According to Transition’s marketing sheet, the Relay is the ‘Mountain biker’s eBike’ and billed as the one bike for all your needs: whether that’s downhill shuttles, battery-free rides or assisted eeb laps. While that may or may not be true for you, it’s a big claim and we do see some merit, although we were booted out of one bike park already and told eBikes were not allowed on National Forest trails, even if the battery was pulled out. Aside from that, we still put in plenty of miles without a battery on the Relay and were pleasantly surprised by the capability to get up, down and around.
In keeping with the duality of the Relay, Transition offers this bike in either alloy or carbon fiber frame materials and in standard or PNW build specs. The standard Relay comes with 160mm of travel front and rear and 29-inch wheels, while the more aggressive PNW versions come with a mixed (29/27.5) wheel setup and 170mm of travel front and rear.
BUILDS AND SPEC | Pricing and models start at $6,799 for a SRAM NX-equipped alloy bike and go up to $12,499 for the Carbon SRAM XX AXS model, with four options in between. We received the Carbon XX AXS Relay, which weighs in at 43lbs with the battery installed, but easily sheds that weight to 38lbs for when you want to get out and pedal non-electrified trails without the battery.
This build sports Fox Factory suspension in the form of their Float 36 Grip 2 Factory fork and Float X Factory shock. As the name suggests, it also has SRAM’s XX AXS electronic drivetrain, with the new T-Type derailleur, that some are calling a “Transmission”. Carbon Praxis 165mm cranks spin a 10-52t SRAM XX T-Type cassette and the new SRAM flat-top chain. A OneUp 210mm dropper is spec’d on the size large, and SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth brakes come on this model, with our favorite TRP DH-R Evos coming on the PNW spec models. Wheel spec comes in the form of WTB i30, RaceFace Aeffect R or Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Carbon, depending on the model.
DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | With the goal of having a bike that is just as capable with or without a battery, Transition knew they wanted to capitalize on the Fazua Ride 60’s minimal drag and competitive 4.3lb (1.96kg) drive unit weight. The Fazua Ride 60 puts out 60Nm of torque and 250 watts of continuous power, with 450 watts of peak power. Transition opted to give the Relay an easily removable Fazua Energy 430Wh Take Out battery, which weighs just under 5lbs. The battery must be removed from the bike to charge, luckily it is extremely quick and easy to do and has been cycle tested by Fazua to ensure the constant in and out process won’t cause any undue wear and tear, which we were initially concerned about.
Power and information on the Transition Relay are sleekly displayed and controlled thanks to Fazua’s cockpit integrations. Their Ring Controller is simple, ergonomic and does everything from powering up the bike to selecting power modes; and even accessing their momentary “Boost Mode” to achieve the drive unit’s maximum power output for roughly ten seconds at a time.
On the top tube of the bike, you’ll find Fazua’s LED Hub. The display contains five LED lights that change color to represent power mode and denote battery level. The Hub also has a small device charging port should you want to power an accessory or give a critical piece of equipment a little juice. Speaking of charging, Fazua’s 3-amp charger can recharge a drained battery in about 3.5 hours.
For those who want to customize settings, tune power delivery response, access support and check on system status, Fazua’s Ride 60 App is available to download, and we’ve had no issues navigating through it.
GEOMETRY | Geometry on the Relay is solid all around and also can be adjusted via a flip chip on the lower shock mount. You can use it to modify geometry or to compensate for changing rear wheel size between 29 or 27.5”.
GIDDY UP SUSPENSION | Featuring either 160mm or 170mm of rear wheel travel, Transition’s Giddy Up platform offers a playful and poppy rear end that will work with either an air or coil shock. Transition gives the Relay an E-specific kinematic with nearly 26% progression and a suggested sag range of 28-34%.