Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

and a cool little vid i saw. Its of El Chorro in Spain a pretty scary hike if you ask me, but I bet it would be super cool to do... any dudes wanna ride it?



So with this little vid wouldn't it be cool to have a picture taken of a Banshee on the bridge that crossed the river.
Send in a picture of the weirdest, strangest or craziest place with your bike in the photo.
Could be on top of the Empire State building, NFL football game could work, in the meat section at your local grocery store or even El Chorro. Be creative and we might even use it in our catalog and web page... of course we would hook you up if we use it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Its not all doom and gloom here in the bike industry

We've all been bombarded by the stories of economic turmoil and everyday the dow and nasdaq seem to loose another 5%. American unemployment is looking at 10% and every country is getting hit. My sympathies do go out to those who are out of work and are finding it hard to make ends meet. However on the bright side of things you can say that 90% of americans ARE employed and spending and those numbers are probably around the same for other bike buying countries as well.

For us, Banshee is coming off a growing 2008 and looking for continued growth in 2009, the bike industry seems to be chugging along quite nicely. Greg from Straitline was mentioning that one of his friends came back from LA and when the gas prices were through the roof there was a ton more people on bikes. Even in rainy Vancouver you can see alot more people pedalling around.
Sure Banshee isn't in the pavement market and has no intentions of going into this market but I'm sure some of those people will be crossing over and could eventually figure out how much fun it is to ride offroad. At the end of the day though we're all just cyclists and I hope that more people get out of their cars and off their couches, get a bike and be happier, healthier and more well adjusted.

Anyway as the year closes I just wanted to give you a little bit of goodnews.

Heres some annecdotes i picked up off the newswire.

Taiwan Companies Investing Heavily; China Offers Support

TAICHUNG, Taiwan – The Taiwanese bike industry is investing heavily in adding production capacity and/or upgrading its facilities.

During Bike Europe’s recent visits to the country which took place last October and December, numerous companies announced to work on new facilities or expanding existing ones. And they are helped by Taiwan’s former enemy; the People’s Republic of China.

Old hands in the bike industry surely remember flying into Taipei Airport (at that time still called Chiang Kai-shek) for the Taipei Int’l Cycle Show and being welcomed by anti-aircraft guns. This took place years ago when tension between the two countries reached red alert levels with the US sixth fleet rushing to the region.

cont.


Study: Americans Will Spend Less on Gear


BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Leisure Trends asked active Americans about their spending plans in the upcoming months. Close to 50 percent of active Americans plan to spend less on sports related gear, clothing and equipment, while only 1.6 percent plan to spend more. The rest (48.2 percent) plan to spend the same amount.
more here

Yeah it says less but there are still 49.8% that will spend the same or more... if that ain't the proverbial glass is half full/half empty thing then i don't know what is. The headline could have read "50% of Americans not likely to change their spending habits on Outdoor sports"

Winter jibbing by Matt

Hey Jay

Just wanted to wish see how your x mas went. Mine went well...dinner with the family ect ect. same as usual. Thought I'd send ya some sweet gmx ing pics. throw them on the blog if ya want, and perhaps wish everyone a happy new years for me. take er easy.

Matt B
Thanks Matt for the pics... that actually looks like a lot of fun. Keep enjoying the snow... only a couple more months until it thaws out a bit and you can get back on the wheeled version. Me... I'm going back to Taiwan and 20degree weather... I got a Legend back there and I need to build up my 29r.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Building a Paradox

Ok its not fully together but most of the parts are on it when the pictures were took. My friend Ryan did finally get it together and took it out for a little parking lot play and spent alot of time on the back wheel doing wheelies... he says its a new experience doing wheelies on a 29r and says it feels like no other 29r he's EVER ridden. It's quick and lively and with the Reba on the front it just feels great.
I am now going crazy jonesing to get mine built up and confirm what he says.
Whats super cool from the pics is this is a large and it doesn't look freaky. Actually looks like a medium so I figure the XL should look pretty cool too. I think you clydesdales are really going to love this bike.
Everything seems to fit and there is pleanty of tire clearance. I really look forward to getting these out there and we're just finalizing the special pricing for the first batch. We also have a couple guys lined up to give us some feedback on the bike who have extensive experience with other 29r rides, so I really want to hear how the Paradox compares to everything else they've ridden. I think its important to benchmark your products against other brands so don't be surprised if you see me and Keith riding around on another brands bike sometimes - its good to know where you are and where you need to be.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Team Rider, New Bike, New BikePark

So, i have heard loads about this Putrajaya Bike Park. I have been itching to ride it for ages, finally had the chance to this past weekend. Most people have been riding the 'fun' dh track on the smaller trail, but lucky for me and ben, Didi gave us permission to ride the sections that have been completed on the other fun dh track on the bigger hill. that combined with me being on a new bike, the Banshee Rune, it was going to be an awesome weekend.

Full on DH set-up!

The trail it self was amazing, very smooth, so doesn't require a dh bike, a 5in bike with good geometry would be ideal. Even though its smooth, its far from easy. sure, you can roll down slowly on a xc hard tail like many riders did. But once you start going fast, it gets really hard to link the whole trail up and keeping it smooth. Tight corners, loads of bits where the trail just drops away from you in a corner. Done beautifully to keep it technical in a way that Malaysian dh trails have never been before. You really have to work the terrain and move the bike around, otherwise you are not going to stay in control or be going fast.

Saturday - we got there around 10.30, walked the trail, and sectioned it. It was a slow start, I haven't been riding much for the past 4 months so my fitness was a bit shocking, Ben was feeling sick from the roti chanai breakfast. We were having trouble getting the two big jumps at the bottom of the trail properly. We gave that a break, went over to the smaller fun trail. It was my first time riding that trail too, starts off tight, with my favorite part being the jump where you land in a berm. BRAAAP!! It opens up later and gets very fast, ending with a tight series of 3 berms and a small step down. We spent a couple of hours at that trail, till we warmed up properly, then headed back to the bigger trail on the other side.


Railing!

We didn't bother riding the top section as there isn't that much too it and its quite steep to push up. Focused on the middle section and the last few jumps, we were finally clearing them nicely. Ben doing his signature move, getting big air and getting the rear end out really sideways. I was having a great time, really loving the 180 degree berm, really getting it low. We were both really tired, but having such a good time we couldn't get ourselves to leave. We stayed there till 4pm, and couldn't wait to come back the next day.

Sunday - excited about the days riding ahead, we arrived there even earlier and headed straight to the fun dh trail, didn't bother with the small track. A bit more of the trail was done, a really nice table/hip after the two big jumps and another hip that lands in a big berm. the track dried up a bit too, so the track was riding nicely. We were really getting the flow today, trying to get every last bit of speed out of the track. Around mid day we were joined by FRM guys. They too, like us were just in awe at how amazing the trail was.

Catching fresh Putrajaya air

We spent the rest of the evening just sessioning the mid section and later on taking pics on the 180 berm. I took my turn taking some pics too, got one of Ben which I was more excited about then the whole days riding. Cant wait till its posted up. Unfortunately, I dont think I will be able to ride Putrajaya again this trip back home, its going to be amazing once the whole place is done. as of now, the main dh trail is about half completed. The finished trail should be around the high one minute/ two minute mark. Definitely going to be THE place for dh riding in the near future.

A bit on the bike, I am now on board with Banshee Bikes , big thanks to the guys at Fakawi and Rizal for making this happen. Definitely feels like exactly what I need, a very chilled-out set up, no stupid politics etc, just a bunch of guys who share the same passion for riding our bikes.


5 speeds is all you need

As of now, I am riding the Banshee Rune, its a 6 in bike, but the geometry is fairly suited for dh riding. I am running it with parts from my old bike, so it is using a Fox 40, but set at 7 inches- giving it a same axle to crown height as a Fox 36. So far I am very happy with the bike.. I ran it with a DHX Air for a few rides, but it's clear that I needed a DHX coil. The DHX air still likes to sit low in its travel, something I do not like at all. Right now I am using a coil, running a 250 spring but I need a 275 or 300 rate. running a fair bit of compression damping to keep it from bottoming hard, but the bike is still riding very well, accelerates insanely well, and soaks up the small bumps very well. Very impressed with it so far as I am not exactly using the bike in the way its designed for. Look out for a full review of the bike being used as a dh bike around april next year.

Adam aka penangkia
Team FakawiBanshee

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Its a couple more days left and I didn't want to forget to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
You're probably all rushing around trying to organize stuff or buy junk for people. It really can be pretty crazy. For me its a time when the mound of emails gets a little less and I can take a bit of a break.

To all the Banshee army, the distributors, dealers, our riders and reps, we had a great 2008 and we couldn't have done it without you. We appreciate all the hardwork you've put in and I wish I could personally thank each and everyone one of you myself.

... from me and Keith have a great one. We sincerely send our best wishes your way and hope that Santa brings you everything you want.

On-trend with the Rampant



The 'white bug' has grabbed me...it started with white E13 plastics for the chain device, then white Syncros pedals, now a white saddle, and plotting to get a white Syncros FR handlebar and some white Syncros rims

The Rampant is back to "play bike" setup with a 50mm stem and short seatpost, I went dirt jumping this morning and instantly remembered what a rad little bike the Rampant really is

happy Christmas to y'all ;)

Rob C

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Esher Shore in latest MBUK magazine

Issue 223 of MBUK magazine recently hit the newstands here in England, and Esher Shore is listed as one of "50 things every mountain biker should do in 2009"

For those of you new to the Banshee/ Mythc blog, Esher Shore is Mythic's UK base of operations with the Freeborn Esher shop backing onto the awesome Esher Shore bike park...not many shops have a 3 acre, 4km bike park in the backyard ;)



You'll find the Esher Shore trail crew test riding their latest trail building creations on their Mythic Wildcards, Scythes, Runes and Rampants

With a membership of +6,500 riders Esher Shore is always busy, even during the dark wet winter months, as its one of the only riding spots that is truly all-weather...



...there are massive plans for Esher Shore in 2009: a brand new double-length pump track that has just been finished and will open in the New Year, lots of trail rebuilding and the "slopestyle" park being relocated into the shore area to take advantage of the elevation drop, and a "skills zone" being built on the existing slopestyle park

more info here: http://www.eshershore.com/

happy christmas and happy trails!

Rob C

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reach and stack based sizing


It has finally happened! Some of the bigger players have joined up and suggested a new standard in bike sizing, which means that we can finally leave behind the old fashioned standard that is irrelevent for most mountain bike frames. I have never believed in using the seat tube length as the guage for frame size, as for a lot of freeride or downhill bikes this just doen't make sense, as you are not in the saddle much of the time when really riding.

The new standrad of reach and stack being proposed makes more sense to me. So we are going to add these values to our geomery tables in the near future. I still feel the need to include the old style geometry, as angles are also very important, and for some riders so is the seat tube length. It will just be another tool in addition to more exact geometry to help people choose the right sized frame for them.

The reason why reach and stack dimensions are important to any bike where you standing out of the saddle... because essentially these are your 2 points of contact with the bike... pedals and handle bars. Therefore the geometrical relationship between the 2 kind of gives you the 'feel' of the geometry of the bike. sure it excludes inportant informaion like head angle and seat angle, but it can be used as a guage to select the size of frame best suited to you after you have looked at the overall frame geometries to choose the best frame for your needs.

A step in the right direction!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Team FakawiBanshee Rider Rizal wins in KDD5



Kiara Downhill Domination Race #5 (KDD5).. It should have been called the Monsoon Cup!!!

The race started early for me.

At about 2am, I realised it was raining, I immediately woke up to change my rubber from the usual Minnions and into WetScreams... hahaha... boy... was that a smart move! Actually, I had already planned with Ian to go full on spiked rubber for the race. Conversation with a few guys confirmed our earlier discussion that majority of the boys will be runnning "normal" DH rubbers...



0830. CarPark/FinishLine. Ian and I went up till the halfway point to check out the trail after the downpour the previous night (Middlestone section) and to see if we made the right decision to go full spiked! Conclusion... damn right!!! We were both quietly pleased with the grip from the Maxxis WetScreams under the very difficult conditions. I knew the trail will get worse as the day went on.... and I was right.

Seeding run. 4'30". 1st position Master Category



Most of the guys are running "normal" DH rubber. It was just Ian and I. While pushing up towards start line, I decided to check out the new trail behind "Tokong" just to check out the conditions. Its a rough and fast section with a sudden left turn which by that time, was muddy! The Banshee Legend performed flawlessly in the rough stuff but my surprise came when I drifted into the corner (turning in early) and just when I thought I was going to lose it, the rubber gripped and I was able to exit with speed. Nice! I noticed that the bike just wanted to lean into corners and cornering even in these crazy conditions seems to be effortless (the S corner after Shaolin gap was eas!). It really does "rail" the corners and gives me confidence despite the terrible situation.



I was happy with the way the bike's setup and now for seeding!!! The race up till the new section at the end of Shaolin went as planned... No Issues. But entering the new race trail... Oh my god! It was a mud fest. All I could think about was trying to get as much speed out of corners as possible and to be as smooth as possible to save time. I was particularly worried about the "Parra Jump" where the run in as expected was super muddy. My plan, try to straight line the corners as much as possible and avoid the super muddy areas... Well, worked a charm... managed to "tame" all the obstacles and conditions and did not get stuck at all. SWEET! I realised I was on a sweet run. passed Udang at the end of Angel (Udang checking out how the other riders were going to take this bit not realising he had stopped where i wanted to go and was in a way blocking me). At this point I was thinking of MiddleStone...

After leaving Udang and going into Buniens, its was all "as planned" and the big test was coming up... Middlestone. I dropped in to Midlestone at a decent speed but as soon as I aligned myself to attack, I spotted Yamm on the ground about half way down. I could not stop and just hope he could get out of the way in time... he did! barely tho... had to brake and slow down quite significantly but because it's just seeding, I did not mind really.

The Legend handled the truly rough, roots and rutted middlestone very well in those conditions.. very stable. The slack HA made going over the roots easy while still staying planted to the ground! I thought to myself.... there goes 1st for seeding... Crossed the line in 1st position with a time of 4'30".

Final Run. 4'50". 1st position Master Category



Conditions did not get any better. In fact, it rained further. Questions going around was... how much has the course deteriorated after seeding (with 77 riders going down) and rain? Answer? it was BAD!!! Mud bath!!! hahaahha

I remember telling myself that the new section is going to be a pedal fest in the mud. I did not push too hard earlier on and mainly focused on not braking too much right up till after shaolin... just keep the speed up and don't muck up or worst... crash. Basically stay up and stay smooth.

Arriving into the new section before parra jump, my worst fears came true... it was crazy! you can pedal but because of the nil grip, you don't really move much... your energy used to pedal out of this section was crazy... by the end of this section and into the early part of Shriners, all I was thinking about was that we have passed the worst!!! Now it's all about pinning it to the end...

I had a pretty clean run all the way except at the end of Buniens... where usually its a no-brainer. However, this time silly old me decided to take it hot and slipped on a root and had to stop the bike from crashing into the tree next to the wooden jump! I was thinking and kicking my self for it!!! "There goes any chance of a win!" I thought.

Got through middlestone nice and quick (not as quick as I would have liked but quick enough!). Garden gap... cleared! and finally the DirtDrop...

The bike:

I have been only been riding the Legend for a couple of days now... and so far the bike has performed well. did all the thing I wanted it to do and more. The 1st thing I noticed was the pedaling and the cornering ability. Pedaling... hardly any pedal bob... that is the 1st thing you realise... and in cornering, it seems that the bike just wants to lean... even in "parking lot" tests, this is quite noticeable. This has translated into confidence in taking corners faster and with more exit speed! I need a few more weeks to really get a good feel of the bike. In short. to date, the bike feels good out of the box.

-Rizal "RedRide" Hon


watch HD quality here:
www.youtube.com

Banshee Legend Mk1 Report Card

So far the hype around the design and suspension has been spot on. Well, as spot on as a pre-production bike can get I guess. Initial impression suggests the following:

1) good cornering ability;
2) solid pedaling platform; and
3) geometry (with the revised measurements and angles) is spot on for a full on DH racer.

Cornering

In the initial parking lot test, you just feel that the bike is always ready to lean.. and when I say lean, I mean LEAN. It just drops low so easily and i don't mean it in a bad way. Far from it. I guess due to its low centre of gravity and suspension and geo, the bike just wants to rail corners. Something more interesting is how fast it goes back up as soon as you want to pedal out of a corner: it kinda sort of "pops" up right for the best pedaling platform/position and powers out. It's amazing!!! I have been taking the berms and corners in Kiara under different conditions and so far... when it comes to cornering... no complaints. I will have to ride more but this is my initial impression.

Pedalling

WOW. So far all the banshees I have had the opportunity to ride have impressed me with their pedaling efficiency. The Legend even managed to surpass my expectations. I can see that pedaling will not be a problem for the Legend. It will be limited by the rider's input! hahaha... A few people have tried the bike and the 1st impression is... "Wow... no bobbing!"I kid you not.

BB height is pretty low and coupled with my 165 mm crankset... I have not had any clearance problems (wrt hitting the ground when pedaling).

Geometry

The move to a 64 degree head angle to the original design of 66 degrees was exactly what I had hoped for. At high speed, you can truly feel the difference in how the bike reacts after hitting big square bumps. its so stable and planted!!! Low BB and centre of gravity and couple with a very generous stand-over height have all contributed to making the bike feel good from the get go. I felt good almost immediately... Started riding on tuesday (9 Dec) raced on 14 Dec. Got 1st place in the worst track condition u can imagine... that says it all i guess!

Conclusion

The boys at Banshee HQ have out done themselves and the production bikes will be much more refined (cant think of how at the moment!). So far, everywhere we go, eyes are on the bike. Well I guess it has to be partly to the "promotion" it has been getting from me and Fakawi for the last few months but the looks IS deserved!!! Well done Banshee!

- Red

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snowy Swiss Wonderland

Julien from Magma our Swiss distributor just sent this. I think its the funnest video I've seen this year. It reminds me of all those wintery days riding on the shore doing the same sh*t - ah goodtimes.


Or watch it here

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Armour up...go ride your bike!

We're all about making the sickest bikes here at Mythic and Banshee...but its easy to forget that bikes are ridden by people!

And people need protecting from the nasty effects of gravity on the body when it all goes pear-shaped and you see "sky, ground, sky, ground, tree!"

For some odd reason, I decided to unpack my Da Kine split roller bag and see what was lurking in there....



I feel pretty confident that my armour needs are taken of, for the next couple years at least!

Having a great selection of armour is awesome, it lets you choose how much protection you wear to suit the ride you are going on, and I am a sucker for helmets...never can have too many ;)

cheers!

Rob C

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Swiss builds

Julien from Switzerland just sent me a quick shot of the builds on the latest bikes he built up. I especially am digging this one.
Check out the rest here
http://www.magmabike.com

Monday, December 8, 2008

Paradox Pron

I don't think i need to say anything here. If you want to learn more we have a few earlier post here. Green is the medium and the Orange is a large