Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Banshee Prime

The Banshee Prime will be a new addition to the Banshee range probably for 2012, although testing will start as soon as we feel ready to run a full batch of 50 frames to be tested. This frame will go through a similar testing and feedback program as the Legend MkI was used for.

If you want to be a tester of this frame, keep an eye on the blog over the next few months. I'm not going to start taking names until we have some prototypes made and tested to make sure we have no major issues. So please don't send me e-mails yet!

There are a number of full suspension frames with this range of travel (130mm) out there, but I feel that most of them are too steep and often flexy to give you real confidence when riding aggressively or on steep technical terrain.

The Prime is a strong, stiff and planted 29er designed to excel in all elements of true all mountain riding. 29ers don't need as much travel as 26ers for coping with square edge hits due to the larger wheels rolling over obstacles easier, so the 130mm travel of the Prime will generally 'feel' like more travel (150-160mm) if you are used to riding 26ers.

Some details on the frame at this stage (subject to change before production as a result of testing and feedback).

Geometry.... the aggressive seat angle and relatively short chain stays make the Prime a bike that is playful, but with optimised weight distribution for control during technical climbs and the slack and low geometry offers stability and control on high speed descents.

The suspension linkage I've used on the Prime (which I may call the KS link...) uses the best elements of the VF4B link, but almost eliminates the rotation at the shock DU bushings for a more supple suspension action, and can be more finely tuned and offers more space for geometry manipulation for less compromise. The pivots will all run on fully sealed INA bearings on grade 5 6Al4V titanium pivot axles and bolts.

The linkage for the Prime has been optimised to work well with smaller chain rings for the 29er user, and the frame structure has been stiffened slightly to ensure that there in minimal frame flex even with bigger wheels.

The Prime geometry can be easily adjusted by a single chain ring style bolt at the dropout (likely to be titanium). Changing from the steep to slack setting drops the BB by 12mm (0.5") and slackens the head angle out by 1 degree without affecting suspension characteristics. We will also offer the frame with 2 dropout types (135x10mm and 150x12mm) to suit all riders needs.

This model is actually using over sized 29x2.5" tires to give you an idea about the all important tire clearance. As you can see there is bucket loads of clearance around the rear tire (compare to that of the same tire in a Reba 29er 140mm fork)

As is standard for Banshee, we will be using 7005 alloy which will be T4 then T6 heat treated for better overall frame strength. The tubes will all be triple butted custom hydroformed for maximum strength to weight ratio. The seat and chain stays are both internally ribbed for extra strength and stiffness for minimal weight increase.

The frame will only be compatible with direct mount front derailleurs (we will do the testing so you don't have to) . ISCG 05 tabs will allow use of chainguides or Hammerschmidt, and there will be cable guides for the latter system. there will also be cable guides for adjustable seatposts.

As always, the proof will be in the pudding, and so this bike will be used, abused and tested globally, then refined and redesigned where necessary before public release, so that we can ensure that the final product is as good as it can possibly be.

Please let me know your initial feedback to both general design and geometry. My ears are aways open, and I'm here to design your next bike, so I need to know what you want!



Anonymous said...

First impression: Great!
I like the new Design and Function of the Dropouts - could this be adapted to the other Frames?!?

More on the Prime later ...

Greetings from Cologne, Germany

Anonymous said...

Second impression: Wow, new designed Suspension!

I´m not experienced in 29ers, so I can´t really comment on the Geometry, but I think slacker Headangle, steep Seatangle, lower BB and short Chainstays are good for 26, so should begood for 29ers too. Btw, I like the very low Standoverhight on this one!

Some questions due to the new Suspension-Design:
What about Stiffness?
Can you create shorter Chainstays in general as on the VF4B-Design?
Possibility of (for example) two different Travelsettings?
As a Sidenote: If yes, you could get different Travel independent from the Geometrysetting - that would be awesome and could save money on Angle-Headsets!
Maybe the next Dimension for the Scythe and the Wildcard ;-)

Greetings from Cologne, Germany

Aaron LaRocque said...

Sooo stoked for this bike!

Ryan said...


I can't wait to see the protos all built up.

Kurt said...

Hey Keith,

Looks amazing!

Did you conclude upon a BB width? I've been riding my Paradox with ExiWolfs in the sticky mud lately with lots of leaves mixed in - the stuff that really gums things up. I was thinking an 83 mm BB with would allow the chain rings and FD cage to be further outboard, thereby increasing mud clearance. I realize an 83 mm BB would limit crank options. Is the suspension optimized around a particular chainring size?

direct mount FD = amazing, in my experience and opinion.

Is there clearance for a handle-bar with a zero rise stem with no spacers to rotate over the TT without shifters or brake levers causing horrifying frame carnage? This would be helpful when crashing, or loading the bike into a vehicle. I like my Paradox with a flat bar and zero rise stem, so I'm assuming a similar set up would be good on the Prime.

You mentioned a 140 mm fork? Is that what's meant for this frame?

Thanks a lot,
Your design looks very inspiring! Too bad that other company stole your idea for a name!

PS, Speaking of 29ers, I have some professional photos from the Paradox in action at the 2010 24 Hours of Adrenaline in Canmore. If you want I can pass those on for the blog.

Kurt said...


I like the 150 mm rear end option to allow hub flanges to be wider for stiffer rear wheel


F.M. said...

Looks awesome- especially the linkage being tucked in like that, looks like a very stiff design. Sign me up!

Schlitz Domino said...

Hot damn, you nailed it. That is exactly what I've wanted in a 29 squishy, down to the degree and millimeter (please don't shrink the top tube on the XL). I'm going to finish fabricating my time machine so I can go pick one of these frames up. I'll let you know how it rides when I get back.

Keith Scott said...

OK... replies in order...

some details on this frame do indeed suggest where future versions of other frames may follow.

This frame will be stiff, as all banshee's are. It will be camparible to that of between spitfire and rune as it stands, if it needs more stiffness I can easily make it stiffer, I'll wait for feedback first.

The KS link allows a bit more room for tire clearance and links, and also bearings rather than bushings to reduce maintenance required.


Yeah please send over the pics and background story from the Canmore epic, would be good Blog content!

The Prime headtubes are fairly short compared to some 29ers out there, so this combined with low slung top tube should give maximum clearance for brakes when popping bar spins! haha

Prime will have 73mm BB, as need to allow for maximum number of options for cranks. Clearance is there for all standard double and triple chainring and hammerschmidt setups. linkage is optimised around the 28-20 tooth mark. It isn't specific to just one size, but will be most ideal around that range, and pedal kickback in 22tooth granny is reduced compared to some other models.

This frame is probably going to feel best with a 140mm fork... there will be 140mm options out there when this frame is released.


If you have a spare flux capacitor I'd be interested... would be a fair trade for a free frame! haha
XL will not get any shorter, don't you worry.

DC said...

Is it possible to increase travel on the rear to 140mm with a view to matching the front Reba 140mm?


Keith Scott said...

I considered that option, but there were downsides to doing that, and I also prefer more travel at the front than the back for all mountain riding.

Ronnie said...

I really like the look of that bike. I got my first Banshee and 29" bike (Paradox)at the beginning of this year. I'm enjoying it very much and I want a full suspension 29. No more 26" bikes for me. I am a long time Intense rider but I'd certainly consider one of these.

When you say 2012 does that mean more than a year away? I was hoping for a new full suspension for next summer.


Keith Scott said...

The pre production 50 odd bikes will be tested through 2011, and production will hopefully happen for 2012.

DC said...

@Keith well that's the exact opposite what Intense does- less front and more rear. What is the hindrance behind 140mm rear travel? WFO9 from Ninerbikes works just great.

Keith Scott said...

The more travel you have, the more you have to have a forward axle path to avoid pedal kickback from chain stretch... or the more you have to raise the BB. Bike design is all about compromise and optimisation. the vast majority of riders have asked for a 130mm travel bike over a 140mm version, so not only am I doing what I know will work better for all mountain riding, but also what the majority of customers are asking for. the upside of the linkage design is that the antisquat profile means it will sit high in its travel compared to most offerings out there, so it will probably have a very similar amount of usable travel after sag as other 140mm offerings.

Aaron said...

Keith, looks amazing. Really like the lines...looks like a mini-downhill bike, and will probably do a pretty good job of it! Suspension design looks spot on, hope the leverage curve is fairly gentle and progressive. Can't comment too much on 29er geo, but I like the adjustability at the dropouts. Looks like you've allowed for an angleset as well. Overall it has to be the most desireable 29er out there for trail riders!

DC said...

Seems reasonable :) What do you think of WB forks? Perhaps will you offer another FS 29er with 150 or 160mm rear wheel travel? The more option the better.

chichi said...

Wheelbase seems huge in all sizes despite the relatively short chainstays...

Anonymous said...

Big wheels will always keep on movin! Glad that someone is ready to step up to the plate to move toward bigger wheels riding the more gnarly of our west coast trails. I've been on the wagon wheels exclusively since 2005 and can tell you that they really make more sense here for our trails that buff cruiser trails in Iowa. Good on you guys for pushing the envelope!

César said...

Hi Keith, remember the prototype that I have to prove myself, ha ha ha. (Not bromaó).

This bike has very good trace. My beginnings were with a Banshee Chaparral (which has given me good times and I will continue, still have), and now enjoy from this spring of a Spitfire, (spectacular). If this new design works so well as we have used will be a success.

It looks to be very robust. Here in Spain the 29 "still run deep, but with designs like this, and noting that ye are determined to develop one, now I think the 29" is not a fad and that really work.
Is it possible to change the geometry by a dual absorber?, Would it be possible a set of steering angle in 1 or 2 º?.

Congratulations. Greetings.
Leer fonéticamente

d1sinfo said...

It seems to me the lower link unlike dw bikes moves into pedaling efficiency but always keeps traction throughout its entire path is this the reason for the downward pointing lower link at rest without sag?

dbphoto said...

i wanna small mang. the md stand over is nearly 3" TaLLer then a medium spitfire.

oh ya, and can we please get a drive side view of the drop outs. thanks!

Keith Scott said...


There is a lot more to it than just the angle of the lower link. there are a number of things that effect pedal efficiency like instantaneous center, center of curvature, axle path, leverage curve, chain stretch etc.


Sorry, ingnore the standover figures, they are not for this bike, i forgot to delete them. Standover has not yet been finalised for all sizes.

Dropouts are still being worked on too, but they will have seperate hangers if that is what you are worried about?

Sneeck said...

I dig the bike even though I don't like 29'ers but I really have my doubts on the name. It's a real shame Claymore is allready taken cause that's a bit more how do you say playfull with rondom objects and thing's. In my opinion glorifying your own frame's with name's like Legend and Prime doesn't seem to fit with Banshee somehow, it just feels wrong. Even though the bike's themselves are very good it needs to have a somewhat less catchy name, but still playfull and perhaps a bit low profile. But still catchy enough so that people who hear about this bike will remember it.

Keith Scott said...

29 is a prime number

DC said...

The name ought to be OPTIMUS PRIME or MEGATRON. :)

I'm repeating my questiones as it snack unanswered. Will you offer a longer travel unit like 150 or 160mm with White Borther forks? What do you think of them? There's been a lot of feedback about them, hasn't there?

Keith Scott said...

No imediate plans to do a longer travel DH 29er. You don't need more than 130mm travel on a 29er for anything other than DH to be honest.

DC said...

On mtbr there is a thread about this very idea, perhaps Keith ou might want to take a look at it.

Sneeck said...

Ah 29 is a prime number, never knew that. Yeah that is pretty random and playfull. Good 2nd choice i'd say.

Sneeck said...

Keith, have you considerd making the rear dropout in postmount? Seeing as it's a relatively small plate i'd say it's pretty easy to do and with basicly 9/10 brake's around being postmount will look allot cleaner. Will it be a cnc'd piece or a forged one?

Keith Scott said...


Yeah I considered it and tried it, but it is tricky to achieve with the dropout shape, as you need a certain depth of thread.

Anonymous said...

How about 185 post mount? Should allow more room for thread depth. I cant see anyone running a smaller rotor on a all mountain 29er.

Psycho Mike said...

Nah...keep it IS in the back...although adaptors add weight, they can also save a lot of headache when it comes to making sure things fit.

Keith, the KS link looks pretty interesting. How does the leverage ratio progress through the travel? Will a clyde have any issues running air without having to run an air can at max pressure?

The adjustable geo is a useful feature, but as you're doing it at the dropout, I'd say be really conservative on the pin/bolt you use...lots of shear in a spot like that.

I'm not a convert to a 29er mtb yet, but I've felt the difference in running a Cx bike on some of the same trails I run my older FS mtb on. You're right when you say it feels like there is added suspension with the bigger wheels.

Any thought given to a tapered headtube rather than a straight 1.5"? Seems like a lot of companies are starting to look at the tapered instead of the 1.5 for their forks.

Just my thoughts.

Cracked Headtube said...

My opinion is a Tapered headtube would be the way to go, BUT the 1.5 can be adapted easily as well. Since the dropouts will be swappable, the new 142 should be an option, too. I think it will be a viable player by 2012,if the world doesn't end first.

Coach Factory Outlet said...

Coach Factory OutletDo you want to be the talk of the town?