The Bandit 29 has aggressive geometry and a stout frame that gives you the confidence to go anywhere without sacrificing on the way up. Based around 140mm travel forks; the Bandit 29 features 130mm rear wheel travel, a tapered headtube and 142mm x 12mm thru-axle dropouts. A slack head angle and low bottom bracket combined with the increased axle height of the 29” wheels gives the rider a more stable, planted feel on the trail. On a Bandit 29 you are “IN” the bike, not “ON” the bike. The Bandit 29 offers amazing cornering traction and increased confidence while descending.
I rode the Bandit 29er pretty much exclusively for about a month and a half. I got lots of time in Tahoe and a little in Mammoth Lakes/June Lakes area where it’s a little less rocky but much more loose. The most striking and surprising thing by far any downhiller experiences when hopping on a well thought out 29er is exactly what I experienced. Yup. It’s a bike. It goes up. It goes down. Contrary to everyone telling me I’d be flying off trails out of corners and getting caught up in switchbacks, it just never happened. In fact I was immediately comfortable on the thing. It just fit. Continue reading →
Strengths: Its now 10 months since I wrote my review; so here's an update. B29 is still SUPERB; I've just ridden Phoenix's SOMO Holbert, and Geronimo, and the Waterfall on National, again, and she is with me all the way. After a fairly hard ridin summer in Merritt BC in the big trees, its nice to be back in the dessert; but I'm going to Stan's to cope with the cactii.
Weaknesses: No weakness in the B29; but where do you find a rugged tire that can cope with sharp rocks and dessert conditions? I hope to find tires soon; even the Schwalbes that I ordered are not strong enuff.
The more I ride the B29, the MORE I like it; it can do anything that I want to do, and more.
I haven't ridden my Covert for 10 months. Thats how sweet it is!
I'm 6 ft; 165 lbs, age 68; ride every day; anything I can; except pavement. B29 puts smiles on an old man's face every day!
Darchj Oborne, Merritt BC/Apache Junction, Az
Strengths: In the last 2 months I've ridden Tucson/Phoenix/Sedona/Gold Canyon, and Merritt. I have wrinkles from smilin so much; what a superb ride; up 'n down. Compared with my Covert it just simply is so much more fun; and easier climbing. I went to the Waterfall at SOMO, and to Milagrosa, and Highline; and said that if Bandit can't handle them (like the Covert) I'll get rid of it. It not only 'handled' them; it wanted more, and harder, and faster!
Weaknesses: I put the Hammerschmidt on Bandit, as I'm used to is, and with a Reverb and a bit more, I'm at 34 lbs; very acceptable for my 67 years! I about wore out my patience waiting for the UPS to deliver!
I've had over a dozen bikes; both 26 and 29; and this Bandit is the BEST; it performs superbly on all terain. I ride for at least and hour every day, and prefer gnar; and it gives me everything I want in a great mountain bike; from a great user friendly company. Thanks Transition; this is a great one!
Strengths: Dialed geometry- this bike is instantly intuitive. From the moment I pedaled away from the LBS, I knew I had found my ideal riding partner: Encouraging, forgiving, and playful pretty much sums it up.
Suspension- The linkage design on this frame is spot on. Sensitive to small bumps, responsive in the mid stroke, ramps up predictably to the end of the travel, and it climbs like a boss! Couple this with the outstanding dampening in the new RP23 and we've got a fantastic ride. Add a needle bearing kit and you’ve got the richest, creamiest, and buttery smooth suspension action I have ever felt.
Build kit/Value- What you get for your money in the stock build is incredible. The best suspension components in the market, solid, reliable drivetrain, quality brakes with toolless adjustments, and a frame that will put up with just about anything you can throw at it. The wheels are heavy, but are also incredibly stiff and strong, which is exactly what this bike needs when it is being ridden at its potential.
Weaknesses: Saddle- The stock build comes with the most uncomfortable saddle I have ever ridden. Instant upgrade is required.
Sizing- Bike is a little tough to fit due to shorter than average TT lengths. I am 5'10", 31" inseam and I bought a Large. I have ridden both the large and the medium and kinda wish I had one of both. The large is better for me on climbs and high speed descents but the medium is much more playful (easier to manual and bunnyhop), easier to manhandle, and more maneuverable in the slow and techy. The large with a 40mm stem is a nice compromise for me.
Cranks- The stock cranks (SRAM S1400) are flexy. I am not a fan and plan to upgrade to Saints or similar soon.
The frame itself has no weaknesses when it comes to performance.
This is hands down, the best all around mountain bike I have ridden. The bike is just as comfortable on all day XC epics as it is on “freeride” trails. Seriously. There is a 6’ down, 12’ out step down on a local trail which I feel is just about at the edge of this bikes comfort zone. With a marginal transition, the wheels and cranks give a little wiggle on the landing and I can definitely feel the end of the travel but the frame is solid, without an ounce of flex. All in all, the bike is very composed on all but the biggest lines (mortal people prefer 7”+ bikes, full face, and neck brace for this stuff) while remaining very pedal friendly for all day efforts.
For your all purpose mountain bike needs, buy a Transition Bandit! (the 26” model is just as good I hear). If you need to be convinced physically and are in the Grand Junction/Fruita area, Grassroots Cycles has a full line-up of 26” and 29” Bandits for FREE DEMO! Come get some.
Strengths: Ridiculously fun bike- the geometry is superb for just going out and having fun on the trail. Doesn't even feel like a 29er most of the time. The bike can certainly handle way more than I am capable of doing. Rear suspension is a simple design and works great. Don't let the geometry scare you into thinking this bike is not a good climber- I rarely even use ProPedal and climb like a champ.
Oh, and kudos on the parts selection for the stock build- they give you a Fox Float and RP23 and sacrifice in other less important areas that are easier to upgrade down the road. Kept the price at a very accessible point.
Weaknesses: I honestly am having a hard time coming up with weaknesses- make sure you use the tiny hole near the bottom bracket to cinch down the rear derailleur cable- if you use it you're fine, but if you/your LBS forgets, your crank might eat your rear derailleur cable. If I had to find another weakness- in the stock complete build, the wheels are fairly heavy- BUT that is completely acceptable, because they are burly as heck, and perfectly acceptable given the price point.
I absolutely love this bike. What I wanted out of my first FS 29er was a slack, short wheelbase, playful bike with a lot of travel, that I could use for everything from XC to gnarlier stuff as I progress. It is so much fun it's ridiculous.
I need to stress that as of this writing, at this pricepoint there are very few 140mm, slack, playful FS 29ers. I almost bought a Yeti SB95 after an extensive demo, but rear tire clearance was rather lacking, and honestly the Bandit 29 is just as fun at about $700 less.
Oh, if it matters at all, I gladly paid full MSRP for this bike.
Strengths: The Bandit 29 climbs as good as and descends better than any other bike I've ridden. The frame is pretty compact for a 29er. This makes the bike easy to flick around and work thru tighter and rougher trails. The rear suspension feels pretty efficient. There's little pedal bob without pro pedal engaged and no pedal bob with pro pedal engaged. Once pointed downhill the suspension comfortably soaks up hits big and small. I can easily ride this bike faster than my XC full suspension 26er and it's 4 lbs lighter than the Bandit 29. I bested my local single track hill time by 4 minutes the first time out on the Bandit.
Weaknesses: The cable routing for the rear brake and rear derailleur is pretty tight around the bottom bracket and lower pivot. It could stand to lose a few pounds, but I've got it built up as a pretty burly all-mountain rig.
The best full suspension 29er I've ridden. Definitely the most fun bike I've ridden. The Bandit 29 is almost a do it all bike. This is the perfect bike for someone looking for an all-mountain 29er that can still chase down the XC and downhill boys.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro 29, Giant Anthem 29, Specialized Epic 29, Santa Cruz Tallboy 29
Bike Setup: Medium frame, 34mm Talas fork, Cane Creek HS, Haven carbon bar, Haven stem, full XT 2x10, 180 rotors F/R, Reverb post, WTB Pure V saddle, Stan's Flow rims with XT hubs, and Ardent tires 2.4F/2.25R = 31 lbs.
a All Mountain Rider
from Newton, North Carolina, USA
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2012
Strengths: I had a chance to get in on the first shipment of Bandit 29ers, and instead I went with a Giant XTC composite hardtail. Bad mistake...the Giant is a great bike, but I'm love to play in the hills! The XTC is a pure-breed xc race bike....wrong geometry, too light for my tastes (I mean this is all of the Clydesdale ways). I really cannot say just how much this bicycle has once again re-kindled a desire to do some of those trails that I don't ride that much because of time or fitness constraits (laziness). This Bandit is a pure joy to pedal, ride, jump, drop, slam in a berm, pedal all day! That pretty much sums it up from me. I have been riding since 1985, and this IS one of the easiest bikes to ride and rip as fast as you want, and then pedal to the next mountain...i.e., what an ALL-MOUNTAIN should be! :)
Weaknesses: The only weakness this bike has is the fact it may make your other rides very jealous, very fast! This is the third full-susser 29er I have ridden, the tenth 29er (hardtails and full-susser's combined). I would only wish that I could have mine (from the factory) matte finish...That is not really a complaint, and the ONLY weakness I could muster!
Similar Products Used: This is the only All-Mountain 29er I have ridden, but I don't think I really have any interest in doing so...this bike rips!
Bike Setup: I'm 5'11" and weigh about 220 lbs., So I wanted a durable light build...I went with a large frame (thanks Cameron for the fit tips!). I wanted an all-XT drivetrain, X.0 180mm brakes, American Classic AM 29er wheels w/142mm thru-axle, Thomson stem and seatpost, WTB saddle, Fox Talas 34 fork, Fox RP 23 rear shock, presently running (hardpack tire) WTB Weirwolf 2.55's, Kenda (slick/loamy/rocky tire) Nevegals, Maxxis (all-out dh conditions) Ardents 2.4's....I love the BIG tires!!!
from Boulder, Colorado, USA
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2012
Strengths: As a former DH racer and avid DH rider, I normally prefer 26" bikes for their playfulness and maneuverability. With that said, I am 6'5" and most 26" trail bikes don't fit me very will and often feel awkward so I turned to 29ers but found most of them to have horrible geometry. Enter the Bandit 29. This is the first 29er bike I have found to actually "fit" me and have slack angles for fun descending and stability. In all honesty this bike rides more like a 26. Its quick in handling, leaves the ground effortlessly, but stays planted when you need it- corners really well. The rear end is stiff and responsive. Climbing has never really been my strong suit, but the Bandit's steep seat angle really aids that.
Stock build from Transition comes in at great value. Most of your money is spent on what counts, the suspension. The Fox Float 34 and RP23 are an amazing platform with plenty of adjustments for tuning your ride.
Weaknesses: The XL stock build weighs in around 32lbs. A bit heavy for a trail bike, however Transitions frames are burly and will last.
This bike is FUN. Climbs well, descends great. 5" suspension platform is the perfect amount for an all-mountain 29er. This bike is built tough and will not disappoint. This is hands down the best trail bike I've ever owned, it will remain in my quiver for a long time.
Bike Setup: Stock build with the following upgrades:
Shimano XT brakes
Sunline V1.5 bars 745mm
Thomson 50mm stem
Specialized Henge Saddle
Specialized Command Post
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2012
Strengths: Transition made the frame shorter and based on a most aggressive AM style frame, for or me this makes the 29er just as maneuverable and playful as my 26. If you want to have lots of fun on the trails this is a great bike.
The rear suspension is very pedal efficient, I notice its even better than their 26" version. But on descents it opens up and works wonders.
Weaknesses: None, I like this bike more in every aspect than my last.
Great bike for any rider that has a need for more heavy duty trail bike. Excellent 29er, I'm the type of rider that wants one bike for everything and this is it for me.
Value: 4 Flamin' Chilis Because the stock model doesn't have the most competitive price tag but the quality of the ride is worth the extra $.
Please delete, bike has been sold.
[url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=86890]Transition Bandit 29 *New - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories[/url]
Thanks for looking!Read More »
I'm running a 3x9 setup on my '12 B29 and having problems dropping the chain from the middle ring on downhills. It falls all the way down and jams between the granny ring and the ISCG tabs.
[B]Can someone recommend a product for me to keep the chain in place, or at least from jamming? [/B]
La ... Read More »
Just got our first Bandit 29er in for 2013. Absolute perfection in transition bikes....gorgeous! Just need to break away from the shop to put it through it's paces before someone purchases it!Read More »
I just got a medium Bandit 29 last week and I am going crazy not being able to ride it. I am swapping my parts over from another frame. The 2 sticking points in the build are the rear axle (resolved) and the rear brake. I am running Shimano XT BR-M775 disc brakes and the rear line is too short. No ... Read More »