Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: amishscum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    454

    My New Banshee Paradox - AM 29er Goodness!

    After building several 26" full-suspension bikes and one long-travel 26" hardtail to fill the trail-bike slot in my fleet, I came to the conclusion that I really prefer 29" wheels and hardtails. The frame criteria for my new build was 120mm fork compatibility, weight of 5.5 pounds or less, and $600 or less. The Canfield hardtails, Kona Honzo, On-One Inbred, and Transition TransAM 29 were all considered and crossed off the list. I ended up with the Banshee Paradox. Big thanks to Blackstone Bicycles in Rhode Island for parting out the frame and shipping it coast-to-coast with zero-hassle. The phone conversations I had with both owners revealed them to be super-friendly and genuinely stoked on mountain biking in general. If you get the chance, shower with them. It's a mind-scrambler!

    I took pics right after the build and only have one ride on her so far. Fit-wise, the bike felt "right" the minute I sat on it. Very comfy. A quick spin around the hood to dial in derailleur gave me a glimpse of the handling characteristics. Its nimble nature impressed me, especially because it felt like a monster truck up front. The first trail ride put a huge smile on my face! I've been riding SS exclusively for a couple years now, so it took me half the ride just to get used to shifting again. Once I figured out my preferred climbing gears, it was on. Most of my climbing was out-of-the-saddle, but I stayed put in the saddle and spun some easier gears for a couple hills to see how the front-end reacted. No wandering to speak of. I've also been riding with a rigid fork for awhile, so the 120mm Reba made the whole bike feel cushy.

    I'll do a more detailed review after riding several trails with different terrain, but my initial impression is very positive. I'll be riding this bike off-and-on the next couple months and taking it to Bend, Oregon in May for the McKenzie River and other local trails (and breweries ), so I should have a great feel for it after that. Stay tuned...

    Frame: 2011 Banshee Paradox, medium
    Fork: 2011 Rock Shox Reba 29SL 120mm w/maxle lite
    Headset: Cane Creek 110
    Stem: RaceFace Turbine, 70mm, 6 degree inverted
    Handlebar: RaceFace Turbine, 700mm, 8 degree sweep
    Grips: ODI Rogue
    Brakes: Shimano SLX
    Shifter: Sram Attack
    Chainguide: MRP 1.X
    Crankset: Shimano XT, Salsa 34T chainring
    Chain: Sram PC-971
    Pedals: Shimano 540 SPD
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
    Cassette: Shimano XT 11-34
    Wheelset: ZTR Arch/Hope
    Tires: F - Geax AKA 2.2, R - Specialized Captain 2.0
    Seatpost: Thomson Elite 30.9
    Saddle: Fizik Gobi
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My New Banshee Paradox - AM 29er Goodness!-paradox-1.jpg  

    My New Banshee Paradox - AM 29er Goodness!-paradox-2.jpg  

    My New Banshee Paradox - AM 29er Goodness!-paradox-3.jpg  

    My New Banshee Paradox - AM 29er Goodness!-paradox-4.jpg  

    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  2. #2
    beater
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,536
    Very nice! My (partially) inner diva would recommend peeling the red RS stickers off your fork (and maybe off the rim while you're at it), but aside from that, it's a super clean and nice build. Looks like a fun ride. Enjoy!
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: eurospek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,262
    You don't see too many of these in white. Looks clean!!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: amishscum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    454
    I considered peeling off the red stickers. Still might.
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  5. #5
    Missouri sucks...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,290
    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    If you get the chance, shower with them. It's a mind-scrambler!
    Do what now?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    278
    follow up review?

  7. #7
    247
    247 is offline
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,333
    recommend peeling the red RS stickers off your fork (and maybe off the rim while you're at it
    I always pulled stickers off my wheels. But you could keep the deisgn on the fork.... (my 2 cents)---

    But nice bike.. I like hardtail 29ers too... Cant wait to get my new TREK Superfly Elite out on the trail. It's been hot (stormy weather) here in the Tri State area...

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeff c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    62
    I didn't shower with them, but I did purchase my Paradox from Blackstone Bicycle as well. Two quality individuals running that shop! Love the build and look forward to hearing your impressions. As for my impressions, I consider this bike a party everytime I throw my leg over her.
    "You know, there's going to be sex, drugs, rock-n-roll... chips, dips, chains, whips... You know, your basic high school orgy type of thing. I mean, uh, I'm not talking candlewax on the nipples, or witchcraft or anything like that, no, no, no. Just a couple of hundred kids running around in their underwear, acting like complete animals."

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    80
    What an awesome looking bike! I've been toying with the idea of building a similar bike. Just need to put together my budget and wish/must have list.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    358
    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    The Canfield hardtails, Kona Honzo, On-One Inbred, and Transition TransAM 29 were all considered and crossed off the list. I ended up with the Banshee Paradox.
    Out of curiosity, what was the deciding factor on the Banshee? Geometry, weight, looks, shop, or something else?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CYCLEJCE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    631
    "Wyatt's in here dropping wolf bait...". Sweet ride, I wish we had the terrain to justify a ride like that near Houston. Urban rides and the occasional skills section of the local trail is it here. Enjoy Bend!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Doughnut Spaghetti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    134
    Great Build! Can't wait your hear about how it rides.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CYCLEJCE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    631
    Is that a short cage derailleur? Is it playing nice with the 34t cassette?

  14. #14
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,141
    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    After building several 26" full-suspension bikes and one long-travel 26" hardtail to fill the trail-bike slot in my fleet, I came to the conclusion that I really prefer 29" wheels and hardtails. The frame criteria for my new build was 120mm fork compatibility, weight of 5.5 pounds or less, and $600 or less. The Canfield hardtails, Kona Honzo, On-One Inbred, and Transition TransAM 29 were all considered and crossed off the list. I ended up with the Banshee Paradox. Big thanks to Blackstone Bicycles in Rhode Island for parting out the frame and shipping it coast-to-coast with zero-hassle. The phone conversations I had with both owners revealed them to be super-friendly and genuinely stoked on mountain biking in general. If you get the chance, shower with them. It's a mind-scrambler!



    I took pics right after the build and only have one ride on her so far. Fit-wise, the bike felt "right" the minute I sat on it. Very comfy. A quick spin around the hood to dial in derailleur gave me a glimpse of the handling characteristics. Its nimble nature impressed me, especially because it felt like a monster truck up front. The first trail ride put a huge smile on my face! I've been riding SS exclusively for a couple years now, so it took me half the ride just to get used to shifting again. Once I figured out my preferred climbing gears, it was on. Most of my climbing was out-of-the-saddle, but I stayed put in the saddle and spun some easier gears for a couple hills to see how the front-end reacted. No wandering to speak of. I've also been riding with a rigid fork for awhile, so the 120mm Reba made the whole bike feel cushy.

    I'll do a more detailed review after riding several trails with different terrain, but my initial impression is very positive. I'll be riding this bike off-and-on the next couple months and taking it to Bend, Oregon in May for the McKenzie River and other local trails (and breweries ), so I should have a great feel for it after that. Stay tuned...

    Frame: 2011 Banshee Paradox, medium
    Fork: 2011 Rock Shox Reba 29SL 120mm w/maxle lite
    Headset: Cane Creek 110
    Stem: RaceFace Turbine, 70mm, 6 degree inverted
    Handlebar: RaceFace Turbine, 700mm, 8 degree sweep
    Grips: ODI Rogue
    Brakes: Shimano SLX
    Shifter: Sram Attack
    Chainguide: MRP 1.X
    Crankset: Shimano XT, Salsa 34T chainring
    Chain: Sram PC-971
    Pedals: Shimano 540 SPD
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
    Cassette: Shimano XT 11-34
    Wheelset: ZTR Arch/Hope
    Tires: F - Geax AKA 2.2, R - Specialized Captain 2.0
    Seatpost: Thomson Elite 30.9
    Saddle: Fizik Gobi
    Very nice

  15. #15
    West Chester, PA
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    3,174
    Quote Originally Posted by CYCLEJCE View Post
    Is that a short cage derailleur? Is it playing nice with the 34t cassette?
    Yes. The cassette size is not the sole factor.
    sram x.o short cage chain wrap capacity

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: amishscum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    454
    @CYCLEJCE - As 92gli said, no problems with the derailleur and cassette. It's an XT medium-cage. Shimano doesn't make a true short-cage derailleur that I know of (unless you want to go with something from their road group), but a Sram short-cage would also work fine with a 11/34 and 1X9 or 1X10 setup. I had bad luck with 3 Sram short-cage derailleurs in a row, which is why I went back to Shimano. The pre-shadow XT 9-speed derailleurs are just solid. YMMV.

    @boomforeal - After some time on the bike, the only change I made was swapping out the 70mm stem for a 90mm. The 70 was nice, especially in downhill situations, but felt slightly cramped after awhile. The 90 feels better all-around. Better fit, more weight over the front in cornering and climbing situations, and no noticable decrease in steering speed. The Banshee handles amazing! Nimble, stiff, and the 120mm up front really inspires confidence. I aim for **** on this bike. Geometry is 95% dialed. The missing 5% is due to the low bottom bracket, which makes the Paradox pedal-strike prone. It's something you need to stay aware of when pedaling through rocky terrain or... smack! Had several wake-up calls due to that. It also has less standover height than other bikes in the 17" size range, but it's been a non-issue.

    @GT5050 - The deciding factor was a combination of weight, sizing, and cost. I have no reservations recommending the Paradox to anyone looking for an AM 29er. That said, if I could get the same fit and handling from a relatively lightweight frame that had a higher bottom-bracket and was SS compatible, I'd consider upgrading. Those Carver Ti AM 29'ers look pretty sweet...
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Magilla_Guerrilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    253
    Love the paradox. I had my titanium 29er built off the basic geometry of the paradox, with a few tweaks. Best alloy HT 29er on the market I reckon.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Magilla_Guerrilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    253
    Quote Originally Posted by adzaxkan View Post
    Congratulations for being late
    I think you might be late - taking your meds.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sandman012's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    164
    More kudo to Mike and Brendan at Blackstone Bikes. I am lucky enough to live and work near the shop. Such a pleasure to deal with a bike shop run by 2 guys who love to ride and really know their sh!t.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •