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  1. #1
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    Banshee Bikes - Sizing and General Opinions

    Jenson currently has the Banshee Spitfire and Rune at absolutely smoking prices that are seriously tempting me to finally retire my 2011 Reign. But, I can't find a size chart anywhere on their website or elsewhere. Comparing the reach numbers with Transition's makes me think Medium would be the call (I'm 5-6), but it seems really weird Banshee doesn't have suggested sizing on their site. FWIW, replies in this thread (https://singletrackworld.com/forum/t...ts-and-sizing/) also seem to suggest Med for someone my size.

    Anyone own/ridden a current-gen version of either of these bikes? Leaning towards the Rune for both cost and riding style reasons. Weight difference is negligible. The Spitfire would be more tempting if it had the Scout's geo. FWIW, if money were no object I'd probably get a Scout.

    Points in favor:
    -Geo looks pretty good. Not quite as good as the Scout, but pretty good.
    -Reviews indicate that it jumps well which is high on my list of needs.
    -Seems reasonably future-proof with Boost spacing front and rear.

    Points against:
    -Steeper STA would be nice
    -No XD hub. Looks like the Aeffect hubs are convertible, but that's another $100
    -Not much else I can see, really. Chainstays/WB are a tad longer, but that may actually be better considering Item 2 below.

    Reasons I'm looking to ditch the Reign:
    -Finally enter the 27.5 era
    -The Reign kinda sucks when things get steep. I'm over having to hang my ass way off the bike the whole way down Beartrap, etc.
    -Rear end is flexy. It's 135 QR, I'm way overdue for thru-axle.


    ETA: Suspension options are Pike RCT3/Monarch+ RC3 vs. Float 34 Performance/Float X2. Virtually identical builds otherwise, except the Fox build gets better tires (High Roller 2 MaxxTerra vs Hans Dampf Addix). Fox build is +$200 over the Rockshox, but I'd need new tires so call it a wash cost-wise.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 01-21-2019 at 10:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    You broke it down pretty good. They aren’t the lightest bikes but they pedal well. They eat up rough trail better than their travel would suggest but aren’t super poppy. Amazing capabilities if you have a coil shock to pop on for dh trails. Very very durable. My pivot bearings and shock pivots worked without issue. Once a year I popped of the seals on the pivot bearings and cleaned and regressed them. That was it and just preventative. Round downtube shook off rocks like a champ. I like that the new one has a longer tt and reach and steeper sa. Seat angle, like you say, could still be steeper(they were my 2 biggest and really only complaints). I’m 5”7’with a long torso and had a medium. You’d probably like a medium with the seat slid forward(steeper sa). I had 26” dropouts in mine to keep the chainstays shorter(430mm). 27.5 fit when it was in the slack angle, just barely, but I’m not sure on the current one(might be worth a try for the extra dropouts at $100). Bit of a personal preference on suspension and tires.i like the rock shox stuff in this case and I despise high roller 2’s. I’d use both those Hans dampf’son the rear(w a tire liner) and by your fave front tire .
    Hard to beat that price. Parts may cost that much alone. Mine was the gen before this one. Basically a degree slacker sa and 15mm shorter tt. Switching between my new scout and the rune that drove me nuts, mostly the slack sa. Extra degree and seat slid would bring it close. My rune felt like an encumbent.
    Atm I fixated on a guerillagravity megatrail. New prices are pretty sweet. They’ll customize the spec. Geo is perfection and ez switch between 150 and 165 in the rear. They may have out “Swiss army knifed” the rune in the ways that suit me. Worth a look

  3. #3
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    On paper I like the SBG Transitions better, but GG stuff is definitely on the radar.

    AC's bike has Dampf's and I hated them. I've been running DHFs F/R for years. I don't do intermediate knobs--center knobs+wide channel+big cornering knobs all day. I'd probably swap the front tire for a DHF and keep the HR2 as a spare rear. So either way I'm buying at least one tire, and AC likes the HDs so they'd make good spares for her. Tire spec is basically a wash then.

    I've never ridden the X2 but people seem to love it, but I'm skeptical about pairing it with a 34. Whereas, I have a Debonair Monarch+ RC3 on the Reign and love it so that's a known quantity. I could also throw a Debonair spring into the Pike for cheap and it would probably way outperform the 34.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 01-18-2019 at 03:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    Yes all good points. I had noticed the price a week or so ago. Swap to minion f , x2 is better and new 34 probably is vastly improved from its bad rap.
    I canít say much bad about the bike after having mine for 4(?) yrs. tons of good options out there now and my scout has shaped what I want in the future. Itís been a fun bike but I wish it had more travel now so thatís basically a megatrail(the fit is almost identical and w a -1/-1.5 works components headset the geo would be identical). Awesome standover gives it a great feel for people our size.
    Canít discount those online guys too canyon, yt, Commencal, fezari. Thatís the prices you might want to compare. All pretty good fit and sometimes yt and Commencal have old stock (not sure about the others)

  5. #5
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    Iíve got a 2018 34, and have been happy with it. Pleasantly surprised. Itís on a 120mm XCish bike, though.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  6. #6
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    i'm 5'10" - 32" inseam on a medium spitfire - fits fine, could go large but tend toward smaller frames.

  7. #7
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    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/banshe...view-2016.html

    I know itís a couple of years old, but buried in this review is a recommended size chart that seems pretty spot on throughout their lineup. Iím not sure why Banshee quit publishing these.

    Iím going to apologize up front for whatís going to sound like a rant.... Iíve spent the last 20 years searching for a bike or suspension design that I loved, usually getting a new bike or frame every year. My Phantom just turned 3 last month. I just bought Boost drop outs and Iím building a new wheelset that will move over to whatever frame I buy next, probably another Phantom when a new color comes out. Replaceable dropouts and adjustable geometry make these bikes ďfuture proofĒ. My Cane Creek eeWings just showed up too, but that was just a gluttonous purchase I made because I donít ride a cloth and glue bike😀.

    You were asking about a Rune or Spitfire and Iím talking about a Phantom, but I know guys that ride all of these. When we compare notes everyone pretty much says the same thing, the only difference being wheel size and travel........

  8. #8
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    Banshee Bikes - Sizing and General Opinions

    I have owned both a banshee rune v1 and 2013 v2. Not sure how the new ones stack up vs. the 2013 in terms of geometry. Awesome bike, absolute weapon pointed down. Big fan of the suspension layout and build quality. Iím 5í10 and was in between sizes. Went with the large with a very short stem
    If youíre in between sizes Iíd recommend sizing up but thatís personal preference

    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBWebb View Post
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/banshe...view-2016.html

    I know itís a couple of years old, but buried in this review is a recommended size chart that seems pretty spot on throughout their lineup. Iím not sure why Banshee quit publishing these.
    Thanks. Unfortunately it kinda conflicts with some of the other stuff I've read so it only muddies the waters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vermontfreeride View Post
    I have owned both a banshee rune v1 and 2013 v2. Not sure how the new ones stack up vs. the 2013 in terms of geometry. Awesome bike, absolute weapon pointed down. Big fan of the suspension layout and build quality. Iím 5í10 and was in between sizes. Went with the large with a very short stem
    If youíre in between sizes Iíd recommend sizing up but thatís personal preference
    What are you riding now and why'd you opt for it over the latest Rune?

    I'm still fence-sitting like a bitch. Just a few too many unknowns right now to work up the nerve.

  10. #10
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    I should’ve added too. I love my dvo diamond but I was overworking it on the rune. It was the og dvo diamond(non boost and 160mm travel max) but will be similar to your pike(diamond might be a bit stiffer). I ended up putting the diamond on my scout and it’s perfect there and put a 180mm travel lyric on the rune(absolute weapon w a coil rear shock). A 170 mm travel boost diamond or lyric would be perfect front/rear balance(at 180 the lyric had more cumulative flex than I wanted from both the lowers and steerer). Pike would be well suited on the spitfire

  11. #11
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    Here is my "I've never touched a Banshee" opinion after reading the geo chart: Yes, probably a medium. Though I bet it limits your dropper length options at 5'6", some measuring would tell you what you need to know.

    I have ridden all of the modern forks. I have found the 34 is a chassis that is best served at 130mm (29") to 140mm (27.5") max. At speed in the chunder in the longer travel lengths you really start to feel the flex in comparison to a pike, for me I felt it much harder to keep my line. A Lyrik or 36 is better yet but probably not necessary for most. Maybe they will swap out the fork for a small fee?
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  12. #12
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    I don't have too much too add except that while on paper the 74.5/75.0 seat tube angle is not crazy steep, the actual seat tube angle is about 72 degrees, which is on the steeper end of actual seat tube angles. With "effective angles" being measured with the saddle level with the stem/bars, and stack heights getting lower... the end result is that a lot of the "steep" STA bikes end up pretty slack if you run any real amount of seat post extension.

    With that said, the Scout doesn't really fall victim to that, but my point is more that the Spitfire's effective angle is still pretty steep even if the published number doesn't seem so. Otherwise the Jenson builds are a great deal and as long as you pick the build that suits your preferences best, I think you're looking at a huge step up from your Reign, whatever you go with.

  13. #13
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    Seems like you're on the fence. I'll just say this, get the bike that excites you the most. The Banshees are great deals, but it's still a lot of money, and settling isn't worth it to save a few hundred bucks, IMO. All bikes can be had for a deal with patience and/or persistence. GG sells demos for cheap and Transition had some really good deals when the new model years were released. Nothing at all against Banshee. I came very close to picking up a Spitfire myself a couple years ago.

    A few thousand dollars is a different story, and you may not be as picky as I am....
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eluder View Post
    Though I bet it limits your dropper length options at 5'6"
    How so? All the options I'm looking at come with 150 mm posts. These bikes all have really low seat tubes and I like to get the seat way low for teh jumpin', so 150 seems like a good choice. I have no plans to change the dropper since the Aeffect is the same as my BrandX and I like the BX just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    Seems like you're on the fence. I'll just say this, get the bike that excites you the most. The Banshees are great deals, but it's still a lot of money, and settling isn't worth it to save a few hundred bucks, IMO. All bikes can be had for a deal with patience and/or persistence. GG sells demos for cheap and Transition had some really good deals when the new model years were released. Nothing at all against Banshee. I came very close to picking up a Spitfire myself a couple years ago.

    A few thousand dollars is a different story, and you may not be as picky as I am....
    It's not necessarily that the Banshees don't excite me. They're clearly sick bikes with a devoted following. But, even at these prices it's a big purchase for me and I'm probably going to own this bike for at least 4-5 years so it's a commitment. It doesn't help that I haven't ridden a Scout or any of the other comparable bikes that look good on paper, or that Giant's geo chart for the Reign is super dated and omits some now-critical numbers like Reach, BBH, ETT, and ESTA. I don't think Banshee's name recognition here is great, so if I ride it a while and decide I'm not gaga I'd probably take a hefty hit selling it. Being able to throw a leg over one would help ease the anxiety, but that's not an option.

    Rune vs Spitfire is also a tough call, especially since the Jenson Spitfire is spec'ed with a 150 fork. Way less cut-and-dry compared to, say, Scout vs. Patrol. I did find this interesting post from a guy who went from a SB6 to a Rune that makes me think the Rune would do fine on the multi-hour climbs l like to do: https://forums.mtbr.com/banshee-bike...l#post13610092

    If Jenson's stock status is correct there isn't an immediate sell-out risk, so I think I can afford to ruminate on all this a bit still. At least the 27.5/29 decision seems like an easy one given my height and wanting something that will jump well (I think, my 29er experience is limited to a Salsa El Mariachi I borrowed for a while in 2017 while waiting on a warranty frame from Giant).
    Last edited by Dantheman; 01-22-2019 at 02:21 PM.

  15. #15
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    I've ridden a couple Banshees over the years. Fucking hated every single one of them. Heavy frames with suspension that, for assorted reasons, never worked all that well. Lots of pedal bob on their shorter travel rigs. Unimpressive small bump sensitivity on their longer travel rigs. And while the bikes are overbuilt, buddy had one where the pivots were pretty much destroyed after about a year. I think the overbuilt frames also make them ride super harsh - they're stiff, and not necessarily in a good way.

    That said, there's always something to be said for cheap. A good shock tune would likely fix most of the suspension woes, and you can just drill a bunch of holes in the frame to bring it down to a semi-reasonable weight.

    For sizing, if you're 5'6" get a medium. For sure. Banshee's geo is a bit dated, so their bikes are small-ish. But not so small that you'd want to bump to a large.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Heavy frames
    This comment surprises me a bit. Unless they're lying their asses off the weights seem pretty good as far as alloy frames go. Claimed weight for a Rune frame is 6.9 lbs which is a solid pound less than a Scout frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    For sizing, if you're 5'6" get a medium. For sure. Banshee's geo is a bit dated, so their bikes are small-ish. But not so small that you'd want to bump to a large.
    Hah, small vs. medium was the only debate. Getting a large never entered my mind for a second.

    Appreciate your input though since you've ridden more bikes than most. Ugh, maybe I'll just sit this one out for now and hope Transition releases a carbon Scout this year which floods the market with used alloy GX models.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    This comment surprises me a bit. Unless they're lying their asses off the weights seem pretty good as far as alloy frames go. Claimed weight for a Rune frame is 6.9 lbs which is a solid pound less than a Scout frame.
    Yeah, that's not terrible, assuming 6.9 includes the shock. Maybe they've lightened them up? Of the ones I've ridden, all of them were around 33 lbs. Which is pretty heavy for a medium with 27.5" wheels, light-ish tires and not-super-shitty parts. But yeah... the Scouts are heavy too.

    It seems to me that there are a ton of reasonably priced, fairly competent bikes on the market right now. YT, Diamondback, Commencal, and a few others have bikes that are pretty affordable. And I'd argue that a bunch of those bikes are put together better than the Banshees, and they're made by companies that probably have a much better chance of still being in existence in 5 years.

    Banshee just strikes me as one of those companies that's never quite had a bike that was a big winner, and they've struggled to stand out as bikes have progressed over the past 5 years. They seem like a company that's drifting towards bankruptcy or some other form of closure. Don't take that as any kind of hint that I know something that you don't - I'm just speculating. Banshee, Niner, Ellsworth, Canfield, Cove, etc. - there's a bunch of bike companies that kinda seem like they're on life support. Which is an entirely separate discussion from whether or not their bikes are good, but it's probably worth factoring in to the purchase.

  18. #18
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    You should get a 2019 Giant Trance 2 if sub $3k is your budget.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Yeah, that's not terrible, assuming 6.9 includes the shock. Maybe they've lightened them up? Of the ones I've ridden, all of them were around 33 lbs. Which is pretty heavy for a medium with 27.5" wheels, light-ish tires and not-super-shitty parts. But yeah... the Scouts are heavy too.
    That's axle and hardware but no shock. Transition lists 8.9 for the alloy Scout with a DPX2+axle/hardware, and Fox says the DPX2 weighs about a pound. To their credit the original Spitfire seems like it was way ahead of it's time.

    I'm kinda kicking myself for not buying a Release 3 last year before they watered down the build and raised the price. Oh well.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 01-22-2019 at 05:18 PM.

  20. #20
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    This is all off the top of my head but I believe my large 2015 Spitfire is ~30-31 pounds with a 160 Pike, XX1 cassette, Next SL cranks and set up tubeless with Flow Ex's/Minions. I've been super happy with the bike but I got it after riding an 2007 Stumpjumper so I'm pretty sure I'd be stoked with just about any newer bike.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by One (+) Sentence View Post
    You should get a 2019 Giant Trance 2 if sub $3k is your budget.
    Suspension specs on the alloy Trances don't exactly get me excited. Going to a Monarch+ was such a massive improvement to the reign that I don't think I'll ever run a non-piggy back shock again.

  22. #22
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    You donít want a rune if multi hour climbs is your thing. Pedals good but it is heavy. The have lightened them 2 years ago with the hydroformed tubes. Spitfire w 160 fork would be better suited. I much prefer the geo on my scout but not sure where youíd find one at a comparable price. Love transitions bikes but they need to drop their price. Iíd seriously look at a jeffsy or a megatrail. Mega especially is an awesome fit. Like a scout on steroids and 150 or 165 rear travel adjust covers a lot of bases

  23. #23
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    It's not like I do big climbs every day, but I'll do snowbird as a after work ride sometimes and solo weekend rides usually climb at least 3k.

    I certainly won't find a scout new for a comparable price, but if I'm patient more of them will probably start showing up used. Same with other bikes that have the latest and greatest version of low/slack. FWIW, I don't think the msrp on the GX scout is out of line.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 01-22-2019 at 08:59 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    How so? All the options I'm looking at come with 150 mm posts. These bikes all have really low seat tubes and I like to get the seat way low for teh jumpin', so 150 seems like a good choice. I have no plans to change the dropper since the Aeffect is the same as my BrandX and I like the BX just fine..
    Agreed 150mm droppers are great and the budget Raceface post is a good one. I'm not sure of your inseam but a 150mm dropper on a 16.5" frame could be getting close to hitting the collar if its average for your height. Im just warning you its gonna be close and may end up too high at its minimum hight. That being said the Medium Spitfire seat tube is only a centimeter longer than a Medium Scout but that centimeter could be what you need.

    Here is the numbers on the post.
    Aeffect Dropper

    I haven't ridden the Scout yet but have owned two SBG bikes (2019 Patrol and 2019 Smuggler) you won't be disappointed if you go that route.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  25. #25
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    Banshee Bikes - Sizing and General Opinions

    Oh ok. I climbed with the rune on the local dh trails 3-4K but if they were alpine trails and not steep dh trails I was definitely bringing the scout. As one bike, wouldnít you prefer a patrol? Price might be just pricey in Canada . Transition donít have a Canadian distributor . I know I wouldíve saved $1g plus if I had bought Commencal(as an in-line example)rather than my scout. New Commencal clash looks killer. I emailed canyon about there bikes. I was looking at the ďtorqueĒ and their emtb. They said no emtbís in North America for them but said theyíd ship a torque across the border to me. Sweet price. Really good. Also msgd with gg. There base model megatrail was going to be 4300cad. Thatíd put it under 3500usd. Really going to try and get one. Lots of good options out there.
    FWIW I have a short 29Ē inseam and I was able to run a 125mm pnw dropper with atleast an inch to spare on a medium rune.
    Good points by toast though. I do wonder about their business model. Banshee has been a Canadian company and was marketed that way(owner/designer Keith Scott is from the uk) and then all of a sudden they moved south of the border and ditch any reasonable support for long time shops in Canada. Now theyíre in the uk but still have their US online store. They are tough and I didnít have the pivot bearing problem toasts friend did(quite the opposite actually but in the past they had bad runs of frames). Didnít find mine overly stiff and small bump mightíve been good on mine with the coil. My rune did a lot. Big jump dh trails at silver star, shuttling pure dh tracks, pedalled long alpine adventures and daily rips on my xc trails. I got spoiled on the scout though w the low bb, longer reach/tt , steeper sa and much more standover. Made it hard to get back on my rune unless the trails were steep and burly. I wanted the fit of my scout with the travel of the rune. Fit is pretty personal though. Good luck

    Sorry about the long winded. Itís an in conversation Iíve been having considering all those bikes for myself. Still undecided but I want a ďoneĒ bike
    Last edited by grinch; 01-23-2019 at 12:22 AM.

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