[R]eviewed // Transition Repeater

For a bike brand which has carved out a well-rounded reputation for delivering a large quiver of naturally aspirated bikes with a real gravity orientated background, I guess it was no surprise and just matter of time before Transition Bikes delved into ‘Turbo Mode’ and included an eMTB to their already impressive line-up of Mountain Bikes.

Reviewed by // Scotty Prendergast   Photos // Matt Staggs

Suffice to say when the rumours started swirling around [E]volution / [R]evolution headquarters that we were going to get our grubby little hands on an all-new Repeater for review, you could just say the test teams jaws were a little sore due to the grins it put on everyone’s faces. Well, we weren’t disappointed, when we first got a glimpse at this new rig at HQ, we could instantly see what all the fuss was about, Transition haven’t mucked around and have come into the eBike market swinging. Based on just looks alone, this new whip, blew our minds. 

[E]: Transition were one of ‘the last’ hardcore MTB brands to hold out on throwing their hat into the e-MTB ring, and when they released the Repeater, the bike sure looked like it was worth the wait! Now that we’ve finally got our hands on one in the flesh for review here at the mag, what is it build quality and ‘finish’ like once you got a chance to inspect it closely?

This beauty boasts a full carbon frame with 160mm of travel at both ends, this is a standalone 29”er which runs the new Shimano EP8 motor and is powered by 630-watt battery. Transition offers this bike in a number of build options depending on what you like your bikes equipped with. The frame itself is super neat with all bearings in the swingarm, the bike is really user friendly as far as maintenance goes  and has a sleek and simple looking design. With that said, there is nothing simple about the overall performance and durability of this whip, but we’ll get into more detail on that soon. In short, the Repeater looks brilliant, and if this bike was to perform as good as its aesthetic appeal, then the test team were about to have a really good time!

The vertical shock mount allows tons of room for a water bottle and or tool kit, however the frame also has mounting bolts underneath the downtube for mounting tools, tubes, spares etc. One neat little feature we’ve seen some brands go with is the internally routing of the cables through the headset rather than the frame having ports for the cables. The Repeater runs an ‘Acros’ headset, which allows for the internal routing which does look really neat but it may pose a little bit of an issue with headset maintenance making it a little bit more fiddly, but with that said, it does look a lot nicer and without the frame ports and your frame integrity has no compromises. There is also plenty of frame protection, a chain stay protector. The EP8 motor comes with a standard bar display with an ‘on-off’ switch integrated into the top tube along with a setting adjuster/shifter next to your left grip. There is also a neat little charging port on the non-drive side of the bike integrated into the frame just above the motor. 

[E]: Hit us with the key numbers (frame geo, travel, wheelsize, etc?)

The Repeater is available in four sizes ranging from Small to X-Large.  The large we tested runs 480mm in the reach, but with the small to XL ranging from 425mm to 510mm in reach. Of course, the quirks and perks of this rig are designed around Transition ‘SBG’ technology and ‘Giddyup’ suspension design. This bike runs a 64-degree head angle, 455mm chain stays and 77.4 degree seat tube angle. One thing to note is this varies a little between sizes, so your kind of getting a custom fit with this bike depending on how tall you are as a rider.

As mentioned above, this bike runs 29-inch wheels front and rear and 160mm of travel front and back. Based on these angles alone, you can tell Transition weren’t mucking around when they were designing this thing, because this sucker really is equipped to eat any gnarly decent. The Repeater has also stuck with its tried and tested 205 x 65mm trunnion mounted shock design supported by a ‘Horst Link’ activated suspension platform, the suspension kinematic and leverage curve make this bike compatible with air or coil shocks which is super cool.

To make it simple, the design of this bike is rather similar to its naturally aspirated counterpart being the ‘Sentinel.’ Based on the history and reputation of that bike alone, rest assured if the Repeater performs even half as good as that weapon it will no doubt be staple in Transitions list of super impressive mountain bikes. 

[E]: Hit us with the key details of all of the ‘e’ running gear that Transition have chosen for the Repeater? (motor, battery size, etc, etc)

Okay, so what’s this sucker got you ask? As mentioned before Transition have you covered with several build kits for the Repeater. The bike we tested came stock with some pretty damn impressive components which included a Fox Float X2 Factory air shock, Fox Float 38 Factory Fork, SRAM XG 1295 cassette, Shimano EM900 cranks, SRAM GX AXS rear mech, SRAM XX1 12spd Chain, SRAM GX AXS shifter, OneUp Carbon Bars (800mm), ANVL Swage 40mm stem, ODI Elite Flow lock-on grips, Magura MT7 brakes, DT Swiss Hybrid HX 1700 wheels, Schwalbe Magic Mary tyres, ANVL Forge saddle and OneUp dropper post. Overall, we reckon the build of this thing is a little different and super shhhmick! What’s not to like about it really?! 

Tell us a bit more about the bike’s power unit? 

The EP8 motor is a tried and test platform, with the crew from Shimano making a ton of finer improvements on their motors since their inception into the eBike market, the motor has a smooth power delivery with plenty of torque. It also has your standard, walk, economy, trail, and boost settings depending on what style of ride your keen on along with the distance. The weight of the rider and elevation you intend on tackling will all impact on the time and distance you will get from this motor and I know a lot of you may think a 630-watt battery is a little on the small side, however we have done a ton of bike riding aboard the Repeater and if you’re out for some longer laps, riding the bike in the eco or trail setting really does conserve the power. We left the boost setting for our local DH laps as it does tend to suck the juice very quickly, although for the size of this battery and weight of the bike collectively, I can see why they went with this happy medium as it covers all bases and is still very economic. Overall, we never had an issue with longevity. 

The performance of the EP8 motor is excellent, the only little blight on this motor is the clutch is a little noisy, but under pedal load it’s nice and quiet.

[E]: As we mentioned above, this is the first ‘e-Bike’ that Transition have come out with and on paper is looks rather closely aligned with the DNA of the brands long travel trail bike the ‘Patrol’ all be it the Repeater has 29” wheels front and rear where the Patrol is now a mullet. Given than the Repeater appears to be based off of one of the most popular bike’s in Transitions ‘regular MTB’ range, what does that seem to give away about the type of rider and the type of riding experience that Transition have aimed their debut e-Bike at?

True, but interestingly we actually found this bike a little more akin to the Sentinel, all-be-it with the ride performance of the Patrol so it’s kind of in-between those two models. Based on the numbers and angles above it’s no secret that this bike is best suited to those riders with aggressive intentions. This sucker is built for the more gravity orientated rider who really wants to explore the outer realms of e-biking. In saying that, we still don’t think this design excludes people who are after more subtle riding experience, if you want that little bit of extra stability and supply performance from the additional travel and you’re not the type of rider who risks trips to the hospital, rest assured you’re still going to enjoy riding this bike. 

[E]: Tell us a bit about the ‘heft’ of the bike – when you first picked it up were you pleasantly surprised?

Weight is at times a bit of a controversial topic when it comes to MTB’s across the board, what best or what’s too much? This bike comes in around 22kg which may sound like a lot, but in comparison to some fully fledged eBikes running a full-sized battery it’s actually rather light.  As we’ve mentioned in a lot of prior eBike reviews, the additional weight at times is a real benefit as the bike tends to remain more planted and controlled over heavier terrain and faster lines, sure you have to ride the bike a little differently to your regular whip, braking a littler earlier and tipping into turns a little earlier due to the additional weight but it doesn’t really effect the pedalling performance due to the obvious advantaged with the motors assistance. Overall, this bikes balance and weight is right on point in comparison to other eBikes which are of a similar design. 

[E]: When you first threw your leg over the bike and started to ‘set it up’ ahead of its maiden trip to the trails, did it feel like a nice place to sit, or did it take a bit of fiddling to get it comfortable?

To be honest, we really liked this bike from the onset, sure we tweaked the suspension settings and basic adjustments around tyre pressures, stack height, lever and brake setting, seat heights and so on. But as far as ride performance went from the onset the one thing we really liked is that it felt like a Transition. We know that’s a funny comment but considering we ride a ton of test bikes, we tend to get to know the quirks and perks of a lot of bike brands and how they tend to feel. So, for a company to come out with a new eBike and still hit the mark with the feel and performance which aligns with their other bikes was damn impressive. This bike is long, low and slack and built for descending, however, it has a nice and comfortable cock pit area and seat position which made the Repeater super comfortable to ride for extended periods. Once the dropper was down though you had plenty of room to shift your weight around over the bike and rear wheel, making it excellent on the trickier terrain. 

[E]: Alright, let’s rip into the main ‘meat and veg’ that everyone wants to know about, how does this bike ride and handle? What was going through your mind as you were heading home after that first ride?

To be blunt, yes, this bike is a keeper! After the initial ride we were bloody impressed, sure the rig really ties into the style of riding the test team love at [R]evo / [E]evo so we always try to remain rather objective with our opinion. But seriously, what’s not to like? We have already done a ton of riding aboard this steed; it climbs well, as the steeper seat tube allows you to weight the front wheel, so it doesn’t wander. The shorter offset fork counters the wheelbase so it not a slug through the corners. The lower stand over height lets you really centre and transfer your weight around easily which inspires confidence in riding, that along with the wheelbase and chain stay length, the bike is super balanced and steady over the speedy rough stuff yet nimble enough to navigate tech section and tear through corners.

The overall performance of this eBike as a whole could be described in one word, ‘ADDICTIVE.’ 

[E]: If there’s one thing we’ve always really loved about Transition Bike’s here at [E]vo and [R]evo it is that they’re always designed to be ridden HARD and love to party on the trails; hitting big jumps and never shying away from the gnarliest sections of trail. Does the brand’s first ever e-Bike live up that mantra or does this bike mark a new, more mellow chapter for the North American brand? 

100%! I know the shredders at Supersports Australia won’t mind us saying this, but we have really given this bike an absolute flogging since we’ve had it. It’s no secret our test team are huge fans of Transition Bikes, so we knew this rig was up to the task. We’ve done some decent XC loops, enduro sessions, DH Laps and hit some pretty heavy terrain from rocks, roots, to berms and booters. Suffice to say we didn’t take it easy on this bike. When you begin to expect a lot from a bike brand like we do with Transition at times we really go that extra mile to explore the outer realms of what their bikes are made of. Well, the Repeater had us all munching on humble pie because it didn’t skip a beat. It corners well, pedals, and climbs well and descends even better than anticipated. This suspension design provides a super supply feel from the onset yet a positive, confident progressive feel on the heavier lines.

The Repeater is also still rather playful as well for an eBike and just bloody fun to ride, not to mention the fact is comes decked out with a bunch of super cool, reliable parts. So, Punks, you’re not getting any younger, you work hard, and you know you want one. If eBikes are your jam then why not treat yourself to owning a really, really nice one? [R]


Frame // Full carbon

Size options // S-XL

Fork travel // 160mm

Rear travel // 160mm

Wheel size // 29”

Motor // Shimano EP8

Battery // 630Wh

Spec // The Repeater is available in 3 spec choices – check website for full details. 

Weight // 21.9kg as tested

Price // From $14,199.00

Browse // www.supersports.net.au