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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished building this and taking it for its maiden voyage. Holy Sh*t.


(sorry about the crappy pics - camera is still broken)

Banshee Paradox - Large
Marzochi 44 TST micro
FSA Orbit MX Headset
Race Face Deus 3/4 riser ano green
Saint shifters, XT rear der, SLX front
Saint brakes
Gravity gap 60mm stem
ergon grips
Race Face Atlas AM cranks - green
BMW Veggie Burger Flats
Thompson elite setback
WTB Pure Saddle
Spec Captain tires (temporary)
I9 Enduro wheels laced to Flows
XT cassette

Without rehashing everything that's been said about the Paradox, I'll summarize by saying that the short chainstays make this thing super lively, light up front, a hell of a lot of fun. The 140mm of travel is AWESOME on this frame, even though the BB is just a smidge higher than I would like. I know that the 44 gets no love on here, but I have to say that the reborn Marzocchi is super-plush, and a totally new fork after the fix.

I wrote a review on the 44 HERE, and then updated it with some tech info about a Marzocchi-recommended fix HERE. Long story short, it was fine from the factory but the small-bump was lacking. I was still stoked on it, Marzocchi threw me new uppers on the Uber-cheap so that I could run it on the Paradox, and recommended cutting the flange off of the bushing on the negative spring while I was in there anyway. I also replaced the stock 7.5 wt oil with 5 wt just for giggles, but hadn't had a chance to ride it after rebuilding it.

Riding it today, I was jaw-droppingly stoked at how plush it rode, and amazed at how drastically the small bump had improved. I only had an hour and half to play around with it today, and spent the first 45 minutes getting the cockpit dialed, but I can tell already that this is exactly the AM 29er hardtail that I was hoping to build. Banshee really hit a home run with this frame.

I have next week off, and should have a thorough ride-report and some real pictures up by next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
playdead said:
stoked for you! I've had mine for about a month and a half. The thing is a blast to play around on. I'm curious what 140mm would feel like. I'm running 120mm.
Sick build too man, I think that the minute looks awesome with the polished crown. and matches that frame perfectly. The extra slack in the HTA with the 140mm up front really makes this thing awesome on descents, and it doesn't suffer as much as I would have thought on climbing.

david8613 said:
im just finding out about the mod for the Marzochi 44 TST micro, how is it working out? is it night and day difference? sounds like it is?
Awesome so far, it really is a night and day difference. The top of the travel that was so stiff before is now really responsive, and the small-bump compliance is vastly improved. I'm also running lower pressures in the fork than I would have been able to do before without losing a few mil of travel, which has helped make the revised 44 a really plush ride. The combination of the plush 140 and the TST micro (which i think works really well) is awesome, and I think that I'm going to end up feeling like this is probably the most versatile bike i've owned in a long time
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update with some real pictures and ride impressions:




Impressions:
I'm still really impressed by the stiffness and overall geometry of the frame. On the trail the stiffness and short chainstays really do make the bike awesomely responsive and really flickable. The extra bit of slack with the 140 really feels spot-on, and lets the bike descend and jump like an AM hardtail. With more riding, the bottom bracket also feels great with a pretty good CG and decent ground clearance. I definitely still get a number of pedal strikes, but part of this is the huge BMWs as well. The combination of the geometry, the 60mm stem, setback seatpost, and 140 up front really make the front end light. This is awesome on the descents, jumps, and stunts, but makes it less than ideal climbing. It can also make the steering pretty squirrely at low speeds, and I think I'm probably going to go back to a straight post and swap for a 75mm stem and see how that feels.

The rebuilt 44 remains trouble-free, really plush, and an overall awesome fork. I haven't ridden any of the 2011 Fox forks, but the rebuilt 44 is definitely more plush and responsive than my 2009 F29. It sucks that it ended up having some prelim issues, but between awesome support working so well now, I'm sure i'll own another Marzocchi in the future.

Overall this is a really versatile bike, and fills the AM hardtail role really well. It also makes a decent CC bike, and the micro comp in the fork really works well for this. It weights a bit more than 27 pounds as is, but I could easily drop a pound or more by cutting the extra steerer/spacers off, loosing the 700g BMWs, and going with a non-DH stem. I'm also going to toss the grips and am waiting on a less-crappy seat post collar. I'm running as a 3x9 right now in anticipation of a longer CC trip in a few weeks, but think it will live long-term as a 1x9 when i'm done. The iscg tabs are a great addition, and I might think about a hamerschmidt down the road too. I do wish that banshee had spec'd a tapered HT, but that's pretty much the only criticism I would make about the frame. Awesome bike all around.
 

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good4nothing said:
Update with some real pictures and ride impressions:




Impressions:
I'm still really impressed by the stiffness and overall geometry of the frame. On the trail the stiffness and short chainstays really do make the bike awesomely responsive and really flickable. The extra bit of slack with the 140 really feels spot-on, and lets the bike descend and jump like an AM hardtail. With more riding, the bottom bracket also feels great with a pretty good CG and decent ground clearance. I definitely still get a number of pedal strikes, but part of this is the huge BMWs as well. The combination of the geometry, the 60mm stem, setback seatpost, and 140 up front really make the front end light. This is awesome on the descents, jumps, and stunts, but makes it less than ideal climbing. It can also make the steering pretty squirrely at low speeds, and I think I'm probably going to go back to a straight post and swap for a 75mm stem and see how that feels.

The rebuilt 44 remains trouble-free, really plush, and an overall awesome fork. I haven't ridden any of the 2011 Fox forks, but the rebuilt 44 is definitely more plush and responsive than my 2009 F29. It sucks that it ended up having some prelim issues, but between awesome support working so well now, I'm sure i'll own another Marzocchi in the future.

Overall this is a really versatile bike, and fills the AM hardtail role really well. It also makes a decent CC bike, and the micro comp in the fork really works well for this. It weights a bit more than 27 pounds as is, but I could easily drop a pound or more by cutting the extra steerer/spacers off, loosing the 700g BMWs, and going with a non-DH stem. I'm also going to toss the grips and am waiting on a less-crappy seat post collar. I'm running as a 3x9 right now in anticipation of a longer CC trip in a few weeks, but think it will live long-term as a 1x9 when i'm done. The iscg tabs are a great addition, and I might think about a hamerschmidt down the road too. I do wish that banshee had spec'd a tapered HT, but that's pretty much the only criticism I would make about the frame. Awesome bike all around.
Well done...CF.
 

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this is awesome on the descents, jumps, and stunts, but makes it less than ideal climbing. It can also make the steering pretty squirrely at low speeds, and I think I'm probably going to go back to a straight post and swap for a 75mm stem and see how that feels.
i think your Deus bar is only 660 mm wide, correct? having some experience with slackish HA hardtails, i strongly suggest you try some proper handlebars on there (710 mm width), which will create a bit more room in the cockpit and allow you to move the saddle a bit more fwd, before you decide on the right stem length. and the extra width will improve the handling on techy downhills.

however, that said, a 70 mm stem might end up being just right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
frorider said:
i think your Deus bar is only 660 mm wide, correct? having some experience with slackish HA hardtails, i strongly suggest you try some proper handlebars on there (710 mm width), which will create a bit more room in the cockpit and allow you to move the saddle a bit more fwd, before you decide on the right stem length. and the extra width will improve the handling on techy downhills.

however, that said, a 70 mm stem might end up being just right.
I was thinking I would split the difference and went with the 3/4 rise at 680mm. I think you're right though, wider bars would definitely help with the squirrel-factor. I've got a pair of atlas FR (785) bars I could move the grips in and check out.

P.S. - thanks for the Beta on TGR before I threw this thing together - it's dope.
 
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