Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Banshee Legend MkII

As most of you know, a total of 62 Legend MkI frames have been used, abused, raced and podiumed over the last 18 months, all in the name of progress. I have had huge amounts of feedback and suggestions from a lot of great riders, bike mechanics and engineers, and I have tried my best to take it all on board and use it to develop, refine and improve the Legend for the MkII version which will be available to the public for 2010.


In general the feedback was very positive. Everyone seemed to comment on just how fast this bike was and the majority loved the way it rode, but there was definitely room for improvement.

I'll admit that we did run into a few issues. The biggest issue was pivot wear... not the bushings wearing out, but the axles! I've tried a couple of different materials, but due to the high loads and large diameters combined with wide angles of oscillation wear has proven to be an issue on the legend. The other issue with bushings on the legend frame has been stiction if tolerances are not spot on, or pivots are over tightened. So after much debate, I have switched the design to run on high quality (INA) large diameter fully sealed cartridge bearings, combined with a new pivot assembly to reduce friction in pivots to an absolute minimum, whist still being able to handle the loads without needing to be replaced regularly.


To put this in perspective, the bearings I am using in the main pivot where loads are highest are 6202-2RS bearings which have a 35mm OD. Bigger bearings cope with bigger loads. All the bearings I have used are also common bearings, and so affordable and easy to source. If you did need to do a full bearing replacement for every pivot, then I calculated total cost to be around $40 if bought from a regular bearing supplier. I was checking out a competitors bike, and the main pivot which takes similar load to the legend main pivot, uses a bearing that only takes 1/4 the load, and costs almost 4 times as much!

I considered needle bearings and double row angular contact bearings, but after some number crunching and load analysis, the deep groove ball bearing came out on top. It can cope well with lateral loading (which happens a lot in DH racing) as well as the axial loads that the suspension demands. I have kept the pivot assemblies as simple as possible, as well as fully floating, there is zero friction caused by friction on washers or anything like that. All pivot axles will be manufactured from high grade steel (12.9Cp) and we will be looking at doing a racer upgrade kit in titanium in the future to save some grams, and add a little bling.

The bearings themselves add a little weight over bushings, but I have cancelled this out by weight savings elsewhere, while also making the bike stronger in the process.

It is not just the bearings that have changed however, there have been literally hundreds of tweaks and alterations based on the feedback I received. Not a single CNC part remains the same as the last batch, everything has been looked at again and refined or totally redesigned. It might take a keen eye to spot them, but there are changes almost everywhere to strengthen, lighten and generally improve the design and make it more compatible with parts like chain guides, as well as improve manufacturing tolerances by changing assembly patterns.



Other main changes:

  • There will only be one travel setting of 8" (203mm)
I found that nearly everyone rode their MkI legends in the one setting the whole time without switching except to give the other option a quick try. I feel that 8" is the right amount of travel for the majority of DH courses.

  • Suspension linkage
I have modified the linkage geometry and components to make the leverage curve a little bit more linear (was slightly too progressive before). This will make tuning shocks easier, and offer the rider slightly more control and traction.



The axle path is not as initially rearward as before, which reduces the chainstretch and pedal kickback experienced. Don't worry, it is still more rearward than most DH bikes to give great square edge bump absorbtion, but will feel more controlled now, as the radius of curvature of the axle path is not as tight.

  • Geometry


Well, I'll let the following geo table do the talking here, but essentially the BB has dropped, the head angle has slackened, and the top tubes are longer. The longer top tubes have pushed the weight up slightly, but only by maybe 100g or so. We'll post actual weights when we have a couple of protos ready.


I think I have covered everything now, and anything I haven't you will probably be able to spot in the following pics from my computer screen.


Oh, I'm blatantly going to be asked about cost and availability dates... Cost has yet to be confirmed as it depends on a few factors as well as the shock that we ship the frame with. Availability will be early 2010.

I want to just say a big thanks to all those legend test riders out there who have supplied me with feedback. I have done my best to adjust everything accordingly to follow the general trend. I couldn't have done it without you!

If you want to know more about anything, or have any other questions, then just post it in comments below and I'll answer as soon as I can.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I would love to get my hands on that polished frame with green links! Are you going to be doing this as a option?

Keith Scott said...

We are planning to try out a whole bunch of colour options... but feel free to make suggestions. Yeah, I'm liking the polished with racey green links too.

Gear said...

Will the shock length remain the same ? (240mm , rigth ??)
Will the frame be available alone ( without shock )?
Many thks.

Keith Scott said...

Shock spec remains the same 9.5x3.0. Frame will only be avaliable with shock of choice, unless your dealer is prepared to sell without and sell shock seperately.

Sneeck said...

Very lovely update Keith, many other company's wouldn't care to name the fault of previous run's. I see it as a very good example to show the people what the exact reason was to let a few peep run the hell out of the frame's and change the original design for the better.

I still think its a very dope looking frame, really freakin' nice and job very well done!!

rob c said...

great to see the Legend finally making it close to production - we are getting alot of interest here in the UK, especially after the great article in the last Dirt magazine

looks like the Legend is going to live up to its name...

Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

I count myself very lucky to be apart of this prototype process. Keith and Jay, you should be immensely proud how well this bike has turned out, and the fantastic way in which you've gone about sharpening the fine edge of this sophisticated weapon. Now to unleash it on the masses!

Tony said...

Nice Bike, my only sugestion is that you can desing some Pattern for the lower link Dustcaps, they are really big so you can do a lot of things.

I think that the 50 betatesters Idea was brilliant, I'm pretty sure that the MK2 is going to be Perfect.

Jay MacNeil said...

Tony,
That is a good idea, and i'll see if we can get creatures laser etched into them. I'll check with Keith to make sure its structurally sound first. Form follows function is our motto.

Benny Power said...

Congratulations Keith & Jay, you have created a racing machine which will be the envy of every rider (unless of course they have one!!). Colour options are a great idea and I like the idea of laser etching too.

Robert "Goulet" Dunnet said...

after seeing the MK1 review on pinkbike this week I started searching the net for pictures of built up legends. some of the best looking DH bikes I have ever seen. awesome job guys, I think I will have to get one ...

Anonymous said...

Legend Mk 1 for sale small green w/vivid 5.1 2000 cdn obo email me shanelockyer@hotmail.com

Norbert said...

I hoped the date Jay was hoping for (oct/nov) for the first 50 legend batch would be available but the changes seem reasonable enought to make the wait worth it. Congrats on the whole finished product and I cant wait to try it. So far I've preordered the red/white but a full black with white banshee decals would be "roxorz da boxorz" ;)

Fakawi said...

No more Maxle axle, Keith?

Ryan said...

Call me simple, but I would love one in raw with black links and a boxxer with black lowers.

Keith - i can't wait to see shots of a welded frame - well done, dude.

Barspin said...

Fully Sik Bro! (well someone had to say it).

Absolutely fantastic Jay and Keith! Huge amount of interest here in Oz! I'm starting to take pre-orders.

Keith Scott said...

The frame is still maxle compatible, but we are looking at other options.

Anonymous said...

LET US TEST RIDERS PRE-ORDER ONE PLEASE..:P
AND SPECIAL OFFER PLEASE...:D

krisdaphrk said...

Good job guys. Well done. Huge improvements as expected. Nice strategy. I guess you`ve got these numbers with low a2c fork with flat crowns, zero stack headset and 2.5 tires right ?

Keith Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith Scott said...

all of the above except for normal headset = 10mm higher than average zero stack, with zero stack it will be more like 64 degrees with boxxers at least possible.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, the bike has been in development for a couple of years and we have witness subtle changes along the way. Now, Banshee is going to implement a huge change from bushing to bearing plus some other changes and are going right into production without testing the new bearing and geo setup? Am I readying this correctly?

Keith Scott said...

We are testing before release, don't worry. already got test frames in the factory. we now know that the geometry and performance of the bike is dialed, just testing bearings... and are using tried and tested pivot design (with slight improvements, but yes, we will be testing before release, although we don't forsee any issues).
The main reason this bike has taken so long to develop and test was trying to find a way to avoid stiction and axle wear, we got close (and will be using the technology we discovered on other bushing bikes in future) but decided it was more effort than it was worth, and went back to the fact simpler bearing set up. the last 18 months have allowed us to dial in geometry and suspension characteristics over several stages of prototypes.

Norbert said...

I can test them for you even if they explode ;) Also isn't every proto different from the production version? Banshee has just a bit more transparent design proces so you probably notice it more.

Keith Scott said...

these test frames we are making now will be exactly as production frames, uless we need to ake changes, which is very unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Any chance for a larger shock in the future to lower the leverage ratio?

Keith Scott said...

The legend uses a 9.5x3.0" shock giving a leverage ratio of 2.67:1 which is pretty low. (consider that probably the most sucessful bike currently out there the V10 uses a 2.75" stroke shock and has 10" travel, so has an overall leverage ratio of 3.64:1)

I tested an earlier legend in 7" travel setting, which has a close leverage ratio to using the largest shock size (10.5x3.5") and it was very over damped with every shock I tried, so actually the bike works better with slightly lower leverage ratio... it also saves about 250g in weight due to smaller shock and shorter spring.

Anonymous said...

It would be extremely cool if the frame was released with coloured links of your choice. Like, you could choose a polished frame with the coloured links from another frame's default link colour. Unless that's just not feasible?

Clare Ly said...

just wondering about the increase in the top tube especially for the small frame. I am between 5'0" and 5'1" (154cm) and a 558.8 mm top tube is bordering on large for me on my Reign X1. I really like the slack and stable geometry + short seat tube of the Banshee but am worried that when I get off the back of the bike on steep downhills I won't have any reach left to steer the front end. is there any chance of test riding a small frame in Australia? Or would there be a slight chance that there might be an XS frame (length wise)

Keith Scott said...

I'm sure you will be able to test a small frame in Australia, just wait til they come out and then contact our distributor there (barspin imports). Darren will do his best to sort you out.

Anonymous said...

I've heard 2 different dates from distributors. Which once is more likely to be true? Jan or April?

Anonymous said...

WHEN THE MKII IN EUROPE IS AVAILABLE

Keith Scott said...

Early 2010, probably febuary

Anonymous said...

it is POSSIBLE TO DIRECTLY BUY FROM YOU LEGEND MKII, ITS PRICE? MOUNTED SHOCKS ? THANKS.

Anonymous said...

NEW BANSHEE MK II COLORS? WHEN THE MKII IN CANADA IS AVAILABLE ?
DISTRIBUTOR OR STORE?

Marvin said...

which colours will be available at last? I saw a black one with green linkage and stickers?! But it was just a computer-made picture.. anyway that painting looks awesome and it would be cool if one can buy it

Rob said...

Hi I want to ask if it´s possible to replace bushing for bearings on MK 1 ?

Keith Scott said...

I'm afraid not. Bushings have very different dimensions from even needle bearings.

kemyl said...

You guys were great at the Interbow Bike Expo here in Calgary. Thanks for the stickers and T-shirt! Looking forward to this production model...looks sick!!

STE said...

FOR A BIKER OF 195 LBS WHICH HARDNESS OF SPRING I MUST TAKE ?

Keith Scott said...

for a 195lbs rider a 350lbs spring will be best for most shocks.

STE said...

FOR CANE CREECK D.B. SHOKS ....THANKS

Keith Scott said...

CCDB would need a 350lbs spring.

STE said...

I HAVE ORDERED FROM THE SWISS DISTRIBUTOR (MAGMA BIKE) ONE LEGEND MK II ..... I HOPE THAT HE ARRIVES SOON, THANKS

STE said...

then when they will arrive in EU?
I do not make more us to wait for the chassis!!!!

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