Banshee Bikes Spitfire All Mountain Full Suspension

4.5/5 (22 Reviews)
MSRP : $1825.00

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Product Description

Get backToThe roots of mountain biking.The Spitfire was designed with both climbing challenging hills as well as slaying downhills in mind. It is faster, cooler, stronger, and lighterThan your buddies bike and will show off itself off at anyTrail youTake itTo. Frame Specifications: SIZES SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, EXTRA LARGE TRAVEL 5" TAPERED HEADTUBE STRENGTH AND VERSATILITYTO USE ZERO STACK OR ADJUSTABLE HEADANGLE CUPS AND MORE STEM OPTIONS HYDROFORMED 7005 ALTUBES GU

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Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Iain Robinson a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: January 9, 2015

Strengths:    This is the best all round mountain bike I have ever ridden - it feels stable but nimble, corners perfectly, encourages you to really push the limits on downhills - and even climbs well too. Handling is generally perfect. It will encourage you to take on challenging trails with confidence and really push your boundaries. Serious fun!

Weaknesses:    No real weaknesses but I'm trying to think of some to make a balanced review!

It took me a while to get used to the low bottom bracket, this is a worthwhile compromise for perfect cornering. This bike made me bored of easy red grade trail centre loops. Slightly spooky feeling that the Spitfire was custom designed for me therefore I might be living in some kind of utopian parallel universe.

Bottom Line:   
Weapons grade all round mountain bike that excels on difficult trails - can't praise it highly enough!

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Favorite Trail:   Golfy

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by VTSession a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2014

Strengths:    stiff, strong, surprisingly good climber, amazing stability on fast technical decants, excellent fit and finish, adjustable geometry, clean cable routing, ready for any type of riding

Weaknesses:    low bottom bracket leads to the occasional pedal smash

Bottom Line:   
I picked this frame up pretty cheap, built it mostly with parts I had laying around and its pretty awesome. Its really a bike that can handle anything from long XC rides, to jump lines and even light freeriding. Its also very stiff and won't get knocked around by chunky terrain. The low BB also makes for fast corning and quick handling, despite a the occasional pedal strike. Overall the Spitfire is a rippin' trail bike.

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Duration Product Used:   2 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   SC Blue LTc and Bronson C

Bike Setup:   Rock Shox Sektor fork, X9 drivetrain, e13 cranks and chain guide , Reverb seatpost, Race Face Atlas bar, Hayes Stroker brakes, etc., etc.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ian Stewart a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2013

Strengths:    Fast pedaling

Weaknesses:    Not very plush

Bottom Line:   
My last bike was a 2009 Trek Remedy with a Marzzochi 55RC3Ti, so that is my basis of comparison. Compared to the Remedy, the Spitfire feels way faster on straights and up hills, but the Remedy felt significantly faster through corners and on downhills. The Remedy felt like it sped up as you pumped corners, where the Spitfire handles well enough, but doesn't feel as though it accelerates the same way. The Spitfire is advertised as the DHers trail bike, which it may be, but my Remedy felt more capable in rough stuff. I used to fly over rock gardens that I now have to hammer through, but the trade of is the uphills are so much easier. The suspension on the Spitfire is very stiff feeling, but if I let out a couple pounds of air on the shock, it bottoms out quickly. To be fair, it took me about 6 months of messing with my Remedy to find the sweet spot, but it was SWEET. I hope to find the same thing on the Spitfire. Overall, for my trails the Spitfire is a better bike, but so far I liked my Remedy better, but I cracked the swingarm, so it is no more. The Spitfire does feel a bit tougher too. The Trek frame is super thin, almost beer can, and I was always worried to dent or crack it. The Spitfire feels more solid and trustworthy, the frame quality is top notch.

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Duration Product Used:   3 Months

Purchased At:   A store

Similar Products Used:   2008 Diamondback Mission, 2009 Trek Remedy

Bike Setup:   2010 Rockshox Revelation Team Dual Air, Sun MTX 29 rims, SLX Crank set up 1x9, Code 5 brakes, Command Post

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Garasaki a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2012

Strengths:    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.

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 obstacles 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 obstacle (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??"

Weaknesses:    I have lost traction on a climb here and there. Probably can be remedied with some rider skill or tire selection. Yeah, I'll blame it on the tires....

Bottom Line:   
The predictability of this frame 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 obstacle.

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!

Who should buy this bike: People who look for the gnar tech trails to hit, people who want to have fun riding

Who should not buy this bike: weight weenies, hardcore cross country racers, people who are into singlespeed rigids because of their simplicity and connection with the bike

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   private sale

Similar Products Used:   Kona Dawg

Bike Setup:   Marz Z150 SL fork, SLX cranks, Hayes Stroker Ace brakes, Mavic 823 rims

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by seventi14 a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2012

Strengths:    Absolutely crushes fast, swoopy descents. Great looking frame (I have the gray ano finish), very stuff and so far super durable. The geometry might not be perfect for everyone, but it's damn good. Capable climber with a 150mm fork and stays stable on loose, fast downhills but still rails corners on twisty stuff

Weaknesses:    Bushings have been well-documented. No frame wear issues yet, but bushings had some play (bought used) new ones do require a bit of break-in. Tough to dial the size if you're 5'11". I went with medium and a 65mm stem, but could've easily gone large w/ a 50mm stem. As others have said, any spacers under the stem and that cockpit shrinks fast.

Bottom Line:   
Yes, the bushings are a pain in the ass. No, it's not the lightest bike in the world. Sure, it could have more rear travel and the suspension bobs a bit on grinding climbs (went to a 1x9 and the lack of a granny gear has helped this immensely). But this is absolutely the most fun bike I've ever owned and that cancels out all the little quibbles. The Spitfire corners like crazy, handles the rock gardens and still climbs well enough to keep the spandex crowd in sight. It's a blast and the geometry is perfect for all-day, all-conditions riding. Barring something going awry, my next bike will be another Spitfire.

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Favorite Trail:   Rush

Bike Setup:   Medium Spitfire frame, Fox RP23 rear, Fox Float 32 150mm, XT, Industry Nine Classic w/ 15mm front, Maxxis Ignitor 2.3 front and rear

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dewuk a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2012

Strengths:    Excellent tracking and handling
Easy self maintenance

Weaknesses:    No 12mm axle option

Bottom Line:   
Overall an impressive bike very capable in many situations, with a very obvious bias towards fast single track descents. The bike is a decent climber too although it takes a while to get used to the very slack geometry when heading uphill. However to avoid compromising performance I wouldn't recommend a fork with less than 150mm (or maybe 140mm) of travel as dropping the talas fork on mine to 130 makes the bike feel far too steep and twitchy and increases the chance of pedal strike.

In rough ground (rock gardens) the back end can sometimes feel overwhelmed compared to the front despite playing around with shock adjustments. Generally this bike isn't best suited to very rough and rocky downhill style trails due to a lack of plushness in the rear as mentioned by other reviewers.

The stiffness of the frame means it tracks the ground brilliantly and handles very much in a 'point and shoot' style, although this could be improved with a 12mm rear axle. I changed to a 10mm through hub axle conversion and noticed an immediate improvement in the tracking of the rear end, almost a necessary upgrade!

Maintenance of bushings and pivots is relatively simple, all it requires is a decent grease gun and with regular re-greasing I haven't noticed any wear or development of play in the bushings.

All in all a very impressive bike and a capable AM rig that can be built up light enough to handle long days. Just consider using a 10mm axle in the quick release and don't expect it to excel in the rough stuff (although it can handle it adequately).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything natural

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Similar Products Used:   Marin attack trail
Orange 5

Bike Setup:   2010 Fox 36 talas
Mavic XM819 on Hope pro2 hubs
Hope V2 brakes
XT drivechain

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Panji Patria a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2012

Strengths:    Build quality and finisihing is superb (I'm using the raw version). Easy to control in technical trail especially descending and dropping. The manuverability are great.

Weaknesses:    The lingkage feels more to "dw link" and there are slight bobbing in the rear stay when you pedalling in "slow motion" in a rocky / bumpy terrain (especially when ascending).

Bottom Line:   
Spity is an aggresive bikes. It just not quite suitable for "slowers". If you like to some speed in a XC, Trail or even AM terrain then you may choose this bike. The rear suspension is "slightly under" comparing to Giant Maestro or Spez FSR suspension system.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   NURA - Puncak West Java, Indonesia

Duration Product Used:   3 Months

Price Paid:    $1390.00

Purchased At:   E Bike

Similar Products Used:   Polygon Collosus AX.3 2008, Giant Reign 2009, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 2010

Bike Setup:   Frame size S, Fork : Fox Float 140 RL TA 15mm, Rims : Sunrims Single Track, Tires: Maxxis Minnion 2.35 Super Tacky, Hubs : Funn Bullet (R) - Novatec (F), Sprocket : Shimano SLX - 11- 32, Crankarms : Shimano Hone, Chainring : Race Face Atlas 24-36-Bash, FD : Shimano SLX Dual, Shifter & RD : Sram X9 (9 spd), Brake : Shimano XT, Rotor : Shimano XT 8" (F) - 7" (R), HB : Pro FRS 20 rise 68mm, Stem : Pro FRS 60mm,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MCHEEN a Weekend Warrior from Jakarta, Indonesia

Date Reviewed: August 10, 2011

Strengths:    Great durability, best geometry, low cost maintenance.

Weaknesses:    Close to zero rear shock (RP23). Take sometime to get used to it'ss geometry.

Bottom Line:   
Best balance between climbing and slaying downhill. Really nice for an epic all mountain trip. Durable as banshee. It's ride so lightly. My only let down is having >1m drop off or jump, it felt like the bike is a bit nervous (nervous? yeah, that's the best word for describing, haha).

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1550.00

Purchased At:   BMTB

Similar Products Used:   Yeti 575, Spez Stumjumper

Bike Setup:   X0+X9, SR Charger Pro, Elixir CR, Revelation dual air 150mm Tapered.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave N a Weekend Warrior from Hood River, Oregon

Date Reviewed: June 3, 2011

Strengths:    All mountain 6". Rides uphill in a comfortable way, Descends like a banshee. Truly wails on the descent. Mine is 30 lbs. with flat pedals and this combination of Fox RP23 & Talas 32 makes it perfect for all round riding including small to medium sized jumps.

Weaknesses:    I did'nt like the stock tires and switched to Nevegal 2.35's, plus the seat was too hard for me and I switched to a WTB Pure V

Bottom Line:   
One bike to do it all: uphill, downhill, jumping.
Check Bike mag 2011 reviews "The bible" issue, the Spitfire killed it!

If you are a XC spandex wearing type rider it may not be your cup of tea. The Spitfire favors the all round baggy shorted mudslingin', air seeking biker.

The best this for me is durability. My crew ride several times a week and right thruough the rainy dark winter in the Northwest. The Spitfire has held up without a single bearing or bushing or weld fail. I love it.

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Favorite Trail:   8 Track

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3300.00

Purchased At:   BC shop

Similar Products Used:   Banshee Rune, Scott Genius

Bike Setup:   Pretty much stock
Talas 32 150 with QR 15 axle
Fox RP23 shock
X-7 & X-9 gears
Kenda Nevegal 2.35 tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by el cap a Weekend Warrior from San Clemente, CA USA

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2011

Strengths:    Everything

Weaknesses:    None so far.

Bottom Line:   
The Spitfire in the best trail and all mountain bike out there and I have tried them all. Go out and ride one and you will know the feeling of pure bliss on the trail.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Too many to list

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   Large Spitfire in ano grey with RS Revelation tapered 150mm up front with 20mm TA, DT Swiss rims and hubs, gravity dropper, Easton DH carbon bars, XO components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by horriefic a Weekend Warrior from Malaysia

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2011

Strengths:    - Zero pedal bob when peddling uphill seated. Absolutely zero movement on the RP23, even with the pro pedal turned off!
- Slack head tube angle makes it very stable when going downhill. Confidence booster!
- Perfect frame for gnarly single trails where you need to cycle uphill before blasting down the downhills!

Weaknesses:    None! Really. I am trying to think of a weakness, but can't come out with one.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike. Truly great for my type of trails and riding. The rear shock is very progressive. It takes a LOT to get even 80-90% travel. I have not been able to bottom it out yet. I am running close to 30% sag because of this.

You will love the geometry of this bike. Mine is raw. Very nice indeed.

Just keep in mind that due to the very slack head tube angle, if you have any spacers below the stem, the cockpit is going to greatly reduced. So if between sizes, go for one frame size up.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kiara Hills

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle World

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   XT Groupset.
2x9 with a e-13 bashguard
ZTR Flows with Hope Pro 2 hubs. Maxxis Minion 2.35 on the front and Maxxis High Roller 2.35 on the back. Tubeless. All in all bike weights 29.3lbs.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by monstertiki a Weekend Warrior from Corona

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2011

Strengths:    Very Stiff frame, Low BB, slack head angle, good pedleability, uninterupted seat tube, low standover, fast handling on the down hills. This bike is awesome and gets lots of compliments on the trail. Coming from a pitch pro, this bike doesn't dissapoint in terms of nimbleness and handleability.

Weaknesses:    There are a few weaknesses that I have found with my small frame. One is my 2011 160mm van rc2 fit low compression knob would not clear my bottom tube when running a zero stack cane creek lower cup. I had to run the external cup slackening the bike out a little more. I didn't have this problem when I tried an 55rc3 ti and an 09 lyrik u-turn coil, just be aware you could have issues with the zero stack and using certain forks on the small frame. Also the bike does bob a little when you use the small chainring, I solved that problem by taking off the small chain ring and just running it 1x9.

Bottom Line:   
Despite a few issues with the fork not clearing the bottom tube and a little bob when using the smaller chain ring this bike is awesome! I love the way it handles on the down hills. On the up hills, it peddles a lot better than my pitch pro. You can set this bike up quite a few different ways depending on your riding style.

Next setup I would like to try a 150mm revelation rlt ti and a 1x10 33 11-36 drivetrain setup on this bike just to see how it feels with a lighter air fork and a 10 speed setup. I'm knocking the overall rating from a 5 to a 4 because of my fork clearance issue, but I suspect this problem is only on the small frame and it doesn't have the issue with all forks.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1550.00

Purchased At:   dropnzone

Similar Products Used:   Specialized pitch pro, on one summer season

Bike Setup:   stock rp23 running 148psi, 2011 160mm van rc2 fit, spank 777 bars uncut, ks i950r, tubless hadley flow wheelset, 1x9 32 11-34 170mm slx cranks, thompson 50mm stem,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MartinS a Weekend Warrior from Fernie, BC

Date Reviewed: December 21, 2010

Strengths:    Super fun bike, steep seat angle is a big plus in climbing, slack headangle makes it a blast on the DH's. Not meant as a big drop, jump bike though (the Rune is for that) more of a dh'ers XC/trail bike. The low bb allows it to rail corners with confidence, but extra rider skill and coordination is required to reduce pedal strikes - takes a bit of getting used to - once you learn to ride it though the benefit is awesome. Contrary to what was mentioned previously the TT is very generous for the seat tube height - the XL frame has an 20" seat tube and a 25.2" tt which is over 1/2" longer than say an XL SC Blur LTc...
Comes with spare bushings and an extra derailleur hangar included. Full length cable housing is a plus, as well as cable guides for remote for adj. travel posts.
Tire clearance is respectable, I'm running 2.4 Conti Trail Kings - no issues.

Weaknesses:    It is a little overweight, but who cares - it isn't a whippy flexy race bike, it is a fun all day ripper that is super stiff and solid. The bushing system has it's plusses and negatives too, it is easy and reasonable to replace the pivots, but in super muddy areas maintenance is required more often. Also setting up a grease gun for the grease gun injector ports requires trial and error - it would be nice if a grease gun was supplied.

Bottom Line:   
A really fun, unique ride, revolutionary geometry that is getting noticed by other companies for 2011.
A solid performer built by a small rider owned company that goes out of their way to support those who ride their bikes and thinks outside the box.
I've ridden this bike all over the Kootenays as well as Moab and Sedona and it is a blast!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Slunt/Brokeback

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Banshee Pyre, SC Blur LT, LT2 carbon, Yeti 575, Ibis Mojo - none of these are really similar though, only in the travel, geometry is way different - Spifire is way more 'relaxed' on the dh's

Bike Setup:   Revelation Team 150mm, I9 enduro wheels, XTR drivetrain, KS i950, Formula RX brakes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by builttoride a Cross Country Rider from BC, Canada

Date Reviewed: December 21, 2010

Strengths:    Very comfortable geometry for long all day rides. Great pedal efficiency. Antisquat helps a lot when climbing steeps, as does the great seat angle. Slack head angle is great for riding down steeps. Low BB gives amazing feeling at speed. The frame is very stiff, which helps a lot when you put the power down, and in cornering or rough sections.

Banshee customer service is top notch. I got to speak directly with the designer, who helped me with all my questions when choosing to buy the bike.

Weaknesses:    Not the plushest 5" travel bike, but this is an advantage in some respects. I like the firm feel most of the time as it is efficient and works well when riding hard, but I do occasionally feel some extra plushness on the downs would be nice. Bushings require regular maintenance.

Bottom Line:   
I have really enjoyed this frame, more than expected, as I was not a big fan of Banshee before due to old reputation of heavy frames. This bike has really changed my opinion, and is the best all day all mountain bike I have ever ridden. It climbs very efficiently, the geometry is great, with a long top tube, seat angle is excellent for climbing and comfortable for long stretches in the saddle, it is also easy to get behind the seat on steep descents due to the fairly steep angle. The slack head angle means that you do not feel like you are in danger of going over the bars on steep sections like some bikes I have ridden. The bushings do require a bit more maintenance work than regular bearings, but seem to be working just fine so far.

Riding this bike always puts a smile on my face, and I have never once felt like the bike was really limiting me. The harder you ride it, the better it seems to handle. I'd highly recommend trying one.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dr S a Weekend Warrior from UK

Date Reviewed: November 13, 2010

Strengths:    Great looking, erm..........can't think of many positives at the moment. Oh, decent price.

Weaknesses:    Seat angle is far too steep (74deg with a sagged 140 fork)for a bike wanting to be an aggresive trail warrior and its akin like riding a unicycle at times. Pedal strike is a big issue. Too short in the top tube for the given seat tube length. Lots of pedal feedback.

Bottom Line:   
Could be a great bike but is trying to be too many things. Slack head angle works well going down but the lack of bottom bracket height and resulting pedal strike means you have to find other ways of keeping your speed up. Its also nervous over bigger jumps and drops. A feeling of being on the bike rather than in it. So not the great descender it wants to be. Turn in can be slow in techy sections and it gets flustered over small rock gardens and multiple roots. High speed berms are great fun though to be fair and that low bottom bracket comes into play- it does hinder everywhere else though.
Steep seat angle puts you in a good position for climbing but then the slack head angle is working against you and the front wanders everywhere. Traction is very good though. A little more cockpit room would be a bonus for each given frame size.

Slightly heavy construction, lack of plushness and again that seat angle which makes long sustained peddling uncomfortable- pushing you further back in the saddle, rules it out as a great long distance all day XC bike.

So, in short, it tries to do everything but fails on most fronts.
Lose half a pound frame weight, 2 degrees off the seat angle, raise the BB by an inch, tweek the rear suspension to dial out the bob and add an extra inch in the top tube and it could be a cracker. Until then its more a Misfire than Spitfire.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2090.00

Purchased At:   Freeborn

Similar Products Used:   Orange 5, Santa Cruz Heckler, Turner 5 spot, Yeti 575

Bike Setup:   Magura Thor MT140AM, XT 1x9 drivetrain, Formula The One brakes, KS dropper post, Azonic 760mm bars, Hope wheelset, Kenda Blue Groove 2.3 DTC

Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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