So Matt W has abandoned me. Yep, he’s only gone and bought himself a 29er, abandoning me to be the only Bandit 650b rider… *sniff*.

Anyway, emotional abandonment aside, yes it’s true, after a number of months of making general “You know what, I think I’d quite like to ride a 29er” noises Matt has finally sold his trusty Transition Bandit 650b.

However, Matt’s choice of new bike is quite interesting as he is replacing it with the shorter travel but no less infinitely capable Transition Smuggler. David D has ridden one for over a year now and is, well, “smitten” I guess is the best word I can use.

The bike is fast, fast oh so VERY fast on the trail and despite it’s shorter overall bounce (130mm at the front and 115mm at the rear) has certainly handled everything the Surrey Hills can throw at it as well as Morzine/Les Gets during last years trip. And as Mr D put it himself, the Smuggler has “scared the crap out of him” on more that one occasion in it’s urgency to head down the trail just as fast as momentum can support.

So the big question is how is Matt going to handle the “Transition” (ho ho ho) from 650b to 29er and how indeed will it affect his riding? I’m hoping Matt can find the time to write some words on the differences both for and against and I’ll post them here.

To be fair, I suspect the change will be fairly easy for Matt to handle because he already owns a 29er – a Transition Covert, which he lovingly built up last year. Consequently the rides that Matt has put in on the Covert (which is a fantastic trail beast of a bike) have firmed his opinion that he has a leg very firmly in the big hoop camp.

The thing I can’t wait to see is what he does with this frame because to put it mildly Mr W is somewhat famous (infamous??) for his “perfectly bling” bikes. Let’s not forget, he is the only bloke I know with balls big enough to take an angle grinder to a brand new bike frame to remove a front mech mounting bracket because “it looked ugly”.

Perfectionist? Yes. Crazy as a box of frogs? Undoubtedly. Transition 29er rider? Apparently so…