mtb magazine not understanding DJ


Turbo Monkey
Nov 17, 2006
I know this review of the Transition BLT is a few years old, but I just came across it and thought the "traditional mountain bike perspective" of a DJ-MTB with BMX aspects was interesting.


July 14, 2015

The review:
1) Explains why someone would want a DJ bike at all. (Clearly intended for an audience of non-DJ riders)

2) Explains what pump tracks are. (Duh).

3) "The creak of a Press-Fit bottom bracket would be unbearable on a frame that sees as much strain as a dirt jumper. Therefore, Transition stuck with a much-appreciated, 73-millimeter threaded bottom bracket shell." This makes no sense. Almost all BMX bikes have press fit bearing bottom brackets, and there is not a creaking problem.

4) "Slipped wheels were a daily occurrence in the horizontal dropouts of our childhood jump bikes, but the BLT combats this using tapered dropouts that essentially lock the axle into place." That's interesting that Transition designed the horizontal slots this way, but it's absurd that slipped wheels are a daily occurrence in horizontal dropout bikes generally. Once again, just shows the writer's lack of BMX experience.

5). "The 0 millimeters of bottom bracket drop was our favorite aspect of the geometry, as it enabled us to pull up a wheelie with ease and practice keeping it up through sections of bumps." This is a good comment, but could have been explained more. Many BMX 24"s have zero-ish bb drop, but many DJ 26" MTB's have around 1" bb drop.

6) "While 100 millimeters of fork travel is certainly more common on dirt jumpers from other manufacturers, Transition decided to slap an 80-millimeter-travel RockShox Argyle RC on the front of the bike. Photos of riders launching high into the air may make you wonder why a shorter amount of travel would be beneficial, but that’s simply coming from a traditional mountain biking train of thought. Dirt jumps and pump tracks have baby-smooth surfaces and transitions that are forgiving. Unless a rider charges into a jump with far too much speed and lands in the flat, 80 millimeters of travel is more than sufficient to provide control and support." This is a good point. Definitely shows the "traditional mountain biking train of thought" since a BMX rider would not assume you need a suspension fork at all in order to jump--BMX ers are more concerned that a sus fork will mess up their pop off a lip.

7) "The awkward angles of the Kore Rivera handlebar were immediately apparent from the moment we jumped on the bike. With 10 degrees of backsweep and 2 degrees of upsweep, one of our testers even mentioned the OE handlebar making the BLT feel like a “dirt-jump cruiser.” Add the 65 millimeters of handlebar rise and the handlebar left us feeling wobbly and unstable throughout our testing. While handlebar-rise preferences are very subjective, and some riders may enjoy the massive amount of rise in the stock bars, we still suggest upgrading to a bar with 50 millimeters of rise or less, as well as a maximum backsweep angle of 5 degrees." Once again, this shows the author's lack of BMX and DJ experience. 10 degree backsweep X 2 degree upsweep is extremely common with BMX handlebars. 5 degree backsweep is not common in BMX, except for in flatland (zero to 5 degree). Also the reason for running the taller rise bar is because the fork is low at 80mm travel AND the bottom bracket is an inch higher than normal.

8) "We’d eventually want to upgrade the crankset to one that provides a more solid contact point with our feet, but it certainly didn’t detract from our riding experience during testing." More solid contact point with feet? What are they talking about? The pedals? The shape of the crank arms?

9) "Even with one test rider at 6 feet tall with a long torso, the size-large felt stretched out and left him positive the 1-inch-shorter reach of the small would have been more suited to his riding style." This is a valid point. 17" reach compares to like a 23.5" top tube on a Black Market Edit 1 http://blackmarketbikes.com/product/476/. At the same time, being tall and running low bars and low fork does make a bike feel more stretched out.


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