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  1. #1
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    Transition Sentinel vs Guerilla Gravity Smash

    Generally I assume these bikes are similar in capability. How would they compare jumping and doing drops? Is there any other category they would separate from each other worth mentioning? Climbing, rock gardens, steep lines, ďplayfullnessĒ, trail manners?

    Would consider 11-6 on Smash, donít know if itís available for Sentinel yet.

  2. #2
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    11-6 is now available in trunnion, so itís a go for Sentinel.

    If going with a coil, having a shock like the 11-6 would definitely help the Sentinel on the flow trails, trails that require pumping ect. In the short time I rode that bike one thing I noticed that it didnít like to reigned in by slow flow. Climbing on the Sential was fantastic. Bombing down fast outstanding. The faster the better. If i end up on a Sentinel itíll be coil. (Hopefully there more trunnion options to come).

    With the Smash, the two different modes allow you to switch to adapt better to the trail your riding, I wouldnít personally opt for an 11-6 on the Smash for that reason.

    Iím really wanting to demo a Smash but itís probably not going to happen, no L or XLís close by in BC. The sentinel felt like it was on rails. Not like any other 29er Iíve ridden. I donít think Iíd want to give up on that type of responsiveness that Sentinel offers. That bike is on an other level.

    For those that have ridden both, my question is - How stiff is the rear end on the Smash vs the Sentinel?

  3. #3
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    Bigcrs
    Can you elaborate on what the sentinel didn't like about the slower trails? Did you ride any tight turning downhill sections etc.
    Was it shock and set up related or is it one of the bikes weakness'... tight turnin sections not at speed? More feedback on your demo and the trails you took it on.
    Thanks for your insight!

  4. #4
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    First things first - I only had ~3hr of ride time. 50% of that was climbing buffed single track and well maintained fire rode. The fork and shock were saggged with riding gear and settings set to what the Transition guy felt would be a good starting point. I never once touched the setting or pressure, though they definitely needed some attention.

    To answer your questions -

    - Itís not that I didnít like it on slower trails itís just the Sentinel isnít the type of bike for slow trails. The geo numbers say so.

    - If i could have spent a few days riding this set up and the chacnce to work on both the shock and fork I think the handling could have marginally improved in the slow flow situations.

    - The only tight turns not a speed I really encountered where when climbing. Though those switchbacks where wide, the bike felt composed and comfortable. It puts you in a great pedaling postion.

    - I rode Galbraith in Bellingham. I rode Mulllet to Cheech and Chong 3x over. Great fast flow with plenty of jumps. No tech.

  5. #5
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    I'm guessing that as long as you run a 150-160 mm fork on the Smash the two bikes would be equally capable.

    The big difference is Transition's new geo. Do you buy in to that philosophy? If so, there's your answer. If you prefer more established and traditional geo the Smash should be a worthy alternative.

    I would think the two bikes would be very similar but the Smash may have a shot at being more "playful". That's not an attribute you see mentioned in the early Sentinel feedback.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    I'm guessing that as long as you run a 150-160 mm fork on the Smash the two bikes would be equally capable.

    The big difference is Transition's new geo. Do you buy in to that philosophy? If so, there's your answer. If you prefer more established and traditional geo the Smash should be a worthy alternative.

    I would think the two bikes would be very similar but the Smash may have a shot at being more "playful". That's not an attribute you see mentioned in the early Sentinel feedback.

    I agree. For all to be equal then the Smash should be rocking 160mm up front. Which would in turn slacken the head (which is good) and seat angle (maybe not so good) and possibly raise the bb. Which would then effect seated climbing position.

    The big thing I took away from the demo was how snappy the steering was. I think a 44mm or 42mm offset fork is key to the SBG concept.

  7. #7
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    Check out the smash thread in the GG sub. A wealth of info there. I will be getting a smash as it is reportedly more playful than the sentinel.
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF
    Smash

  8. #8
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    I rode the Smash at the GG Factory around Denver. It felt nice and light, playful and poppy. Then I rented a Megatrail in Moab and it felt average and a little dead inside. Maybe it was the builds or shock tuning. If I was as impressed with the Megatrail as the Smash it would make the choice easier.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidermatt View Post
    I rode the Smash at the GG Factory around Denver. It felt nice and light, playful and poppy.
    What kind of build? Suspension specifically? Crush or Plush? Have you ridden a Trail Pistol for comparison by chance?
    '18 Guerilla Gravity Smash 140/150 29"
    '05 Giant Reign 150/130 26"

  10. #10
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    I donít even know where the Smash was (plush or crush). I tried the Megatrail in both and only liked it in the slacker setting. Even then it wasnít great. I think it had a Monarch and a Lyric, XT drivetrain. Might have been settings on shock and fork, I didnít mess with them much, but the Smash at the Factory felt dialed in.

  11. #11
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    I've owned a smash for several months and ridden a sentinel twice. Air shock on the sentinel and coil on the smash with a couple different springs. I bumped the smash up to a 150mm fork which slackens the head tube and seat tube a bit and also raises the bb.

    First, SBG is cool, but its not just a transition thing anymore. guerrilla gravity frames are every bit as "SBG" as transitions and you can get them with a shorter offset fork if you want. Consider both bikes SBG, especially since some companies measure differently and despite what the charts say, i feel like the seat tube on the smash is for sure steeper than the sentinel once you have appropriate sag.

    The smash has a firmer suspension design that is more progressive, rides higher in its travel and feels more efficient in most areas. The sentinel is much smoother over small bumps or when pedaling slow to medium speeds. At higher speeds I think the smash's more supportive suspension begins to work better, but again I'm comparing coil on my smash to air on the sentinel. Aside from the suspension differences i would say the sentinel descends just a tiny bit better and the smash climbs just a tiny bit better (even though i ride a 36lb smash with coil, cushcore, etc.) and rode a 32ish pound sentinel. the slacker front end on the sentinel seems to give it a little bit more stability and somehow it seems to turn WAY better than the smash. maybe bb height, even though they're apparently almost the same, i think the smash rides higher. sentinel feels like it gets more traction, quicker turns and still more stability at speed. when speeds slow down the sentinel can feel more cumbersome and the 64 degree head tube is noticeable but its manageable. if you ride park and prioritize the downhills i might lean toward the sentinel, but know that the smash is almost right up there with it on the descents and rough terrain, can definitely ride all the same things, but climbs better and tracks straighter at slow speeds. I've been riding my smash at the park all summer and it handles everything great.

    we've all heard the good things, here are some cons:

    Smash is a really high bike. Super tall head tube, super high top tube/standover and kind of high bb. this takes some getting used to when trying to turn the bike at high speeds. it feels like its on a railroad track and just wants to keep going straight (really fast), but you eventually get used to it and it turns fine.

    sentinels head tube angle prevents it from climbing technical slow speed terrain as precisely as other comparable bikes. the steep seat tube angle helps a lot and overall i feel its a good climber, but theres no getting away from the fact that it has a 64 degree head tube angle. its a trade off. get a 200mm rotor on the front of the sentinel, it deserves it.

    can't go wrong either way. if its a toss up for you and you can't ride them both i would say pick the smash if you like firm supportive suspension (but definitely get a coil) and pick the sentinel if you like plusher suspension.

  12. #12
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    I ride a Smash, 160 Lyrik with a 42mm offset, so not unlike a Sentinel for geo and wheelbase, and I have absolutely no issues with tight switchbacks. Iím sure a shorter wheelbase bike would be easier, but good technique trumps geo any day.

    I did a parking lot tour on a Sentinel, it felt long and slack, Iím sure itís a good bike, what Transition bike isnít?

    I think the biggest difference betweeh these two bikes is ride height and weight/cost. The Sentinel is a long and low, the Smash is long and tall, need pedal clearance get the Smash, ride flow and park get the Sentinel.

    Price and weight, you gotta drop 3k for a carbon Sentinel or pay 2k and get a heavy frame. The Smash comes in aluminum or aluminum, not heavy, not light.

    One more data point: the Smash will fit 29 x 2.6 and 27.5 x 3.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Devinci Hendrix 27+ (Loaner)
    Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife)

  13. #13
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    lotsa good points here.
    I voted with my wallet and picked up a carbon senitinel xo and rode it stock awhile. great bike imo, more dh oriented on the 29 spectrum but it can climb. if you are a good climber you should not have problems. if you cant climb and its important to you, maybe focus on a bike that will help your weaknesses???

    recently had push modify my 11/6. trunnion and all, it works, it fits. need to get the sag right. happy trails.

    looked at a smash as a competitor but didnt like the idea of stiffer suspension and high bb. really wanted to support GG.
    Jesus Saves




  14. #14
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    Agreed, GG is the bomb, but their bikes ride high and firm. If you ride places like Moab or Tahoe, the Smash is perfect. If you ride places like Bellingham, the Sentinel is a good choice.

    There are other bikes worth mentioning like the Spartan 29, esp if the buyer is not going to run plus or a second wheelset.

    Quote Originally Posted by SHAHEEB View Post
    lotsa good points here.
    I voted with my wallet and picked up a carbon senitinel xo and rode it stock awhile. great bike imo, more dh oriented on the 29 spectrum but it can climb. if you are a good climber you should not have problems. if you cant climb and its important to you, maybe focus on a bike that will help your weaknesses???

    recently had push modify my 11/6. trunnion and all, it works, it fits. need to get the sag right. happy trails.

    looked at a smash as a competitor but didnt like the idea of stiffer suspension and high bb. really wanted to support GG.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Devinci Hendrix 27+ (Loaner)
    Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife)

  15. #15
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    My $0.02 here is that so far the comments are spot-on. I am 5'10" and heavy at 235lbs and demoed a GG Smash Medium / Lyrik 150 / SRAM X01 with 4 shock settings: Rock Shox Air Plush+Crush and Rock Shox Coil Plush+Crush at Dakota Ridge in Morrison Colorado. Rode for about 5 hours. I ended up on an '18 Transition Sentinel (Large, Aluminum GX Build). My favorite general use setting for the Smash was Air/Crush with the shock open, but if I owned the bike I probably would get it with the DPX2 and run it in PLUSH most of the time using the climb switch when climbing.

    The biggest difference I noticed is the same sense of more height with the GG than the Sentinel that Nurse Ben noted. It does ride like the BB is higher with the Smash and consequently low-speed tech climbing is better on the Smash. The Smash's BB does seem effectively 1/2" or more higher than the Sentinel and I had fewer pedal strikes for sure on the GG.

    For me I found that the Smash put more stress on my lower back -- not sure why, my crazy theory is that the Smash has a higher front end so it is more work to keep the front down when climbing steep tech stuff versus the Sentinel.

    I also had a sense of need to manage the front end a bit more on the Smash where the Sentinel's front end can basically do no wrong. The Sentinel has incredible front wheel traction with a centered stance.

    Overall between the 2 I would agree that if you tend towards jumbled up rock, ledges and old-school trails that the GG tends to be stronger. For NW style trails with steep climb-trails followed by steeper flow descents, then the Sentinel is going to shine.

    The fit of the M and L GG Smash bracket the "L" Sentinel -- GG will make you an "Xtra Medium" that is low(er) like a Medium but longer like a Large -- That will put you even a bit more reach than the Sentinel L and will still have a bit higher stack than the Sentinel L.

    The Al Sentinel will be a bit cheaper and heavier and the Carbon Sentinel will turn out a bit lighter and more expensive with equal builds.

    Honestly though I don't think you can go wrong. These 2 were my top choices after demoing a ton of bikes.

  16. #16
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    if you have the pocket for it, that yeti sb150 is effin sweet.

    dont care much for bro team yeti faggies but the bike is one bad a$$
    Jesus Saves




  17. #17
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    So, reading these comments, I have picked up the following:

    If you ride trails like those that are close in style to Bellingham, WA - where Transition likely tested and developed the Sentinel - then the Sentinel is better.

    If you ride trails like those that are close in style to Denver and Moab - where GG most definitely tested and developed the Smash - then the Smash is better.

    We have cracked the rocket science code!

    Sidebar:

    I do find it interesting that several UK brands (Whyte, Ragley, to name a few) have been doing LLS for longer than LLS was cool. (UK brands definitely led the pack on LLS hardtails!) IMO, GG was the first of the Domestic brands to really push the geo envelope (which Transition further refined with SBG and integration of reduced offset forks... Which Whyte also did at the same time, BTW)
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  18. #18
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    Damn insightful

    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    So, reading these comments, I have picked up the following:

    If you ride trails like those that are close in style to Bellingham, WA - where Transition likely tested and developed the Sentinel - then the Sentinel is better.

    If you ride trails like those that are close in style to Denver and Moab - where GG most definitely tested and developed the Smash - then the Smash is better.

    We have cracked the rocket science code!

    Sidebar:

    I do find it interesting that several UK brands (Whyte, Ragley, to name a few) have been doing LLS for longer than LLS was cool. (UK brands definitely led the pack on LLS hardtails!) IMO, GG was the first of the Domestic brands to really push the geo envelope (which Transition further refined with SBG and integration of reduced offset forks... Which Whyte also did at the same time, BTW)
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Devinci Hendrix 27+ (Loaner)
    Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife)

  19. #19
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    I do not know anything about the Smash, but the Sentinel that I have been owning since May, is the most capable bike I have ever tried. For me the frame design, SBG is just doing everything it promises. For those who are curious about the difference in conventional frame design and the SBG would be interested to see Vital MTB tests the old and new Patrol with SBG.

    For me low frame, centered position between the wheels, and slack head angle just makes it more stable and get you to ride with so much more confidence. I have been riding sections with more speed and confidence than with any other bike.

    Had the Lyrik first on the Sentinel, and upgraded it with a Fox36 with Grip damper.

    Was really exited to see if the fork offset did the trick on my Foes Mutz and replaced the Mastodon with the Lyrik on that one. Was probably getting as slack head angle as with the Sentinel, but it did not ride anything close to the Sentinel.

    So my conclusion is that it has to be the total package, the complete design that makes the Sentinel so good.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I ride a Smash, 160 Lyrik with a 42mm offset, so not unlike a Sentinel for geo and wheelbase, and I have absolutely no issues with tight switchbacks. Iím sure a shorter wheelbase bike would be easier, but good technique trumps geo any day.

    I did a parking lot tour on a Sentinel, it felt long and slack, Iím sure itís a good bike, what Transition bike isnít?

    I think the biggest difference betweeh these two bikes is ride height and weight/cost. The Sentinel is a long and low, the Smash is long and tall, need pedal clearance get the Smash, ride flow and park get the Sentinel.

    Price and weight, you gotta drop 3k for a carbon Sentinel or pay 2k and get a heavy frame. The Smash comes in aluminum or aluminum, not heavy, not light.

    One more data point: the Smash will fit 29 x 2.6 and 27.5 x 3.

  20. #20
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    Just for this who want to dead about old and New transition fram design:
    https://m.vitalmtb.com/features/Tran...-Compares,1925

    Yes I know there is a lot of bikes getting slacker, lower and longer. But still I think the Sentinel still is quite on it's own. They have deliberately choosed shorter rear travel to get it more poppy and agile, and not a monster to climb with.

    Actually the suspension is so good that I always run the shock open. I am 255, and do not bottom out the travel either like I do on most other bikes that I have owned.

    The frame takes 2.6, but a bit tight fit. Using Maxxis 2.5 DHF rear and Assegai front is perfect for me.

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