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Fans of Transition Bikes will be pleased to see a rebirth of the once discontinued Transition Smuggler. Still a 29″ trail bike, the Smuggler boasts 130/140mm of rear wheel travel paired with a 140mm fork, and it now comes in Carbon or Alloy. Transition say it is their go-to bike for any trail pointed up, down, and all around.
2023 Transition Smuggler
The Transition Smuggler last graced the PNW brand’s lineup in 2018 when its carbon frame bore 120mm of rear wheel travel. Now, it rises from the ashes with more travel delivered by its tried and tested Horst-Link layout, slotting into the range between the Spur and Sentinel.
- Bike: 2023 Transition Smuggler
- Intention: Trail Riding
- Frame Material: Carbon or Alloy
- Wheel Size: 29″
- Fork Travel: 140mm
- Rear Wheel Travel: 130/140mm
- Claimed Weight: 3kg (6.6lbs) in MD Carbon w/shock
- Starting Price: $3,699 USD Carbon Frameset w/shock
The Smuggler is updated to the modern silhouette we’ve come to expect from Transition, with super clean lines giving this mid-travel bike a chiseled, athletic look about it. A BB drop of 35mm and a 65° head angle are separated by a reach of 485mm on the Large frame. While the actual seat tube angle is 72°, Transition quote an effect seat tube angle of 78.1° on the large, measured at a saddle height of 720mm.
Reach ranges from 430mm to 535mm across the SM-XXL size range. While the SM and MD sizes share a 437mm chainstay length, the LG, XL and XXL frame see that grow to 443mm in a somewhat proportional approach to geometry (full chart below).
Transition say the kinematic of the Smuggler is similar to that of the shorter-travel Transition Spur, with overall progression at 27%. A 210mm x 55mm shock damps the Smuggler’s 130mm of rear wheel travel, though the stock shock’s travel-reducing spacer can be removed to boost travel to 140mm.
From a maintenance perspective, a key update for the 2023 Smuggler is seen at the headtube which now has integrated bearing cups, no longer requiring headset cups to be pressed into the frame. It’s pleasing to see that cable are not routed through the headset; instead they enter via ports at the front of the headtube, and are fully guided internally, exiting briefly above the bottom bracket shell before re-entering the stays.
It’s also available in this Orchid Pink colorway…
Other Notable Smuggler Frame Details
- 148mm Boost Spacing
- SRAM UDH
- Carbon Frame Headset: IS42 / IS52
- Alloy Frame Headset: 44mm / 56mm Zero Stack
- BB Shell: 73mm BSA Threaded
- Seat Post Diameter: 31.6mm
- Chainline: 52-55mm
- Maximum Chainring Size: 34T (at 52mm Chainline)
- Maximum Tire Size: 29″ x 2.5″
Pricing & Availability
As a frameset, the 2023 Transition Smuggler is only available in Carbon, retailing at $3,699 USD or $4,999 CAD. It comes with a Fox Float X Factory Shock.
For now, there is only one model of the Smuggler Alloy; that is the NX build (not pictured) priced at $3,999 USD or $5,399 CAD. That money gets you a Marzocchi Z2 Fork, a Fox Float X Performance Shock, SRAM Code R Brakes, SRAM NX Eagle 12 Speed Drivetrain, a OneUp Dropper Seat Post. WTB ST i30 rims on Novatec hubs are fitted with a Maxxis Assegai/Dissector combo in EXO+ casing.
Next up the ladder is the Smuggler GX Carbon at $5,999 USD or $8,999 CAD. A Fox Float X Performance Shock is paired with a Fox 36 Performance Fork and its GRIP damper. Here, the drivetrain is upgraded to SRAM GX Eagle.
The more expensive models of the 2023 Smuggler get electronic shifting. The Carbon GX AXS retails at $7,299 USD or $9899 CAD, and features its namesake GX AXS electronic shifting 12 Speed drivetrain. This time, a Fox Float X Performance Elite Shock is paired with a Fox 34 Factory Fork with GRIP2 Damper, with the chassis rolling on a RaceFace Aeffect R wheelset. Brakes move to the more powerful, more adjustable SRAM Code RSC option. This model sees and upgrade from RaceFace cockpit components to the aluminum offering from ANVL, Transition’s in-house component brand.
Topping the range is the $8,499 USD ($11,499 CAD) Smuggler Carbon XO1 AXS Model. You guessed it; this one is driven by the SRAM XO1 AXS 12 Speed Drivetrain, and rolls on a Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Alloy Wheelset boasting an Industry Nine 1/1 hubset. It too gets SRAM Code RSC brakes but a small upgrade is seen here in the switch from Centerline rotors to HS2 rotors (200mm Front, 180mm Rear). Here, the Fox Float X Factory Shock is paired with a Fox 34 Fork with GRIP2 Damper. This one is finished with an ANVL 40mm stem too, though here it is combined with a OneUp Carbon Bar.