First Look at Banshee Bikes Newly Revamped Spitfire and Rune Trail Bikes

Banshee, the rider owned company based in the North Shore, has been busy completely redesigning their trail and all mountain bikes. The newly revamped Spitfire and Rune are sleek rigs which feature the company’s all new KS-Link suspension platform, 650B compatibility, adjustable geometry and dropouts, and small geometry and travel tweaks.

The bikes are stiffer, lighter, and more active. How?

Spitfire

 

The new KS-Link is the outstanding feature of this line up. The suspension is named after Banshee’s designer and engineer, Keith Scott, and is a short link, virtual pivot  platform (VPP). The new platform is claimed to have low pivot loads, and features over sized and fully sealed bearings, rather than bushings.

The shock is actuated directly by the seat stays, which means less rotation on the shock DU bushing,  and a very active suspension which delivers better small pump compliance. The frame will be offered with either a Fox Float CTD or Cane Creek Double Barrel Air.

The chainstays have been left unwrapped to determine the durability of the finish. This bike is equipped with the new SRAM clutch enabled derailleur and chain slap has been minimal.

Banshee constructs their frames from high quality 7005 T6 aluminum, and internally rib the seat stays and chainstays in order to increase stiffness and strength, without adding a whole lot of weight. The Spitfire is no exception. The new geometry chips allow the bike to maintain the 17″ chainstays of its predecessor, or tighten the end up to 16.8″.

The new modular dropout system offers 3 different adjustable positions. The “flip chips” adjusts the head angle in half degree and changes the BB height in quarter inch increments.

While Banshee offers their own build kits,  but many customers opt for a frame only option, and the company has tried to make transferring over components as painless as possible. Whether you want to run a 135 qr, 142 x12, or 150×12 rear wheel, they have dropouts available.

Interested in the tweener 27.5″ wheels size? The company also offers a dropout option which optimizes the geometry for the marginally bigger wheels.  There’s ample clearance for even the meatiest of tires.

Real world weight at the moment is 31.14 lbs. They’ve had the bike as low as 29.7 but prefer a slightly more burly build.

Geometry:

As measured with 545mm a-c fork with zero stack headset for both wheel sizes
26″ wheels
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 395mm   (15.5″) 430mm   (16.9″) 470mm   (18.5″) 508mm   (20.0″)
Top Tube 570mm   (22.4″) 590mm   (23.2″) 615mm   (24.2″) 640mm   (25.2″)
Wheel Base 1134mm   (44.6″) 1154mm   (45.4″) 1179mm   (46.4″) 1204mm   (47.4″)
Head Angle Slack – 66.0°     /      Neutral – 66.5°     /       Steep – 67.0°
Effective Seat Angle Slack – 73.5°     /      Neutral – 74.0°      /      Steep – 74.5°
Seat Post angle Low – 71.5°       /      Neutral – 72.0°       /      High – 72.5°
BB Height Low – 330mm (13.0″)   /   Neutral – 336mm (13.25″)   /   High – 342mm (13.5″)
Chainstay Low – 431mm (17.0″)  /   Neutral – 429mm (16.9″)   /   High – 427mm (16.8″)
650B wheels
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 395mm   (15.5″) 430mm   (16.9″) 470mm   (18.5″) 508mm   (20.0″)
Top Tube 570mm   (22.4″) 590mm   (23.2″) 615mm   (24.2″) 640mm   (25.2″)
Wheel Base 1144mm   (45.0″) 1164mm   (45.8″) 1189mm   (46.8″) 1214mm   (47.8″)
Head Angle Slack – 66.0°     /      Neutral – 66.5°     /       Steep – 67.0°
Effective Seat Angle Slack – 73.5°     /      Neutral – 74.0°      /      Steep – 74.5°
Seat Post angle Low – 71.5°       /      Neutral – 72.0°       /      High – 72.5°
BB Height Low – 340mm (13.4″)   /   Neutral – 346mm (13.65″)   /   High – 352mm (13.9″)
Chainstay Low – 441mm (17.4″)  /   Neutral – 439mm (17.3″)   /   High – 437mm (17.2″)

Banshee Rune

The all new Banshee Rune has also been completely revamped. The new all-mountain rig has seen its travel increase from 150mm to 160mm. Due to rider feedback they’ve also slackened the bike, lowered the BB, and steepened the seat tube angle for more direct power transfer when climbing in the saddle.

The bikes will available in blue, black and raw.

Up front is a 44/56 tapered headtube. This allows the use of a zero stack lower headset cup, even with a tapered fork,  for a reduced stack height.

Top view of linkage. Note there’s still plenty of space for bigger tires and the marginally bigger 650B wheels.

 

The Rune features the same modular dropout system as the Spitfire. This early prototype is set in the slack position. Production dropouts will be anodized black.

Real world weight is 32.14 lbs. Most builds come in between 30-33 lbs.

Geometry

As measured with 545mm a-c fork with zero stack headset for both wheel sizes
26″ wheels
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 395mm   (15.5″) 430mm   (16.9″) 470mm   (18.5″) 508mm   (20.0″)
Effective Top Tube 562mm   (22.1″) 584mm   (23″) 610mm   (24″) 635mm   (25″)
Wheel Base 1129mm   (44.5″) 1154mm   (45.5″) 1180mm   (46.5″) 1206mm   (47.5″)
Head Angle Low – 65.0°       /       Neutral – 65.5°       /         High – 66.0°
Effective Seat Angle Low – 73.5°      /       Neutral – 74.0°       /       High – 74.5°
Seat Post angle Low – 70.5°       /      Neutral – 71.0°       /      High – 71.5°
BB Height Low – 340mm (13.4″)    /    Neutral – 347mm  (13.65″)    /    High – 353mm (13.9″)
Chainstay Low – 429mm (16.9″)   /   Neutral – 426mm (16.8″)    /    High – 422mm (16.7″)
650B wheels
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 395mm   (15.5″) 430mm   (16.9″) 470mm   (18.5″) 508mm   (20.0″)
Effective Top Tube 562mm   (22.1″) 584mm   (23″) 610mm   (24″) 635mm   (25″)
Wheel Base 1139mm   (44.9″) 1164mm   (45.9″) 1190mm   (46.9″) 1216mm   (47.9″)
Head Angle Low – 65.0°       /      Neutral – 65.5°       /        High – 66.0°
Effective Seat Angle Low – 73.5°      /       Neutral – 74.0°       /       High – 74.5°
Seat Post angle Low – 70.5°       /      Neutral – 71.0°       /      High – 71.5°
BB Height Low – 350mm  (13.8″)    /    Neutral – 357mm  (14.05″)    /    High – 363mm  (14.3″)
Chainstay Low – 439mm  (17.3″)    /    Neutral – 436mm  (17.2″)    /    High – 432mm  (17.1″)

Banshee Legend

There were no big changes for the 2013 Banshee Legend. Minor tweaks have been made to beef up the rear stays, make the bike stiffer, and decrease overall weight marginally. The bikes will be available in three different colors options: green, raw, and black.

The bright green rig is a head turner. The bike is only available as a frame set and will be sold with either a Fox RC4 or Cane Creek Double Barrel Air.

Bike Rumor

The KS-Link has introduced better durability and suspension performance in a sleek package, and it probably won’t be long before the entire line up is updated. We’d put money on a new lighter, slacker, and KS-Link enabled Scythe in the near future.

For those eagerly anticipating the new bikes – You can pick up a new Rune in October or a new Spitfire in January.

 

 

Comments

The Dude - 08/20/12 - 9:54pm

How much travel on the Spitfire?

john - 08/20/12 - 10:54pm

A little unnerved about the steepest head angle on that Rune but a 150mm fork would resolve that. I think I found my next bike.

Keith - 08/21/12 - 3:14am

Spitfire V2 travel is 140mm an increase of 10mm from previous spitfire. It has similar ride charateristics (fast!) but is more active (loads of traction) and slightly more playful.

The Spitfire V2 can be used with any fork from 140-160mm travel.

the Rune V2 can be used with any fork from 150-180mm travel.

Jan - 08/21/12 - 4:44pm

While this is truly a valid update on the old spitfire – I give some points from a first look compared to my “old” spitty:

(-) One of the unique features of the old spitfire was the geometry with low travel which made the bike extremely agile. 140mm is more common, so nothing special anymore here in terms of travel. The thing I love exactly on my old spitty is the 126 mm rear travel, 140mm I can get almost everywhere.
(+) low bb height and slack head angle is kept
(+) A good thing is the move to sealed ball bearings as bushings are really shitty in terms of maintenance an wear on my current spitfire.
(-) The lower link seems to be very exposed to dirt in this design. How is that if a load of mud is thrown on that link by the rear wheel? On the pictures it seems like not much space for dirt to get out.
(+) 650B – truly is an option (while 16 inch wheels still work great, this might be an option to try)
(-) hope you improve on the design of the dropouts, while versality is great, they just look very ugly.

How much is the frame weight? A bike weight with description “lighter” says nothing as it depends on parts. So how much is the weight of a M size frame? Just some personal opinions.

@Keith: As wear is truly an issue on the old models (on mine I can see starting frame wear on the link – and it’s not yet an year old…) – do you provide a special exchange plan for old models having those issues as it’s really a design flaw – otherwise wouldn’t have been a reason to change, right?

Chris - 08/21/12 - 4:45pm

Can anyone comment on the country of origin of these bikes?

I’ve heard they are made by Pacific Bikes, and that’s a bit off-putting for me.

Tony - 08/21/12 - 9:22pm

Chris,
The Banshee Bikes are made in Taiwan, by a company called Pacific Cycles, but it is not the same company that makes all the cheap crappy bikes. The Pacific Cycles that makes Banshee, also manufactures for Canfield Brother, Niner and other boutique brands, as well as making lots of boutique/custom folding bikes and stuff like that.

robn - 08/22/12 - 1:25am

Im confussed wrt the headset. Will the Rune take my 1.5″ steerer or does it only fit tapered steerers. Thx

Keith - 08/22/12 - 2:27am

Jan,
The ‘feel; of the spitfire V2 is very similar to that of the original, although there are 13mm more travel it is just as agile, if not more so. if you jump from the V1 to a V2 you will feel at home straight away… but with better traction so you can ride faster.
We have not had mud build up issues on the protos we have been testing with this design for the last 18 months, it clears without much issue (less mud build up than V1 spitfire).
As the article says those are early prototypes for frame and dropouts… both have been refined a lot so production frames will be a big step up in performance and aesthetics.
Frame weight is yet to be confirmed one we get some production frames through. But theoretically it will be within about 100g of the current frames for equivalent sizing.

You can speak to your distributor about an upgrade price to a V2 frame. The distributor is who makes the descision on that type of thing.

Thanks,
Keith

Keith - 08/22/12 - 2:40am

Sorry for typos in previous post, I clicked submit by accident before having a quick read over!

Jan,
The ‘feel’ of the spitfire V2 is very similar to that of the original, although there is 13mm more travel it is just as agile, if not more so. If you jump from the V1 to a V2 you will feel at home … but with better traction so you can ride faster.
We have not had mud build up issues on the protos we have been testing with this design for the last 18 months, it clears without much issue (certainly with Scottish mud I can say there is less mud build up than V1 spitfire).
As the article says, those are early prototypes for both frame and dropouts… both have been refined a lot so production frames will be a big step up in performance and aesthetics.
Frame weight is yet to be confirmed, once we get some production frames through we will weigh them and post weights. But theoretically it will be within about 100g of the current frames for equivalent sizing.

You can speak to your distributor about an upgrade price to a V2 frame if you wish. The distributor is the one who makes the descision on that type of thing.

Thanks,
Keith

NoStyle - 08/22/12 - 11:10am

In my opinion the new Banshee-Lineup is nothing but a amazing Blast!
Other Companys try hard to get their goals for 2013, while Banshee nailed it in mind almost two years ago ;-)
I am still a happy Wildcard-Rider for 5 years now, but will switch to the new Spitfire and have already ordered mine. Can´t wait till January and hope to receive mine earlier if possible.

Jan, look at the market: Yes, there are many great AM-Trailbikes out there, but there is still nothing that comes close or is as special as the Spitfire – in terms of low & slack Geometry, or in “shreddability”. Now it has the added possibility of different Wheelsizes, Axle-Standards … how much more ahead can you go … !!!

Greetings from Cologne, Germany
NoStyle

Don - 08/22/12 - 2:11pm

“You can speak to your distributor about an upgrade price to a V2 frame if you wish. The distributor is the one who makes the descision on that type of thing.”

So does this statement posted on MTBR still stand?
“Originally Posted by ”Jay @ Banshee”
3] We will be offering some sort of upgrade for all Rune and Spitfire owners when we have new models and we will be selling these through our dealer network with the plan that Banshee makes no profit on them; we’re kicking around numbers under a $1000 since the dealer and distributors still expect something.
Hopefully with fixing the current bikes you guys are riding, AND allowing them to become resalable, while offering a deeply discounted new model with the latest in geo and bike goodness it will help mitigate things.”

IJBCape - 08/28/12 - 2:03am

I had a Rune with an Elka and a Van 36 and that bike was confidence inspiring and indestructible.

Brandon - 09/02/12 - 2:05pm

Good day folks and followers of banshee! I am a lifetime avid cyclist from the heart of vancouver Island and I am just here to confirm how amazing my Spitfire feels.

I bought this bike http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/6556021/ and custom built it to suite my all mountain riding, although I am very aggressive and even race the occasional DH race on her.

My one buddy who is insanely fast rode my bike once and said it felt better than is SC nomad with Fox 180′s on it, and I just run an RP3 and an older XFusion 160mm fork. I think with a 50mm stem, wide raceface atlas bars and a reverb post is what really makes my spitty feel like a rocket.

I am sad to see my frame outdated but at the same time, if I could there would be a few things I would love to see changed from V.1 that you folks at banshee have addressed, and perhaps a few extras that would really make this bike shine.

1# sealed cartridge bearing. I’m sorry but bushings are what the old school K2s had, so lets leave bushings in the early 90′s. I would have to say v.1 suspension is very hard to activate and sticky, and I go through two sets of bushings every season.

2# the axle path on the v.1 is too far rearward, which is a great thing if im rocking a large chain ring, or on bikes like the canfield jedi, I am a firm believer in suspension moving away from the force, but unfortunately on this bike it feels like my drivetrain and suspension are in a constant strong hold. I imagine the new KS design eliminates this issue.

3# through axle rear end. Almost all bikes have are adapting this, and specifically as a small time frame builder I feel this is a very important trait to include in your line up, but I must say the three position chip system you guys are experimenting with is very ugly. I know looks are not everything but for a small time frame company, you do not want to give anybody an excuse to buy something more sleek.

4# internal dropper post routing. Not a very hard thing to incorporate and it looks so much better and reduces risk of messing the loopy cable, even if RS is the only post offering it right now. As a 10 year + bicycle mechanic, I can easily recommend RS as one of the better posts out there yet, I have yet to check out a thompson post though.

5# 650b wheels? They have taken us by storm while we all slept, and now they are everywhere. I have yet to test them out to say any official yay or nay, but I am not stoked buying a bike that isconfused about what wheel size it is. Most riders will build there bike up for either 26″ or 27.5″, but I highly doubt youll see anybody switching front fork and wheels when riding different terrain or what not. Can’t you guys sit out the 650b trend for a year and maybe make a specific 27.5″ version of the spit fire and rune? Maybe just use a different swing arm design to cut down production costs? This is definitely a turn off, and not because I do not welcome change, but I hate buying ‘confused’ frames that offer too many options. I want a buck knife not a flimsy swiss army knife with a cork screw opener, fork, magnifying glass, toothpick and ect.

6# Shortest chainstays possible.. This is something Canfield brothers, Kona and Speciallized have realized earlier on and I think you need to consider this too. I realize a longer wheel base is the best for stable high speed riding, combined with short chainstays makes for one flickable ride, both in the air and on the corners. Short chainstays coupled with a longer front end to compensate feels amazing. I’m talking 16.5 – 16″ range. With the knew direct mount front derailleur or even running a single front ring this is entirely possible now. Jump on a Kona entourage, Canfield Jedi 1, or a Specialized SX trail. Those bikes feel unreal, largely due to the short hard tail like rear end. You guys are a wee bit shorter but not short enough to give the rider that wow factor.

7# Slack head angles. This is why I love my spitty. 5″ of rear travel and a 66 degree head angle. With all these new front end lowering forks, why not go more slack for the steeps..? Its fun and it helps you rail corners. Good job banshee!

8# The banshee legend is un doubt-ably one of the sickest bikes out there. If only you did it in carbon fiber, and if only it had a rear wheel path like a Jedi 1 (with some kind of idler to stop chain growth). Make the path match the same angle as the fork so when the bike is full compressed the wheel base stays the same, and square edge hits feel like soft little marsh mellows.

And that is my two cents! Thanks for the great products and awesome customer service. You guys are my top three, along with Trek and Canfield. Happy riding and keep the rubber side down!!

Tony Gjessvag - 12/08/12 - 6:36pm

Pivot- and link locations does indistinctively remind me of the marin wolf ridge `06, a bike with great climbing abilities and a rearward axle path making it a blast downhill. With updated geometry with a slacker front it should make a great bike.

Mike - 04/19/13 - 1:03pm

@Brandon, sounds like you need to buy a Canfield…

Production costs may slightly go down with a different swingarm design, but the costs of stocking the extra frames (imagine having to buy an entire order of S, M, and L frames), and lower production quantities would increase quantities dramatically.

I would, personally, rather have the adjust-ability in a frame, than have to buy a completely different bike to accommodate 650B. Who cares if the dropouts are “ugly”, they look just fine to me, and all that actually matters is if they function correctly. It’s not a beauty contest, its a bike, not a piano.

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