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  1. #1
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    Banshee Legend vs. Pivot Phoenix vs. Commencal Supreme DH

    I'm trying to decide on a new DH frame to build off for next season, and have it narrowed down to the Banshee Legend MK II, Pivot Phoenix, and Commencal Supreme DH. I've been riding a used '07 Kona Stab for awhile, and looking for something more serious as I plan to enter some races for the first time next summer. I live in the PNW, and am setting a goal to compete in a few of the NW cup DH races in 2011.

    I'm 5'10" 165 and looking for a DH bike with a low center of gravity that is light and nimble on the descent. I'm not much for free riding and prefer to just ride low and fast, rather than jump and huck stuff. Admittedly, I think I need work on my corners most and want a bike that will provide confidence through the berms to help with my improvement.

    Banshee Legend and Pivot Phoenix both seem to be ideal frames to build a bike for my riding style, and are currently the tops on my list. They are very comparable in specs and features, and essentially the same price. I've been leaning toward the Legend, but the positive reviews of the Phoenix have me very intrigued. Every review I've read or person I've talked to about the Phoenix says it pedals more efficiently than most AM 6" travel bikes. This sounds cool, but how important is it when I'm really only concerned about gravity riding? I'm also a little leery in purchasing a first run production model, as I'm sure there are bound to be some problems. I really like the fact that Banshee has spent 4 years developing the MK II, and it has me more confident that the bike will not have problems.

    The last option I'm considering is the 2010 Commencal Supreme DH, mainly because of the price. The frame would cost about $875 less than the Phoenix or Legend, and comes with the seatpost and chainguide. Not that this bike is any slouch, I know it is an awesome race bike, but I can't seem to find any reviews that are helpful in determining what style of DH riding this frame is best designed for. Of the three, this is probably the only one I'll get a chance to ride since the local dealer has a demo.

    I appreciate any comments, and especially any helpful opinions from those who have had the opportunity to ride one of these bikes.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I bought the legend and at the price range that these bikes are in we could pretty much get anything. I really like the low BB and slack head angle. I'm pretty sure that the Banshee had the lowest shock mounting out there as well which meant a really low center of gravity and low weight in the frame.
    The rearward travel is a nice bonus on square edged bumps. The titanium pivot hardware is jewelery and the bearing quality is a good as it gets.
    The only thing that I didn't like was the rear Maxle. It is a piece of poo. I replaced it with a normal thread in axle from a Morewood and things are much better.
    Hope this helps and that it makes sense. Sorry it fit doesn't, I'm really tired and have some sort of bug right now.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixbikeguy
    I bought the legend and at the price range that these bikes are in we could pretty much get anything. I really like the low BB and slack head angle. I'm pretty sure that the Banshee had the lowest shock mounting out there as well which meant a really low center of gravity and low weight in the frame.
    The rearward travel is a nice bonus on square edged bumps. The titanium pivot hardware is jewelery and the bearing quality is a good as it gets.
    The only thing that I didn't like was the rear Maxle. It is a piece of poo. I replaced it with a normal thread in axle from a Morewood and things are much better.
    Hope this helps and that it makes sense. Sorry it fit doesn't, I'm really tired and have some sort of bug right now.
    Thanks for the input. That seems in line with most everything I've heard about the Legend. One of the reasons I like the Legend so much is the hardware and bearings are built for durability. I'm not so sure about the Phoenix.

  4. #4
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    It would probably be hard to go wrong with either of those bikes. If it were my choice i would have a hard time choosing between the Legend and the Supreme DH. I ride with a group of local guys and 4 of them have commencal's and are in love with them. They are probably some of the fastest riders i have ridden with. One rode an intense 951 this entire season and just switched to the Supreme dh a month or so ago and says he likes the supreme a lot more.

    With that said it would be really hard to go wrong with the legend. The guys at banshee have been awesome to deal with. they make quality bikes and sell them at a good price. They have great customer service and rely heavily on rider input when they design bikes. Just check out the banshee forum. you can post a question there and keith (the guy who designs the bikes) answers typically within a day or two. He also posts new bikes he is working on and lets the bike community give their input and changes things to fit what people want. It doesn't get much better than that IMO.

    so that is why it would be a hard choice. If money was no issue i would go with the banshee but if you are on a budget i would go with the commencal and spec it a little nicer with the money you saved on the frame.

    good luck with your choice and let us know what you decide (and post pics)

  5. #5
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    i picked a legend to have a troublefree ride.

    its one of the best tested , models out now, and one of the best riding too.

    with that said, the pivot is based on the DW/sunday, no doubt it will ride just as good.

    I think the legend wins out on pure durability and easy maintenance.

    as for the maxle crap, Banshee is bringing out a new titanium axle to fit instead, im hoping to get mine in feb when they are supposedly done.

    im not going to say a bad thing any of the 3 models you listed, they are all solid rides.

    with the pivot being the unproven one.

    If possible, try to at least get a ride in

  6. #6
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    We have had our Legend built about 2 months now. It rides very well. The bike eats up rough terrain and rails corners. They are coming out with a solid axle for it soon BTW. The MKII is supposed to be more of a plow bike while I have heard the new DHR DW-LINK is a finesse type ride. So the PIVOT should follow the DHR's ride characteristics. The Banshee is killer.

  7. #7
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    Banshee Legend!!!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    While I am keeping my eye on the cost, it will likely be pretty much the same build no matter which frame I choose.

    I already have a few of the pieces that are on my Stab now, but were all purchased new over the past few months and only have a few rides on them:

    Sram XO shifter
    Sram XO rear deraileur
    Avid Code 203mm brakes
    Truvativ Hozfeller direct mount stem (may swap this for an answer direct mount stem)
    Truvativ Boobar bars (may swap this for an answer pro taper)
    Sram lock on Grips
    Truvativ Hozfeller Pedals (also considering a pair of blackspire sub4's)

    I'll finish off the buld with these major pieces when I get the frame:
    Rock Shox Boxxer World Cup Air
    Truvativ Descendant Crank
    Mavic Deemax Wheelset
    Maxxis DHF/DHR UST tires
    e.13 LG1+ chain guide (included on the Supreme DH)
    Thompson Elite Seatpost (included on the Supreme DH)
    Headset will depend on the frame

    Assuming I don't swap out any parts that I already own, the Commencal DH Supreme would run me about $4750 and the Legend or Phoenix would be around $5600.

  9. #9
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    one thing i would change in that build..

    dump the RS WC fork.. get a dorado, new 888 evo TI or a RS R2C2, but you wont be doing yourself a favour getting the WC

    hell get a RS race and put the Avy cart in instead.. thats what i would do if i was getting brand new..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanH
    one thing i would change in that build..

    dump the RS WC fork.. get a dorado, new 888 evo TI or a RS R2C2, but you wont be doing yourself a favour getting the WC

    hell get a RS race and put the Avy cart in instead.. thats what i would do if i was getting brand new..

    Im curious why you suggest this, more important what ride characteristics (in your experience) make these other forks better than the WC.

    I personally loved my boxxer wc and many of the people i ride with have been pounding them all year. They are hard to beat IMO but I am curious as to why you think these others are so much better

  11. #11
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    I have not had one single problem with my 2010 Boxxer WC. I've got about 40 park days on it and a couple of weeks of riding the shore on it. The key to any high performance suspension is maintenance. I tear it down and do routine oil changes whenever I get the chance. It gives me a good excuse to have a few beers and go over my bike as well. It's easy to do yourself.
    Last edited by fixbikeguy; 12-20-2010 at 05:47 PM.

  12. #12
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    I don't have experience with any of those forks, and although I'm sure there are a million other threads discussing fork options I do appreciate the opinions.

    I had an '08 888 Bomber on my Stab, which was nice, but heavy. Right now I'm riding an '09 Boxxer Race which performs well, but the bushings wore quickly.

    When considering my fork options I opted for the RS WC, as it was the lightest top of the line fork I found. Option 2 was going to be the '11 Fox 40 RC2-FIT. I can save %15 off retail on these fork since my LBS has them in stock, but they currently do not have the Dorado. Maybe they will have it by the time I'm ready to build the bike.

  13. #13
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    Been messing around a bit with builds and figured out I could complete the Commencal Supreme DH with all new parts, including a Fox 40, Deemax wheels, and the complete Saint group for right about $5400.

    Not bad, if i go that route.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by charvey9
    I

    I had an '08 888 Bomber on my Stab, which was nice, but heavy. Right now I'm riding an '09 Boxxer Race which performs well, but the bushings wore quickly.
    For whatever it's worth the new 888 (2010, 11) is better than the any of the older models by leaps and bounds, and MUCH MUCH lighter as well, especially the ti version.
    JRA

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eabos
    For whatever it's worth the new 888 (2010, 11) is better than the any of the older models by leaps and bounds, and MUCH MUCH lighter as well, especially the ti version.
    I realize we're dealing with minimal weight differences, but here is the info I've gathered on the top dual crown forks taken from the manufactures websites.

    RockShox WC (5.98lbs)

    Manitou Dorado Pro (6.55lbs)

    Fox 40 (6.8lbs)

    Marzocchi 888 TI (6.6lbs without axle) (A few online stores have it listed at 7lbs with axle)

  16. #16
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    I've never thrown a leg over the Pivot but i've ridden a legend for a season. Its an awesome bike. What really stands out for me is how well it turns... the CoG is so low on it.

  17. #17
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    I owned a legend for a season. Im 5 10 and 160 lbs and I love my medium Legend. Its insanely confidence inspiring. The suspension is really great. Great traction and amazing performance over the rough. It pedals very well and braking performance is quite well ( a little stiffening but thats a good thing if you dont want your fork to dive like hell).
    The geo itself is amazing. Its makes you want to go faster and faster. I cought myself in some rought sections of maribor thinking - why the hell am I going so slow while in reality I didnt touch the brakes. It will make you want to go much faster. Though I have to say with head angle that slack on tighter park tracks it requires a bit more effort to do a sharp turn.


    Last great thing is durability. Im a hack and I crash more than I ride. I got 1 tiny dent in my frame and mostly scars as in contrast to many other frames it will sooner scar than get dented (not deep enough to compromise the frames strength). Its the first bike since the days of my old 55lbs tank that I dont worry about. I know it wont get hurt even though it weights sub 37lbs on a full on dh build (saint brakes, 823s, 2.5 tubeless dh tires).


    Buy it and you wont regret it. Mine cools down the hype for any new bike in no time. I get excited but almost immediatly I get to a point where Id rather spend my cash riding my bike or upgrading it with better components. I love my Legend and Im pretty sure you will love yours (and if you wont buy it, it would be a crime comparable to throwing christina hendrix out of your bed )
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  18. #18
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    Why stress, buy all three
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  19. #19
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    My choice would be the Legend.

    The commencal is a sick riding bike, but they are not known for their durability. Google "commencrack" or "crackencal". Complicating this, is that they are a euro company, so warranty issues are delayed. You are not a hucker, so it may not be an issue, but it would concern me. It's also a fairly heavy frame. It is also one of the louder frames out, as there is hardly any clearance on the swingarm and the chain slaps around alot. I feel faster on a quiet bike.

    I have never seen a Pivot at the races.

    Quote Originally Posted by charvey9
    I'll finish off the buld with these major pieces when I get the frame:
    Rock Shox Boxxer World Cup Air
    Truvativ Descendant Crank
    Mavic Deemax Wheelset
    Maxxis DHF/DHR UST tires
    e.13 LG1+ chain guide (included on the Supreme DH)
    Thompson Elite Seatpost (included on the Supreme DH)
    Headset will depend on the frame
    Can't go wrong with a Boxxer or a 40. 95% of racers are on these forks for a reason.

    Cranks, my first choice would be Saints. Then Atlas FR. Descendents would be more the budget/oem choice.

    Deemax wheels are nice, but they are pricey at $1000. A hope pro II/ mavic 721 wheelset is lighter, and saves you $500. They also use all commonly available rims and spokes, instead of the oddball straight pull spokes and 28h rim the Deemax uses.

    Tires: The Maxxis UST tires have thin sidewalls at the bead that tear easily, especially when combined with the super hard Mavic rims. Search "mavic maxxis ust problems". Most people run the 2ply DH casings, even if they are running tubeless. They seat up fine with a tiny bit of sealant. But on that note, the majority of racers run inner tubes, because it makes it so much easier to swap out fresh tires for race day and for different conditions. I personally would save the money you would spend on Deemax's, and buy 3 sets of tires, 1 training minion 3Cs, 1 set of race day only 3Cs, and 1 set of Wet Screams, spend the rest on whistler trips.

    Another good way to go would be to get a set of $320 Azonics or Transition wheels for beater training wheels, and build a set of super light race wheels, Hope Pro 2s on Stan's flow rims or Spank subrosas. Both wheelsets together would be cheaper than the Deemax's alone, and the race wheels would be way lighter. That way you wouldn't have to mess around with swapping tires on race day.

    LG1 is a good guide, but have definitely seen a bunch of them cracked. They also put all of the impact onto your iscg tabs on the frame. Fuxored frame is way more expensive to replace than cranks. The SRS is only a few grams heavier and is more durable. If you are smooth and light on the bike, the LG1 is a great choice.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thad
    My choice would be the Legend.

    The commencal is a sick riding bike, but they are not known for their durability. Google "commencrack" or "crackencal". Complicating this, is that they are a euro company, so warranty issues are delayed. You are not a hucker, so it may not be an issue, but it would concern me. It's also a fairly heavy frame. It is also one of the louder frames out, as there is hardly any clearance on the swingarm and the chain slaps around alot. I feel faster on a quiet bike.

    I have never seen a Pivot at the races.


    Can't go wrong with a Boxxer or a 40. 95% of racers are on these forks for a reason.

    Cranks, my first choice would be Saints. Then Atlas FR. Descendents would be more the budget/oem choice.

    Deemax wheels are nice, but they are pricey at $1000. A hope pro II/ mavic 721 wheelset is lighter, and saves you $500. They also use all commonly available rims and spokes, instead of the oddball straight pull spokes and 28h rim the Deemax uses.

    Tires: The Maxxis UST tires have thin sidewalls at the bead that tear easily, especially when combined with the super hard Mavic rims. Search "mavic maxxis ust problems". Most people run the 2ply DH casings, even if they are running tubeless. They seat up fine with a tiny bit of sealant. But on that note, the majority of racers run inner tubes, because it makes it so much easier to swap out fresh tires for race day and for different conditions. I personally would save the money you would spend on Deemax's, and buy 3 sets of tires, 1 training minion 3Cs, 1 set of race day only 3Cs, and 1 set of Wet Screams, spend the rest on whistler trips.

    Another good way to go would be to get a set of $320 Azonics or Transition wheels for beater training wheels, and build a set of super light race wheels, Hope Pro 2s on Stan's flow rims or Spank subrosas. Both wheelsets together would be cheaper than the Deemax's alone, and the race wheels would be way lighter. That way you wouldn't have to mess around with swapping tires on race day.

    LG1 is a good guide, but have definitely seen a bunch of them cracked. They also put all of the impact onto your iscg tabs on the frame. Fuxored frame is way more expensive to replace than cranks. The SRS is only a few grams heavier and is more durable. If you are smooth and light on the bike, the LG1 is a great choice.
    Very cool info. Thanks so much for the detail, it will give me some things to think about.

    The Legend seems to be the popular choice, and is the bike I'm leaning toward.

    If i did go with the Commencal, it would be the new 2011 frame, as my local dealer will have a few in stock by March. However, just like the Phoenix, I'm a bit skeptical regarding 1st run production models since there are bound to be some problems.

  21. #21
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    I know there is always an unknown factor with a new bike but if makes you feel any better, the Lex/Pivot team riders used the same 2 bikes for the entire race season (they each received a 3rd frame for Worlds so they could do the cool paint jobs). All the frames are still going strong, nothing broke other than der. hangers. and some body parts
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  22. #22
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    I run a '10 Supreme DH, and have lots of time at Whistler on my brother's Legend. Both are definitely not plow bikes. I like a nimble, active bike. Both fit the bill.

    As far as the Commencal cracking issues, the 09's had major failure rates. This was been rectified for '10. The Comm race team (includes Rampage rider & big hucker Alex Pro), had no cracks or failures on the '10 product.

    My only concern with the Comm is if I do ever have to deal with an issue it may be a PITA.

  23. #23
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    I suggest you purchase one of each and ride one per event. Get a SC V10 Carbon while you are at it.
    "It looks flexy"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NS-NV
    I run a '10 Supreme DH, and have lots of time at Whistler on my brother's Legend. Both are definitely not plow bikes. I like a nimble, active bike. Both fit the bill.

    As far as the Commencal cracking issues, the 09's had major failure rates. This was been rectified for '10. The Comm race team (includes Rampage rider & big hucker Alex Pro), had no cracks or failures on the '10 product.

    My only concern with the Comm is if I do ever have to deal with an issue it may be a PITA.
    The Commy is a great bike. It was on my shortlist for 2010 but the frame is a big heavy-ish. Is it at least a bit lighter from that 4.5kg without(!!!) shock for 09?
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  25. #25
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    Very good info so far.

    I am definitely leaning toward the Banshee Legend MKII.

    I hate to throw another one in the mix, but any thoughts on the Turner DHR? In my opinion, it is the best looking DH bike out there.

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