This frame has really exceeded my expectations!!
It was easy to build up. No unexpected snags or complications in the build up process. Could easily have finished it in a night, if I were a single man. Finish quality was good. There was just nothing "weird" about it.
It has exceeded my expecations when it comes to riding. I've only been out 3 times on it. 1 ride was a complete shakedown ride, another was a tuning ride. None of the rides have been intense or long, but they revealed the capability of this frame.
This bike climbs so much better than I'd have ever imagined. I did not expect this at all. It climbs as effortlessly as my hardtail single speed. Or at least it feels that way.
Traction on climbing has been an issue. In so much as I'll have the rear wheel slip out briefly. Not enough to derail momentum, but enough to remind me to adjust my body position to make sure there is enough weight on the rear wheel. I should say, all rides have been autumn rides, with leaves covering the dirt. The top layer of dirt here has stayed pretty moist due to the leaves and timely rains this fall. So conditions are not ideal for traction. I also have an adjustable travel fork and have not yet used the drop down function - I imagine this may help significantly.
The downhills are a blast. I'm STARTING to get the hang of corner this bike. It feels like the bike "squats" down when cornered correctly, or at least what I perceive as cornering correctly. Instead of dragging the brakes to slow down, if I lean it hard and get my weight back a little, it settles/squats into the corner and really feels like it's on rails.
Hitting obsticals at speed has been interesting. The bike transmits more trail feedback than expected. More than my old 4" travel bike. But the bike is incredibly stable and predictable. There is never any feeling of fighting the bike, or hitting an obstical (such as a log over) with a tight and tense body position for fear of the bike bucking or getting sideways.
This stability translates into an "effortless" feel of riding the bike. Therefore, the feedback transmitted to the rider is not bothersome or fatiguing. The bike sort of says to the rider "hey there's this stuff on the trail, but I will take care of it, you just hang out and pedal, ok??"
The predictability allows me to easily jump, bunnyhop, wheelie, and pivot the bike around on the trail. Downhill log overs that I used to smash into than lose control on the rebound, I now float over and use as a launch to get further down the trail on my line of choice. I feel the bike is going to maintain control so theres no real need to slow down or wonder where I'm going to end up when I hit the obstical.
The frame also feels very settled when hitting roots and logs at an angle. There is no swap in the rebound or sudden slip out. Therefore I can choose the fastest or smoothest line, instead of having to carve lines to hit everything at a perpendicular angle.
This frame is really easy to ride. It allows me to maximize what little bike skills I have toward the goal of traveling fast down the trail, instead of using skill and energy in an effort to fight to keep the bike on my line.
In short, it's just a lot of fun to ride. And that's why I ride, for fun. I'm really happy with this bike!
Just wanted to get that off my chest and since I know some of the Banshee people are on these forums, I wanted to say THANK YOU!!! for the time you put into developing your product!!
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