My quandary - (used) 2013 Banshee Prine or (BNIB) 2012 SC Nickel
I have a quandary (dilemma) that I can't seem to solve myself.
I have sold my mini DH so I can get myself a more suited "trail" bike as that is the kind of stuff I am riding.
I have 2 rather different bikes that I am trying to split - and unfortunately I don't have the funds for both!
First up is a used but well looked after 2013 Banshee Prime - 29er with 140mm travel (all FOX all Kashima)
Positives - (for me). Its my kind of build - 2x10 XT drive train and brakes, Flows on Hopes and decent finishing kit. Its black (my favourite banshee colour). Has ISCG tabs.
Negatives - Its a 29er (never had one and only had the single ride on a trance 29er) and I have only ever owned 26er's. I have to get it either shipped or drive 15hours each way to get it.
Next up is a brand new 2012 Santa Cruz Nickel frame w/ float 32's (125mm FOX RP23 and 140mm 32's Kashima). The seller ran out of funds and is selling it for what the frame would cost by itself.
Positives - after pricing up the build with all the sexy parts I could want, its like $100 more than the Prime. Its a 26er! And it allows me to build it up myself (half the fun). Its local.
Negatives - No ISCG tabs. I am slightly unsure about the "APP" suspension system - have never owned/ridden a single pivot style frame that is air sprung.
I realise the Nickel and the APP suspension was never meant to be the flagship model for SC and I am ok with that. I also know people seem to very adamant about whether 26 or 29 is better (ignoring 650B as its not an option).
Both bikes have fox rear shocks installed and regardless of which I get, it would swapped out for CCDB air at some point in the near future.
HELP ME or confuse me more lol
Australia didn't drift away over thousands of years - Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked it in the face.
I would go with the brand new bike.
The other one sounds nice but is "well used" and although it has been looked after it could be getting to the stage where it needs a rebuild.
The Nickel is super 650b friendly if you ever want to go that route. You can also run a longer stroke shock in the Nickel to make it 142mm travel if you run 26" wheels.
Total no brainer, get the Prime! It will be more capable as a FR/DH bike, beefier fork, has the pedaling/long ride benefits of bigger wheels, and a more evolved suspension design you will be able to get parts for in 2-3 years.
Honestly, the only area where I would expect the Nickel to outperform the prime is on slow twisty XC trails, where the smaller wheels accelerate faster and corner with less effort thanks to the shorter wheelbase. If you like this style of riding, get the Nickel. 26" wheels jump better, but between these two bikes, the 32mm fork on the Nickel will be more of a limitation than the wheelsize.
Don't make the very common mistake of judging all 29'ers based on a single bike, single test ride. The Prime and the Anthem couldn't be more different. The anthem is an XC race bike with looooong chainstays and a steep head angle. The Prime is an AM bike easily as capable as a Rune, Nomad etc. Love mine- these were on the Proto, I've got the production version now.
I'd go with the Banshee. How much use can it have if its a 2013? The Nickel is an okay bike. I had a Butcher for a while and found it too be flexy and heavy. I've heard good things about the Prime. Don't be afraid of 29ers.....
2016 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er
2016 Chromag Surface 27.5+
2013 Transition TransAM 29er
Quite frankly, both bikes would make an excellent choice, which make the decision that much harder
Firstly, you have nothing to worry about with single-pivot suspension in terms of feel. What's more important to focus on is ease of bearing service/replacement, durability, and weight (In my opinion). Both suspension systems will work exceptionally well, and a lot of the "feel" depends on how well you set up your shock.
ISCG vs no ISCG: ISCG is always nice, and makes adding a chainguide much easier in a lot of cases, but there are plenty of good options for BB-mount stuff, including the dirt-cheap, and stupid-durable Blackspire stinger (Which is like, 30 bucks...), or you could throw on a ISCG plate from MRP or someone. Again, ISCG is easier, but you're not without options.
Use: The Nickel is suited for more lighter-duty work than the beefier Prime. But, the prime is also heavier and won't be as nimble and flickable as the Nickel will be. I wouldn't honest worry about the 32-34 mm stancions, it's not going to noodle over and flop and kill you. The average person can barely tell the difference between them, especially with the 34 having a much longer a2c measurment than the 32 on the Nickel. Both bikes can take a hell of a lot, and with the right pilot, can rip down 75-80% of trails you'll encounter. They're not DH or FR bikes, so don't treat them like they are. Very capable yes, but not indestructable. (hell, with the right pilot, a carbon xc hardtail can taken down some seriously gnarly stuff, just look at some worldcup XC races!) You're not going to have to worry about bike capability unless you try and treat them like something they're not. (If you REALLY are worried about stiffness, sell the 32 and use the funds to buy a beefy Marz 44, a Fox 34/36 (Shortened if need be), a Rockshox lyric that you lower with spacers, or many other options, but again, not necessary.)
Convenience: Not having to drive for hours or pay for oversized item shipping is a nice thing! And don't drive 15 hours for it. That's a bad idea. You'll pay a ton more for gas than you would to ship it. That alone may negate, or get close to negating, the price difference between the Prime and the build you want to do on the Nickel. However, you would be getting it all in one piece and sooner.
Overall...I'd say my vote goes for the Nickel, but really, whichever you pick, I'm sure you'll be happy with it!
1994 Cannondale M400 2017 Felt Surplus 30
1997 Marin Point Reyes 2013 Pivot Mach 5.7
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