This may be a bold statement but this is possibly the funnest bike i’ve ever ridden (and owned), I also think it looks flipping ace in the yellow (with a hint of lime). In the time i’ve had this bike it’s been around my local trail centres, seen a few classic Lakes routes and also been to the Alps (Morzine).
The Bandit is Transitions 130mm trail bike, designed to be pedalled uphill then enjoyed on the down. Light enough for xc duties but burly enough to cope with the rough descents. My custom build weighs in around 30lbs.
How does it ride?
Around trail centres it’s quick (well as quick as any bike can be with me onboard), the short travel and light’ish weight means you’re not lugging around too much bike* and it’s also quite playful, so you’re constantly looking forward to the jumpy sections or keeping your eyes out for little sections to hop and pop over.
In The Lakes the Bandit is good fun, the shorter travel and short’ish wheelbase makes it easy enough to manoeuvre in the tight technical sections and for all the hike a bike that is required a light bike is always preferable. In the rough stuff don’t expect a super smooth ride, the bike isn’t meant to be battered down rock gardens, try look for the smoother lines and use the playful nature of the bike to get yourself out of the rough areas. It will cope with the rough stuff if you have no other choice, it just won’t handle it in quite the same way as a bigger travel machines, you will feel the bumps and the bike will skip around but you’ll still get down with a smile on your face.
To sum up
I really like this bike, it’s reasonably light, playful, looks ace and rides very well indeed. Yes there are times when a little extra travel would be preferred but for the majority of my rides I just do not need it. I’ve always wanted a full suspenson bike that had the playful nature of my old hardtail but with some comfort and I think I may have found that in the Transition Bandit.
*Do you really need all 160mm of travel to ride round a blue or red trail centre loop? Probably not.