Transition Bikes is a relatively small brand headquartered in Bellingham Washington who’s made a name for themselves building gravity fed mountain bikes. The brand exploded last year when they won the coveted Pinkbike.com mountain bike of the year award for their Patrol mountain bike. Fast forward to model year 2018 and they’ve taken upon themselves to drive the next big change in modern mountain bike geometry, they call it Speed Balanced Geometry or SBG.
THE 2018 TRANSITION LINE UP
SPEED BALANCED GEOMETRY - A NEW APPROACH TO MOUNTAIN BIKE GEOMETRY
Speed Balanced Geometry or SBG is a new approach to mountain bike geometry where the goal is to create a bike that remains more stable and composed at high speeds and on steep terrain, but can still easily be navigated around tight turns while climbing up the trail. While riding an SBG bike you will immediately feel an increases in front wheel traction and stability which noticeably improves the bikes handling. Wherever your skill level is at, SBG will make you a better rider.
SBG - THE TECH
Transition's SBG system utilizes frame reach measurements that are longer than previous models. The SBG system is designed to be used with a 40mm stem, which equates to a modest total increase in reach when compared to models which use 50mm stems. The SBG system additionally includes steeper seat tube angles which aid in climbing traction and reduce seated sag when climbing. These two changes bring the rider more forward in the chassis into a more central location between the front and rear tire contact patches, which greatly increases traction.
HEAD TUBE ANGLE
SBG integrates slacker headtube angles which allow the fork to absorb impacts better on all angles, and positions the front wheel further forward in relation to the handlebars. As you approach obstacles in the trail a steeper head tube angle has a more vertical suspension path. This reduces the forks ability to properly absorb impacts and generates deflection. A slacker headtube angle positions the fork at a better angle of approach to absorb impacts which reduces deflection. Additionally, slacker headtube angles reduce dive while increasing rear wheel grip under heavy braking.
SBG is designed to be used with a fork offset that is shorter than traditionally used per wheel size. The shorter fork offset brings the front axle more rearward and under the rider which further increases front tire traction. This works in unison with the shorter stem length to provide a more direct steering input and dramatically enhances connectivity to what is happening with the front wheel. The shorter offset also brings the front wheel more under the rider which balances the effects of a slacker head angle. The SBG system creates a longer trail figure than standard, used in a way that eliminates the negative side effects.