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.