The Preston FR is all about short travel freeriding at it's finest. A tight responsive suspension that is there when you need it when things get rough, but also won't soak up your energy while flowing your favorite trails and dirt jumps.
Weaknesses: Bhe 5" rear suspension can't really handle large drops to flat, luckily the DHX 5.0 air has bottom out protection.
Brake Jack is annoying
I bought this bike used for $1000, and I couldn't be happier with it. The previous owner put a FOX TALAS 36 fork on it, and I love how it can transform this bike from an AM climber to a DH destroyer. It climbs pretty well for a heavy freeride bike, and when I reach the top, I just slam the seat down and tear ass down gnarly trails. It handles dirt jumps pretty well too. It pops well, and lands smoothly. I highly recommend this bike for anyone looking for a free ride bike to take anywhere and do anything.
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2013
Strengths: Super predictable, super good at getting into the air, excellent in the corners, pretty good at climbing, confidence inspiring
Weaknesses: Only weight, but the smoothness and minimal pedal bob almost erase that.
I love it. Super predictable, fun to ride. I have ridden everything from cross country and to downhill, and I am very pleased with it's performance on all types of terrain, it's a true freeride/all mountain rig. I take it to the dirt jumps and have no problem getting it in the air and tweaking it out. I even ride the back roads on it to stay in shape. Gapping stair cases is easy, and it won't kill you if you pedal all day. Definitely 5 stars from me.
Strengths: The geometry is like nothing else. It's comfortable to ride. It's predictable. It inspires confidence. Very precise and well balanced ride.
Weaknesses: It's weighty - but I can live with that if its going improve handling.
Brought this frame unseen or tested in the hope it would meets my riding needs. It is slightly different than the one pictured in the forum heading, shock mounts onto the down tube instead of top tube. So far have tried it on a few trails I know well. The extra weight is quite noticable on climbs and flatter sections. But once in the technical zone and descending that weight and interesting geometry turns trail into fun times.
One ride I did was six hours and twenty KM into a backcountry hut - this included about 1000m of climbing and carrying a heavy overnight pack. So yeah this bike works for AM riding well - felt very stable with the heavy load on.
I do notice losing that inch of travel from the enduro - but maybe that's not a bad thing.
Well done Transition - I like this bike.
Bike Setup: DHX 5. Float 36. Code 5. XT cranks and mechs. Kenda blue groove and nevegal.
Utah transplant freerider
from SLC, UT
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2010
Strengths: Stiff, durable, quick to respond, rails through the corners
Weaknesses: it could be a little lighter, (frame 9lbs)
The bottom line is this, after all the bikes that are out there, this is the one that can do XC and Freeride both well, The 4-5 inch travel rear end give the rider an amazing ability the climb and track through the winding singletrack, but the design still give enough ramp up on the rear Romic shock that it won't bottom out on 10 foot drops, that is the biggest I've done in the this bike. This is truly a duel purpose bike, an All-mountain and Freeride bike in one. plus Transistion is a great company to work with, great guys.
Similar Products Used: Giant ac, Santa cruz Bullit, trek Liquid, Giant Faith, Giant, Vt, Giant reign, Specialized Enduro, Specialized Big Hit, Cove G-spot, the list goes on.
Bike Setup: Full XTR, Marzocchi Z150SL, CK Headset, Sunrace Juju hubs(surprisingly nice) on Mavic 819 disc, Hayes carbon brakes 8inch.
a Weekend Warrior
from Las Vegas,NV
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2010
Strengths: The best all around bike that I have ridden to date; Pedals great, descends great, and can take hits despite it's short travel.
Weaknesses: Makes other bikes seem inferior:-)
This bike is awesome. Transition has hit a home run with this one. This bike pedals extremely well, but when the going gets rough, it's also extremely plush. This really is the All mountain/free-ride bike. The other day, I hit a jump a little to fast, and landed about six feet to flat. The bike did not complain one bit. Also, this bike is super well balanced in the air. Requires hardly any rider input, and it just flies straight. This bike makes me a better, more confident rider. I suggest this bike for new riders who want to go big, old riders who want to go big, and still want to be able to pedal, or for someone who can't afford more than one bike,(like me) the preston is it!! You won't regret your purchase of a preston!!
Bike Setup: Preston Frame w/ romic, Zocchi 66, Avid Mechanicals
a Weekend Warrior
from Charlotte, NC
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2010
Strengths: Just about everything. Super balanced and plush for only 5" of travel. Very stable.
Weaknesses: Nothing yet.
I have not had much trail time on this since I built it due to really crappy weather. I did have time to hit some urban riding. It is almost as good as a hard tail on the jumps. Was really amazed on how good it handled drops. Feels more like 6 or 7 inches of travel. Some steep roll ins were no match for this and gives loads of confidence. When riding skinnies it was balanced and once again gave lots of confidence. It is heavy but that is more due to my over build than the bikes fault. Looking over the bike the welds are excellent and the rear triangle is nice and stiff. I have heard bad things about the paint but after a couple rides the paint is still perfect. The craftsmanship is the best I have seen.
On a side note the customer service at Transition is the best I ever had a chance to deal with.
Bike Setup: 2008 Preston FR with DHX 5.0 coil, Marz 55 fork, Sram drivetrain, Truvativ cranks and handlebars/stem
a Weekend Warrior
from North Van
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2009
Strengths: Geometry, short travel, high bb
Great bike, started out with a light weight air shock, a cloud 9 which took a whole lot of a beating considering the weight and that it's an XC shock. I'm 190 pounds. Switched to a swinger 4 way because I like the SVP dampening. Completely changed the feel of the bike, went from a twitchy AM to a solid FR feel.
I also have an Iron Horse 7 Point decked out in Saint and SRAM X0 which I rarely ride anymore. Sweet bike, perfect for climbing and feels great on tech downhills. I was initially skeptical about the abuse that this bike would be able to take, after riding it for year I'm now convinced that it’s a true FR machine.
Bike Setup: '08 production frame, fox 36 float, swinger 4 way rear (cloud 9 spare), shimano XT drivetrain, Race Face Atlas crank, D2 stem, bar, Wheels: front is a Hope hub on DT Swiss rim, and rear is a WTB hub on WTB rim, bikes weighs in at 36.5 pounds.
Strengths: Climbs great, easy to launch, the most balanced bike I have ever been on
Weaknesses: None so far
I wanted something in between my Versus Blitz 2 ( a little heavy for all day trail riding) and my XC-like Motolite ( Carbon stays freak me out on rocky trails). After many hours of reading reviews and talking to owners of different bikes I choose the Preston FR. I have only had it built up for 3 days now but my first impression is, this is the bike I was looking for. This is by far the most balanced feeling bike I have ever been on. It is super stable and begs for me to go into rough sections and drops faster than ever before. It flys through the air with nary an input by me. And is super flickable. It is not as compliant as my Blitz or as singletrack minded as my Motolite and it fits right between them just as I wanted. The frame appears to be well made and looks super durable. Buy one!! Worth evey penny!!
Similar Products Used: Versus Blitz 2, Versus Blitz 1, Lenz Lumberjack, Titus Motolite
Bike Setup: White Presto, DHX 5.0, hadley hubs w/ ZTR Flow rims, RS Lyrik, RF Evolve DH cranks, X9, white codes
a Cross Country Rider
from Hood River, OR
Date Reviewed: February 17, 2009
Strengths: Climbs great, good head angle even without having an adjustable fork. Soaks up high speed chunky trails and corners like its on rails. Heavy duty build without the weight. Feels evenly balanced.
Weaknesses: None so far-
Great all purpose bike! Climbs better than either of my other bikes, and descends with total control. A fair price and a bike I will recommend to all! Love it!
Similar Products Used: Turner 5-Spot, Ventana El Chamuco
Bike Setup: Fox Van 36 fork, Avid Juicy 7 brakes, X-7 deraillers, Truvativ dual ring cranks. Fox DHX 5.0 Coil with 400x2.45 spring. 2.35 rear tire, 2.5 in front for stopping and handling grip.
from South Florida USA
Date Reviewed: April 7, 2008
Strengths: This bike seems to do everything well. From epics and XC trails to jumps and hucks,it just doesn't complain. I can pedal with my xc buddies one weekend and the next weekend,go to a freeride park all on the same bike. What else could anyone want from a bike?
Weaknesses: It sits in my living room...taunting me to skip out on work and take it for a ride instead...STOP TALKING TO ME PRESTON!!
If you are a Free rider at heart but are forced to pedal or a pedaler at heart and are forced by cruel friends to jump and huck...This bike works perfectly.The folks over at Transition Bikes are great people and always willing to help you out as well. If you want something flimsy that lacks style and versatility or you want a bike from a faceless corporation that probably hates you,stay away from the Preston..it isn't the bike for you (maybe your local Trek dealer can find you something to ride that fits both those bills).
Weaknesses: Cable routing around rear seat gets in the way of QR. Shock seems to need regular (but not constant) adjustment.
Like everyone else, I love my Preston. I'm on my second Preston (06), riding them for the last 4 years. It really does everything well. Helped build my confidence as a free-rider. With roll down Fox 36, makes bike climb well considering it's stocky build. Absolutely love it in the bike park, technical single track, flowing XC. Can manipulate tight, gnarly North Shore switchbacks with the same ease it rips down flowing burmed bike park corners. The bikes value allows you to upgrade your Preston to totally dial in this bike.
Add all this to the fact the owners are great guys who have been totally committed to provided their customers with complete rider satisfaction. They back their gear 100%.
Every time I ride my local tech XC area (in Victoria, BC), everyone always stops to compliment my Preston. It's kind of funny when all these lycra clad XC dudes are staring covetously at my burly short travel freeride ripper.
The bottom line is this: If you are looking to own only one bike, the Preston FR is THE BIKE.
Bike Setup: preston fr frame 2007, manitou 150mm travis , transition revolution wheelset, e13 srs,sram x7,deity seat bar and stem, hope M4
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2007
Strengths: Short tight geometry, Transition name and reputation, strong and burly, capable all-around bike.
Weaknesses: A bit on the heavy side, paint is a little weak, small engineering details (i.e. cable routing, bottom pivot in the way of the front derailleur) could have been worked out a little better.
I bought this bike sight unseen based on its geometry and intended purpose. I was not disappointed. I have ridden it on everything from XC trails with 2000' climbs to downhill riding at Whistler, and it has performed very well. My usual riding is technical singletrack, and it really shines here, allowing me to descend with more confidence than ever before without much weight penalty. It's a little heavy at 35 lbs and no way to lighten it much further without compromising durability, but it climbs in a tractor-like way and the short top tube makes it easy to shift my weight back and forth as necessary to keep traction. The short geometry also makes it turn like no bike I've had before -- tight switchbacks are no problem for me now. I love the head angle and seat angle, they're just right for downhill confidence while still being able to pedal uphill. The bike looks great too, better than in the photos, and I get compliments on it all the time. The green is a metallic candy green that sparkles in the light... nice! The paint scratches a bit easily though.
When I first got it, I had a Fox DHX 5.0 Air rear shock, and it never felt right. If the sag was set right, the shock was harsh and I didn't get full travel. If I set the air pressure for plushness, it bottomed out all the time. Finally I swapped the air shock out for a Fox Van R coil shock, and wow, what a difference. Suddenly I had a lot more travel, small-bump sensitivity, bottom-out resistance, and traction. The change really made this bike come alive! Now I love it and feel it's the perfect bike for all the riding I do. It's lighter than the Bottlerocket with many of the same capabilities, plus the ability to climb. I can't imagine anyone would regret buying this bike!
Purchased At: Frame from Adrenaline Bikes, part from ebay
Bike Setup: 2007 small green Preston, Fox Van R shock and Fox TALAS 36 RC2 fork, XT/XTR drivetrain, Thomson stem & seatpost, King headset, King hubs with Mavic 823 tubeless rims, Wellgo magnesium pedals, Formula Oro K24 brakes, Answer Protaper bars, Race Face Atlas cranks, Hutchinson Barracuda 2.35" tubeless tires, etc.
This may be a bad idea so I'm looking for some feedback. I have a 2009 Preston FR and it uses a 30.0mm seatpost with a 34.9mm outer diameter on the seattube. Can I bore out the seattube to 30.9mm so I can use the Joplin 4 remote adjustable seatpost that I already have on another bike. I see lots ... Read More »
I love the preston, and might be right for me to snatch one up now. The best fork option seems to be the domain, offered in 180mm or 115-160. If I got the U-turn one, it would bug me not set in the 160 mode, and i see many used ones with the 180mm option. Would the most recent preston be unbalanced ... Read More »
I went to the local shop today thinking that I was going to get a Nomad after long consideration. When I got there the owner showed me a Transition Preston FR that he had. I took it for a spin and liked it, although not as much as the Nomad. The problem is the Preston is about $1000 less. Anyone ... Read More »