Banshee Bikes Spitfire All Mountain Full Suspension

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

User Reviews (22)

Showing 1-10 of 22  
Iain Robinson   All Mountain Rider [Jan 09, 2015]
Strength:

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!

Weakness:

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.

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

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
VTSession   All Mountain Rider [Mar 28, 2014]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

low bottom bracket leads to the occasional pedal smash

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.

Similar Products Used: SC Blue LTc and Bronson C
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ian Stewart   All Mountain Rider [Oct 05, 2013]
Strength:

Fast pedaling

Weakness:

Not very plush

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.

Similar Products Used: 2008 Diamondback Mission, 2009 Trek Remedy
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Garasaki   Weekend Warrior [Oct 29, 2012]
Strength:

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??"

Weakness:

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....

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

Similar Products Used: Kona Dawg
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
seventi14   All Mountain Rider [Aug 19, 2012]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Dewuk   All Mountain Rider [Aug 13, 2012]
Strength:

Excellent tracking and handling
Easy self maintenance
Geometry

Weakness:

No 12mm axle option

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).

Similar Products Used: Marin attack trail
Orange 5
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Panji Patria   Weekend Warrior [Jul 18, 2012]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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).

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.

Similar Products Used: Polygon Collosus AX.3 2008, Giant Reign 2009, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 2010
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
MCHEEN   Weekend Warrior [Aug 10, 2011]
Strength:

Great durability, best geometry, low cost maintenance.

Weakness:

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

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).

Similar Products Used: Yeti 575, Spez Stumjumper
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave N   Weekend Warrior [Jun 03, 2011]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Banshee Rune, Scott Genius
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
el cap   Weekend Warrior [Feb 27, 2011]
Strength:

Everything

Weakness:

None so far.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 22  

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