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FASTER, DAMIT, FASTER
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to share my new Bandit 27.5. I am super stoked on how this bike turned out. Now lets only hope that it's as fast as it looks! IMG_1184.jpg IMG_1181.jpg IMG_1176.jpg IMG_1170.jpg
 

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FASTER, DAMIT, FASTER
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've only been able to take my Bandit out a couple of times, but here are my initial thoughts. Transition hit a homer with this bike. I am having a hard time understanding why this bike is not getting more publicity. I knew from the beginning that the bike seemed well made and the media that Transition puts out always seems to suggest that their bikes can rip. I had the expectation that this would be a "fun" bike, but maybe not the fastest bike out there. After all, it's a high-single pivot bike with no acronyms to describe the suspension or braking technology. I feel that I may have under estimated the Bandit 27.5 a bit...

A little about me:
I've been riding mountain bikes fairly seriously for the past 15 years or so. I would describe myself as an aggressive rider with above average fitness and good technical skills. I enjoy pushing myself to go fast over every type of terrain. Over the past couple of seasons I've been bit by the enduro-racing bug and plan on racing quite a bit this summer. I've been riding bikes made by a company that shares it's name with a skateboard company and a city in California, so when I got the opportunity to ride this bike I thought that I would be "down grading." Once again...wrong!

About the bike:
The first thing that I noticed immediately about this bike is that paint on the bike. It's beautiful with it’s bright metallic red that glistens in the sun. The welds appear to be well done. The tubes are straight and strong, no bullshit or apologies. Just a good-looking, stout aluminum bike frame. The frame built up with little fuss. The stealth routing was appreciated, as was the 12x142 rear with a Shimano branded through axle. Here is a quick list of the build:

Transition Bandit 27.5 - Large
RS Pike RCT3
Fox Float X
Sun Ringle Charger Pro SL - Tubeless
Kenda Honey Badger Pro - Tubeless
1x10 - SRAM XX1 Cranks mated to Shimano XT everything else
Shimano XT brakes (awesome!)
Reverb Stealth
Protaper DH Carbon

I haven't had the chance to put this bike on a proper bike scale, but I would guess it's right around 28lbs.

About the Ride:
On the bike, I did notice that increased stand over of the 27.5" wheels. I have been exclusively on 26" for all of my life, so the increased height was immediately noticeable. It did not feel uncomfortable, per se, but it was different. Also, the Bandit has a longish top tube, which I appreciated. On my previous bikes, I have often felt cramped, especially when running a <60mm stem. This was not the case aboard the Bandit. The longer top tube is also welcome on the climbs. It was nice to be able to stretch out and get the jobs done. I have been pleasantly surprised on how well this bike climbs. I will credit this to the Float X. This shock is a dream. I feel that it transforms this bike. Set the CTD switch to the "Trail" mode and it firms up the rear suspension nicely, but still allows for the suspension to squat enough to provide good traction. The big wheels help to mellow out middle of the trail rocks and chunder as well. I won't say that climbing is a particular strength of the Bandit, but it does do the job adequately. Now descending is where this bike shines. Holy-cow. Flip the CTD switch to descend mode, open up the pike, and away we go. From the get go the Bandit felt solid and confidence inspiring. There was never a time when the bike shied away from chunder or did it feel flexy. Another complementary factor was that the bike changes direction extremely well. Between the low BB and the relatively short chain stays the Bandit kept begging to be thrown into corners harder and harder. I also feel that the bigger wheels allow the Bandit to have the "rolling" sensation that 29er riders talk about. There is this feeling, when riding the Bandit, that it is always gaining speed and wants to go faster. I tend to be more of a precision rider than a "monster truck" style rider, and the Bandit did a fantastic job of going where I told it to go. The stiffness of the frame and the fork was greatly appreciated. As expected with any Transition bike, my Bandit jumps well and feels very neutral in the air. I think that the Bandit accelerates pretty well, which is something that is important to me. I do not have enough time on the Bandit, nor the legs (yet) to truly say, but I think I will be pleased.

Pros:
-Stiff!
-Wonderful DH handling characteristics
-Quick direction changes
-Great cornering
-Beautiful paint

Cons:
-Will see how long that beautiful paint lasts, as Transition is not known for their quality paint jobs. I would highly recommend using 3M vinyl to cover high wear spots.
-Where's the carbon Transition? I can only imagine what this bike would be like if the frame was a pound lighter
-Weight?
-No press from media outlets


Overall, I am extremely happy with that I will be on a Transition bike for this year’s enduro season. I feel that this bike has a great blend of characteristics that are going to work well for the Enduros that I race (Oregon, Idaho, Utah). Just enough peddling efficiency and a bomber downhill feel. I would highly encourage another rider thinking of getting a Bandit to consider getting it with the Float X. It is a drastically better shock than the standard Fox Float CTD. I imagine that a similar RS Monarch or Cane Creek DBAir would feel similar, but I am certain that the addition of a more refined shock helps this frame immensely. Secondly, I would encourage anyone interested to consider a 150mm fork with at least 34mm stanchions. The Bandit begs to be ridden hard and I am willing to bet that a 32mm fork would get quickly overwhelmed. I am looking forward to spending time aboard the Bandit and seeing where it leads me. Hopefully it leads to good times and maybe a few podiums along the way.
 

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enjoys skidding
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1,098 Posts
I would highly encourage another rider thinking of getting a Bandit to consider getting it with the Float X. It is a drastically better shock than the standard Fox Float CTD. I imagine that a similar RS Monarch or Cane Creek DBAir would feel similar, but I am certain that the addition of a more refined shock helps this frame immensely. Secondly, I would encourage anyone interested to consider a 150mm fork with at least 34mm stanchions. The Bandit begs to be ridden hard and I am willing to bet that a 32mm fork would get quickly overwhelmed.
Nice write up man. Couldn't agree more with your suggestion of a 34mm fork. I have a Bandit 26 that is a few years old now and depending on what trails you ride and how you ride them, a 32mm fork doesn't inspire the confidence that you want.

Build looks sick man. I have been trying to get mine for a long time now. Can't wait until it finally happens.
 

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enjoys skidding
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1,098 Posts
Actually just a few questions if you don't mind:

- Is your Pike 150mm or 160mm? If it's 160mm, how does it ride?
- Are you running 175mm cranks? Do you get many pedal strikes with them? Both my mate and I run 170mm cranks on his Carbon Covert and my Bandit 26 for more clearance but I don't know if it is necessary on the Bandit 275.
- Do you think you could fit a full sized bottle in the bottle cage with the Float X shock? Sometimes I like to be able to ditch the backpack and go for a quick spin with just a bottle.
 

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FASTER, DAMIT, FASTER
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Pike on my bandit is set at 150mm, but I suspect that it would work equally as well (shoot, maybe even better) at 160mm. I run 170mm cranks. My last few bikes have had low BBs, so I've just gotten used to 170. I have experienced just a couple, very minor peddle strikes aboard the Bandit, but I suspect that this was mostly due to poor peddle stroke choices by the rider. Lastly, yes a full size water bottle does fit with the Float x. It is very, very tight. But it will work. The nozzle of the water bottle does touch the body of the shock, but nothing that worries me or makes it too difficult to pull bottle out of a drink while riding. Overall, I am very happy with this rig.
 

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FASTER, DAMIT, FASTER
Joined
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am 6'0" and am running a 60mm stem. Fits like a glove.
 
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