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If you look closely, you might see a bit of a blank space in Transition Bikes’ lineup. Or maybe you won’t, but when every brand out there was pumping out super-long-travel 29ers a few years back, Transition gave us the long, but not super-long-travel Sentinel. And of course, there’s always been the Patrol, which has firmly claimed its place as Transition’s aggressive trail/enduro bike for the better part of the last decade. The TR11 holds true to Transition’s dual-crown, freeride roots and the shorter-travel Spur takes care of any excessive pedaling duties. Want a play bike? The Scout has you covered, and the Smuggler will help with any illicit loam-seeking endeavors. Those are a lot of boxes firmly checked. And then there’s the new machine, the Spire.
The Spire is an entirely new beast that, when you think about it, fits perfectly into Transition’s lineup. It’s a 170-/170-millimeter bruiser of a 29er, standing a head taller than its closest sibling, the Sentinel. Where the Sentinel is more versatility-oriented, the Spire looks fairly unapologetic in its big-bike intentions. In fact, in the press release we received from Transition, it took all of two sentences before the words “DH bike capability” came into focus.
But it would be un-Transition-like to make a bike that was just that simplistic—the Spire builds on the versatility of the Sentinel. The Spire runs a leverage-rate curve with an overall 23-percent progression (slightly more linear than the new Patrol) with enough of a pedaling platform to not dissuade a rider from a day of self-shuttle laps or from pumping through less-than-vertical terrain. It’s clear Transition put emphasis on designing the Spire to be accessible for the rider that doesn’t only gain altitude solely by internal combustion or chairlift.
Getting into the nitty-gritty, the Spire is nestled into the sweet spot of the “long and slack” mentality; for a size L in the “low setting,” we’re looking at a 1289mm wheelbase, 480mm reach, 448mm chainstays, and a 62.5-degree head angle. Is it trending towards the longer and slacker ends of the spectrum? For sure, but the Spire is a big 29er, after all. Sizing runs from Small (425mm reach) to XXL (530mm reach) in five sizing steps, all with relatively short seat tube lengths to allow riders to choose their size by reach, rather than seat height. The Spire, like the new Patrol, uses a geo-adjust flip-chip at the lower shock mount, which offers half a degree of adjustment to the geometry. The Spire also runs two lengths of chainstay, 448mm for sizes SM-LG and 454mm for sizes XL and XXL. The seat angle is nicely steep, 77.6-degrees in the low setting for a size L.
Still looking to froth on the geo details? Check out the chart below.
The Spire, like the new Patrol, offers quite a bit of user-adjustability when it comes to the travel department. In its stock form, the Spire runs a 170/170mm configuration, but one can swap out the standard 205x65mm shock for one with a 60mm stroke to dial the rear travel down to 160. Up front, the Spire also uses a 56-/56mm headtube cup size which is dual-crown-fork and reach- and angle-adjust-headset friendly. Go ahead, make the Spire into a pedal-able DH bike for park season.
For one last trick up its sleeve, the Spire allows the rider to swap the rear wheel from 29 to 27.5 in the 160mm travel configuration. While this might sound a lot like turning the Spire into a Patrol, one check of the geo chart sings a different song—the two bikes are different beasts.
Unlike the Patrol, the Spire is offered right off the boat in both carbon and alloy frames, and in a variety of colors ranging from Huckleberry to Raw. We don’t have pricing yet, but below are the five build kits available on the Spire. Note that the top-end XT build is available in either carbon or alloy.
With expected availability later this summer, for now all we can do is visit transitionbike.com and ogle at the new Spire.