courtesy Transition

Transition bikes has two new carbon hardtails for that all-around trail riding we used to simply call mountain biking. No matter which wheelsize you prefer, Transition has you covered. For the best balance of rollover and snappy handling, the 27.5″ Throttle could be the weapon of choice, or go for the 29″ Vanquish if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool wagon wheel fan. Either way, Transition says both share DNA from their GiddyUp full-suspension bikes to take on everything from technical trail rides to all-day adventures, but in lighter & more affordable hardtails…

The new carbon hardtail Throttle & Vanquish take the essence of Transition’s 27.5 Scout & 29er Smuggler and recast them in a lighter, simpler setup that will get you up the climbs fast and down the technical descents with confidence. The bikes share almost all of the same characteristics (outside of wheelsize), but it’s the little details that define the Throttle as more of a playful bike for aggressive trails, and the Vanquish as more backcountry adventure bike.

Throttle 27.5

Transition infused the 27.5″ Throttle with a bit of the heart of a dirt jumper. Paired with a 140mm travel fork, up to 2.6″ tires, and a slack 66° head angle, it really wants to get thrown off every feature along the trail. It is still a carbon hardtail though, so you get efficient power transfer to take on the climbs as much as the downhills, and a light 1400g claimed weight making it a lot less to haul around than the latest crop of steel trail hardtails.

The Throttle keeps a low standover and four sizes S-XL size to fit a wide range of riders. The Boost-spaced bike sticks with a threaded bottom bracket, ISCG mounts, Transition’s universal replaceable derailleur hanger, a tapered fork, and front triangle internal routing, including for a stealth dropper post. Available as either a $1700 frameset or a $3700 complete build with SRAM GX1, the Throttle comes in Race Raw carbon or Hot Mustard yellow.

Vanquish 29

The 29″ Vanquish on the other hand gets paired with 120mm forks for a more all-day trail ride. Its 67.5° headtube still offers some slack & stable descending prowess, paired with the better rollover ad inertia of its larger wheels. Transition says this is as close to XC as they get, building a bike that still places ‘fun’ at the top of their priority list in frame design. Developed out of the 29er full-suspension backcountry adventure Smuggler, the new Vanquish is said to be the fastest bike Transition has ever made.

The Vanquish essentially hits the same 1400g frameset target weight, swapping in slightly narrower 2.4″ max tires and the larger wheels together with slightly slimmed down tubing. The carbon 29er hardtail shares the Boost spacing, threaded BB, and semi-internal routing of the smaller wheeled bike, but this time is only available in a three size M-XL range to comfortably balance standover and maintain consistent handling. Pricing is also the same at $1700 for the frameset or $3700 for the GX complete bike, here in Race Raw carbon or Habanero Orange, well orange.


  1. I live in the PNW and I love the people at Transition! But those prices for a carbon hardtail?? Absolute nonsense. 1700US for a frame that has no moving parts? And they still have the homeless man down the street do the graphics? I dig that they are giving opportunities to homeless people in the area, but… $3700 for a Gx build on a hardtail is getting a hard no from me. I hope they literally made no more than 100 of these..

    • Sort of got to agree with you Mike. I am a big Transition bikes fan and owned a Trans am 27,5 and 29 in the past. They were around 600 a frame and that’s how much a hardtail should be.
      I am not a carbon hater, but I don’t see how spending a thousand more and saving a little big of weight will give me any more enjoyment.
      I also see the business side of it, if people are willing to pay for carbon why not make some money if that’s where the market is.
      All I can say is, it would be nice to see an alternative frame at a price that rides who ride could afford from a company that was built by rides.

      • Right on! Coworker of mine still can’t bring himself to part with his Trans Am 26.. good bikes, absolutely agree with you there–so I hope anyone who reads this understands that we’re not talking about the performance of the bikes being subpar.
        I agree again, Tom, if the demand is there, the bike company will gladly provide the supply. That’s really what I can’t wrap my head around here–as someone else mentioned, the frame price for this bike is in line with its peers. Who in their right mind would pay that much money for a bike in this segment though?? $3700 for a Gx build on a trail hardtail. Any person can buy a full carbon 5010 from Santa Cruz RIGHT NOW for a hundred bucks less than this hardtail. So I guess I’m just a bit baffled..

        I know, we can pick apart the difference in components, size of companies.. I know. But look at the intended use of the bike and weigh that against the huge leap in price for going carbon. Not to pick on Transition here–I ride an aluminum Honzo from Kona (another rad PNW headquartered company) and I laugh at the cost of that bike in carbon. I really am just flabbergasted at the price difference, but MORE SO by the idea that people are actually willing to pay it. It’s triple the cost of the same frame in aluminum. Pure silliness.

  2. Check out Santa Cruz, Niner, Pivot, Ibis, Specialized etc.Their (Transition) pricing is right in line and/or better than most. Carbon tooling is expensive for a new frame platform and these are not off the shelf, open model frames. I dig what they did. Might not be for everyone and they probably won’t sell a ton of them but hats off to Transition. Definitely one of the coolest brands out there now.

  3. My theory on the prices being so high for carbon is this: The company accountants say “O.K., how many are going to brake under warranty?” and they factor that into the price. Perhaps carbon is not the ideal material for these kinds of bikes?

  4. I’m a hardtail guy. The price is about right. What set it apart is the geometry and the good travel of suspension it can take. Just as you guys love full suspensions bike there will be another two that love a good hardtail just the same. I would buy the Vanquish 29er put a pike RCT3 130mm, all XT m8000 with m8020 brakes and I would have a super trail hardtail.

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