Transition Bikes Bandit 29er  2012 Mountain Bike Review

Transition Bikes Bandit 29er 2012

Reviews / Trail Bikes

Transition Bikes 93,401

At A Glance

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.

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Tech Heads

The Bandit 29er built around their Bandit platform which offers 130mm of travel at the rear and 140mm of travel up front, the 29er version is no different and is what many are calling “Long Travel”. The 29ers that are moving out of the XC arena and into the all mountain category.

The front fork is a Fox 34 Float 140 RLC F29 Tapered Kashima QR15 which is a bit of a mouthful when you have a face full of blancmange!

A Fox RP23 BV Kashima rear shock keeps things settled out back.

The frame is a work of art with a short head tube that helps keep the front end low. The seat tube has a bend in it to accommodate the rear wheel and keep the wheel base short. At 335.38mm the bottom bracket is quite low, the bottom bracket stays the same regardless of frame size.

SRAM X7 adorns the drivetrain and Avid Elixir 9’s take care of the stopping power. Kore 740mm Torsion handlebars meet with a Truvativ AKA 60mm stem to look after the control of the bike.

The wheels are Transition’s own TBC Revolution 28’s in a 29er guise.

Overall the bike came in at a fairly impressive 30.4lbs.

On the Trail

Wow springs to mind with this bike, the short wheelbase and low bottom bracket combine to give it the best handling that I have ever experienced on a 29er. Match that with the long travel suspension, slacker geometry and you have a machine that you can ride all day long, uphill, downhill, XC, endure, whatever you care to throw at it.

Perhaps the only place we felt a little uncomfortable was getting in the air, the bigger wheels made it a little twitchy and it took some getting used to. Get the wheels back on the ground though and throw it into a corner and there is plenty of grip and traction.

On some 29ers it takes a little while to build confidence in the corners, but the Transition made me feel at home straight away.


I’m still undecided about 29ers as a genre, yes they are fast, yes they are easy, but it is a big life choice to go out and invest in one. The long travel breed, however, have got my attention and if I was going to get a 29er then the Bandit would be the main contender. Fast, very agile, inspires confidence and extremely easy to ride. If you want big wheels then definitely consider this.

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This review was in Issue 18 of IMB.

For more information visit Transition Bikes


By Rou Chater
Rou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.

Tried this? What did you think?