The hydroformed 7075 alloy frame has internal ribbing inside the stays to keep it laterally stiffer, particularly important for a 29er. It uses full titanium hardware throughout the pivots. It’s a modified VPP design that ends up pushing the shock pretty straight forward, putting less rotation at the shock mount = less stiction.
Strengths: Stiff frame, awesome climber, aggressive geometry, light weight considering the intent of the bike
Weaknesses: Mine weighs in at 34 pounds, which some may consider heavy.
In recent years my "trail" bikes have been 40+ pound freeride bikes. This is my first true all mountain bike. I've only had a few rides on this bike and I'm very happy with my purchase. This bike is awesome. On cross country trails it is simply faster than anything else I've ridden. Compared to riding my Wildcard a few weeks ago, I'm 4 minutes faster on the same 6 mile loop. This bike excells at trail riding. It's smooth over rocky sections, it rails turns, and it climbs like a goat.
In regards to my comment above about the bike's weight, I don't consider 34 pounds to be a heavy bike. If having a sub-30 pound bike is important to you, you might want to look elsewhere. If you want a super fun bike that can handle a lot of abuse give the Prime a look. Let me put it this way. We have a local trail named Roller Coaster. While riding down the ridiculously fun descent, I felt compelled to start singing disco music ("roller coaster....of loooove"). That's how much fun this bike is.
Strengths: Stiff and solid, great quality suspension, eats baby heads like an ogre, XL frame is a true XL. Interchangeable drop outs are adaptable to most current standards (including 150mm) plus allow you to fine tune the geometry to your riding preference.
Bushings of old design are gone, easy to replace common sized bearings are used throughout.
Weaknesses: Proto is heavy, but it is a proto - production version is significantly lighter but still not a light frame - it will take everything you can throw at it though. If you are an XC rider look elsewhere.
Wheelbase is on the long side in the XL, but the TT is roomy - catch 22...
I've been riding the 'pre-production' version for the last year and it seems like any issues have been addressed in the production version. The new KS link suspension works really well, climbing is a treat and descending keeps a smile on your face, the faster you go the more stable it feels. This frame, like most Banshees, is extremely stiff laterally, it seems stiffer than the older VF4B suspension design and the bike cuts through the rough stuff like a knife.
The Prime is probably the most robust 29er frame out there, and good news for big clydes, the TT of the XL is plenty roomy. I'm 6'4" with short legs for my height and run a 60mm stem, I'm pretty sure this will fit riders up to 6'7" at least.
Can someone please tell me if these are more of a Hope yellow-gold, a true metallic gold, or actually brownish (like the accent color on the Prime Pro levers)? Every pic online is awful, and of course there are no local shops where I could see one IRL.
Thanks!Read More »
Having an awesome "family vacation" week in Whistler... life is good :)
Mostly riding solo, so not too many action shots...
Day 1: eager to get some riding on, I hit Comfortably Numb from wedgemont (the old school long way). Lots of new trail options off CN, I ended up adding a few extra miles o ... Read More »
Hello everyone! special for the Prime owners. I'm looking forward to became a new owner of this beauty, but i'm wondering which one is my size. I'm 1,78 m, 5' 10", tall. I though i should go for the M (17,5") but some people told me i should go for the L (19"). What sould I do?Read More »
Hey guys I have had Hayes prime pros on my bike for a little over a year. The rears are awesome, feel great and have very short travel to engagement which is how I like em. The fronts however have been soft since day one despite having been bled 4 times with the Hayes kit.
The stroke lever/knob ... Read More »