2020 Transition TR11 Carbon X01 Bike

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2020 Transition TR11 Carbon X01 Black Chrome
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First Ride: Transition's New TR11 Also Goes to 11

You just can't go to 12, it seems. Good thing that 11 is so awesome!

Rating: Vital Review
First Ride: Transition's New TR11 Also Goes to 11

Transition launched the first version of the TR11 two years ago now, but never ones to rest on their laurels they’ve been hard at work refining their top-shelf gravity weapon ever since. After trying to “go to 12” with disastrous results for their R&D team, Transition decided to stick with 11 and focus on evolution rather than revolution for the 2020 edition. We were lucky enough to score a test bike while spending a couple of days in the Whistler Bike Park earlier this summer, so we’re taking this opportunity to share our first impressions with you. But first, a quick look back at what happens when you try to turn things up to twelve…don’t try this at home:

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Neutral ride feel
  • Easy to get along with
  • Suitable for a wide range of gravity applications
  • Superb

Transition launched the first version of the TR11 two years ago now, but never ones to rest on their laurels they’ve been hard at work refining their top-shelf gravity weapon ever since. After trying to “go to 12” with disastrous results for their R&D team, Transition decided to stick with 11 and focus on evolution rather than revolution for the 2020 edition. We were lucky enough to score a test bike while spending a couple of days in the Whistler Bike Park earlier this summer, so we’re taking this opportunity to share our first impressions with you. But first, a quick look back at what happens when you try to turn things up to twelve…don’t try this at home:

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Neutral ride feel
  • Easy to get along with
  • Suitable for a wide range of gravity applications
  • Superb rear suspension action
  • Light weight
  • External cable routing makes maintenance easier
  • Pricey build
  • External cable routing looks less clean

Transition TR11 XO1 Highlights

  • 27.5" WHEELS / 200mm REAR TRAVEL / 200mm FRONT TRAVEL
  • Full carbon frame
  • REAR SHOCK SIZE: 250mm x 75mm
  • HEADSET: 56mm Zero Stack (Top/Bottom)
  • BOTTOM BRACKET: 83mm BSA Threaded
  • REAR BRAKE: 160mm Post Mount
  • REAR AXLE: Syntace X12 157
  • SCG05 Tabs
  • SEATPOST DIAMETER: 31.6mm
  • MAXIMUM TIRE: 27.5 x 2.5
  • REAR SHOCK: Fox DHX2 Factory
  • FORK: Fox Float 40 Grip 2 Performance Elite 203
  • Transition Reach AdjustTransition Reach Adjust
  • RaceFace Atlas DM Stem
  • ANVL Mandrel 35 Handlebar
  • ODI Elite Flow Grips
  • ANVL Forge Ti Saddle
  • SRAM Code RSC Brakes
  • SHIFTER/DERAILLEUR: SRAM XO1 DH
  • SRAM XG 795 (10-24t) Cassette
  • SRAM XO1 DH DUB Crankset
  • One Up Bash Guide
  • Stans Flow EX3 Team Wheelset
  • FRONT TIRE/REAR TIRE : Maxxis Minion DHF 3C DH (27.5 x 2.5)/Maxxis Minion DHRII 3C DH (27.5 x 2.4)
  • Colors: Black Chrome or Primer Blue
  • Weight: Medium Complete Bike 33.9 lbs / 15.38 kg
  • MSRP: $7299 USD

Initial Impressions

The TR11 was always a good looking bike, and the black and chrome finish of the new version did not disappoint. The lines are clean and the burly tubing speaks of a bike that won’t back down before you do. The first big surprise comes when you go to pick the bike up – this thing does not weigh much for such a sturdy looking piece of equipment. In fact, at just 15.4 kgs for a medium with a coil shock build, it’s among the lighter off-the-shelf DH bikes we’ve come across recently

Looking over the 2020 version in detail, longer reach and longer chainstays highlight the geometry changes made compared to the previous edition, while a slightly higher BB bucks the “longer and lower” trend of recent years. Transition’s goal with these changes was to create a bike that offers a balanced ride with more front wheel traction. They’ve also gone to a straight, 56 mm head tube which allows them to offer their own reach adjust headset with every bike, providing +/- 5 mm of reach adjust to allow you to fine tune your reach number. For this review, our tester rode a size L with a +5 mm headset, landing him at 470mm of reach (he measures 1m84 or 6’0”).

Another change made to the new TR11 is “Gravity GiddyUp 2.0”, Transition’s rear suspension system. For the 2.0 version, Transition went with a longer shock stroke for a lower overall leverage ratio, which when coupled with a progressive linkage layout and low pedal kickback numbers should make for a supportive yet forgiving ride. Both off-the-shelf builds available feature a coil shock in the rear.

Digging into the spec, the XO1 build featured here does not cut many corners. A FOX 40 Performance Elite and DHX2 Factory are on suspension duty, while SRAM takes care of drive train and brakes with an XO1 DH group and Code RSC stoppers. Finishing kit is a mix of Transition’s house brand ANVL and Race Face, while Stan’s new Flow EX3 wheelset and Maxxis DHF/DHRII 3C DH tires were called up for the rolling stock. All in all it’s a harmonious and shred-worthy build, with just the external cable routing disturbing the clean lines of the finished bike.

On The Trail

Setting up the bike was easy, the 500lbs stock spring on the size L proving a good match for our tester’s +/- 200 lbs. With just a couple of days to ride the bike, we favored a set-and-forget approach to suspension setup that would let us focus on the general handling traits as opposed to digging into the finer points of suspension tuning. The good news is that the adjusters on the FOX 40 and DHX2 provide good range and usable results fairly easily, especially if you stray towards the open sides of the damping. Moving out, we found the new TR11 very easy to get along with. The handling is very neutral, for lack of a more descriptive word, and even with the coil shock there is plenty of progressivity on tap which makes for a confidence inspiring ride, especially when it comes to air time.

Bikes that offer this much comfort typically provide a little less “pop”, but this is not the case with the new TR11.

As we got into more technical terrain, the rear suspension action really started to shine. It seems to strike a perfect mix of support and comfort, to the point that we felt compelled to start fiddling about with the fork’s settings to help it keep up. Whether you are plowing rocks or pinning it through sharp edges and chatter, the rear end remains unfazed and ready to charge at a moment’s notice, and flat-pedal riders will appreciate just how secure their feet feel on the pedals. Bikes that offer this much comfort typically provide a little less “pop”, but this is not the case with the new TR11. While it’s obviously not trail bike-like in the pedaling department, it is certainly dynamic enough when it comes to bunny hops and popping over the bonus rock doubles. Calling the rear suspension “balanced” might feel like a cop-out, but it really is just that – proof that sweating the details pays off when it comes to suspension design.

Looking closer at the build kit, a couple of days riding is obviously not enough to draw any sweeping conclusions, but the components specified here have a great track record and we have enough time on nearly all of them to confidently state that there is no obvious weak spot in this list of parts. The suspension is right up there with the best, drive train and brakes are top-shelf and the finishing kit beyond reproach. The wheels are new, but we just happen to have a couple of months on them already as they are currently being tested on one of our long-term bikes, and we can confirm that they seem more than ready to take on the unenviable task of rolling down steep and rough terrain under the type of rider likely to be purchasing this bike.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Transition may have come up short of 12, but a bike that goes to 11 is already pretty awesome. With its neutral handling and superb rear suspension action, the TR11 provides a great platform for most gravity applications, from racing to freeride, and it does not give up much to the best at either end of the spectrum. It might not be quite the speed weapon that a Commencal high-pivot bike is for example, but it is also less of a plow bike and easier to throw around in the park. In other words, it is definitely worth a close look for most riders looking to put together a big rig short list.

More information at: www.transitionbikes.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 46 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Nils Hjord and Johan Hjord (cover shot by Brandon Turman)

Specifications

Product Transition TR11 Carbon X01 Bike
Model Year 2020
Riding Type Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size S M L XL
Top Tube Length
Head Tube Angle 63° 63° 63° 63°
Head Tube Length 110 120 120 130
Seat Tube Angle 76° 76° 76° 76°
Seat Tube Length 420 420 420 420
Bottom Bracket Height 350 (-5 drop) 350 (-5 drop) 350 (-5 drop) 350 (-5 drop)
Chainstay Length 440 440 440 440
Wheelbase 1217 1247 1272 1301
Standover 685 685 685 685
Reach 415 440 465 490
Stack 602 610 610 619
* Additional Info Measurements are in mm unless otherwise noted
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details Rubber molded frame protection
Rear Travel 200mm
Rear Shock FOX DHX2 Factory
Fork FOX FLOAT 40 Perormance Elite, GRIP2 damper
Fork Travel 200mm
Head Tube Diameter Straight, 1.5"
Headset Transition, reach adjust, includes 0mm and +/- 5mm offset cups
Handlebar ANVL Mandrel 35
Stem Race Face Atlas, direct mount
Grips ODI Elite Flow
Brakes SRAM Code RSC, SRAM Centerline rotors, 203mm front, 200mm rear
Brake Levers SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM X01 DH, 7-speed
Front Derailleur None
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 DH, 7-speed
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide OneUp Components Bash
Cranks SRAM X01 DH DUB
Chainrings
Bottom Bracket 83mm BSA threaded
Pedals None
Chain SRAM PC-1170
Cassette SRAM XG-795, 10-24 tooth, 7-speed
Rims Stan's NoTubes Flow EX3 Team wheelset
Hubs Stan's NoTubes Flow EX3 Team wheelset
Spokes Stan's NoTubes Flow EX3 Team wheelset
Tires Front: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C DH 27.5x2.5"
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C DH 27.5x2.4"
Saddle ANVL Forge Ti
Seatpost JD SP66
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt, 37mm
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 12x157mm
Max. Tire Size 27.5x2.5"
Bottle Cage Mounts None
Colors Black Chrome
Primer Blue
Warranty 3 years for original owner
Weight 33 lb 14.5 oz (15,380 g)
Miscellaneous Weight given for size M
External brake routing
Gravity Giddy Up 2.0hh suspension design
Price $7,299
More Info

www.transitionbikes.com

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