TRANSITION BIKES TR11
Words & Photos by Nic Hall
On a recent trip up to Whistler Bike Park, we stopped by Transition Bike’s mission control center. We’d heard about the new TR11 downhill bike and couldn’t wait to see one in person. After some high fives and fist bumps we were surprised to see a lone bike all set up and ready to rock! Turns out that Transition’s Lars Sternberg had managed to get us brand new TR11 to take with us. Before we could load the bike on our rack and head up to Whistler we had to get a little techy with Lars so we’d know just what expect once we hit the dirt.
The original TR11 was released two years ago as a full-on shred sled. A few updates have been made that may seem small but make for a big difference on the trail. The new TR11 still boasts 200mm of travel front and back and runs 27.5” wheels, however the changes begin pretty quickly after that.
Shock stroke has been lengthened and the spring rate has been slightly reduced to give the bike a better overall feel on the challenging DH tracks riders are tackling. Transition kept the 63-degree head tube angle and utilized a 1.5-inch head tube with their own offset headset cups. Reach has been lengthened to 456mm for the size large. Depending on your headset cup position riders have the ability to add or subtract 5mm with a zero stack headset cup. Other geometry changes include a 6mm higher bottom bracket height (5mm total drop) and 5mm longer chainstays (440mm).
Transition’s new TR11 carbon frame features a threaded bottom bracket and Enduro Max bearings. Molded downtube and chainstay protectors are well thought out and appreciated. Other appreciated touches include externally routed rear brake and shifter cables, which expedite maintenance or replacement. The TR11 is available as a GX build with a Rock Shox Boxxer or an X01 build with a Fox 40. Both builds weigh in right around 34lbs.
After initial setup, we got right to ripping down our favorite trails in the Whistler bike park. The first thing that stood out to me from previous Transition DH bikes was how quiet and composed the new TR11 is. Besides the quiet freehub, all I could hear were tires on dirt, and that was good. I also found carrying speed a bit quicker than some of the other bikes I’d been riding at Whistler recently. It ended up costing me later, but it was worth it.
Transition’s changes to the suspension’s kinematics were quickly noted as well. The TR11’s longer shock stroke mated with bit more end of stroke ramp translated in an improved ride. The rear end was very quick to respond to small changes in terrain yet never felt overloaded when I sent a few jumps or drops a bit deeper than anticipated.
When I got the bike onto some proper DH tracks in the Garbanzo zone I was very pleased with how planted the bike remained. Even on the rootiest and steepest of trails I felt calm and composed. I was quite impressed with how well the bike blended downhill tracks with more jumpy, bike park trails like Dirt Merchant and A-Line. This is a big change from the last TR11, which I felt was more race oriented. The updated bike strikes a balance of fun and fast.
The Wolf’s Last Word
During my one-week test period I was more than impressed with the new TR11 and the improvements compared to my old TR. Transition brought back things that I loved about the TR500 but with modern geometry and a greatly improved rear suspension. The adjustable reach allows privateers and techy riders to tune their machine for a variety of conditions and trails. Transition has raised the bar compared to the last TR11 and I really enjoyed the balanced performance between park rig and DH racer.
Frameset – $3299
GX build – $5299 (tested)
X01 – $7299;
Nico Can’t Keep it at 11
LEAVE A COMMENT, WIN FREE SWAG!
Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack