Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Racing on a Scythe...

Here are a couple of pics and comments about one of our racers down in Australia (Dave Hetherington, placed 10th in fort bill in junior worlds last year)

Thanks to Ken at XXIV for photos.Weighs in at 17.5kg (38.6lbs) as built with DH tubes. He plans to drop a bit of weight from the build before racing this weekend. The frame is a size medium, and in the photos it is set up in 8" DH travel setting. the BB drops and the angles slacken when switched to 7" setting.

Some comments from Dave on his impressions after his first day on the bike.

'Banshee Scythe

The first things that are initially noticeable are the excellent pedaling efficiency, due to the light weight and great chainline of the bike. Also the comfortable cockpit and ride position.

The handling, while set in the 7 inch downhill setting, is ideal for tight, technical and “pedally” downhill courses. The head angle makes the bike precise in changing direction quickly and also railing tight turns carrying good speed. Although not being too steep to feel uncomfortable at high speed. The bottom bracket height, not being too low, adds to the enjoyment of the ride making it super easy to clear gaps and get air born over the harsh lines in the rock garden. At the same time giving that little bit extra chain ring clearance in the harder technical sections.

The linkage manages to soak up all the chatter bumps as well as the big hits on the downhill course producing a smooth ride on all kinds of rough terrain. The light weight of the bike adds to the agility and is great for throwing into the turns, getting that tricky line through the rock garden and flicking it where ever you want.

First impressions of the Scythe are all positive. It’s easy to set up, easy to control, is accurate and is ideal as a light downhill sled. 5 stars!'

Dave is just waiting for his legend to get a proper DH race bike, but he seems more than happy to be on the scythe til then, even if it is an extreme freeride bike.

Here are a couple of videos sent to me by Matej Charvat from the Czech republic. I'll let his riding do the talking!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reviews needed

Now that some of you are starting to get some riding in on your new bikes, it would really help me and keith if we could start reading some reviews to see what you guys think. I'm not telling you to write a good or bad review as thats for you to decide but we do read all of them and its super important what every rider thinks. Magazines do a good job but for us at the end of the day its what you guys think that matters the most.

You can find the definitive place for rider reviews here. http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/manufacturers/8509/
and thanks again for the feedback!

Fakawi Tribe

Nick and Josh from Fakawi Tribe in Malaysia dropped me a link to this beauty... check out the thread for some better pics here

Its great seeing our bikes popping up all over the world. Oh and do check out their site its pretty killer... looks like they have some amazing places to ride.
I especially love the color of the saddle and how it compliments the frame so nicely. Great build guys she's a real beut. Weight claimed is 30.7... very nice!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Legend Update

A few of you switched on types have been asking to see the prototype Legend. I was expecting by now to have been able to proudly show it off... but alas, there have been complications (not a big surprise for such an innovative design).

Basically When I sent the design off to the factory a couple of months back for evaluation and tooling set up etc. and well the news came back to me a few weeks later that after all sorts of calculations on time and cost, that it could not be done.

But don't fret! I have been very busy solving the situation with insight from the factory and unofficial help from the Straitline guys (Thanks Greg and co!), I have solved the manufacturing issues without sacrificing strength... and also managed to make the most of the situation by shaving off a few more grams of material, and making the design a little more streamlined.

So yes there have been delays, and as a result the first batch will be delayed slightly, for that I am sorry, but I have been putting in weeks of 14hour design days to keep delays to a minimum.

We are currently manufacturing the prototypes, some to be ridden, and some for destructive lab testing. Based on the results I will get the production design out the door quickly and we will endeavor to get them in to your doors as soon as possible!

Oh yeah, some pics of the new basement design, plus a couple of the other tweaks I made.

Medium legend

Notice machining both inside and outside the basement to create a strong I-beam cross section and save weight

As viewed from the bottom, the new sleeker basement design on top, older design on bottom. also creates a bigger weld interface with the down tube! Integrated cable routing on the top link to reduce weight and allow for link anodizing

There have also been a couple of small geometry tweaks to improve the stand over and feel of the bike, and countless minor changes here and there just to make the design as good as possible.

Monday, January 21, 2008

BNQT.com Interview

Ryan Denehy from BNQT.com interviews me and Keith... check it out here

and make sure to check out their site regularily for cool stuff on all the extreme lifestyle sports.
Its always nice to get a chance to let everyone know what makes us tick and how we go about making bikes and the other stuff that goes with this awesome sport.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nickland.org artwork

Check out the poster art Nick at Freebike has done.
If you want one now fire off an email to him for the hi-res. Hopefully he can do one for each bike and he can offer them as wall posters or desktop backgrounds.
I'm talking with him to see if we can get some of these as well... be cool to have a poster of the bike you ride.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Couldn't pass showing you Zigger's bike

Matt "Zigger" Zagorski
23, Melbourne Australia
Into trail riding, Enduro Racing, odd dash of Downhill
Hometown is the mecca of mountain biking in Australia (he thinks...but it is) Mt Beauty, a town of probably 23 people with 174 trails.

Banshee Rune, Ano Black 14.2kg [31.2lbs]
Fox 36 Talas
Fox DHX Air
Shimano XT Cranks
Shimano XT Mechs
Shimano XT Shifters
Shimano XT Wheels
Avid Juicy 5s
Thomson Stem
Time Atac Pedals
Easton EA70 Monkey Bars

This has got to be one of the nicest bikes I've ever seen, and just had to share

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is Banshee turning into weight weenies?

Nick from Freebike sent me this link to pics of some of the bikes built up. I'm particularily fond of the black and gold Pyre. Not for everyone of course but is that gold braided cable housing or the light? If so I think it really works on this bike.
  • Banshee Pyre: 12.8 kg - 28.1 lbs
  • Banshee Rune: 14,9 kg - 32.7 lbs
  • Banshee Wildcard: 15.87 kg - 34.9 lbs
Very respectable weights and right on target where they should be.
Check out the rest of the pictures here http://www.free-bike.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=67
and thanks to Nick for posting up the thread

UPDATE: Nick mentioned in the comments that they had more pics of the Scythe... and yeah its built up and looks great. Hit the link and scroll to near the bottom.

The weight is 18kg or 39.6lbs which is respectable for an extreme freeride bike with 7" or 8"of travel. I'm not sure which kit they have on it... it looks like our journeyman package so the ultimate one would be lighter slightly. I hope Nick takes more pics of the drivesides of these bikes too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A couple of pics of Amp testing

So The weather here in the UK has been rubbish recently, and everything seems to be flooded, so I haven't had the chance to test the Amp on its real natural habitat of steep dirt jumps, and I don't have the skills to test it properly on street stuff... and I soooo wish I had a pump track to manual through... but I don't!

Instead I thought I would go and hit up Esher Shore (http://www.eshershore.com/) where the wire coated wood is good in all weather, and is a great place to brush up on your skills, with small gaps, drops, step ups, skinnies, berms, wallrides etc, and 90% of it made from wood!

I thought I would throw up a couple of pics (that John took, thanks man!) of me learning how to ride a totally different kind of bike (never owned a proper jump bike before!) Yes, I am a hack! But I have fun so don't care! haha

Friday, January 11, 2008

Banshee Amp Proto

We built up the Amp frame today with some choice kit, keeping it simple with single speed and pretty burly parts.

I was amazed how easy it was to fit the integrated headset, and how light it was! The Amp is probably the closet mountain bike I have ever ridden to a BMX, it really is SO slammed, tight and low. And at a frame weight of only 4.5lbs (for the long size), it will be a GREAT bike for dirt jumping, street and pump tracks.

There are a few things I plan to in the frame change before full production, but the geometry is pretty dialed (shout out to Scott Alleyn one of our riders in Canada) for help with the design, and in particular the geometry. The changes are pretty simple tweaks that will not add any weight, but should improve the aesthetics and performance.

So far I have only had a chance to do some parking lot testing, but it feels really planted. The BB is so low that it just tears round corners, and it feels stiff and responsive under pedaling and J-hoping and manualling are easy as anything!

Massive thanks to Rob Cole for all his help with the spec and build!

Wildcards on Deck

I know most of you have seen this bike many times on this blog, but do you ever get tired of seeing it? The new color that hasn't been seen before is the Mango... definitely a love/hate color. Some will hate it, but some couldn't see themselves riding anything but.

On another note: I want to thank everyone again for their comments and suggestions for helping to make our gear. We're looking already to 2010 and it'd be great to hear some ideas or directions you would take us in the future.
2009 will see the Legend Mk1 and the Amp as additions to the line and thats pretty much it as we will just let things calm down a bit as its been a crazy year getting all the new stuff done.
2010 however I'm starting to investigate a few new technologies and materials for a new bike full on XC race bike. We'll see how that goes but like everything we do you know it will be cool and of the highest quality and performance. Now I'll shut up and let you look at pictures.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Scythes next

As you can tell these are unedited, unphotoshopped images, nothing has been covered up or glossed over. The quality is great right to the smallest detail.
Oh and yes the Maxle comes with the frame as well as the seatpost, extra hanger, and a few other bits. When Keith dropped the top tube lower on the seattube it made a dramatic effect.
These are all medium frames and the larges don't differ too much from the look of the mediums and the smalls look really tight... with a SC fork it would make a great jibbing bike too.