' On May 18th I decided it was time to put my body and my bike to the test to see what level I was riding at and just how fast I could go DOWNHILL on my Banshee Rune.
I entered the first BC Cup DH race of the 2008 season. Race the Ranch DH in Kamloops B.C......a freeride and DH hotspot in beautiful British Columbia. The only changes I made to my bike for the race was the addition of an e.13 chain guide; my bike weighed in at 32.4lbs. Besides that it was my normal everyday set-up. The course was a 1.5 km off camber steep dusty course that had a bunch of tight turns, gaps, rock gardens and a couple spots where a good pedaling bike will excel. The Rune turned out to be the perfect bike for the course.
At the start gate during a training I looked around at all the tricked out full DH bikes but I knew that the Rune was more than capable of handling a DH race. On a practice run I started my watch to gauge my time and at the bottom I compared my time with other racers and in hearing their times, I knew I was going to be competitive in my class.
The rear end of the bike tracks so well and is so stiff laterally that the off camber sections that were giving people heaps of trouble were a breeze for me. Tight turns were also a non issue and the pedaling sections were a spot were I knew I was making up good time. The bike handles the rough and gnarly sections without a peep and the 1.5" head tube kept the front end stiff and true.
On race day, I rode conservative on the top and let it all hang out in the really fast swoopy sections. I didn't make any huge mistakes and gave it my all in the pedaling sections. In the end, I came in 3rd place in my class (1.2 seconds behind second place and the winner of our class had the fastest overall time!!). Needless to say I was pleased, not only with myself, but with the bike as well. I could not ask for more out of the bike and racing it competitively certainly shows that it is a far more capable bike than what most people expect from a bike in the AM category. '
If you want to see more from Dean check out his blog.