X post: Transition TR 250 build and first impressions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    X post: Transition TR 250 build and first impressions

    Transition TR 250 build and initial impressions.

    After getting another year Transition's grassroots program, I'd been feeling like it was time to upgrade from my Bottlerocket to something with a little more travel. I've been on BRs for the last three years and have, like many, found it to be one of the best "do all" bikes out there, but especially appreciated it on the jump trails where I spend most of my time. Since I got a Covert last year I’d been feeling like it was a little silly to have two bikes that were so similar in travel and geometry, despite the inherent differences. I was a little hesitant since I haven’t been on a bigger bike for over five years, but after a bunch of research I settled on the Blindside. From everything I could find and read, the new Blindside would feel pretty similar to the Bottlerocket but provide a little more cushion. My number one concern was getting a bike that would still jump well. Before too long, I placed my order with Transition for a complete Blindside, dreading the two month wait until they arrived from overseas.

    Then the 250s showed up. I had initially dismissed the TR 250 solely because of price, but when they showed up and the pictures started popping up, I was having second thoughts. Serious second thoughts. It was during this great moral dilemma that the guys at Transition did the kind of thing that has kept me on their bikes for the last five years: I called Transition to find out how they compared the Blindside to the TR 250 and why I would want one over the other. I was able to communicate with two different people at Transition to get their opinions, and one of them even watched a couple of helmet cam videos of my home town trails to give their opinion of how the 250 would fair on the terrain that I ride most of the time. In a nutshell, they all said, “If you can, definitely get the 250.”

    Much to the excitement of my credit card company, I ended the phone call with a complete TR 250 on order (see the stock build kit at transitionbikes.com). Upon ordering, Sam at Transition said that the bike should leave within a few days. Torture! The next day I found out that I had an opportunity to go to Las Vegas for a few days and would have some time to ride Bootleg Canyon (which would be much more fun on a new bike!). I called Transition back and asked if there is any possible way to get the bike to me by the time I was leaving for the weekend. Sam told me it was doubtful; that they have a lot of international orders to fill and that it would probably be better if they shipped the bike even later so it wouldn’t arrive while I was out of town. Crushed. But he said he would do the best that he could. Two hours later? Shipping notice in my e-mail. Yet another reason I keep coming back to Transition! You can't beat that kind of service; the opportunity to call and talk to people who actually ride these bikes and get such specific help.

    After the longest week of my life, I had a box waiting for me at home after work. I don't mind doing a build from scratch; in fact I kind of enjoy it. So I don’t mind a bike that comes 100% disassembled. But the complete build area is one where Transition could improve a bit. I had a couple little issues: I ordered a silver stem but they sent a black one, the build list on the website shows the Kore Torsion Race handlebar, but I got just the normal Torsion handlebar, I ordered the Fox Van 180 RC2 and it’s non-Kashima (I didn’t know they even existed non-Kashima), they were out of disc rotors so I had to supply my own, and last of all, someday Transition should start shipping their completes with cable housing and headset spacers. Those little bits would be a nice touch. I know build kits are subject to change, but it would be nice to at least know ahead of time about little things like this. (They did tell me about the rotors. I’ll get them when they come in.)

    The frame is awesome. Looks great. It's a little bit of a struggle to set up initially; (the shock has to be removed completely to change the linkage chips, or the spring) but once you have the chips in the position that you want it's not a big deal. The rear axle, which has three settings for chainstay length, is pretty cumbersome but once you get it set up its fine. With the linkage and the axle, you sacrifice some convenience for some pretty sweet adjustability. I set mine up with the steepest head angle (65), highest bottom bracket, and mid length chainstays to try to make it as similar to my BR as possible. You can see all the numbers on Transitions site.

    Here’s a video of the build:
    <object width='500' height='375'><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' /><param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' /><param name='movie' value='https://www.pinkbike.com/v/186361/l/' /><embed src='https://www.pinkbike.com/v/186361/l/' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' width='500' height='375' allowFullScreen='true' allowScriptAccess='always'></embed></object><p><a href="https://www.pinkbike.com/video/186361/">welcome (back) to my garage</a> on <a href="https://www.pinkbike.com">pinkbike.com</a></p>

    For the weight gurus: I have no idea. A bit more than my BR. How's that?!

    I ended up getting my bike built in time to go to my local track for about a half-hour before I went on my trip to Vegas. My prime riding location is mellower downhill, not super steep, fast and mostly smooth, with jumps littered throughout. A lot of the jumps have small and/or flat sniper landings that are easy to overshoot. For the first run I set my sag on my suspension and threw all the suspension adjustments right in the middle. During the parking lot test, I was nervous that the bike was going to be too plush. I was a little undersprung; weight wise I am on the on the border of medium and firm fork springs and on the border of the 500 and the 550 pound coil. I like to run a bit stiff for jumping. Despite feeling a little undersprung just riding around, it felt quite solid on my first runs. The first thing I noticed was how much more plush it was than the Bottlerocket (not a surprise). But I was super excited to find that this thing had serious pop off the jumps. In fact, I overshot everything on my first couple laps. Good on jumps? Check.

    Here are a few helmet cam clips of my local tracks. I know it’s lame because you can’t see the bike, but you can at least see the terrain I’m talking about.
    <object width='500' height='375'><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' /><param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' /><param name='movie' value='https://www.pinkbike.com/v/186370/l/' /><embed src='https://www.pinkbike.com/v/186370/l/' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' width='500' height='375' allowFullScreen='true' allowScriptAccess='always'></embed></object><p><a href="https://www.pinkbike.com/video/186370/"></a> on <a href="https://www.pinkbike.com">pinkbike.com</a></p>

    Next up were the downhill runs in Bootleg Canyon, where I was largely dealing with steeper, more technical terrain and rock gardens. At Bootleg I did a little more messing with the suspension, tweaking high and low speed compression on fork and shock. The rebound on the shock is a pain to get to, but it is doable if you don’t have sausage fingers. I’ll be the first to say that this type of terrain is not my favorite and I don’t spend a lot of time on it, but the TR 250 helped show me why. I found that these types of trails were so much more fun on the 250 than the BR and I started to realize why the downhill guys enjoy just trying to bomb through gnarly rock gardens. I found myself charging through stuff faster and smoother than I could on the BR, which tended to get tossed around a little more in the chunder.

    Here are a few pics of me messing around at the bottom of Bootleg. Didn’t have a lot of time for photo opps.







    Right now I have new springs on the way from Fox and I look forward to throwing those on seeing how it feels to let the spring do more of the work rather than running the compression settings so high. It’s early on, but the bike gets a thumbs-up so far. During the build I was little frustrated with the nuances of the frame, but what really matters (the ride) has been awesome so far. Big thanks to Transition for the support and bike, and thanks to Demon Dirt for the protective gear. More to come!
    Last edited by ruppguts; 03-16-2011 at 11:26 AM.
    Binary Transition Bikes Demon Dirt

  2. #2
    Slick Rick
    Reputation: stefanb's Avatar
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    Siiick

    I'd love to pick one up
    www.trailburn.ca
    2012 Norco Truax 2

  3. #3
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    OEM Fox

    I heard that all the OEM Fox forks are non-kashima.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr
    I heard that all the OEM Fox forks are non-kashima.
    I think you're right. Transition said they'd have kashima on 2012 stuff later this summer. So not their fault, I was just surprised.
    Binary Transition Bikes Demon Dirt

  5. #5
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    Nice quick review.

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