Transition back in December 2015 announced the carbon version of the highly successful Patrol with lots of new features including their aptly named “Giddy Up” technology and our favourite T.I.T.S. technology.
In-order to get a grasp of what all this means in real world riding Transition have sent us a large size frame-set to ride and test over the next few months. The aim is to see how various component builds fair on the frame and if we can come up with an ideal 2016 setup for Enduro.
We start with the numbers, 65 degrees is pretty slack and aims squarely at a DH feel. With a fairly long reach, we are looking at a frame set that will, when built up, offer a supple & stable ride that will be comfortable at speed. Total frame weight is around 6.5lbs (2.95 kilos) including shock. Price is around €3400 depending on the country in Europe..
The real details that set the Patrol apart from the competition are best seen up close. It seems Transition have spent a lot of time getting the finish of the bike just right. The control routing and cable retention on the frame has new cable run inner tubes that pass through the main frame, zero fuss when passing gear and brake cables/hoses into the frame. The rear triangle has well thought out cable retention bosses that include clips made especially for the frame. This gives an incredibly top level look that means there is no need for cable ties.
Getting into the other parts of the frame with a move away from press-fit and back to a 73mm threaded bottom bracket standard, that never should have gone away in the first place. No creaks and simpler maintenance. It’s also refreshing to see a simple, easy to find headset insert that accepts the standard tapered system, no strange bearing standards here. The seat tube tension bolt is simple/ The rear derailleur hanger is a proven design that is easy to swap out and provides the rear 142mm X12 Syntace axle the necessary place to screw into. There is no provision for a front derailleur.
More details including one of the best cable run exit guides we have seen in a while which has a pinch bolt to stop them from rattling. There is a standard 3 bolt ISCG5 chain guide mount for those who want to get rowdy and keep things protected. The water bottle mount is standard and centralised and is easy to access when riding due to the style of rear suspension layout. Finally the chain stay protector that wraps around the whole rear stay giving basically a silent ride with zero chain slap noise and limits abrasive dirt wear on the paint.
Suspension hardware is a collet style system, which means that the axle bolt is first tightened up then subsequently held in place by a second bolt that tightens into the first. This method allows a gradual take up of any play over time, easy pre-load adjustment but more importantly it means that the bolts don’t work themselves loose as easily, in our experience.
There is no lockout on the handle bar, but the Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair rear shock has the easy-to-switch-off compression lever which with a quick flick jumps to fully open. The nature of the suspension layout means that good compression damping is an essential part of the designers original brief to keep things moving only when necessary.
This is the Giddy Up rear triangle, the rocker is aluminum, but the stay parts are all carbon. you have to hand it to Transition for their approach this time round. They have aimed for a bottomless DH feel, our test rides should identify how close they have managed to make this come to fruition.
We thought it also interesting when we look back in our notes over the years that we take when we are around and about. We came across a conversation we had with Kevin Menard – one of the owners/founders of Transition. When they made their first carbon Covert Enduro bike back in 2012. Kevin spoke at the time of how much more involvement their is when building a carbon frame. Looking at their latest frame we can see evidently how far they have moved on and can see how they seem to have design and production methods pretty much nailed. Time to build it up and get on the trails!