Longer post with more specific ride thoughts over in the 29er forum that's currently besieged by spammers.
I've always appreciated Banshee for the company's design aesthetics; I think the bikes are beautiful in an industrial porn sort of way. But to be honest, the overall build weights have always held me back.
That said, I was recently in the market for a short-travel secondary bike to my Santa Cruz Tallboy LT. I was actually pretty deadset on the Evil Following, but certain aspects of the bike turned me away.
Ended up taking the plunge with a Phantom and am extraordinarily pleased with that decision.
IMG_0840 by dbozman1173, on Flickr
The bike isn't light and I didn't bother weighing it. But that's not really the story. The story to me is the incredible handling and real efficiency of the KS Link, even with a relatively low-end Monarch R shock.
I'm 6'2 with long arms and legs. The XL with a 40mm stem is an absolute perfect fit for me.
I got out on three trail rides here in Phoenix over the weekend. I've owned a lot of bikes over the years. The Phantom is one of those rare bikes -- the TBLT is certainly another one -- that I can get on and ride comfortably right away.
Yesterday, I did a 10-mile loop that I commonly do. In fact, I had done it exactly a week prior on my Tallboy. This time, I literally PR'd 25 sections and cut about four minutes off my time. And I wasn't even really trying to go fast. This is on one of our less-gnar routes, couple of very steep climbs, some steeps, some fast chunk, all very rocky, of course.
IMG_0767 by dbozman1173, on Flickr
IMG_0768 by dbozman1173, on Flickr
Because I'm a little obsessive about bikes, three things would make this absolutely perfect for me: an inside-the-triangle cage mount; slightly higher stack; and shaving a pound of weight. That said, this frame is the business.
And just for giggles, here's a pics of the Banshee stablemate:
IMG_0749 by dbozman1173, on Flickr
Thanks for reading. Good job, Banshee.
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