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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After much deliberation as to what 29" bike to get, including considering a few full suspension frames, I decided to start off more modestly. One or two very enthusiastic reviews of the Paradox were also influential in my decision.

I have so far managed two rides on fairly non-technical single track to get a feel for the bike and the 29" wheels. I had never managed much more than a field ride at a festival and occasional parking lot on a 29" bike. I therefore don't know if my first impressions are specific to the Paradox and its fairly unique geometry but all the issues that I see raised from time to time were, well.... non-issues. The sluggishness in handling that is often talked about was non-existent. I can lift the front wheel as easily as I have on a lot of 26" bikes. For me, if I didn't look down at the big front wheel, I could be on any good handling bike. I also didn't notice any of the often referred to effort to get it up to speed.

Here are a few things that are different for me and that I like. I am not very tall at 5' 10½" but do have fairly long legs, so my seat post is usually quite high. On my 26" bike I feel perched on top of the bike. On my Paradox I feel more part of the bike. One thing I found to be very pronounced it that it rides very smoothly. I suppose that is a function of the big wheels.

I like that Banshee has provided for full length shifter cables. For those that may want to use a HammerSchmidt cable mounts are provided. I thought of doing one but the entry cost of the HammerSchmidt is a bit rich for me.

Here is my build and a few pictures.

Medium Banshee Paradox
Fork - 2010 Manitou Minute 29. (I really like this fork. The damping works.)
Crank set - Shimano XT M770 with e-thirteen bashring.
Cassette - Shimano XT 11/34T (I've got a HG61 12/36T but not sure I will need it.)
Front Derailleur - SLX M667 (Two ring specific)
Rear Derailleur - XT M770 SG (Medium cage)
Shifters - Shimano XTR M970
Brakes - Shimano XT 180mm. front 160mm. rear
Handlebar - Easton Monkey Lite XC 27"
Grips - Ergon
Headset - Cane Creek 110
Seatpost - Banshee (Really nice, light and included in the price of the frame.)
Saddle - WTB Pure
Hubs - Shimano Saint M810. Front 20mm. thru axle and rear is a Shimano 10mm. thru bolt. (The saints are published by shimano to be lighter than XT.)
Spokes and Nipples - DT Swiss
Rims - Stan's Flow
Thank you mikesee, The wheels are great and were as easy to set up tubeless with TLR tires as UST.)
Tires - Specialized Purgatory Control 2.2 2Bliss. (The Specialized tires are big as you can see. I think I'm going to like these tires.)

The stem is interesting. I asked my LBS manager if he could lend me a stem to try out as I was at a loss as to what length I would need. My intention was to get bling like a Thomson. He directed me to a wall of stems and I found a lonely nicely made but unbranded 80mm. X 7º stem which I took, It was probably a take off. I put it on inverted and it seems to be perfect. I weighed it at 115g. A Thomson Elite X4 80mm. is 155g. I may just keep it!:p

Ronnie.
 

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Cool. I can relate to the indecision on the frameset front. It took a while for me to pull the trigger as well. I added your build to the all paradox all the time thread in the banshee forum. Definitely post up feedback on those tires once you get a feel for them :thumbsup:
 

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Nice!

Very nice build. I have a large paradox with a 120mm TA drake. Amazing frame! Enjoy your new ride sir. Be prepared, it will change the way you ride...... for the better.
 

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Really sweet bike. I dig the no-name stem, Thomson is overrated jewelry-parts anyway. Yours has a really nice face-plate that shows a little window of your handlebar graphic.

Your grips and your brake levers are really rotated forward a lot, is it comfy for you in that position? I use the same ergons but I keep em set nearly parallel with the ground so I can really relax the meat of my palm into the cushion area. If it's comfy as it is, then sweet, stick with it.
 

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I'm building a semi-custom Ventana up almost identically, 'cept with a RS fork. I went with Ventana because I like a nice low bottom bracket, and all the slack 29er hardtails (all two of 'em) are sky high.
 

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I like it!! nice looking ride! I may have to get one of those for my inner hucker.. or a Chumba HX2. The black and white is money. Enjoy.
 

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juan_speeder said:
I'm building a semi-custom Ventana up almost identically, 'cept with a RS fork. I went with Ventana because I like a nice low bottom bracket, and all the slack 29er hardtails (all two of 'em) are sky high.
Did Ventana change this on their stock frame or is this something you ordered? My 1st gen Comandante certainly did not have a low BB.
 

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juan_speeder said:
I'm building a semi-custom Ventana up almost identically, 'cept with a RS fork. I went with Ventana because I like a nice low bottom bracket, and all the slack 29er hardtails (all two of 'em) are sky high.
seriously? banshees is not high at all. what do you consider low? i even had to add a smidgen to my hardtail over the banshee's dimension given how low it is (11.7" w/ 2.1 tire at 100mm, 12.0" at 120mm setting - not high by most standards)
 

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every time i see a sweet hard tail build like this i want one! i havent ridden a hardtail since 1998! nice have fun with her!
 

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If ever I were to buy a HT again, it'd be this or a Simon Bar. And what you've done here looks a lot like what I'd do.

Nice.

Now, dirty/ride pics!

MC
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanoz said:
Your grips and your brake levers are really rotated forward a lot, is it comfy for you in that position? I use the same ergons but I keep em set nearly parallel with the ground so I can really relax the meat of my palm into the cushion area. If it's comfy as it is, then sweet, stick with it.
Really? I ride in a fairly upright position. I've just sat back on the bike and my arms, hands and fingers (when extended) are more or less in a straight line. I don't lean heavily on my palms. I've set the angles by feel and it is what feels best for me. I've noticed that some people ride with their palms cocked upward but that isn't comfortable for me.

Ronnie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
bonesetter2004 said:
Nice, erm, clean pics Ronnie.

I think what the crowd needs now is some action shots, or at least some dirty ones...!

mikesee said:
If ever I were to buy a HT again, it'd be this or a Simon Bar. And what you've done here looks a lot like what I'd do.

Nice.

Now, dirty/ride pics!

MC
Gimme a break guys!:blush: It's been dirty. I rode it on Thursday and again on Saturday. I wish I could go out again but the way it has been raining here in Jersey today, I'd be better off going out in Noah's Ark.

Ronnie.
 

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mo0se said:
I like it!! nice looking ride! I may have to get one of those for my inner hucker.. or a Chumba HX2. The black and white is money. Enjoy.
What did you decide on? I keep going back and forth between the Banshee and the Chumba.


It seems like the Paradox is closer to AM whereas the HX2 is more middle of the road.

I really want to get the Chumba and support a SoCal company but I already have a great Jamis Dakota 29er that's set up 1x9 and will continue to serve as my CC rig.

Seems like the Paradox is slacker and has shorter stays and would probably be a further departure from what I'm currently riding than the HX2.
 
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