Being Canadian I have to say I have a lot of pride whenever it comes to things made in Canada. Banshee bikes are no exemption thanks to Jay MacNeil, Keith Scott, and the boys who went and put together another great line up of mountain bikes for 2011. In case you missed it, last year I introduced Banshee here, even though they’ve actually been around for quite some time. In fact Banshee started off in 2001, born out a need to produce a bike that could tame the North Shore. Up until that time companies were scrambling to produce frames that would live up to the sick moves and big terrain that are an integral part of the BC bike culture. Fast forward to today and the refined line-up that Banshee delivers – no hype, just bikes that can take it, whatever “it” may be.
The DJ / Slopestyle hardtail pictured above is called the AMP. This purpose-built stiff and compact bike was designed by Keith and is a no compromise bike. Keith eliminated all unnecessary gimmicks and went straight to the heart of the design with internally ribbed chainstays to increase stiffness and torque, keeping them as short as possible. That and another host of other features make this bike one really flickable ride.
The Rampant is another cool specific-use bike from Banshee. Designed primarily as a 4X bike, it works equally as well as a dual slalom bike. You could even consider this a great play bike if that’s what you want to do with it. Here you get a bike with 4 inches of rear travel that has a ton of clearance between the top tube and your “boys” (or “girls”, whatever the case). This ride pedals firmly and almost feels like a hardtail, perfect for those hole shots outta the gate.
The Spitfire can best be described as Banshee’s answer to the lightweight trail bike with 5 inches of travel. Now what’s cool about this bike is that you can easily fit an adjustable seatpost (30.9mm). Beyond that the bike offers convenient cable guides for routing the seatpost remote and ISCG05 mounts for a Hammerschmidt if that’s what you want. The Spitfire will even allow you to alter the geometry with a slight position change of the rear shock for a distinct difference in ride. The frame offers enough tire clearance in back to accommodate many 2.5 inch tires.
The Rune is similar to the Spitfire as it shares some of the great features for adjustable seatposts and ISCG05 tabs. However the Rune has 6″ of rear travel and a 1.5″ head tube to really put a serious fork up front. Best way to describe this bike is a trail bike on steroids. Not necessarily that much heavier than the Spitfire (6.22lbs vs 5.86lbs), this rig still can be built up as a bike that can go up as well as down. By carefully selecting your build you can get a DH feel or a more trail feel to the bike.
Stand back – take it in – ohhh yeah. They don’t call this bike the Legend for nothing. Yup here is the Legend II. After 5 years of development and input from more than 70 riders, this baby finally came into being. Did I mention my very own Legend II is here! (Build on the way) Yup the Legend II is a pure race machine with 8 inches of rear travel and at 8.73lbs (sans shock) this bike is designed to rule. One feature that I personally love is the “canoe” that holds the shock. Look up close and you see a high level of detail and care went into making this bike as strong and lightweight as possible. All the pivot bolts are titanium (not steel) and all the tubing is 7005 hydro-formed aluminum.
Check out Banshee and take a peek at the other great bikes they have. One of the great things about Banshee is their willingness to answer any of your questions so drop them a line. Look for an article on my Legend II build in the coming months!