You had me at HUCK-leberry.
Introducing the Transition Spire
Technically, its’ not the biggest Transition in terms of travel amounts. The DH TR-11 has it beat by 30mm. But, it is the longest bike in the Transition lineup. It’s also the slackest. They claim it’s not a one-trick pony, however. Let’s get into some of the highlights of the Transition Spire.
The Spire has 170mm of travel front and back. That slots it in right below their DH bike and above all their other trail bikes. It also puts it near the top of the long travel option across all the brands. 170mm is a lot of travel — keep in mind, the 150mm Sentinel gets pretty sendy. Depending on the build kit, the Spire comes with the biggest single crown forks money can buy — the Rockshox Zeb or Fox 38. You can run a dual crown fork on it if you choose, though. It also comes with the burliest air shocks from either brand. The Shimano XT kits get a Fox Factory X2 and the Sram GX kits get the Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate Air. With 23% progression, it’s compatible with both coil and air shocks. You should already be starting to get an idea of what this thing was designed to do. Now let’s get into the really burly part.
The head tube angle on the Spire is slack as hell at 63 degrees. Or, stay with me now, 62.5 degrees in the low setting. I’m going to nerd out over the next week or so and put together a list of DH World Cup-winning head tube angles and see where the Spire fits in. Stay tuned, my guess is it’s right in the mix. Ah, screw it — I’m doing it right now. For last year’s shortened season, there were three different winning bikes with head tube angles ranging from 62.1 degrees up to 63.3 degrees. The average winning HTA was 62.73 degrees (excluding any geometry adjustments and custom setups the pros may have.) So there you have it, the Spire is right in the mix.
Pair a 63-degree head tube angle with a 170mm fork and you’ve got yourself a long bike. The wheelbase on the XL Spire is 1322mm compared to the 1292mm on my XL sentinel. You can take that to mean the Spire is going to be stable at speed and in the rough. It is also going to take a bit more muscle to get it around a corner. Transition thought of that, though, and gave it a super low bottom bracket. So low in fact, all sizes come with a short, 165mm crank for a little extra clearance. That low BB should help the Spire get itself around a corner more easily.
Like the new Patrol released earlier this week, the Spire has size-specific chainstays. Small through large sizes get a 446mm chainstay while XL and XXL get a longer 452mm chainstay. Praise be! It can also be run with a 27.5” rear wheel for mullet lovers. Just keep the flip-chip in the higher setting.
As of launch, the Spire is available in both carbon and alloy frames. There are five build kits on offer as well as four color options. Biker’s Edge has Spires on order — stay tuned.