Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Banshee Legend in Team Green, Pics and Ride Report

Aaron sent me this to bait your green eyed monster! (wow did I just made a Shakespeare referance... what's that all about?) I have to say that I think this is one of the best looking builds I have ever seen, good work Aaron!

'Santa came Wednesday! Immediately booked Thursday and Friday off from work so I could build her up and bed her in... Here are some pics and a ride report from the weekend...

Banshee Legend Mk1

Size: Large (Rider: 6'3")
Fork: Stock Boxxer Team ('cept for decals)
Shock: Cane Creek Double Barrel – heavy steel spring
Stem: 50 mm Point 1 direct mount (lovely!)
Bars: Sunline V1 (745 mm)
Brakes: Formula The One (180 mm)
Drivetrain: Gravity Lights (170 mm) with 38T back to Ultegra 27-12 cassette and mech, MRP G2 chainguide
Wheels: Industry 9 with Swiss 6.1d
Tires: 2.7 Maxxis Minions DHF front and rear, super tacky, light tubes

Weight: 39.5 lbs

I hopped on the Legend and two things surprised me in my first parking lot test. First is the acceleration. The combination of the CCDB, quick engagement of the I9 rear hub, back end stiffness and high virtual pivot suspension means this thing just takes off at any hint of pressure on the pedals. There’s no noticeable bob even in a standing sprint, and it doesn’t feel like your putting extra tension into the chain either. The nearest thing I can compare it to is a V10, and I’ve got to say it pedals even lighter! It feels like my 6” bike. I’ve let a few people ride it and the pedalling is always the first thing they mention.

The second thing I noticed is for a bike with such a slack (64 degrees measured), long (47 1/8” measured) and low racing geometry is how playful the bike is. The front end comes up easily and you can hop around on it. It feels way more light and nimble than I was expecting. I didn’t expect that, especially from the CCDB from what I’ve read, but it’s a good feeling.

Get this baby on the track and it shines even more. Again, the pedalling is the best part – anywhere and everywhere this bike is ready to accelerate. The cornering is fantastic as well – very predictable and precise. I can place the bike exactly where I want to. The bike feels light in the corners as well, very easy to modulate the lean angle, possibly because the CG is so low. I was riding 2.7 minions on a wet and slippy courses, so I did a fair amount of drifting, and not being exactly of Sam Hill’s calibre I was surprised how easily I could control the drift, although that could be down to the tires as well. But I could sense just the amount of traction they had and adjust my angle of attack accordingly.

I haven’t spent much time in the air yet – I’m not really a big air kinda guy, more of a ground hugger. I’m still finding the front to rear balance point in the air, as the damping on the front and especially rear is still new to me, but the CCDB didn’t feel as “dead” as I thought it would on the take offs.

The cockpit on this bike is way different than I’m used to. It’s set up fairly low (could go lower) and wide (745 mm). Being quite lanky, I’m liking the wide bars, not so much for leverage, but for the attack position they put you in. They get you a bit lower on the front and I found it easier to come forward when I needed to weight the front wheel – like they’d opened up my chest. I prefer a longer cockpit to get the power down, and I’m running a 50 mm direct mount stem. I’d say the cockpit feels pretty medium, definitely not long, and a find myself riding a bit back of center most of the time. The front end lofts really easily and I can feel exactly what’s going on down under the rear tire. Considering my height, I think they got the geometry just about right for what the average guy wants. And pardon the cliché, but this is one of those bikes that you feel your “in” it, not “on” it.

We’ve only got one small rock garden to play with at my local hill, so I’ve got limited info on the suspension performance on big hits. What I can say is that on my last run I was having a blistering top section and came in hot and off line in this rock garden. I lofted the front just a little but the Boxxer still went “thunck” on a very hard hit. But I didn’t feel it in the rear, must have just sucked it up. Still haven’t checked to see if I’ve dinked the front 6.1d rim – I’m afraid to look!

So what’s the bottom line? My friends are pissed. They used to be neck and neck with me, and now I’m 4 seconds in front of them, and that’s on a short track! Lovin’ it… And this bike get’s a lot of attention. The finish is the best I’ve ever seen on any bike. You should see the green metal flake in the sunlight!'

Thanks for the write up Aaron. Go faster and grin wider!