Transition's Biggest Bike Yet - Meet the New Spire 11

This big-travel 29er is the latest addition to the Transition line.

Transition's newest bike is not timid, nor does it seek to make apologies for what it is. If you are going to make a 170mm travel 29er, a brand may as well unload with both barrels. The Spire is definitely a bike that hits the trails with guns blazing. This winter, Vital briefly had a Spire in our clutches and were able to dig into some of the nitty gritty details with Transition's Lars Sternberg. Hang tight, we're going to find out just what this new rig is all about.


To check out Vital's First Look and in-depth article on the new Patrol, head HERE.

Spire Highlights

  • Japanese Toray Carbon or Aluminum frame offerings
  • 29-inch wheels only (stock)
  • 170mm rear travel (160mm with 60mm stroke shock)
  • Size-specific chainstays
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 56mm upper and lower headset cups
  • Guided internal derailleur and dropper post routing (carbon)
  • External rear brake routing
  • Boost 148mm rear spacing
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Dual crown compatible

It is impressive, the amount of offerings and changes one can make to the Spire. To start, there is the flip chip in the lower shock mount, the only on-board change offered. As one would expect, this raises/lowers the bottom bracket and slackens/steepens the head/seat angles. This chip can also be used in the high position to give riders the option of running a 27.5-inch rear wheel. If 170mm is too much travel, riders can install a 205x60mm rear shock to achieve 160mm of rear travel. 

But wait, there's more!

Yes, the Spire is dual-crown capable. Want to mess with the angles and such? The dual 56mm headset cups mean riders can use an angle set and get crazy with the setup. It should stand to reason that the Spire can run a coil rear shock.


Say this out loud and say it slowly, sixty two point five degrees. That is the head angle of the new Transition Spire in the low setting. Putting this machine in the high setting steepens things to a whopping 63-degrees. Keeping with the, "My what big teeth you have," theme, the reach on our medium Spire measures out to 460mm, 485 on a large. The chainstay length for sizes small through large is 446mm. XL and XXL grow to 452mm. By comparison, Transition's downhill bike, the TR11, has a wheelbase that is 10mm shorter than the comparably sized Spire. This is a big bike on paper. Helping riders manage that length is a 78.8-degree seat angle and an effective top tube length of 577mm, only 2mm longer than the new Patrol which sports a 26mm shorter wheelbase.

The Lineup

Transition has expanded its line with this all-new bike. The Spire is being offered with both alloy and carbon frame build kits. A Shimano XT build and SRAM GX Eagle build grace both the carbon and alloy frames, while a Deore 12-speed kit is being offered on the alloy build only.

At the top of the heap is Transition's XT build kit with a carbon frame for $6,699. Riders will get a full Shimano XT drivetrain and accompanying 4-piston XT brakes with 203mm rotors. FOX Factory is on suspension duties with the 38 and X2. DT Swiss EX1700 wheels wrapped in a Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty combo round out the rolling.

For $5,599, the GX build gives riders the obvious SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain and Code RSC brakes with a 220mm front and 200mm rear rotor. A RockShox ZEB Ultimate and Super Deluxe Ultimate help you roll over anything and not feel it. Stan's Flow S1 wheels take over wheel duties while the same Schwalbe tire combo remains.

Transition Spire Complete build kits and frame options

Alloy options retain the same respective build kits as the carbon offerings, with all of the same parts transferring over. (Editorial note - the Float X on the XT alloy frame is a typo) Moving to alloy will drop the price to $5,599 for the XT build and $4,899 for the GX. Coming in at $3,399, the alloy Spire also sees a Deore 12-speed build kit with our Product of the Year, Deore 6100 group. A Marzoochi Bomber Z1 air and FOX Float X cover the suspension. Stan's Flow D wheels are wrapped in the same Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty combination as the rest of the line. 

Riders looking to build their own Spire from the frame up can do so with either a carbon ($,3,399) or alloy ($2,299) frame. We know there are soon to be some seriously wild builds in our Bike Check section!

On the Trail

Full disclosure - Vital is gearing up for a long-travel Test Session this fall and we already knew the Spire would be part of that group. For a full review, Vital readers will have to wait. We promise it will be incredible! That said, when the Spire and Patrol came through Boise and we were hit with a winter storm, our time aboard this bike was minimal.

Our immediate shakedown, first ride opinion goes something like this - the Spire pedals and cruises along extremely well. The large wheelbase is evident but is not an overpowering theme when navigating mellower terrain. The little bit we were able to let the Spire off the leash, it wanted to build speed, like, right now! With the progression Transition has put on this suspension platform, the Spire has some pop while still erasing small to medium sized trail obstacles.

What's the Bottom Line

Vital will refrain from drawing any conclusions about the Spire but it should be clear, Transition is not messing around with this one. Riders looking for a big bike have plenty of variety and options with the Spire. Sensible, quality builds on either a carbon or alloy chassis should please the masses. Meanwhile, the Spire's platform flexes some wild options to accommodate those in the more niche crowd.

For more information, get on over to

View key specs, compare bikes, and rate the Transition Spire in the Vital MTB Product Guide.


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