The Transition TransAM returns from the wilderness to send you on a mountain biking nostalgia trip

Transition TransAM hardtail MTB
Transition has resurrected the TransAM hardtail (Image credit: Transition)

The Transition TransAM was the Washington state-based US bike brand's trail-shredding best hardtail mountain bike. It's been highly rated for ages but has been out of the limelight for a few years as Transition released a host of other 'on trend' models like their lightweight Relay e-MTB and the updated Transition Smuggler, the brand's best trail bike offering.

So has Transition seen the light? and brought back their classic hardtail mountain bike, possibly, but it's not for good, the new TransAM is only around for a limited time. In today's crowded budget hardtail mountain bike market, the TransAM has some big competition, but with modern geometry, 29-inch wheels, a decent specced build, and two classic color schemes, we think it stacks up pretty well against its hardtail MTB competition.

Transition TransAM hardtail MTB in Blue

The new TransAM gets a modern geometry update (Image credit: Transition)

We love our MTB tech but as it keeps getting more complicated, the list of features on some of the most expensive mountain bikes and best electric mountain bikes seems to be forever growing. The classic simple hard-charging hardtail can still give the magic feeling that got us into mountain biking in the first place, there's no batteries, no motor, and no apps here, just a Chromoly frame that Transition says will last a lifetime. 

The updated geometry encourages hard-charging and its low-slung top tube gives the new TransAM a dynamic hardcore look, and a low standover which gives loads of room to throw your body around the bike. Elsewhere the geometry numbers add to the hardtail magic with a head angle of 64 degrees and a steepened seat tube angle of 76.5 degrees. The seat tube length varies from 370mm to 460mm across the S-XL sizing, ready to accommodate long travel dropper posts. Chainstay lengths are 425mm across the sizing, with reach measurements between 430mm and 510mm depending on the sizing. This should make for a confidence-inspiring and stable bike, a ready-for-anything hardtail MTB.

Rider sitting on a bench with the Transition TransAM hardtail MTB

Transition says the steel frame will last a lifetime (Image credit: Transition)

The TransAM comes in two colorways, in days of fancy color names for bikes the simplicity of this bike continues with the names of the colors - Chrome and Blue. It's simple and straight to the point which I like, there's no Tanzanite Blue Stone or Blue Stone Spicy Lime here.

Transition has specced the TransAM with a Marzocchi Z2 fork that has 150mm travel, and was called an "Impressively smooth, tough and accurate fork" when our Tech Editor, Guy Kesteven reviewed the Z2. For those wishing to run something different, the TransAM can accommodate 10 mm either way on fork travel.

Elsewhere on the impressive build spec the bike gets a SRAM NX Eagle groupset and SRAM DB8 brakes with 180/200mm rotors. The 29-inch wheels are WTB ST i30's and roll on Maxxis tires. The finishing kit includes a OneUp dropper post and a RaceFace handlebar and stem.

Transition TransAM hardtail MTB in Chrome

The TransAM comes with the 150mm Marzocchi Z2 fork (Image credit: Transition)

Availability, pricing and specification

The TransAM is available now from Transition and Transition dealers, and comes in the two colorways mentioned. Priced at $2699 for the Chrome colorway, $2599 for the Blue. Frame-only options are priced at $899 for Chrome, $799 for Blue. Pricing for the UK and Europe is to be confirmed and we'll update as soon as it appears. Meanwhile, check out the full spec below or visit Transitionbikes.com.

Transition TransAM 

  • Frame: TransAM 4130 Steel
  • Fork: Marzocchi Z2, 150mm 
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM NX Eagle
  • Shifters: SRAM Eagle MMX
  • Bar: RaceFace Chester 35
  • Crankset: SRAM Descendent 6k DUB (30t/170mm)
  • Seatpost: OneUp, Dropper 150-210mm
  • Saddle: SDG Bell Air 3
  • Brakes: SRAM DB8 180/200
  • Wheels: WTB ST i30 Alloy, 29”
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai and Maxxis Minion
  • Color: Chrome or Blue
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Price: $2,699 Chrome, $2,599 Blue / £TBC / €TBC
Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm