We call the Blindside a Big All Mountain bike designed to be a versatile big travel bike. With a front derailleur setup to get you to the summit and up to 190mm of adjustable rear travel so you can take on any downhill. The Blindside's versatility is quite surprising as the bike can pedal extremely well, is nimble on singletrack and jumps and can eat up rough DH style trails. The suspension utilizes a large 2.75" stroke shock for low leverage and features a slightly progressive leverage rate curve that gives excellent consistent leverage throughout the travel allowing the natural progressiveness of the shock to ramp up perfectly. The frames features our own custom formed tubeset with internal gussets and a slimmed down rear triangle with internal cable routing for a clean look.
Strengths: 142x12 rear end stiffness
Climbs very well w/2x10 set up
Weaknesses: I didn't get one sooner!
This review is for the 2012 version w/142x12 rear, 2x10 drivetrain, &180/190 adjustable travel. Stock set up.
This is the most underrated bike in TBC's line up IMO. After one summer of use it is the only bike I ride/need (sold the others). I use it for xc/am & dh/fr. The bike begs to be jumped and is very balanced in the air. I know a lot of people say things like this but the bike has made me a better rider. I was immediately comfortable the first time I threw my leg over. TR has labeled bike "big all mountain" and they could not be more right. I thought to get a lighter set of wheels for xc/am but that has not been necessary.
Drops, jumps, rough stuff, cornering, manuals, climbing - does it all - very well I might add.
I am 6' 2" and the large fits perfect.
This bike is super versatile meaning it is excellent for anyone who is interested in doing countless laps in the bikepark to the gnarliest worldcup tracks. This bike pedals like a dream on the trails, and its geometry feels great. Although this bike is mainly aimed at the ride-it-all freerider it is still excellent to race on and win! The only downside of my blindside is the weight but with the right parts I'm sure you can get one under 35 lbs. If I were to buy another bike I would probably buy another Blindside and yes I would recommend this bike to a friend.
Similar Products Used: Kona stinky, stab, Transition Bottlerocket, double, Morowood
Bike Setup: Boxxer, RC4, all the other good stuff
a Weekend Warrior
from ftc, colorado
Date Reviewed: March 22, 2011
Strengths: Really, really fun bike. Can be built to serve very different ideas of what this bike can/should be. Should state that this is the new version for 2010-2011 (V4?)
Weaknesses: Hmm. None, really. Frame not chased or faced, so burrs on rear cable route blew threw housing after a couple rides and had to replace. Paint sux my bawls thru my drawers. Heard they're having some problems getting large frames to people.
I find it kind of funny, but originally, I fell for Transition's marketing of this as 'big all-mountain.' Now the website says something like, 'while not really an all-mountain bike..' Don't really care about weight, and it dooo climb fairly well fer what it is, so not too pissed. But, she-it, make yer mind up.
Really do like the bike, and functions really well w/a hammerschmidt. Light, strong wheelset, dissent 2.3 tubeless, and bike's roughly 35 lbs. A couple more component changes and it'll weight 33-34. Super fun, pops crazy, wicked balance and really stable in the air. Climbs better than it should, especially in the 6.5" travel position. Of course, there's some flex in the rear, but this isn't an air-sprung 5" bike. Just tune the RC4 and you can figure out some cool tricks with the low speed compression.
Should also say that I'm tall & skinny (160lbs), ride the large frame, and feel that I can slap this bike around on lighter components without effing myself up and blowing thru replacement parts. We'll see how long this optimism lasts..
Dunno. I really have a lot of good things to say about the bike. If you want a big, stable, long-travel, coil-sprung bike that can suit your moods, and you don't expect to go hammer 40 miles a day on it, but throw the occasional 20 mile all-mountain day, this may be your ticket.
I would probably give it 4.5 chilis on both, but a 4 and a 5 should suffice. 8-9 out of 10.
Strengths: Great handling and fun bike, i suggest to buy it with a high-end shock (rc4, elka, db) as it's very sensitive to different settings.
It's not a "eat it all" downhill machine, but if you're looking for a fun and playful bike, this is your choice.
It can change like a chamaleon, depending on how you assemble it, or on how you set it.
Weaknesses: My version (V3) is no longer into production.
Coming from a Bottlerocket i was at the beginning skeptical about a long travel (200 mm) fr bike.
First ride was not so happy, too plushness and lack of reactivity, thought that it was not the rig for me.
I started to work on shox adjustements, and find out my right spring rate (500 lbs, i'm 74 kgs); from then my world has changed upside-down.
My Blindside has become super fun and fast cornering, it takes you out from turns with light-speed and surprisingly rectiveness.
Jumps are no problems, it's well balanced and allows you to push the envelope.
200 mm travel forgives mistakes and save your health :) .. but is still super fun and reactive.
Definitely MY RIG ... !!!
Similar Products Used: Kona Stinky - Transition Bottlerocket
Bike Setup: rc4 shox, boxxer race forks, hope wheels, juicy 7 brakes, sram, spank and answer components.
from Sacramento, CA, United States
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2010
Strengths: This bike has the snap crackle and pop. Perfect for everything you throw at it except for XC.....not gonna work LOL.
Weaknesses: I took care of the weakness....I bought the floating brake...and vwalla!
You should buy it! This bike is great for all kinds of riding. Built up the way that you want will still cost you a pretty penny like some other brands out there. But right out of the box is sick. I was able to build it up slowly to get it where I wanted it without braking my bank account at one time. You can pick one of these up for half the price as others....and it will stand up to all of them out there hands down. Catch me at Sea Otter this year when I'm standing on the podium with my swim trunks and my flippy floppys....thanks to my blindside :-)
Similar Products Used: Kona stinky, kona stab, Transition dirtbag, Demo 8.
Bike Setup: 08 Blinside w/dhx cinco punto cero, 08 fox 40oz w/2010 lowers, outlaws, Raceface cranks, minions, deity gangsta white bars/grips, Formula "the ones", ride sfo saddle, SRAM X9 drivetrain, MRP Mini G, transition floating brake.
from durham england
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2010
Strengths: so far everything
the blindside is a strong bike duilt for abuse and the ham fisted, it corners really well and is very confidence inspiring. it is very predictable in the air and quite chuckable despite its weight. it looks good too.
Weaknesses: poor paint finish
a good solid bike for all freeriders and DH ers excellent value for money will last a lifetime as transition do a lifetime crash replacement. awsome
Similar Products Used: giant faith, demo 8, commencal supreme, IH yakuza,
Bike Setup: blindside, totems, spank rims on nukeproof hubs, sunline accessories, hope V2s X9 drive.
from Phoenix, AZ USA
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2010
Strengths: great for riding pretty much any dh trail...havent ridden anything with big drops but cant wait to find some and try it. so far its astrong frame and great components, and setup... i love this rig
Weaknesses: not very pedalable...but its a dh bike so who expects to pedal it...
i would recommend this bike to anyone looking into a dh rig
Similar Products Used: Transition Preston, HAro Magnum
Bike Setup: Boxxer Team, DHX RC4, Funn, Truvativ, Avid Code, Sun Ringle, Atomlab, SDG, SRAM.
a Weekend Warrior
from Vancouver, BC
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2008
Strengths: Looks awesome
Weaknesses: None yet. (Low bottom bracket?)
I tested Demo 7s and 8s a bunch, this has got the best bang for buck factor.
I've only had it a day so far, and taken it for one run, but this bike rails compared to my Kona. It's like riding a razor sharp lazy boy down a trail of buttered pillows. It's my first brand new bike, so it all feels awesome.
Bike Setup: Boxxer Team
Floating brake adapter
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2008
Strengths: Bloody good value for money! Pedals well, corners like a dream, bit f a sleeper bike really. Not sure why people are saying they are heavy? Got mine down to 38lbs and I’m 195lbs. I would say it is actually very well built, it’s just simple. Buy one!
Weaknesses: None yet! But I am going to go from a 500 to a 550lbs spring. Bear this in mind when you buy one.
I have a light,fast and soild down hill that did not brake the bank. infact due to the price i was able to spend more on better parts. I'm only a weekend smasher and to be honest i keep up with those on more well known brands.Oh it feels good in the air as well.
Favorite Trail: Fast one's, technical one's & steep one's
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: Ride Central
Similar Products Used: Giant team DH,Kona Stab,Giant glory,one of those Sunday things!
Bike Setup: fox 40's,Spank rims,HopeHubs,IFly seat and post,Saint cranks, E13 Light Guide,Magura stoppers,Sunline Bars and stem,Maxxis 2.35 high rollers,DHX with Ti spring,X9 gears, etc.
from Columbus, OH, USA
Date Reviewed: July 2, 2008
Strengths: -Clean design
-Decent standover height
-135mm hub spacing makes swapping hubs easy
-Love that you can run 10 or 12mm axle, with floating brake or w/o
-Customizable looks with stickers and add-on parts (bearing covers, bar end caps, chainguides, etc.)
-There is a nice drain hole in the bottom of the BB shell.
Weaknesses: -A bit heavy, but not bad.
-Fit and finish is good but not great. Frame was not chased/faced (BB, headtube, ISCG mounts, dropouts, etc.).
-Paint scratches off if you breathe on it.
-Mud collects heavily at the bottom pivot...it makes a bit of a trap.
-High leverage ratio requires a heavy spring rate.
This bike rips. Add in the incredible price, and you have a no-brainer...and a clear reason as to why Blindsides are popping up all over the place.
As soon as I hopped on, it just felt super comfortable. As is the case with most of Transition's bikes, the geometry is just dialed perfectly. I normally dislike straight top tubes because I like tons of standover height (like my Demo 7 has) but the Blindside is low enough that the top tube is comfortably out of the way. I'm 5'10" and ride a Medium.
The travel is really plush (I'm 155lbs and running a 400# spring) initially, but I have yet to bottom out the suspension - it ramps up nicely. Feels glued to the ground but you can get the bike into the air very easily, unlike some bigger linkage DH bikes.
Super low bottom bracket takes some getting used to, but timing your pedal strokes around obstacles is a worthwhile tradeoff for the low-slung ride and resulting cornering ability.
I can't really complain about much at all in how this bike rides - it's just a champ. It feels like it hangs up a touch on square-edge hits, but nothing too bad. There are certainly more premium rides out there, but most of them will cost you double what the Blindside frame does, and you'll only get very small improvement in ride quality.
5 chilis for value, 4 for overall since there are some quality issues (paint, facing, etc.) and high-end bikes like Intense, Foes, etc...certainly do ride a little nicer.