The Scout marks a new era for Transition Bikes, with a new suspension design and UK importer
Transition has made a couple of big changes for 2015. For starters, it has a couple of new 650b models; the Scout featured here is the short-travel trail bike. It also uses a four-bar suspension design called ‘Giddy-Up’. Previous bikes, like the Bandit, were all linkage-activated single-pivot designs and, while we didn’t have a problem with that, according to Transition the new layout makes the Scout’s 125mm rear suspension a lot more active, which means big improvements in grip and traction.
Need to know
- 650b trail bike with 140mm Pike fork and 125mm rear travel
- New ‘Giddy-Up’ four-bar suspension design
- Two build kits: Shimano Deore £2,799.95 or SRAM X01 £3,899.95, frame-only option £1,399.95
In the UK, the Scout is available as a frame only or with two build kits, and it’s the more expensive Pro build featured here. There are four frame sizes, and when presented with this choice I usually go for a size large because it gives me a bit more reach to play with. Unfortunately, the UK distributor has sold out of large frames until the end of the year, so I couldn’t get one to test. I guess I’m not the only rider of average height that prefers a size large.
On the bike, I could definitely feel the improvements in the suspension and handling. The back end was incredibly supple but there’s still plenty of support in the mid-stroke to hold you up in corners. It also had that nice bottomless feel. Factor in the 140mm-travel Pike fork and aggressive geometry and the Scout felt like a bike with more than 125mm travel at the rear. Due to the smaller size, however, I was either too far over the front or hanging off the back when descending — but the low bottom bracket height and supple suspension meant the Scout absolutely railed corners.
The bike felt lively and unfazed in technical terrain and, despite being a bit porky, it didn’t hang about on the climbs either.
On paper, the geometry looks great, but without seeing the size large in the flesh, the jury is out. In theory, if you’re in the market for an aggressive, short-travel trail bike, the Scout is up there with the Whyte T-130 and Specialized Camber Evo. The only thing that may put you off is the weight; at nearly 14kg with this top-end build, the Scout is the same weight as the £1,700 Scott Genius 750 I reviewed last month.