2020 Transition Scout Carbon GX Bike

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
Views:
2020 Transition Scout Carbon GX (Matte Midnight Blue)
Create New Tag

Compare to other Bikes

Need more info? View our Trail Mountain Bikes or Enduro / All-Mountain Mountain Bikes buyer's guides.

We Ride the All-New Transition Scout

Greatly refined but not too grown-up, the new Scout has something for everyone.

Rating: Vital Review

Introduction

Readers may recall from our What's In What's Out 2020 that we said the 27.5-inch trail bike was still an awesome weapon. We felt so confident in that declaration because little did you know, we already had the all-new 2020 Transition Scout in our grimy hands. Let's get into what the updates are, how the bike rides and whether you may need one for yourself.

Strengths

  • A versatile platform that will accommodate many riding scenarios
  • Stiff chassis makes a responsive and efficient bike
  • Progressive suspension doesn't ramp up too hard
  • Clean looking, well-crafted frame
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame
  • Evolution of SBG geometry is excellent
  • Plenty of standover clearance
  • Long dropper posts on all sizes
  • Exceptionally quiet on the trail

Weaknesses

  • Only one chainstay length for all sizes
  • Stiff chassis can resonate too much of the trail, leading to rider fatigue.
  • Frame design has water and grime collect at lower shock mount

Scout Highlights

  • Full carbon frame (front triangle, rear triangle and rocker)
  • New, progressive suspension design
  • 148mm Boost dropout spacing
  • Stock rear travel 140mm with 57.5mm stroke shock
  • Up To 150mm rear travel with 62.5mm stroke shock
  • Enduro Max sealed bearings with bearing shields on main pivot
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Molded rubber chainstay, seatstay & downtube protection
  • External rear brake cable routing
  • Fully guided rear derailleur cable routing in downtube and chainstay
  • Water bottle storage inside front triangle
  • Accessory mount on underside of top tube
  • 27.5-inch wheels with tire clearance up to 2.6-inches wide
  • 3.20 kg / 7.05 lbs frame with shock, complete X01 13.79 kg / 30.4 lbs

Evolution of the Scout

Throughout each iteration of its design, the Transition Scout has been a favorite party-bike among riders. The prior generation saw the implementation of Transition's Speed Balanced Geometry (SBG) which had all bikes in the line growing significantly in reach numbers while getting steeper seat angles, slack head angles, and reduced offset forks. In the past two years, other bikes in Transition's line included a lighter, carbon-frame offering but the Scout never received such treatment. Regardless, the Scout saw its way into our testing office and some Vital staffer's garages. For 2020, the tables have turned and the Scout receives not just a carbon frame, but one that is clearly an evolution among the Transition line. Time will tell if the rest of Transition's line will get this updated frame

The sleek, highly-refined carbon frame is eye-catching, to say the least. Stare too long at those forms and you would be forgiven in missing the tweaked geometry and increased travel numbers. Throw a leg over the new Scout and all becomes clear. The 2020 Transition Scout doesn't just party, it parties harder.

Updates to the Scout read like a recipe from the "how to evolve your trail bike" book. First, the rear travel has been bumped up by 10mm and is now 140mm, mated to a 150mm short offset fork. The head angle slackens by one-degree to 64. Across all sizes, reach grows by 10mm and is now 460 on a medium. The seat tube angle steepens to 77.2-degrees and that same seat tube has been cut down 20mm to a stubby 390mm. So short is the seat post that our size medium came with a 180mm OneUp dropper post, with plenty of post still showing. Lastly, Chainstays grow by 5mm and are now 430mm across all sizes.

The seat tube and chainstay lengths are great news for those looking at small and medium frames. Riders fitting the large and extra-large category may take issue with the shorter stays. More brands are including longer stays on larger bikes, we hope future models from Transition follow suit.

Suspension kinematics have also changed for the Scout. The chassis is much more progressive than the prior iteration and Transition is now giving the blessing for a coil shock. Transition has traditionally gone for a sag range in the 33-35% range but with this new Scout, they are recommending a solid 30% with swings in the 28-33% range. The Scout comes with 140mm of travel in its stock form but by swapping to a longer stroke shock, riders can achieve 150mm of travel. All of these updates, to us, spoke of a bike that was designed with versatility in mind.

In the aesthetics and refinement department, the Scout has a downtube and bottom bracket area that is muscly enough it could almost hide an e-bike motor. The sleek frame has ridges, folds, and interfaces that overlap to hide linkages along with a thin profiled top tube that helps to keep the bike from looking too buff for its own good. As always, a full-sized water bottle fits inside the frame along with bosses on the underside of the top tube for mounting ancillary tools or a pump. Thick rubber protection keeps the bottom bracket safe and the chainstay and seatstay spooky-quiet.

On the Trail

Getting the Scout on the trail revealed a bike that was quick to snap to attention and does as it is told. Put the power to the pedals and the Scout rockets forward, there is no lag or messing about. Well, there is some messing about but it's more along the lines of wheelies, jumps, and creative lines. We really appreciated the efficiency in which the Scout tackled any sort of incline. From nine-mile grinds to sharp punches, the Scout was happy to fly up nearly everything. Keeping in mind this isn't the high-end, lightest option out there and our spoiled selves were truly impressed. We never had a doubt that the Scout would fly downhill but, based on the last Scout's performance, we would be lying to say we didn't have lingering reservations about the climbs. Transition absolutely laid those to rest.

If there is one standout riding characteristic of the Scout, it would be the bike's ability to carry speed. The revised suspension does not get bogged or hung up when the trail turns chunky. Meanwhile, the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate prevents the ride from being harsh. This combination gives the Scout a very "point-and-shoot" feel on the trail, be that cornering or lining up more rowdy terrain. The bike is so capable in fact, that we would have liked to see a 200mm rotor up front instead of the 180 combo that came stock. It has been rare to find ourselves needing to pedal on descents to make up for lost speed through corners or terrain, the Scout is happy to utilize the trail before it to build momentum.

Our key takeaways thus far include an all-new frame that is as effective on the trail as it is beautiful...

In the name of science, we sent two product testers out with the Scout to do some back-to-back testing and mess with the Scout's setup. Lap one had things a bit more textbook which provided a predictable ride that one could head out all day with. Lap two had us turning up the compression front and back to see how rowdy things would get. The Scout rode like an angry Supercross bike. It was fast, took a strong hand and transmitted much of the trail, albeit all the while boosting further and keeping its lines through the rocks. Testing such as this helps to drive home some of the versatility of the new Scout. Riders that frequent smoother terrain or are looking to maximize bike response for more flow-style trails will delight in a setup like this.


The Scout did have an outing with a softer set-up as well, running closer to 33% sag. The ride was a one-time affair because much of the stability and sure-footedness of the bike was lost. While the Scout did hold its own in the chunk, the compromise was a bit too much and some of the magic that makes this bike was seemingly lost.

...the band from Bellingham has rebuilt the Scout in a meaningful way and produced a stellar bike that we cannot wait to ride every time we walk to the garage.

We have many more miles to log on the Scout and a few top-secret plans on how we'll execute those miles but our time together so far has given us a solid first impression. Our key takeaways thus far include an all-new frame that is as effective on the trail as it is beautiful, a versatile platform that is going to fit into many rider's local trails and a solid selection in the parts kit.

For $3,199 the 2020 Scout is available as a frame-only for those wanting to build their own ride.Otherwise, you have a choice of three build options: The $6,599 X01 kit with Fox Grip Performance Elite suspension and DT Swiss M1700 wheels, the $5,499 GX kit with RockShox Lyric Ultimate and Super Deluxe Ultimate on Stan's Flow S1 wheels (tested) and the $4,499 NX kit with Yari Select and Super Deluxe Select suspension on Stan's Flow D hoops. All builds feature the OneUup dropper and Maxxis tires.

Bottom Line

With a bike that is incredibly fun on the trail and immensely confident in the rough stuff, we have to tip our hat to the gang at Transition. In a market rife with "updates" that are little more than marketing hype, the band from Bellingham has rebuilt the Scout in a meaningful way and produced a stellar bike that we cannot wait to ride every time we walk to the garage.
Is the new Transition Scout the right bike for you? For that, we have to ask, do you like to party...hard? Our name is Vital MTB, and we like to party. For all the details, head to transitionbikes.com

Vital MTB Rating: 4.5 Stars - Outstanding


About The Reviewer

Brad Howell- Age: 40 // Years Riding: 25 // Height: 5'9" (1.75m) // Weight: 165-pounds (74.8kg)

Brad started mountain biking when a 2.25-inch tire was "large," and despite having threads, bottom brackets sucked. Riding in the woods with friends eventually lead way to racing, trying to send it at the local gravel pits, and working in bike shops as a wrench to help fix those bikes. Fortunate enough to have dug at the past six Rampages and become friends with some of the sport’s biggest talents, Brad has a broad perspective of what bikes can do and what it means to be a good rider. The past few years Brad worked in the bike industry and got to see the man behind the curtain. These days, though, he just likes riding his bike in the woods with friends.

Photos by Brad Howell and Transition Bikes // Video by John Reynolds and Brad Howell

Specifications

Product Transition Scout Carbon GX Bike
Model Year 2020
Riding Type Trail, Enduro / All-Mountain
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
XS, S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size XS S M L XL
Top Tube Length 534 564 593 623 652
Head Tube Angle 64.0° 64.0° 64.0° 64.0° 64.0°
Head Tube Length 95 110 125 140 155
Seat Tube Angle 78.2° 77.7° 77.2° 76.8° 76.4°
Seat Tube Length 350 360 390 430 460
Bottom Bracket Height 337 (18 drop) 337 (18 drop) 337 (18 drop) 337 (18 drop) 337 (18 drop)
Chainstay Length 430 430 430 430 430
Wheelbase 1153 1185 1217 1248 1280
Standover 665 665 673 686 698
Reach 410 435 460 485 510
Stack 577 590 604 617 631
* Additional Info All measurements are in mm unless otherwise noted
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details Full carbon fiber frame (front triangle, rear triangle, and rocker)
Flush-mount molded-rubber chainstay, seatstay, and downtube protection
Fully guided rear derailleur cable routing in downtube and chainstay
Rear Travel 140mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 57.5mm stroke and 1 volume spacer
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, 37mm offset
Fork Travel 150mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset FSA No.57E, 44mm/56mm press in
Handlebar ANVL Mandrel
Stem ANVL Swage (40mm)
Grips Sensus Lite
Brakes SRAM Code RSC with SRAM Centerline (180mm) rotors
Brake Levers SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide None included
Cranks SRAM STYLO 7K DUB
Chainrings SRAM X-SYNC 2 Eagle, 32 tooth, aluminum
Bottom Bracket 73mm threaded
Pedals None included
Chain SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
Cassette SRAM XG-1275, 10-50 tooth, 12-speed
Rims Stan's NoTubes Flow S1 Team wheels
Hubs Stan's NoTubes Flow S1 Team wheels
Spokes Stan's NoTubes Flow S1 Team wheels
Tires Front: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO+, 27.5" x 2.5"
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHRII 3C EXO+, 27.5" x 2.4"
Saddle ANVL Forge CroMo
Seatpost OneUp Components Dropper Post
Travel: 120mm (XS), 150mm (S), 180mm (M), 210mm (L-XL)
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 12mm x 148mm Boost
Max. Tire Size 27.5" x 2.6"
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes, inside front triangle
Colors Matte Midnight Blue, Matte Olive Green
Warranty 3 years frame
Lifetime crash replacement policy
Weight 31 lb 0 oz (14,061 g)
Miscellaneous 2020 Updates:
- All new carbon specific frame design
- Revised kinematic with increased progression
- 25% overall progression with a linear rate of change
- Can be configured with 150mm rear travel using a 62.5mm stroke shock
- Coil compatible
- Enduro Max sealed bearings with bearing shields on main pivot
- Shorter seat tubes and increased seatpost insertion
- Top tube accessory mount
Price $5,499
More Info

Transition Bikes Website

More Products