2023 Transition Relay Carbon GX AXS E-Bike

Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Vital's SL eMTB Test Sessions - Transition Relay Review
Transition's incorporation of Fazua's Ride 60 system into a 160mm platform delivers riders quality power and unwavering gravity performance with the added ability to drop the battery for unassisted riding.
Vital Review

Of all the bikes in this year's Test Sessions, Transition's Relay presented a unique proposition. It might use the same compact yet powerful Fazua motor as the Santa Cruz Heckler SL and Ari Bikes' Nebo Peak, but it's the only bike that encourages riding without assistance if desired. 


  • Carbon frame (alloy models available)
  • Two travel configurations:
    • 160mm rear wheel travel (air) // 160mm fork (tested)
    • 170mm rear wheel travel (coil) // 170mm fork
  • Mixed or dual 29-inch wheels 
  • GiddyUp suspension design
  • 60 Nm Fazua Ride 60 motor
  • 430 Wh battery
  • 63.3/64-degree head tube angle
  • Size-optimized chainstay length
  • Uninterrupted seat tube enables long droppers
  • UDH equipped
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Verified weight 45 lbs / 20.4 kg (Size XL, no pedals, w/ battery)
  • Verified weight 40 lbs / 18.1 kg (Size XL, no pedals, w/o battery)
  • Six build options
  • MSRP: $6,799 - $12,499 USD ($9,999 as tested, GX AXS Build)

A unique and refreshing approach to the SL category, Transition achieved this duality via a removable 430-watt-hour battery. Hidden behind a tool-free, removable plastic cover in the downtube, sliding out the battery takes only seconds and drops five pounds (2.3 kg) from the bike.


Our size XL test bike weighed 45 pounds with the battery installed and 40 pounds with it removed. This made the Relay the third heaviest bike in the test, beating out only the full-power Giant Trance X Advanced E+ and Cannondale Moterra SL. It's still light in the big picture of e-mountain bikes, but it is on the heavier side within the SL space. And with its battery removed, it was just a pound lighter than the lightest bike in the test, Specialized's Levo SL


The Relay was the longest travel bike in the group, with 160mm of travel front and rear. Combining its longer travel amount with a geometry package that blurs the line between all-mountain and enduro, the Relay does put most of its eggs in the descending performance basket. However, it maintains adequate climbing performance thanks to a steeper seat tube angle and a not-too-slack 64-degree head tube angle. For riders looking to push the envelope even further descending, Transition offers the Relay in a PNW configuration, which bumps travel up to 170mm with a coil shock and beefier fork. It also swaps the dual 29-inch wheels for a mixed-wheel setup. Regardless of which build you pick, the frames are the same, and each travel amount and wheel configuration are possible with the corresponding shock sizes and flip chip position. 


Relay frames come in aluminum or carbon, but both feature the same Fazua e-components. The Ride 60 motor is one of the lightest motors on the market and produces 60 Nm of torque with 450 watts of peak power. Three assist modes, Breeze, River, and Rocket, are selected via Fazua's bar-mounted Ring controller and a top-tube-integrated display consisting of five lights that indicate assist mode and battery life. You can also jump into the Ride 60 app to create new 'riding profiles' or adjust individual modes, as well as check your battery life as a percentage instead of bars on the top tube.


The Relay comes in two alloy and three carbon builds, ranging from $6,799 to $12,499, and sizes XS to XXL. Transition has been running sales like many brands lately, so check their website for the most up-to-date pricing. We tested the carbon GX AXS build, which retails for $9,999, tying the Relay for second most expensive with Giant's Trance X Advanced E+ and Trek's Fuel EXe. Component highlights include a FOX Performance Elite 36 fork and Float X shock, SRAM GX Transmission drivetrain, Code Silver brakes, and RaceFace aluminum wheels. 

We actually just wrapped up a long-term review of the Relay in its PNW configuration just weeks before this test. Having the opportunity to test the lighter build option while comparing its abilities directly against the competition was a great way to gain even further insight into where the Relay fits into the SL category. 


 Test Sessions has long been Vital's way of placing a bunch of similar bikes head-to-head to see where each excels and what sets them apart to help riders better understand which bike best suits their needs. This year, we had eight SL e-bikes, and three testers. This article just covers what we thought of Transition's Relay. To learn more about the other bikes tested, check out our complete SL eMTB Test Sessions. 

Meet the Testers

L-R: Jason Schroeder, Lear Miller, Jonny Simonetti
L-R: Jason Schroeder, Lear Miller, Jonny Simonetti
Jonny Simonetti Lear Miller Jason Schroeder
  • 30 years old
  • 6' 4" (193cm)
  • Weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
  • Years e-biking: 5
  • Riding Style: Skatepark inspiration. Try to stay smooth and pedal as little as possible. 
  • 32 years old
  • 6’ 3" (190 cm)
  • Weight: 185 lbs (83.9 kg)
  • Years e-biking: 3
  • Riding Style: “Freeracer” after 15 years of racing, I like going fast. But the airtime counter is really the only clock I’m paying attention to these days.
  • 29 years old
  • 6-foot (182 cm)
  • Weight: 180 lbs (81.6 kg)
  • Years e-biking: 4
  • Riding Style: Relatively upright with weight more rearward than most. Enjoys a sneaking straight line or ripping jump trail.

Jason's Impressions



  • Fazua system offers solid power and a smooth motor feel with very low drag when ridden without assistance 
  • Successfully balances stability at speed but maintains enough responsiveness to get jiggy 
  • Tall stack, long front center, and decently long chainstays make for a planted body position to take on aggressive terrain 
  • App is easy to understand and connect
  • Hollow downtube resonates sound
  • Stiff frame makes the 36 fork feel under gunned
  • Assist switch feels flimsy and requires a lot of thumb movement to engage
  • Still too heavy to comfortable pedal without assistance
  • Suspension does get a little overwhelmed when you start hitting a lot of successive bumps

What's The Bottom Line?

Having ridden the Relay PNW configuration, the regular Relay definitely provided a more SL experience. The weight was still on the higher side for an SL e-bike, but it was less cumbersome than the PNW version, allowing me to influence the bike with less effort. At the same time, it maintained awesome stability through rowdy section, making it one of the most capable descenders in the test. Unfortunately, I found the 36 fork started getting run over by the Relay's abilities when I was hitting things with speed. The frame is quite stiff, which makes the bike more responsive than its weight would have you believe. But to really take advantage of the Relay's no-holds-bar mentality, you're better off with a stiffer fork chassis. 

I dropped the battery for part of a climb, and while it was a tad more enjoyable to pedal than the PNW configuration, I was still pedaling a 160mm, 40-pound bike. That's not exactly my ideal pedal bike. If you really want to go for the two-bikes-in-one concept and plan to ride the Relay without assistance often, it's a surefire way to get fit. But for how heavy the bike remains even with a lighter build, I think you're better off exploiting its descending confidence, getting the PNW version, and treating the Relay as an e-enduro bike for most of its life. 

Overall, the Relay rides like a Transition, which should offer reassurance and excitement to anyone who's enjoyed their other models. It likes to be ridden hard, ruthlessly, and irresponsibly. The downside is that you receive a smaller motor and battery system at a weight that is encroaching on what other brands can achieve in a full-size package. 

Jonny's Impressions



  • Stable geometry
  • Supportive suspension
  • Battery life and power output
  • Removable door rattles
  • Required to remove battery for charging

What's The Bottom Line?

The Relay was among the rowdiest bikes in the test and begged to be ridden faster thanks to the super supportive suspension and ground hugging geometry. While the build kit provided sheds a few pounds over the burlier PNW spec, the bike feels like it was meant for the more gravity-focused orientation and the weight penalty seems negligible. It’s an awesome bike for those who love descending, hitting big jumps, and braking late into turns. The removable battery is a cool feature but not sure it is the most useful, I would prefer to have a standard charge port to eliminate the rattling from the door.

Lear's Impressions



  • Fazua system is simple but gives you all the information you need
  • Comfortable seated position pedaling
  • Fazua motor/battery combo offers decent range for an SL system
  • Tons of confidence on bigger hits and rough sections that warrants gnarly terrain
  • The ability to swap batteries so easily would make owning extra batteries viable
  • Plastic assist switch feels cheap
  • Slower to react to ride input than lighter bikes in the test
  • No chain guide
  • Build kit felt under-specced

What's The Bottom Line?

The Relay stood out as the best all-around basher if you're looking for a bike that can just take a beating without being phased. It welcomed big hits and sending it. Because of how eager the bike was to provide a confidence-inspiring ride quality, I wish we had tested the PNW build, as it sounds like it offers components that better match the Relay's abilities. The FOX 36 and Float X shock felt under-specced just to achieve an 'SL' weight, and the wheels squirmed under the weight and aggression of the bike. Overall, the Relay is more or less an electric free-ride bike that would be at home in a bike park, flying down jump trails, in the bed of a shuttle truck, or scurrying up a climb to access your local downhill tracks. 

A big shout out to TannusFeedback Sports and Maxxis for supporting Test Sessions! 

View key specs, compare e-bikes, and rate the new Transition Relay in the Vital MTB Product Guide.


Post a reply to: Vital's SL eMTB Test Sessions - Transition Relay Review


Transition Relay Carbon GX AXS E-Bike
Model Year
Riding Type
Enduro / All-Mountain
Sizes and Geometry
Wheel Size
27.5" (650b)
E-Bike Class
Class 1: Pedal Assist (Pedelecs)
Fazua Ride 60, 60Nm max torque, 250W continuous power, 450W peak power
Fazua Energy, integrated, removable via tool-free door
Battery Capacity
430 Wh
LED Hub 5-bar battery/mode display with device charging port, Fazua Ring Controller remote switch
Breeze, River, Rocket
Max Speed with Assist
20 mph (32.2 km/h)
Frame Material
Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details
Carbon front and rear triangles, molded down tube and chainstay protection
Rear Travel
Rear Shock
FOX FLOAT X Performance Elite, 2-position compression lever, trunnion mount, 205mm length x 60mm stroke
FOX FLOAT 36 Performance Elite, 44mm offset
Fork Travel
Head Tube Diameter
FSA No.55R, ZS56 upper, ZS66 lower
ANVL Mandrel Alloy, 800mm width, 35mm clamp diameter
Rise: 20mm (XS/SM), 30mm (MD-XL), 40mm (XXL)
ANVL Swage, 40mm length, 35mm bar clamp
ODI Elite Flow, lock-on
SRAM Code RSC, 4-piston, SRAM Centerline 200mm rotors
Brake Levers
SRAM GX Eagle AXS Controller, 12-speed, electronic wireless
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
SRAM GX Eagle AXS, 12-speed, electronic wireless
Praxis Alloy ETOR
Length: 160mm (XS), 165mm (SM-XXL)
SRAM Eagle, 32 tooth, alloy, with Transition forged spider-mounted bashguard
SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
SRAM GX Eagle XG-1275, 12-speed, 10-52 tooth
Race Face Aeffect R, 28 hole
Race Face Trace, 15mm x 110mm (Boost) front, 12mm x 148mm (Boost) rear with XD driver
Race Face, 2.0/1.7/2.0 butted
Front: Maxxis Assegai, 3C compound, EXO+ casing, 2.5"
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II, 3C compound, EXO+ casing, 2.4"
SDG Bel-Air V3
OneUp V2 dropper
Drop: 120mm (XS), 150mm (SM), 180mm (MD), 210mm (LG-XXL)
Seatpost Diameter
Seatpost Clamp
Single bolt, 37.0mm
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions
12mm x 148mm (Boost)
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts
One inside front triangle (450ml Fidlock bottle only on XS/SM) plus accessory mounts under top tube
TR Blue, Oxide Grey
Lifetime frame, 2 years motor and battery
• GiddyUp Four-Bar Horst-Link rear suspension design
• XS has 27.5" wheels; SM-XXL have 29" wheels
• Compatible with mixed ("Mullet") setups (29" front, 27.5" rear) via flip chip at lower shock mount
• Rear travel can be increased to 170mm with longer-stroke (65mm) shock
• Internal cable routing
• SRAM UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger)
• Power settings customizable via Fazua Ride60 Mobile App
• Includes Fazua battery charger
• Includes SRAM AXS battery charger
• Includes tubeless valves and sealant
• Canadian price: 13499 CAD
• Photos may show alternate builds
What do you think?
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.

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