Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bike of the Week

After its winter hibernation, Bike of the Week is back. This week's winner is Bartosz Morawiec from the UK & this is his pimped out Rune...

Think you can do better than Bartosz? Want the world to see your pimped out Banshee? Then please email your photos & a description of you & your bike to: info@bansheebikes.com
Photos should be re-sized to a maximum width/height of 1000px & your email should be no larger than 1mb. Crashing our inbox will get you instantly disqualified!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vienna Air king

Swedish Banshee rider Alexander Bäckvall scooped himeslf a invitation for the 2012 Vienna Air King.
Besides a handfull of pre-qualified pros, entry is open to anyone who´s bio + latest video edit appeals to the judges stokemeter, Al´s did.

"Vienna Air King was a huge experience for me, it was my first really big and international comp. When I first got there I was actually a bit relieved. I had seen many pic's of the course and they made me a little scared beacuse the jumps looked soooooooo big! But when I got there and saw the jumps with my own eyes I felt calm again. They where big. but not THAT BIG! 

“The pre-qualies got cancelled on friday because of the rain, so on friday we all chilled in the riderslodge. played football game and drank redbull while talking a lot of shit! Saturday became the big day! We had a very limited training but atleast I managed to get four training runs before the qualies.

At the qualies it was really windy and a lot of riders crashed. On my first run I got a strong headwind and cased a flip on the first big jump so I wasn't able to complete the jump. On my second run I descided to play it safe. So I just straight jumped the first jump, did a unturndown on the second and a tailwhip on the last jump. 

"I ended up at 17th place in the qualies and didn't make the finals! But Vienna Air King was a awesome experience and now I know what to train on. I made a lot of new friends and the afterparty was frickin crazy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Legend Review

The Banshee Legend MKII was designed by suspension engineer and general Scottish bad-ass Keith Scott and was released in 2010 after almost 4 years of refinements from riders around the world. I personally have been riding the Legend MKII for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and look forward to another season aboard the Banshee flagship DH race bike.

Key Frame Features and Specs

INA Cartridge Bearings
Titanium pivot axles
Maxle compatible rear axle
150mm rear end
83mm BB shell
8” of rear wheel travel
9.5″ x 3″ shock
ISCG 05 chain guide mounts
30.9mm seat post
1.5” headtube
3 sizes (S, M, L)
13.7 inch Bottom Bracket Height
63.8 Head angle
17.4 inch chainstay
Not a Scream!!!

My Build

Both of my Legend MKIIs have been built up with no compromise parts, which for the purpose of this review will allow me to concentrate on the frame only.

Manitou Dorado and Revox combo to handle suspension duties
Raceface Atlas FR: Bar, Stem, Cranks, seatpost
Saint Drivetrain, Brakes
Sun Ringle Wheels w/ Maxxis High Roller 3Cs/HR2


The Legend MKII frame quality and attention to detail is second to none, including Ti bearing hardware, extra hangers and touch up paint – even the box the frame arrives in is pretty cool. The Legend is an aggressive weight, with the large weighing in just a couple grams below 4kg. Banshee specs the Legend with oversize bearings, and after a season of pressure washing the bike at the WBP and putting it away wet the frame action still feels smooth and supple.

The weight of the bike is usefully low and the mass is centrally located providing a balanced chassis that is easy to turn. The low shock position helps with this advantageous C.O.G. but does not hinder access to the shock’s adjustments. The Legend’s 1.5” headtube provides a number of headset and subsequently set-up options, easily accommodating zero stack headsets or an AngleSet.

The Ride

There are several ride characteristics which become apparent from the moment you saddle up the Legend, the first being its pedaling efficiency. This bike, when equipped with a 38 tooth chain ring, is an extremely capable pedaling bike with excellent power transfer. It avoids bobbing or wallowing within its travel, and accelerates better then several mid-travel bikes I have ridden in the past.

The next most prominent ride characteristic of the Legend is its cornering ability. Sometimes I feel the bike is on rails as opposed to tires. I have found that the Legend is capable of holding speed through the tightest corners, and definitely rewards an aggressive cornering style. I noticed this while following several friends, that the Legend is always capable of taking ‘the most’ inside line. If you watch any videos of the Banshee World Cup team’s Adam Brayton or Matej Charvat, The Geronimo Team, Paul Genovese, or Alan Hepburn you can see the Legend’s inside line capability.

The Legend was designed to utilize a rearward axle path, which is quite advantages when your goal is to squeeze every last bit of speed out of a section of trail. The bike literally accelerates out of every bump, root cluster, rock or square edge bump you encounter, as the axle path essentially acts to push the bike forward.

The suspension design is a virtual pivot system, achieved through a short link 4 bar linkage. The main advantage of this design (other than achieving the rearward axle path) is to separate braking from suspension – allowing you to brake to your heart’s content, while the suspension still remains plush and active. The suspension curve is quite linear, allowing you to take advantage of the tuneability of modern shocks and allowing you to create the perfect suspension feel for your style or terrain.

The Legend has a very balanced and stable ride, and this is most notable through the chunder, where the bike feels planted, and very capable of holding your line. Like all current Banshees, the Legend is equipped with internally ribbed (for your pleasure) chainstays, which provide a very stiff rear end and contribute to the bike’s ability to hold its line in the rough.


I have found the Legend to be a very capable jumper, feeling at home on both slower speed steeper jumps, as well as high speed slacker jumps like Crab Apple Hits in the WBP. I wouldn’t rush to the village jumps with it, but I can’t imagine a DH bike that I would. The Legend is also a capable rig when tackling bigger free-ride type features and inspires confidence if you have to ‘guinea pig’ them. This leads into the Legends’ durability, I’ll be the first to admit I have cased some big stuff on this frame – ask Paul Stevens about that Retallack 'shittack' for instance, and the Legend has taken it in stride.


As with all high performance tools, some of the advantages, depending on your perspective and riding style could also be interpreted as disadvantages and the Legend is no different.
I personally, would like a slighter shorter chainstay. Although I am confident that if I could ever achieve World Cup speeds I would be stoked with the extra stability a longer rear end would provide.

The linear suspension curve could also be a negative if you were to build the bike with an older, or more basic shock which lacked the high and low speed compression adjustments of the Manitou Revox, Bos Stoy, Fox RC4 or Cane Creek Double Barrel.

Proper chain ring selection is essential in order to maximize pedal efficiency, as my 2010 Legend was built with a 36t chain ring and experienced minor pedal bob/feedback. However when I built the bike up with the recommended 38t ring (which the suspension was designed around) the pedal bob/feedback was eliminated.

In conclusion, the Legend is a no compromise speed machine which allows the rider to perform at the top of their ability, and can take years of abuse.

Video Action!

Thanks to Garrett Grove and David Fournier for photos.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oak Bay Bikes Paradox Build

Oak Bay Bikes in Victoria BC have this great looking Paradox V2 built up. If you're in the area call in & check it out.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kiara Downhill Domination 2012

Happy April fools everyone, I am sure everyone was quite happy that the Kiara race wasn't a joke with riders turning up from far and wide. A total of 136 participants took part, one of the bigger races we have had in Malaysia to date. FRM, (FreeRide Malaysia) the race organisers and trail builders, really out did themselves this time, a great combination of high speed sections, some nice steep technical sections and just a tad of pedaling to mix it up. Really shows the progression of trail building in Malaysia over the past few years.

With the large amount of riders present, most of race day was spent waiting around. Elites only came down for their final run at close to 5pm. Its the only real critique of an otherwise great race, we really need to start using 30 second intervals for seeding and finals. Makes the sport far better for spectators too.
It did rain over the past few days but it decided to stay dry today with beautiful blue skies welcoming in the month of april. Conditions were pretty much perfect in seeding run, just damp enough to keep the dust down and gives the tires something to dig into. Aaron seeding in 6th with a 3.12, I seeded in 3rd with a 3.08, rizal got a bit unlucky and crashed at the entrance to Bunians. Hong Chun put in an amazing run and seeded first in Elite with a time of 2.59.
With the blue skies and a gentle wind the track dried out further, leaving it pretty much bone dry. Watching the rest of the field coming down it was obvious that it was getting really slippery on the track from the amount of people crossing the line with soiled kit. Rizal too crossed the line with a frown, torn up his pretty new jersey. Just not his day today, crashed at the same place during seeding and warned us about the slippery conditions. He swears there is a stump hiding somewhere there out to get him. Me and Aaron were both pushing to go faster in the finals, Aaron unfortunately caught out on the slippery corners on the bottom of the track. I managed to hit all my lines and pushed hard on the pedaling bits, managed to go 11 seconds faster in the final. I was quite happy with my time, but was kicked out of the hot seat by the next rider down, beating me by 0.3 seconds. No surprise from Hong Chun, he put out an amazing run and went 2 seconds faster than his seeding time, getting a 2.57. It was nice to see a tight elite field, 1.7 seconds separating the top 3.
Back to the drawing board for me and trying to grow some legs again.

Fakawi Team Blog