Transition Bikes Patrol 2 2017 Mountain Bike Review

Transition Bikes Patrol 2 2017

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Transition Bikes 86,573

At A Glance

The Patrol has been on a wish list of mine for a good while now, having first had a drool over it a couple of years ago when the brand brought it to the European stage at Eurobike. The Covert was previously a key player in the Transition line-up, an all-mountain rig that became the trusted favourite of many a Megavalanche entrant. A bike that was more than capable of pretty much anything you could throw at it, the Patrol came through as something of the next generation. Or perhaps more accurately, the next era; more the difference between the 1940’s to the swinging Sixties – the Patrol wants to really party!

Buy Enduro Bikes on

With the outward appearance of a laid-back hippie, the geometry is long, low and slack. Three words that are defining some of the latest offerings to the bike market and proving that size doesn’t necessarily matter…or perhaps it does, but it’s what you do with that sizing which counts…

160mm travel up front, and 155mm at the rear give a fair indication of where this bike wants to be. However, it’s the 65 degree head angle and the stretched out wheelbase that might have you raising your eyebrows a little more. It’s certainly geared up for wanting to hit those big mountains and let loose.

The GiddyUp Suspension system (derived from the expired Horst-link suspension patent) and 430mm chainstays, with the rest of the carefully thought-out design, combine to keep the bike responsive, dexterous and stable, despite the overt party attitude.

It’s the Complete Kit 2 build that we have on test, which is the penultimate spec to the top one kitted out with Eagle bling. It’s a build that lacks nothing and is impressive from the outset: RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 rear, RockShox Lyrik RCT3 front, the acclaimed Reverb Stealth dropper, plenty of RaceFace componentry, Stan’s Flow MK3 wheels shod with beefy Maxxis Minions, and some top spec gearing and braking in the form of SRAM X1 and Guide RSC respectively.

Having had a good think and some office discussions, there literally is nothing we would, or feel we could, change to make things any better. Any modifications would only really be on an aesthetic basis, should you want to start colour-coordinating and personalising your steed. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that the bike ships with colour-match fork decals, just to increase the attention to detail factor that’s gone into it. If the delicious glossy teal/black colourway isn’t to your fancy, then there’s also the option of a very subtle stealth matte black.

Personally, I find the whole package a ‘reach out and grab me’ number. It’s sleek (internal cabling keep everything smooth and tidy), it’s sexy (maybe that’s the mellow, nonchalant air) and it’s somewhat subtle and understated in its capabilities. You can’t help but want to throw a leg over and get dirty…

On The Trail

Now, despite all this attractiveness, would the Patrol live up to its Tinder profile and actually be able to perform as promised – on the ups as well as the downs?

The IMB main office is located at the bottom of a hill and a steep, winding and gruelling road is unfortunately the only route that leads directly to the woods. It’s a good initial test as to how well a bike can climb, particularly as you’re starting from cold and there’s no run up. I was a little concerned as to how well the Patrol would cope. No, let me correct that. I wasn’t concerned, I was intrigued – I knew the Patrol wouldn’t lie to me and would have all this totally under control, yet given the aspiring DH nature there was a moment of quizzical eye-balling between us.

I needn’t have worried. The suspension works a treat with the firm setting on the shock stiffening everything up, eliminating any pedal bob and really driving forwards with every pedal stroke. Even in the trail or, should you forget to change it, open position, there isn’t much energy lost at all; the high-end RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 intuitively reacting to what’s required.

That first test kick-started a confidence-inspiring relationship with the Patrol that has yet to wane. It’s been ridden round everything from flowing local loops, gnarly root-infested tight singletrack, steep hair-raisingly fast declines, drops, pops and everything in between. It feels planted and stable, pushing into berms and gobbling up rock gardens, yet at the same time never smoothing everything out so much it seems boring. The Patrol wants to encourage you to go further, faster, steeper and get you right out of your comfort zone, but in a way that instils confidence and kind of has you doing it before you registered that you even could.

When it comes to an ‘all-mountain, enduro, whateveryouwantocallit’ choice the Patrol is definitely on the big mountain side of the spectrum. With the slack geometry making the 155mm travel far more capable than I initially gave it credit for. It feels comfortable on the steep downhill sections and, unlike some other all-mountain rigs that might have you on the edge, it keeps pushing onwards with determination and poise.

I’ve ridden climbing sections in exactly the same manner as the previous 120mm bike I had long term, and amazingly haven’t felt like any extra effort was needed - quite some accolade for a very different orientated machine. I’m not saying it’s going to get you to the top in record time, but that’s never something I’ve aimed for with any bike I’ve ridden if I’m perfectly honest! (It’s all about the swooping-whooping downs for me!) Yet unless you’re lucky enough to live in a town with a chairlift, bike park uplift, or a mum with a truck who’s happy to provide a taxi-service up the hill, then the rest of us have to settle for good old pedal-power. With the Patrol you certainly don’t feel as if any energy is being expelled to no avail, and that’s a real asset.

The fact you’ve got a wholly competent bike at the top that’s raring to go downhill like a dog down a rabbit hole is what makes it. Let the dog off the lead and it’s in its element, driving down with focus and aplomb. It won’t gloss over all your mistakes, but it will encourage and inspire you to improve. No matter what your riding level from talented pro to nervous novice, the Patrol will be there to embolden and reassure you – a talented mentor with all the elements of a skilful coach, that likes to get wild once training is over.

I honestly didn’t think it was possible to tick every box on the current all-mountain wish list, but I think the brilliantly accomplished guys at Transition have done it – once again! Despite my initial crush on the Patrol I really did try to knuckle down and find something I didn’t like…and after some extensive testing I’m still trying. I’ve even fallen off it a couple of times (an occurrence that often relegates a bike position of favour even if just for a short time), but sadly I had to admit that it was totally down to rider error and couldn’t even get angry at the bike for a second – all he (or, in the essence of political correctness, she) did was flutter her eyelashes and get me enthusiastically throwing that leg over again.

Overall

Even with all this waxing lyrical and euphemisms, it’s hard to truly describe the Patrol in a succinct way. One word I kept coming back to was ‘rhapsody’, triggered most likely by the reference to the Sixties and leading me down a train of thought with bohemian…and so the word-association game in my head continued… However, it’s not far off being an excellent way to sum up the Patrol:

“A rhapsody in music is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, colour and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation make it freer in form than a set of variations.”

There’s a reason the Patrol has been at the top of so many wish lists, won accolades, won over journalists, and should you get a chance to ride it, will win you as a future owner too. He/she will be your best friend, your tutor, your fellow party animal and very quickly the apple of your eye, love of your life. You will adore every second of your time with him/her and crave the moments you are apart.* (Perhaps don’t show this last paragraph to your current partner, before you make the purchase!) It’s a winner, and you will be too should you decide to swipe right.

*We can take no responsibility for any relationship break-downs that may arise as result of your acquisition of a Transition Patrol…but know that you will won’t regret the ache-inducing smiles generated on every single ride.

Buy Enduro Bikes on

Do you enjoy reading IMB Magazine, using our App and website? We now need your support to keep IMB going. Support IMB from as little as £2 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you!

Support IMB

This review was in Issue 49 of IMB.

For more information visit Transition Bikes

Related

Enduro Bikes - 2017
Enduro Bikes - 2017
Enduro Bikes - 2017
Enduro Bikes - 2017
Enduro Bikes - 2017
Enduro Bikes - 2017
Enduro Bikes - 2011

Brand

By Transition Bikes

Mountain Bike Reviews - Transition Bikes Covert26 3  2013
Mountain Bike Reviews - Transition Bikes Covert26 3  2013
Transition Bikes Covert26 3

We’ve always had a bit of a love affair for this bike in the office; it’s taken us down the Mega Avalanche in the past and been a bike that has featured as a long-term test rig too. This year the Covert has had a bit of a makeover in terms of the pivot placements in the suspension set up…

Mountain Bike Reviews - Transition Bikes Bandit 29er  2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Transition Bikes Bandit 29er  2012
Transition Bikes Bandit 29er

The Bandit 29er is the first 29inch wheeled bike from the clever folk at Transiton. I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to ride the bike when it came into the country, and although the love affair was just a few short weeks, I spent them wisely thrashing it at every opportunity. Tech Heads The Bandit…

Mountain Bike Reviews - Transition Bikes Covert 2  2012
Mountain Bike Reviews - Transition Bikes Covert 2  2012
Transition Bikes Covert 2

I chose this bike as my do-it-all machine for the year, I got to ride last years bike at the Megavalanche and round Scotland very briefly and agreed with our test teams verdict that it really is a do it all machine. I had a DH bike with me for the Alps trip last year, but ended up just riding…

By Mary Booth
Mary Booth has been a keen mountain biker for decades; she grew up on the Purbecks in the South West of England and has spent thousands of hours on the trails in that area. She moved to the South East to work in the IMB office and regularly gets out to the Alps and the Surrey Hills where she loves to ride the more technical trails…

Tried this? What did you think?

×

Subscribe it's Free!

Win a Fresh IMB Organic Hoody and T-Shirt this issue in our FREE subscriber prize draw.

By subscribing you will not only be first to read the mag but automatically entered into the prize draw every issue!

Draw closes on Sat 20th Apr, 2019
First name is required.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy

Subscribe Another
Fresh IMB Organic Hoody and T-Shirt

Issue 56 Sat 16th Feb, 2019

Fresh IMB Organic Hoody and T-Shirt

Frank

Issue 55 Fri 19th Oct, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

Rob

Issue 54 Mon 20th Aug, 2018

A Load of Protection Gear From SixSixOne

Sam

Issue 53 Wed 27th Jun, 2018

GoPro Hero 6 Black Action Camera

Mitch

Issue 52 Mon 30th Apr, 2018

A Whole Bunch of Goodies from DMR Bikes

David

Issue 51 Fri 23rd Feb, 2018

Exposure Joystick M12 Legendary Bike Light

Rob

Issue 50 Thu 21st Dec, 2017

Protective Gear From Bluegrass Eagle

Rob

Issue 49 Wed 25th Oct, 2017

Complete Riding Outfit From Cube

Conrad

Issue 48 Sat 19th Aug, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Jonny

Issue 47 Sun 20th Aug, 2017

Complete Riding Outfit from Vaude

Laura

Issue 46 Mon 17th Apr, 2017

Rinsekit Black Pressurised Portable Washer

Graham

Issue 45 Wed 15th Feb, 2017

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Baz

Issue 44 Fri 16th Dec, 2016

GoPro Hero 5 Black Action Camera

Steve

Issue 43 Thu 20th Oct, 2016

GoPro Hero 4 Session Camera

John

Issue 42 Mon 22nd Aug, 2016

Range of Top Riding Kit From Dainese

Phil

Issue 41 Sat 20th Aug, 2016

Set of LTR Boost Forks From Lauf

Deanne

Issue 40 Mon 20th Jun, 2016

Some Fantastic Riding Gear From Fox

Matthew

Issue 39 Fri 19th Feb, 2016

Set of Riding Gear from LEATT

Steve

Issue 38 Thu 17th Dec, 2015

Complete Night riding Setup from Exposure Lights

Todd

Issue 37 Fri 23rd Oct, 2015

Complete Riding Package From ION

Graham

Issue 36 Mon 24th Aug, 2015

One of Three Osprey Escapist Packs

Dan, Joe and Edgar

Issue 35 Thu 18th Jun, 2015

Complete Riding Kit from Endura

Robin

Issue 34 Sat 18th Apr, 2015

Pair of Adidas Evil Eye Evo Glasses

Stuart

Issue 33 Tue 17th Feb, 2015

GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition

Jon

Issue 32 Thu 18th Dec, 2014

Load of Riding Gear from Cube

Joe

Issue 31 Fri 17th Oct, 2014

Sweet Set Up from Deity Components

James

Issue 30 Mon 18th Aug, 2014

661 Recon Helmet, Gloves and T-Shirt

Sean

Issue 29 Thu 26th Jun, 2014

Set of DMR Accessories

Warren

Issue 28 Wed 16th Apr, 2014

Set of X-Fusion Sweep RL2 160mm 27.5 Forks!

Jim

Issue 27 Fri 14th Feb, 2014

Complete Set of Riding Kit from IXS

Graham

Issue 26 Mon 16th Dec, 2013

Bontrager Rhythm Elite TLR Disc Wheelset

Dave

Issue 25 Wed 16th Oct, 2013

Reflex Mk2 and a Diablo Mk5 Light from Exposure

Dennis

Issue 24 Mon 19th Aug, 2013

Pedros Apprentice Tool Kit

Chris

Issue 23 Mon 17th Jun, 2013

Superstar Components Wheels and Pedals

Matt

Issue 22 Tue 16th Apr, 2013

Brand New iPad Mini

Jason

Issue 21 Fri 15th Feb, 2013

Go Pro 3 and Goodies From One Industries

Craig

Issue 20 Sun 16th Dec, 2012

Box Full of Goodies From Cube

Mike

Issue 19 Tue 16th Oct, 2012

Complete O'neal Riding Kit

James

Issue 18 Wed 15th Aug, 2012

Osprey Raptor 14 Pack and Swann HD Freestyle Camera

Uwe

  1. The Promotion is organised by IMB and the participating brand stated on the subscribe page. You are providing your information to IMB, not the participating brand. The information you provide will only be used for the purpose of facilitating the Promotion and notifying you when new issues of our totally free magazine are released. We will never sell or supply your details to any 3rd parties.
  2. You can opt out of any future emails by clicking the unsubscribe link within the footer of the email at any time.
  3. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the closing date shown. Previous winners will not be eligible to win again until at least three new Promotions have run.
  4. Winners must reply to our email within two weeks or a new winner will be drawn. Please check all spam folders to avoid loosing out.
  5. Participants only need to enter once in order to be eligible for all future prize draws.
×

Share - Transition Bikes Patrol 2 2017

×