It’s been a few years since the Smuggler disappeared from the Transition lineup. Now it’s back and better than ever—plus it’s Pepto Bismol pink (or Orchid if you ask Transition). The 2023 Transition Smuggler has 130mm of rear wheel travel and 140mm up front with geometry and intentions that land it square in the middle of the Sentinel and Spur. Let’s dive into what’s new.
Transition claims this is their most versatile bike yet. It’s designed for ups, downs, side hills, connectors, singletrack, technical trails, and steeps. If you’re going to be covering a lot of different types of terrain, and always want to have the right bike, the Smuggler is your best friend. The geometry sits right in between the Spur and Sentinel with a 65° head tube angle, a 77.6° seat tube angle, and a reach that ranges from 430-535mm (S-XXL). The chainstays are size-specific starting at 435mm on a small or medium and growing to 440mm for large through XXL. The alloy frame sees slightly longer stays at 437 and 443 respectively. Put it all together and the wheelbase ranges from 1179mm to 1306mm (S-XXL) — although, you’ll have to tack on an extra 2mm for the alloy frame.
Build kits feature trail-ready components like a Fox Float X for rear suspension duties. The two highest-end builds get a lighter-weight Fox 34 fork, while the Carbon GX and the Alloy NX get a Fox 34 and Marzocchi Z2 respectively. All builds get various levels of Sram Code brakes—I love seeing 4 piston stoppers on a bike like this. It really opens up downhill capability for just a tiny weight penalty. All builds get fairly long travel dropper posts with small and medium having 150mm and 180mm while everything large and bigger gets 210mm. The tire selection is interestingly aggressive for a bike like this. For having a 34mm stanchion fork, a Maxxis Assegai seems rather meaty for a front tire. The dissector rear tire seems very appropriately specced.
Transition Smuggler builds
- Carbon Frame with Shock – $3,699 (USD)
- NX Alloy – $3,999
- GX Carbon – $5,999
- GX AXS Carbon – $7,299
- XO AXS Carbon – $8,499
Let’s chat about some other details before we get going. The Smuggler now uses an integrated headset instead of press-in cups. This allows for a cleaner headtube area and better cable routing. Speaking of which, all the cables are now fully internal, including the rear brake. The frame still has a gear mount under the top tube for carrying all of your knick-knacks. As with pretty much every new bike these days, it uses a Sram UDH.
That’s going to do it on the 2023 Transition Smuggler. Stay tuned for a full review as well as availability on demos and floor bikes.
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