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  1. #1
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    I ask you Banshee Prime or Yeti SB95?

    Well this comparison has been made before in other threads, but I am hoping to consolidate opinions and get whatever insight people may bring to this duo. I'll be upgrading bikes from a steel 29er HT this year and don't want to make a hasty decision. I have ridden the Yeti on the street and thought the geometry felt great. I have not been able to track down a Banshee, but they seem to share some similarities. Other bikes I've ridden include the RIP 9 and Tallboy LTC. I think the slack HA and short CS of the Yeti are what set it apart.

    My riding consists mostly of pedal up/ride down with some XC riding. Examples of rides I do frequently include Cold Creek Washington, Sandy Ridge Oregon, and Oakridge Oregon. I am 6'2" 230lbs and ride fairly aggressive. I tend to be hard on things so durability is a must. I would like a bike that pedals well and that is my biggest question of with the Prime at the moment. So what do you think? Has anyone ridden both? It seems like they can be had for roughly the same price. Thanks for the insight.

  2. #2
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    I owned a SB95 and now have a Prime. Two different design intentions with those bikes IMO. The Yeti for me pedaled better, but I actually prefer the Prime in terms of descending ability as well as overall stiffness of the frame. The prime begs to be pushed hard and fast. I prefer the suspension feel of the Prime as with the Yeti it felt not so plush and more stiff which makes it feel like it betters better, but I usually used all the travel on rides. So if you are looking for an XC bike that can dabble in all mountain then you would be better suited with the Yeti. If you want to shred, Prime. They both could probably be built to close to the same weight as the frame weights aren't far off. As I bigger guy myself I would vote Prime (and I did). I don't think the Yeti pedals miles ahead of the Prime, marginally at best.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRiver View Post
    I think the slack HA and short CS of the Yeti are what set it apart.
    Well, the Yeti and the Banshee have nearly identical heat tube angles and chainstay lengths (when the Prime is in the slack setting). But with the Prime's adjustable geometry, you can steepen the HA by 0.5 degrees or a full degree, which you might prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRiver View Post
    My riding consists mostly of pedal up/ride down with some XC riding. Examples of rides I do frequently include Cold Creek Washington, Sandy Ridge Oregon, and Oakridge Oregon. I am 6'2" 230lbs and ride fairly aggressive. I tend to be hard on things so durability is a must. I would like a bike that pedals well and that is my biggest question of with the Prime at the moment. So what do you think? Has anyone ridden both? It seems like they can be had for roughly the same price. Thanks for the insight.
    I haven't ridden the Yeti, but I feel like my Prime pedals extremely well for a 130mm travel bike. And it definitely likes to be ridden aggressively!

    Good luck with your decision.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  4. #4
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    The Yeti can't fit a very big tire in the back, if that matters. That was partially what made me go with a Bandit 29 last year.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. Colin what really sets the two apart for you? On paper they look pretty similar in terms of geo and both seem stout, but I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to the numbers. The rear tire clearance on the yeti is a bit concerning to me. If the prime can climb and pedal with aplomb I would probably go that route, but I haven't found one in my area to test. Knowing that I'll have to pedal up roughly 3-6mi had me wondering if the prime will wear me out at a quicker rate than the yeti.

  6. #6
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    I rode the 95 and it is one fine riding bike. The unique geometry (at the time it was developed) really sets it apart. I also rode the LTC and RIP9 shortly after the 95 and neither could hold a candle to it. They both rode more like you expect a 29er to handle.

    Having never riddent the Prime, I cannot offer you an opinion there but I can say the Yeti is great handling trail bike you won't be dissapointed with.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRiver View Post
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Colin what really sets the two apart for you? On paper they look pretty similar in terms of geo and both seem stout, but I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to the numbers. The rear tire clearance on the yeti is a bit concerning to me. If the prime can climb and pedal with aplomb I would probably go that route, but I haven't found one in my area to test. Knowing that I'll have to pedal up roughly 3-6mi had me wondering if the prime will wear me out at a quicker rate than the yeti.
    For me the Prime just checked all the boxes. Adjustable geo, mini-link suspension, gobs of tire clearance, 150mm rear axle spacing, stiff as hell and overall will just plow through rough terrain. Since you are a bigger fella, I would recommend the Prime. The gains in stiffness will more than likely make up for perceived pedaling efficiency since more energy will be going to the wheels instead of frame flex especially if you are a masher.

    As stated above, I wasn't a fan of the Yeti suspension which probably was due having to run a higher PSI to achieve proper sag. It was too XCish (similar to a Pivot 429), I prefer more supple suspension feel.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    I rode the 95 and it is one fine riding bike. The unique geometry (at the time it was developed) really sets it apart. I also rode the LTC and RIP9 shortly after the 95 and neither could hold a candle to it. They both rode more like you expect a 29er to handle.

    Having never riddent the Prime, I cannot offer you an opinion there but I can say the Yeti is great handling trail bike you won't be dissapointed with.
    Our Spider Comps are better than the Yeti

  9. #9
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    I didn't want to taint his decision given he was going back and forth between two bikes, but yes, I am loving the Spider. I will be hitting Moab with it here in a couple of weeks.

    Sorry for the off topic post!

  10. #10
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    I hope you have a blast. I wish I had that type of terrain around here.

    I think it is only a matter of time before the Spider gets some well deserved love. I personally think its what the Tallboy LTc should have been even though that is a great bike as well.

    I would be interested in the trying SB95c if it actually eventually exist.

  11. #11
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    I have a yeti sb 95 stand 6'2" weigh 200lbs and ride fairly aggresive. I've hit sandy ridge a few times and felt the bike never held me back. Rode black rock last weekend and although I never hit any of the huge gaps there were plenty of drops and natural dirt jumps that were hit. The build I bought is mostly xt with a fox 34 fork. The stk wheels were a little weak and a 2.3 tire would not fit without rubbing the seat tube when bottomed. Bummer!

    I must say the prime is one sweet looking ride. Custom building it would give you the ability to make it perfect.

  12. #12
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    With the caveat that what I'm presenting are just my opinions, I'll add to the mix.

    I own a (preproduction) Prime, have previously owned a WFO9, and have ridden (at Outerbike) a SB95 and TBLTc. Actually, I rode a buttload of bikes at OB, including the Spider (which I dug) but that's beside the point.

    I agree with Colin+M. I don't have any experience with the production Prime, but when it comes to stiffness and overall burliness, the Prime is in a different category. To slip into jargon, the SB95 is a trailbike, whereas the Prime is an all-mountain bike. The frame is a lot stiffer, and the 150mm rear makes a difference, too. At Outerbike, I actually took the SB95 out at the same time my buddy took a TBLTc. We're about the same size, so we swapped. Both bikes had the same drivetrain, brakes and wheels. I cautioned him against saying anything until we were back at the demo area, and we independently came to the same conclusion. I went into it expecting to have a 'meh' feeling about the TBLTc and to really like the SB95, which I was thinking was a leading candidate for a quiver killer. Despite the numbers and the way they look on paper (and I can geek out on that like anyone else here), we both preferred the ride of the TBLTc. But I wouldn't trade any of them for the Prime for my big mountain all-day rides. For my local short rides where it might be nice to have less bike, honestly I'd just as soon have a JET9 RDO or a Spider, but not if that meant giving up the bigger bike. For what it's worth, I also rode a coil-sprung SB66 and was really impressed with it.

    Does that mean the SB95 is a bad bike? Of course not. It means I didn't like it. I didn't like the Mojo HD either, and I seem to be in the minority there. So after describing my experience and impressions, what I can give you with confidence is that the Prime is stiffer and stouter, and that I do all-day big mountain rides on mine with no problem. It'll be up to you to sort through opinions and figure out what's useful to you. Hope that's some help. Good luck-
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  13. #13
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    The Yeti for me pedaled better, but I actually prefer the Prime in terms of descending ability as well as overall stiffness of the frame.

  14. #14
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    Adding in my 2c, because, well, this is the interwebs.

    I own an SB95 (XT, but I have replace the rims with Stan's Flow), have had it since last June and have about 1500 miles on it, north-east PA rocky stuff mostly. Some buff trail (like Kingdom Trails in VT), some moderate light-DH (at Burke Mtn in VT, near KT). I'm about 205-210 ready to ride.

    No question, rear tires 2.3+ can rub the seat tube on bottom-out/deep compression.
    No question, with a front-d, rear tires 2.3+ can make for not leaving a lot of room for mud/crap there.
    But if I didn't have a front-d I'd run up to an Ardent 2.4, or a Panaracer 2.35 there and deal with the infrequent seat tube rub (think helicopter tape patch)
    Sure, it's a minor pita, but I don't consider it a show stopper.

    I've played around quite a bit with suspensions setup, shock setup, internal shims, etc., and have found that if I run 20-25% rear sag the bike feels snappy-xc-crisp, and if I run 25-30% sag then it feels notably more AM-plush. I do NOT know how the feel compares to the Prime as like others there is no way for me to test.

    I have ridden the 'cruz bikes (briefly) here locally and do find that I like the feel of the Switch more than the VPP from CA. I think that's mostly a personal "taste" preference than anything else. I also like that the moving bits on the Switch are well protected, and the bike drains crap/mud/leaves more easily than the 'cruz bikes. Again, no personal experience on the Prime but it LOOKS to me like it'd also "drain well" as it were.

    The Prime was also on my short list last year, but when I had to make a decision (early January '12) it was not yet an option in reality. I know that changed quickly, but not quickly enough. Would I have chosen the Prime if it WAS available? I don't know. Conceptually it was close, and while I had prior experience 1st and 2nd hand with Yeti and their staff and bikes I had zero with Banshee. There is also a LBS for Yeti but none for Banshee for me. That is a factor.

    I think the world well of my Yeti, I have never even come close to buyers remorse in any way. I've spent the winter prepping it for spring season and going nuts fine-tuning it to my desires. I think it's a very solid bike, having ridden a bunch of FS bikes in various styles and builders over the last 10 years I feel like I can say it's in the upper 5 or 10% of "solid" across the board, maybe higher.

    BUT

    For a stated Clydesdale who wants big mileage, and hard mileage, I think that the Prime may have a few design points that tip the scales in it's favor. The overall build is supposedly Just More Durable (restating what others have said). The 150mm rear axle is a plus there, maybe. I've read of people using a coil shock on the Prime which I think would be a better fit for someone significantly over 200# in riding weight. Being able to adjust the bike geometry is a nice selling point, but I believe that after about a month you'd probably never change it, having tuned it to your desire.

    BUT

    The Prime is not proven hugely more stout. I'd not consider it a light-freeride machine (as some people do when they think "All Mountain" these days), so I'd keep that in mind.

    AND

    I'd whole-heartedly agree that you need to notice that Banshee is selling the Prime as an All Mountain bike, and Yeti the SB95 as a Trail bike. In the end I think you need to decide which of those design targets really map to your intended usage and buy accordingly.

  15. #15
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    Again thanks for the feedback. Bear I've really appreciated all the insight you've provided into the Yeti here and elsewhere on this forum. I never thought this was going to be an easy decision.Smithrider and Colins concerns about bringing the Spider Comp into the mix are appreciated
    To clarify my riding probably doesn't qualify as free ride/ all mountain (these terms always confuse me). I enjoy riding flow with jumps, taking on 2-4ft drops, and going over roots and rocks when possible. WFO what would you classify Sandy Ridge as? Here in Oregon we get a lot of mud, so tire clearance could potentially be more of an issue.
    The differences between suspension designs on the trail is something I will probably never have the fortune to compare directly. For me the geometry of the Yeti really set it apart from the LTC and Rip, but having only ridden it on the road and through a park/off some stairs I cannot speak to the function of the switch technology on the trail. The Banshee grabbed my attention because it shares many characteristics with the Yeti, but seems to be stiffer, has more tire clearance, and can run a big boy shock. It sounds like it the Banshee can climb/pedal with close to the efficiency of the Yeti making a test ride or at least in person viewing necessary.
    The more I talk about it and learn the more I am leaning Prime. Now I just need to throw my legs over one to confirm my suspicions. An added bonus with the Prime is I can configure the set up to my liking for the same price and if a year or two down the road I want to change it up I'll have all the components I want on hand. I am probably over analyzing and should just get a bike and ride it.

  16. #16
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    You're on the right track my friend. Don't think of the Prime as overkill, think of it as capable

  17. #17
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    RR:

    If you can get some time on a Transition Bandit 29 you would discover that it's geo and the SB95 are very similar. That is if we are looking at a 2013 B29 with a 130mm fork & 120mm rear squish or a 2012 B29 with a 140mm fork and 130mm rear. Very playful ride, makes you seek out trail features to pop off of. It pedals up and bombs down with equal aplomb. Gobs of tire clearance. The simpler suspension makes it less expensive to buy than the two bikes that you are focusing on.

    Even though I now have a Covert 29 (150mm F34 front and 140mm of coil sprung rear action) for gravity days and a Trans AM 29 hardtail on the way, both also from Transition, there is no way that I am going to part with my 2012 B29. Way too much fun.
    Last edited by 29erchico; 03-06-2013 at 02:26 PM.
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  18. #18
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    RedRiver, I guess I'll state upfront I'm most likely biased since I too have a pre-production Prime I love. As someone who loves to climb, the more technical the better, the Prime just excels at this and when you point it down, well if you've got the nads it will take you through/over almost anything - I think I could torw my Prime off a cliff and have to replace every part EXCEPT for the frame it's that damn burly

    Also as you mention your need tyre clearance, the Prime has loads of this, you can easily run a 2.5" tyre with room for mud, which for me is very important down here where our clay content is extremely high and we have a long rainy season and if you waited for that to end you'd not ride for 6+ months of the year.

    The versatility of the Prime with it's adjustable Geo and the option to switch axle configuration make it a very versatile frame - you could very easily set it up with 2 wheelsets, 1-150x12 with big meaty, aggressive rubber and 1-135x10 with lighter, faster, less aggressive rubber and then to differentiate it even more you can adjust the geo to the steepest setting on the "XC" wheelset and to the Slackest setting on the AM/Trail set, could even throw in 2 different shocks if you really wanted, 1 coil w/ piggyback and 1 air.

    Gratuitous shot of my Prime and of the clearance in the stays - note production Prime's clearance isn't as huge, they're about 6mm narrower AFAIR - I can fit a Surly Knard in there going by measurements people have given for that 3.0" tyre and still have room on either side.


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  19. #19
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    I would say sandy ridge is all mountain'ish. I put the ish in there because it has nothing all that steep and everything can pretty much be nailed on the first run. The prime would be a killer ride there.

  20. #20
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    WFO that is kind of what I was thinking Sandy Ridge would be classified as. Since I can scare myself on my XC hardtail there I am sure my new wheels whatever they may be will have me gripped .

    Lynx thanks for the eye candy. That is one fine looking and from the sounds of things riding steed. Your point about the adjustable geometry is noted, and the fact that you love to climb and the Prime does it well is just the kind of input I was looking for.

    29erchico I've also ridden the Bandit 29 and liked it a lot, but the suspension didn't feel nearly as efficient as the Yeti (all street based). I am sure it is a inspiring and playful ride though.

    Looks like I'm going to have to deal with some serious first world problems in the near future.

  21. #21
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    My Prime

    Recently upgraded some parts: 2x10 with type 2 derailleur, carbon bars, spare front wheel with DHF 29x2.5 Exo...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I ask you Banshee Prime or Yeti SB95?-img_8074e-s.jpg  

    I ask you Banshee Prime or Yeti SB95?-img_8082e-s.jpg  

    I ask you Banshee Prime or Yeti SB95?-img_8077e-s.jpg  

    I ask you Banshee Prime or Yeti SB95?-img_8076e-s.jpg  

    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  22. #22
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    Well, I got the chance to ride a Prime yesterday and I am sold. The suspension was very similar to the Yeti on my opinion, but it had a stouter feel to it. I didn't get to really grind on any hills, so I am still lacking that comparison. Anyways I think the deal is pretty much sealed for the Prime. Now just to try and find the best place to order from and work on the build specs.

    bholwell Thanks for the pictures. That is a great looking rig. How did you get the black float? I am hesistant to go white, but don't want to shell out the extra coin for the black Talas.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRiver View Post
    bholwell Thanks for the pictures. That is a great looking rig. How did you get the black float? I am hesistant to go white, but don't want to shell out the extra coin for the black Talas.
    Thanks, man! Mine is a pre-production model bought directly from Banshee as a frame & fork package. Just got lucky in that regard.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  24. #24
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    Not trying to hijack, but since the people who know are here, but Banshee Prime or Transition Covert? Both seem to be very similar in spec and purpose. I've never ridden either brand and neither are in my LBS.

  25. #25
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    Yeah, the pre-production guys were lucky as Banshee got black versions of the normal Float for us As to the build, I'm a form over fashion type guy (although I think XT looks damn good to me) and $$ are always tight, so I stick to XT for anything of mine, love the new stuff and it always functions. Right now after a year on the Prime it is now full XT - brakes, shifters, derailleurs and wheels are Pro2s laced to Flow/Crest ATM and replaced the DHXA I couldn't seem to find to my liking with an X-Fusion 02 RLZ which is an OEM 02 RL made for Cdale for the Rize and I like it a lot. Attached a pic I took this evening just for more incentive

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRiver View Post
    Well, I got the chance to ride a Prime yesterday and I am sold. The suspension was very similar to the Yeti on my opinion, but it had a stouter feel to it. I didn't get to really grind on any hills, so I am still lacking that comparison. Anyways I think the deal is pretty much sealed for the Prime. Now just to try and find the best place to order from and work on the build specs.

    bholwell Thanks for the pictures. That is a great looking rig. How did you get the black float? I am hesistant to go white, but don't want to shell out the extra coin for the black Talas.


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