The Transition Scout has been a favourite of mine since I first slung a leg over one back in 2015. It’s evolved over the years, with the frame now having more rear wheel travel and longer and slacker geometry.
The question is, have these alterations subdued the Scout’s playful nature or simply boosted its credentials further?
Transition Scout GX frame and geometry
There’s no getting away from just how good the 650b-wheeled Scout looks. Its angular carbon tubing and direct, unfussy lines make this one of the sleekest, most drool-worthy frames out there. But appearances are arguably the least important part of the bike design puzzle.
Thankfully, the Scout delivers when it comes to geometry too. Using Transition’s SBG (Speed Balance Geometry) concept, this bike works on a wide variety of terrain.
Part of the SBG idea is to pair a slack head angle and lengthy reach with a short fork offset. Transition claims this helps “improve front-to-rear weight distribution, which is something that can often be out of balance on long, slack bikes.”
I can confirm that, combined with the healthy 460mm of reach and 64-degree head angle of my medium frame, the 37mm fork offset translated well to the trail. But more on that later.
Other numbers to mention include the steep 77.3-degree effective seat angle and the 430mm chainstay length, which remains the same across all five sizes (XS to XL) – not a major issue on the smaller frame sizes, but taller riders on larger sizes may find the back end a touch too compact.
The Scout offers up 140mm of rear wheel travel, which comes courtesy of Transition’s ‘GiddyUp’ four-bar linkage.
|Seat angle (degrees)||72||72||72||72||72|
|Head angle (degrees)||64||64||64||64||64|
|Seat tube (cm)||35||36||39||43||46|
|Top tube (cm)||53.4||56.4||59.3||62.3||65.2|
|Head tube (cm)||9.5||11||12.5||14||15.5|
|Fork offset (cm)||3.7||3.7||3.7||3.7||3.7|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||1.8||1.8||1.8||1.8||1.8|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||33.7||33.7||33.7||33.7||33.7|
Other details include clearance for a 2.6in rear tyre, a gear accessory mount on the underside of the top tube, a healthy amount of rubberised integrated frame and chainstay protection, an externally routed rear brake hose for easier maintenance and EnduroMax pivot bearings, all topped with a lifetime frame warranty.
Transition Scout GX kit
Highlights of this particular build include the burly RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork, which sports 150mm of travel, the powerful SRAM Code RSC brakes and the Maxxis tyre combo.
Both use the trail-tough EXO+ casing and 3C MaxxTerra rubber compound, with an Assegai tread up front and a Minion DHR II out back.
My medium test bike came complete with OneUp’s 180mm dropper, which performed faultlessly throughout testing.
Transition Scout GX first ride impressions
Getting to the top of climbs isn’t a problem aboard the Scout. Despite the grippy tyres (by no means the fastest rollers out there), the seated position feels comfy and efficient enough to let you really motor up the hills.
There’s little pedal bob from the rear suspension when you’re sat down and spinning a gear, so at no point did I bother using the shock’s low-speed compression lever.
Get moving at higher speeds and the Scout will have you grinning from ear to ear in an instant. Even though it’s clear that this bike can handle some full-on terrain, it somehow maintains an incredibly lively feel that lets you dance it around on the trail, skipping and hopping off just about every feature.
That short back-end helps here, ensuring that lofting the Scout’s front wheel up and over lumps and bumps requires little effort.
While the rear suspension feels supple and is usefully active when it comes to boosting traction in looser conditions, I never felt a shortage of support when I wanted to pump and load the bike through the turns or across undulating terrain in an attempt to generate speed.
Hit a series of successive corners and the Scout changes direction in an instant. It’s quick and reactive when it needs to be, but still feels surefooted and stable when tackling choppier turns.
As promised, the ride position does a good job of sitting you nicely between the wheels to deliver a very predictable feel when you do start pushing harder through the turns.
The 335mm bottom bracket height helps here too, and feels just the right side of low. I had no issues with clattering the crank arms when pedalling over chunky terrain either.
What makes the Scout even more appealing is just how well it can handle burlier terrain. While it won’t cover the ground quite as quickly as a bigger-wheeled, longer-travel, full-on enduro machine, it certainly isn’t afraid to get rowdy when you want it to.
The easy-to-tune Lyrik up front offers a great balance of stiffness and comfort with masses of control on tap, while the rear end, despite only having 140mm of bounce to call upon, feels like it delivers this travel in a very controlled manner, with enough progression on tap to take a real pasting.
Transition Scout GX early verdict
The Scout isn’t just very capable, it’s one of the most fun and exciting trail bikes you might ever be lucky enough to ride.
|Price||AUD $9999.00GBP £5300.00USD $5499.00|
|Weight||14.2kg (M) – without pedals|
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL|
|Brakes||SRAM Code RSC, 180mm rotors|
|Cranks||SRAM Stylo 7K cranks (1x12)|
|Fork||RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, 150mm (5.9in) travel|
|Frame||Carbon fibre, 140mm (5.5in) travel|
|Handlebar||ANVL Mandrel 35, 800mm|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM GX Eagle|
|Rear Shocks||RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate|
|Seatpost||OneUp Components 180mm dropper (medium)|
|Shifter||SRAM GX Eagle|
|Tyres||Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxTerra TR EXO+ 27.5x2.5in WT (f) and Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra TR EXO+ 27.5x2.4in WT (r)|
|Wheels||Stan’s Flow S1 wheels|