At a glance
The Spire is Transition's big travel, big wheeled trail bike. Available in both aluminium and carbon with various different build kits this bike comes at a wide range of price points. The Spire is available from Small to XX-Large, has 170mm of travel and rolls on 29’’ wheels.
Price: 6499 GBP (carbon) 3699 GBP (alloy)
With many spec options available, we’ll focus mainly on the frame and ride feel of the bike instead of the components. Let’s kick things off with the suspension system. The Spire works around a traditional 4 bar linkage system, labelled the Giddy Up System. With nearly 23% progression and with the Anti-squat aimed to enhance pedalling performance the Spire tries to offer the best of both worlds. A good solid platform for climbing to eliminate bob while keeping the bottomless progressive feel like a DH bike. Stock the bike comes with 170mm of travel but you can take a shock with a shorter eye to eye and stroke to create a 160mm travel ride.
Although clean and simple looking at the first glance, Transition has put quite a bit of thought in the frame design itself. There is plenty of protection in the right places to prevent chain slap noise and damage to your frame and with a flip chip you can easily switch from a low bb to a very low bb. The frame is equipped with high quality EnduroMax bearings, which stands for a long life and smooth action. Dual bearings are used in the dropout pivots for extra stiffness while a C-clip locks the rocker bearing in place under torsional loads. Tire clearance is big, you can easily fit a 2.6’’ tire and if you decide to go big you can swap for a double crown fork too without worrying about the warranty. To make servicing easy the shift cable runs through a guide in the frame. Other cool bits are a UDH mech hanger, bottle and gear mounts, press in headset (so you can opt for an angle set) and size specific chainstays to make sure the ride feel is the same across the sizes.
Geometry wise the Spire is quite extreme. The 63/62.5 degree head tube angle is slack as any DH bike out there, while the top tube is fairly long. In a size L for example you’re looking at 485mm reach. The 70 degree seat tube angle is steep, making it a decent climber for its weight and travel. Stack is fairly low for a long travel bike at 628mm mainly due to the shortish 100mm head tube. If you like riding high up front, you can easily adjust with some spacers.
Out on the trail
Setup on the spire was fairly straightforward. After some minor adjustments on the cockpit I felt right at home. When throwing a leg over the Spire, you immediately know it will be a rocket on the way down. But how does it climb? Definitely not bad. I wouldn’t say it would be my favourite option, especially on technical climbs. But if you spend most of your time riding up gravel roads or in the chairlift, the Spire is a comfortable climber. The long frame and slack head angles are a slight disadvantage on the steep tech, but their anti squat suspension matches perfectly with the steep seat stay. I’d happily take this on a big day in the Alps.
Pointing it down is obviously where the Spire really shines. I’d go as far as saying that it almost feels like a true DH bike on the descents. It loves high speed stuff. From super smooth shaped bike park style stuff to the rougher, big rocks and roots sections the Spire just keeps yelling ‘Let off the brakes!’ to its rider. Stability is insane and if you have the guts to trust the ride you’ll be clocking new KOM’s in your area each rideout. Also on the steep stuff the Spire shines, aided by its 62.5 head angle you are well poised for anything coming your way when things get steep. The roomy cockpit gives you plenty of space to manoeuvre your weight around too. As for slow-tech, the Spire handles it well. You need to work a little harder on those endo nose turns and on more trials like stuff, but that’s to be expected.
The Spire is a big bike for big mountain riding. It handles bike park laps just as well as your backcountry rocky tech descent, while still being able to pedal to the top. If you’re not afraid of a little bit of speed and don’t care about smashing KOM’s on climbs the Spire is for you. Alloy and Carbon options make it affordable for most budgets and the value for money is on point too. Double thumbs up!Buy Enduro Bikes on
This review was in Issue 77 of IMB.For more information visit Transition Bikes
By Jarno HooglandJarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.