Banshee Phantom - Review

Nov 3, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  


If you were to picture a short travel, full suspension 29er, what comes to mind? More than likely it's an image of a race whippet, a bike where the wearing of spandex is a prerequisite and installing a dropper post would be sacrilegious. Well, erase that image from your brain, because the Banshee Phantom is a bike that defies convention. Yes, it only has 105mm of travel, and yes, it rolls on 29” wheels, but that's where the similarities to an XC-oriented steed end. The slack head angle and 120mm Pike on the front of the bike are the first indications that the Phantom is built for a good time, a bike that's meant to be able to take on trails far burlier than its modest amount of rear travel would make you think is possible. The Phantom is available as a frame only with a RockShox Monarch RT3 for $1800 USD, a Cane Creek Inline for $2050, or with a similar build to the version we tested for $5025. Sizes: M, L, and XL.


Banshee Phantom Details

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Wheel size: 29''
• Rear wheel travel: 105mm
• 7005 aluminum frame
• KS Link suspension
• RockShox Pike RCT3 120mm fork
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Weight: 29.5 lb (size M w/o pedals)
• MSRP: $5025 USD


Banshee Phantom review
  The Phantom was built with stiffness as a top priority, and a bevy of clean welds are found on the bike's hyrdroformed aluminum frame.

Frame Design

The Phantom's polished 7005 aluminum frame has an industrial look to it, with big beefy welds along with seat and down tube gussets for additional strength. Like many of the bikes in Banshee's line, the Phantom has a dropout system that uses interchangeable chips to allow riders to adjust the bike's geometry. We ran our test bike in the middle setting, giving it a 68° head tube angle, a 13.45” bottom bracket height, and a 17.4” chain stay length. The Phantom is chainguide compatible thanks to its ISCG 05 tabs, and there is also a spot for a direct mount front derailleur, just in case the idea of a 1x drivetrain doesn't float your boat. The bike's brake and derailleur housing are routed externally on the top of the down tube, and an exit hole towards the bottom of the seat tube allows for a stealth routed dropper post to be used.

Banshee Phantom review
  Two short aluminum links connect the swingarm to the front triangle, with sealed cartridge bearings used at all pivot locations.

Suspension Layout

The Phantom uses Banshee's KS-Link suspension design, where two short links attach the swingarm to the front triangle. The swingarm has an upright on each side that joins the internally ribbed chain and seat stays, and two braces connect the drive and non-drive sides of the swingarm for additional stiffness. One of the benefits of this suspension design is that the orientation of the short links minimizes the amount of room they take up, making it possible to use shorter chain stays. The main pivot rotates on two large cartridge bearings housed on each side of the frame, and the lower link is sandwiched in the box-like opening just above the bottom bracket. The rear shock, in our case a RockShox Monarch RT3, is mounted directly to the swing arm rather than to a separate link, a design Banshee says helps limit the amount of side loading on the shock body.


Specifications
Price $5025
Travel 105mm
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch RT3
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 120mm
Headset Banshee
Cassette SRAM X01
Crankarms Race Face Evolve 175mm 30t Narrow Wide
Bottom Bracket Race Face
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01
Chain Yaban SLA-H11
Shifter Pods SRAM X01
Handlebar Race Face Atlas 785mm
Stem Race Face Turbine 50mm
Grips Race Face Half Nelson
Brakes Avid X0
Wheelset Kore Durox
Hubs Kore
Tires Maxxis Highroller II 2.3"
Seat Kore Fazer
Seatpost Rock Shox Reverb Stealth
Banshee Phantom Review





bigquotesThere's still a bit of a stigma remaining when it comes to 29ers, one that arose due to the poor handling of the first wagon wheelers to hit the market, but for the most part those awkward, unwieldy rides are a thing of the past, and if you're planning on riding the Phantom be prepared to throw any remaining stereotypes out the window.

Climbing

Based on its travel and wheel size it'd be reasonable to expect that the Phantom would be better on the climbs than the descents, but it's actually the inverse that's true. Weighing in around 30.5 pounds with pedals, the Phantom's weight is reasonable given its all-mountain intentions, but when you combine that figure with the slower rolling Maxxis Highroller II tires, trying to snag those hillclimb KOMs might be best left to a more sprightly steed. Still, even though it may not be the snappiest climber around, the bike's geometry, particularly the relatively steep seat tube angle, made it quite comfortable on extended climbs, the kind where it's best to just put your head down and try to think about anything other than how many more miles there are to the top. The Phantom has a longer front center, and is designed to be run with a shorter stem, but it never felt unwieldy, and typically as long as I could get the front wheel far enough around a sharp turn, the rest of the bike would follow suit with minimal coaxing.

Despite only having a touch over 4 inches of travel, there was enough rear shock movement when pedaling that I still found myself flipping the Monarch's blue lever into the middle 'pedal mode' on smoother climb, whether it was a long gravel logging road or a relatively obstacle free section of trail. This firmed the shock up considerably, and made it seem less like my pedaling efforts were going to waste. When things got technical, and toothy rocks and sinuous roots tried to halt my forward progress, I ran the shock fully open in order to take advantage of the additional grip the reduced compression damping provided. This helped keep the rear wheel glued to the ground, and that, combined with the tenacious bite of the Highroller II made it possible to scale tricky climbs without losing traction.

Banshee Phantom review
  Once gravity takes over the Phantom truly comes to life.

Descending

The first ride of many that I took the Phantom on was a local loop with a little bit of everything, from steep, chewed up sections of singletrack full of wheel-sucking holes to smooth, bermed ribbons of dirt with perfectly sculpted jumps. It's a ride that can quickly expose a bike's strengths and weaknesses, but the Phantom handled it all with aplomb. Quite frankly, I was blown away by how maneuverable it was, not just for a bike with 29” wheels, but for any mountain bike. There's still a bit of a stigma remaining when it comes to 29ers, one that arose due to the poor handling of the first wagon wheelers to hit the market, but for the most part those awkward, unwieldy rides are a thing of the past, and if you're planning on riding the Phantom be prepared to throw any remaining stereotypes out the window.

I constantly found myself trying to find the edge of the bike's capabilities, my curiosity piqued by how well it handled technical terrain. Of course, there are limits to what it can do, but those limits were much harder to reach than I imagined, and believe me, I tried. Whether it was flying down extremely steep and rough trails, or hitting larger jumps and stepdowns, the Phantom proved itself over and over again, and I rarely felt handicapped by the amount of travel on hand. The margin for error is certainly narrower when compared to a 160mm bike, and committing to a line and being prepared to hang on tight if things start to go south is key, but the big wheels do help to cushion the jolts that come from straying off track, or diving into a rough section of trail with a little too much speed.

Banshee Phantom review

The 120mm Pike in the front was an excellent match for the bike, and the reduced stanchion height creates a flex-free front end that begs to be pushed hard into corners. Cornering was quick and precise, likely in part due to the stiff frame, and while there are a few 29ers with shorter chainstays than the Phantom, those extra couple of millimeters didn't seem to be holding it back in the slightest when it came time to slalom through the trees. In the back, running the tiny Monarch RT3 shock with 25% sag did well to keep the bike from bottoming out in most instances, although it occasionally reached the end of its stroke with a solid 'thwunk' when pushed too far, a firm reminder that I was on a bike with only 105mm of travel. A little more ramp up would be nice, although the times that the suspension bottomed out were all well deserved, whether it was a large rock drop to a not-so-steep landing, or stuffing the back wheel into a hole after airing over a section of roots. Banshee is now offering Cane Creek's new Inline shock as an option, which looks to be a good choice for riders seeking a little more tunability.

The Phantom is in a category of bike that, at the moment, is still sparsely populated, especially compared to the burgeoning 160mm 27.5” all-mountain class. The advent of 27.5” wheels effectively curtailed some of the innovative design work that was occurring related to the larger wheel size, so it's good to see that the potential of a short travel, slack angled 29er hasn't been forgotten. Kona's Process 111 deserves credit as the bike that helped draw attention to this genre, effectively setting the standard with its downhill capabilities, but the Phantom's performance certainly makes it an excellent addition to this group as well. The 111 and the Phantom have two distinct personalities - the Phantom is a little livelier, and feels slightly more playful, while the 111 has the edge when it comes down to outright stability at speed, likely due to its longer front center, but both bikes succeed at being highly capable, and versatile rides.


Banshee Phantom review

Component Check

• Avid X0 brake: SRAM's new Guide brakes will be spec'd on the 2015 version of the Phantom, but ours arrived with a set of Avid XO two piston stoppers on it. After having an exciting (read: frightening) experience while riding in the midst of a rain storm, I swapped out the organic pads for a metallic set, which greatly improved the wet weather performance, although the brakes still didn't have enough power to match the bike's capabilities, and on steep trails with extended heavy braking they had the tendency to wail like, well, a banshee.

• Kore Durox wheelset: The fit between the Kore Durox rims and the Maxxis Highroller II tires is rather loose, and I did manage to pull the rear tire completely off the rim after a slightly sideways landing. The wheels themselves held up just fine to all the mileage I put on them, but if this were my personal ride I'd likely opt for something a little stouter and wider.

• Race Face Atlas bars / Turbine stem: No changes are needed to the Phantom's cockpit - the dropper post remote is located under the bars on the left side where it should be, and a 50mm stem paired with a set of 785mm bars means that this bike is ready to rip right out of the box.

• SRAM X01 drivetrain: Our test bike came with an X01 drivetrain rather than the X1 gruppo that will be in the Race build kit for 2015. Other than needing to tighten the clutch mechanism on the derailleur there were no issues, and the 30t Race Face narrow wide ring up front ensured that the gearing was low enough to get up the steepest climbs around.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Phantom is difficult to classify - it's a bike that can't be neatly slotted into a preset category based on its geometry and amount of travel. Is it a trail bike? All-mountain? Free-trail? I don't know, and truthfully, I'm not worried. This is a mountain bike through and through, and an extremely well rounded one at that. If you're looking for a bike that deviates slightly from the norm, but delivers a ride experience that's sure to leave you smiling from ear to ear, the Banshee Phantom may be the answer. - Mike Kazimer


www.bansheebikes.com


Mentions: @Banshee-Team @builttoride




212 Comments

  • 95 4
 In my opinion Banshee are one of the most underrated brands around right now, with a better understanding of geometry than almost anybody else. 4" 29er that you can get rowdy on? Check. 160mm trailbike that somehow climbs well and descends better than several DH bikes I've owned? Check. Good solid frames and pivots? Check (fortunately, since their old bushed pivots did suck the big one). I am happy to go on the record saying my Rune is overall the best bike I've ever owned.

All they really need to change IMO is start producing some of these things in carbon!
  • 20 2
 im a spitty v2 owner and a die hard Banshee fan boi - their line up of bikes is spot on and if money was no object I'd be get this 29er and a Darkside just to have the full quiver. The KS link is the bees knees Carbon Schmarbon. Banshee 4 life!
  • 7 0
 @Socket and fingerbangextreme

I owned a number of Banshee's and loved those bikes. Last Banshee was my raw Rampant which was the most rowdy 100mm bike on the market

Keith and Jay @ Banshee are solid guys, its great to see Banshee have turned things around after the plastic bushing problems and are back on track with the new K.S. Link ball bearing frames, and solid distrib. in the UK from ISON Distribution
  • 6 0
 I really want this bike - or at least have a go on it. This could tempt me to cross over to the 'darkside' - if you'll excuse the pun. Sadly, it'd be WW2 with the girlfriend if I got another bike Frown
  • 5 2
 hit you with a banshe would Wink
  • 3 1
 she'd go off like a Banshee - sorry I missed that pun Smile
  • 44 48
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 3, 2014 at 4:30) (Below Threshold)
 If my girlfriend screamed at me for buying another bike I'd be like: "Eh! why don't you e-e-e get your bum back to the kitchen a-and make me some pie" or or "EH!why don't you just shut up a-and make babies!"
  • 3 0
 @finger...

she'd "wail like a banshee!"
  • 18 2
 You obviously aren't that extreme at finger banging for her to have that attitude.
  • 50 6
 It seems that very few people noticed that my post was a quote from South Park... i feel so old...
  • 34 1
 oh shit they killed waki
  • 7 0
 It went over my head Waki, although my username is a reference to Cartman's boyband. Unfortunately 'fingerbang' was taken so I just added 'extreme' cos, y'know, my riding is on the edge
  • 3 0
 how's their 140mm 650b spitfire? i'm interested in it.
  • 1 0
 I have a Spitfire v2 26er (convertable to 650b) and I have been very impressed with its performance, by far my favorite bike I have ever ridden, descends as good as a Rune and climbs almost as well as an sb5c. I tried my buddy's spitfire v2 650b and was unimpressed, I think I will keep mine as a 26er for now (I just got a 26" 2015 36) but its always nice to know 650b is an option on the same frame.
  • 1 0
 why was the V2 unimpressive? thanks for the info!
  • 1 0
 as a new owner of a used banshee scythe (thanks to etrominus!) I'm pretty stoked about the brand! I'm fairly sure the way it feels my scythe floats jumps better than either my riding buddies kona entourage or the transition tr250... saying this to ruin their day! or not Smile Never rode banshee's other bikes but I still support em!
  • 1 0
 @LukeDKlassen

Scythe was a rad frame and a solid choice for extreme freeride. Have fun, happy trails!
  • 5 9
flag B650wagon (Nov 3, 2014 at 12:06) (Below Threshold)
 It sounds like quite a few people are fans of the Banshees, they seem like good bikes. IMO, they need to work on the presentation a bit. Sorry, not to offend and just voicing my opinion, but their name and paint jobs look like it came from Canadian Tire. I think they could look a little nicer for $5000. Seem like solid bikes and people rave about the ride, love to try one.
  • 10 1
 @B650wagon ...horses for courses. I happen to like Banshee's simple paint jobs and understated graphics. The paint job on my Rune looks great and has held up as well as any bike and better than many. Names?!? What should they call them? Enduro 29er is already taken? Camber? Jekyl? Nomad? Tallboy? This not mention that the KS-link with a Cane Creek DB Air pedals better than anything I have ever ridden (and yes, I have ridden nearly every full-suspension platform that has any validity today including 5 different bikes set up with Double Barrels) so I would still ride it even if it was called the Fartbag-aerolander with a rattle can paint job. On that note, I believe this review would have been even better had the test bike had a Inline on it.
  • 3 2
 A bike that says Banshee on it with those graphics would just not be my first choice for style. Not saying that it would keep me from buying it, but they could make it more appealing to the eye IMO. Bet they're good bikes tho, and that's what counts.
  • 3 0
 Like to see a review of the new Knolly Endorphin 27.5
  • 6 0
 A good buddy of mine has been ranting about a short travel, slack 29er all summer. He was calling in the unicorn bike. I agreed. Long travel 29er just dont work, unless you 6ft of bigger. Even then the bike is huge. Looking at this bike, its proportioned, geometry is great, ... i can imagine alot of die hard 29er haters will be pleasantly suprised with this when they ride it. I for one have never riden a 29er that i have enjoyed as much as a bike with smaller wheels. They are either compact and have small travel and terrifying angles or slack long travel and combersom. For the fast, aggressive, transition hunting riders, whos terrain is not quite as steep and gnarly as some, this is going to be one helluva bike! Watch out for all the major brands making something similar i coming years. IMO this is the only way you can make 29er work well for anything other that XC. Well done Banshee for not being a sheep and trying something different.
  • 1 0
 Amen! Btw, ordered my phantom from my lbs Monday. Chainlinebikes that is
  • 2 1
 You are so unreasonable KTm... Why... Why don't you want to be like everybody else at the moment Big Grin
  • 1 0
 And I love my new phantom!!!!
  • 1 0
 @makripper: f*ckin dank. Threw down the best times ever on that bike. On a process 111 now which is good but I was faster on the spitfire...
  • 57 9
 I'm not sure "no changes are needed" describes your cockpit if you've got a whole Reverb clamped under the left side of your bars... Wink

Snarky digs aside, I really like this new "XC+" category of light trail bikes; it's an intelligent and efficient philosophy. I remember an article around here that left a strong impression on me a while back - talking about 12 year olds learning to ride on S-Works Enduros and never developing any technical skill because they could roll over everything. Granted, there are still situations in which even the most skilled rider will benefit from a few extra inches, but the REAL joy of riding isn't always out and out speed. That's just adrenaline. Isn't the best thrill the one you get when you finally clean that line you've been ironing out for years... finally figure out exactly how much brake you need to weave between two rocks or nose wheelie around that switchback or what have you? Any hooligan can go fast on a long-travel bike if he's got the balls. The rest of us take satisfaction in our SKILL. And that's what these bikes are all about - after all, the absolute smoothest line shouldn't require any suspension at all...

I also hope that, in time, bikes such as the 111 and this Phantom will wear away the 29er stigma and show that big wheels are fun for some applications. I like wagon-wheelers, personally (go ahead, crucify me) - I live in California and think the trade-off they present is fair, and again, I take more satisfaction in cleaning something with a 29er's slower handling than I do on my old 26" bikes. Sixfifty's nice too, but just as the 26er diehards scream and rage at their favorite bikes and brands going midsize, I have cause for sorrow as well - niners are being eaten up, too. I still believe that EVERY wheel size has an application - every bike, no matter how outlandish, is perfect for some trail on this planet - and bikes like this give me hope for a world with the freedom of choice.
  • 14 8
 ...tl;dr: "Go ride your damn bike!"
  • 3 1
 I am more of an adrenaline guy... Learned to mtb on a HT, went to a DH rig and can't foresee going back. (That said, for just messing around, a bike like this would be pretty awesome!)
  • 5 3
 Are you a wrider or a riter?
  • 10 4
 Bluefire, FYI, a lot of people come choose a right sided reverb and run it upside down on the left side, especially when running a 1x10/1x11 setup. Many of the top SRAM sponsored enduro racers run this setup, as it tucks the lever out of the way, and even gives you a better angle with your thumb.
  • 2 1
 I ride it that way... Isn't that enough?
  • 7 4
 I feel like people only make these super inspirational-like comments to get upvotes....
  • 1 2
 I have had 5, 6, and 7 inch travel bikes. The 7 gave the most confidence, but the 5 is the most fun. I am with the verbose guy who write this comment. This bike makes a lot of sense.
  • 4 1
 The article says " the dropper post is located under the bars on the left side where it should be"
That's what he means by having a reverb under the left side of your bars, it was a joke, he even said "Snarky digs aside"

Looks like a fun bike, but something like the transition scout is more appealing to me, similar objective to this bike but with smaller wheels! hope Reviews of that start popping up soon
  • 2 0
 I've been riding a Diamondback Mason 29er with clips, dropper post, and 6" fork this season and am very stoked on it. Took some getting used to but the wagon wheels + low and slack angles work. 66.5 degree h/a baby! The bike is fast and so much fun. I learned a lot from it.
  • 10 2
 This is the first post on Pinkbike where I can say "I want a 29er" and not get mad neg propped for it!

Or will I? Wink

Sweet looking bike. I love the colours all Banshees come in. Almost so much that I wouldn't be able to decide which to go for! It's bad when that's te hardest part about choosing a new bike..
  • 7 0
 29er hoops make sense for this type of bike with this amount of travel, very similar to the Process 111 as mentioned above but also the new Transition Smuggler, so happy the bike industry is pumping out 29ers with short chainstays these days.
  • 2 1
 ...and the Orange segment. Love my Bandit 29' so fun
  • 9 3
 This bike and the process look like a ton of fun, and might be my next bike. HOWEVER, if we are asked to drop that much $$ on a short travel bike, how can the manufacturer justify a 30+ pound build? A similarly priced enduro 29 will weigh less with 6 inches of travel.
  • 12 4
 I know you are fluent with economics so can you please explain the relation between amount of travel and price? As you know, I'm a progressive anarchist with leftist tendencies and see no reason why a 120mm bike should cost less than 160mm bike, especially that the only difference can eventually be the damper and tyres Big Grin
  • 7 1
 I think what he meant to say is, "How does a 105mm bike weigh 30lbs?"

My TB LTc weighs considerably less, with an extra inch on both ends.
  • 4 0
 It's beefy, I've never heard of banshee being know for light bikes, but they do seem to have a bulletproof rep.
  • 6 4
 As a anarco-capitalist that acknowledges that taxation is immoral, all things being equal this should weigh the same as an Enduro 29er or other long travel 29ers; they could really be built up with the exact same components other than a reduced travel pike and maybe different rear shock. However, these two bikes weigh MORE than most $5k 29ers. Also, all things are not equal. With a shorter travel fork, the axle-to-crown length is also shorter, meaning the frame can be much lighter in the front to keep the same strength & durability. In the back with less travel, you need less offset on the seat tube and less burly linkages. Lastly, as capable as these bikes are they simply aren't intended to go as big as a 6 inch travel bike, so the frames could be make lighter, all other things being equal.
  • 7 11
flag OFF2theGYM (Nov 3, 2014 at 7:45) (Below Threshold)
 Why pay 5k for a 30-31lbs bike with 4" of travel, when you can pay 5k for a bike that weighs less and has more travel? Moral of the story: Be smart with your money, this Phantom doesn't stack up dollar-for-dollar against the competition.
  • 10 1
 The Phantom isn't designed to compete with bikes that have the same travel. It is NOT an XC bike. You have to think a bit outside the box here. The Phantom has been raced at multiple EWS rounds... and is designed to be ridden hard and agressively.
  • 11 3
 Oh well, if you guys are so reasonable then why aren't you all just ride Canyon Spectral or YT Capra? Because honestly, If I were a scientologist and part time numerologist with an excel sheet with things to tick, buying anything else than German direct order bikes would sounds silly to me. Dialled Geo, quite light, great components, unbeatable price. I live in a place where many people can afford anything, yet there are plenty of unreasonable individuals who buy bikes like Banshee. Think of bike companies and their bikes like bands and songs - You obviously don't run an excel sheet where you state particular characteristcs why you like some band ate? Banshees like Commencals are built for strength and sorry but Santa Cruz carbon bikes that could last as much are V10, Nomad and maybe Bronson.

Back to songs - short travel bikes have different characteristic, they force you to work harder in up&down plane, and so you get better gratification for doing so in form of more acceleration. This is about TASTE not convenience. Then there are many terrains on this Planet (hilly areas) where such bike is just a better choice because running a 7" rig like Nomad or Enduro29 gives you nothing more but an incentive to sit more on your butt, while 5" bike is still rideable on harshest tracks in the world, with big enough fork.

So relax, not everything in this world must be measurable and put into a box. The "trail" genre gets more and more popularity anyways, I remember being ridiculed for buying a Nomad in 2008, which was qualified by then as XC bike in the extremely open minded, chilled and relaxed world of Downhill and Freeride.
  • 3 0
 I get that this style of a bike is somewhat niche, and its not meant to compete directly with longer travel rigs. However there is no reason why this bike can't be lighter. If they had the exact same components as a longer travel bike they should at least weigh the same.
  • 3 1
 As if it was the first heavy bike from their quiver - My guess:they use same tubes as Spitty and Rune?
  • 7 2
 Ahh waki...still posing moronic questions to people... Why don't they ride a Canyon or YT? Geee ummm because they don't ship to North America?
  • 7 0
 I think the $$/travel issue is a moot point. Full sus is full sus, the weight and spec are based around intended use, and adding an inch of travel has virtually no impact on the cost of the frame (as said above). The point is the frame is for someone who gets the burlyness of an AM rig, without the uber-squish of a 6" travel bike. This could be a pound lighter, but why? Sounds like this thing is stiff as hell where it needs to be, which is gonna matter way more than the feeling of a pound less of material between your legs. I think you have to look at this bike similar to the way you would a hardtail for xc riding. Sure, you could have more travel out back, but I think the rider who chooses this bike has already determined that too much travel at the wrong time doesn't make for the kind of riding they enjoy. After riding a 5" travel bike for years I went back to a hardtail. First a 26er, now a 29er, and I never think of going back to rear squish for anything but gravity oriented stuff. I love the way a hardail rides, and appreciate the efficiency on out of the saddle climbs. That said, if I was to get some squish going again, a bike like this would appeal to me most as there would still be efficiency and trail feedback of less travel, while giving me more confidence to ride bigger. Lastly, a SantaCruz Tall boy Alu with a worse spec is just under 5 grand, so not sure why this bike is seen as so expensive.
  • 3 4
 If you want more travel from a slack angle 29er, then get a Salsa Horsethief. It'll cost less than a Banshee too and weigh about the same.
  • 3 7
flag OFF2theGYM (Nov 3, 2014 at 11:52) (Below Threshold)
 Okay, completely throw out the travel concern then... jeez. The weight alone makes it a none contender IMO, and quite frankly, for 5 thousand freaking dollars it's not a very good looking bike either! If that bike were to pass by me, I'd easily mistake it for 5-6 year old bike. It also lacks a few features you'd expect on a bike that expensive. Sorry... not sorry!
  • 4 8
flag PHeller (Nov 3, 2014 at 12:21) (Below Threshold)
 I have to agree with all the above comments. This frame design doesn't really do anything new. It's Banshee's same great KS-Link held together with Banshee's beefy boat anchor tubing. Despite this heavy tubing, Banshee's still break, not often but it does happen. There are a lot of great options out there that will cost less, ride just as good, and be considerably lighter than the Phantom.
  • 3 7
flag kdstones (Nov 3, 2014 at 12:36) (Below Threshold)
 Honestly, I would rather go spend 5 grand on a bike that's made from a more reputable brand than risk it with this bike... I don't mean to bash Banshee in any way, but from the viewpoint of a normal consumer, that's a really steep price for people to consider. Obviously the price is decent in today's market, but I think many would agree that they would rather spend their hard earned bucks on a more well-known and reliable brand. This is a bike that has potential, but really doesn't appear to have anything new or exciting, which isn't exactly attractive considering the bill.
  • 12 5
 Why some of you people have so much negative stuff to say? For fks sake: one day peoole btch on mass brands, then a niche brand comes along and you btch that it is more expensive and not as good as a huge brand which to top that suddenly becomes trusted? WTF?! Enduro 29 has been mentioned here several times, despite the fact that it got nothing but sht in each of reviews or press releases on this site? Specialized in general gets screwed here, suddenly: a benchmark! Whenever a carbon bike comes along I also read loads of arguments like: just take a dump before going out for a ride. .

Please do take my advice: bikes presented here are like songs on the radio: some tunes get into your ear some don't, you can always turn off the radio. Just do as if you were in a car, so if you kept your doors shut and windows up, nobody can hear your "i hate that fxxx Rihanna bxxx, they're playin it again". It is just better than rolling down the window and shouting through megaphone: too expensiveeee! 29er! Too Short chainstays! USD superior (until DVO and RS-1 announced pricing buahahah) Gearboooox bllere fakabaaa bleeeeee!

Oh @deeeight: I thought the smartest of the breed (you being THE male Alpha in it really) buy stuff from ebay and classifieds? You know, guys who know so much must know the channels in'it? And how exactly are you motivating picking on me being moronic while it seems that there is something moronic with "free" trade regulations in the land of the free. How is that my problem? As usual you must project your anger caused by incompatibility with anything that isn't in your retro, old junk style on someone here. Loneliness is a btch, I know and I mean it, I share your pain.
  • 3 0
 @kdstones

I hear what you are saying - for me it was different. I saw a picture of the bike a year ago, had a Stumpjumper FSR (26) 2012 at that time.
Don't know why exactly - I just ordered the frame this year and have been riding the Phantom since Juli.
I went from a well-known brand (and 26) to a niche brand and 29 er.

Doesn't sound sensible - but guess what? Excellent decision, I am still stoked. This bike is just so much fun to ride.
  • 4 1
 Baph - it was sensible. Whst isn't sensible is buying cheap yet uglyaxx On-One 456 and behaving as if Cotic or BTR were the choice of fools. There are two types of helpless people on this site: those who constantly whine on stuff and those who whine on those who whine - I am happy to admit to be the latter.
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns I have yet to see a used YT bike anywhere in the US
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns I wasn't being negative, I was just explaining my opinion. I have nothing against any bike brand out there, that was just my immediate impression about the topic. Lighten up man.

@baph3 that's interesting... glad that worked out for you. Just curious, what exactly makes it more fun to ride?
  • 2 0
 I see enduro 29 comps going for under $3k used somewhat often; but the cheapest process 111 are usually closer to $4k used... I'm hoping that price will come down a ton once these bikes aren't brand new anymore. I would love to pick one up with a decent xt build for under $2k used.
  • 2 0
 Spec. 29er enduro's rip and they are just over $3k. Just sayin. . . . .
  • 1 0
 Go and buy a Spec 29. Be one of those people...........I believe the weight claim of Banshee. I think everyone would be shocked if you started weighing bikes at the trailhead. We did one time and a lot of the bikes were easily 5 pounds more than what the manufactures claimed.
  • 3 0
 Except there is proof in the form of scale shots from numerous people who have nothing to prove. People get super protective of Banshees for some reason.
  • 2 0
 So don't you think that PB should do scale shots? It should be part of every review.
  • 2 1
 As much as I like the Waki vs D8 stuff. Back to the start. Shouldn't you be able to use lighter tubing with less travel for the same usage? A longer travel frames suspension absorbs more of the impact than a shorter travel frame's. Thus if it is using heavier tubing then it is either intended for more hardcore terrain or it is being beefed up to allow it to endure the greater impacts it has to withstand because there is less suspension absorbing the hits. I learned this by tacoing wheels on a hardtail that I could run a lighter wheel on a FS bike to make up for the extra weight of the frame. Also look at the other parts of the kit like the tyres it's all pretty hardcore stuff. Slopestyle bikes are low travel and weigh over 30lbs.
  • 3 1
 I owned a SC Nomad frame for almost 6 years, which got modernized by changing every single last bit on it including shock and headset. I loved the frame but I thought I could buy something new, stupidly I thought that A "modern bikes" are evidently better (no) and B the frame was too small and I am held back by it's size as long reach is the new black (no) After a long search I decided to go for Banshee Spitfire V2 because of great reputation of it's predecessor (save bushings instead of bearings). I did notice the staggering weight but my experience with strength training vs not training made me believe in my abilities to overcome 2 pounds of additional weight (OH my God Oh my Gaeeeed!) I placed an order but Spitty was unavailable due to worldwide demand that Banshee/Mythic simply didn't expect (so many fools - oh dear) . The great bloke at Banshee Danmark - Rasmus said that I would have to wait a couple of months. Two weeks later I found the blessing that felt on the world thanks to 650B histeria. Santa Cruz was throwing 26" bikes over the window and I got Blur Trc for half of MSRP, cheaper than Banshee Spitifire. 6 years ago I bought Nomad isntead of Specialized SX-Trail and Giant Reign X - why? Same issue: availability and chance - as simple as that. I am sorry I am just frustrated with people who think that their decisions are based so much on reasoning...

Some also say Banshees are ugly - that is just a subjective opinion, just like: your kids and will be ugly too, because they take genes from their grandfathers, that means your mom!
  • 1 0
 Doh I mean't lighter tubing more travel for same usage.
  • 3 2
 Amount of travel is NOT the only thing determining usability or characteristics, I can go very quickly to statement that it tells very little about the bike, just like wheel size or suspension design. A bike with well fitted shock will outrun longer travel machine with whatever shock anytime. If you give your shock to PUSH you will quickly realize how different the bike feels. Actually if you just turn the dials a bit you will notice this. Basicaly all those discussions revolve around the fact that people ISOLATE one factor and behave as all others were constant and perfect. How did BLur TR so popular? It has always been popular but among people who don't write on forums. Forumers needed to see Ratboy rip the crap out of it in promo vid to say: "it's awesome!" because previously they were going: "Why would someone buy that over Blur LT or a Nomad?! It is a Blur LT with less travel - how stupid is that?! "Oh Brycleand rips it - it all makes sense now!" It is a playful trail bike... aaaaaah!"

Take my Blur TR with Pushed Float CTD and it will fk the sht up from most 150mm bikes. Take well setup and customized Stumpy Evo 29 and it will mess up most "playful" 26" bikes out there on a tight twisty singletrack. Gravity folks think that they can setup the bike right and they also think that days of people setting their bikes up too soft, tyres pumped up too hard are long gone. NOPE! They are as arrogant about it as XCers are about their fitness level and lockout switch. So they go out and project tons of crap they read and heard on the hottest latest trend.

Finaly "bang for the buck" is extremely narrow minded look at things.
  • 1 12
flag OFF2theGYM (Nov 4, 2014 at 6:00) (Below Threshold)
 Anyone who buys this bike is a sucker, following a trend. Hoping people will come up to them and give them attention. End of story.
  • 4 1
 Passst: there is a pretty strong trend of 6-7" bikes... Enduro if you ever heard of it. You have to wait at least 2 years for 5" trail bikes to be marketed heavily thus "trendy". Luv ya stuff honey!
  • 3 4
 I have no idea what you just tried to say? People are protecting Banshee like they have stocks in the company haha. I could build a bike better than this, for probably less! There is nothing about this bike that justifies it's $5,000 price, nothing. It's got average components at best (besides the fork and rear shock) and should be around the 3k range. You know what they say though, "there's a sucker born every minute" haha buy up people!
  • 2 1
 Anyone could put together a bike at a better price than listed MSRP, but if you want to compare prices you need to compare framesets or builds at msrp, otherwise there are too many variables. The SantaCruz tallboy has a similar spec in Alu for like 4900 bucks, and that is pretty comparable. I'm sure you can get more value from Giant, but typically boutique companies offer frames with details that appeal to a rider with more specific needs. The big guys aren't offering anything as appealing to me as this bike for a 111, so I would pay a premium for something that answers my needs best. Maybe that makes me a sucker. Really, though, anyone buying this years stuff is a bit of a sucker when last years (or last last years) stuff can be had at a fraction of the price.
  • 3 2
 I am nor protecting Banshee, it is you who went on a preemptive str... On a crusad... wait i'll come again... Ufff... on intensive argumentation not only against Banshee but all short travel bikes. And well if you call me a sucker... They say that if there is contempt, anger in what you accuse another male of, you are it yourself, it is your shadow. So tell me... when was the last time you overpaid something? That must have hurt real bad, you were a kid, you were embarassed, you tried to hide it, probably your dad gave you hard time if he found out...
  • 1 1
 Fair point, heck bike from 4-5 years ago are still more than adequate.
  • 2 1
 @OFF2theGYM heck, I'm seriously thinking of getting a deore set up going on my "other" bike, ha ha. "Old" stuff is awesome now.
  • 1 1
 @JesseE Haha exactly, and WHEN you go down, you wont be that fool with a busted/scratched up 6-7-8 thousand dollar bike!
  • 4 1
 Bang for the buck is for poor people... can't imagine how it feels choosing a bike on a limited wallet, eewww. I'm glad I don't socialize with such people.
  • 1 1
 @MendelMu Lol I hope you're joking? I'm far from poor or on limited funds.
  • 3 0
 I didn't think there were any rich Swedes. Too busy socializing all their money.
  • 1 0
 Sweden is actually 20th in the 2014 index of Economic Freedom; the USA is 12th Canada is 6th. Sweden is one of the most economically free, least socialist countries out there.
  • 2 0
 Yes but you can't buy YT Capra which is the best bike in the world hahahahaha
  • 2 1
 Socialize your money - custom builds for everyone! That's the slogan...
  • 2 1
 @JesseE @hamncheez Sweden along with Finland, Norway and Denmark tries to combine a free market with developed welfare state, it's called the nordic model, if you are interested. So it's not entirely right to say that we are not a socialistic country. Free trade is the most important aspect in the nordic model but to protect individuals from the negative aspects of capitalism and promote individual autonomy there is a minimum of rights for everyone. To fund those rights there is high taxes.

When talking about individual autonomy it can be defined in different ways. The most common would be that you as individual should not have to bare encroachment in your private economy, i.e taxes, right to life, free speech, free thinking etc. A lot of the big theorists whom defined it this way was working during the time USA was founded, so it was and still is how a lot of americans would define it.

Another way to look at it is to be an autonomies individual you need to just not the right to life but health, just not the right to free speech but the education to use it it properly etc - the one without the other is useless.

Canada would be something in-between USA and the Nordic countries in regards of their policies. Though living in Canada I have experienced that there is a much higher suspicion towards taxes among the population than there is over here, which I think is healthy.

This is not me saying one way is better then the other, just a trying to make a few thing clear.
  • 2 1
 This is thread is too looooong - can someone please mention Hitler in an argument already?

In case I will mention Robin R.I.P Williams quote: A-hole deserves to have his last word
  • 2 0
 Allright, I'll give it a shot. Too keep the theme from my other post going. After WW2 in the nuremberg trials there was no legal binding treaty to accuse the nazis. The defensive side made that clear and said that they was following national law. The prosecutor made an argument that just because Hitler said that they should kill a lot of people of a certain kind it did not make it legal, everyone is entitled to right of life.

So just because someone(Hitler, WAKI, hamncheez, Mendel) says you should buy a certain type of bike does not make it right. You have entitled to a free mind and should therefore make up yourself what bike you should buy.
  • 2 0
 You're such a tolerance Nazi
  • 1 0
 Where am I?
  • 2 1
 Nazi- National Socialist Workers Party. Nazism is a more violent socialism. That is my Hitler reference. As for the negative effects of capitalism, they pale in compassion to the negative effects of socialism. There is no perfect system, no Utopia in this life, but Capitalism, or the Free Market is what happens in an absence of violence and has done more for humanity than socialism and all its wars.
  • 1 0
 Capitalism: Roman conquest, slaughter and enslavement of tens of millions. European conquest of N. and S. America. Slavery brought to N. and S. America.

Not knocking capitalism, but let's not pretend that one is morally and ethically superior to any other, when history doesn't agree.
  • 1 0
 This is a topic I rather not engage in for several reasons. 1. It's to extensive. 2. What one means by capitalism and socialism differs so much it often becomes a discussion where people not even talking about the same things. 3. We obviously have diffrent backgrounds going in to it, one born in USA has been brought up with history with Soviet, Cuba and other comi/socialistic states. While I have grown up in in what I myself would call a socialistic state and been indoctrinated with it through school and the "neutral" tradition have left us pretty anti USA and anti Soviet/Russia.

I think that will be too much for a healthy discussion, but please give me your view on point 3.
  • 2 1
 @LeDuke Capitalism is the absence of government action in a market economy. Governments, funded by taxation (which is anti-capitalism) taking over other countries is as far from capitalism as anything can be.

@MendelMu My background comes from a degree in Economics. Granted, I wasn't a star student, but that degree is pretty hard and my Asian genes can only take me so far. My background also comes from many failed entrepreneurial (an even one that was a success) attempts. What I have seen in my brief time on earth is that competition, not monopolies, provide the best outcomes for society at all levels. Government is a monopoly. When it provides services, it does so as a monopoly, and every time it does you get the exact predicted monopoly results- a few getting very rich at the expense of everyone else. This is true for healthcare, retirement planning, war, mass transit, food regulation, and anything else.
  • 1 0
 I love how this is blossomed into a capitalism vs socialism based on my stupid joke.

In all seriousness, though, anyone who has a hate on for socialism should really think twice about their position. Anyone living in a developed "western" society benefits daily from some level of social spending. We all like roads, and laws that are protected, and agencies to make sure our food isn't (totally) toxic, and some level of free medical care... As a Canadian, my country straddles the middle between more socialist countries in Europe, and the less socialist countries further south, and I have to say that from my experience the level of happiness of the average citizen seems to increase with greater social spending as opposed to the inverse. Also, those Nordic folks make some hot chicks.

PB for life!
  • 1 0
 @JesseE this is actually an inside joke that was started by @WAKIdesigns ; we have been going at it about economics for months.

Anyways, about your comment on socialism I couldn't disagree more. Roads are falling apart and would be better if they weren't provided by a monopoly. Government regulations make food less safe, not more safe. Socialized medicine hurts everyone, but the poor the most.

Socialism is forced monopoly that is enforced by violence.
  • 4 0
 Hamncheez.. Whatafu, where did I write anything about socialism?! Socialized - hahahaha! I have to start a new bicycle brand!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns "I know you are fluent with economics so can you please explain the relation between amount of travel and price? As you know, I'm a progressive anarchist with leftist tendencies" is how you first replied to my comment. I didn't say you mentioned socialism, I said we have been having a ongoing "discussion" about all things economics for the past little bit.
  • 1 0
 There is no relation. There cannot be, other than added value. Santa 5010 costs the same to make as , Tallboy, Bronson or Nomad. We may eventually asdume that there are double as many 5010s sold compared to Nomad, but you say opposite, you say it is bike like Nomad that offers better value. V10 costs more to make because it is a different construction. Same with Banshee Spitfire and Rune, same for Spec Enduro and Camber. You may pay more for shock eventually. Specs tend to be adequate. You can basically spec the Spec Camber with exactly same components as E29, you may only want to change fork, shock and tyres: drivetrain, controls, even wheelset can be identical
  • 1 0
 So what kind of artificial denominator are you proposing to vary prices of 5" and 6/7" bikes, other than your own preference? Both have different riding characteristics, and are optimal for different terrains and riding styles, even if you put same forks and tyres on them.
  • 1 0
 They're all rich. .. And all ride 29ers
  • 1 0
 Nah, it's Turner Sultan. Best bike AND 29er!
  • 1 0
 @hamnheez I was trying to play nice about the U.S., but you guys are a perfect example of why less social spending is bad, and more corporate interest represented in government is even worse ("freedome?). We get taxed more in Canada, but you sure as heck won't go into bankruptcy if a relative gets cancer, which sounds like a good idea for poor people. I personally think a country is successful when you measure the happiness of its average citizens, and unfortunately the richest country in the world never seems to top the lists of happiest countries, nor crack the top 10. And as for that government regulation comment, I think if the government regulation wasn't defined by corporate lobby groups, it might actually make live better for Americans. Our government up here seems to be in love with Reaganism, and it terrifies me, cause deregulation is probably the biggest reason for staggering U.S. income inequality. Anyway, I'm glad we all like mountain bikes, and I wish I could ride mine in America a lot more.
  • 1 0
 @JesseE

The bigger the government, the more corporate interest there is in it. People/groups with money lobby governments to get special favors to increase their power and income. If a government is small and has no ability to effect an economy, then there is no incentive for special interest groups to lobby. In the 80s and 90s the US government had virtually no role in regulating the computer/internet industry, and Microsoft, the largest tech company at that time, spent exactly $0 lobbying for the first two decades of its existence. Then in ~1999 the FTC started to try and regulate Microsoft, and now Microsoft spends millions upon millions of dollars lobbying every year.

The FDA (food and drug administration) is one of the agencies that regulates certain foods and nearly all pharmaceuticals in the US. They have prevented many bad drugs from coming to market, and saved many lives. However, they have also prevented/delayed many good drugs from reaching the market as well. When a new drug is approved by the FDA, they hold a press conference and say things like "This new drug will save 5,000 lives a year", then pat themselves on the back. However, doesn't this mean that for every year this drug was invented but prevented from being sold by the FDA then 5,000 people we dying needlessly every year? Some economists (like Milton Friedman) ran the numbers, and to the best they can tell, the FDA has caused MORE deaths than it saved. You can say the same thing about the Department of Agriculture, the TSA, and other comparable agencies in other countries.
  • 2 0
 @JesseE part 2

As for happiness, how do you define it? When you say the richest countries aren't as happy, how do you get to that conclusion? By taking a survey? Economists measure the well-being and happiness of an area by how people vote with their feet. Where they immigrate to. The USA, with all its taxes (highest corporate tax rate in the world), police brutality, oppressive unions, etc has a fence around it. Which way to people jump over it? To get in, or to get out?
  • 1 0
 I think you'd measure happiness by the level of contentment, satisfaction, health, and prosperity afforded by the majority of citizens. I think government has a huge role to play in maintaining happiness, stability, and civility. Has the hands off small government approach ever been put into practice with any success, or is it just and economists wet dream? I hear the agruement for less government brought up time and again, but I've never seen an example of a country with a small government that wasn't some third world hell hole. Through taxation we have the means to find efficiency in the supply of services. Sure, in some cases the private sector can provide certain services better, but once profit is a motive everything else is secondary. That's why I think medical care, policing, eduction, etc. should never be left in the hands of the private sector, which inevitably means big government.

With regards to microsoft, is it possible that there was little regulation of a company and an industry that was virtually non-existing 10 years prior (not being fecitious)

And as for the FDA and good ol' Milty, how many deaths would be the result of no government oversight? 18th century England and asian industrial economies give a pretty good idea of what unfettered capitalism looks like. Left to their own devices public companies will do whatever is necessary to maximize profit - it's their imperative.

Good debate! Sorry to all the guys who just wanted to talk bikes.
  • 2 0
 9/11 conspiracies are welcome. Let's not forget Lorena Bobbit. Such a pity Bill Maher has no PB account
  • 2 0
 60 replies later regretting commenting on this in the first place
  • 2 0
 Ditto...given the obvious lack of LIVES by some commentators...
  • 1 0
 No kidding. Are are you guys seriously talking about 9/11?
  • 1 0
 Don't forget them comparing things to nazis...
  • 1 0
 I STARTED TALKING ABOUT BIKE WEIGHT!!! I WAS DRAGGED INTO ECONOMICS!

@JesseE I'm glad you have a measure for happiness for yourself, but what if others have a different opinion? As for a "limited Government", thats what Canada, the USA, and the Nordic countries had through the 1800s till the 2nd world war. During this time in these countries, you had the greatest change in the standard of living for the ordinary man that had ever happened. Life expectancy doubled. Infant mortality nearly disappeared. This feat of human progress was then topped when the same transformation took place in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan in only 3 decades, with Hong Kong as the most shining example. That small rock with 0 natural resources went from just as poor as the rest of Asia to having a standard of living higher than most places in the West. It did this while mainland China got poorer. What was the difference, Hong Kong had the most limited modern goverment in the postwar era.
  • 1 0
 Well, it's really not @JesseE measure for happiness. There is different organizations whom made research on this topic with different factors. One of the more well respected would be from UN. It's just a google away but to touch on the states mentioned. 1. Denmark, 2. Norway, 5. Sweden, 6. Canada, 7. Finland, 17. USA, 64. Hong Kong.
  • 1 0
 Oh my gosh, please take this to the messages or something! I think everybody would agree that we don't need this in our Dashboards.
  • 8 3
 I had a short travel bike setup similarly to this and rode it on just about everything. It's really only obviously a handicap on some real downhill trails. The kind of double black trails you ride at whistler and what not. Very fun on everything else, from jumps to trails. I don't know if I'd like the 29 inch wheels though...
  • 6 1
 I have a 2014 carbon Stumpy Evo 29er it's got 135 mm on the back and it flys, I raced the mega avalanche on it this year in france, I can ride it almost as fast as my demo8 on my local DH trails, If you get a good 29er like the Phantom looks to be your in for a good time.
  • 5 0
 I have the Rune V2 650b and absolutely love it, one of the most fun and versatile bikes I've ever owned. I tried the V2 Spitfire too and it rocked but I tend to ride more on the heavier Enduro side and also want to play in the park sometimes, so went Rune. Pike with DB are perfect and its absolutely climbable. The bike geometry is adjustable in low/neutral and high, depending on what your hitting which is where the versatility comes in. My son recently had an issue with an older Banshee and their service was amazing, they went well over and above. Highly recommend. As for this Phantom - geezer now I have to try it too.
  • 4 0
 Its cool to see more manufacturers are seeing the potential in these types of bikes.
On trail rides with allot of up and downs they keep their momentum, corner like slalom bikes and never cease to amaze on the downhills.
My sample size may be small (process 111 only) but I literally can't put the thing down.
If your from a downhill background and are looking for a trail bike, get past the wagon-wheel mental block and start having some serious fun.
  • 4 0
 I personally like the sound of this bike. I ride a 130mm front/120mm rear 29'er, with a 68 degree head angle and 430mm chain stay length, and it's easily the most fun and most capable bike I've ever ridden. Outside of full on DH black runs, this kind of bike can handle anything you throw at it, and it's seriously good fun in the process because it makes you think about what you are doing and reap the rewards, rather than just ploughing straight through with 160mm and not having to think about what you're doing.
I say more of this kind of bike please, definitely under rated and over negged, mainly by people who have never tried one!
  • 1 0
 what bike are you on?
  • 5 0
 It's a Whyte T-129 Works, the 2014 model. I've put a Fox Float factory kashima on the rear and a Fox 34 Float 29 factory kashima on the front, dropped to 130mm travel, full XT stop and go with a 1x conversion with Ethirteen and raceface rings, stealth reverb, Hope hubs on 23mm WTB rims. Probably one of the best pound-for-pound bikes I've ridden. Short chain stays and a relatively steep seat tube angle means it climbs really well and it's very manoeuvrable on tight single track too. I've ridden Welsh mountains, DH tracks, enduro courses, and natural rocky trails among other things, including a couple of 'enduro' events, and have yet to really find the limit of what it's capable of. Some of my buddies ride 'enduro' rigs and I have to say, the Whyte in this guise is a far more capable all-rounder than most. Trail 29ers have become really really well tuned in the last couple of years or so, and the idea that they are slow and cumbersome just doesn't apply anymore. Outside of riding full-on DH events, I think this style bike will come to the forefront of everyday mountain biking - riding up, along, across, and back down again, all in a single ride, on a single bike. True mountain biking, not pigeon holed into some specific genre label. Just my opinion
  • 4 0
 And what kind of headset spacers?
  • 2 0
 You're a funny guy, you should go comedy pro.........
  • 4 1
 I am a very happy owner of that bike.....I can only recommend it ! I've been using it on local trails and on very hard trails here in the Austrian alps - it's just pure fun to ride. For me a short - travel ( even though the Phantom feels like much more travel) 29er is the ulimate trailbike.
  • 3 0
 The rear shock, in our case a RockShox Monarch RT3, is mounted directly to the swing arm rather than to a separate link, a design Banshee says helps limit the amount of side loading on the shock body.

Erm. How?

I can see how the exact opposite would be true....
  • 2 0
 @gabriel-mission

This choice of frame packaging allows for a substantial connection between rear end and front end, with less leverage and pivot rotation (additional link acts as longer lever and increases pivot rotation) producing less flexure under load = less side loading of shock.

When you design a frame its a compromise and less parts means you can increase the diameter of pivots and cross section of frame components without weight increase. Doubling diameter of a tube increases resistance to flexure by 16x

If not sure, drop email to keith@bansheebikes.com
  • 2 2
 If they drove the shock off of its own separate linkage, the side loading to the shock would be massively reduced. It is the swingarm that flexes, so running the shock off of the swingarm means the shock sees all of this flex. Yes beefing up the pivots and linkages will help, but i dont see how running the shock off of a different member really effects how beefy the pivots can be. To run the shock off of an isolated rocker, or even with a bit of ingenuity, running it off of one of the existing links (and yes i know this would make for some odd kinematics in its current guise, this is one of the things that would need to be worked around) would make for a more complicated frame design, but they aren't claiming this design reduces complication, they are claiming it reduces side loading on the shock.

If they really wanted to reduce side loading, they could just fit rose joints to the shock. I am not saying their current design is not a good one, it just don't see how their reduced side load claim can be true.
  • 4 0
 It's bikes like these that tempt me to sell my pitch, better climbing and I don't really need the 150mm of travel that it offers 90% of the time.
  • 6 2
 Every new 29er "defies what we've come to expect from 29ers." I've ridden quite a few of them, and have not found anything unexpected yet.
  • 1 0
 I'm a hardtail rider and this is the first bike with rear squish i've been interested in in a while. Most of my trails are very fun and very rideable on a hardtail, but it would be nice to have a little squish out back for shitty landings. I'm hoping to get a Paradox this spring, but if I had more dough this would be the bike
  • 1 1
 I'll huck my hardtail off of ten foot drops, but sometimes just want something out back to tame the high speed rough bits and keep it tracking smooth. So, I guess we want the same bike for different reasons. I do wish they'd make one of these more around the 66 to 67 degree range. You'd have to lengthen the headtube on the bottom side to compensate for the shorter a to c length of the short travel fork. Make it just that much better on the descents.
  • 1 0
 Since I got the second kid I ride 125mm Blur TR for most of the time and hardtail sees little riding. Everytime I get on it and approach some of my favorite descends, I tend to forget that I am not on a fully and things get rowdy pretty quickly. As long as you are clipped in on HT and you have some, fat rims, fat tyres and 140+ fork you can go real fast, and you can tackle really sketchy technical sht - you just have to erase that notion that you ride a hardtail - you must get a bit more over the front wheel to activate your arms more and don't forget to work with your butt and legs.

A 125mm of rear travel is a lot if you have a right shock that is well setup but it still provides good connection with what you ride on, there is this primal feeling, while a 160mm bike needs world Cup track to get out of it's depth. 160 that everyone is after these days is freaking a lot. 100-130mm segment will only be growing.
  • 1 0
 @AllMountin, good on you! My Kona Unit I'm sure could handle some bigger drops with good transitions, but I'm not the guy to take it there, ha ha. I guess the times I want rear squish are when I'm casing jumps or dropping to flat. My bike might be able to handle it, but I dont' think I"d enjoy myself. @WAKIdesigns good tip, and when I get my next ride with a bit more than 100mm up front I may start focusing on some bigger features. Till then, 2-3 or so foot drops are about all I'll be doing!
  • 2 0
 rode last years spitfire and now I am riding a banshee prime! best bike i have ever ridden. perfect do it all bike. I used to be one of those 29er opponents but banshee's prime got me round!
  • 3 0
 I have a process 111 and it blows me away how capable it is but I wouldnt mind taking this bike for a lap or two
  • 3 1
 For the first time ever I think I'm going to say that this looks like a fun 29er that I would happily purchase and get many rides out of.
  • 3 0
 Regardless of the bike, that was an extremely good review. One of the best I have read lately. Well done.
  • 1 1
 While I have no doubt this is a fun machine, I am left wondering:

Why would I pick an 'all mountain' 29er that weighs 31 pounds, only has 105 mm of travel and doesn't climb particularly well - when I could have a Specialized Enduro 29, Trek Remedy 140, Niner WFO, Transition Smuggler, etc. that is also going to be in the 30 lb range but offer me 120-160mm of travel and climb just as well?

Not trying to be an ass - I am genuinely wondering why I would want less travel if it offers no benefit for climbing? I've never once wished that I had less travel while descending.
  • 4 1
 Or, if you're "just" wanting ~5"/4", take a Tallboy or similar frame, throw and AngleSet and Pike on it, and get the same angles for 5lbs less?
  • 3 0
 Like LeDuke, I'm left wondering if there's a significant difference between Phantom and Tallboy (non-LT) if it had Pike/angleset...
  • 1 0
 Of course there will always be differences in terms of leverage ratio, leverage curve and other geometry features of each frame/brand - but aside from that I wouldn't think so.
  • 3 0
 All of us still riding 100mm 26" bikes with 120mm forks aren't surprised that a 29er with the same travel can rip.
  • 4 3
 Makes me think of a the enduro evolution of bikes like the GF/trek Rumblefish from a few years ago. Probably a pretty fun ride, but it's not for me.
  • 3 0
 "slower rolling Maxxis Highroller" Any sense?
  • 12 0
 Highrollers aren't particularly fast rolling tyres, even for DH tyres. People assumed that their name meant that they were supposed to roll fast, but the name convention came from Maxxis's gambling and mafia-inspired model names at the time, such as the Mobster, Minion and Highroller. Compared to a lot of trailbike-oriented tyres, they do roll fairly slowly.
  • 4 0
 I've found Specialized Control tires excellent for 29'er setup with Stan's No-Tubes I'm running the Purgatory front and the Captain rear for wetter riding, and during the drier months the Fast Trak LK on the rear makes the bike feel super quick
  • 5 0
 Thx for letting us know,cheers
  • 4 0
 Thanks for the explenation Socket!
  • 3 2
 I think all bikes should be more decent oriented, if UCI doesn't intensify their xc world cup series that sport will die in years
  • 9 2
 Ummm, if you go to Lake Garda in the summer or to any XC Marathon, you'd see that gravity MTB is a niche. If you go to a major matathon like Transalp, BC Race or better: CykelVasa in Sweden you will quickly wonder if you can call yourself a mountain biker. There were 28 000 participants on Cykelvasa, crushing majority of them having only Spandex in their wardrobe, 28k - that may be more than all DH bikes together in the world. There is also no relation between those people and World Cup XC, very few of them would be able to ride all obstacles on XC course if they were physically able to complete more than half of the race. That also involves vast majority of us here. There is also no relation between how XC races arranged and sales of particular types of bikes.
  • 6 1
 I think this is the first time I've agreed with Waki, but XC blows DH and...gasp...enduro out of the water everywhere in terms of participation. Hell, even cyclocross (CX) blows them out of the water, for both participation and spectators. There are more spectators in 200m stretches of some big Euro CX races than every WC DH race combined.

There are individual XC races in the US that have more participation than all of the Big Mountain Enduro races combined. Similarly, check out Roc d'Azur and compare to that the big enduro races. It's not even close.

You may not like it, and you may not find it fun, but WC XCO racers would blow your doors off going uphill or downhill. It is still the event that attracts the most spectators, by far.
  • 2 0
 Haven't seen this myself. Most (all) CX races I've been to the hecklers could whisper. The California enduro series sold out three races, including one in eight minutes.

Even if what you said was true of competitive events, how many recreational riders wriggle into spandex, strap on the heart rate monitor and crunch their 22lb '9er hardtail for four hours, as opposed to those of us who ride bikes for fun?-Oh wait, I just realized that I don't care what the answer was to that question, cause I gotta go ride my bike. Going to go grind up a hill, then turn around and see how fast I can ride down it. Repeat.
  • 1 0
 I can't talk about US but in Europe, vadt majority of people who sit on a bicycle with tyres bigger than 1.75" to ride on a surface other than asphalt do wear tight clothing. They may not all have a specialized heart rate monitor but they are highly likely to have a smartphone and many of them may run sporty apps on them...
  • 2 0
 The vast majority here also would not wear what I hear the majority of men wear to the beach in Europe, either. But all said, more power to everyone on a bike, regardless of what it looks like and what they wear.
  • 1 0
 The Iceman Cometh: 4000 racers in Michigan, in Mid-November.

Euro Cross: www.cyclingnews.com/races/superprestige-zonhoven-2014/elite-men/photos/327572
  • 1 0
 Well my personal observation is at least around me people are more tend to purchase enduro/ trails bikes more than anything, and more than any time before. Even for those who has got a hardtail they will go for 140mm travel forks or hardtail enduro. Might be true that thousands of ppl participate some xc event but when was the last time you heard "dude come to mine and thats watch xc world cup on stream!"? I don't have anything against xc, but clearly uci is dragging this sport back.
  • 1 0
 Get this if you want a 29er, get a distortion if you want a 26er! too bad GT left that out in their line. It was a unique bike [distortion] and forever will be,
  • 1 0
 I'm curious how this compares to the on one codeine which seems like a similar style of bike both of which I am considering purchasing
  • 1 0
 I need something like this, intense spyder, process 110, etc BUT,...in 27.5/650b!
That way all my bikes have interchangeable tires/wheels (xc, am, dh).
  • 1 1
 Try a 29er - you're going to be shocked at the DH performance you get from the rollover and larger contact patch. Depending on how fast you ride and how strong you are, you aren't going to have any trouble popping or jumping a 29er with modern geo. There's a good reason a lot of rad freeriders grab the 29er version of a bike for their trail bikes.
  • 2 0
 Yes, I've ridden some and I get that. But, you missed my point. One wheel size for all 3 categories is what I'm after. Swap around parts
  • 2 0
 Whoops - yup.
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh Yeti SB-5c or Transition Scout should get you close (although they both have a little more travel than the Banshee)
  • 2 3
 You can always just stick 650b wheels into a 29er frame/fork...The frame may be a little longer than if it were a purpose-built 650b, but this will be negligible for 99% of riders to notice.
  • 3 0
 In summing up get a Kona 111
  • 2 1
 Unless you have a 35" inseam. Nothing like building a 29er that tall people can't ride eh, Kona?
  • 4 0
 They're both fun, well built bikes - it comes down to personal preference. @alexsin - The Process 111 is designed to be run with a 6" dropper post and a good amount of the fixed portion of the post showing. Have you tried one out to verify that it doesn't fit you?
  • 2 0
 Nice, could be the replacement for my 29er HT
  • 5 0
 @nojzilla

I'm thinking the same here.

I've just cracked another of the same model of the "big brand" carbon fibre 29'er hardtail frame I ride, this is the 3rd frame in 2 years and I'm only riding XC on it!

Though the big brand warranty dept. has assured me they will warranty the frame in the New Year when they have some stock, I might be selling off the "new" warranty frame and going FS.

Perhaps its time for a nice Banshee Phantom?
  • 2 0
 I was thinking the same thing too. The trick is that at the same weight why wouldn't I want more travel i.e. Enduro 29? Also, thanks to Banshee for making this with a proper length seat tube (no thanks to Kona and Transition for putting using short enough seat tubes to eliminate most XL riders from their audience).
  • 4 0
 @alexsin – Because longer travel doesn't make a bike better. I chose the Phantom because of the combination of slack angles and short travel, because I thought it would suite my riding, and it really does.

And the weight? Mine is probably at least half a pound heavier than the tested bike, but it doesn't matter at all when riding.
  • 3 0
 I'm not arguing. I think this style of bike is awesome, and more travel isn't always better. On my E29 it often feels unnecessary. It's just a thought given where I live.
  • 1 0
 @alexsin I find myself wondering the same thing, but @Makten has a point. It is all about buying a bike that matches your riding style. At the same time, I have never once found myself saying "I sure wish I had less travel" while descending - probably why I built an S- Works Enduro 29. I can't find a reason to go for shorter travel if it doesn't offer a climbing advantage. Also, with today's rear shocks, you can tune your suspension to be as lively, poppy, etc. as you want - I've had no trouble tuning my HSR so that I am getting the Enduro airborne when I pump it.
  • 1 0
 @alexsin seat tube length is the least important size characteristic. Look at effective top tube, stack and reach! If you go by stack and reach (the actual numbers that matter), You'd be surprised what bikes are big and what bikes aren't. Niner sell an XL frame with only 420mm reach (shorter than my XL trek by 20mm), while Kona's Honzo is 476mm.

The Honzo is only a "20 inch" frame, but is considerably bigger than most 23" frames.
  • 2 0
 Any thoughts on how the Phantom compares to the Prime?
  • 2 0
 Can someone make a "how to" article on how to lower a pike fork !
  • 1 0
 have done it. Easy. Google it. Just takes the right length air rod.
  • 1 1
 looks awesome but 29er and still sealed cartridge bearings and rims that have decal pattern like envy rims with a diff name. Once gravity takes over any bike comes to life.
  • 1 0
 i only say this because i want the new commencal meta v4 trail without having to ship it in Razz
  • 1 0
 I'm not sure if i like the 'chrome' look
  • 3 0
 It's not chrome, it's brushed aluminum. The Phantom frame comes in Stealth Black and Mint Green as well.
  • 2 0
 The Phantom is also available in anodized black and mint blue.
  • 1 0
 Raw 7005 will corrod -oxidize Needs to be painted or anodized
  • 2 0
 True, this frame is clearcoated
  • 1 0
 How does this compare against a spearfish? except for the extra travel
  • 2 3
 been riding a Tallboy 1 for the last 4 years with a 120 mm fork and id say this review hits the santa cruz right on the head. banshee's just a little late in the game.
  • 1 0
 can you compare betwin tham and the specialized camber evo 2014?
  • 1 0
 Like to see a review of the patrol
  • 1 0
 Looks like a fun ride!
  • 1 3
 Enduro....


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