Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Legend Geometry

Well after some feedback from Marcelo and Markolf I have tweaked the Legend geometry slightly to make the bike more comfortable and stable at speed, and also made a few other changes wich will result in a stronger bike with improved preformance whilst keeping the weight down.

For those who are in the lucky 50 and supplying your own shock, make note of the new shock spacings.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

And the verdict is....

Even the big man approves.

Front window of The Gear Exchange in Glenwood Springs, CO.

UK Rune Review

Ian Dixon sent me this in... I think his rune is getting him a little excited, to the extent where he seems to have forgotten what year we are in. Sweet vid tho Ian, looks like some fun riding!

'Hi guys,

Just come back from a ride on the Rune and thought it time to put up a review so far;

I have had just over 2 weeks on the Rune so I thought it was time to share my experiences with you. The frame was ordered on the basis of the geometry, comments on the website and other reviews (maybe not the best way) so it was always going to be a risk.

Well I can honestly say after the ride today; it has all paid off. Last week was at Stainburn-a trail neither I nor the bike had been to before so it was all learning. Today was all familiar stuff; so it was a straightforward comparison (albeit with a Mongoose Teocali; my last bike)

Here goes; the Rune climbs everything the Teocali would-except I am now on flat pedals and 2.35 tyres! Going down there is no comparison-flick the pro pedal off the shock and this thing plain flies. I have now used it on pretty much everything; North Shore, DH runs, 4x tracks, technical climbs and single track and it works well on them all. But I think there is more to come; the current Pike fork is maybe a little short, so I am looking at 160mm (probably a Wotan and will mess round with stack heights to see what is best for me) this will give me 120mm going up and 160mm going down on the fly and open up all manor of stuff.

So up to now it’s all good and I will give an update once the fork has been swapped out. In the meantime all I can say is that if you are in the market for a do it all bike then this really does fit the bill. Thanks Keith and Jay, keep it up-excellent product.'

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HIgh EleVATion BIKing!!!

Linden and I rode our bikes to the summit of red mountain #1 today. The peak is in the San Juan Range, and with a summit elevation of 12,800ft it is no walk in the park. But the views were amazing, breath taking, mind blowing, and all the above. I could not think of a single place better to be this morning.

"Views? Naw we are all out of those 'round here. Heard you can find um in Texas." Linden snapping a shot of the views on our hike a bike up Red Mountain.

My rig. Single speed Scirocco. Single speeders get off more.


here's a sweet build i just did

Mythic Rampant

Rampant, short, Fox RP2
Cane Creek C-2 headset
Rockshox Pike 454 Coil U-Turn
Race Face Diablous stem, 25.4mm bar, 50mm length
Race Face Diablous bar, 25.4mm clamp
Race Face Loc-on (ODI) grips
Praxxis seatpost
DMR Expert saddle
SRAM X-9 shifter pod (9 speed) and X-9 mid cage rear derailleur
Shimano SLX (!!) HT2 chainset, 36T and E13 SRS ISCG-05 chain device
DMR Pro disc 26" wheels, 20mm front and 135mm x 10mm rear
SBC Fast Trak LK 26" 2-bliss kevlar tires
Avid Juicy 5 hydraulic disc brakes, 185mm front and 160mm rear
DMR V-8 pedals

Its sub 30lb and feels very quick, and super nimble

Would make an awesome dirt jump / slopestyle and of course, 4X racing rig ;)

Most surprising thing was the build price, only GBP£2100 all in (there is hope for you Kona owners yet, ha ha!)

2,100.00 British pounds sterling = 4,215.54 Canadian dollars

Exchange rate: 2.007400
Rate valid as of: 26/7/2008


Rob c

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Redbull Round UP

Update: July 24th
We'll its tomorrow so come down if you're in the area and can make it. Again it starts a 6pm and runs until 8pm... I'll be there with Greg from Straitline so if you see us say hi.
I'll try to bring a bunch of stickers in my back pack

Update: July 21

Just got some more info on teh Roundup.
On the Redbull site there is more info here
So its sounds pretty freaking awesome actually

Heres from the release i just got
"Drawing on the vision of “The Claw” – Darren Berrelcoth - the course construction for this two-day showdown will be part mountain and part street and dirt jump. On day one the riders will teleport to a 1930s movie set in Chicago Town. Like any good script, this North Clark Street warehouse district will feature an innovative and challenging mountain bike lines through a classic backdrop. Among the features are a scaffold drop which will turn into a six-pack wood quarter into a street line with a variety of wall rides and step ups.

Leaping forward to 2008, day two will transport the riders to Whistler where they will be confronted with a timed run down Double Vision in the Whistler Blackcomb Bike Park. Following this timed run section, riders will continue through a judged area consisting of big mountain hits.

The Round Up posse of emerging riders will be judged by the sport’s established legends – Darren Berrecloth, Robbie Bourdon, Tyler Morland and Dave Watson - on overall style, technique and time.

Red Bull Round Up is free to the public:
Chicago Town Movie Set – July 26, 6 – 8 pm PST
Whistler Blackcomb Bike Park - July 27, 1 – 3 pm PST

For more information visit Following the event, hi-res images will be available following the event at

Also learned in addition to Alan Hepburn and Scott Alleyn... the two Myer brothers, Nick and Ryan, will also be taking part. Not sure if they'll be riding their Wildcards for the first day because it sounds like a totally dirtjumping contest but i'm sure the next day the WC will shine on the more slopestylie course.

July 15th post
Got the d/l from Heppy that he's gotten the invite into the Redbull Round up.
Big thanks to the recovering Matt Brooks for putting in a good word for Alan Heppy and Scott Alleyn.
Both Alan and Scott will be rocking the Wildcards and since we just got the first shipment of Amps he may get to do the first street/jump on it and then the next day on the WC.

Hopefully we'll get to see Scott bust out a 720 and his nfcc flip or flip super.
Following that could be Heppy's flipwhip or something he just showed me... an indian air flip

There is some tough competition too with Casey Groves, Graham Aggasiz and some other notables. The winner gets the push into the Bearclaw invitational.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Banshee riders new album

Just got the email that one of my riding buddies finally got his album together that he's been working on for so long and I thought I'd share.
Yeah I know its not REALLY bike related but its my blog and i can do whatever i want hahahaha [just kidding]. Also what you might not no is, that both me and Keith are musicians. I've been playing drums for over 20years and Keith the trumpet in Ska bands and we both have played clubs and other gigs so when one of our own puts something together that we're really passionate about -music- then why not share it with you guys.
So now you know a little bit more about us and if you dig the music then thats cool too.
Plus i'm sure he'd be stoked if some of it showed up in some riding videos too so definitely contact him if you want to use it.

Anyway here is the press release from
Former Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Decree, Will... member Jeff Stoddard launches new album

Former Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Decree, Will... member Jeff Stoddard launches new album
Jeff Stoddard (former member of Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Decree, Will...) has a new album coming out for his Roughhausen project. The material found on this latest album, "The Agony of the Beat", has elements from most of his previous projects and what Stoddard calls "a healthy dose of hard and heavy electrocore". More info and the necessary audio previews can be found at and

Monday, July 21, 2008

An Austalian Amp.

After seeing the proto shots of the Amp it was not long before i had one on order. The plan was to build a light weight DJ play bike that i could also use for some casual 4x racing. When it arrived i thought that the factory had forgotten to include frame because the box was so light.

Before to long i had it up and running and weighing in a healthy 12.8kg (28.2lbs) this is soon to plummet to around 12kg with a few simple changes that will not compromise strength (no carbon here thank you!) The complete build weight caught me by surprise due to the fact my last 4x bike was an 07 GT lopes built with low weight in mind (12.15kg) so to be able to have a bike so close to that weight yet feel SO much stiffer was a pleasant surprise.

Another thing i was happy to find in the box was 2 geared dropouts, these things look like they would never brake but its nice have a spare also the inbuilt chain tensioners where a nice touch.

All these features plus the integrated headset make for a promising first generation hardtail. I mean geez' any low slung frame with an integrated HS that can run Fox 36's with downtube clearance is a masterpiece in my books.

I shall update you with a ride report when i have a few hours on the saddle.
Top job guys.

Tom Guiver

For those who care specs as follows;
Frame: Banshee Amp.
Fork: 08 Fox 36 Talas rc2
Brakes: Shimano xt W/ Straitline Lever
Bars: Revell Riser W/ Straitline caps
Stem: Straitline Wedge (xray)
Seat Post: Specialized twin
Saddle: Odyssey
Wheels: Alex "P" on Specialized sealed hubs
Tyres: Maxxis Larsen TT
Cranks: Profile 170 w/ flush kit
Chain: Kool chain lite.
Pedals: Straitline flats

BIG shout out to Ken and Llew at XXIV.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Camp of Champions week 4 then off to Diablo

Alan is finishing up his stint as bike coach at the Camp of Champions. Looks like everyone had a goodtime and all the campers were stoked.
If I was a kid again I'd be soooo signing up for one of the camps. Its basically like Disneyland for riders and then you get to leave with improved skills, new friends, and tons of stories to tell your more then envious friends back home.
I know Alan was totally juiced when he got accepted as a coach and I think he'll be back next year too.

Brent Floyd, you may remember him from previous years as one of our riders, is the head coach of the camp with tons of experience formerly working with Schley and Shandro's camps.

I heard they will be off to Diablo and starting a camp there. The plan's to have the Camp o Banshee's go along with them... We hooked them up with Wildcards and Scythes and next year we hope to do the same and maybe even throw in a couple of Legends. All the campers get to not only ride the bikes but at the end of the camp if they want to buy the bikes its only 1/3rd the price of retail and with only a few weeks of riding on them and being tech'd everday - thats a pretty killer deal and another way the camp likes to take care of their campers.

I think they should do an adult camp but replace the video games with poker nights and lots of drinking.

Anyway Greg at Straitline sent me this little link and I thought I'd share it

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


You may be wondering, what the hell am i going on about?

It's simple..Fireroad, Up and Down

As many injured "athletes" want to keep "training" without further aggravating your my case i want to keep riding my bike as it keeps me happy!

Following a bizarre workshop-accident involving an X-Type crankset (don't ask) I took a trip in the white taxi (ambulance) to Kingston Accident & Emergency to have my shoulder relocated in its socket

Thankfully, a copious volume of Entenox (Nitrous Oxide) and an inflatable splint meant my shoulder found its own way home into its socket, before i even got to the hospital, it actually took longer to get the bus back to Esher from Kingston....

Recovery from a dislocation takes a good month, with the first 2 weeks have to take it easy, and once its settled start on the rotator-cuff exercises to strengthen the joint and provide balance

So out goes any "freeride" and in comes FUD...Fireroad up and down...which is also my favourite quick winter ride to prevent the post-ride cleaning blues (as soon as you go off the fireroads in the winter its a mud bath, and cleaning muddy suspension bikes is not really fun)

Where i live in North-West London, we are lucky enough to have "Hampstead Heath" just a 10 minute road-ride north of my house - a huge area of ancient woodland with a couple of legal cycle routes up a long fireroad climb, and lots of off-road singletrack and various descents..its amazing to have this sitting on a hill above London city

Being injured, I don't want to stress my shoulder and so tighten my shoulder brace, and head up the fireroad for a good 15 minute climb to the top, ride across the top, do a couple of loops around the top and then back down the fireroad, the way i came

Riding a 34lb "slopestyle" bike up a hill gives a great aerobic workout

Do you think a sign is going to stop me??

Hammering up the fireroad to the top of the Heath, pro pedal on and the Lyric on 115mm

Bet Keith never thought people would ride the Wildcard up big hills? this bike is an awesome climber for sure, with the right setup ;)

"top of the world, ma" London city sits below the Heath...

Coming down the fireroad at a leisurely pace, so as to not run any nice folk over

Bottom of the Heath, you can see the whole of London from Parliament Hill, awesome view before dropping back into the urban backstreets of Kentish Town, where i live


Rob C

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bauer takes 2nd in Pro Women on a 2y.o. Park City rental bike.

That's right ya'll! She seems to be unstoppable. In first year of racing pro, and only her second year of racing dh, Dead Bro racer Rachel Bauer leads the Mountain States Cup Pro Women standings. Rachel took second this past weekend in Snowmass Colorado, second to MX World Champion Melissa Buhl. In her race run Bauer caught the racer sent off 30secs ahead of her mid way on the course. She was held up by the other racer until the made it through the high speed technical Waterfall section. Once Bauer had a clear course ahead of her she put the hammer down on the sprint finish. Had she not been held up, Rachel could have taken more off the 15 second lead Buhl held.

Rachel Bauer flying down the steep grassy section with a huge grin on her face. "I think i was just stoked cause the top section was so much fun. Plus i could see a perfect line through the nasty brake bumps."

Second place plate, pay check and a clean doping test. All in a days work!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Team Gutierrez, the Crazy Colombians!

Most of you guys who regularly check our blog will be aware of Marcelo Gutierrez. He has been riding one of the first Banshee Legend prototype (weighing in at 16.8kg (37lbs)) for 3 months now.
So far from the 6 races he has raced the bike in (4 national, 1 Pan-American championship, and one world championship) he has walked away with 5 gold medals... yes 5!!!
I have just been chatting with Hernando (that's Mr Gutierrez to you!) on skype, and he has sent me some photos from these events for your viewing pleasure.
Marcelo was also awarded a prize for sports person of the year in Columbia! You don't often see mountain bikers winning this type of prize, but Marcelo is the best DH racer in Columbia, and according to the Pan American Championships he is the best junior DH racer in the whole of America, both north and south! So maybe it is not such a surprise after all.
What most of you will not know is that Marcelo also has a 14yr old younger brother (Rafael), who is also crazy fast. Last year he won the youth category of the Pan American Championships. Check him on that podium showing the bigger kids how it is done!
Hopefully Rafael will be riding a small Scythe or legend soon and will be joining the Banshee family! Did I mention that Hernando was also national DH champion at expert level? Here he is representing on his scream with his medal round his neck!This is a FAST family portrait! Check out the proud father with his 2 sons laden in gold after both winning their categories at the Pan American Championships last year.
The future is bright for these young guns, and we at Banshee will do what we can to help support them and nurture their talent.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Banshee family... the rampant in review

Kevin was nice enough to send pics of his bikes cause he knows that we love to see how people build them up and he was kind enough to write a review as well which I wanted to share.
Here his email to me in its entirety.

Well on the Morphine, she's had it for a few years now, it's just a super fun little bike. The frame is a small and has a 24" rear wheel. That thing will bunny hop like nothing I've ever ridden. Both of us use it riding local with my son or just doing some round town urban. You're probably not looking for a review of the Morphine though so here's my review of the Rampant, also a small. Feel free to post the pic on the blog with it if you wish:First off my build:
Small Rampant frame with a Fox RP2 shock
Rock Shox Revelation Air U-Turn fork 100-130
Hone cranks, e13 LG-1, FSA 34t ring
XTR 8-spd RD/12-32 cassette with XT shifter
CK headset, Thomson X4 70mm stem, FSA 31.8 kforce DH risers cut down to 26"
Mavic 819 laced to Hope Pro2 hubs
Barracuda 2.1 Tubeless tires, rear I cut the center knobs for fast rolling/like the Piranha tread
AtomLab Aircorps pedals
Thomson Post and WTB saddle

Final weight is approximately 28.5 lbs.Now the ride, I've only had the Rampant a couple of months but have been lucky enough to ride it on most my local trails (including Vietnam or NAM in Milford, MA), Durango Horse Gulch trails, Telluride (including the DH Ridge trail), Moab on SlickRock and Porcupine Rim and Fruita Colorado at the Bookcliffs. I have to say that the Rampant has been exceptional on everything with the possible exception of the Ridge trail at Telluride which is sort of like riding a jack hammer, the Rampant handled the terrain it just wasn't as much fun to ride but that's what real DH bikes are for anyways.
The Rampant does accelerate just like Banshee claims, flip the blue lever on the Fox RP2 and it becomes a hardtail, other than riding on the roads or the Kessel trail in Fruita (hardest /smoothest singletrack I've ever ridden) I keep the lever in the "plush" position which is still very firm for pedaling and accelerating.
I chose the Rampant not because I wished to race 4X rather I wanted a true all around bike that could climb yet did not weigh 35 lbs like my 6x6 RFX, I also wanted a bike that could jump and double sections of trail and the Rampant is perfect for that.
First couple of rides I noticed immediately how quick it felt and this bike climbs like a mountain goat for those interested in using it for more than DS or 4X. The Rampant is the bike I've been looking for the past 5 years but didn't exist until now. The Rampant handles everything except Downhilling better than my RFX.
The Rampant is capable of DH and if I only had one bike this would be the bike. At Porcupine Rim in MOAB the Rampant truly shined as I was able to ride the entire trail non-stop and did the 15 miles in just over 2 hours, there was not a single section of Porcupine that wasn't a complete blast on the Rampant, including the first 5 miles of climbing!As far as the Rune I don't have much time on it other than a couple runs down the Kessel trail in Fruita. In that time all I can say is it climbs amazing and feels like my RFX minus 7 or 8 lbs. The Rune jumps great but it's really my wife's bike and she hasn't had enough time on it yet to write a decent review yet.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

What to do with your new viento frame

So you have a sweet hot new viento frame, and you ask "what the heck do i do with this thing?" Well obviously a rippin' multi geared mountain ripper would be the first answer. however, if you love bikes, and hate gas, you can build up a sweet xtra cycle.

Don't be afraid though... you can put 200+ lbs on this rig, thats pounds baby! Bashees are a great option for an xtra cycle because of the extremely stiff rear end.

If you have questions or concerns on options hit up the Gear Exchange out of Glenwood Springs CO. We are a Banshee and an Xtra dealer and will get you lined up super sick.

I know... it is sexy. I have Jay and Keith to thank for that. If only they could help me out now. That is a 12ft and 3 8ft 2x4ers on there. Thats a lot of wood yo. HA!

Toby's new Scythe

Toby Fenner is the youngest member of the Esher Shore trail crew, and has great promise as an up and coming rider who likes both dirt jumping and "bigger jobs" that require a proper freeride bike

He also joins the ranks of riders who have broken their "trusty" Kona Stinkys and joined the enlightened search for a higher quality, performance rig

I hooked Toby up with a Scythe frame, on a great deal, and I finished building it up yesterday afternoon

His Scythe is running a Totem Coil fork, Cane Creek Double Xc headset, Hope Pro II hubs on Sun MTX rims, some big 'old Maxxis DH tires and Hayes HFX-9 brakes, with Saint cranks and E13 chain device and SRAM transmission

He wasn't expecting his Scythe until the weekend, so let's just say he was pretty damn stoked when i called his home and let him know it was all good to go

Despite the torrential rain we've been having all week here at Esher, Toby was off straight round the car park bouncing up and down

He's off to France at the end of the month, where he can give the Scythe a proper work-out and get to grips with the grin factor of riding such a sick rig ;)

Great choice Toby! Welcome to the family - PRIDE 22


Rob C

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Running a Pivotal setup on a Wildcard

2 cool things showed up at work Rockshox Lyric 2-step back from the nice warranty people at Fisher Leisure (UK Rockshox Distributor), and a DMR "Lockjaw" seatpost

The Domain 318 fork I've been running the past 2 months has been great on the dirt jumps and in Esher slopestyle park, but as i found out last weekend at Woburn Sands, its not so great on the faster twisting downhills where the simpler Motion Control damper lacks the subtle feel and traction that the Mission Control damper on the Lyric and Totem forks provides, the Domain cannot be faulted at the pricepoint it sells at (almost half that of the Lyric and Totem) but its hard to be happy with a simpler fork once you've had a top of the range fork!

It didn't take long to figure out running the Lyric makes the Wildcard a better all rounder for climbing, descending and jumping, and drops a full 1lb of weight off the bike, which is always nice....and being a lazy sod its nice to go from 115mm to 160mm just by flicking a switch rather than the labourious U-Turn wind...down....

The DMR Lockjaw seatpost is something i've been wanting for a while, thanks to the guys at DMR bikes (Upgrade Distribution) for sending one over to me!

In the BMX world, pretty much everyone is now using Macneil's Pivotal system for the seat and seatpost, which has taken the BMX world by storm (as well as making Macneil a big bag of $$ cash in the process)

Pivotal is so simple its genius - by ditching the traditional saddle rails and engineering a saddle with a pivoting-bolt in a reinforced, "toothed" nylon hull and matching seatpost head, you drop a load of weight, simplify your setup and most importantly make a very heavy duty system that resists "offs" alot better than the traditional railed saddle ever can.

The bolt is accessed using an allen key inserted into a "Pivotal branded" rubber flap on top of the saddle hull, you set the angle by rotating the saddle against the toothed seatpost head and then lock the allen key bolt down...

The I-Beam made by SDG was flawed, in my opinion, because it still used a rail, albeit a single nylon central rail rather than the conventional tubular steel or titanium rails that have been used on saddles for years, I have seen several broken I-Beam saddles over the years, and its not cheap to boot either

Macneil were very smart and had their people in Taiwan license the Pivotal system, which has resulted in every BMX company large and small starting to produce both Pivotal saddles and Pivotal seatpost, both in regular and "stub" (about 100mm long for slammed setups); you can get the Pivotal compatible saddles in 5 or 6 variants (different hull shapes) as well as with different amounts of padding, and a huge range of colours, graphics and embroidery

To run the Pivotal setup on a MTB you will need to get a shim to reduce the internal diameter of the seat tube from 30.0mm (on the Wildcard) to 26.8mm or 27.2mm to fit the DMR "Lockjaw" Pivotal compatible seatpost - I have not seen shims that will take the diameter down to 25.4mm (bmx standard) and you are better off anyhow using a DMR or Alien Nation MTB post (Keith runs one of these on his AMP) to enjoy the extra strength of the larger diameter posts

Here in England, USE make a fine selection of shims, so all i added was the DMR Lockjaw post in 26.8mm and a Macneil Pivotal SL saddle left over from my BMX spares

the end result fits the Wildcard perfectly, its lighter, feels great when dirt jumping, there is no chance of it ever slipping (the clamp) and its very hard to break as i have found out during numerous slams on my BMX over the past 2 years

The DMR seatpost costs just GBP£25, the Pivotal BMX saddles usually GBP£20 and the USE shim is GBP £5-6, its shaved 150gm off my previous Thomson / SDG Bel Air Ti setup

I wouldn't recommend it for XC or All-MTN as the saddle is not designed for pedalling (its small, short and hard) but for DJ, Slopestyle and shuttling its ideal - I never sit down on my Wildcard so its a great way to save weight, toughen up the saddle setup and looks damn cool too ;)


Rob C

Dave Hetherington (AUS) news

Sunday July 6th saw the running of round two of the ‘King of Ballarat’
downhill race series. Fine but cold weather conditions greeted the strong
field of elite riders, which featured both the current Victorian State and
Victorian series champions, and the previous two times King of Ballarat
champion, as well as other top riders.

The three race run format proved popular with both riders and fans who had
lined the tracks to cheer their favorite riders down.

Local Banshee rider Dave Hetherington won by 3.6 seconds (despite snapping a
chain on his final run) saying after the race that his Scythe had worked
well on the technically difficult tracks. "The bike was set up perfectly and
seemed to float over the rough and root ridden sections," he said.

Dave has now won the first and second rounds of the series and is looking
forward to the third round to be held next month.'

Great work Dave! It's good to see that your shredding, and beating the big boys on their pure DH race bikes on your Scythe. Just wait til you get your legend!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bike Review: The Banshee Pyre

Bike Review: The Banshee Pyre PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Adnan
As mentioned in an earlier post, I had the occasion to borrow the Fakawibikes demo Banshee Pyre, which I rode during the last hash .

The conclusion: it’s a very efficient suspension design, with little or no bobbing during climbing. Banshee describes the suspension system as a “virtual floating 4 bar pivot”. To my untrained eye, it looks very much like a DW-link. Whatever the genesis of the design, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Not only does it climb well, the bike is also very neutral under braking, with no stiffening of the suspension under hard braking. Standing up on the bike or getting off the saddle in descents also does not appear to affect the activeness of the suspension.

With 4.5 inches of travel, it’s more than adequate for everything short of “freeriding”. (I’ve only just become accustomed to the schisms between the various forms of the sport. For an old fart like me, the spectrum goes a little like this: roadbiking >> mountainbiking >> fallingdown >> goingtohospital.) In fact, it’s described by the designers as tending towards a “trailbiking” rather than “all-mountain”. However, seeing as how the designers of the bike hail from the British Columbia, you can safely assume that the bike is more than adequately burly for its intended application.

One similarity that Malaysia has with BC is rain, which when mixed with dirt gives us mud. This small coincidence makes the Pyre particularly suited for Malaysian trails, as the frame has gobs of mud clearance and is designed for full-length gear cable housing.

Gobs of clearance on the frame. It can fit 2.5" tyres, if you were so inclined.

The pivots of the bike also use bushings rather than bearings. I must say that I’ve always thought that bushings are low-cost alternatives to bearings, but having read the reasons why Banshee have gone for bushings, I concede that the arguments appear well made. Best of all, there are grease ports in the pivots, which allow you to inject fresh grease every now and then into the pivots.

The argument for bushings goes something along these lines: bearings are great for rotational movement, but a suspension pivot faces angular movements, rather than high speed rotations. With bearings, the force will be borne by 3 or so balls at any one time. Bushings allow the load to spread more evenly, due to the larger contact area. I would thought that bushings, for the same reason, would also bear torsional loads better.

Needless to say the suspension was squeak-free during the whole ride, despite the various dunkings the bike took in the streams that we crossed. This is I suppose unsurprising, given that it’s a new bike, but I’ve heard of many bikes that squeaked right out of the box.

So, will I buy one? I’ve not decided yet, but it’s certainly on the short list of the stuff to get, if I can get the budget approved by the Minister of Finance, Home Affairs and Matrimonial Harmony. The problem is several fold: Nikon has just released my next camera. Ricoh, with its incredibly customer-centric photo division, has just released the GX200 *, which has fixed whatever shortcomings the GX100 had (RAW buffer, flash exposure compensation, manual flash, rear curtain flash, mercury switch for automatic orientation of photos etc.). And to top it all off, there is the small issue of an impending world recession.

I installed a vintage Syncros post (with a proper 30.9mm shim of course) as a nod to the founder of Syncros and Banshee, Pippin Osbourne. In my formative years of mountain biking, every other bike component brand was simply something you used until you could afford Syncros. Oh, and if you had to test a full-suspension bike, what better saddle to use than a Flite without the unnecessary leather cover and padding?

*Possibly the best thing about the GX200 is that it is virtually identical to the GX100 in appearance, leading to the possibility of an upgrade that flies under the radar of the missus.

Image -Joe Adnan (check out Joe's blog )