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Bike Review: Transalpes BM 650B – a loaded gun!

It is truly unbelievable! As little as one year ago, not only were the end customers confused, but also the entire industry: 26”, 27.5”, OR 29”? Which wheel size should work out? Which size would be accepted by the customers? Good question!

Transalpes BM 650B

Transalpes BM 650B

Transalpes, a small but exquisite Swiss bike maker, created the BM650B even before the 27.5” boom started. A 160 mm enduro, running on 650B wheels: nice call, considering it was last year. We tested a high-end version of the BM650B (individual module principle) and completely forgot about all the discussions about wheel sizes.

In the end, it is about the riding characteristics and not about artificial categorization on the basis of wheel sizes. We rather devoted ourselves to questions like: ready to race, Alpencross, or Sunday enduro? For what kind of biker is the Transalpes the best choice?

Every single Transalpes is designed according to customers’ wishes in the manufacturer’s headquarters near Zurich. We ordered a light, durable, and fast bike.

The Transalpes BM 650B in action!

Said and done:

Stefan Gruber supplied us with our desired bike in a light raw finish. The chassis was equipped with a RockShox Pike at the front and Monarch Plus shock at the rear. On top of that, it had a SRAM XX1 drivetrain, a 150mm KindShock LEV telescopic seatpost, and a wide KORE cockpit.

A special treat was the handmade wheels with NoTubes ZTR Crest rims (immediately changed to tubeless) and Acros hubs. With this spec, the scale stops at 12.1 kg (excluding pedals).

Hit the trails:

With a central, slightly stretched seating position we are off to the trails. The BM650B surprises with its incredible light-footedness on uphills. Thanks to the 442mm chainstays in combination with the slightly stretched seating position and a steep seating angle of 74°, the bike rewards us with a very ergonomic and efficient pedaling position. Also, the front wheel sticks to the ground even on steep ascents. The chassis reacts quite calmly to pedaling.

Transalpes BM 650B in Action

The Transalpes feels truly at home on fast trails. Length and stiff wheels convey stability, while the forgiving chassis effectively flattens out bumps and, in combination with the Hans Dampf tires, offers nice grip. While the rear suspension has a linear action, the Pike fork naturally remains rather high in its travel. Especially in steeper sections or fast corners it is possible to apply more pressure to the front without causing the fork to dive.

A little emphasis is needed for handling the bike around very tight corners, but it is a real pleasure to accelerate out of berms with the Transalpes.

The very functional equipment passed the test. Only the light Selle Italia saddle had to bite the dust ahead of time, due to a (serious!) riding error.

The 160 mm of rear travel is used relatively linearly and can be fully exploited. The Monarch Plus shock is equipped with three compression and rebound settings. The 160 mm of rear travel is used relatively linearly and can be fully exploited. The Monarch Plus shock is equipped with three compression and rebound settings.

Unobtrusively good. The KindShock LEV telescopic seatpost convinces with an ergonomic lever, lots of travel (150mm), and a flawless performance. The external cable guide provides simple servicing and remains static, meaning the cable does not move on extension and retraction.

Unobtrusively good. The KindShock LEV telescopic seatpost convinces with an ergonomic lever, lots of travel (150mm), and a flawless performance. The external cable guide provides simple servicing and remains static, meaning the cable does not move on extension and retraction.

The RockShox Pike is a state-of-the-art fork in the trail segment. With sensible response characteristics, forgiving behavior, a progressive spring rate curve, and its lightweight chassis, it knows how to impress. The rebound settings and the 3-fold compression damping offer a nice balance. The stanchion sag indicator assists here as well.

The RockShox Pike is a state-of-the-art fork in the trail segment. With sensible response characteristics, forgiving behavior, a progressive spring rate curve, and its lightweight chassis, it knows how to impress. The rebound settings and the 3-fold compression damping offer a nice balance. The stanchion sag indicator assists here as well.

A true feel-good-factor: the wide KORE cockpit, in combination with the 50mm stem, provides ideal control at the front. Transalpes is Switzerland’s general importer of the brands KORE, Acros, NoTubes, and KindShock.

A true feel-good-factor: the wide KORE cockpit, in combination with the 50mm stem, provides ideal control at the front. Transalpes is Switzerland’s general importer of the brands KORE, Acros, NoTubes, and KindShock.

The wheels are hand-built individually and ideally tailored to the rider at the Transalpes headquarters in Switzerland. Therefore, the rider can choose between lighter or more robust rims. Excellent service: tubeless comes as standard.

The wheels are hand-built individually and ideally tailored to the rider at the Transalpes headquarters in Switzerland. Therefore, the rider can choose between lighter or more robust rims. Excellent service: tubeless comes as standard.

To sum up, the Transalpes is an all-round enduro bike, just as anyone would desire: no frills and simply reduced to what is actually important! The light but functional equipment, in combination with the potent chassis, ensures loads of riding fun on both uphills and downhills. Thanks to the well-balanced geometry, it does well even on demanding crossings of the Alps – true to its name of Transalpes!

Price: CHF 6890.- weight: 12,1 kg (excluding pedals) More Info: www.transalpes.ch

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Words: Robin Schmitt | Photos: Axel Brunst

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Robin Schmitt
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