Transition Bikes Bandit 29 29er Full Suspension

4.7/5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $3549.00

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Product Description

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.

Transition Bandit 29 Pro Review

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 →

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Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Dave a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2016

Strengths:    Looks, performance, value,

Weaknesses:    Durability, broken chainstay with light riding.

Bottom Line:   
I bought my 2012 Bandit 29 three seasons ago as a left over and instantly fell in love with it. It handles great, pedals well, is light enough and looks Great. I have riden this bike fairly lightly, regular cross country terrain, no jumps, no abuse.

I was convinced i was keeping this bike for while until i started cleaning it a week ago and noticed the chainstay is cracked. The crack is on the CNC machined U shaped part near the bottom bracket just behind the chain rings. I began doing some online research and found that there have been numerous Bandit frames that have broken in this exact spot which clearly indicates there is a design flaw. I contacted Transition and they no longer have chainstays for this frame and since the frame is 4 yrs old and over the short 2 yr warranty, i am stuck purchasing a new frame however they did over a crash replacement for 1k with no Shock.

I am disapointed that the frame failed but even more disapointed that the frame is complete garbage now. I am surprised that Transition is not able to supply parts for a 4 yr old frame especially for what i consider to be a design flaw.

I always liked the boutique bicycle brands over brands such as Trek, Specialized, Giant however this type of quality has changed my opinion. A friend of mine recently broke a chain stay on a 10+ Yr old specialized and within two weeks had a replacement part....

In the end, I am over small boutique brands, I have seen the light and have ordered a Trek Fuel EX and look forward to riding a frame which has a lifetime warranty from a much larger company which likely spends much more on R&D and testing and actually stand behind their product..

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 seasons

Similar Products Used:   Too much to list

Bike Setup:   XT, Thompson, Hope

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bikeyakski

Date Reviewed: March 23, 2014

Strengths:    stiff, solid, designed well. Handles like a 26er or 650b with the rollover a a 29er
makes me feel like a kid

Weaknesses:    If tube length kind a short but that is what makes it play so well
Some suspension movement while climbing out of propedal mode (I'm used to vpp) but dosent seem to take more energy Im faster on this bike than anything else.

Bottom Line:   
been riding since the beginning (first bike 81 stumpy) and each progression of cycling has made me love the sport more
I am some what of a retro grouch (i used to pride myself in making my friction shifters make the rear deraileur clunk like the new shimano click shifters...who needs that &^%*? but we all know and love where that has gone (except maybe durability).
That being said I didn't jump on the 29er wagon until I found a bike that didnt feel like a covered wagon...enter the Bandit (this is a review of the 2012 5.1inch travel bike) I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BIKE. its responsiveness rollover handeling stability everything! I did find the 429 and the lt tallboy to be very good, playful bikes also but they didnt speak to me like a new puppy licking my face and begging me to take it home so it could be my forever best freind like the bandit did. It is just that my new best friend I cant wait to take it to my many many favorite singletracks and long epic all day backcountry treks

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   molas pas to hotel draw or windsor

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   specilized 29er lt tallboy 429er

Bike Setup:   factory with bars changed out to carbon and wheels lightened up to dt swiss tubless

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by darch oborne

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2012

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.

Bottom Line:   
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

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TransitionSenior

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2012

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!

Bottom Line:   
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!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by karatemonkey a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2012

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pucker Up, Holy Cross, Eagle's Wing

Price Paid:    $3600.00

Purchased At:   Grassroots Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Yeti SB95, Transition Covert, Kona Cadbra

Bike Setup:   Large TR-B29, Deity Blacklabel bars (trimmed to 30"), Truvativ 40mm stem, Deity Decoy LT pedals, WTB Stout 2.3 front tire, Stock build otherwise

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by XJaredX a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2012

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Demo'd Yeti SB95, Specialized Camber 29's, Stumpjumper 29's, and Trek Rumblefish before purchasing the Bandit 29.

Bike Setup:   Complete build with Specialized Command Post Blacklite, MRP 2.X guide- fancier wheelset on the way just for the heck of it.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SprocketRockett a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2012

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

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.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by swaneedawg 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!

Bottom Line:   

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The One I'm On

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Clark's Bicycle Cent

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!!!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by FJDan a Downhiller 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   The Fix Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpy 29, Specialized Camber 29, Soul Cycles Dillinger, Specialized XC Pro, Ellsworth Evolution

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

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joel RW a Weekend Warrior from Australia

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.

Bottom Line:   
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 $.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Douglas MTB reserve

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $5700.00

Purchased At:   Crank'D Cycles

Bike Setup:   XL Frame Custom setup, XX revalation fork, rp23 kashima rear shock, full sram X0 Groupset, rockshox reverb seatpost, stans flow 29er wheelset w/ stans HD hubs(142x12 rear, 20mm front) FSA headset, 710mm 40mm rise FSA gravity carbon bars. Total weight 30lbs.

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

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