Banshee Spitfire - Review

Apr 11, 2016
by Mike Kazimer  





The Banshee Spitfire falls in line with the growing number of bikes that have a little less travel than what you would typically expect to find on an all-mountain or enduro race bike, but with geometry that wouldn't be out of place on those bigger rigs. It's a concept that's gained traction over the last few years, but Banshee certainly deserves credit for being one of the early adopters of the idea – the first iteration of the Spitfire was released back in 2009. Its aluminum frame recently received an update, and the latest version has a longer reach and a steeper seat tube angle than before.

Spitfire Details
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm
• Wheel size: 26" or 27.5"(tested)
• Head angle: 66° - 67°
• Hydroformed 7005 aluminum frame
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Frame colors: black, grey, yellow
• Weight (as shown, size L w/o pedals): 29.12 pounds (13.2 kg)
• MSRP: $5,449 USD. Frame w/shock: $1,899 USD.
www.bansheebikes.com / @BansheeBike

Our test bike came with the top tier Show build kit, a component package whose highlights include Race Face's Next SL carbon cranks, a SRAM X01 1x11 drivetrain, Guide RS brakes, and Spank Oozy Evo wheels. The Spitfire's 140mm of rear travel is handled by a Cane Creek DBInline shock, and up front there's a 150mm RockShox Pike RCT3. The complete bike retails for $5,499 USD, and the frame with shock goes for $1,899.


Banshee Spitfire review
The Spitfire's rear end has a stout, industrial look to it, but the complete bike weighed just a touch over 29 pounds.
Banshee Spitfire review
For 2016 the Spitfire received a longer reach and a slightly steeper seat tube angle.


Frame Details

The angular lines of the Spitfire's aluminum chassis give it a distinctive look in an era full of swoopy carbon fiber-framed bikes, like something an architect would come up with in between designing skyscrapers. There's a generous amount of standover clearance, and the uninterrupted seattube means there's plenty of room for running the longer travel dropper posts that are becoming more common on larger frame sizes.

Internal cable routing may be back in fashion, but the Spitfire bucks the trend and has the brake, derailleur and dropper post housing routed atop the downtube. Water bottles are also en vogue again, and it is possible to mount one on the Spitfire, but only on the mud-prone underside of the downtube. ISCG 05 tabs are in place for a chainguide, and a threaded bottom bracket helps keep the chances of annoying creaks to a minimum. It's even possible to mount a front derailleur, but given the popularity of 1x drivetrains it's unlikely you'll see too many Spitfire owners going that route.


Banshee Spitfire review
The brake, derailleur, and dropper housing run along the top side of the down tube.
Banshee Spitfire review
Clean welds and gussets galore leave no doubt that this is a Banshee.

These days, there aren't a whole lot of new bikes that are still compatible with 26” wheels, but that's still an option with the Spitfire thanks to Banshee's interchangeable drop out system. There are multiple dropout options that can be chosen depending on a rider's desired axle spacing and wheel size, everything from 135mm all the way to 150mm, with a 12x148mm Boost option said to be on the way. To go along with the dropout choices, there are also three possible geometry positions – low, neutral, and high – that are achieved by swapping out two chips on each side of the rear triangle. Banshee has certainly gone the extra mile to ensure that their customers can set up the frame to meet their needs.


Banshee Spitfire review
The Spitfire uses Banshee's KS-Link suspension design, with sealed cartridge bearings at all pivot locations.

Suspension Design

The Spitfire 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. 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 Cane Creek DBInline 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.


Geometry

Spitfire geo 2016



Specifications
Specifications
Price $5499
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock Cane Creek DB Inline
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 150mm
Cassette SRAM X01 10-42
Crankarms Race Face Next SL 175mm
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01
Chain Yaban 11 spd
Shifter Pods SRAM X1
Handlebar Race Face SixC 35mm 10mm rise
Stem Race Face Atlas 35 50mm
Grips Race Face Half Nelson
Brakes SRAM Guide RS
Wheelset Spank Oozy Evo
Tires Maxxis Highroller II 27.5 x 2.4"
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 125mm

Banshee Spitfire review


3 Questions With the Spitfire's Designer, Keith Scott


What was the original impetus for designing the Spitfire? When it first came out a shorter travel bike with geometry for aggressive riding was something of a rarity.

Back in 2009 when the Banshee Spitfire V1 first came out, there were very few, if any trail bikes with geometry designed to be ridden really aggressively. Head angles were generally in the 69-degree range, bottom brackets were high for ground clearance reasons, and reach was on the short side. The old geo didn’t help put riders in an aggressive position or inspire confidence, which resulted in many people having a slightly passive (boring) experience of trail riding. Essentially most trail bikes back then took influence from XC geometry, and I came at it from a downhillers’ perspective. I caused quite a bit of upset (especially with some of our distributors, who couldn’t understand what I was pushing for) when I introduced a 66-degree head angle trail bike with 130mm travel, 13.0” bottom bracket height and stiff frame that could be ridden hard. Of course, nowadays this seems fairly standard for a trail bike as people have woken up to how much fun they are to ride, and my slogan ‘downhiller’s trail bike’ has been copied many times!


Over the years, the Spitfire has received slightly more travel, along with a longer top tube and steeper seat angle. What brought about these changes?

We make a big point of trying to supply what our customers demand, and those changes - along with switching the whole system to run on fully sealed bearings - came directly from customer feedback. ‘Enduro’ type riding was starting to take off, and riders were demanding efficient and fast trail bikes that could handle slightly rougher high-speed terrain. We started to see a lot of Spitfire riders wearing full face helmets and body armour so I made changes to increase high-speed stability (longer wheelbase) while improving customer confidence when things got rough by increasing travel. The steeper seat angle is a crucial element to better balance a longer travel trail bike when climbing and lengthen wheelbase and reach without just stretching out the effective top tube… they all need to balance with each other for optimal weight distribution.



Banshee is well known for the use of replaceable dropout that allow riders to pick the wheelsize and geometry they prefer. Is this a feature you feel strongly about, or will we see bikes with non-replaceable dropouts in the future?

I believe that giving customers the choice to ride what they want to ride is very important. I don’t want to dictate to a customer what wheel size or hub standard to ride, as I believe that should totally come down to personal preference, whether that be because of a budget for new parts, or riding style. I feel that with more and more industry ‘standards’ popping up every year, that customers have the right to stick with what they have or embrace a new standard if they want to. Who am I to tell them how to build their bike up? Also, it is important to remember that not only do our modular dropouts allow customers variation in wheel size, and dropout standards, they also offer multiple geometry options for each so that the customer can set the bike up the way that works best for them personally. We feel it is an important feature to offer customers and one that we will continue to do so.







Climbing

The Spitfire's beefy look had me expecting a bike that wasn't overly eager to tackle long, steep climbs, but I was pleasantly surprised by its performance. The 29 pound weight felt reasonable, especially given the bike's intentions, and it feels livelier when heading uphill than the Rune, its slacker, 160mm relative. That being said, I'd still place it in the steady-roller category – this is a bike that will get the job done without putting up much of a fuss, whether that's spinning out the miles on a long fire road climb or winding through tight singletrack, but it also doesn't encourage deviating off the main line in order to find even more technical climbing challenges. The Spitfire's adjustable geometry does mean that it's possible to quicken up the handling by increasing the head angle to 67°, but that change still isn't going to give the bike the extra-sporty uphill manners of a more purebred trail bike, something along the lines of a Santa Cruz 5010 or a Cannondale Habit.

The DBInline shock's Climb Switch is in a convenient, easy to reach location, and I regularly flipped it on when I knew I wouldn't be facing any extended downhill sections in the near future. For those that aren't familiar with how it works, the Climb Switch lever does more than just increase the amount of low-speed compression damping - it also slows the shock's rebound, a measure that's meant to keep the rear wheel glued to the ground, increasing the amount of traction on tricky climbs. With the shock fully open, the Spitfire has a fair bit of rear shock movement during out of the saddle pedaling, but with the Climb Switch engaged it calmed down nicely. The meaty 2.4” Maxxis Highroller II tires provided plenty of additional grip to complement the shock's behavior, allowing the Spitfire to chug right along, up and over whatever slippery roots and rocks crossed its path.


Banshee Spitfire Review
bigquotes It's easy to get hung up on how much travel a bike has, but even though 140mm of travel might make you think 'trail bike,' the Spitfire's confident handling in steeper terrain places it right into the all-mountain category.


Descending

When it comes time to give in to gravity's pull the Spitfire sheds its relaxed climbing manners like Clark Kent in a phone booth, emerging as a responsive and energetic trail machine. I tried both the 'neutral' and 'low' geometry settings, and found that I preferred the lower setting, which gives the bike a 66.0° head angle and 13.1” (333mm) bottom bracket height. Those numbers served to make the bike more of a cornering fiend, perfect for railing berms and sliding around loose corners. My feelings about the bike in the neutral setting were just that – neutral – but the lower setting gave the bike more character, and made it into a more exciting ride. With a reach of 455mm for the size large, the Spitfire's front center measurements fall right in line with what's currently considered 'modern' geometry, and combined with the wide bars and short stem the fit felt comfortable from the start.

On rougher, less manicured trails the Spitfire handled square edged hits extremely well – the rear end never felt like it was hanging up, even when plowing through multiple boa constrictor-sized roots in a row. Care does still need to be taken when things get really chopped up to avoid getting jarred off line – after all, this isn't a mini-DH bike – but there's a healthy margin for error that makes the occasional poor line choice easier to get away with, a margin of error that made it easy to feel comfortable carrying speed into particularly nasty sections of trail. Saying that a bike's rear suspension feels 'bottomless' may seem like a cliche, but the Spitfire is one of those bikes that can reach the end of their travel without any harshness. Although the DBInline's rubber o-ring regularly showed that every last millimeter of travel had been used, there wasn't any harsh thudding or clanging when that occurred. It's easy to fixate on how much travel a bike has, but even though 140mm of travel might make you think 'trail bike,' the Spitfire's confident handling in rugged terrain places it right into the all-mountain category.

There were a few moments, usually on extra-steep sections of trail when my chest was behind the saddle, when I found myself wishing for a 150mm dropper post versus the 125mm post the Spitfire is spec'd with. It may not seem like much, but it's amazing what a difference the extra 25mm of drop can make. Other than that small gripe, and the fact that you'll want to wrap or tape the chainstay to keep the chain slap noise to a minimum, the Spitfire is well equipped for diving into technical trails right from the start.


Banshee Spitfire review
Banshee Spitfire review

Component Check

• Cane Creek DB Inline shock: The Cane Creek DBInline is one of the more time-consuming shocks to set up due to the number of available adjustments. The shock's high-speed compression, low-speed compression, high-speed rebound, and low-speed rebound can be adjusted with a 3mm allen key, and all of that is on top of the air pressure and volume band adjustments. It's a tinkerer's dream, but it can seem overwhelming for riders used to less adjustable shocks. To help make the process as pain-free as possible, Cane Creek offers suggested base settings that take the guesswork out of dialing in the shock. I didn't deviate very far from those settings other than slightly speeding up the low-speed rebound to match my personal preference.

Unfortunately, the DBInline on the Spitfire only survived three rides before losing all of its rebound damping, a failure that required sending it back to Cane Creek. This isn't the first time we've experienced this issue on a test bike, and although the replacement worked without any further trouble for the remainder of the test period, I can't fully recommend the DBInline based on our past experiences with it. Luckily, the Spitfire uses a fairly common 7.875x2.25" rear shock measurement, which means there a number of other options that will easily fit.

• Race Face Next SL cranks: Race Face's high-end carbon cranks may be an unexpected sight on a rugged aluminum-framed bike like the Spitfire, but they help keep the weight down and are light, stiff, and strong.

• Spank Oozy Trail295 wheels: Spank's Trail295 wheels held up without needing any time on the truing stand, and even at lower pressures the tires stayed securely on the rim, without letting out even the smallest burp of sealant during moments of hard cornering.

• Race Face Half Nelson grips: I've praised them before, but it's worth mentioning again how comfortable the Half Nelson grips are. They feel perfectly broken in, with a nice thin diameter and a pattern on the underside for extra traction.


Banshee Spitfire Review


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesThe Spitfire is the epitome of a shop rat's bike, and I mean that in the most endearing way. Most mechanics would rather ride than spend time futzing with their own bikes when the day is done, and they also typically don't shell out the little money they make for bikes that are more style than substance. The Spitfire may not have the flashy looks of the latest exotic carbon-framed bikes on the market, but that doesn't make it any less capable out on the trail. It's a versatile machine, one with enough adjustability to suit the preferences of just about any rider, even the card-carrying members of the 26" For Life club. - Mike Kazimer




Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review




About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 33 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 155lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Twenty years deep into a mountain biking addiction that began as a way to escape the suburban sprawl of Connecticut, Mike Kazimer is most at home deep the woods, carving his way down steep, technical trails. The decade he spent as a bike mechanic helped create a solid technical background to draw from when reviewing products, and his current location in the Pacific Northwest allows for easy access to the wettest, muddiest conditions imaginable.



137 Comments

  • + 145
 I feel that with more and more industry ‘standards’ popping up every year, that customers have the right to stick with what they have or embrace a new standard if they want to. Who am I to tell them how to build their bike up?

If only industry would be run by Keith...
  • + 11
 Absolutely agree. Upon reading that last question I instantly thought about sram (well I do like their products..) But still, gives me to think.
  • + 9
 The current mountain bike industry starts reminding me the home computers from 80's when each manufacturer had their own small ecosystem that was not compatible with anything else...
  • + 26
 @Extremmist: Or apple now...
  • + 12
 It baffles me that people need someone to tell them it's okay to ride their current bike.
  • + 9
 About a month ago, Banshee posted a question on FB asking what people wanted in future products. Thought that was really cool. Love my Phantom, sick bike. If I ever go back to little wheels, Spitty is probably what I'd get.
  • + 12
 I feel like Banshee and One up are the Robin Hoods of mtb, both awesome brands.
  • + 5
 Keith's an awesome guy, I had the pleasure of knowing Keith when I worked for the original 'Mythic' (Banshee UK) distributor Freeborn. Keith was smart, and forward thinking, and also very ready to put a shovel into the dirt to help build the trails that others were riding

Here's a great shot of Keith with the first ever Spitfire prototype at Esher Shore bike park in Surrey, UK

ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb3996614/p4pb3996614.jpg
  • + 78
 26, 135 dropout, threaded bb, geometry and travel that looks perfect to me and also alu? Well played Banshee, well played. I wish it would be cheaper to buy one here!
  • + 4
 Ride one and they make you smile.... Ditto on the prices and availability.....
  • - 21
flag lkubica (Apr 11, 2016 at 8:50) (Below Threshold)
 It is not really 26, as previously banshee was not really 27.5. The reason is that those dropouts do not change BB height, which means that using banshee with 26 dropouts means very very low BB event in the highest setting. So the dropouts only change CS here (and wheel mounting standard).
And now Keith should add removable shock mounts to accommodate metric standards ;-)
  • + 6
 Jenson USA my dude
  • - 19
flag lkubica (Apr 11, 2016 at 10:15) (Below Threshold)
 By neg propping me you will not change the fact that 26 dropouts do not alter BB height thus the effect is the same as putting 26 wheel to any other 27.5 inch bike, sorry :-)
  • + 10
 @lkubica: "To go along with the dropout choices, there are also three possible geometry positions – low, neutral, and high – that are achieved by swapping out two chips on each side of the rear triangle"

Sorry, but this isn't the same of putting 26 wheels on any other 27.5 frame.
  • + 0
 @lkubica:

thanks for telling this, i'm picking up my v3 Spitty this week and keep it 26" 'till the 1550exc wheels give which isn't anytime soon. BUT this bb heigt issue has got me worried, i'm desperatly searching for an external headset or let a mate machine a thicker crown race for me. with the v1 Spitty and the dutch "mountainbike" trails i've been hitting the ground quite allot(we need to pedal here!), sure this geo works really great but I wasn't expecting the dropout thing. it is going to be one sick build though, can't wait!
  • + 7
 @logio: Its alright guys, I understand his position. I too like to partially read articles and then take an adamant stance on an opinion that I formulated from said partially read article.
  • + 8
 Three bb height positions, and 26in wheel compatibility with a threaded bottom bracket and external cable routing checks all the boxes of what's right about the old school. Set it low for bike park jump lines and berms, neutral for all day pedaling through the chunder. Slap a 26in rear wheel mated to 27.5 up front in high mode....so many bikes in one frame design. Can't say I've ridden one, but on paper its the best short travel aluminum all mountain frame on the market today.
  • + 1
 @sneeck: they also offer different lengths for your cranks too..maybe this would help you not hit the ground?
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: yes but the cranks are first gen sixc's, just like the wheels expensive to buy and now 5 years later replaced by newer versions which mean they won't resell very well. also running those till they die. if all else fails i'll let another cad design friend make up some custom dropouts, where there's a will there's a way kind of thing. right now my spitty sit's at 325 mm and i'm looking to go atleast 335 possibly 340 even in the steep setting. with the thick crown race shouldn't steepen it up too much aswell.
  • + 67
 Nobody told Banshee that 26" is dead?

Good!
  • + 10
 All you 26-4-lyfe kids need to go buy one if you want to see the bike industry make more.
  • + 0
 @UtahBikeMike:

What the f*ck do you think we have been doing?

Do you think we ride 27's and complain they are not 26?

What do you ride Mike?
  • + 4
 @XCMark:

What does it matter? I voted with my wallet. Now go vote with yours.
  • + 1
 26" in the back and 27.5" up front for my spitfire build please. I'll take what was was good about my old 24" big hit and make it roll much better. Thank you Banshee! Your available options that dont leave my old but still great components in the dust are what has sold me 100% on a new spitfire frame. When, oh when, will I be done with my Dave Ramsey debt elimination so I can get to work on my dream bike. Looking like late 2017 of I keep it up. Down to my wife's student loans and I'm home free baby!
  • + 28
 I've had a 2015 V2 Spitfire with a CCDBACS since May 2015. Built up pretty similar to this example. After 20 years of MTB riding I can honestly say its the best bike I've owned. Coming off 160mm carbon super bikes its just as good if not better. Highly recommended.
  • + 7
 I have a 2015 rune, in all the bikes I had in the past, it's the only one I don't have to think about where my center of gravity is. No more front wheel slide, amazing bike.
  • + 3
 @freerabbit: tottaly agree i feel the same with mine 2016 model, i run it at 64.5 now and its superb, for the uphill also!!
  • + 0
 @paraskevas: 64.5 how you get there when the low setting is 66?
  • + 5
 @Mariusklokie: hes talking about the rune.
  • - 1
 Ok, so it climbs like a 160mm bike, weighs as much as one, so why not give it 160mm so it descends like one? What's the point of going to less travel here?
  • + 7
 @SlodownU: The rune is a 160mm the spitfire is more like an agro trail bike
  • - 1
 @SlodownU: See that's what goes through my head when I see these reviews for trail bikes with enduro geometry. It's already not gonna climb super well, well my "enduro" bike doesn't climb like an XC bike, but it doesn't climb poorly. It's just a 30b bike with a slack head angle, which is what this bike is, it just has less travel. I understand not everyone needs 160mm but then why do you need the slack geo?
  • + 4
 @paraskevas: Yes it do climb very well , i barely use the climb switch , mine is just under 30lbs with a fox 36 and xx1,so one can get the spitty way below 29lbs for sure
  • + 2
 @freerabbit: mine is full xo with magura mt5, sun ringle charger pro sl and pike+monarch
Weight 13.3 kg
  • + 8
 @BullMooose: Because slack geo is nice on steep terrain regardless of how much travel you have. Smoother trails can also be steep and less travel can be better/faster/more fun on some trails.
  • + 20
 @BullMooose: Its more to do with the "fun" factor. You can see that the designer calls it a downhillers trail bike, and I know for a fact that as a downhiller myself I would rather have a slack 140mm bike than a slack 160mm bike. Sure its good fun riding an enduro bike, but most people dont ride trails that warrent such a beast. A 140mm bike is more fun in the way that you feel connected to the trail, and it allows you to boost off roots or lips just that little bit easier, because lets be honest- compare your local "trail bike" trails to the stuff the EWS guys and gals are racing on. See a difference in the terrain? Yeah thought so. SO have a good long think about if your local trails really warrent a 160mm enduro slayer, because I know for a fact that mine dont!
  • + 8
 @BullMooose: tell that to my Transition Scout. It's a ton of fun thanks to less travel .
I had a Rune incidentally, judging by that the Spitfire will be an incredibly capable 140mm bike.
  • - 18
flag SlodownU (Apr 11, 2016 at 8:55) (Below Threshold)
 Do you people just automatically buy whatever bullshit you read? Holly shit does this high-tech marketing work. I just bought a new bike (160mm), and before I forked over my very hard-earned cash, I demoed a lot of bikes (a lot) 120, 130, 160, and learned that how playful a bike is has a lot more to do with how it's designed vs. the amount of travel it has. My friends think I over researched this with the amounted of demo riding I did, but bikes ain't cheap. Do not believe the horse shit they are perpetuating here with shorter travel = more playful, because it cannot be further from the truth.
  • + 15
 @SlodownU: All right, you got me. I was lying. I definitely did not own an incredibly plush Rune and am not enjoying getting a bit more feedback from the shorter travel Scout - not to mention the jumping. That's not happening. Nup.
  • + 2
 @SlodownU: You clearly went with more travel because you thought that bikes with more travel are more fun,I went with the Spitty after I tested 160mm travel bikes and it did not work with my trails and did not feel as playful as with less travel. Different stroke for different folks.Hve you been on a Spitty yet???
  • - 1
 @jimmyconnors: I guess reading comprehension isn't your forte. I never challenged your particular choice of bike, just this now generally-accepted-as-fact notion that a bike with less travel is more playful than one with more travel, which is what they're trying to sell us (and have obviously succeeded).
  • + 1
 @SlodownU: All right, you got me again with your perspicacity. I'm a dummy.
However, I wasn't focusing on my bike model, but on the locus of the discussion - amount of travel.

I think we might both be right. A lot of the big travel bikes don't suit me as I'm so light - I find they just barrel through their travel and I have a hard time picking them back up out of it, it makes them harder to manoeuvre through the trail for me. I certainly had that experience on my Rune on a great deal of trails - from locals to the Alps. It wasn't boring, but it was exceptionally capable at certain things, less so others. I wonder if that's why people riding slopestyle and dirt jumps go for less travel or none at all. I felt, after the Rune, that I had been marketed toward Enduro. I guess marketing works both ways.

That said, I would love to try a Transition Patrol - though that's only 155mm of travel ????
  • + 1
 @jimmyconnors: I don't think you'll enjoy the Patrol as a trail bike. It's long and slack, and rides that way. It was more efficient when climbing than I thought it would be, but climbing 2500ft of technical singletrack was a chore. It was spectacular on the descents though, pinned. The bike in this review is long, slack, and heavy like an "Enduro" bike, and the review reflects this accordingly.

The industry is trying to convince you that you need 2 different bikes to ride technical trails. Don't believe the hype.
  • + 3
 Agreed, my 2015 Spitfire with the Pike/CCDB combo is a fantastic bike. Climbs handily, made me feel like a better rider on descents from the first day I got on it, and is definitely all the bike I'll need for a very long time to come.
  • + 1
 @jimmyconnors:

I owned two Banshee Rampants, which was only a 100mm bike, and easily the most playful bikes I've owned during ownership of 100+ bikes during my lifetime

short travel bike with great geometry and burly construction = playful

ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb3530643/p4pb3530643.jpg
  • + 24
 Such a rad bike, had the V1 as it was the only bike that had the geometry i was looking for, it set the standard for the current trends- long, low, slack and savage. You dont get the credit you deserve banshee.
  • + 15
 I have purchased 5 Banshees in the last 6 years and keep coming back for simple reasons; great quality, fair pricing, and exceptional customer service. I have had questions answered within a few hours by designer/owner Keith Scott on multiple occasions.
Banshee Bikes is completely for their customers in every way.
  • + 11
 I've had my Spitfire V2 (CCDB air + BOS Deville) since 2013 now and have ridden it pretty much year round in everything from home trails to Whistler bike park and many alpine all day Enduro-style days. It does both equally well, which I find rare. (Honestly, todays 160-170mm enduro bikes are not fun on the home trails) It's a true all rounder, an effective climber and a wild one on when pointing it downhill. More capable that it's 140mm travel reads. But more importantly, it's well balanced and a lot of fun to ride! Also, no hype and no "standards" you don't need. Just performance and reliability. Not even had to replace the bearings yet which is pretty amazing given that half of the year my bike is covered in mud.

If you are looking for a true one bike to rule them all, look no further.
  • + 10
 The best thing about those frames is their durability... I bought a Rune V2 in early 2014. It has seen many places in Europe and Canada, has been taken apart and modified for trailriding or Bikepark numerous times, went to the plane quite often, has been hosed down like you shouldn’t do... I still cant believe that there is no creak, no problems no nothing so far! It just works, all the time, besides being a great ride.
  • + 4
 Great, I just got a 2015 Rune.

All this makes me feel good about it. (:

Adjustable geo and drop outs is way rad.
Its a damn good feeling knowing you're not stuck to one option.
  • + 8
 This could be the frame I've been looking for, I currently ride a pivot point 4x bike and I ride it pretty much everywhere DH, XC, bmx track. I've been trying to find a 26" full suspension frame, with a little bit of travel and similar geo. This could be it.
  • + 1
 @BansheeRiders would I be able to run this frame with a 140 pike up front? A2c height of 522, I guess I could use the adjustable geo so it would allow decent geo to be used. Would this alter the effective TT length?

Thanks
  • + 6
 @lab7digital: I ride mine like that and with 26" wheels and it was awsome in the lower setting. The BB gets a littel low on climbs and lowspeed tecnical singel tracks tho, but run it in neutral setting or with 27.5" wheels and it shuld be sweet!
  • + 1
 @mini: thanks for the info, sounds pretty ideal to me. The bike I ride ATM had a daft low bb height and I don't really have many issues with that on the trails I ride around here.
  • + 4
 @lab7digital: Yeah you can run a 140mm pike, but persomally I prefer a 150-160 setup as it slackens the bike out while raising BB a bit. If your terrain is fast and flowly tho a 140mm pike build would shred.
  • + 3
 @BansheeRiders: sounds good to me, the bb height on my current bike is 309mm and not had an issue yet.

better find my wallet.
  • + 1
 I was in the same boat. Ended up with a transition Suppressor. I depadted between that and the Banshee but found a deal on the suppressor I couldn't pass up.
  • + 2
 @Deeber: yes that's pretty much my choice at the moment, even been looking at custom frames. The transition has a bit too much travel for me, I know I'm been daft picky but it's a lot of money for either. Bonus points towards the banshee with its future proofing.
  • + 1
 @lab7digital: It's also possible your Pike can be converted to 150mm with a new air shaft: www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=162711&pagenum=1 take that info with a grain of salt, do more research than the 5 seconds of googling I did before you spend money, take it to a shop if you're not sure, etc etc.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: yea they're pretty easy to convert the one I'm using now is an old 160 reduced to 100mm, been like that for 4 months with no issues.
  • + 1
 @lab7digital: You can also convert the Suppressor to 27.5 without changing anything (it's basically a 160mm Patrol) . BB will sit a bit higher but its almost to low right now. I've got 170mm cranks and keep smacking pedals on techy climbs. I'm in SoCal so fireroad climbs are the norm and the bike deals amazingly well for the amount of squish its got. Plus the 160mm on the way down feels like cheating. Sold my 2013 Glory and thought I'd regret it.... I'm no longer looking back.

FYI on the suppressor 170mm cranks are about 3 inches from the ground on bottom out. It's super low, but rails corners like an F1 car. I almost got left behind first ride the way it took off at the end of a berm.
  • + 1
 OK so next question.

Height / ett wise I'm suited to a medium, but going of the reach I'm suited to the small plus the lower seat tube length is preferred.

I'll be running 140 so I guess this will extend the ett a little bit.
  • + 1
 @lab7digital: For the Transition I'm about 200cm tall and the large is perfect for me. It is a long bike but with the more upright seat angle it's nice to stretch of for climbs. Transition is pretty spot on for sizes and if you're in between shoot them and email or give them a call. Their customer service is top notch I'm sure they have an employee your height who can recommend sizing.

A 140 might be under forking but wont be un-rideable I have a dual position pike on mine and the 160mm is nice on the downhill but it wanders a lot climbing like that. The 130mm position climbs nice but is a little nose down for descending. 140mm should be fairly balanced, maybe a little short depending on the particular fork and sag.
  • + 1
 @lab7digital: How tall are you? I've ridden both the Rune V2(owned a small and a medium) and Spitfire V2(owned a V1 in medium) in a medium and I'm 1.8m(5'11") tall. You can see the bikes in my gallery - Black frame is a small Rune V2, silver frame is a medium Rune V2.
I could easily go to a large frame in both, but I generally like riding bikes a little on the compact side.
  • + 1
 @brianclaw: im 5'9, I currently ride a pivot point with an ETT of 23.39" and reach 398mm which feels fine.

Comparing ETT means I should be on a medium for the Banshee, but if I compare reach (409mm) means a small would be perfect. I'll also be running the forks at 140 which again will (I think) increase the ETT.


Your spitfire looks sooo nice.
  • + 1
 @lab7digital: Thank you.
  • + 11
 Anyone have $5499 I can borrow?.....




... Permanently?
  • + 10
 Try Dave Cameron he's flush...I think.
  • + 9
 Nice to see someone talking sense. Plus I'm not really I to carbon bikes. So defo one for the short list.
  • + 4
 By designing a bike that lets the rider decide how they want their bike set-up, this is real innovation.


The bike industry has done a lot of profit based elimination of current standards in the last 2-3 year.

I believe that Banshee possesses the "courage" to try new ideas, that Richard Cunningham recently wrote an article about.
  • + 4
 Sweet bike. I was meant to buy the V2, 3 years ago but they were out of stock. I decided to wait but in the last moment I changed my mind and bought Santa Cruz Blur TRc which from current perspective, feels like a bad decision. I should have gone for Spitty.

@mikekazimer - 125/150 dropper comment - Do you ride DH bikes with the saddle slammed all the way down? Wink
  • + 1
 So was I Waki.... luckily I waited to get hold of a large in Japan 3 years ago. If ever you have the chance to come over here for a holiday, drop me a line and you can take it out for a spin. Best bike I have ever bought for the riding we all usually end up doing, and I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being the best one I ever buy.
  • + 4
 Literally just been chatting to Keith via e-mail. It's worth noting that the customer service from Banshee is second to none. How often can you speak directly to and ask questions of the designer.?? Great company and great bikes.
  • + 3
 This, after what we witnessed Rockshox doing with the blatant standard change to force evreybody to eventually chuck their old gear, is a breath of fresh air. Ticks more boxes for me than anything I've seen in a long time. Bravo Banshee!
  • + 4
 I'd buy one if I didn't already have an old nomad with 26" 135mm rear end, external routing and a front mech. Good to see proper bikes are still being made.
  • + 3
 you really should give it a try... they're two VERY different bikes.
  • + 2
 I planned to buy the new Spitfire frame this year but with the low Canadian dollar and some weird issues with distribution I bought a used v2 from PB instead. Super happy with how playful and snappy it is. I also have a Rune that I'm swapping parts back and forth with until I can afford a proper build for the Rune. I am proud of myself for running budget bikes that still keep up with the carbon copies.
  • + 2
 Now that's a bike ! And one that I can afford at more or less 1900 (your currency) for frame only with no worries about wheel and hub size so that I can keep all my parts. Add to that sturdy construction, decent weight, aggro geo, threaded BB and more ! Thanks a lot Banshee !
  • + 5
 My next frame - all my 26er parts would swop over. And we have a local agent...
  • + 2
 And a local shop! Stoke Suspension Works in Cape Town guys have been riding these things for a while and putting them through their paces! Tried and true!
  • + 2
 Cant fault Banshee bikes.I rode a spitfire up here at mt Buller and it was spot on,felt at home as soon as i sat on it.I had a banshee wildcard for quite awhile and that was a sensational bike,my next may well be a spitfire-if its not a ruin!
  • + 4
 I used to have a Spitfire V2. I never regretted selling a bike more than that one.
  • + 5
 riding one of these for a year now. best. bike. I. ever. had.
  • + 5
 Can I get an Amen for those adjustable dropouts?
  • + 5
 The end is nigh, he's mixing metric and imperial!
  • + 6
 Maybe we can have a new standard, let's call it "memperial". I'm sure the bike industry will love it...
  • + 2
 Bring on the 80mm and 3/8" width BB
  • + 1
 @Kiwiplague: kudos on a great idea
  • + 1
 I had a V1 for two years and did everything on it. It replaced my Mondraker Foxy, and even though it hat 13mm less travel it was a whole different beast, I loved the crap out of that bike! For this year I wanted to swap to 650b and it was such a close decision between the V2 or a Giant Trance SX, I got a great deal on the Trance, but I'm pretty sure I'll own a Spitfire V2 some time in the future!
  • + 3
 I've had a Spitfire since 2010. Started with a v1. Now got a v2. They are a truely great bike. So versatile, fantastic geometry, a super fun and confident ride.
  • + 2
 Sad to see that Cane Creek is still having issues with he DB Inline. I loved that shock but it kept blowing up on my Spesh Enduro..
  • + 1
 My CCDB air CS needed a rebuild after 9mo of riding maybe twice a week on average. Better than the inlines, but still kind of a bummer after getting multiple much-higher mileage years out of both Floats and Monarchs, both non-piggyback super-low-oil-volume mass produced shocks. Obviously the cane creek performance is much better, but one could hope for more reliability.
  • + 1
 Amazing bikes produced by a great group of people! Banshee FTW!!! I ride a 2015 Rune everywhere from DH lift access at Keystone, Angel Fire and Trestle and then take it out for a 30 mile trail ride Smile
  • + 1
 Every Banshee I've ever laid eyes on has been quality..I don't buy new bikes very often as I'm a blue collar worker..I will look to banshee next time as I'm quite impressed
  • + 1
 Anyone have data on what size 650b tire can fit in the 26" dropouts? I've heard that high rollers and the like will fit, which is as big as i need on the rear.
  • + 1
 Im running a 2.4 Vittoria Goma 27.5 and have run a Schwalbe Rock Razor 2.35 on a 25mm internal width rim with the 26" dropouts. Leaves pack up in the rear with the Goma's though. You might want to consider running a 2.3 or 2.2 even if you are running wider 27.5 rims with the 26 drops.
  • + 1
 @jpv6578: Thanks that sounds like that would be adequate
  • + 1
 "I fit hr2 dhr2 and a rock razor on the lb30 rims with no issues." - 27.5"

"27.5x2.35" DHR2 here and plenty of clearance for mud and s**t in the 26" drops. I don't think my 2.4" Ardent would fit, though."

Found in this thread...
ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threads/initial-impressions-2014-banshee-spitfire-v2-650b.266425
  • + 1
 I've flogged the crap out of my 2015' Spitfire and it's never let me down, and i'm a fatass at 260 pounds. best bike i've ever owned.
  • + 1
 My warranty replacement frame will be here soon I'm curious to see what difference the extra 1degree has on the handling,this bike has changed the way I use to ride.
  • + 2
 Well deserved reveiw! Both the spitfire and rune are unreal bikes! Hats off to you Keith!
  • + 3
 If 'utilitarian' ever applied to a bike, surely it's the Spitty!
  • + 2
 I have the 2015 version. Best bike ive ever owned.
  • + 1
 Just scored a medium off Jenson, open box sale for $3000! solid looking build too!
  • + 1
 A Banshee will be my next bike...except in Phantom guise as the 29 fits my 6'3" better.
  • + 1
 Jenson USA has a pretty good deal on last years right now. CA sales tax sucks though.
  • + 1
 Jenson USA also advertises free shipping and then didnt honor it because I shipped to a PO Box..only gave me a choice of in store pickup or pay for the shipping..what a crock of shit.have been buying parts from them for 15+ years.I will take my business somewhere else...f*ck you jensonusa
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: I would of preferred to buy it out of CA because of the BS sales tax but I couldn't find a better deal! Yeah there not my favorite, but local bikes shop never have good sales around here, plus I don't know any Banshee dealers in the area!? LBShops try to sell they clapped out demo bikes for more than I paid for a new one, so yeah what to do?
  • + 2
 @Beez177: you did well friend..you got yourself a bike to love for a very long time..Jenson has had my interweb business for a long time..I got a little butt hurt when they charged for free shipping..I agree with you that a lot of LBS take advantage of the customer..even with shipping costs I still made out cheaper than buying from a pretentious bike shop owner.. Congrats on your purchase...you won't be disappointed.. Cheers
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: Check you PM messages, I think you will like the trick I sent you about Jenson USA Shipping
  • + 1
 @Im-not-very-clever: I would like to make a public apology to jensonusa. I recently blasted them for charging me for free shipping..it was my misunderstanding.(I recently had hernia surgery and was doped up on serious painkillers trying to recover.) Not making excuses but I am human and sometimes make mistakes. Anyway Jenson customerservice contacted me personally to set things right.. Always have had good experiences with them since I was young. Thanks James at JensonUsa customer service is topnotch there! Cheers and Happy trails
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: mistakes we all make them. Apologize and move on. About the CS , I have one criticism though. After my purchase I got an email asking me to contact the billing verification department which is fine for security/fraud reasons probably. When I called, no hey how's it going, just "order#", "address", " ok I'll process the order" no please, no enjoy your new bike, no thanks for shopping at Jenson etc.. just a very to the point women doing her job. Felt like I was calling the DMV. I give them the benefit of doubt and assume the rest of the CS is friendlier.
  • + 2
 This is a mountain bikers bike.
  • + 1
 I'm wondering why they only provide one measurement for reach when it changes with the geometry adjustment?
  • + 4
 The measurement for reach of for neutral setting. It increases by 2mm for high and reduces by 2mm for low. It varies very little.
  • + 2
 Tricky decision between this bad boy adn a kona process 134, any thoughts?
  • + 1
 I have a 2015 spitfire set up originally as a 26" 140/160 set up, only just gone to 27.5" this weekend (whole reason i bought it being able to change wheel size), I love it to bits and would recommend it to every one i could. With my travel set up its man enough for enduro, technical trail centers and spainish road trips but it can still be pedaled quiet well on the flatter local rides. If you were more just an trail rider the process would get my vote site mind.

The spitfire is a very hard bike to compare to the competition with the only similar bike being the mondraker foxy in alloy and 140/160 form at least
  • + 1
 I rode the Process back to back with my Rune. I used a ride tracker app and wasn't faster with one over the other but in my opinion the Kona took a lot more work to pedal and I was more fatigued. Now that I have a Spitfire, the effort is even less than the Rune and the fit feels smaller than the same size Process. Totally different bikes even though the same class, just depends on how they fit you, at least that was my experience.
  • + 1
 Whichever fits you best and you feel the most comfortable on. Other's Personal opinion is a waste of time.
  • + 1
 I have new large Banshee Spitfire frame for sale - message me
  • + 1
 Small sizing, esp for an increase.
  • + 1
 I have 2014 version, best bike I ever had
  • + 1
 Saw 2 last Sat, a raw and a stealthy matt black. Absolutely biz...
  • + 2
 26 for life!
  • - 2
 What happened Banshee? You used to make hot colour combos on bikes. This grey/red or the Phantom blue/yellow looks great if you're color blind.
  • + 2
 The bikes are still pretty good, but yeah... Their colours have gone a bit weird.
  • - 3
 "It's amazing what a difference the extra 25mm of drop can make...."

That's what she said.
  • - 3
 "Those clean welds" Are you blind? I can see on my 5in screen that they don't look all that clean at all.
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