Banshee Legend Mark II Frame: Every aspect of the Legend frame is designed around one thing, to go faster! After 4 years of development, and designed to compete at world cup level racing, the Legend is a no compromise DH race winning machine....
Strengths: Stable and planted, rails corners, nimble and manageable in the air, confidence-inspiring at speed.
Weaknesses: Less nimble at slow speeds than some other DH bikes, but who wants to be going slow on a DH bike?
The Legend is definitely a pretty stunning ride. I've spent time on the Giant Glory, the Norco DH and Aurum, and the Legend. I've also had a short amount of time riding the Devinci Wilson and the Pivot Phoenix. The Legend is certainly my favorite of all of these bikes.
The Legend is very stable at speed, like any half decent DH bike should be. However, it is still very nimble and capable of quick line changes when necessary. This surprised me a bit, since I had expected the low and slack geometry to make it feel less nimble than the DH or the Glory, both of which have taller bottom brackets and steeper head angles. If anything, the Legend feels more nimble than either of those. Admittedly, this is possibly because the Legend always seems to be goading me to go faster, and it really comes to life when it is going fast. The low bottom bracket feels really planted in the corners, and the low center of gravity makes it very stable in the air. I also feel like the low stand-over height gives it an edge in the air compared to most other DH bikes I've been on; this thing is really fun to through around. The top tube sits so low that it always looks a bit funny to me how high the seatpost is raised up for a DH bike, just to get it to a reasonable height to be able to sit down occasionally.
The suspension is happy to eat up decent sized hits at speed or on steeps without bogging down, probably largely due to the initial rearward axle path. This also creates a fair amount of chain growth which contributes to great pedaling efficiency, but I have never really noticed much in the way of pedal feedback. The Legend really responds when you put the power down coming out of a corner or getting up to speed.
I do notice that there is a bit of a click as the suspension compresses from the clutch mechanism of the SRAM type 2 derailleur breaking free due to the chain growth (which was not as evident with the same derailleur on the Norco DH), but it is not noticeable while riding. Still, it bugs me a bit when I am just tooling around on the bike, and I may end up switching to a Saint derailleur and shifter next summer because of it.
All in all though, the Legend just kills it, and I'd highly recommend one if you get the chance to get your hands on one.
Weaknesses: Not the lightest bike on the market I guess..
It's been 2 years riding this steed.. Had no complain.. Very nice handling, extremely strong frame.. Fast, very stable, linkage design is superb, fairly efficient on pedaling too.. Crazy cornering feels and not slowing you down for sure! Still waiting the carbon version for 2013 season :)
Bike Setup: Legend MK II with Fox RC4, Fox 40, Saint group set & brake set, Renthal bar, E13 crank & chainguard, Straitline pedal, Mavic rims, Maxxis tires
from Newcastle, England
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2011
Strengths: Strengths are:
well it's very strong. I normally break bikes quite quickly, but this bike has been completely trouble free for me so far. It is also very fast and stable, and corners better than any other bike I have tried.I really love it.
Weaknesses: Wow, this is a hard one, I really have not had any complaints. Paint is a bit scratched up, but it's only paint!
If you want a very fast bike, that will be able to cope with anything you can throw at it, and last a season with no breakages or bearing issues, and which corners faster than anything else out there, and is just fun to ride as fast as you dare, then get a Legend! I really am in love with this bike, and I'm picky!
Similar Products Used: Whole load of DH bikes like V10, M6, 223, session 88.
Bike Setup: Legend (medium), boxxer teams, 832's on Hope hubs, saint brakes, cranks and drivetrain, raceface cockpit.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2010
Strengths: Super low, slack and super responsive to rider input. Easy to hop, throw around and just rails corners/berms/turns like nothing else. Actually increases in speed as it goes through its suspension travel, especially through gnarly sections, where the bike is in its initial travel.
Weaknesses: Very low, sometimes hard to pedal through rockgardens.
If you want a downhill bike you can just throw a leg over and go instantly faster than your previous skills suggest, this is it. Super responsive, intuitive and handles like nothing else. It's low and fast and really wants you to take it through the gnarliest stuff you can find. Much easier to ride than a lot of other big bikes out there like the Yeti's and Santa Cruz's. You can build this bike up very light too. Quality and Finish on Banshee Bikes just keep getting better and better. Overall I'm super impressed and just can't wait for the weekends to rock around for some downhill fun!!
Weaknesses: The green paint on the black powdercoat is a bit weak. It may not be the best if you look for a do it all park bike but thats not what it was designed for.
Its the best downhill bike you can currently buy. Banshee did not concentrate on stupid gizzmos but ride quality so it may not be the most marketable bike out there but the ride quality is unparalled. It turnes great while being insanely stable. The suspension carries speed really well and has little bob at pedaling. The rougher, steeper, faster the course gets the more fun the bike becomes. I was suprised how confident I was in some sections on it. That + the build quality means that you just have to buy it if you are looking for a race specific dh bike.
Bike Setup: 2011 fox 40
2011 dhx rc4
WTB laserdisk freeride wheels
WTB Silverado seat
Chris King headset
from Bergen Norway
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2010
Strengths: The frame is so much stiffer than any other ive owned. Plush. Playfull. Damn fast in turns and very stable in the rough. And the rear suspension is just as active and feels similar to a v10.
This is prob the best bike i have ever owned. The feel the bike gives you just boosts your confidence. I have def gained allot more skills these past months i have been on it. I got mine in march so i have had time to really get to know it. It is much better than the mk1. All the issues with the mk1 is not there on the mk2. Not that the mk1 was any bad. Both are awesome. The mk2 is just better. When i hit the really gnarly sections with huge rocks and drops it felt the same as my v10. But the mk2 had a much more stable and confident feel than the v10.
This thing is just fast. Turns are super easy. Fast and bumpy tracks goes without a hassle. And the frame quality is just so much more than other brands. The rear end has a stiffness unmatched. And the pedaling is just superb. If you are used to bounce. Pedaling this will blow your mind. Pedal efficiency is the words that describe it best. But it is active from bumps on the ground. Something i have really gotten to love. Pedaling in rough terrain and loosing your pedals is no more.
The mk2 is less progressive in the start travel than the mk1. Witch makes it much more active to small bump and whatever comes after that. It bombs through the uneven with superb stability, witch again just makes you go even faster. And then inevitable gives your face a smile.
Even though its a dh race machine. It can easily be used as a bikepark playbike due to its playfulness and pedal efficiency.
I can with confidence recommend this to anyone who wants a solid but light, fast and active, playful but still a serious dh race machine any day. People, get one. You wont regret it.
Similar Products Used: Legend mk1, v10, Ba wildcard, Ba scythe, canfield f1, commencal supreme dh, commencal supreme fr, Banshee scream, Nox startrack 9,5, santacruz super 8 etc
Bike Setup: Fox 40 rc2. Hope m6 ck hubs and headset. Atomlab p.i.m.plite rims. nukeproof warhead handlebar, transition temple lite stem. continental der kaiser and rainking tires. Dsp dueler shock and fox rc4. Saint cranks and derail. xtr chain etc.
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2010
Strengths: Well, its typical banshee. Just without the extra pounds the older banshee frames had.
Weaknesses: Have not noticed any so far. Every bike has allways something that can be improved. But i have been super happy so far.
Banshee has finally come up with a pure dh bike that works really well.
You will definately notice the pedaling. The bobbing dissapears, But the suspension is active during.
Easy bike to get to know. Always willing for more. It just has loads of potensial. Defenetly no hucker in mind here. Light frame made for racing. Even though it can be used for allot.
You can not buy the mk1 but you can buy the mk2. And they have improved it even more, so if you have the chance. Do not hesitate getting one. It will outlast any other, Trust me. Ive tested, bashed and broken a couple of frames over the years. and nothing gives you a more solid feel on the trails as banshee has given me.
Bike Setup: 40s up front. Deity Cockpit. ZTR Flows. Marz ROCO Air WC
from canberra aus
Date Reviewed: June 29, 2009
Strengths: Where to start really!!! when you first see this thing you bar up it looks sick with all the amazing machining on it so it is very easy on the eye.
I have owned mine for about 7-8 months now and have flogged the tits off it im 100kg and 6'3 so have put it though it's paces. It tracks super well in the corners and is stable at light speed. The frame is light and it is easy to do a light build without having to spend too much coin. It feels stable in the air not too heavy in the front or rear
Maintence is very easy to do there are grease ports in the axles for the swing arm so you can keep it all running smooth. simple to pull apart and keep running like a dream which is a plus cause you should be out riding not fixing all the time. I have worked as a mechanic for 5 years and anyone can keep this bike goin.
Weaknesses: Paint can chip easy on downtube, bushings wair if not looked after, can be a bit short in the top tube if you are tall like me
This bike is still in the proto phase. And the guys at banshee have taken eveyone who has the bike suggestions on board all 50 of us from all over the globe. So you can imagine that the finshed product is goin to be rad I know i am going to go out end get the new one.
To sum it up this bike is sex on wheels if you get the chance to have a go on one do it you will never look back from what i know these bike will be priced at a reasonable price.
Bike Setup: bike is a large ,boxxer race, rockchock vivid rear shock, full sram x9, avid elixar cr brakes, sun jumping flea hub laced to atomlab ano red rims 32hole, truvativ oct cranks, gamut chain guide, sunline bar and stem
from Seattle WA
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2009
Strengths: The best DH frame i've ever ridden. The geometry of the bike is perfect for the steepest craziest world cup DH tracks. The suspension design is nothing short of perfect, all bases have been covered with respect to small and big hit sensitivity, axle path and leverage ratio. Some serious work has been put into the suspension design as well as the design for manufacture of the frame. The frame not only looks sick but is very light. Strength has not been jeopardised through the weight saving as a lot of stress analysis has been performed on all the constituent parts.
Weaknesses: Absolutely none!
The best DH bike out currently. It has no weaknesses and the amount of design and analysis that went into making this frame is incredible. Everyone should have the oppurtunity or testing one out, and then buying one as you can't get better DH performance!
Similar Products Used: Aa lot of the usual DH suspects, but a lot of time was spent racing on a 07 Santa Cruz V10.
Bike Setup: 2010 Boxxer Teams, Cane Creek Double Barrel, Mavic 721's on Hadleys and the usual DH trimmings
from Birmingham, UK
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2009
Strengths: Light, stiff, tough, great suspension design, pedals really well, bushings with lube ports, looks sexy.
Weaknesses: Paint chips on downtube from rock hits, bushings can be messy when you lube them and they squidge the grease out.
I was one of the lucky original 50 testers who got the first prototypes and have been giving feedback to the guys at Banshee. I'm super impressed at their first effort at a World Cup level race machine.
From a design point of view, it's as good as they come, stiff but light, low CG, protected shock, great geometry, and well engineered suspension. The axle path is rearward at first, which provides great pedalling, then goes forward in the upper part of the travel to eliminate chain stretch. The leverage ratio is quite progressive initially, although the progressiveness is being toned down a bit on the Mk2 version due to rider feedback.
The Cane Creek makes for amazing suspension action - the bike covers ground incredibly quickly. Running 33% sag this bike accelerates like a XC bike, if you run more sag you get less of this effect.
In the corners the bike leans in effortlessly and feels very quick and nimble. I'll be trying a new 2009-10 Cane Creek Double Barrel that is valved for low leverage ratio bikes which should make the rear end even better, especially in deep berms where it's necessary to compress the suspension to get the most out of it.
There are a few minor issues that are being sorted out in the prototype stage, including bushing tolerances, etc. but it seems unfair to mention them here because they will all be sorted out by the time this bike goes into mass production. That's the beauty of the prototype program that Banshee created - they're not going to release a less than perfect bike to market and make you guys the guinea pigs.
Speaking of bushings, there will probably be some doubters out there. I've been riding my bike for 7 months and bushings are still going great. They are cheap if they ever need replacing, stiff, low stiction (pull out the shock and it's very smooth - they have only slightly more friction than bearings, doubt it makes any difference when riding). From an engineering point of view, they make great sense, but are very sensitive to manufacturing tolerances, luckily Pacific who makes the bike (not the same as GT and Schwinn!) are a pretty high end manufacturing facility.
When this bike does become available (early 2010?), I'm sure it will be one of the best DH rigs availble at any price. Based on what I've heard about the price point here in the UK, it gets 5 smoking turds for value...