Banshee Spitfire V2 Dave Baillargeon (7).jpg
EDITORIAL | PART 2

Min-Max: Dave's Banshee Spitfire V2

Words Andrew Major
Photos Dave Baillargeon (Unless Noted)
Date Mar 18, 2022
Reading time

Thanks For Playing

Within a day of Min-Max YOUR Mountain Bike, Part 1 hitting the front page, I had enough emails to put together a few of these pieces a month for the rest of the year. I hope that I managed to get back to everyone - apologies if I somehow missed you - to say thank you and that I really appreciate the offers of photos, information, and thoughts about your rigs. It's so easy to get caught up in the new-new that, if nothing else, it was really sweet to see and hear how many folks are keeping their rigs running years after the initial purchase date, or making mountain biking more affordable by bring a keen eye and their own wrenching abilities to the used market.

Yes, there is a 'yeah, but' coming. I didn't have to open very many emails before a troubling trend had ear-wormed Chumbawumba into my brain perhaps for the rest on time: "he rides a Kona bike, he rides a Banshee bike, she rides a Kona bike, he rides a Banshee bike. He rides the trails that remind him of the good times, she rides the trail that remind her of the better times." Compliments to both those bike brands but there are only so many ways to dress a V2 Banshee or '14-'17 Process. Why those bikes in particular? Big bearings and frame construction that err towards survivability over gram savings probably means a high percentage of them are still in use. The only submission I've had from the first decade of the noughties has been a Kona as well.

I have some other rigs lined up now - a Rocky Mountain, a Devinci - but the flood of submissions involving those two brands is worthy of note. I do find it interesting that while most companies have adapted their designs since the mid 2010s, neither of those popular platforms has mounts to accommodate a water bottle in the front triangle. Maybe not the deal breaker it was billed as?

SQLab 60X Titan NSMB AndrewM.JPG

Short or long dropouts, legacy 142 or Boost 148 spacing, high or low positions. Banshee's bikes are a model of nerd-brand adaptability whether it's keeping up with standard changes or just keeping the owner interested. Photo: Andrew Major

Wolf Tooth GeoShift 2 NSMB AndrewM (3).JPG

Whether it's Wolf Tooth or Works, a good quality -2° angleset is going to slacken the head tube angle while steepening the seat tube angle, with reach staying more or less the same. Photo: Andrew Major

Okay, so before I get any texts from my Banshee V2 loving friends, yes it is possible to get a side loading cage or Fidlock bottle into the front triangle - of the larger sizes at least - like the V2 generation of the Process bikes. The Fidlock mounts get attached to the underside of the top tube, and it's not a big effort to get a sideloading cage physically secured to the forward shock mount. I've seen it done with piggyback shocks even, at least on an XL Spitfire, but as with any home-bodging, please take some measurements before spending money or modifying components.

Banshee V2

I had a few friends buy Banshees when the V2 models hit the market. In addition to great geometry and suspension performance, there were two key features of those early Spitfires and Runes that made them very desirable. They were readily available as framesets for riders looking for longer, lower, and slacker bikes who had high-end build kits on their current rigs. Also, the dropout system meant they could be built as 26 or 27-inch-wheeled bikes without faffing about tight tire clearance or lower than desired bottom bracket heights. Many riders had invested heavily in high-end 26" wheels and were not ready to switch to larger 650b hoops, but by buying a Banshee and a slightly taller 27" compatible fork, they were able to future proof themselves. As it would turn out, Banshee's excellent dropout system would bring future compatibility wins by making it possible to switch between Legacy 142 rear wheel spacing and Boost 148.

Going back to the geometry charts from nine or ten model years ago, I'd also forgotten how on point Banshee's V2 numbers were for the time. In 2013 their 140mm trail bike was running a 66° HTA. The Reach numbers look a bit short now and one big fit improvement Banshee put into V3 was the addition of size-specific head tube lengths and stack measurements, and seat tubes were longer then than current dropper post travel trends would allow but, again, twenty-thirteen. The longer travel Rune V2 sported a 64.5° HTA for a 160mm platform and both frames feature 44/56 headtubes which means a -2° Angleset installation is no problem. As a total aside, with the 44/56 head tubes it really seems like -3° should be possible.

Banshee Spitfire V2 Geometry Chart.jpg

The Banshee V2 geometry chart has aged fairly well, especially for a bike that was released in 2013. Not mentioned here is that the swap outs mean the frame is compatible with both 142x12mm or 148x12mm rear hub standards. The 44/56 headtube would have me dropping in a -2° headset. The 17.7" seat tube in the size large I ride should allow me to run a 170mm dropper post from most brands - and a 180mm from OneUp.

Two more things before I jump into Dave's bike specifically. The first is that since these V2 Banshees were designed around the use of a front derailleur, they have ample clearance for adjusting chainline inboard, running a more micro-drive setup with a 28t or 26t chainring, or never running a manual-shift 2x setup with a pair of narrow-wide rings. Heck, I suppose you could even run a front derailleur if that's your jam. The nice thing about the KS Link suspension working well with a smaller chainring is that the owner of a 2x bike can easily make the switch to a single ring up front without having to buy a new rear derailleur (and likely a shifter) with a ground-dragging cage. For example, a 2x10 drivetrain with a clutch-equipped derailleur will easily shift an 11-42t SunRace cassette mated to a narrow-wide ring up front for the least expensive and best performing 1x option.

I was talking to a couple of friends who ride on a tight budget about this particular machine and they started getting very thirsty about picking up a used Spitfire or Rune V2. If that's you as well, then I'll be the first to share their disappointment that these machines are both fairly rare and expensive on the used market. Given I have friends who rode theirs raw without a whimper I'd attribute this to a combination of folks holding onto their frames and also these being the sort of used frames that you'd confidently sell to someone you like.

It's easy to forget what a revelation these rigs were for Banshee coming off the previous generation's bushing suspension platform and the extreme headaches they delivered to riders and dealers alike. I know riders who swore off ever owning a Banshee after their experiences in 2010-12, with the similar silhouetted frames, yet here I am talking about what a hit the 2013+ KS Link frames still are almost a decade later.

Banshee-Spitfire-NSMB-KazYamamura-8-1.jpg?w=1600

The KS Link works well with a variety of shocks, basic or high-end. The Spitfire wasn't specifically marketed as being great with a coil or air shock like the Rune was, but enough people love them with coil springs that I think it's a viable option. Photo: Kaz Yamamura

Banshee-Spitfire-NSMB-KazYamamura-10-1.jpg?w=1600

What's with all the front derailleurs on NSMB lately? The first change I'd make to our 2013 "DHers XC Bike" review rig would be to drop the front shifter for a 1x conversion. The frame is stealth routing ready, so I'd get a shifter-style dropper remote at the same time. Photo: Kaz Yamamura


"To be honest, I've been looking at upgrading to a new bike for a few years, but have yet to find the right machine that's enough of an improvement over the Spitfire that would justify the expense." -Dave

Dave's Spitfire

Dave's Spitfire hails from the calendar year 2014, which makes it about 8 years old. It was supposed to be "matte black or raw" but as it often goes with smaller brands and availability he ended up with bright orange. I'd never seen one of these in Safety Orange before now. It looks great. He's the original owner and it's been a great platform for a range of terrain from Utah, to Minnesota, to his current digs on the North Shore. of Lake Superior. He's the original owner, and was quick to note that as good as the bike is it's not like he hasn't been tempted by the newer machines in that time.

He says, "to be honest, I've been looking at upgrading to a new bike for a few years, but have yet to find the right machine that's enough of an improvement over the Spitfire that would justify the expense." He's demoed a few bikes and the only one that really grabbed his attention on the trail was the latest generation of the Pivot Switchblade and the bike that most recently piqued his interest is the Arizona based brand's newest model, the Shadowcat. At 7600 USD, with an XT build, less what he could sell the Spitfire for, that's a substantial upcharge. As an old* bike shop guy he'd rather start with a frame-up build, which is increasingly an issue with many manufacturers who either do not offer frame-only options or price them similarly to the entry-level build option for a given platform.

*it's all relative

If it was my Spitfire I'd start by talking about a -2° Angleset and a mullet front wheel setup, but interestingly Dave's potential new love isn't really that much of a stretch from the Banshee if you look at the Shadowcat geometry chart and it's a dual-27" bike as well. That makes it clear to me that Dave knows what he likes in terms of the smaller hoops and best geometry for his local terrain. It's a good reminder that whether it's tires, bar height, or over-forking, that there's personal preference given terrain profile and sports surface, and that personal preferences can change if we plant roots somewhere other than a Pacific rainforest.

Banshee Spitfire V2 Dave Baillargeon (3).jpg

Dave doing some shredding. His Spitfire runs a 150mm 2014 RockShox fork and first-gen Cane Creek Inline Air. Both have been serviced often enough to keep them running but maybe not quite as often as the manufacturers would prefer.

Banshee Spitfire V2 Dave Baillargeon (2).jpg

A 1x10 SRAM GX drivetrain moves the chain up and down an 11-40t SunRace cassette. The current rear wheel spacing is 142x12 but if Dave was changing wheels he'd buy the dropouts and axle from Banshee to go Boost 148.


"Sure, I'd like a bit more reach, a steeper STA and a water bottle on the frame, but not that much." -Dave

Dave's Upgrades

If it seems I've written a lot about Banshee V2s in general and less about Dave's personal Spitfire, that's by design. There just isn't a ton to say here in terms of recommending changes. Dave's a pretty typical mountain biker in that he's upgraded parts as they've worn out or when higher performance options became available and with an eye to value - whether it's the best-for-the-buck Magura MT5 stoppers with HC lever blades or the extensive warranty on the 170mm Crankbrothers Highline dropper. The drivetrain is 10-speed SRAM GX with a SunRace 11-40t cassette that's easily ranged by the GX clutch derailleur. He's replaced a worn out GX rear derailleur once already and they're still available, so as long as his shifter is working there's money to be saved sticking with one less gear at either end of the cog.

The RaceFace Atlas pedals he runs are easy to service with a kit that's readily available for 66 CAD, including the fitting to press the guts in and out. Admittedly paying a shop to do that work starts getting into the realm of a decent set of fresh aluminum pedals, and the kit itself is already around the price of a pair of excellent OneUp Composite pedals, but Dave can overhaul his RaceFace pedals himself, so if the grip is good why not keep them running? As I did in my Daemon review, I'll say here that silver is the only colour that metal pedals should come in. If you're going to keep them fresh inside, why not have them stay looking fresh outside as well?

If I had just bought the bike used, the first thing I'd change is the saddle. Partly due to personal preference but I also think if Dave was on a flatter saddle pushed forward a bit, he'd find the seat tube angle worked better for him. The first saddles I'd try would be shorter as well, either a WTB Koda for a more budget option or a BikeYoke Sagma for someone looking for max comfort from a saddle that moves with the rider somewhat. I'd also be switching to a 31.8 aluminum bar with a bit more back sweep and flex but presumably the carbon Six-C works great for Dave. Same goes for the lock-on grips.

Banshee Spitfire V2 Dave Baillargeon (5).jpg

Dave's not the only rider I know with this generation of carbon Next cranks still spinning with tight pedal inserts. Based on personal experience I'd be budgeting for some replacement arms - either Race Face Aeffect R or Turbine arms depending on whether Dave prefers a 24mm or 30mm spindle.

Banshee Spitfire V2 Dave Baillargeon (6).jpg

Magura MT5 brakes with red caliper pucks for a custom look. This setup is running the longer Banshee V2 dropout option in conjunction with the paired 27" wheels. In the low bottom bracket setting this makes for a 437mm chainstay. Hidden behind the rotor is a Hope Evo hub, which is widely supported in terms of spare parts.

Dave's Suspension

Dave's build runs on a pair of Hope Evo hubs, so there are a number of very clean options to convert the front or rear to work with Boost spacing. It's nice to know that the Banshee frame can easily be swapped out to Boost 148, but the thing about buying a 142x12 Hope hub up front is that the purchase price includes Hope's excellent reputation for long term small parts support, so it's doubtful that there's any worry about updating the rear.

The Cane Creek Inline Air has been faultless, which wasn't always the case with the first generation of their Inline shocks, so Dave is going to keep riding that until it gives up the ghost. These original Inline Air shocks were very high volume - similar to the CCDB Air with an XVol air can - and didn't work well in plenty of bikes on the market but the KS-Link on these V2 Banshee bikes plays very well with a coil shock so it makes sense that the most linear air options would work well also. If this was my bike I'd be very tempted to start saving my nickels for a Cane Creek Inline Coil shock to coax the most performance out of the shorter travel bike, but for a lighter bike weight and more pop on smooth and fast trails, an air spring makes perfect sense.

It's likely that Pike won't be mounted on the front of the Spitfire too much longer now that Dave's come around to the idea that he's going to be riding this Banshee for some years yet. With their reputation for quality and customer support and his own experiences behind him, the first choice for a replacement fork is a Cane Creek Helm. One really nice feature of the Helm is how quick and easy it is to adjust the travel with the included spacers. So Dave could run his Spitfire at the current 150mm but also try it with a longer 160mm or 170mm setup or shorter at 140mm. It's nice being able to confirm your happy place by trying some different options.

Banshee Spitfire V2 Dave Baillargeon (7).jpg

Other than a smaller and flatter saddle like a Koda or Sagma, and changing the bar to my preferred sweep, I could happily ride Dave's Spitfire build tomorrow. Well, I'd add a some Fidlock mounts to the underside of the top tube or a side loading cage in front of the upper shock mount and a -2° Angleset, but the point is this rig has been well-maintained and thoughtfully upgraded. If push came to shove I imagine most riders would be happy on this mountain bike.

Banshee Spitfire V2 Dave Baillargeon (4).jpg

Maybe a pink Cane Creek Helm with safety orange decals to really round out a look at me palette? I'd be budgeting to replace the carbon cranks and the 8-year-old air shock as well but that's a fraction of the price difference between riding this rig and buying a new one with an equivalent spec. Heck, with a Cane Creek Inline Coil and Helm on the front, Magura MT5 brakes, Hope hubs, and a GX drivetrain, what would a freshie cost?

I think the neatest thing about the Banshee Spitfire V2 is looking at photos, perusing the geometry chart, and realizing most riders would be happy riding this rig. It's still a great looking bike, it's running standards that are all supported with the added bonus of being able to easily update to Boost 148 for the rear wheel. The geometry is really close to some equivalent 150/140mm bikes being launched today and the 44/56 headset is compatible with a -2° Angleset if you really want to push it. They aren't light, but I'm certain that's part of the reason I still see plenty of them on the trails. A bunch of older bikes, including many from 2013 that I've looked at also require some thoughtful drilling to make them stealth-dropper compatible, so that's a nice bonus too.

I think it will be neat to follow up with Dave again in a couple of years and see if he's still running the Spitfire and what he's changed on it. I'm guessing he will have dropped a couple grand into a fork, shock, cranks, and a saddle. He will have bled the brakes and replaced the pads a few times and maybe the rotors once too. It may not matter for his local topography, but I'd love to hear his feedback about how it climbs and descends after trying a -2° headset or even slapped a friend's 140mm 29er fork and wagon wheel combo on to try something different. I bet it will have a bottle inside the front triangle, too.

All in all this bike is already looking min-maxed with powerful brakes, long-term hubs, a 1x10 drivetrain, updating to an on-trend long dropper post, and staying on top of suspension service for a long life. Would you ride it? What would you change if you suddenly found it hanging in your garage?

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Comments

mark-macnab
Mark MacNab
2 months ago
+4 bishopsmike Lynx . Andrew Major Velocipedestrian

I'm very much digging the Min-Max thing.     Mostly because it has validated via a label what I've been doing for the last several years to a 2013 Knolly endorphin.

for several years my growing son hoovered up my bike budget so I was forced to continue ripping on the Gen2 Endorphin.    ..which was no hardship as it's proven to be extraordinarily capable, versatile and I think was ahead of it's time on the geometry front.   

It also proved to be a very capable platform for updates with a 27.5 front end, conversion from 2x8 to 1x10, then finally 1x11.     It's still a capable bike but it's trajectory from light trail to heavy trail / light enduro found the limit at the fox 36 @ 160.  That was the point where the 26" & 145 back end struggled to keep pace with the front.      

So, i've dialed it back to a fox 34 and a lighter duty 'trail-centric' build to get it back to a more balanced trim and picked up a 'new to me' Warden now that the child is funding his own bike.

but yeah,   I'm entertained by this min-max series!

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+2 Velocipedestrian Mark MacNab

Cheers! Plenty more machines in the queue as long as folks stay interested.

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Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
+3 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Stripes The Tiger

Sweet. Been waiting for these to start and wasn't surprised to hear the 2 brands that kept popping up as long term, OG owner bikes, not looking to be replaced any time soon ;-) Can't agree more, Banshees may not be the lightest frames out there, but they last and as said, geo was on point 10 years ago. When you're ready, my Phantom V1 is back up and running and I'm loving the heck out of it, pics being stock piled as I do more rides :-)

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+1 Stripes The Tiger

Phantom is such an interesting bike in the same vein as the 111 and Smuggler, and I’m definitely keen to put something together - and think it’s a very different machine from the Spitfire/Rune. 

Let me get a few non-Banshee bikes up and I’ll hit you back!

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Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Grif

Also don't forget the SB 4.5, it was toted by those who had ridden a Phantom as just a carbon copy of the Phantom. Never got to try one myself, but friend rented one on a trip to CO and he liked it a lot, but yeah, plastic and all that :-\

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

I’m not reading into it at this point - early days - but I went back over the emails I with the possible exception of one bike that could be aluminum or carbon (hasn’t confirmed yet) they’re all metal. 

I’ve seen a few older carbon bikes repaired by Robert’s Composites so it’s not that they aren’t out there. Plus, the big brands still sell more aluminum that carbon. Does get the curiosity creeping though.

Reply

mammal
Mammal
2 months ago
+2 bishopsmike @canopyclosure

You need to hit up Lee Lau for that carbon Trance or Reign that he got outta the dumpster, found a rear triangle for, bodged the broken pivot back together (JB weld?), splayed out to fit boost, and rode for a season or so.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+4 bishopsmike pedalhound delusional Robby

No, I’m good thanks.

Grif
Grif
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

I'm already super stoked on this series of articles, and I'd be especially stoked to see what people have done to their phantoms/111s/smugglers.

I have a V1 Smuggler that I haven't done much to besides replace worn out parts, so I'd be very interested to see how others have modernized similar bikes.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+2 bishopsmike Grif

If you'd be interested in firing me some photos and your spec list I'd be very into doing a hit on the Smuggler.

Reply

Grif
Grif
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

For sure, just need to take some half decent photos!

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

Awesome!

@canopyclosure
@canopyclosure
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Timer

Anyone have experience with the Banshee Prime V2? I just picked up a used one (frame) in good condition with a CC DB Air. Building up with good used parts I have on hand. Helm 150 coil, XT 11 speed, Turbine cranks, etc. Only additional items I'm having to buy is a 142x12 hub and new spokes. Trying a cheap ebay "Koozer" hub. Normally run Hope Pro 4's on all bikes, but taking a gamble on this Koozer. The end goal is for this bike to be a loaner.

Reply

pedalhound
pedalhound
2 months ago
+3 Lynx . Andrew Major Vik Banerjee

I owned and rode one for 5 years....went to Chromag for 5 and am now about to get on a v3 Prime...I dig Banshee's customer service, ease of maintenance and strength! Just great bikes and the company is run by great guys.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

Were you always 100% on the Prime or did you waiver at all towards the Phantom or Titan? I've had a few conversations lately about mid-travel bikes (like the Phantom) and how they may actually better serve most riders buying at the other ends of the travel spectrum. No hard/fast rules of course just some interesting jousts of bike nerdery.

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
+2 cheapondirt Andrew Major

No experience with a V2, but I still have my Pre-Production Prime from 2012, built using the DH tubeset of the Legend I think before comiting to doing a whole new tubeset for them, has a straight 1.5" HT. 

One bit of advice I'd give you, is even though it may have come with the 142x12 drop outs, do yourself a favour and get either the 150x12 or 148x12 if you can and build your wheel around either of those standards. I'd also say get the long/650B/29+ drop out, to me the longer stays definitely make it a more balanced bike.

Curious what your main bike is, because I have a feeling that it might start gathering dust once you finish building the Prime up and get some rides on it :-) LOL

Reply

@canopyclosure
@canopyclosure
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

Sent you a DM in regards to drop outs and what Banshee has told me. 

My main bike is a 2022 Specialized Enduro with a 170mm Lyric. I also regularly ride a custom hardtail with 64ish hta. I don't want to like the Enduro,  but it's the best bike I've owned in 25 years of riding.

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Timer
Timer
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

What information are you looking for? I'm using one of the last V2 Primes as my main rig. I'm very happy with it but i don't have much to compare it to.

Edit: One thing i did after the first two years was (very carefully) pop the main bearing seals and pack them with grease. No idea if this will actually extend bearing life but the stock bearings seemed a little more dry than i'd like.

Reply

@canopyclosure
@canopyclosure
2 months ago
0 Timer Devin Zoller

Just the fact that someone out there is still on a Prime V2 is good news! What size are you on and how tall are you?

Reply

Timer
Timer
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major @canopyclosure

I'm guessing many of the later V2s are still being ridden. When they came out they were some of the most capable 29ers. Now they are more of a general-purpose trailbike. I'm 180cm on a size large. Geo numbers on the Prime are a bit deceptive. Because the stack is so tall it feels bigger than the reach would suggest.

[Edit:] The Prime has a stock HTA of 66° with a 130mm fork. With the Helm, you are effectively looking at a 65° HTA. I have an angleset for my frame but haven't felt the need to install it yet. The terrain i usually ride might just not be steep enough.

Reply

@canopyclosure
@canopyclosure
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I agree. My Prime V2 is half built up at the moment.  Zero spacers under stem and only 10 degree riser bars to start with. In anticipation of tall stack out of the gate. Mulling over the possibility of cutting seat mast down a tad. Haven't taken measurements yet, but the thought has crossed me. Definitely will run some numbers before doing that, if I actually were to.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

How much extra space do you think you could get? 1-2cm? 

On one of my Marin's I managed to get about 1.5cm while still leaving enough room for a proper slot in the seat tube. It sounds like nothing but it was worth an extra 2cm of drop from my post.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+1 @canopyclosure

Some thoughts:

1) Air shock can/body/shaft wear is very common on used bikes if the previous owner hasn't maintained them regularly. The CCDB Air is fully supported by Cane Creek, so if any of these parts is worn it will certainly be cheaper to replace them as part of a service than to buy a new shock. 

That's probably still true if they're all cooked, but, given you're running a Helm Coil, the cost of doing all the air parts is very similar to the cost of converting the shock to a coil (including a spring). Do keep that in mind if you get bad news when you go to service your used shock. 

2) If the 'Koozer' isn't fit for task then you can always buy the dropouts and axle to convert the Price to Boost-148 and open up a wide world of hub options. 

3) I haven't ridden a Prime (which is weird because I think I've ridden every other V2 bike other than the Darkside) but I'd imagine it would love a -2° angleset if you're buying it something nice for your first anniversary together or whatever.

Reply

@canopyclosure
@canopyclosure
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

1) Yep, totally aware of potential used air shock issues. I have had the DB Air on other bikes prior so am familiar with it and Cane Creek services (first time was a 2013 Process 153). Actually spent many years racing on a team supported by CC and am very much a fan of their products and services (sans Thudbuster, ha ha!). The Prime having a used DB Air, was actually a bonus for me! 

2) Yep, working on obtaining the 148 drop outs from Banshee.  They are out of stock at the moment, but a plan is in the works. Definitely looking at the Koozer hub as an experiment. In hand it has the exterior quality of a nice hub, obviously the guts are in question though. It's worth Googling "Koozer hub" if unfamiliar with them. Got a 142x12 for 65$ U.S. Build my own wheels, so not a big deal shaping out hubs. 

3) Definitely a fan of -2 headsets. I ran a Works -2 on a Proccess 111 and it was awesome.  My daily riders are a 63.5 hta hardtail and a modern Spec Enduro, so I definitely appreciate sub 65 hta's. However,  since this Prime V2 is more of a project, loaner, N+3, I'm thinking I might keep the HTA stock as nostalgia (at least for now). We all know 67 hta's did work good enough at one point in time. And I actually think the V2 Prime is stock at 66 hta. 

Thanks for all the feedback.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+1 Wayners

I agree getting a CCDB Air/Coil with a used bike is one of the best things going. A lot of shocks simply aren't supported beyond seal kits and certainly one of the reasons for the shortage of legacy sizes over the last couple of years has been all the people buying used bikes with worn-out rear shocks that couldn't be repaired. 

Cool! I, obviously, love chatting about this stuff. Very nice of you to maintain a loaner bike (and a very nice loaner at that).

Reply

mammal
Mammal
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

Koozer hub: Not worth the gamble in my experience. I built one up a few years ago, and loose tolerances and soft aluminum caused the pawls to chew up pretty much everything inside the freehub.

Reply

@canopyclosure
@canopyclosure
2 months ago
0

Good to know! Thanks for sharing your experience.  Crossing fingers!

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
2 months ago
+2 Mammal Lynx .

As a rune V2 owner the only thing I would change would be a period-correct Wolftooth Giant Cog on an XT 11-36, from the early days of 1x.....

In all seriousness this is great. Makes me a proud owner and I love what Dave has done to this bike (and, what he hasn't changed)! You have some great inputs, and I may just consider an angleset on mine too. The coil shock would be an excellent addition, I know some guys got the DB coil with their frames and loved them. I settled on stocking up on o-rings and rebuild mine every so often.

Looking back, we were so lucky to have a small shop in our hometown in ontario become a banshee dealer in 2013, my best friend and I immediately jumped and bought a rune and darkside, both still running them today.

Reply

mammal
Mammal
2 months ago
+1 silverbansheebike

Darkside is/was a great bike too, and also my favorite place to ride on the shore;)

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

I think I was subconsciously influenced by Keith Scott in my decision to move across the country...

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
2 months ago
0

This comment has been removed.

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian

I've seen a number of folks cut the seat tubes/braces off bikes to get more dropper drop on a longer frame. Obviously it's a case by case thing whether or not that's a viable mod, but I wouldn't hesitate to try it if I was in that situation.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

If I get the chance to pick up an XL spitty front triangle I'll be right there with the dremel.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Alberto Ornelas

It’s funny how much of “new” geometry is just one size up with a shorter seat tube. 

And how a hack saw, drill, and file can really open up used bike options.

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Vikb
Vik Banerjee
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major DadStillRides

Back 2009 I was comfortably riding a XL frame. Now if I am grabbing a "normally" sized 2022 frame my go to size would be a medium. I've tried longer Reach and didn't enjoy it. At some point I lose more than I gain from a longer frame. I'm 5'11" so I tend to be recommended a large by bike company geo charts. I'm not suggesting shorter is better for everyone, but I would say optimal bike length is definitely something that varies from rider to rider...even if they are the same height.

I also don't like very steep STAs, but I can use a 1" setback dropper to make the STA slacker. This also makes the seated position bigger.

One benefit to all this is I could ride a somewhat older frame and get the length I want vs. needing something really cutting edge modern geo.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+2 Vik Banerjee bishopsmike

I would love to see more companies offer setback heads for dropper posts. Both for folks that want steeper STAs on their older rigs and folks (like me) who want slacker (effective) STAs when riding the new-new. 

I've been thinking a lot about Reach v. wheelbase lately. I love the wheelbase on the V2 but what if I accomplished the same thing with a shorter Reach and a combination of a slacker HTA and more fork offset? Ah, to have an infinite amount of money for an infinite amount of projects.

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Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Vik Banerjee

Yup, the only company doing the option of offset heads is 9point8 and not sure if you know, but with the most recent Fall Line R model, you have the choice of either rear offset 25mm, 0 offset, or forward offset 25mm. Can't wait till I can get a full rebuild kit for my OG FallLine, ran it for 4 years without doing anything other than loosening off the collar and applying a little new grease, I got it because it had a setback head option and that's what I got and use so as to get my preferred seated, pedaling position, relative to the BB.

I've settled on the fact that I like a wheelbase no longer than 48", that's about as big as I want so I can have a bike that's a capable all round bike. All of my bikes fall to that or less, Phantom is 47.25", Unit 47.5" and Prime 48" and they all feel very similar in how they handle, despite their difference Reach and stem lengths. Rear centre to front centre is something not many talk about, but it's what helps keep/make a bike feel balanced.

As to your Reach vs Wheelbase theory/query, that's effectively what you're doing when you use the drop outs to slacken the bike out instead of just a longer fork - the stays get shorter when you put them in the slack/low position, effectively keeping the WB just about the same, but giving a slacker STA and HTA.

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Vikb
Vik Banerjee
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

The dropper market is pretty competitive these days. I could see 9.8 going extinct. I'm ready to buy a couple if they go on clearance so I have a few years to figure out my next move.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

I look at the engineering creativity behind their Slack-R headset no to mention the inventory analysis and tracking that goes into the myriad of swappable combos and there’s simply no way they’re a bicycle concern first and foremost. 

I don’t know for a fact, but like True Precision (RIP) or Straitline (high precision prototyping and manufacturing) bicycles has to be a passion project?  So as long as the passion is there I doubt it matters how competitive the market is? And with so many brands charging as much for a dropper post as a (good) basic trail worthy  suspension fork it’s not like they aren’t covering their costs while keeping a competitive price.

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cheapondirt
cheapondirt
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I was on Straitline's website last night and sadly they are out of the bike parts business. Just selling their remaining inventory now.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

Yeah, it’s funny (or not) how brands come and go. Better to die off/be killed off than to become a zombie brand.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

I think 9point8 are the only ones doing a notable offset now? Specialized & KS both previously had options as well though certainly with much less drop and dubious reliability.

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Vikb
Vik Banerjee
2 months ago
+1 Lynx .

9.8 are the only 1" offset head dropper I know of that I'd want to ride. I've got two of them 4 & 5 years old now and going strong. 

I was chatting with PNW about an offset head a few years ago and the person I was talking to seemed surprised anyone would want that feature. It didn't sound like it would get any traction.

I'm happy using 9.8 droppers for the offset head, but I'd feel better knowing there was more than one option as they could stop making them.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+2 Nologo Vik Banerjee

I think the biggest issue with the 9point8 posts is they aren’t updating them regularly so they fall off of peoples’ radars due to a lack of noise. A clear example of the juxtaposition between “I wish companies would make stuff that lasts and not change it all the time” and “I’ll wait and buy the new one whenever it comes out.”

———

Being tied by tech to the first-gen Race Face Turbine dropper didn’t do them any favours either mind you.

Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

Yup, 9point8 Definitely make great products, although I've heard the other side too, but kind of find it hard since mine never gave any serious trouble a quick "reset" or fresh grease under the collar, didn't solve.

Almost forgot the sweet independent adjustment of Tilt from For/Aft adjustment, that's such an underrated thing if you need to remove the saddle for any reason, the only thing you have to do is get the saddle back to the same position in the clamps and you're good to go - quick little sharpie mark or tape on the rails makes that super easy.

mikeynets
mikeynets
2 months ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

Pretty much everything you wrote about Banshee's modular approach, Dave's bike (and his approach) and the V2 Spitty in general can be ported over to my V3 Spitty. When I retired my '15 Norco Sight, I was looking for a frame only to swap all the parts except for the dropper, including my 142 wheelset and 11spd X1 drivetrain. The shifter and derailleur still work incredibly well. 

Only significant change has been I recently put a 140 Z1 air up front with a +1.5 works headset to keep it from getting too slack (though in hindsight maybe it would've been just fine without it?)

If you revisit this concept in 8 years, I could easily see my V3 being a viable min-max machine at that time. 

Min-max tangential side note/question: most of my riding involves steep climbing where I really value the gearing of cassettes with 46 or larger low gear. But I'd happily run 9-11 spds and ditch the high gears of most wide range cassettes. In pursuit of a better chainline, is there any reason I couldn't take a cassette that has separate high gear cogs, ditch those and put some spacers inboard of the cassette to align the cluster more efficiently with the chainring?

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+2 Lynx . mikeynets

I loved the V3 Titan so I’d agree with the general assessment. I do wonder what will happen with Trunnion. I mean, it’s here to stay because many e-bikes couldn’t be packaged without it, but will companies beef up shocks to manage the extra loads and reduce wear? (Answer, yes - DVO is already doing this).

———

The only limiters in terms of removing a cog or two from your cassette and respacing is how many teeth a derailleur can handle at a certain position and that you need to use an HG driver. 

I’ve had good results with SRAM derailleurs design for 52t cogs running 11-46t cassettes spaced outwards. I haven’t played with this on Shimano 12spd derailleurs. Adult Lego! If it’s just a matter of investing some time and moving some cogs behind your cassette and resetting limits (you have the tools and expertise) then it’s absolutely worthwhile to invest the time in experimenting.

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HeyZeus
HeyZeus
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

makes me miss my spitty badly. I would definitely ride this bike!

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

It says a lot to me how many people I've talked to who would be very into owning/riding this bike when you consider it's 9-10 model years old.

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bishopsmike
bishopsmike
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

Reach was the #1 reason why I ended up selling my last bike (Ibis Mojo HD), even though everything else on it was rock solid.  I just couldn't find a good way for stem length or seat rails to match proper reach.  But my current bike is a 2017 (already old by some definitions), and I can't see changing it in the next 5+ years.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+1 bishopsmike

This is a topic I want to write about for a future piece. I mean, there are some XL frames that I'd happily ride now based on Reach/Stack numbers but between the slack STAs really strettttttttttching out the effective top tube measurement and the long-long seat tubes limiting dropper post options. It does make me wonder how many folks are out there with really long inseams for their heights?

It doesn't solve the question of seat tube length, but it's one more reason I'd love to see dropper post head options with offset (25mm? 35mm?). Run one way the offset would make bikes with super-steep seat angles more rideable for folks like me that like a slacker STA. Run the other way it would make the effective STA steeper on bikes like this Banshee where it may make the final difference in choosing between buying new or upgrading an existing rig. 

What ancient rig from 2017 are you running?

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bishopsmike
bishopsmike
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

My 2017 is a Pole Evolink, so funnily enough, it's pretty darn current for geometry trends.  I'm not tall (5'10), but I guess I have a relatively long torso (and zero legs).  I guess I've always needed a size small standover with a large reach, and so this bike is perfection.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

More bike fit options for the win. And yeah, five-year-old Evolink is plenty on-trend for most riders.

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mtbman99
mtbman99
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I owned a V2 Spitfire for a few months but it was run over by a careless driver. Sad day it was the first new bike for me in a very long time and if I could have purchased another to replace it I would have but that was not an  option at the time. I purchased it specifically because I had 26in wheels at the time and I wanted to future proof my bike. The bike rode really well for the amount of travel it had. Just be aware that if you are looking second hand there were some cracking issues with some batches of frames so keep an eye out.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

That's a sad day. 

------

Being wary of cracks on used bikes is a universal disclaimer. I've known a lot of folks with Banshee V2 frames and can't think of anyone who's broken theirs. I'm positive it's happened - everything breaks - but I've never heard someone claim that they had systemic failures.

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mammal
Mammal
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I've been a fanboi of the V2 banshees, not because I ever owned one, but because 2/3 of my Mainland riding friends picked up Rune frames between '13-'14 (a friend had a discount connection). I was still in the throws of a way-too-long stint of post secondary education that was financially crippling, and I was at the mercy of industry friends who could kick-down well beaten used frames. But man was I jealous of those rigs, they seemed like the perfect compromise of all-trial capability, battleship durability, fit, compatibility and decent pedaling efficiency. I'm pretty sure ALL 5 or 6 of those frames have moved on (2 of them only a year or two ago), but I'd bet they're all still making people happy somewhere.

Around 4 years ago I was still in cash recovery mode, but had started swapping frames around to better/newer rides, always keeping my eye out for a nice used Rune frame. None to be found, they were all out there being enjoyed, year after year after year.

One of the last of my friends to ditch his V2 Rune, wanted to try a 29er for his next bike, and actually ended up picking up a V2 Prime after finding a NOS frame for a REALLY good deal (of course he decided to sell it AFTER I finally broke down and bought my first new bike in 13 years). The funny thing is, that after finally building and riding it, he figured out that he actually would have preferred a mullet, because the 29er contact patch made things a bit boring for him. So really, he could/should have just kept the Rune, and swapped the fork/wheel for 29, keeping the 160mm capability. His riding style has really tilted more toward slow pedal/hike and plummet, so the Rune would still have been perfect for him. He's also a CNC machinist, and could make any swap-outs he could dream up.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+1 Mammal

Given how many frames are out there between V2 and V3 I almost (almost) wonder if there wouldn't be a market for some different geometry configurations.

Actually, the bikes I really, really wonder about for that are Kona hardtails - Unit, Honzo, ESD, Big Unit, Shonky, Explosif, etc - with sliders. They all take the same sliders and it strikes me that there may be a market for some longer wheelbase options?!

A guy can dream.

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mammal
Mammal
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I mean, if Cove can manage to make a 27.5 Shocker dropout, anything's possible.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+2 silverbansheebike Mammal

Hahaha! Exactly, it’s not like Kona and Banshee don’t have plenty of fans with access to machining time?!

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Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I could see maybe doing some geo adjust drop outs for the Unit, as in to raise or lower the rear axle and change geo that way, but longer :-O Don't think I'd want any longer than they can currently go to, mine measure 460mm/18.125" slammed all the way back.

What I do want is to get the 142x12 drop outs and try one of my Hope wheels with a 148 conversion kit, or even one of my 150 wheels on it to see if splaying the stays out a bit would effect anything negatively.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

The extra length is something I'd consider for the Honzo/ESD and maybe even the Explosif. It was more to point out how many bikes out there on the trails use these dropouts. It would be cool to see a couple of different geo options aftermarket either from small manufacturers or from Kona themselves. 

I've said it before, I love the Paragon swinging dropouts on my Waltworks; however, if I was a production bike company I'd use Kona's dropout system. Not a dropout system like Kona's - lots of examples out there - but the specific system they use. It works great and it's very well supported in terms of getting spares if you need them. 

I mean, it would take a bike company without a huge ego to pull it off. But I could totally see a very rational actor like Marin or Brodie adopt the dimensions as a way of better serving customers globally with a very good design that's been around for ages. And, I mean, adding sliders to your hardtails at the same time.

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LWK
LWK
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

For no real reason, Banshee was never really on my radar but I have to say they seem like really solid and well thought out bikes.  This article highlights that, plus the positive review from a few months back.  The geo charts, flexible dropout options, and similar features highlighted on their website are also really appealing.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
+4 silverbansheebike Lynx . Timer LWK

I think they do a great job of punching above their size in terms of the products. But they also fly under a lot of radars due to a lack of marketing monies and a small dealer network.

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rigidjunkie
Allen Lloyd
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I have a v1 Hightower and all my friends have upgraded (some multiple times) since I bought my bike.  I have demoed a number of bikes and every time I come back and am happy to be back on my bike.  It just got a new drivetrain and wheels and my plan is to keep enjoying it.  

There is something to be said for being familiar and comfortable on a bike.  Last year we bought an alloy Stumpjumper for my son.  I ride it a good bit and do like the steeper seat tube angle, but when I want to go ride fast I grab my Hightower every time.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

I think one of the reasons the V1 Hightower never gets props (and everyone I know who has one flipped theirs) is that from ~ the moment it was released all anyone could talk about is when a longer travel version was going to come.

I mean, even the current edition is very much lost between the Tallboy and Megatower even if you only had the Hightower I’d bet some 80%+ of the TB and MT owners would be perfectly happy with it.

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tcayou
tcayou
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

This is great. I'm glad your doing these. What about looking at it from the future? If you were writing these articles 8-10 years from now, what brands/models would you expect to see pop up repeatedly? Still Kona, Banshee...?

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Timer
Timer
2 months ago
+2 bishopsmike cheapondirt

I'd definitely expect a Geometron to appear in a similar article in 8+ years time. Maybe also a Raaw. No Pole, though.

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Nologo
Nologo
2 months ago
+2 bishopsmike Andrew Major

Pole evolink is made in Taiwan and totally overbuilt, comes with inserts and axles for 142 and boost hubs, can squeeze any wheel size available (run mine 26, 27.5 and 29), standard headtube, treaded BB, massive bearings that are easy to reach, internal and external cable routing. 

The other models CNCd in Finland are different story...

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bishopsmike
bishopsmike
2 months ago
0

Preach!

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jaydubmah
jaydubmah
2 months ago
+1 bishopsmike

The Evolinks are tanks!

There were definitely issues with some of the first generation Pole CNC bikes - I've got a 2nd generation and it's holding up very well. 

I wouldn't be surprised to see it chugging along 8 years from now.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

That's a very interesting question that I'll put some thought to. Crystal ball style. Especially given how much change (or at least appreciable change) has slowed down. I do think it might be more a case of specific models than brands. 

It's also largely going to come down to support either from the manufacturer or aftermarket.

For example, there are a number of Specialized frames that BikeYoke supports with new linkage-yokes, so even now that it's already getting harder to get shocks with their stupid yoke-specific bodies it's still fully possible to keep some very nice rigs running. The last-gen 26" Enduro's were killer bikes and I still regularly see them on the trails. Will people buy them used for a song, buy yokes, buy shocks, and get them rolling? I don't know. 

Another example is the Yeti SB-series bikes. The SB-130 and SB-150 are awesome machines. I know many riders who love them and are hanging on to theirs "until Yeti releases something new." Will it looks like their e-bike? Will it look like the current bikes? Either way, there's a question in the air about how long they'll continue to support the current SI-Link infrastructure when the new-new arrives. I'd love to see Yeti protect the resale value for their current owners by coming out and committing to a support window for SI Link shocks when the new design surfaces. 

Look at the (frankly awesome) Cannondale Jekyll bikes with the (excellent) Dyad pull shocks. Fox stopped supporting those shocks about 3.5 seconds after the first picture of the new push-shock Jekyll was released. It's sad because those bikes were excellent on the trail and the shocks worked great as well. But you'd have to be about as uneducated as they come to buy one used. Used, those Jekylls are essentially worth the value of their parts less what it's going to cost you to have said parts transferred over to a different frame. But, ride-wise, if they were still supported I'd expect them to be around for ages. 

Anyways, thanks for the question. I'll spend some time thinking about it.

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UFO
UFO
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

Lots of Banshee love here, which I love to see and justifiably so.

I picked up a pretty good shape og Norco Range last summer for a similar min-max build as something to do and to try and get my wife into more regular riding. My main build changes were to swap out the brakes and drivetrain so it's consistent with the other household bikes, and added an external PNW dropper. I'm still running 26" wheels and rubber, but the rear will clear a 27.5x2.3 quite well so it's kind of future proof that way too.

It's 2011 geometry is decidedly trail bike territory these days aside from the shorter reach. But the rage back then was also to have Enduro bikes break the 30 lb barrier on premium builds. It suits her, and if I want to take it out instead of the hardtail it's still a really fun ride. Why can't a trail bike be 160/160?

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boomforeal
boomforeal
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I broke a v1 rune and the warranty replacement arrived with an issue from the factory. Banshee were in the process of redesigning those frames so Keith put me in the cue for a v2 spitfire. But by the time it arrived I’d been bitten by the 29er bug and sold it to buy a used pre-production prime. That frame might have weighed 10 pounds but I loved the way it rode. After reviewing the carbon stumpjumper evo 29, a bike designed 3 years later with virtually the same geometry as the OG prime, I sold it to build something lighter - I don’t even remember what - in hopes of making up for my poor fitness. I’m sure it would feel wicked short and outdated by modern geometry standards but there’s a not-that-small part of me that wishes I’d never thrown a leg over anything newer and was still riding it in blissful ignorance.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

I was going to write an editorial called ~ “If you could go back and freeze mountain biking at any point in time when would it be?” But the bigger question is, if I knew then what I know now what would I ride at a given point in time. 

The custom rigid single speed I could have had in ~ Y2K with 26x3” Gazzolodi up front on a Doubletrack, 2.7 Mobster out back on a Mavic 321, Grimeca brakes with a 6-piston front / 4-piston rear, Chris King hubs, XTR m952 cranks… wow!

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velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I had (slight) hope this series would hook me up with some sneaky tricks to further buy the bike I already own, but it seems the years of min-maxing and reading Andrews articles have done the deed.

V2 Spitfire, - 2° works, 160mm coil fork, long dropouts, coil shock, 50mm tall bar, 200mm dropper... It's great, but. The reach. It felt long when I got the frame, but since getting a hardtail with a 470mm reach I feel trapped on the spitty. 

The comfortable spot between the feelings of "too far back, gonna washout the front" and "too far forward, gonna OTB" is magic when I'm in it, but it's so small I find myself constantly fighting to stay there. 

I'd thought I'd ride this thing into the ground or die trying, but it seems a longer frame might be the future. Has anyone tried the Marin Rift Zone 29? It's a boring entry-level thing by spec, but the numbers suggest it could be a candidate for a min-max-mullet-modify job.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

Cheers! What size Spitfire are you on? Large? Would a bit longer than fashionable stem be the difference maker? I know 60-70mm stems look long now but they work fine on the trail.

No, I get it, at some point you need a bigger size, especially folks who used to size down when they were between sizes. I really enjoyed my Rifty and my Alpine Trail. I’d buy another Rifty without a second thought. Marin makes great bikes with a serious eye to keeping price down.

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velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

Large. I had to shim the oneup down 10mm to fit, so if an XL front triangle fell into my lap I'd cut down the mast and ride happy.

I'll fit a 60mm stem if I find one, but at a whisker under 6' I'm really looking for 30mm+ more reach. No kind of lego is getting me there.

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Lynx
Lynx .
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

Curious, would you say you're more torso or arms/legs? What's your inseam and wingspan. As Andrew suggested, while according to "modern" trends, a 70mm might seem too long, it works for me on the Large V1 Phantom and I'm 6'2" with long arms/legs. Truthfully, if the reach was 10-15mm more, it'd be perfect for me, although haven't tried my beloved SQ Lab 16 bar on it yet, that lives on the Unit, so maybe could use 20mm more.

If you know someone who has a spare 29er front wheel and fork they could lend you, that could maybe make a big difference as the 29ers definitely feel more stable than 650B. You'd want about 140mm travel max to keep the Stack the same as before and not shorten Reach any more.

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velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

You're right, the trend is the only thing stopping me at least bolting on the 70mm I have for a test ride. I'll try it after the covid isolation family games wrap up. 

I've got hold of the next spring rate up too, interested to see if I notice any extra reach from the firmer ride height.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Lynx .

If I could be king of cycling for a day I have a whole pile of folks I'd like to send down a trail on a bike that is "too small for them" with a 70mm stem. I'm not saying it would be as much fun as their new-new long-reach rig (heck, I run a 35-50mm stem on my bike and choose test rig sizing based on that - so I'm not innocent when it comes to the long-Reach trends) but I'd bet that mountain biking would still be sweet.

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Lynx .

Late data point for future readers.

I fitted the next spring rate up to the shock (500-550) and went for a hoon last night. The dynamic geo of the bike was so much better - I suspect I've been caught in the progressive suspension trap, where the hunt for plush off the top and firm at the end leaves a short wallowing mid where most of the ride happens. 

Feeling happy about Spitty again with less sag, but a big supportive mid-stroke. Only took me buying 5 springs to get here. 

I'll still be pleased to get back on the longer Moxie when (if?) I can get it welded, but I'm not feeling sorry for myself anymore.

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

Velo, glad that you got the Spitty sorted, definitely report back after a few rides with your thoughts on running a "Too Small" bike;-)

Curious what your R.A.D. is on the Spitty with this setup and if you ever measured it on the Moxie? As I've said/written in reply to several, despite the differences in Reach between my bikes being over 35mm different, my R.A.D. measurement is almost identical on all and I don't go about setting them up to get that measurement, I just try stems until it's comfortable and don't worry about the trend police.

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Do it Velo, might be you find that little bit more is enough to help you start to enjoy a smaller bike again instead of a limousine :-)

Jokes aside, I honestly think this move to bars almost ontop of the steerer and reaches so long, HA so slack, that bikes are so, so stable, really does a disservice to newer riders on building their skills. As I said earlier, yes another 10-15mm of reach would be ideal, but if I have to choose between a bike that's too long by 10-15mm vs too short, I think I'm going to go with the "too short". I enjoy the challenge of the ride and ultimate speed isn't everything to me, all around performance across all kinds of trails.

I look to my first few years on the pre-production Prime, I'd never ridden a bike like that, was so adamant against running a stem shorter than 60mm, that I didn't and I always had trouble with pushing the front even though overall it felt good. Then 2 years later when I got my Phantom, as usual, not being flush with cash, I just transferred all the parts from the Prime and you know what, the 24mm shorter reach and 60mm stem felt really good, had no issues controlling/weighting the front and the overall fit of the cockpit was almost perfect. I moved to a 70mm stem, but then back to a 65mm and ran that for a while, but then went back to the 70mm. So after riding the Phantom for a couple years I had enough spare parts to build the Prime back up and this time put on a 40mm stem and much better.

Bikes are good, nothing from the last 10 years is crap, not even close, just some require a lot more rider input in certain situations.

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

I've just stripped down my cracked hardtail, so have a 140mm Diamond and 29" wheel (and 27" rear) sitting there... But the current Spitfire wheels are 26" and the only 27" rear wheel I have is boost - not gonna fit either of the sets of dropouts I have for the Spitty.

I know Banshee make (made?) boost drops to fit this frame, but $200 and out of stock make the experiment tough. 

If I can find a cheap used 142 27" wheel I'll try it - it'll be more useful than an obscure set of dropouts afterwards.

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Lynx
Lynx .
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Man, you must have a local shop nearby that would lend you a 650B rear wheel for a week or two to give this a go. Heck, sure there's someone on here who has one they'd lend you. I'd lend you one if I was even remotely close, but alas, I think it's about 6k miles :-\

What HT is it BTW? How/where'd it break?

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I'm sure I'll find a 27 wheel somewhere.

The HT is a Pipedream-Moxie-v1-mullet, I spotted fine cracks in the paint by the welds behind the head tube, I've been sanding and (so far) found a tiny crack in the down tube leading into the head tube weld. 

I'm sad, as this is my newest bike, and I've been loving it. But being steel has better odds of repairability than the other bikes in the house.

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

0ish ape index, don't know my inseam - perhaps this is a failure of adulting at 42, but here I am.

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mikeynets
mikeynets
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I see you're after an XL front triangle so I'm assuming you're taller than me (I'm 5'10") and I'm on a L V3.

But I also have a 0 Ape Index and short for my height inseam at 30".  Your posts here got me thinking that while brands are getting better at sizing frames appropriately for the meat of the bell curve at a given size —  ex. more stack, slacker HA, longer chainstays as frame size grows — body proportion is probably more important than or just as important as height as a starting point for choosing a frame.

My anecdotal evidence: I'm always between sizes M and L but it's more than just between. After lots of trial and error and a better understanding of what works for me, I look for a combo of what would typically be a M length seat tube with a L length reach and preferably an XL stack (all based on past trends, last year or so has kind of blown this up in a good way.)

Long story short, I think it's cool if/when you can mate different front and rear triangles from different sizes to get the fit that works best for you.

Re: new dropouts vs 142mm 27 wheel — you should be able to get a wheel like that for a song on craigslist or the like.

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

I've just measured the RAD of the Spitty, and it's ~840mm BB to centre top of grips... But. This is after going up 12mm (to 50mm) in bar rise + putting a 10mm spacer under the stem (from slammed). My body RAD is 845mm with bare feet, so probably +10mm or more for shoes.

The Moxie was ~855mm RAD with a 25mm rise bar, and the space for body English felt bigger. 

I've not delved into the RAAD (+Angle) but there's clearly a difference between a bike with a shorter reach / higher stack and the reverse. 

I feel like reviewers sometimes use front centre and reach interchangeably, but should FC be BB to front axle? Is that a useful measurement to keep in mind?

Edit. I just measured the [frame RAD?] BB centre, to centre top of head tube. Since this is the same thing minus the bar/stem/spacers anyway. 

Spitty is 730mm (was 740 with a straight headset) and Moxie is 800mm. Quite a difference.

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Lynx
Lynx .
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Big difference there ,measuring up just the frame. Never done my measurements in metric, just did and I'm 910-920mm on all my bikes, from 425-485mm Reach, just different length stems 40-90mm and bars from 750-780.

Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
0

Mikey, as Andrew said, if you've got the tools, parts and knowledge, then it's just time experimenting. Good thing is, if you like the better chainline, you have a few option, especially if you like less amount of gears/cogs - you could either...buy and build a new rear wheel with an SS/Trials hub and fit about 7-8 11spd cogs on there, OR you could get the 148x12 drop outs and build a new wheel for that. Chainline improvement would be quite a bit more going the SS/Trials hub route, but still think going to 148 would help quite a bit with chainline and overall wheel stiffness (does anyone do a 148 SS/Trials hub?), maybe only drop on cog (11t) from an 11spd cassette and put a spacer behind to just move it out that extra 3 or so MM.

Unfortunately Banshee dropped the 150x12 drop out option for the V2 drop outs, or you could have gone with them and a 150 DH hub meant to only run 7 cogs, for ultimate stiffness and perfect chainline. Below is a pick of my Phantom with the 150x12 drop outs and corresponding hub, running a 9spd cassette and you can see that in the middle cog, the chainline is about as perfect as it gets. This running an older M760 crank with the ring in the middle/51 CL position.

150x12 chainline with 51mm CL crank

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mikeynets
mikeynets
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Tools, check. Parts, I'll have to check. Knowledge, check!

The chainline on my Spitty with 142 hubs and a SRAM 11 spd drivetrain isn't so bad really. It's on my boost hardtail with Shimano XT and that monster cassette that it's painful to even look at.

Re: wheel stiffness — I haven't had any issues with my current wheels — Nox Farlow rims laced to a DT350. I also don't know if I'd notice any incremental increase on a bike with over 5" of travel.

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Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
0

Hey Andrew, just came up with another line of thought about "upgrading" vs buying new...How about instead of spending a bunch of cash on a new bike, the person spends it taking some very worth while skills lessons and upgrades themselves instead of trying to make up for maybe lack of skill with something newer, longer, lower and slacker? OR send your suspension in to get custom tuning specific to you and your bike, something not a lot of people even consider :-)

Wish I had that upgrade path available here, but unfortunately not, so only time to do that is on a bike trip and then mostly, most of the guys just want to go ride however and think it's a waste of time and money.

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flattire2
Brian Tuulos
2 months ago
-6 silverbansheebike Timer Joseph Crabtree Lynx . Nologo Bikeryder85

Nope - reach is too short.  455mm reach at a measly 595 stack on a large?.... maybe if your 5'-7".  Life is too short to ride a too small bike.  I did that for too many years.  Wish I didn't.  Bite the bullet and bin the frame, move on.  Proper fitting bikes is no1 on the list.

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Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
+2 silverbansheebike bishopsmike Bikeryder85 Brian Tuulos

Well, there it is folks the GOD of MTB (Brian Tuulos) has just spoken and it's final, no one over 5'7" can ride a 450mm Reach bike, guess I'm going to have to just toss my newly resurrected V1 L Phantom at 6'2" then :-(

Maybe I'm just not educated and living in ignorance because I've never tried a bike with longer Reach, except I own 2, one that's got a 474mm Reach with a 629mm Stack and the other with a 484mm Reach and 601mm Stack.

RME

I won't though, since the Stack is 625mm and I own a 70mm stem that seems to work very well with a 780mm wide bar, for me and the riding I like to do ;-) Could the Reach be longer, maybe 10mm, but that isn't kill cow and I always have an absolute blast on it.

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flattire2
Brian Tuulos
2 months ago
-5 Joseph Crabtree Lynx . silverbansheebike Nologo Bikeryder85

Humans are adaptable monkeys and you can get away with riding small bikes and still have fun...but if you are 6'-2" and riding a 450mm reach 595 stack bike I think you are leaving something on the table.  Choosing a 70mm stem is telling the bike doesn't fit you well.  The geometry revolution isn't just a gimmick.  Hey ride what ya want, I'll post my opinion. :)

Look at any size chart of a modern bike, and they do recommend a 450reach and 595 stack bike as fitting people in the 5'-7"range.  Dont get mad at me lol

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Lynx
Lynx .
2 months ago
0

Glad you read my entire reply and comprehended it, Brian :skep: I'll say again 625mm Stack. HTF is riding a 70mm stem telling that a bike doesn't fit, only a complete ass would even entertain a thought like that.

Just because you swallow up all the marketing BS to make you buy new shit you don't need, so the manufacturers can make more $$$, doesn't mean everyone is a shheeeep and has to follow the move towards overly long and slack bikes, to try and help feel special about their lack of skills and/or desire to not work as hard and match the open, flow trails so predominant today.

Maybe next time finish it off with IMHO, because that's all it is, a damn stupid opinion by someone who doesn't bother to read and try to comprehend others responses - I have longer bikes, I like them just fine, but I also like the 450 Reach of the V1 L Phantom as well with a 70mm stem, it suits the type of riding I like to do (tight, technical, twisty and janky AF) and guess what, when I measure the RAD, you know that knew, current measurement you're 'sposed to be so needing to follow, all my bikes are within 10mm between all of them, as is the saddle to grips measurement and the rear of saddle plumb to CS, then that measurement to the BB, even my old '08 Monkey.

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flattire2
Brian Tuulos
2 months ago
-1 Nologo

The banshee geo chart shows 450reach and 595 stack.  I don’t get how your stack can be 625 without reducing reach.  No need to get so worked up man, it’s just aluminum tubes. Believe me, I rocked small bikes for way too long and had tons of fun.  Now on proper long bikes and it’s been a revelation. I believe them vastly superior, especially in BC.   As does the rest of the bike industry looking at the common geometry trends.  

And calling me a sheep for swallowing long reach trends?  Cmon man.  I’ve tried both, and made my choice what’s better.

My takeaway from your piece is you can breathe new life info an old rig with angle set and new parts, but IMHO, you leave one of the best MTB innovations (modern reach) off the table.  So I personally dont think it’s worth it, dependant on rider height and old frame size.  Cheers.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
2 months ago
0

I know this isn’t directed at me, but just some foodstuffs for thought.

Lots of riders, myself for example, have been sizing up frames for ages. I’m 5’9” and would have been riding a Spitfire in a large in ‘13-14. Easily within acceptable fit range today without needing an excessively long stem. Probably a 50mm and a 780mm bar would be my happy place with a -2 Angleset.

Many riders, or at least some riders, myself included, do not fit well with the current 77-79 degree seat tube angles that are necessary to have a good seated fit on a bike when really pushing out the Reach numbers. I’d rather ride a centimetre or two shorter Reach with a 74-76 STA that gives me a great seated pedaling position for me.

There are many large frames I could happily ride from a decade ago (some of which I’d need to trim a couple CM off the seat tube to fit a 170mm+ dropper). It’s not universal, but unless you’re very tall there are probably some frames from a decade ago that you could happily size-up into as well. Maybe not, people come in all different proportions.

There’s also the best fit on any budget and the reality of having the best experience within a budget. Dave’s ridden a bunch of other bikes than his Spitfire and I quoted him in this piece as saying he’d personally love a bit more Reach and a bit steeper STA, but he’s not going to spend thousands of dollars to get there.

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I'm trying to be nice, but your sight and/or reading comprehension seem to be very bad, the Stack I quoted was for the XL, sorry, the Stack for the M & L V1 was 616mm, but maybe I'm just lying about it because, I don't know why. Even the Stack on the V2 frames is over 600 at 613mm, so really not getting where you're fiding 595from :-\

Also, like Andrew and more so, I DON'T like or get on with steep STAs, anything over 74 degrees and that's not a bike I'm going to be happy on, I'll quickly feel it in my knees when I try to actually pedal a decent gear and not some pansy crap.

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