Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Matt Brooks

Hey there everyone, I’m Matt Brooks and I am the newest addition to the Banshee freeride team. I thought I would sit down and let you know a little about myself, and my riding,

First of all lets get the boring stuff out of the way, I’m 22, blonde hair and blue eyes, live in Kamloops, and have been riding for about 8 years. Great, now that we got that out of the way we can get to some more interesting stuff. If I’m not out riding I like to spend time with my girl friend or other friends, because a lot of my summer is occupied by riding so I don’t get to see them as much as I would like. A usual casual day for me is spent down by pioneer park/ beach, or floating down the river. Sounds rough eh? We also like to try and spend at least a few weekends of the summer out camping and 4x4ing. Nothing like the great out doors! Another thing I have been doing, especially in the last year is working with the Kamloops Bike Ranch. I’m not sure if everyone knows yet but Kamloops has a city funded bike park, which is one of the first of its kind, so I like to try and put some hours in there when I can, just helping with shaping lips, and general up keep.

As far as my riding goes this season I had a great start to the year, shooting with multiple photographers, and freeride entertainment. However, I suffered a fairly serious ACL tear in my left knee which will probably end the rest of my season. I will still try to make it out to the remaining events like Crankworx so you might see me lurking around the village. Hopefully when I see my orthopedic surgeon after Crankworx he will give me some good news and get my in for surgery ASAP. Oh well, better luck next year I suppose. Luckily before the crashed I got lots of building done in Kamloops for New World Disorders new movie. There has also been lots of construction going on in my friend Brad’s back yard and I am happy to say that we finally have our own private foam pit! One of the cooler things that happened riding this year though was living with Kurt Sorge. We got to build, shred and film a lot together this year which was a nice change of pace. As always riding this year has been a blast and I’m sure you will be hearing from me again soon. Remember, ride Banshee, and ride hard!

Jay says "make sure you check Matt out in NWD8... AZ Freeride has scoped out a teaser someone posted on youtube. Also Matt was able to get some filming in with Rebel Media and Wicked Wheels for those of you who can get that show in Europe"
I did get a message saying the surgeon had checked out his leg and he's ok to do some light riding until his surgery but needs to keep the knee from swelling up. He should be 100% for next riding season so we're really happy the prognosis is good and that he'll be back doing what he loves.

Matts riding pics are courtesy of John "gibby" Gibson

Pyre MrkII Images

Some screen shots of the pyre mrkII

Pictured here is the large frame.

The only things that are the same are the hydroformed toptube and downtube, the BB extrusion, and the lower link (although changed geometry to ensure that it is fully compatible with front derailleur). There will be a size to fit everyone!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Crankworx [saturday]

Met Chris at the Crankworx competition and told him just to ride his ride and not to worry about what was getting thrown down. He had a solid first run and played it safe, as most of the top guys tend pull out the big bag o tricks only when they need to.
Chris's second run was not as good as the first although it could've been much better if he hadn't have wrecked his seat after landing a superman seatgrab a little off which bent the seatrails and twisted the saddle. The top part of his run was clean, flowy and had a tuck no hander followed by a superman seatgrab off the first two jumps. If he had of been able to follow that up with a turndown near the RaceFace wall, a one foot corked flip off the next jump followed by something else I think he could have moved into the superfinals as it didn't seem to take much; Vanderham got in with a series of motowhips so I know it would have been possible.

The judging was pretty good for the most part but a few of the calls really made the spectators question what was going on; with a 360° stomped clean at the last drop clearly the right guy won - Congrats go to Ben Boyko.

Even though the usual suspects had a few big crashes which one could question how they made it to the finals, I think the fans want to see the recognizable names and the judges know if they can get a second chance they do have the talent to give the crowd what they want. In the end you want an entertaining contest even if you have to play with the numbers a bit. You could see guys like McCaul, Zink, Bearclaw really throwing caution out the window just to please the fans and they paid with some nasty crashes for the attempts, but big props to them and I'm glad everyone walked away.
Paul Bass had a big crash at the end after landing a tailwhip off the TV-tron drop when his front tire crumpled. I think he could have rode it out if the transition wasn't so flat. You could see the younger guys taking major whiplash once they landed and I bet 90% of the riders were just too scared of the landing to pull anything major.
The buzz I've been hearing is they'll probably change the course up for next year, but the battle will still rage on whether they want a course -similar to the elevation jumps- that a BMX guy on a hardtail can win or keep it massive to segregate mountain biking from dirt jumping. Its pretty clear the fans want more and bigger tricks and there's a lot of pressure to give them what they want, so I suspect a slightly smaller course next year with more flow.
From my perspective I hope they can keep the same size but work on the transition a bit more on the last drop. Also try to increase the flow a bit more with less criss-crossing the mountain with nothing in between and lastly have the course laid out early and keep it the same as I heard they kept changing it right up until the last minute.

Chris and Alan will be heading back to Auz. to train all winter. They will be back next year and hopefully we can get them both in the contest and other slopestyle events.

I'll put up more in the next few days, but I'm kinda burnt out... It was a long week and its time to do some recovery.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Headed out to Whistler early this morning but arrived a little late to catch Alan and Chris's qualifying runs; they were both in the first group of three.
After only about 5 minutes in Chris's name was posted on the massive TV screen showing he's qualified 4th in his group but it looks like Alan didn't squeek through - too bad.
I'll get some pics of the comp and of the lads throwing it down on the elevation jumps.

There was lots of carnage today and Cowan's slopestyle course definitely seperated the men from the boys. There were some riders who think they're better then they actually are and shouldn't be showing up to qualify because I'm sure there were a few better riders that could've taken their spots but because of the lottery system didn't get in. That said I think this year is the fairest its been for being an "open" comp, and nothing is every perfect so no complaints from me... its a total pro event all the way and I saw a lot of "happy to be here" faces.

Scott Alleyn came up short on the drop in during practice and twisted his ankle. Honestly I'm kinda glad cause I was really afraid he was going to seriously hurt himself. The course is big and to do it on a hardtail takes some kind of guts, to do it on a broken hardtail thats well...
He was suppose to be in heat 3 but I didn't find out he was not riding until I called him from inside the middle of the course. He's in the pic standing in the white shirt with a phone to his ear behind the pipes of the judges platform sitting with Dylan Tremblay and crew. I snapped the pic while I was on the phone with him telling him I was taking his picture as he looked around for me "are you that fat old dude?" hahaha uh no Scott thats not me try again.

Jarl Jensen is also in town and we're hoping he'll become our next DH racer. He's an Aussie and everyone knows those guys are fast. I was sure we had him "sewn up" but it looks like other big names have seen his potential and have also made him an offer. I'm sure I can do some fancy negotiations and keep him under our banner [the pic is of me doing some of those negotiations]. He's stoked to ride the Legend Mk1 and the Rampant at the US Mountain States cup next year, and him and Keith have made a few tiny tweeks to the design. He's a great guy and would fit in well with our 22Pride.

Kim Subrunoff has been riding the Rampant for us and got 4th in the Womens Air DH on it. She wasn't actually racing but boosting large on the jumps. I'm totally cool with all our riders just going out and having fun and if they place high in the rankings thats just a bonus.
Tomorrow she'll compete in the Dual Slalom.
The pics are of the last training run of the day and because the track was getting chewed up they had to shut it down early to save it for the comp, with the last one being of Keith talking about the course and some techniques for the course. I would have liked to get more pics but I think my best ones will have to come tomorrow and Sat.

Matt Brooks just called while I'm writing this.... he says he just arrived in Whistler and will be there until Sunday because he's got a doctors appointment to look at his torn ACL on Monday. He tore it filming with Troy and gang from Rebel Media when a gust of wind rotated his bike on a huge jump. Wind is a big factor, and I'm sure its been the same in the slopestyle qualifiers as it doesn't take much to throw you off your intended target.

Bumped into Transition rider Mike Metzger, looks like he's out again this year with an injury. Its too bad he can't catch a break cause he's a good rider and would totally do well at this comp. We used to sponsor his good buddy Grant Brashears [who left us to start a family] and so I know him through that.

Well I'm going to sign off.. I need my rest because there will be a hard days work of drinkin tomorrow and I need to be at the top of my game. Bradley [Brad Ewen - Crankworx, Redbull announcer] seems to always keep'm coming when I'm around him and he's about the best guy to party with... at Sun Peaks a few season back I watched him in the bar throw ice cubes at Cedric and then pick him up and throw him on a pool table... all in good fun.
First thing he does when I see him is hands me a ticket for a free pitcher o beer... ah... goodtimes being in the mountain bike industry. There's really a great bunch of people that work behind the scenes too

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sofa King

Keith, just called me about DOD's [David O Dowd] video of the pro's in the boneyard.
We'll you can see Chis Soininen, Alan Hepburn, and new Banshee rider Scott Alleyn on his broken P3 - I couldn't get him a Wildcard in time and there's not enough time for him to get comfortable on a new ride so he's going to ride it in the slopestyle comp, against my wishes cause its broken. I'll be putting Banshee stickers on it tho.

Anyway here's the vid.... you can tell Alan and Chris cause they're the guys wearing full face and Scotts on a blue bike... it is kinda hard to tell whose who tho.

I'm off to Whistler tomorrow with my cameras and media pass. I've got the whole crew up there and want to give you a good look at who the faces are behind the bikes and who will be riding for us next year so I'll try to get as much content as possible.

In addition Simon at the French Championships has been putting some fear into the international pro's in 4X, on the Rampant. I hope to have pics and video soon from the championship.
The Rampants getting great comments both in France and in Whistler, both for its looks but mostly its performance - were letting anyone who wants to give it a try take it for a rip - Pretty cool huh? how many other companies let people ride their prototypes and then get talk to the engineer/designer about how they liked it - its stuff like this that makes me so stoked to be with Banshee

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blog in 2 new flavours

Guillame in France has started to translate the blog in Francias http://bansheefrench.blogspot.com
Gabriel in Brazil is also translating the some of the blog into Portugese

In the future the links can be found on the right column under "Friends"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Horsefeathers Kozzy Style 07

Last two months I spent lot of time organizing and building track for the Horsefeathers Kozzy Style 07. It was the 3th volume of the most significant and largest slopestyle event in Czech Republic.

Over 80 riders from Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria and Slovak took part in this spectacular event.

The slopestyle had everything what good slopestyle should have. 16 feet drop, 40 feet gap, many step downs, wallrides, dirt jumps and so on.

Final runs were realy big show for spectators. We could see clean runs, many huge back flips, three sixties and tailwhips from the drop and also hard crashes. I took the 6th place on my Chaparral. I was the only one who did all the bigest drops and 40 feet gap (with suicide) in one line.

Wojcech Gola from Poland won this contest second time in a row. He showed his skills either on big drops or dirt jumps and added a clean 360 from drop! He rides also on Banshee Chaparral. You can make better image about this event from the videos:




Photo galeries:




For more check official web sites.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pyre Mk II Geometry

I have just finished designing the new banshee Pyre (for release in 2008).
Some of the modeling still needs some work before I show you pictures.

With the introduction of the Rune we wanted to make a more definitive distinction from the current Pyre to the MkII design by moving it further into the lighter duty side of things. The first Pyre is a very capable machine but clearly overlaps with the Rune on a number of features, for example the Rune has 6" of travel and the current Pyre is 5.5".
We've also made some improvements such as using an un-interupted seat tube, direct grease injection pivots with polymer bushings, increased the seat tube lengths on the large and extra large sizes to require less seatpost to be exposed making a stronger supported feeling when pedaling, and with 4.5" of travel, down from its original 5.5", it targets more precisely the trail/aggressive XC rider rather then the enduro market that it was originally made for.
The Pyre MkII is going to be a much lighter bike (medium will be definitely be under 5lbs - frame only) than the previous version and lighter means faster. With its great pedaling characteristics it will become a popular choice for those that want a bike that provides them with a high performance competitive advantage.

Here is the geometry chart; as always I am looking for your feedback!

Pics to follow...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Scythe

The Scythe is the new banshee big travel workhorse. If you want fancy new suspension linkages and a bike that is bling to show off to your mates, this is not the bike for you.
This bike is for people who want a great reliable and tough bike that will put up with abuse on the trail.

The Scythe, is replacing the Scream and Chaparral for 2008, and will have the strength attributes of both, but at a lighter weight, and have a more modern geometry perfectly suited to riders who like tight tech steep stuff, but also ride it with flow and skill.

So whats new?...
.. well we are sticking with the faux bar design for this bike to keep it stiff and strong, but have changed the linkage to allow a longer shock (2.75" stroke), to enable better damping and performance. The linkage is still progressive like the Chaparral and Scream to take the big hits.

The weight is expected to be around 8.5lbs frame only.

Uninterrupted seat-tube
The Scythe features an uninterrupted seattube so that you can pedal up to your super steep hidden trails, then lower the saddle to save your crotch on the big rock rolls.

DH or FR?? you choose the setting
There are 2 travel settings, 7" and 8". and there are two setups for each travel setting, DH and FR. So effectively you have 4 travel settings that only take a matter of seconds to change between. Allowing the rider to set up their bike to suit the type of trail they will be riding.

So what happens when you switch from FR to DH?

-You keep the same amount of travel you were on unless you choose to change this too.

-The head angle slackens

-The BB lowers

-The effective chainstay lengthens slightly, which also lengthens the wheelbase

-The Leverage acting on the shock becomes slightly less progressive to suit the more race orientated riders.

Other big bike features
- 1.5 headtube
- 12 x 150 hub spacing, Rockshox Maxle compatible
- redesigned dropout
- Banshee custom designed 7005 AL hydroformed tubes with integrated gusseting into the shape
- ISCG 2005 chainguide tabs .
- fully compatible with all front derailleurs
- Shimano Saint compatible
- full compliment swingarm and rocker bearings

Anodized grey, ano black, powdercoated white, TEAM with black and hand polished.

This is not designed to be a world class DH specific bike (thats the Legend Mk1), although it will happily take on any DH course out there (will preform best in DH setting) as well as any shore style crazy steep tech trail (FR setting is probably better here were you want higher BB height to get over roots and rocks).

This bike is rough and ready! If you want a bike that will get you down anything you put it through and then sit for days caked in mud before being picked up for the next days bike park ride in the rain, followed by maybe a shore ride later that same week (no shuttling needed) then this is your bike... simple, strong, effective and reliable.
Show it no respect but always count on it to get you home in the end after a punishing ride.

Scythe Geometry

Geometry... (changes in angles etc are result of different travels and settings.)

Click to enlarge)

As always I am eager to hear some feedback! Remeber this is not the DH race bike... it is designed as a freeride bike for the likes of shore and bike park riding .

Szwed... prognosis good, lots of work ahead though

Szwed is out of hospital but has a lot of hard recovery ahead of him. He wanted to make sure I passed on this message.

"Hi my friends I want to tell you my story and say a BIG TRUE THANK YOU to the 22 PRIDE.
Almost 3 weeks ago a had huge and stupid atv accident; it wasn't even training or racing, just a stupid ride.
I cant remember anything (i remember few small facts) I was very lucky because a police officer saw me just a moment after the crash and an ambulance was there within 7 min time, and then I was in the hospital 6min after that.
In a total of 20 min time I had lost 2.6 L of blood and i had 2.5 L of liquid in my lungs, my brain was swelling and my heart muscle was cracked big time. That was the main injures, and doctors where doing me operation and reanimation all night.
I had split open my leg with a broken femur ( I was in shorts and the bone was on the ground and I'm so happy I haven't got a bone infection), I have a huuuuuuuuge cut on the leg that looks like a shark bite I've had 2 operations on that leg.
I've also broken ( don't know in English, big bone on back of shoulder ), as well as broken ribs, damaged knee and damaged small nerve in my leg, but it will be ok.
When i was in my coma the priest gave me even last sacraments.
My troy lee carbon helmet was in 6 pieces.
I'm in my house from yesterday.
My Parent's and My Wife are the best, best best family !!!
In hospital i have realized how much pain a human can take and
after coma when i was on intensive therapy f*ck it's hard, I was so damaged and weak , every normal thing was doing by machines , breathing, etc etc etc, it was a big lesson for me that calculated risk is ok but recklessness can kill quick.

JUST WANT THANK YOU I'm so proud that I'm part of the 22 PRIDE and Keith I'm reading this "Szwed... I know you will be reading these comments, and I hope that they make you feel better and positive!"
and it's maybe funny but i have got tears in my eyes.
I did terrible stupid thing for my family they had 3 f*cked up weeks.
I will be walking in 2-3 weeks biking in 2-3 months so 2007 is over for me but in 2008 i will be stronger then ever on my banshee bicycle Thanks"

We'll I know I speak for all of us that we're delighted that you've come through the worst. Big thanks to everyone that helped in saving you... I definitely think you got lucky Bro. To the police officer, ambulance drivers, doctors and nurses we're thankful you were there at the right time, and did the right things to make sure this situation didn't get any worse than it already was.

There's still a difficult road ahead for both you and your family. Be patient, listen to your body and don't push it too much. Stay positive and be thankful for everyday you've got, even if it gets a little depressing not being able to ride your bike right away. Be patient with your family - I'm sure they're happy that your ok but also angry that you put such a big scare in them. When your a little healthier... they're gonna kill ya - hahaha

From all of us at the Pride we wish you our best!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

22Pride Team news

I had posted up an update about Szwed's progress but figured I'd repeat it here. Szwed is out of his coma and the worst is behind him now.

Matt Brooks was injured on his training runs on one of the built up ladder sections at the Crankworx Colorado competition. It looks like he's compressed one of his vertebrae and will be traveling home to Kamloops either today or tomorrow. He seemed ok but was bummed about having to leave before competing, but we both agreed not to chance further injury and just take it easy until a doctor could give him the all clear. We're hopeful he'll be healthy enough to ride at Whistler's Crankworx later this month.

Chris Soinnenen and Alan Hepburn have both won the Crankworx lottery to qualify for entry and Keith informs me that they're woodshedding in the Airdome to prepare. Chris is working on some backflip variation thats never been done before so I'll try to get some more details on that.
Chris will be riding the Wildcard and hopefully we can get Alans here in time but with the clock ticking he may opt to ride his chap which he's comfortable with right now. I think he's got it down around 37lbs so it should work for him.

Nato aka Nathan Kamilla will hopefully be lining up some filming with Rebel Media when they pass through Vernon and Kelowna and they've promised to give me some of the footage.

I'm still waiting for a reply back from Scott Alleyn to see if he also received word he would be able to compete in Crankworx. It would be great if we could have 4 pride pride riders competing this year.

Jarl Jensen has confirmed he will pilot the Rampant at the 4X competition and although we don't have our DH bike ready yet we'll get him on a bike for the DH course.

Update: July 8/07
Matt called me today and the doc gave him the all clear so we'll be sure to see him at Crankworx.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bike Logos

So these are the logos for each bike.
Each actually has a bit of a story behind it and directly relates to the bike.

For example the Scirocco logo signifies the wings of the thunderbird. A Scirocco is a wind that gains power as it crosses from the Saharra over the Meditaranean Sea and frequently turns into a storm in southern Europe.
The Thunderbird is a mythological bird that inhabited the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. The Squamish and Salish Indian nations had lands that included the Whistler and North Shore mountains where they believed the thunderbird lived... specifically Black Tusk in Squamish. It was said that the thunderbird would flap its wings creating thunder to warn them that they were coming to close to the thunderbird. The bird was enormous in size and could also shoot lightning from beneath its wings.
The thunderbird's wing is a good icon for the Scirocco which is a powerful wind, sometimes turning into a storm storm, that ties in nicely with Banshee Bikes being born from the shore. It also honors the first nations and their lands that we have so much fun riding on.

Really quickly tho:
The Rampant is the Scottish Lion Rampant
The Legend will be a spartan but we're still deciding on the specific graphic
The Pyre is the rear view of a missle turbojet
The Rune is the vegvisir - a nordic compass charm
The Scirocco is the wing of a thunderbird
The Viento is the V surrounded by a laurel wreath
The Scratch is a stylized skull
The Wildcard is a Banshee playing card
The Scythe is 2 scythes in an X shape.
The Morphine is a mean set of brass knuckles

Each bike will be adorned with its specific logos, and when I get the 08 website up it will provide more details on each name, and how the icon represents the bike.

I felt this year it was important to really work at representing the bikes character. A big DH bike is a different machine then a quick, light and fast XC/AM bike like the Viento and I really thought it would be a disservice to the bike to just be lazy and throw on a set of decals that were the same for every single bike in the line up. We spent a great deal of time working on the actual designs and performance characteristics so it was only right to finish them off and give them a little bit more "life".

Huge props go to Ran Berko and his creative team [you know who you are] for turning my concepts and incoherent ramblings into exactly what I was looking for. You must have some crazy, climb in my mind, and figure out what the hell he wants, voodoo.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On Top Demo Day and an update

Had a good turn out despite the Canada day long weekend and the opening of Garbonzo, for our On Top demo day. Weather was good and the trails weren't totally dry but weren't all that wet either... for me thats perfect trail conditions. On Top wants to do another one so if it happens I'll post it up here.

Yeah thats Dan from On Top sleeping in the Van... he was full of poison dulling the pain of his broken ribs sustained early in the week on the same mountain. He was the designated driver for the shuttles.

Me and Keith managed to put together the last prototype medium Rune. Personally I think it looks great and we did manage to get a few rides in down Cypress mountain - it performs just as well as it looks. We've been able to get a few riders under the bike so far and all of the comments have been great.
We also had Keiths Wildcard there and got a lot of questions and a few confirmed sales so we just need to hurry up and get some in.

Chris and Alan are in Whistler right now and Chris has one of the prototypes. Keith is also at Whistler with the Rune proto and the Rampant so if you are up there and want to throw a leg over one to take for a burn send us a message. We've been lending the bikes out to get feedback from everyone.

Shin rode the Rampant at Whistler this weekend and clearly loves it. He says it tears up Aline and Dirt Merchant. I'm waiting for Jarl Jensen our new Aussie DH racer to ride it in the Crankworx 4X... its too bad the DH bike isn't done yet.... oh well. He's been racing on the US National circuit and is excited to be on our race program we're putting together. In addition Linden Carlsons our Colorado rep is putting together a Banshee team for the Colorado mountain states cup - he'll be racing too.

Theres a ton of stuff going on right now its crazy. We've got Rebel Media from Germany out in Kamloops filming then heading to Vernon and back to Vancouver then Whistler. Spent all day building their rides - 3 dialled Chaparrals that I know they're gonna love. They're Wicked Wheels program is popular in Europe so don't worry if you haven't seen them on your local channels... they're working on North American syndication.

I'll be putting up some more info on who we have riding for us but for now we've got new on the program Matt Brooks. He's currently at CrankWorx Colorado competing and then will be back to compete in the Whistler CW. He's on a Wildcard and weeks ago finished filming with Freeride Entertainments NWD8 which he rode a Chap in because we just received his Wildcard and needed to get it to him.
Scott Alleyn... the dude that did the 720 on a broken P3. He had duct taped it so that he could compete and win to boot... well he's apparantly gone through a few more. His Wildcard is on the way and I know him, Chris and Alan are all in the Crankworx lottery. I just hope they get a chance to compete because they're all pretty talented. Scott's moving to Whistler and will be working with Keith this fall to redesign the Calango into a tight little Dirt Jump bike.
Also we have Nathan Kamilla who rides out of the interior, He'll be one of the first with a Scythe as he goes massive... he's also about 6'5". Scott and Nathan are both on Straightline components and thanks goes out to Greg for getting a line on them for us, they really seem like great dudes.
I'll get some more info up about them but its nice to finally get some BC boys under our rigs again.

So heres a bunch more pics and I'll be working on some video as well but I need to get up to Whistler and Squamish to get the bikes in their elements. Seems all our riders are up there right now.

The Scythe should go online pretty soon

One last thing... Happy 4th of July to our friends down South, I'll be down there again this year for the ride across to the Sturgis motorcycle festival in South Dakota, as well as Interbike in LV.