DOWNHILL BIKE TEST - TRANSITION TR11
Transitions successor to the TR500 came in the form of the TR11. This carbon chassis beauty really seems to have made some good impressions in the capable hands of Tahnee Seagrave and her brother Kaos.
This coming season really could be that elusive overall win for the brand, with second overall and a silver medal at worlds for Tanhee last year. Transition have also gained a privateer in the way of Taylor Vernon, he is always someone that you need to watch.
Suspension and Chassis
The carbon chassis, with its chunky construction and beefy look, goes well with the specification of the Fox 40 Fork upfront on this model. Even down to the stealth stanchion Elite model, the Fox fork is such a good base for a downhill bike having a solid feel and great look to match the performance.
At the rear it’s the matching pair, with a Fox DHX2 coil damper that is driven by a full carbon rear end and Transitions Giddy Up linkage. It really does look the part.
The TR11 showcases a DH tuned version of Transitions Giddy Up linkage. This gives a robust look to the design, and the performance is complimented by that Fox damper.
The size large that was supplied boasts a reach of 453mm. This figure sits well when looking at the Large size bracket, even measuring in the realms of some manufactures XL bikes. When adding this together with a 342mm bottom bracket height and a 63 degree head angle, it all makes for a great combination.
TR11 Carbon 195mm Rear/200mm Front TR11 Carbon 195mm Rear/200mm Front
REAR SHOCK :
Fox DHX2 Factory
Fox 40 Float RC2 Performance Elite 203mm
Cane Creek 40 Series FSA No.57E
RaceFace Atlas DM
RaceFace Atlas 35 (800mm x 35mm)
ODI Elite Flow
ANVL Scultp Cromo
SRAM Code RSC
SRAM Centerline (203/200mm)
SRAM XO1 DH
SRAM XO1 DH
E*Thirteen 7sp Integrated (9-21t)
RaceFace SixC (32t, 165mm)
It really takes no time at all to get to grips with this solid feeling bike. There is very little flex or give coming from the chassis having such a burly carbon construction. This has its positives and negatives, but on the TR11 it seems to work well. It offers a positive ride feel when sending it down some trails, having a blast or getting the hammer down in race mode. This is where many bikes seem to miss the mark, being either one of the other. Whereas the Transition seems to be good at both.
There is nothing on this bike that I would be rushing to change. From SRAM X01 gearing, to RaceFace SixC crank or the Code RSC stoppers. It comes out of the box race ready.
The ride was also totally silent with no chain slap at all. This helps to keep focus on the job in hand, playtime on the bike. When it comes to the fatigue, the TR11 keeps things relatively low. The chassis may be stiff but it is not aggressive. With a proper damper setup it makes for a great fun ride.
There is not much to list here. One or two little things. First is the paint. Albeit a fantastic bike when you take it out of the box, the great finish it has will not last if it is not protected. When we collected the TR11 it looked amazing, but with no frame protection on it, this was short lived. The top tube became heavily scratched from legs touching it when the bike was muddy. Also the paint chipped very easy. It’s a simple thing to solve. Get the Frame protected as soon as you get it.
The other point to mention is the matter of the frame being very ridged in construction. This may not come out in the ride, or the fatigue on your body, but the frame ends up suffering from stress fractures when riding harsh terrain often.
A great looking carbon DH bike but you wouldn’t expect any less from Transition with its current range of bikes. Direct and fun, the TR11 has a killer build but does come in at £6,999 for the specification that we had. With the 27.5 wheel platform and safe geo, it’s a good base to get riding some DH. You can still hit the bigger jumps out there, without being held back by a lack of playfulness. It may not be my first choice, but I would be more than happy to own this bike.
Photos and words - Ieuan Williams