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  1. #1
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    Spitfire V2 vs. Bronson

    On paper, the Spitfire and Santa Cruz Bronson have almost completely identical geometry. Comparing a size L Spitty (in neutral) to a Bronson, the ETT is S 24.2" B 24.02", chainstay length S 17.3" B 17.28", BB height S 13.65" B 13.62", etc.

    The Spitty has 140mm KS link travel versus the Bronson's 150mm VPP. In aluminum with a CCDB shock, the MSRP of both frames is about the same (although discounts on Banshee are easier to find). Although I haven't heard of any issues with the new generation of Banshee pivots, SC pivots are reputed to be pretty bulletproof. The Bronson obviously lacks the Spitty's adjustable geometry feature.

    Of course I would expect to hear pro-Banshee opinions in this forum , but I'm curious to see what folks who have ridden both think about the differences in ride feel between the two bikes.

  2. #2
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    One major factor you're missing is head angle - the Banshee is slacker and longer than the Bronson. It feels bigger than its 140mm of travel would suggest. I have have absolutely no problems with the pivots, and I have not yet heard of anyone struggling with bearing durability at all. I have heard that the Bronson may pedal a bit more effectively, but I find it hard to imagine that the Bronson could possible get down a mountain as quickly as the Spitfire - the Spitfire beats even my old coil-sprung Nomad Carbon on all but the chunkiest trails. The choice depends on your priorities I guess.
    Last edited by babyz; 08-08-2014 at 12:35 PM.
    2014 Banshee Spitfire 650b
    2011-ish Chromag Samurai

  3. #3
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    Delete... haha, should have known better than to post here, enjoy your Banshees...

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 08-08-2014 at 03:39 PM.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    I went from a Spitty V1 to a Bronson c and the Bro kills it in every category. Yeah, I understand the KS-link is supposed to be worlds better on V2 but the geometry is the same and there is no way the Spitty touches the Bro on the climbs OR downs
    sorry man, but that's a pretty massive assumption there. The Spitfire v2 relies on an entirely different suspension layout, is over a pound lighter in the frame alone, and only comes up with 10mm less travel than the Bronson. Without getting into my subjective opinions, the new Spitfire is an entirely different bike than the V1, and in my own research when I was looking at new bikes I actually found more positive reviews on the Banshee than the Bronson. Plus, keep in mind that this thread is comparing the aluminum Bronson and Spitfire.
    2014 Banshee Spitfire 650b
    2011-ish Chromag Samurai

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    ...there is no way the Spitty touches the Bro on the climbs OR downs
    I fail to see how this represents anything more than pure speculation... I've actually spent about 2 years on both a V1 and V2 and they are probably more different than the V2 and the Bronson.

    As for the OP's question, I haven't spent significant time on a Bronson, so can't compare in a meaningful way. No wrong answer though--it's a nice set of bikes to be choosing from.

  6. #6
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    Bro...bruh...broseph...for that reason alone, Spitty

  7. #7
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    Bronson sucks because carbon fail before or later.

    so choose Spitty

    though I admit the new Ibis Mojo that Chausson rides, looks awesome!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyz View Post
    sorry man, but that's a pretty massive assumption there. The Spitfire v2 relies on an entirely different suspension layout, is over a pound lighter in the frame alone, and only comes up with 10mm less travel than the Bronson. Without getting into my subjective opinions, the new Spitfire is an entirely different bike than the V1, and in my own research when I was looking at new bikes I actually found more positive reviews on the Banshee than the Bronson. Plus, keep in mind that this thread is comparing the aluminum Bronson and Spitfire.
    Actually the V2 is heavier than the V1 which is a big reason I never considered it. A medium Spitty V2 with Fox shock is 8 lbs! 2013 Spitfire post 421
    For 140mm travel bike? No thanks! The aluminum Bronson (hydroformed tube set) is well over a pound and a half lighter. It's no contest, I suggest the OP ride both and report back. It will be a real eye-opener, certainly was for me!

    FLAME ON!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Spitfire V2 vs. Bronson

    Fwiw I test rode 2 BronsonCs one with flow ex rims and the other with Enve. I ended up going with the Spitfire over the Bronson purely based on fun. The spitfire is without a doubt the most enjoyable bike I have ever ridden and it rewards an aggressive rider.
    For me the aluminum frame is a bonus as I've taken many tumbles down rock gardens with no broken carbon 👍.
    Don't get me wrong the Bronson is an amazing bike and did everything well it just felt tame and boring for the riding I do... I mean I never plan to to race worlds so I'm not a weight weenie.

    Oh and if you like to manual/wheelie... Spitfire over ALL! its bizarre how easy it is to do.
    My spitfire is around the low 13kg mark.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Actually the V2 is heavier than the V1 which is a big reason I never considered it. A medium Spitty V2 with Fox shock is 8 lbs! 2013 Spitfire post 421
    For 140mm travel bike? No thanks! The aluminum Bronson (hydroformed tube set) is well over a pound and a half lighter. It's no contest, I suggest the OP ride both and report back. It will be a real eye-opener, certainly was for me!
    Let's get this settled. You're correct on the Spitfire differences in frame weight, I was incorrectly referencing the slight weight loss from the 2013 to 2014 Spitfire V2. Original Spitfire (pre-KS link) was 5.8lbs for a medium, with no shock (according to Google). New 2014 Spitfire V2 is 7.75lbs for a large with a CCDB Air CS shock (from multiple sources, including my own frame that I weighed at home when I built the bike). A CCDB weighs ~500 grams according to Cane Creek (a lot more than the ~300 grams that a Fox CTD shock weighs). That translates to 1.1 lbs. So, my 2014 Spitfire V2 weighs just over 6.6 lbs for the large frame.

    Aaaaaand back to the Bronson. According to Santa Cruz, a medium aluminum Bronson frame with a Fox CTD shock weighs 6.8 lbs. I'm not going to speculate about the weight difference between a medium and a large, but in any case, a medium aluminum Bronson frame, without shock, will weigh about 6.2 lbs, the Spitfire 6.65lbs for a large. Hardly the pound and half that you're claiming.

    You are correct in that OP should ride both - and so should you before claiming the comparison is "no contest".

    ***Pardon the rant - I like facts and hate losing***
    2014 Banshee Spitfire 650b
    2011-ish Chromag Samurai

  11. #11
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    ^^ Actually that's good info. And I also agree with steeze, like I said, my old Spitty was one of the most fun bikes I'd ever owned. My weakness is climbing tho and I'm no longer the last one to the top on my Bronson c. That's not apples to apples tho as my carbon version weighs in at 27 lbs. I can tell you the latest VPP iteration is worlds better than V1 and V2 versions (having owned them all) and I don't think even the staunchest Banshee supporter would claim the Spitty V2 on par with the Bronson for climbing ability. Downhill is pure speculation - mine is far from stock with a Vector Air DH and Pike 160 along with a -1 deg Works Angleset. I see the new Spitty coming with a CCDBA which would certainly help but you will notice 10mm of travel, just ask a Blur to BLT owner (been there, done that too). And I'll finish by saying that if you're a heavier rider (over 225)... I'd go Spitty, it's a burlier frame (vs. aluminum Bronson) and will take more abuse.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 08-08-2014 at 08:28 PM.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  12. #12
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    Yea Gman I do agree that the Bronson is a better climber but the spitfire is only just off the pace.
    The track I rode both on has a tight uphill switchback and the Bronson was very much in control and effortless to get around. My spitfire on the other hand is a bit of a handful and I've ridden it 50+ times and it never gets easier but this could be due to my cockpit set up. The Bronson had 800mm enves with a 50mm stem and my spitfire has 730mm eastons with a 50mm stem. Going to get a set of sixC 780mm bars with a 35mm stem to see if it helps.
    Having said all that the my spitfire still climbs incredibly well on 99% of climbs its just the really tight technical climbs I struggle.
    Will report back after cockpit change.

  13. #13
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    ^^ That's wild, I ran 730 Eastons w/ 50mm Thomson stem on my Spitty! I run a 785 Deity Black Label w/ the 50mm stem on my Bronson and love it. Try just going with the longer bar first, that pulls your body forward and gives you better leverage/balance.

    Cheers,

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  14. #14
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    I had an aluminium nomad and now I have a 2014 spitfire. I switched all components from nomad to spitfire so the comparison was very clear. The spitfire handling is way better, especially in turns. I feel better balanced on the bike and I think this is due to the longer reach of the spitfire. You should not compare ett length, since this only applies to seated pedaling. Reach and front center measurements make sense during standing descending.

  15. #15
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    I have ridden both VPP versions (Nomad 1, Blur LT, Nomad 2, BronsonC) and two KS-link bikes (Rune and a Prime). I preferred the feel of the KS-link bikes over the Santa Cruz. The KS-link is, as mentioned a more playful ride versus a VPP. I have found that while my Rune is certainly heavier (31.5 lbs) than the BronsonC I rode (28lbs with a full XTR/Enve kit and pedals) it climbs with as much aplomb. Descending there is no contest as the Banshee crushes the Santa Cruz. I look forward to demoing a new Nomad though for a more comparable bike.
    the going won't get good 'til I'm good and gone

  16. #16
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    The only way you're going to get a sub 7pound spitfire is if you remove the dropouts and shock! My 2014 medium anodized black spitfire with float ctd kashima shock, 650b drop outs, seat collar weighed in at an even 7lb 8 oz, or 7.5 lbs. My complete build came out to 28.5 lb.

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    Zuuds,

    You are obviously aware of the durability issues with the V1 banshees. V2 is a whole different game and time will tell if they got it right. Does Santa Cruz still do their lifetime bearing warranty? What about frame warranty?

    As others mentioned I would ride both and see whats best for you. I have the V1 rune right now and its a great riding bike but the whole bushing pivot thing and the issues I am having chap me!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss View Post
    The only way you're going to get a sub 7pound spitfire is if you remove the dropouts and shock! My 2014 medium anodized black spitfire with float ctd kashima shock, 650b drop outs, seat collar weighed in at an even 7lb 8 oz, or 7.5 lbs. My complete build came out to 28.5 lb.
    I can only assume you are referencing babyz post for the sub-7 v2 frame. He is referencing an estimated weight without shock. Your weight with shock sounds about right for frame w/ shock.

  19. #19
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    Frame-weight is one thing, geometry another - and this is where both Bronson and Spitfire are significantly different! Seat-angle, head-angle and reach have a big effect to how a bike fits and suits to someones riding-style. The Bronson has a relatively traditional geometry, while the Spitfire has a lot Forward-attributes.
    Plus KS-Link vs. VPP2 might be different, too.
    The best thing to do is a demo ride to check which one suits better. In the end thereīs no objective "this is better than that". Itīs about to feel right on the bike ...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zuuds View Post
    On paper, the Spitfire and Santa Cruz Bronson have almost completely identical geometry. Comparing a size L Spitty (in neutral) to a Bronson, the ETT is S 24.2" B 24.02", chainstay length S 17.3" B 17.28", BB height S 13.65" B 13.62", etc.

    The Spitty has 140mm KS link travel versus the Bronson's 150mm VPP. In aluminum with a CCDB shock, the MSRP of both frames is about the same (although discounts on Banshee are easier to find). Although I haven't heard of any issues with the new generation of Banshee pivots, SC pivots are reputed to be pretty bulletproof. The Bronson obviously lacks the Spitty's adjustable geometry feature.

    Of course I would expect to hear pro-Banshee opinions in this forum , but I'm curious to see what folks who have ridden both think about the differences in ride feel between the two bikes.
    Good question as both bikes are sweet for trail/AM kind of riding. I have ridden Banshee bikes over past 5yrs (3 Rune V1's, 1 Rune V2) and have been riding the piss out of a Bronson over past 4 months (still have the Rune V2 as back up/thrasher bike). A good friend has a Spitty V2 and I have ridden it on local trails. Last spring I was in the market for 2nd bike and was deadset on getting a Spitty as more trail orientated bike and beef up the Rune for aggro AM/FR stuff. I demo'ed a Bronson in Sedona last winter on all my favorite techy, rowdy trails and immediately loved how well it climbed and descended mixed terrain with great handling, traction, and nice neutral feel throughout. My friend then told me he can get me a excellent deal on Bronson frame/fork so I went that route. To me the Bronson accelerates like the V1 Banshees, but in a much nicer, more supple package. Albeit, the Bronson isn't a uber plush machine in stock format, but supple enough with addition of bigger, carbon wheels and carbon frame then what I am used to. It rides about equally supple as my Rune V2 w/Alu rims in 26" config that has better suspension with Lyrik DH/Monarch RC3+ compared to stock Fox on Bronson. So tough call on choice as some may like the feel of KS link better than VPP or vice versa. To me the KS is more similar in feel to DW linked bikes, whereas VPP is similar to Banshee V1 (Vf4b) design in acceleration properties and abilities. My Rune feels like it hauls booty on the rough, trail descents, but on Garmin I am faster on my Bronson with higher speeds, sometimes up to 5mph faster max speed than Rune V2.

    I would go Bronson for simple fact of carbon vs Alu and think the bearing system of SC bikes is better designed and superior to Banshee's. Angular bearings w/collets and grease ports is a no brainier for longevity. I have busted every Alu frame I have owned (with exception of my old RFX) in the first season and thinking the carbon Bronson will last this whole year (so far so good without a hickup, just some worn out DU's that is replaced with needle bearing). I broke my Rune V2 at underside CS weld near front triangle at end of last season and typically would go thru most bearings in about 4-6 months time with no to minimal mud riding, pressure washer, hosing bike, etc. Not to detract from Banshee, cause they are an awesome company that make great bikes (V2 is much more durable and better performing in almost every other way. V1 accelerated some faster with sprinting due to more anti-squat though).

    In the end, you won't fully know unless you are able to ride both on same trails if possible to compare. I never thought carbon should belong in the mtb world in the past, and I am a believer now. It is just a better feeling ride to some degree to me, especially the wheels. Good luck!
    Last edited by jgusta; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:04 PM.
    Ride On!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HELLBELLY View Post
    Descending there is no contest as the Banshee crushes the Santa Cruz. I look forward to demoing a new Nomad though for a more comparable bike.


    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:18 AM.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zuuds View Post
    On paper.. almost completely identical geometry.
    I can assure you, the spitfire feels an awful lot longer / more reach than the Bronson. The Bronson continues the SC trend of cramped feeling bikes. On that fact alone (nevermind how brilliant the spitty is), I would recommend the Spitty, as I hate the cramped feel of the Bronson.

  23. #23
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    ^^ I don't agree at all. SC has a history of short bikes, no question as I've owned many. The Bronson is not in the standard SC mold and is much more true to size as is proven by the longer wheelbase (medium is a good 1"+ longer than any other trail bike they've ever made). That said, the Spitty has always run longer than standard (even in comparison with sizing to the Rune). It's a half inch longer reach... noticeable? Sure but not as exaggerated as your claim and don't lump the Bronson in with SC's other trail offerings.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    It's a half inch longer reach... noticeable? Sure but not as exaggerated as your claim and don't lump the Bronson in with SC's other trail offerings.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN

    Very noticeable. I've ridden a lot of bikes before I chose the Spitty. I have also come to the conclusion that numbers "lie", and riding them is no substitute for numbers on paper.

    Take the Troy and Bronson for example - on paper a nice and roomy bikes, but riding, especially descending, it felt very small.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercow View Post
    I can assure you, the spitfire feels an awful lot longer / more reach than the Bronson. The Bronson continues the SC trend of cramped feeling bikes. On that fact alone (nevermind how brilliant the spitty is), I would recommend the Spitty, as I hate the cramped feel of the Bronson.
    Yes a large Spitty feels a fair bit longer than large Bronson. If you are a 6'0 and above a large Bronson will more likely feel fairly cramped, whereas a large Spitty should feel much better. I am 5'10" with longish legs so large Bronson fits me pretty well and more comfortable to me than my medium Rune V2.
    Ride On!

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