Packin' a small bird
Frame - NOS 2018 Transition Smuggler, XL, Carbon
Rear shock - Fox DPS
Front shock/fork - 140mm 2017 Fox 34, Vorsprung Fractive & Luftkappe
Handlebars - SQlab 3OX 45mm
Stem - Deity
Headset - Wolftooth Premium
Grips - SQlab 711
Saddle - WTB
Seatpost - Bikeyoke 185
Front brake - Magura MT Trail SL 4 piston
Rear brake - Magura MT Trail SL 2 piston
Rotors - XTR
Cranks - XTR
Chainguide - Wolftooth Gnarwolf
Chain - XTR
Pedals - XT
Rear derailleur - XTR
Rear shifter - XTR
Cassette - XTR
Front hub - DT350
Rear hub - DT350
Front rim - Wheelworks FLITE Carbon
Rear rim - Wheelworks FLITE Carbon
Tyres - DHF/Agressor
Total weight - 13kg
I'd had the idea percolating away for a year or two to add a snappy trail bike to the fleet. Something to fit between my Deviate Highlander and Banshee Paradox. The Highlander is fast in a straight line but not the most nimble feeling bike. If you're not feeling fit and energetic and JRA it can feel a bit flat. I've heard it said that high-pivot designs can feel like you're riding with a flat rear tyre. I think that may be over-stating things, but it does take a bit of 'feel' out of mellower trails.
I love the poppy, agile handling of the Paradox with its dinky short stays, and it actually is a very nicely damped hardtail. But still a hardtail. So the hunt started for a short to mid-travel FS bike. I considered all kinds of things from the burlier XC end to lighter weight 140mm type bikes. There are just so many cool bikes out there these days, but I really didn't fancy dropping $5-6k on the latest and greatest bling frames.
Supersports had a couple of older frames going (relatively) cheap, and so the old Smuggler was ordered. Thanks @xero!
The build went relatively smoothly, apart from the most frustrating internal routing battle I've experienced. Had to employ the vacuum cleaner and thread for the chain stay and random kitchen implements for the downtube. Disappointingly Transition don't accommodate our moto brake set up, so I have some slightly awkward routing and a frame protection sticker make the front of the bike look neater. I have a feeling that some time with a 3D printer might make it possible to run the brake line through the downtube and out the RHS port up the top - but that's for another year..
I was hoping to fit a longer dropper, but my 210 Bikeyoke was a tad too long. Will live with 185 for now unless there's some goldilocks short insertion post I'm not aware of. The post slipped into the frame a bit when I took it out for these pics which is why it looks like it's inserted as low as you'd want.
The finished build felt a little stouter than the small parrot I expected, given the spec - Transition clearly don't hold back on their layups... so much so that I decided to weigh the bikes which I don't normally bother doing. Came in at 13kg on the nose, which is realistically pretty light. But the Highlander, with alloy wheelset, heftier tyres, Mezzer, longer dropper etc etc surprisingly weighed in at only 14.7. Nevertheless they should ride quite differently which was the main point of the exercise.
Looking forward to seeing what this little beast will be like out on the trail soon.