Words by Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen & Max Rhulen


After fielding questions about when we’d have a review of the Transition Relay or Transition Repeater from countless YouTube viewers and website readers, we are thrilled to finally have the opportunity to bring you this in-depth feature. Transition’s Repeater and Relay eBikes share some similarities and have stark differences that will likely give Transition fans and eMTB riders plenty of reason to think long and hard about which bike is right for them. If this Dissected Feature doesn’t give you all the info you need, then stay tuned as we have already begun stacking lots more miles on both eBikes for a thorough head-to-head review in the future. So, for now let’s dive into the details and learn about what Transition Bikes focused on while developing their eMTB line.

Transition have earned themselves a reputation and cultish-like following in the core mountain bike world. When they announced the news, they’d be joining the eBike fold, opinions were mixed. No matter what side of the E-Wall you live on, there was no denying that to keep their customers happy, Transition’s eMTBs would have to be, first and foremost, Transition mountain bikes, just with that little bit of electricity so many of us have grown to love. During the making of this installment, we spent quite a bit of time with Transition’s Lars Sternberg who told us, “When we (Transition) decided that we needed to design eBikes, the Relay was the bike we envisioned, but the Repeater is the one we also knew we needed to round out the range.” And so, two new eMTBs were born.

What did that passion and excitement for two new genres in the Transition bike family deliver? Let’s dig in.

Transition Relay and Transition Repeater Dissected


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.

Transition Relay Geometry

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%.


Like the Relay, the Transition Repeater is a 160mm 29-inch wheeled eMTB featuring the GiddyUp four-bar suspension platform, which is tuned for the demands and weight of the eBike application.

BUILDS AND SPEC | Unlike the Relay, Transition only offers the Repeater in carbon fiber with a lifetime warranty, in a choice of five build kit options. Currently on sale for $6,549, the Repeater starts with SRAM NX build kits and tops out at $9,999 for the X0 AXS build that we received to test.

All models come with Fox suspension packages from Performance to the full Fox Factory treatment found on our test bike. A Fox Float 38 sits up front, while the Float X2 Factory rear shock controls the 160mm rear end. Our bike was equipped with the SRAM X0 AXS T-Type drivetrain and SRAM Code Silver Stealth brakes. Wheel spec on the Repeaters goes from Stan’s Flow D or WTB ST i30s, through DT Swiss Hybrid H1900s and RaceFace Aeffect R eBike wheels on the mid-spec builds, through to the DT Swiss Hybrid HX 1700’s found on our bike. We love the Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity tire spec that Transition selected for the Repeater, as the extra heft of the full power eMTB requires a solid casing and construction.

Other spec highlights on our X0 AXS build include the OneUp Carbon Bar, SDG Bel Air V3 saddle and OneUp dropper.

DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | Powering the Repeater is a Shimano EP8 drive unit with a 630Wh Shimano battery. The battery isn’t quite as easy to remove as the click in Fazua system, but still only requires a 4mm Hex wrench to pop it out for a quick swap.

Transition spent nearly one year developing the Repeater with the Shimano drive unit, before finalizing their custom-tuned power map. The EP8 comes pre-tuned with two rider profiles that can be toggled between easily on the trail. “We found that our riding here in Bellingham is unique, in that we’re climbing really steep trails and roads to get back to our downhill tracks,” said Lars Sternberg. “Our goal was to increase the power in each mode a little bit, so that riders could actually use one power mode below what they normally use.” The concept is that instead of using Boost, you could use Trail, or if you’re a Trail rider, put it into Transition’s more powerful Eco mode, which will get you a bit more range without too big of a hit on power. The downside of course is that, for Turbo riders like us, the 630Wh battery will drain a bit quicker, but having the option to unlock the full power of the EP8 drive unit is appreciated when the trail calls for it.

Shimano’s E-Tube app is easy to navigate, and if Transition’s pre-set modes aren’t ideal for your terrain, preferences, or fitness, you can easily tune the bike to a more efficient power setup of your liking.

Transition Repeater Geo

GEOMETRY | Unlike the Relay, the Transition Repeater does not have adjustable geometry, instead it rides in what we’re naming Transition’s “We Got This” geo setting, allowing riders to just grip it and rip.

Transition Relay Action



Our first ride on the Relay wasn’t exactly a dream ride. We had an issue with power cut-out on the Fazua Ride 60 system, leaving us without assistance after a mid-size compression. This was easily remedied by a quick adjustment of the battery bracket and a firmer press of the battery into the housing.

Another issue arose which we were told wouldn’t be something consumers receiving production bikes would experience is the loosening of hardware. During that first ride, everything came loose, from the cranks to the frame hardware. However, following this initial shakedown ride, everything stabilized and stayed tight for the remainder of testing once set to the appropriate torque figures.

Transition Relay Action

Suspension setup on the Transition Relay proved to be quite simple. Transition’s fairly wide 28-34% sag window means you can strongly influence the character of the bike by adjusting the air pressure without ending up in a weird zone with unfavorable characteristics. We hit the 30% mark to begin testing and found it to give a good blend of performance traits which left us quite comfortable.

With the battery fitted, the Relay still feels very much like a relatively lightweight eBike, with a little less maneuverability than an analogue bike but far from the same heft as a full power setup. There’s still ample agility to ride trails in the same way as your favorite enduro bike, albeit with a little more muscle required for the most dynamic movements. The geometry has a nice balance that lets you push hard in the faster and rowdier trails, however it comes at the expense of a little agility for tighter terrain, where the slack front and relatively long rear end demand wider setups and deliver slightly slower reactions than some of the “tighter” geometry bikes in the lightweight eBike class. The flip side to that length is incredible stability, speed and confidence in bike parks and gnarly downhill trails where speed and chunk are on the menu.

Transition Repeater Action


With no electronic or component issues, it was pretty much plug and play when it came time to ride the Transition Repeater. This bike is a lot of fun and so far, we are pleased with it in most scenarios. It is definitely geared more towards newer school trails as the low BB did have us clipping obstacles on some truly epic backcountry missions. We also found ourselves modifying the Shimano tunes to get a bit more range out of the 630Wh battery so we could maximize our trail time on steep trails. It’s a quick and easy adjustment that not everyone will need but is certainly something worth looking at if you regularly like bigger days in the saddle.

The Repeater shines when charging rough and bumpy trails. Speed, composure and confidence are three words we’d use to describe on-trail characteristics of the Repeater. With the extra heft that being a full power eMTB brings, it doesn’t change directions or get airborne with the same ease of the Relay but is very much on par with other full power eMTBs on the market. It would likely rank above average in most all categories if we were doing a head-to-head comparison with other full power eBikes we’ve tested. Transition have done a good job making a well-rounded eMTB that doesn’t have any real flagrant fouls or standouts, good or bad. It’s a good all-around eBike that just does what it’s supposed to do, no questions asked.

Transition Relay or Transition Repeater


Well, that is not an easy question as there are so many variables and reasons, we like both. If we’re purely looking at which bike rides better, is more fun and gets us excited, then the Relay wins. However, the Relay would also leave us lonely, deep in the woods with no friends and no batteries as most of our riding crew have embraced full power eebs and the range, speed and power at which we cover miles just can’t be done with a lightweight, mid-power eMTB. The Repeater does in fact allow for way more repeat laps and miles, so if you’re ok with a weight penalty in favor of bigger rides, more downhills and covering more ground than the Repeater will likely be the safe bet for you.

We look forward to lots more time with both of these very fun and capable bikes as we work on longer term reviews that will offer more detail and insight as well as touch on the durability of the products.

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Transition Relay Action
Transition Repeater Action