Friday, November 30, 2007

Matt Brooks on his 2007 year

Hey everyone, I thought I would post a bit of a season end blog since the snow has begun to fly in my home town. Although I never had a full season due to injury it was still a good summer and a great time to be on Banshee Bikes.

As some of you may already know I had a minor back injury and also tore my ACL (among other things) in my left knee. The back injury occurred down in Colorado at Crankworx. Nothing to major, but the x rays revealed that I had broken a piece of vertebrae probably a few years ago. After having a few Doctors check it out back home, I was deemed fit to ride and promptly crashed again while filming a section for a TV show. Hahaha what luck! That was the crash that destroyed my knee. Since then I have been hitting up the physiotherapy, and waiting on surgery. The knee is feeling good, and a complete recovery is expected.

Before the crash however, I luckily had a little time building and shooting for New World Disorder 8: Smack Down. I got a solid 5 days or so in with them and a section on the bonus DVD. Considering the limited amount of shooting I had, I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. Make sure you check out the movie if you haven’t already.

After the crash I spent some more time doing light building at our local bike park the Kamloops Bike Ranch to help out NWD. Cam Mcaul and Ben Boyko ended up coming in to shoot on the new hits and it was sick! It was 3 days of tail whips, cork flips and tons of other gnarly tricks. In the end I think they got some of their best shots in the Ranch so it was quite a success.

I was also lucky enough to be invited down for the Red Bull Trail Crew even at Silver Star Resort. It was a sick event. The premises was 3 sets of builders create a section of trail each and once it was done the invited pro riders come up to ride and judge sections. I believe the winners won season’s passes and a bike. When I got on the trail I was amazed. Those guys did a lot of hard work and it showed. While were riding the new trail sections we were joined by some ripping groms whom we also judged. The winners won new bikes as well. Red Bull pulled together an excellent riders list for the event including: Robbie Bourden, Wayne Goss, Kurt Sorge, Steve Romaniuk, Shaums March, and myself. One of the best parts was that I got to really test out the new Wildcard prototype and see if it could stand up to the kind of abuse that lift access tends to put on a bike. The Wildcard stood up beautifully, and was actually a great bike for some of the tight/jump trails. It ended up being an awesome couple of days, and I would suggest riding at Silver Star to anyone.

Unfortunately I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked to but there is always next year I suppose. Hope you enjoyed my pics and my little rant. Perhaps I will bust out the GT noma and get a snow blog going. Rock on!!!

My NWD 8 section:
Make sure you buy the DVD its well worth the $ and you'll be watching it over and over again.

Matt B

Ride-It Mag Rampant Review

Updated: see below

I don't speak the Francais but Guillaume did a little translation for me and said he would provide a complete translation when he gets sometime.

The magazine was very impressed with the bike.
They liked the fast acceleration, said it felt much like a hardtail but provide good grip when the course started getting rough.
From the sounds of it, it wasn't just a luke warm, feel good review but a pretty kickass one.

Normally I wouldn't poach a mags review because I want you to go out and support the magazines and buy them. However most of you guys can't read French and don't have access to the magazine so you probably wouldn't be buying it anyway. Those of you who can get it, should. Patrick from XCYTT / IGNIT forgot to give me a link to Ride-It's site and be sure I'll throw an up an update when i get it.

Thats Simon Cardone our French rider in the pics. That boy has got mad skillz and can get the most out of this bike. When you consider he placed 4th in the Belgium DH championship on a 4X bike when everyone else was running DH race bikes you know he must. Don't worry Simon the Legend Mk1 it on its way.

Again I'll have an update when I can get some of this translated a little bit more.

Update: Guillaume translates the review... big thanks to him for doing this.

Banshee rampant
Stealth aircraft

Until now banshee has concentrated on the dirt and freeride market.
For 2008, the Canadian brand is offering more and more in racing options.
As it shows by the brand new Rampant, a energenic frame for 4 cross

Page 76 :

A lot of things are happening in 2008 for banshee. With the arrival of Keith Scott, the brand new designer and engineer, the Canadian brand he has been given a breath of freshness due to two reason: a huge amount of work done on CAD and a lot of work with their riders.

Banshee stamped its name on the freeride market but is now turning to focus on competition with a range for every kind of riding.

The rampant is a full suspension for 4x. Some would say 4x is dead but this frame is more than a 4x it’s an ultra compact frame with reduced travel which will offer a use range wider than 4x.

The new rampant has been developed in collaboration with Simon Cardon who tests the first prototype during French championship in Montgenèvre. For his coming out the new banshee put a mark on spirit because Simon won every series and finish 5th after winning the semi final. The potential of that frame is not making any doubt. A few months later Simon made it happen again by finishing 4th at Namur DH in Belgium, on a 100mm travel bike against rider equipped by big DH bikes. Respect!

Before the distribution the rampant made sensation with a very good pilot. Then this gives envy to know more about the rampant. The only difference with the serial frame is about the diagonal tube which will be hydro formed. In every case we can be stucked in front of this bike and his aggressive look. The frame is definitively compact.

With a seat tube of 350mm in small size the rampant has the size bmx cruiser.

For 2008 banshee has developed a new rear suspension called VF4B (Virtual Floating Four Bar). How it works? The back end is linked to the front triangle by two linkages. The first one is over the bottom bracket and stays at the bottom of the rear end. The second link the upper part of the rear end to the seat tube and the shock . IN clear it’s a floating pivot suspension .

On the rampant, the rear wheel go backward when the suspension works . For more efficiency banshee used a suspension ratio to have more progressive suspension. That was the important point of the development of this frame

P 78

The rampant has explosive acceleration at the start and out of curves. That’s why the trajectory of the wheel is going backward. It allows to keep a good chain tension something really important on this kind of bike; This is only true when we have a reduced travel because over this there too much interference between suspension and chain tension. The pivot are made by Igus Iglide bearing. This decision was made after a lot of testing . Why using these bearings? It allows to increase the lateral rigidity and kill some weight by reducing the maintenance. Keith Scott continue his idea by saying that a ball bearing is built to do a 360° rotation like on a bottom bracket and did support angular rotation under 90° of rear suspension: the forces are integrally supported by just few balls in the bearing. Which is not the case of polymere bushing.

Let’s talk about sensation? We have been lucky to test Simon’s bike. We say it right now this bike is really well designed. First about the geometry: the rampant is easy and safe at high speed. The gravity centre is very low and allows a lot of movement front to rear and has a lot of room for the legs. The rampant is easy to manual. Technical riders will love it by rolling obstacles without losing speed and bouncing from a turn to another on. It’s clear the compromise stability/ easiness is optimal! The most impressive is the acceleration it’s like a hard tail. The grip is good and the suspension keeps the contact when the terrain is rough. With this rampant we can see us taking part of a local DH race. No doubt banshee made his turn really well. Until now banshee was more about hardcore freeride bikes but now it wants to touch a racer public which looking for something efficient and sharp

P 79

We liked
Agressivity of the frame
Flickable and safe behaviour

We dislike

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Markolf confirmed

Brazilian DH champion and UCI ranked #37th will be riding a Legend Mk1.

Update: Marcel Balog from Session added this in the comments but I wanted to get it into the blog. Pretty impressive.
1994 – Jr Brazilian DH Champion
1995 – Jr Brazilian DH Champion
1996 – Jr Brazilian DH Champion 1997 – Jr Brazilian DH Champion
1997 - Jr Pan-american DH Champion
1998 – Brazilian DH Champion
1999 – Fist Brazilian to race the DH WC circuit
2000 – Brazilian Cup Champion
2001 – Brazilian Cup Champion
2002 – Pan-american DH Champion
2003 – Brazilian DH Champion
2004 – 2nd in 5th round of WC, Calgary, Canada
2004 – Champion - DH Cup El Mercúrio – Chile
2005 – 2nd in 5th round of WC Camboriú, Brazil
2005 – Top Ten in 4 rounds of the WC
2005 – 2nd in Pan-american Downhill Championship
2005 – 7º Ranking UCI
2004 – 6th in 5th round of WC Camboriú, Brazil
2006 - 2nd in Pan-american Downhill Championship
2006 – Brazilian DH Champion
2007 – Pan-american DH Champion
2007 - 2nd in Brazilian DH Championship
2007 - Champion of Nissan X-Terra DH Cup - Brazil

Other top riders will be
Dave Heatherington who placed 10th in the jr world championships after crashing in the 4x the day before and riding injured
Marcelo Guiterrez who is the current PanAmerican and Latin American champion, placed 12th in the world championships on a 6" Kona Stinky. He managed to win the Mountain States cup race he went in and was .02 seconds of JD Swagens time at the Norba race he managed to get to. He should end up top 5 this year as most of the juniors are moving up to the senior class and he's one of only 2 sticking around to race in Italy this year.
Simon Cardone, and 1 or 2 Canadians that went to the World Championship last year as well but I'm still waiting for Lee to get me the final names for the Poison Frog team.
Curt and Rachel will be doing the Mountain States Cup and both are killing it.

We also have some more talent and I'll need to get more details... right now I'm a little foggy with finding rankings for the juniors as I can't seem to find it on the UCI site.

We also have no less the 8 engineers that will be racing the Legend Mk1 and giving us feedback.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Current List of Legends

First Name Last Name Brand Country
proto Keith Scott Ban/Mythic UK
proto Simon Cardone banshee FRA
proto Marcelo Gutierrez banshee COL
1 Dalen Stanley banshee CAN
2 Shin Lee banshee CAN
3 Jeremy Holdorff banshee USA
8 Curt Clemetson banshee USA
9 Rachel Bauer banshee USA
10 Kenneth Howard Mythc UK
11 Jay MacNeil Ban/Mythic CAN
12 Andrew Dickson Mythic UK
13 David Hansen banshee CAN
14 Steven Abell banshee CAN
15 Steve Mathews banshee AUS
16 MB not confirmed banshee BRA
17 Roman Kolbin banshee RUS
18 Alessio Ciciriello banshee ITA
19 Marco Smeriglio banshee ITA
20 Francesco Corrente banshee ITA
21 Luigi Ferdusi banshee ITA
22 Dave Heatherington banshee AUS
23 Kristina Shiel banshee AUS
24 Marcelo Gutierrez banshee COL
27 Jason Seong Ju banshee KOR
28 Doron Catoni banshee BRA
29 Volkmar Berchtold banshee BRA
30 Leandro Campovilla banshee BRA
31 Bruno Spader banshee BRA
32 Leofacia Baptista banshee BRA
34 Knut-Ove Kvarme banshee NOR
35 Jason Tan banshee MAS
37 Jared Wilson banshee AUS
39 Diogo Goncalves banshee BRA
41 Jason Boone banshee USA
43 Guy Gibbs banshee NOR
44 Caio Sadocco banshee BRA
46 Colin Godby banshee USA
47 Gabriel Napole banshee BRA
48 Junior Soroca banshee BRA
50 Aaron Neumann Mythic UK

Monday, November 26, 2007

Its not a spy shot if... take the photo or if you allow someone to take a photo of it.
So heres NOT-a-spy shot of the AMP protos.We have listened to you and we'll do the Amp raw with no decals at all. We'll throw a bunch in the box and you can decide if and where to put them.
You could spray paint the frame if you want and apply the decals after or keep it raw.

However we will put "banshee" on the inside of the non-driveside chainstay so you can keep it low key but people can still notice that you're riding a cool frame and not a POS.

Frame in pic still needs the iscg tabs to be welded on

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Scott Alleyn

Just a little early vid from Scott.
He's riding a Wildcard now and he was great in helping Keith put the numbers together for the Amp. Scott and Keith will be getting the first Amp prototypes and both of them will be hitting the jumps hours later. I'm hoping we can show you pictures in a few weeks.
Looks like we're going to be painting... well... not painting the Amp. Poll numbers show raw is in the lead and being a company that listens to its riders we have to honor what they ask for.

In the meantime heres a little vid of Scott before we picked him up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

black Mythic WILDCARD

quick post from Rob's a lovely looking Wildcard in all black

looks really Lyric coil forks, all black wheels and black parts

its slightly heavier than my Team WC due to the choice of parts but it still rides really sweet and the owner (Jason) is very stoked...


DHX Air shock, Lyric Coil U-Turn fork, Cane Creek Double Xc headset, RF Diablous bar
Thomson 4X stem, Sun MTX 26" rims on Hope Pro2 hubs, Maxxis High Roller 2.5" tires
Avid Juicy 5 brakes, SRAM X-9 mech and shifter, E13 SRS chain device, Shimano Saint 38T cranks, DMR V-8 pedals, DMR Longhaul saddle, Shimano XT cassette and SRAM chain

black is tasty.....hmmm....

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wildcard in Czech Republic

I was ecited when my new Wildcard arrived. Now I have the Wildcard ready for more than fourteen days. At first I wanted to take some nice pictures and then post a short rewiev, but I take only short test on dirt jumps and than the weather in Czech Republic turns bad. It was still horribelly rainy and snowy. Now it is little bit beater, its still snowing, but whit no rain:)

So, now something about bike. I em worry that I would say nothing new about Wildcard, because Rob have written perfect review and I agree with his opinions .My first inpresions were lightness and smoothness. Only the frame is 1Kg lighter than my previous Chaparral. I chose coil Fox DHX 5 damper, because it better suits my more freeride oriented style. Progressivity of coil damper is fine on big drops, road gaps.. I tried to build the bike whit two different forks: marzocchi 66 (180mm of travel) and older marzocchi Z1(150mm). It works fine whit both of them, but I thing that the smaller and lighter Z1 fits the bike batter (I going to change it for new rock shox domain 160mm whit U-turn). I really love the geometry of Wildcard. Lower bb, short chain stay , longer top and nice head angel make wildcard very controllable in every riding situation. Low center of gravity and short chain stay is perfect for agresive turning, wheelie and jumping.

My first test ride was on dirt jumps and it was really fun!
It is like jumping on hard tail but with much more confidence.

Bike is fast, pedaling and accelerating very well. Jumping is its strongnes. Thanx to low center of gravity is very easy to do tabletops or handle it in the air in general. Longer top tube give you lot of space for x-ups and barspins and make bike confortabel on big airs. Good weith is big advantage too. At the 5" at front and rear setting it will be perfect choice for dirt jumping and I will prefer widcard for dirt in stead of my hardtail.

Than I ride the Wildcard on local DH/freeride trail (on snow). Wildcard is not a downhill bike, but suspendion works good and bike was perfect manageable even in steep technical sections. I have to say again how great is wilcard in corners.

I cant weight to ride Wildcard in better conditions on more trails and on some bigger stunts.

Chapparal was great bike but the Wildcard is perfect, I love it! Good job!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cool Links

Every now and then we're going to throw up a site that we think is worth checking out.
I'm going to start with with Devon's
He'll be working with Deadbros. Racing next year as the team mechanic for their mountain states cup team.
Anyway his pics are pretty awesome, and I especially like his landscapes... they really are spectacular.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Legend refinement explained

Jay explains how the 50 testing/sponsorship thing will work.

emails to

08 Banshee's arrive in Italy

Nick made a little vid of the Francesco and Luigi getting their first shipment in. Looks like Christmas morning as they couldn't wait to get the stuff and then build them up... I'll bet it was a late night.

Check out the vid and pics at the Freebike site

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wildcard Shock positioning.

Some of you out there are getting your wildcard frames now, so I thought I would post this up so you knew how to position the shock in the frame so as not to have issues of interference between the downtube and reservoir or similar.

Thanks to Rob for the images.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wildcard session at Esher Shore

Rob Posing for a photo to send to the nice people at Da Kine

Sunday came and brought perfect weather for a Wildcard test session at Esher Shore..finally a chance to put the new Wildcard through a proper beat down....and no hills in sight to climb up which was a relief

We ran the WC in the 5" travel setting to get it to sit lower with a slacker head angle, and turned off the platform in fork and shock to make the bike nice and plush for riding the trails and stunts found at Esher Shore

Keith turned up just before lunch, and Esher trail crew member John "Jesus" Holme turned up on his Chaparral eager to check out the new Wildcard...he's had his eye on one for a while

I rode the Wildcard on all the trails across the park, and it took a little getting used to the light weight and increased chuckability compared to the old Chaparral, it was very easy to over rotate my hip airs as i found out several kid said "thought you were going for a 360 there!"

Rob chucking the WC down the Stuntgod hip line

Keith then had a good session riding the Wildcard, the first proper ride he said he'd had in a long while, and came into the Freeborn shop next to the trails with a big grin on his face

John showing off his crazy trackstand skillz...

Keith and John spent the afternoon blasting round the trails, trying out all the different stunts, including some stunts that neither of them had tried before, not too many crashes thankfully!

Keith getting to grips with the brutal drops on the Stuntboy trail

I weighed the bike on some digital scales - 35.3lb spot on - so very light for a mid-travel slopestyle bike; Keith and I looked over the build and realised there was no where that any more weight could be shed without resorting to using carbon fibre, titanium or compromising the strength - and with the WC being a handful already, doubtful whether taking off more weight would be a good thing!

Rob dropping into "The Demo" trail pit of out for the rabid badger!

As is usual on Sunday, it was a busy day at Esher Shore, and plenty of riders were curious about the new bike, and exactly what was going on with the cameras and Keith and John flinging themselves about the trails...

Apart from a crash at the bottom where some guy hurt his ankle, it was an awesome day and a long overdue reminder of how much fun riding at Esher Shore can be...check out for more information on the bike park

The Wildcard performed very well and was really fun to fling about, and coped very well with all the skinny technical stuff like "The Woodpile", "Rotor Wrecker" and "Skinny Jim", and seemed happy riding the faster trails like "Dirtboxing", "Stuntgod" and "Earthling" which are littered with all kinds of drops, berms, gaps and stunts

Next test will be going to Woburn Sands and flinging the Wildcard off some big drops and over some road gaps...I'll keep you updated

Rob C

Monday, November 12, 2007

Background of the Legend

Why did I chose this linkage design?

Over 2 years ago, I was starting my final year of a masters in mechanical engineering degree and had managed to arrange for my thesis to be designing a DH race Bike for Banshee (I knew the Banshee guys already for a summer working with them out in Vancouver).

I wanted to come up with something new, but was not prepared to design an overly complicated linkage that had to use marketing gimmics to sell it (like some bike companies seem to resort to).

Firstly, I took into account all the aspects of the design that I felt were very important for a DH race bike, such as having a high strength and light weight design with a very low centre of gravity, and race geometry with low standover etc..

Once I had sketched loads of different suspension linkage options, I finally settled on this system, as all aspects of the linkage (such as axle path, chain stretch, leverage ratio, force interface, angular rotation of rear triangle, instantanious centre, centre of curvature etc etc) are highly tunable, and with the shock just above the BB, the centre of gravity is very low in the frame.

The next stage was to work out a way of fitting the shock and pivots into the system, this is where I started to design the forged shock basement to not only fit all the parts together, but to do it in a very lightweight and strong way that removed welds for the areas of high stress.

Then it was a case of doing hundereds of linkage itterations to find the pivot and shock mount loactions that would give the best possible suspension characteristics for DH racing, and I also spent a lot of time comparing my linkage performance with many other top DH bike designs to ensure that on paper the legend suspension out preformed them all.

Once I was happy with the linkage (which took 6 months or so of hard work!) I started to do the 3D modeling of the frame with detailed stress anaylsis. again there were a number of design itterations with redesigns to reduce high stress regions and reduce material where there were low stresses to save weight. I also wanted to keep clean lines and simple but efficient aesthetics trhought the frame design.

This has been going on for about 18 months on and off to achieve this model, and once the prototypes are ready, then I am more than prepared to carry on the improvement process to refine the design further with yet more feedback from racers and test riders. By the time the first 50 frames are released to racers around the world the frames should be dialed, but I will still be asking for yet more feedback and ideas to improve the design even more!

We are treating the Legend as an engineering and design project, with the aim to give our riders the best possible tool for the job. We ae not going to be making money on the Legend as it is costing us a lot to manufacture and develop. People might find this weird, but personally I believe that the flagship model of any company represents the whole brand. And as we are a 'new' Banshee, we have to show people how our design ethic has changed, and preformance has improved to meet and exceed the customers expectations.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

River Crossin' Bike Race

This past saturday a local bike team, Stomparillaz, put on a second annual bike race called the River Crossing Bike Race. Set up more as a cyclocross race, it was set in beautiful Carbondale Colorado. The field ranged from 14 year old kids on full blown cyclocross bikes, to Max (race organizer) ragin' the race on his xtracycle (, to banshee's very own Linden Carlson on his four year old Morphine set up single speed. I was headed to the race to photograph and help promote Stomparillaz so Linden said, "I might as well join." The six dollar entry fee got you a race map and a personalized mix of music put together by Max Copper.

For those who don't know Max or the Stomparillaz, this race was sure to match the whole attitude and atmosphere they create. The race rules give an idea of how they roll....

The race winner came in over two minutes before the pack, and Linden came in somewhere in the group. No one really seemed to care their time or place. It was all about getting out with friends and riding your bike. And not to mention it was Nov. 10th so it was great to be able to ride. For more from that race check the Stomparillaz Brigade at

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gate Star mock up

Gate Star also known as the Banshee party animal and killer artist [you should see some of his stuff] threw this up in the comments section but I wanted it so you wouldn't have to copy the link. This is the 3rd one I've seen so far... I think its awesome people are doing all these photoshop pics. Thats Keith with Steve and it was the last night of the Eurobike show... good times ... man i got sh*t faced.
Forks not raked enough but over all i like it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

3D spin around the Legend

Here is a (large) Legend frame model, just to give you all a quick view around it, and show you how the suspension will work.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Banshee Legend Mk1 - light and fast

The launch of what should prove to be one of the best DH race bikes... you could say it is the birth of a Legend!After over 2 years of development, study, analysis, calculations, consults, and multiple redesign iterations, I am very proud to give you your first glimpses of the Banshee Legend MkI DH race bike.

The Legend MkI is the flagship for the new improved Banshee. This bike is made purely for DH race, and that is reflected in the geometry, weight and performance.

Coming from a clean slate, the Legend MkI has been designed for one thing... to go fast! Every aspect of the frame has been meticulously designed to be light [8.5 - 9lbs] and low.
Having a low centre of gravity on a bike makes it more stability, especially at speed, and makes the bike much easier to lean into corners and tear around them.

One of the best ways to keep the center of gravity close to the ground, is to place the shock (relatively heavy, especially with the 3" stroke shock the Legend MkI takes) as low as is physically possible in the frame without leaving it exposed below the BB. The legend has achieved this by enclosing the shock in a machined shock basement forging which allows the shock to effectively go where the down tube would be.

The shock basement is designed to be the lightest possible way to achieve the low shock positioning, but it also is an incredibly strong design for its weight. Since the shock basement is 2 side forgings welded together down the centre line, this means that there are no welds at all taking the high loads of the rear suspension linkage. As we all know, welds are the weakest part in any frame, so by removing them completely from the high stress areas we can achieve a very good strength to weight ratio.

The linkage is a specifically designed to be the best preforming DH race suspension system available on the market today (according to data, calculations and performance graphs). This has been achieved by carefully manipulating pivot positions and linkage lengths to optimize such factors as leverage ratio, chain stretch, pedal kickback, force profiles, rear triangle angular displacement, axle path, instantaneous center, center of curvature and many more characteristics.

The results of the thousands of iterations and calculations, models and remodels is a linkage that will enable the fastest riders to go faster!

The Legend linkage exhibits:
  • Adjustable travel between 7" and 8.5" with self adjusting geometry
  • An initially rearward axle path for small square edge bump sensitivity

  • Initial chain stretch of which the rate diminishes as the suspension compresses deeper into its travel, to improve pedaling efficiency, while limiting pedal kickback

  • A progressive to linear leverage ratio which will results in a highly efficient pedaling platform

  • Active suspension under braking

  • Ultra low center of gravity and BB height

  • Lateral stiffness to ensure that the power from the pedals goes straight to the back wheel rather than frame flex soaking it up.

  • Cold form extrusion link and shock actuator
  • Bushings instead of bearings
With the same style internal grease injection pivots used in the VF4B frames combined with large diameter advanced polymer bushings, result in a supple suspension linkage with great performance and ultra low weight, whilst keeping the maintenance simple and cheap.

The Legend Mk1 also has a Banshee propietary custom triple butted hydroformed tubeset which result in large weld interfaces and integrated gussets, as well as the internally ribbed chainstays and seatstays that Banshee is famous for.

With a 150 x 12mm maxle compatible dropouts the backend will be stiff and quick to change a flat if required to.

Chainline is dialled with the 83mm BB shell and integrated ISCG 2005 standard for chainguides

The 1.5" head tube allows our riders to either run the new generation of 1.5" stearer forks, or to run a zero stack reducer headset to keep the front low.

Again, the estimated frame weight without shock should be around 8.5-9lbs, but we will have to weight til the prototypes are ready to weigh them accurately. This bike will only be available in limited number to DH racers for 2008, so apply now for a chance to get your grubby mitts on one!

Update: Thanks to Valerio188 for the complete bike pic at the top done in photoshop... great work.

more information here

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mythic Team Wildcard

Hey its Rob Cole here from London, England

I'm feeling a little sore today as there's nothing like the excitement of getting a new bike to get you all fired up...I spent most of yesterday blasting around my local trails on my new Team Wildcard

The Wildcard had looked pretty cool in the pictures i'd seen over the last few months, but there's nothing like getting the frame in your hands to really have a good look over it...but this frame gazing didn't last long as I put it straight into the workshop here at Freeborn Bikes Esher, and built it up with a choice selection of parts

The aim was to get the most out of the Wildcard's potential, and that is where the dilemna comes you build it with heavier "freeride" parts or lighter "all mountain" parts...or a mixture of the two? Or do you spend more money to get the lighter parts that have enough strength for freeride and slopestyle?

We know the Wildcard is being marketed and has been designed as a "Slopestyle" bike, but that is not to say it can't operate outside of this style of fact you will find that many riders look at the amount of travel and geometry of a frame, and then have their own ideas about what kind of riding it would be good for...their kind of riding!

This was my thinking with the Wildcard...we don't actually have any "Slopestyle" parks here in the UK and to be realistic, Slopestyle is really a professional, showcase event - not something that is easy to jump into without having some serious skill and experience on a bike...unless you want to take a trip in a "white taxi" to the nearest casualty department

But what we do have in the UK is lots of small venues with short-course DH tracks, places like Esher Shore, PORC and Chicksands that are littered with jumps, small hucks, drops and bits of North Shore elevated trails - all terrain that is perfect for a lighter, mid-travel play bike

Lots of people will ride hardtails at these venues, and there is nothing wrong with riding a hardtail, but why not have a sweet full-suspension bike so you can ride harder with more control? We've all ridden hardtails in the past, and might have had moments when you've pushed the bike beyond its control limits, or backed off from trying a trail or stunt as you know you really need the cushion of some rear suspension...

Riders in the UK are waking up to the potential of short travel and mid travel play bikes, and Mythic's new frames like the Rampant and Wildcard are ideal for these riders - it might be designed for "4X" or "Slopestyle" but the UK rider is thinking "perfect for Chicksands" or "yeah just right for Esher Shore"...

Of course we are actually building a Slopestyle flavoured bike park here at Esher Shore, on the site of the old Dirt Jump park, and this is a difficult design brief, as people want to jump and practise their tricks, but without killing themselves in the process...I've worked it all out and its gonna be dope

And of course having a bike like the Wildcard means that i am going to be testing and riding all of the new stuff we build long before we open the gates to the public...the Wildcard for me brings a wave of change to my riding, on the back of all the BMX riding I've been doing the last year

I've been riding long travel hucking bikes for past couple of years...and enjoyed it...but suffered with the extra weight and clumsier handling..especially when trying more new school stuff like rotations and dirt jumping - ever tried to 360 a Scream on a step-up? ( I didn't get past 270 degrees...)

Again it all comes down to terrain, and the market here in the UK is radically shifting as the mid travel and shorter travel bikes are making the sales. Increasing rider skill and smoother trails mean you don't have to have a huge hucking bike to do some freeriding...and from riding the Wildcard the past couple of days I am totally stoked on the possibilities to have one bike strong, nimble and light enough for anything from trail riding to full-on freeride

Its funny how things work out...the UK distributor had a mix-up in their warranty dept and sent my Totem Solo Air to another customer...which was cool as they offered me a new fork - i opted for the 2008 Lyric 2-Step which was in many ways a better fit for the Wildcard

I've seen the prototype Wildcards running the Totem and Marzocchi 66 forks, and both are awesome forks for a more freeride orientated build...but with the Lyric the fork is slightly lighter and a touch shorter, and has the 2-Step adjustment to give 115mm or 160mm which balances really well with the Wildcard's 5" and 6.5" travel settings

This theme of lighter weight continues with my build, after the forks the wheels are very important and I built up some Sun Singletrack rims on Hope Pro 2 hubs, with a special 10mm bolt-up rear Pro 2 hub which Hope make to order - this has huge 10mm allen key bolts instead of the usual quick release axle / skewer setup - this makes things tight and secure at the back, I am not a fan of quick release axles on any Mountain Bike!

I chose some Syncros BHT tires in Kevlar bead which are stupidly light - around 750gm each - which is awesome for a 2.5" width tire, and inflated these using the Stan's No-Tubes tubeless conversion system.

The Stan's rim-strip and liquid sealent only adds around 90gm to each wheel instead of the usual 400gm for a DH tube, and you don't get pinch flats anymore, but the most noticeable change is the hugely increased "ground feel" from not having the inner tube fighting the tire as it deforms over rough ground - this has to be tried to be believed

Full parts list all in weight - 34.9lb

Mythic Team Wildcard, medium size, Fox DHX Air shock
Cane Creek Double Xc headset (1.5" -> 1.125" reducer)
Rockshox 2008 Lyric 2-Step fork (115-160mm)
SRAM X-9 shift pod and X-9 mid cage rear mech
SRAM PC-971 chain and PG-970 11-28 cassette
E13 STS ISCG 05 chain device, E13 Guide ring 36T
Sun Singletrack rims, 32H, 26" - Hope Pro 2 hubs (20mm and 135mm), DT Swiss d/b spokes
Syncros BHT Kevlar 26" x 2.5" tires, Stan's No-Tubes conversion kit
SDG Bel Air saddle, Praxxis alloy post, M-Part seatclamp
Thompson 4X 31.8mm, 50mm stem and Easton EA-70 31.8mm bars
Avid Juicy 7 brakes with 185mm G2 rotors and Straitline levers
ODI Lock-on grips, Syncros Mental Alloy pedals

Yesterday I went riding up in North London's Hampstead Heath, an area with 3000 acres of ancient woodland, and did some long technical climbs, singletracking, some fast downhill runs with plenty of little jumps and drops...and the Wildcard flew over these trails way faster than any of my previous bikes...bearing in mind its the first time i've been on a Mountain Bike in 3 months, that is saying something

Its early days yet, and I haven't had the chance to give the Wildcard a proper beating...I've had a couple of runs down the big Stuntgod trail in Esher Shore, and overshot every landing!! This bike is definitely gonna be alot of fun to ride

Banshee are definitely onto something with the Wildcard, I am really stoked to finally have a light weight freeride bike that will actually climb very easily and feels very quick under power, yet has the right geometry for high speed descending and technical riding, and a suspension system that works with an air shock yet does not feel constipated!

Its got a totally different feel to the older Scream and Chaparrals, and I'm not just talking about the reduced weight, the Wildcard is slightly longer and doesn't feel "chopped out" which means it rails the corners way better, and of course the full lenght seatube is a huge bonus for those times when you gotta go climb up some mountain

Awesome work Jay and Keith....