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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to offer some dedicated Prime talk space. Starting off I can offer a bit more of a review of my recent 2018 Prime build.

Coming off of a 2016 Spitfire, 160mm fork, low setting.

On a 2018 Prime, 160mm fork, low setting. Frame size Large. I am 180cm. Full specs maybe later...

This is my first anodized Banshee. And OMG WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING. Amazing. Aces. Friends fondle this thing. It's beautiful. The new frame tubing also is quite pleasing to the eyes. Quality of this frame is just A+. I've had a 2015 and 2016 Banshee and lemme say, Keith, you stepped it up with the 2017 updates.

Climbing it's great. It really motors, I've set some good times (for me!) on big climbs in the area. Steep gravel roads I've climbed 40 times, I'm besting anything I did on my Spitfire. Technical climbs - equally as capable as the spit, but with better rollover. It really is great. I can feel the front wheel flop (let's be honest I have this thing set up slaaaaack) only on the steepest and tightest switchbacks. Considering trying the high drop out setting, or, more likely, dropping the fork to 150mm.

It wheelies just fine. Do not listen to the Pinkbike Pundits complaining about chainstay length. No guys. Front comes up easy and it's no harder to keep it going than on my Spitfire with 11mm shorter stays. (cornering discussed below).

Descending it's a weapon - but I need to figure out a few things. One thing for certain, it corners better than I expected it to. I mean it rails. It's got that Banshee DNA for sure. With the 170mm dropper (which fits with 20mm to spare on my Large frame and I am am 180cm), you can make this thing super maneuverable, le wowza. It goes straight fast. It jumps well - right now for jumping, my suspension setup is limiting factor, not the geometry. It's stable at speed.
BUT
here is my problem....in steep stuff, I am losing the front wheel with a modicum of regularity. Tap the front brake in loose steeps? Whoof. Wet root in a corner? Swoof. I measured HTA and am coming up with 65.5 degrees. That's pretty much exactly what my old Spitfire was. So what has changed? I am a rear-tire-rider for sure. Ride like a cowboy hanging off the back. But now that seems to be an issue. Do I need to push myself forward on the bike? A bit more in attack position? This is my first 29er.

Also and perhaps this is meaningless but on a flat trail, if you turn the bars too much, tapping the brake just totally sends you into a jackknife. This has me going down the fork offset rabbit hole and I am wondering if bringing the front wheel in a bit may help all of my symptoms. Oh gosh forgive me if I am opening Pandora's box. I'm just ignorant.

Anyways post up some Prime pics and builds. Last Prime thread was from I think 2013. Lots of changes since then and this bike is cemented into the lineup by now. Braaaaap!
 

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The feelings you are getting under front braking are to an extent related to having a longer fork... while head angle might be the same, the 29er fork is longer and the wheel has bigger radius... these things do have an impact on how the bike has to be ridden to get most out of it.

Simple setup changes you could try in order of ease...
-Try higher setting
-Try rolling the bars forwards a bit
-Try dropping stem if you have a spacer under it
-Try a slightly longer stem if you have one (will help you weight front wheel)
-Try reducing fork Travel.

Also check you have correct rear shock sag... if you are running too much it will have similar effect to weight distribution has a tall fork. You should be aiming for 15-15.5mm of shock sag (28-30% sag)

You can also actively try and change your riding stance to be more aggressive, attack the trail with weight leaning forwards more and elbows bent and out the way to get weight over front axle more.

There is an element of getting used to a new bike, some people can jump on any bike and be shredding within minutes, personally I'm quite specific with setup on my personal bikes and if I change it, it takes me a good few rides to fully get used to it and adjust.

Have fun working it out!
 

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OP you answered your own question:

- rear wheel rider = front wheel washouts

You can't generate traction on the front wheel without some weight on it.

Same goes for your turning issue.

Yes a lower offset fork will help, but only a bit. You need to ride the bike with your weight more centered between the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Keith and Vic. I played with rear shock sag, increased it a bit and that def helped...a lot! Will try the high setting and rolling the bars a bit. Thx!

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I agree about how great this bike is. I've a similar set up on my 2018 build, (Lyrik @ 160mm) and found that the bike came alive when put in the low drop out positoning. High made it a touch tippy toed.

Low actually made the CS a little longer and as mine is XL I actually prefer it. I'm running the compact drop outs but have the longer ones as spares just in case I want it even longer.

There's very little wheel flop for me, I've experienced that before on other bikes but I don't feel it on the trail. I definitely ride with a certain weight balance to make the front behave. I've only had a couple of moments in (rough) corners where the front has felt like the rebound is too slow so it wouldn't track the ground. Attacking the trail with more front weight emphasis fixed it.

I'm now running a 140mm fork as an experiment and the steering / handling is definitely better overall, just less plush. Fox 34 Factory with Fast Cartridge damper isn't quite as nice as my Lyrik. For me and where I ride the 150mm setting would probably be ideal.

The pedalling is outstanding, especially with a 32t front. It's solid yet nimble.

Props to Keith and team for making such a fantastic and versatile bike!

Keen to hear how you get on with your tweaking!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree about how great this bike is. I've a similar set up on my 2018 build, (Lyrik @ 160mm) and found that the bike came alive when put in the low drop out positoning. High made it a touch tippy toed.

Low actually made the CS a little longer and as mine is XL I actually prefer it. I'm running the compact drop outs but have the longer ones as spares just in case I want it even longer.

There's very little wheel flop for me, I've experienced that before on other bikes but I don't feel it on the trail. I definitely ride with a certain weight balance to make the front behave. I've only had a couple of moments in (rough) corners where the front has felt like the rebound is too slow so it wouldn't track the ground. Attacking the trail with more front weight emphasis fixed it.

I'm now running a 140mm fork as an experiment and the steering / handling is definitely better overall, just less plush. Fox 34 Factory with Fast Cartridge damper isn't quite as nice as my Lyrik. For me and where I ride the 150mm setting would probably be ideal.

The pedalling is outstanding, especially with a 32t front. It's solid yet nimble.

Props to Keith and team for making such a fantastic and versatile bike!

Keen to hear how you get on with your tweaking!
Agreed the pedaling is great. I really like the KS bikes, on them now for 3 years. Pedal strong.

Interesting about the 140mm fork and handling. I have the spacer for my Fox 36 to drop it 10mm to 150mm travel and am inclined to try it, but will maybe look at some of the less intrusive options first - oh and riding the bike more!

Haven't forgotten about our correspondence RE:Fox settings. Again, I'll post mine up when I have a good thing going. Feeling really good about my rear shock. Riding trip this weekend so hoping to tune it all in a bit more.
 

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Hope you have a wicked trip! On the other build thread someone recommended 150mm or 140mm as the sweet spot and I'm inclined to agree with them. 160mm is pretty damned good but I feel the benefit in direction changes and just trail sensation.

No worries on the settings, let me know how you go. And now I've out the fork at 140 I've got to dial back some compression or air pressure. It's a nice problem to have....
 

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@lithified, I've played about with my X2 some more and landed on compression settings and air pressure which are just magical.

16 clicks HSC from firm
8 clicks LSC from firm.

Rebound on both circuits are the same as I'd mentioned before, and the air pressure is niw at 220 PSI.

It pedals with a 160mm Lyrik like nothing I've ever ridden, it just glides over everything.
No bottoming out on big hits and so supportive yet plush. No pedal bobbing at all and I don't need the climb switch.
I could probably go down a click or two on HSC as I'm about 5mm from the end of the shaft after hits that should go full travel.

It makes me question why I need my Remedy and is just better everywhere and I love that bike.

If you're about 95kgs give it a try. I'm just stunned by how well it rides and am truly smitten. If it was stellar before, it's sensational now.
 

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Interesting thread.
I just switched from a 2013 Spitfire with older 160 Fox36, drop outs in high setting, to a 2017 Prime with MRP Ribbon 150. Both XL frames, I'm 6'2". Running the Prime with Long drop outs in high. It is one Looooong bike, but I like that. Good for climbing and higher speed stability, which comes in handy in the high mountains here in Colorado.
Only had a couple of rides on it so far, still need to fine tune the Ribbon (lots of adjustment options), disappointed that the Monarch doesn't have a proper compression dial (just the 3 position switch).
Anyway, it's stable, it rolls over most everything and it climbs decent. So far I'm happy with the change, will lower the bar a bit to gain front end pressure as per discussion, although I'm not experiencing the problems described by OP, I'm pretty comfy already.

Jul7-banshee-prime1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Anyway, it's stable, it rolls over most everything and it climbs decent. So far I'm happy with the change, will lower the bar a bit to gain front end pressure as per discussion, although I'm not experiencing the problems described by OP, I'm pretty comfy already.

View attachment 1207475
Looks great dude! Nice!

As a quick update I went to a 50mm stem and that really helped! I think I will still drop to a 150 fork during rebuild this winter. Bike shreds.

 

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Got my eye on an Orange, Race build Prime...

Need stars to align on queue, before I start looking for the credit card though.

Really keen on a mid-long travel 29er.

Guessing you guys have been riding yours a while now.

Any drawbacks? Anything you've had to change? Buyers remorse? ;-)

Talk me into/out of getting a Prime.

'Born to ride!'
 

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Discussion Starter #13
^^ haha. Love it. I've been on mine for 2.5 months now and it just rips. Took me a bit to sort out my fit on the bike, but that wasn't the bikes fault! It's super petty but the only thing I'd change about this frame if I could would be a dang water bottle in the triangle. Otherwise I love everything about it.

Have done a 56 mile endurance event all the way to shuttle sessions with this rig. Hasn't missed a beat.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

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^^ haha. Love it. I've been on mine for 2.5 months now and it just rips. Took me a bit to sort out my fit on the bike, but that wasn't the bikes fault! It's super petty but the only thing I'd change about this frame if I could would be a dang water bottle in the triangle. Otherwise I love everything about it.

Have done a 56 mile endurance event all the way to shuttle sessions with this rig. Hasn't missed a beat.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Unicorn?? ;-)

'Born to ride!'
 

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The water bottle inside the frame is the ONLY issue. I get around it with what you'd call a fanny pack. :^)

Geo spot on for purpose and it looks stunning. Mine is Raw tint & Red.

Any preconceived notions of weight being a challenge are long forgotten when you ride it.

I've a Remedy 9.8 with carbon wheels which whilst much lighter can't hold a candle to it on any trail. Descending is just amazing. I've been riding it for about 3 months and am just astounded by how well it rides.

The adjustable nature of it with the drop outs makes a real difference. The climbing is excellent and mine has 160mm forks and is set in low. Should be terrible but it's the opposite.

To be blunt, I wish I'd bought one earlier. I was on a Fuel EX 9.9 with carbon everything that I loved. When I killed it (just too frail) I spent ages poring over geometry details on frames and things like threaded bottom bracket and ISCG05 fittings and nothing else does the job.

If I'd never killed the Fuel I'd not have this Prime which frankly is better in every single way.

100% would buy again and am tempted by a Phantom and Rune now..
 

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Just dropped my prime to low setting and it actually climbs better for me and handles even better on the decents. Running a 160mm fork and 40mm stem in an XL and the fit is spot on. It’s a great bike!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The water bottle inside the frame is the ONLY issue. I get around it with what you'd call a fanny pack........100% would buy again and am tempted by a Phantom and Rune now..
Ya, but it gets tough when you get into the long rides. I have started carrying a water bottle (in my fanny pack) that has a built in filter. I live and ride in the SE USA where we have a ton of water, so I can always dip it and fill up.

Been really itching for an XC bike for some of my longer riding pursuits....a Phantom at 120/140 with a water bottle cage....just dreaming....I'll see myself out....:)
 

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Just dropped my prime to low setting and it actually climbs better for me and handles even better on the decents. Running a 160mm fork and 40mm stem in an XL and the fit is spot on. It’s a great bike!
That's just how I have mine. I'm tempted to drop the fork to 150mm just to see what it's like but I'm splitting hairs really. And the bike definitely feels more planted and handles better in the low setting. I like that it extends the wheelbase too. At my size I don't want super short chain stays.
It's a keeper. :^)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You're not alone. I've got the 140mm fork, wheels, and other elements in the garage just waiting for that to drop.

Patience... I must learn patience....
These other guys in the forum long shocking their Phantoms has me wondering....
 
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