While on a ride trip to Pisgah Forest, I came across this Transition PBJ XL 2021 at the Hub Bike Shop in Pisgah, North Carolina. One of the few that they had on hand, and the only XL in the house. We find ourselves in different times with the entire world headed out to buy any type of bike they could in 2020. Shops, distributors, brands, and warehouses are left empty and pockets loaded. It’s cool to see more people have discovered the benefits and joys of riding bikes, but that has created new challenges. To mention a few, the lack of parts, kits, and bikes across the board.
The Transition Brand
Transition Bikes is a rider owned company based in Bellingham Washington, USA, founded by Kevin Menard and Kyle Young. Transition runs with riders at every level of the company, with a focus on giving back to the ride community, from trail advocacy groups, to more diversity on the trails.
26 inch dirt jump, pump track and slop style bikes are alive and well. If you have a budget anywhere from $700 through $1900, you can get yourself in the game. Better the budget the better that kit will be. I prefer riding a steel frame DJ, so, this PBJ was what I was looking for. PBJ is “Pump Berm Jump” to cover all bases with this sled. The Transition PBJ price retails at 1599 USD / 1799 EUR which puts it at the top end of the dirt jump bikes, and comes with a high end kit to support it. What I found to be most noticeable with this DJ was the geometry.
Having ridden a Specialized P.3 for years, adding the Transition Triple Slopestyle, (which is alive and well) and then the NS Metropolis, this ride was different. At 6′-3″ I was happy to find this in XL. I quickly found this provided more stability in the air and around the pump track. None of the other brands seem to come close. The sizing really does make it easier to move from the trail bike to the pump track seamlessly.
Frame / Cable Routing
The high quality finish of the frame along with the copper on flat black is a head turner. The attention to detail is clear. The Transition PBJ 2021 comes in three different color options to chose from. 4130 Chromoly Steel is used for the frame for its high tensile strength to handle the inevitable abuse a dirt jump will go through. Like the Transition Triple, the Transition PBJ comes setup with cable routing and headset ready to go for bar spins. Yes, right out of the box.
The spacious top tube made all the difference for me. Bike separation was easy, with moving the bike and body around on pumps and jumps of the pump track. Dirt jumping and hitting that big kicker into the air bag feels much more stable than my past dirt jumpers. Exit speed from a berm seems much quicker with this setup. The extra space up front offers more space for table tops and x-ups, and it seemed easier to get the knees out of the way.
The XL version in this review comes with a 400mm chain stay which made it a bit more difficult than the slopestyle or other DJs to manual or pull up through the rollers in the pump track. Other sizes come with the shorter 388mm chain stay. To counter act this and test, I swapped out the Spank Spoon handlebars for a set of Deity Highside 760 Handlebars with an 80mm rise. Not something I’ve tried in the past. With this setup, it made all the difference in sizing and easier to pull up over the rollers, and off of the dirt jumps.
Maxxis DTH tires all the grip you need on a Velosolutions Pump Track while on the dirt, you’ll need to watch it in the corners. I preload the RockShox Pike DJ with plenty of psi and move over to adjusting the compression knob if I need a bit more. It’s easily adjustable and to setup. One item about the Transition PBJ I do not seem to be getting use to is the grips. They tend to be this for my size hand so, I’ll soon move to the ODI Rogue which i run on the rest of the fleet.
Accompanying the high build quality of this Transition PBJ, the RockShox Pike DJ 100mm is employed up front. The Pike is an air fork offering a lighter front end and infinite adjustability. This makes for easier wheelies, manuals, and keeps the compression up for those hard hits.
The PBJ comes with a rear brake only so if you’re looking to slow yourself down more quickly, you’ll need to install a front brake. Joytech hubs and Kinlin DDT32 double walled rims make up the single speed wheelset. Fast rolling Maxxis DTH tires provide the smooth ride. The Transition DJ saddle and Velo Pivotal seat post provide that low profile look. The bar and stem combo are Spank Spoon and Velo Single Clamp. The KMC K1 Wide sends the power to the 25T front chainring and 12T rear cog. Rounding out the spec is the steel Samox BMX cranks.
|RockShox Pike DJ 26 (100mm/40mm offset)
|Spank Spoon (40mm)
|Spank Spoon (785mm x 40mm)
|Velo Single Clamp
|Transition Pivotal DJ
|Velo Plastic Pivotal
|SRAM Level (Rear Only)
|SRAM Centerline (160mm)
|12t Single Cog
|KMC K1 Wide
|Samox BMX 3 pc (25t, 170mm)
|Maxxis DTH (26×2.3)
|25.88 lbs / 11.74 kg (Size Short)
The Transition PBJ really hits the mark with quality, parts kit, and fun factor. I changed the bars and grips but the Transition PBJ is ready to shred, straight out of the box. This Transition PBJ is ideal for the taller rider who loves the high speed pump track or high flying dirt jumps. Visit the Transition PBJ here.