2016 Transition Patrol Carbon

Words Cam McRae
Photos Kaz Yamamura
Date Sep 23, 2015

What’s new about the Transition Patrol Carbon, beside the obvious? Nothing actually. The Bellingham-based brand didn’t see any need to mess with the original geo or travel so, like its predecessor, this Patrol bounces 160mm front and 155mm rear, steers with a pleasingly slack 65 degree head angle and the bb height is 339mm. What’s new is a full carbon frame (with aluminum rocker) that weighs 600g (1.3 lbs) less than the aluminum version.

The Transition crew will tell you it’s made for schralpin’ and it certainly looks the part.


What’s better than a Transition? A carbon Transition. You’d expect a small company’s early forays into fancy lay ups to be main frame only – but the Patrol’s swing-arm is Carbon as well.


Internal routing of course. Many 2016 bikes opted for external rear brake lines for ease of repair and maintenance, but Transition went all in. The upside is a tidy look and well protected lines.


Transition calls it Giddy Up Link suspension – but you might call it Horst Link as well. The expired patent allowed Transition to adopt the platform Specialized had locked up until recently.


Simple and smooth lines. This is a very good looking bike. Which may explain the guy drooling in the background.


The build shown is Patrol 1 Carbon. It retails for US$7599 for a light build that is heavy on function and quality – these Race Face SIXc cranks being a perfect example.


That’s how you make a clean frame.


Even with an aluminum rocker, the fibrous Patrol is 600 grams lighter than its aluminum sibling.

Full Spec – 2016 Patrol Carbon 1
Patrol Frameset (Highlighter Yellow, Satin Black Matte) / RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair Rear Shock / Fox Factory 36 Float RC2 15QR 27.5 160mm Fork
COCKPIT: RaceFace Atlas 35 50mm Stem / RaceFace SixCs 35 (800mm x 20mm) Handlebar / Cane Creek 40 Series Headset / ANVL Rasp Grips / ANVL Forge Ti Saddle / KS Lev Integra w/ Southpaw Remote (150mm or 125mm) Seatpost
BRAKES: SRAM Guide Ultimate Brakes / SRAM Centerline (180mm) Rotors
DRIVETRAIN: SRAM XO1 Shifter / SRAM XX1 Type 2.1 Rear Derailleur / SRAM XG1195 (10-42) Cassette / SRAM XX1 Chain / RaceFace SixC Cinch (DM32t, 170mm) Crank
WHEELS: Easton ARC 30mm 27.5 32h Rims / DT Swiss 350 Classic IS Hubs / Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5×2.3 EXO 3C Front Tire, Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5×2.3 EXO 3C Rear Tire

We’re working on a Patrol Carbon for our testing stable – and there is no shortage of volunteers…


David Wood  - March 15, 2016, 10:51 p.m.

Haha! That's hilarious! I'm that guy drooling in the background in the photo caption above. I was reading the reviews on this bike and sure as sh!t see myself. Maybe this is the 650b that's calling my name. I've been looking for a sign cause buying a new bike is a hard decision these days.


DJ  - Sept. 24, 2015, 10:49 a.m.

honest question for the carbon uninitiated- besides a modest weight savings on this frame, would the rider experience a much different (better, faster, more comfortable, etc) experience on this Patrol vs the alloy one. is it purely a race thing or an overall improvement. don't just say stiffer, i bet the alloy Patrol is very stiff and the riders don't feel wasted energy to undue flexing.


Cam McRae  - Sept. 24, 2015, 3:34 p.m.

Anecdotally I would say that carbon provides a quieter experience while damping vibration more effectively.


Cr4w  - Sept. 24, 2015, 9:16 a.m.

Transitions alwys seemed a bit chunky and under-engineered to me. To see them evolve to this level of fit, finish and function is really cool.


Vik Banerjee  - Sept. 24, 2015, 8:23 a.m.

"Internal routing of course. Many 2016 bikes opted for external rear brake lines for ease of repair and maintenance, but Transition went all in. The upside is a tidy look and well protected lines." Protected every where, but under the BB at their lowest point where the can get hit or snagged by trail debris. That doesn't seem all that great. I will be happy when we get over the internal routing nonsense and go back to external routing in MTB fashion.


Cam McRae  - Sept. 24, 2015, 8:34 a.m.

No question Vik. But have you ever damaged a line there with internal routing - or seen one damaged? I haven't yet but your concern is valid.


Vik Banerjee  - Sept. 24, 2015, 8:41 a.m.

I haven't damaged a line with external routing either. This routing isn't any better protection for brake lines or shift cables than many of the externally routed hoses/cables on other bikes.

I'm just pointing out the statement with that caption is kind of silly. Transition ran the them inside because it's fashionable and left a key area exposed and hanging down. That's not as favourable to the company, but it is a fairer assessment of the situation.

Cam McRae  - Sept. 24, 2015, 9:23 a.m.

Silly. You may have a point.

Is there a way to do an internal brake line without having the portion between the main frame and swingarm exposed? I don't believe I've seen on yet.

the prophet  - Sept. 24, 2015, 3:19 p.m.

I have damaged cables and seen a buddy slice a hydro line running in that location on Speshy bikes. Although somewhat rare, it will end you day in a heartbeat and is not worth any benefit (in my opinion).

Poo Stance  - Sept. 24, 2015, 9:46 p.m.

Knolly Warden carbon may the best-ish yet. Had a look at one of my bikes with cable under the downtube only wear is on the shifter housing at the chainstays caused by chainslap.

Only bike I have with internal routing has electric shifting sooooo no idea how easy/difficult replacement is.

Cr4w  - Sept. 24, 2015, 9:15 a.m.

My Enduro 29's housings run under the BB. I've done about 1000 hours of riding on this bike and never snagged anything. I agree it's not pretty but concerns about catching your housings are imaginary.


Tom  - Sept. 24, 2015, 1:52 p.m.

I have been on an alu one sine they have been out. Had a good holiday in the Alps on it It can back with a lot of war wounds including a smashed taco, crack all scratched up from rocks. But there was damage to the cables.
Oh and it's one of the best bikes I have ever had, I must admit I do get through a few bikes by always being tempted by something better, but I am in no rush to change what I have got not even for a plastic one!


jason  - Sept. 24, 2015, 9:24 p.m.

I have the alu version of the patrol; first time with internal cables. They have not caught on anything and it is stealth. But they make a huge racket rattling around inside the tube. If they were quiet I would be happy. Given that they are not I would rather have external cables I can strap down tight. I have never (in 30 +years of riding) damaged a cable on the area of the bike where cables are now internal.


Colin McCarthy  - Sept. 24, 2015, 2:34 a.m.

sorry but this info is incorrect, dey raised da BB height from da last years models. No hard feelins, eh?


Cam McRae  - Sept. 24, 2015, 8:35 a.m.

lol. No hard feelings. The boys from Transition told us the geo remained the same and the one metric that they didn't have listed at their booth was the BB height. I will confirm. Thanks.


Cam McRae  - Sept. 24, 2015, 10:12 a.m.

Kevin Menard, one of the two founders of Transition, reiterated that the BB height is the same as last year. Where did your info come from Colin?

DJ  - Sept. 24, 2015, 10:36 a.m.

bb height raised on other 2 full sus models by 5mm.

Drinky Crow  - Sept. 24, 2015, 9:34 p.m.

Ha. I guess the old saw 'never buy the first year iteration' of anything rings true .

Colin McCarthy  - Sept. 25, 2015, 2:36 p.m.

See, that's why I apologized first, 'cause I was wrong. I watched a video rundown from eurobike and thought the bb change was for Patrol as well as the Smuggler and Scout, but was mistaken. Maybe I just figured they would since I heard Lars raced the Suppressor with 650b wheels and fork.

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