain climbs or for example gravel / tarmac sections were I wish it was a bit more XC rapid, but as soon as I get out on the trail boy does she go and once the trail starts to point downhill you will wave good bye to your XC pals. I have ridden bike parks, xc trail centers, enduro tracks and lots of sweet single track on mine and there is very little terrain were I would not ride the TB4.
    Granted you have to adapt your riding style to the situation

    I have not ridden the Spur but just looking at geo they are really close so I think it is more a matter of the different linkages giving different characteristics.
    The TB4 allows for up to a 140 fork - not sure how the Spur handles a longer fork.

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    BluePitch, not sure what part of upstate NY you are in but I also live in upstate so figured I would chime in. I was in much the same boat as you and it seems we have similar riding styles based on what you have shared. I demoed the tallboy V4, Yeti SB100 & 130, and an Ibis Ripley. Not to add another bike to your list but I wound up purchasing the Ripley as to me, it felt the most playful of the bunch. So many great bikes out there so demo what you can and I don't think you can go wrong.

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    I wouldn't limit myself to those two, besides the mentioned Ripley, a Revel Ranger would be on my list. I had a V1 Tallboy and I'm one of those that think they went too far on the V4.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    BluePitch, not sure what part of upstate NY you are in but I also live in upstate so figured I would chime in. I was in much the same boat as you and it seems we have similar riding styles based on what you have shared. I demoed the tallboy V4, Yeti SB100 & 130, and an Ibis Ripley. Not to add another bike to your list but I wound up purchasing the Ripley as to me, it felt the most playful of the bunch. So many great bikes out there so demo what you can and I don't think you can go wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I wouldn't limit myself to those two, besides the mentioned Ripley, a Revel Ranger would be on my list. I had a V1 Tallboy and I'm one of those that think they went too far on the V4.
    I know there are a lot of great bikes out there and limiting to the SC and TR is shortsighted, however, I have owned a bunch of SC's and two TR's.......both of these companies have taken care of me with not only warranty issues, but parts and service issues. The TR guys especially have THE BEST support from any company I have dealt with. SC has been good for my warranty issues, not so much on the support and asking advice and questions like TR.

    Both of these companies offer lifetime warranties on the frames....which is important. Lifetime bearings from SC.

    I really like TR as a company...not many places you can call and actually talk with someone about setting up your bike properly. Last bike I bought from them I had an issue with the internals of my shifter, called them and they walked me through how to untangle the cable, then sent me a replacement cable and a sticker for my troubles. Kind of what to give them my business again.

    Catching a demo on the Spur may not happen any time soon. I messaged a TR dealer about pre ordering a Spur and got an estimate for October/November.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    BluePitch, not sure what part of upstate NY you are in but I also live in upstate so figured I would chime in. I was in much the same boat as you and it seems we have similar riding styles based on what you have shared. I demoed the tallboy V4, Yeti SB100 & 130, and an Ibis Ripley. Not to add another bike to your list but I wound up purchasing the Ripley as to me, it felt the most playful of the bunch. So many great bikes out there so demo what you can and I don't think you can go wrong.
    Capital District and north of it.

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    Same, I ride Saratoga and north.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    Same, I ride Saratoga and north.
    Then we probably crossed paths. One of my riding crew stops everyone riding a Ripley to ask questions about it. He ended up buying one from High Adventure Ski and Bike. I remember talking with someone at Gurney and Daniels Rd.

    That's another reason I can't get a Ibis......can't have the same bike as my buddy.....there would be no way to make excuses when he cleared a section and I couldn't on the exact same bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    I know there are a lot of great bikes out there and limiting to the SC and TR is shortsighted, however, I have owned a bunch of SC's and two TR's.......both of these companies have taken care of me with not only warranty issues, but parts and service issues. The TR guys especially have THE BEST support from any company I have dealt with. SC has been good for my warranty issues, not so much on the support and asking advice and questions like TR.

    Both of these companies offer lifetime warranties on the frames....which is important. Lifetime bearings from SC.

    I really like TR as a company...not many places you can call and actually talk with someone about setting up your bike properly. Last bike I bought from them I had an issue with the internals of my shifter, called them and they walked me through how to untangle the cable, then sent me a replacement cable and a sticker for my troubles. Kind of what to give them my business again.

    Catching a demo on the Spur may not happen any time soon. I messaged a TR dealer about pre ordering a Spur and got an estimate for October/November.

    Ibis is similar- just an example: I bought a Mojo 3 Frame & Wheels after being on 29ers for several years. Didn't really care for it and then bought a Ripley frame & wheels. When it was build I was getting some awful resonance from the rear brake. I called Ibis and asked if anything had changed with the frames that would cause this since the rotor had been on another bike as well before the M3.
    Of course they said it was the rotor, I mentioned all the parts came from the M3 except wheels and I seriously doubted it was the rotor since it didn't make noise on the M3. I said I didn't want to buy a rotor to find out it wasn't the issue.

    Sent me a new rotor and that solved the problem. Since I only bought a frame, I offered to pay for the rotor since it was the issue and they said no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    Then we probably crossed paths. One of my riding crew stops everyone riding a Ripley to ask questions about it. He ended up buying one from High Adventure Ski and Bike. I remember talking with someone at Gurney and Daniels Rd.

    That's another reason I can't get a Ibis......can't have the same bike as my buddy.....there would be no way to make excuses when he cleared a section and I couldn't on the exact same bike.
    Well I just got my Ripley two days ago so that wasn't me but we certainly could have crossed paths at either Gurney or Daniels Rd at some point! Hopefully we do down the line.

    Very funny about not having the same bike as your buddy because you will lose the excuse! I feel much the same way when riding with certain friends ha. Good luck with the decision and I am sure you will be psyched whatever direction you go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    Well I just got my Ripley two days ago so that wasn't me but we certainly could have crossed paths at either Gurney or Daniels Rd at some point! Hopefully we do down the line.

    Very funny about not having the same bike as your buddy because you will lose the excuse! I feel much the same way when riding with certain friends ha. Good luck with the decision and I am sure you will be psyched whatever direction you go.
    Thereís always a little competition on certain tricky sections. My buddy already rides a 29er....most of us are still on 27.5. I canít help to think that 29er wheels would roll better over sections of Daniels Rd. You know those tall exposed roots that swallow wheels at slower speeds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    Thereís always a little competition on certain tricky sections. My buddy already rides a 29er....most of us are still on 27.5. I canít help to think that 29er wheels would roll better over sections of Daniels Rd. You know those tall exposed roots that swallow wheels at slower speeds.
    I would definitely agree and I certainly know those rooty sections you are talking about. The first FS bike I had was 27.5 and I do notice better roll over with a 29er. I prefer it and feel like with the all the newest ones that they are still plenty nimble, etc. Just my two cents but I am happy on the 29er for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    I would definitely agree and I certainly know those rooty sections you are talking about. The first FS bike I had was 27.5 and I do notice better roll over with a 29er. I prefer it and feel like with the all the newest ones that they are still plenty nimble, etc. Just my two cents but I am happy on the 29er for sure.
    Thanks, I just sold one of my bikes to make room for my first 29er. Iím leaning towards these two bikes to keep that playful feeling of my 27.5. Still going back and forth which to get. Not the greatest time to buy a new bike.....lots of shortages and delays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    Thanks, I just sold one of my bikes to make room for my first 29er. Iím leaning towards these two bikes to keep that playful feeling of my 27.5. Still going back and forth which to get. Not the greatest time to buy a new bike.....lots of shortages and delays.

    I don't think you can go wrong, all these bikes seem to be great today. Certainly a hard time to buy a new bike but once you decide and get one on order, at least you have your 27.5 to keep riding and it'll be great when the new one arrives. Does anyone locally carry Transition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    I don't think you can go wrong, all these bikes seem to be great today. Certainly a hard time to buy a new bike but once you decide and get one on order, at least you have your 27.5 to keep riding and it'll be great when the new one arrives. Does anyone locally carry Transition?
    Not locally, however, there is a place in Lake Placid area, and Burlington Vt or Morrisville VT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    Not locally, however, there is a place in Lake Placid area, and Burlington Vt or Morrisville VT.
    Very cool, I wound up buying my Ripley from a shop in Stowe, VT. Worked out great, awesome place.

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    Went with the Spur!

    1st 29er.....Santa Cruz Tallboy V4 or Transition Spur-thumbnail_img_0311.jpg

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    Nice pick.

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    Idea! Feedback please

    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    hi guys !
    spur or ibis ripley.. don't know which one to go for!
    OP, please tell me why you chose the spur and how you feel riding it.
    Be verbal, enthusiast .. give me reasons to get this one :P
    is it more XC than trail ? is it more trail that kicks qss when climbing? fun? easy ? strict? what does it compare to ?
    in advance: many thanks !
    G

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghnq View Post
    hi guys !
    spur or ibis ripley.. don't know which one to go for!
    OP, please tell me why you chose the spur and how you feel riding it.
    Be verbal, enthusiast .. give me reasons to get this one :P
    is it more XC than trail ? is it more trail that kicks qss when climbing? fun? easy ? strict? what does it compare to ?
    in advance: many thanks !
    G

    Also curious. The TB4 is on my list of possible bikes. But the new Trance X has added a great choice I think. Maestro is a stellar pedaling platform and the geo looks bang on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghnq View Post
    hi guys !
    spur or ibis ripley.. don't know which one to go for!
    OP, please tell me why you chose the spur and how you feel riding it.
    Be verbal, enthusiast .. give me reasons to get this one :P
    is it more XC than trail ? is it more trail that kicks qss when climbing? fun? easy ? strict? what does it compare to ?
    in advance: many thanks !
    G
    I will start by telling you that this bike is now edging out my all time favorite bike, the Transition Scout V1. I have been trying to find a bike that gave me the same feeling while riding as the Scout V1 for a long time. This bike has changed forever what I thought would be the perfect trail bike.

    First off the title of this thread........it's my first 29er. I have demoed a few 29ers before. Hightower V1, Tallboy V2 and V3, Smuggler, etc.....but every time I came away with the same impression. It was always the same feeling. I felt like I was steering a ship rather than steering a bike. Not that dramatic but it felt like the front end was big, slow, and floppy. I realize the benefits of 29er wheels, but was never ready to take the plunge because of that vagueness in the front end. That all changed when I saw the Spur. I know that TR is not the first to come out with a short travel 29er, but this bike immediately made me think of my Scout V1. Short travel, punches above its weight, and just fun to ride.

    When you throw in the low weight, short travel, good pedal efficiency I thought.......this is like the Scout V1 just shed 6 pounds, became easier to pedal, and didn't lose much when the trail points downward?

    The biggest surprise was that vagueness that I felt on all the other 29ers was not there. I swear you can't tell this bike is a 29er, its so agile and quick.....just like a 27.5 bike.

    The bike is just fast! Fast to get up to speed, fast to turn, fast on the downs.......it's fast everywhere. Credit the short travel and kinematics built into the suspension, the low weight and the fast rolling tire combo. Keep in mind I have the GX build in large which comes out to 28.01 pounds with my pedals. Get the higher level builds and you can drop another 2 pounds.....I imagine throwing some pedal strokes on a bike with lighter wheels and build will make it ever quicker!

    Pedaling this bike on any type of trail makes every root, rock, bulge of dirt a chance to get airborne. I am by no means some extreme rider who thinks he can hang with the 50to01 crew, however, I like to emulate that style of riding on my local trails......on a much lower scale. This bike encourages you to pop off of things, try to gap roots rather than plow through, pick up the front end and scoot the back out to avoid that stump. It turns boring trails into extra credit opportunities to just get silly. I have found that the most mellow trails in my area now have all these new unseen opportunities and lines to make riding them actually fun.

    When the trail gets rough, fast, and rowdy lets be clear.....this is only 120mm of travel front and rear. You can ride this bike anywhere you want, however, if you want to do shuttle runs or laps at the bike park it's probably not the best choice. It will surprise you how well the geo works when descending, it does punch well above its weight. I would refer to its descending capabilities as very sporty. Its not plush, plowy, or forgiving. It's firm, supportive and agile. Not a plow.....its a point and shoot bike.

    I would not refer to this bike as a XC bike......it's a trail bike. It's a trail bike that has similar travel and weight as a XC bike. You could probably race it if you wanted to?

    This bike can ride every single trail in my local network without hesitation. I may not be bombing down as fast someone slugging around an enduro rig but it all depends where you live. I'm in Upstate NY and ride here and southern Vermont. I have not come across a trail system I would not take this bike. I will not take it to bike parks.....that's the exception.

    I can't comment on the Ripley. One of my riding buddies just got his. He is extremely happy with it. We traded a couple of times.....but I can't formulate an opinion from that amount of time.

    One of the reasons I really like this bike is Transitions philosophy/ethos/design principals? They only make mountain bikes, no road bikes, no hybrid, no BMX, just mountain bikes. They did do a Klunker and gravel bike from what I can remember.....but they were still aimed at riding in the mountains. I really appreciate their interpretation of what a bike should be and how it should be ridden. Just a good company with good products and great customer support.

    There may not be that many reviews on the Spur yet, its pretty hard to get your hands on one. The few reviews that are out are pretty accurate. This is a very polarizing bike.

    I can't remember ever being so smitten about a bike.....I have ridden this bike so much in such a short time because I simply can't get enough of it. It encourages you to just go out and ride.....it's a pretty special bike. It really has a special mix of efficiency, playfulness, rowdiness, and capability in a sporty package.

  33. #33
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    Bike looks fast standing still!

    1st 29er.....Santa Cruz Tallboy V4 or Transition Spur-thumbnail_img_0308.jpg

    1st 29er.....Santa Cruz Tallboy V4 or Transition Spur-thumbnail_img_0454.jpg

  34. #34
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    Amen! thank you for this detailed reply. I can feel you really have good times on it.
    Enjoy your rides and do not hesitate to share your feelings, as you said few reviews only exist

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghnq View Post
    Amen! thank you for this detailed reply. I can feel you really have good times on it.
    Enjoy your rides and do not hesitate to share your feelings, as you said few reviews only exist
    Come over to this thread. There are a few people logging some miles on it.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/transition-b...l#post15001439

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