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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been lucky enough to get my hands on a Pre-Production Phantom to test and give feedback and compare to my Prime.



So that things were fair and I could have a honest comparison of the two, all I did was swap the parts off my Prime pre-production frame onto the Phantom frame - wheels w/ tyres, cranks w/ rings, seatpost w/ saddle, bar. The only real difference is I went for the Large Phantom as compared to XL in the Prime, as the REACH on the Large Phantom is 450mm, 2mm longer than the REACH on the XL Paradox which I quite liked. I'm running the Phantom with a 75mm stem instead of 65mm I ran on the XL Prime with 472mm Reach, the cockpit, how I measure it is right smack bang within my acceptable range of 35.5"+/-and it feels comfortable.



So thoughts....Frame is most definitely much lighter than my pre-production Prime, don't have a scale, so don't know how much, but do know they dropped 1.5lbs going to the production Prime and the tubeset on the Phantom is much smaller, along with much smaller gussets. At first it looked kind of anemic to me after having been on the Prime for over 2 years, I really kind of questioned whether it would deliver on the Banshee norm of super stiff - happily those worries were null and void, it's stiff. When I in fact took a closer look at the Phantom side by side with a new V2 Paradox I also just got, I realised that in fact they look to share the same tube-set (at least size wise) and it was just the fact I'd been looking at the TANK PP Prime for so long, I had just become accustomed to seeing it.

To go with having a lighter bike overall, I ditched the saddlebag and packed the extra tube, patch kit and multi-tool into my hydration pack, another 1.5-2lbs or so lost. While they say you only feel a heavier bike when you're lifting it, unfortunately, down here we have quite a few places you just have to heft your bike and climb and on these little climbs the probably 3.5-4lbs that was lost in the frame/bag swap was very noticeable.



I'm running an X-Fusion 02 RCX shock on my Phantom and so far it has been fantastic, love the 4 position adjust-ability, really works well to change the shocks "stiffness" depending on the type of trail or road you're on, or how heavily you're kitted out without having to mess with air pressure.



Now, onto the ride and feel/handling of the bike.....This bike is just plain fun, it fits myself and my trails perfectly. The shorter WB, lighter weight, slightly different geo to the Prime all add up to produce a bike that feels like an XC bike, but has the plushness and stiffness to ride bigger and harder, a plushness that you only ever really notice when you look at the o-ring on the shock and realise you've used pretty much all of your travel and never felt like it did.

I'm riding my Phantom in the High geo setting, which means that it has the most BB clearance, steepest angles and shortest stays, all of which make for a very nimble bike that's easy to pop into the air, easy to toss about and make sudden travel direction corrections. I've taken it all over my trails, everywhere I've ridden the Prime and I can honestly say, I've not felt like I'm missing the extra 20mm of travel, but am appreciating the more efficient suspension that still feels plush, yet more connected to the trail.



Comparing my Pre-Production Prime to the Phantom may not be an entirely fair comparison, since there were quite a few minor tweaks done for production on the Prime, most noticeably with the suspension and frame weight, as other testers who now own production Prime's have attested to. That being said, I cannot see the improvements being that huge from my PP Prime to production and will compare and say that the Phantom delivers in both the weight and overall pedaling and especially climbing department, while still delivering on the downs.

When I got the Phantom, I also picked up a V2 XL Paradox to replace the XL V1 I had sold with intent ro replace with a V2, so I built the Paradox up shortly after the Phantom, using the same X-Fusion TRACE set @ 120mm. I took the Paradox on a very XC type ride to give it a bit of a shake down and make sure everything was installed and adjusted properly, nothing technical, just along the cliffs rocks, somewhere I'd ridden the V1 Paradox countless times before I got the Prime. While I had the Prime I had resurrected the Paradox a couple times and really appreciated the difference in weight and efficiency climbing and while noticing the much harsher ride, was willing to accept it for the lighter more efficientness of it. So now fast forward to the V2 Paradox running 2.4" tyres on WTB i25 ST rimmed wheels (huge volume), I've already had a few short rides on the Phantom, enough to get a feel for it and all I'm thinking to myself is, "WHY?" Why would I have a HT when the Phantom delivers a much smoother ride with what feels like no loss in efficiency, why take the beating. So for me, although I had planned to have the V2 Paradox there as a 2nd ride to "spice" things up every so often, now I just can't see the reason as to why I'd do it, there is just no benefit to my beat up and battered old bones.



I really don't know what else to say, except that I think I have my ideal bike, it is better in every way for me compared to my Pre-Production Prime - lighter, climbs better, descends with a more connected feel, is super plush without feeling you're using the travel - and will not be looking for another for at least another 3-5 years when some super, marvelogical new technology comes along that I "Have to have".

Geometry chart to help you decide which size is right for you ;)



Of course there needs to just be some photos that speak for themselves, so here they are, the rest can be found here.





 

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Did you run a setback post on your Prime as well? Idk about your height, but at 6'4" I'm thinking an XL Phantom with a Reverb and 40mm stem will be ideal for someone like me, especially coming from a 26" ETT 465mm reach Kona Honzo.
 

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If it helps or hurts, I'm 5'11 and will be on a size large frame which is what Keith recommended for me with a 40-50mm stem. I'm really digging my size Medium Prime, but would like a little room in the top tube for a shorter travel/climbing bike. I'm also running a sh*t-ton of seatpost. Plus, the wheelbase between the Medium Prime and Large Phantom is within 0.5".

I actually looked at the Kona Process 111 geometry and sizing theory as well which confirmed for me that a large would be ideal for my tastes.
 

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If it helps or hurts, I'm 5'11 and will be on a size large frame which is what Keith recommended for me with a 40-50mm stem. I'm really digging my size Medium Prime, but would like a little room in the top tube for a shorter travel/climbing bike. I'm also running a sh*t-ton of seatpost. Plus, the wheelbase between the Medium Prime and Large Phantom is within 0.5".

I actually looked at the Kona Process 111 geometry and sizing theory as well which confirmed for me that a large would be ideal for my tastes.
Yup, short stems and longer ETT are where it's at these days. Although I can't figure out why Kona would spec such a short ST on the XL, it's only 18.5", unlike the Phantom's 21" ST. Only bummer is my current Reverb won't fit, I was hoping for a 31.6 seat tube to literally swap everything over from the Honzo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I did, but I really only just needed it, on the Phantom I have the saddle as far back on the rails as it'll go. FYI 6'2.25", 35.25" inseam and matching knuckle dragging arms. Another FYI, while I tried desperately to embrace the super short stem idea on the Prime, I just couldn't go below 60mm and see no problem running the Phantom with a 70-80mm. Really wanted to experience the much shorter WB of the L Phantom over my old XL Prime and the fact that the L Phantom's Reach is 10mm longer than the L Prime's and 2mm longer than the XL Paradox, made that easy - 2.5" difference :eekster: I used to run my XL Paradox which has a Reach of 446mm with first a 110/0 stem and 685mm wide bar and then 90mm, then shorter to an 80mm stem and 750mm wide bar, so running the Large Phantom with a Reach of 450mm with a 75mm stem and 785mm wide bar is just about bang on.

Did you run a setback post on your Prime as well? Idk about your height, but at 6'4" I'm thinking an XL Phantom with a Reverb and 40mm stem will be ideal for someone like me, especially coming from a 26" ETT 465mm reach Kona Honzo.
Yup, short stems and longer ETT are where it's at these days. Although I can't figure out why Kona would spec such a short ST on the XL, it's only 18.5", unlike the Phantom's 21" ST. Only bummer is my current Reverb won't fit, I was hoping for a 31.6 seat tube to literally swap everything over from the Honzo.
Well I was quite caught "off guard" when Keith gave the OK to spill the beans this morning, had been sitting on this for some time and just dying to spill, unfortunately work comes first and had to deal with some stuff before trying to sort out a post with pics.
I've been waiting all day for this post! Looking great Lincoln.
 

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It looks (geo, travel, intent) like almost every other bike out there. Just 3 or so years late to the party, and maybe a little overbuilt. I like overbuilt, I just don't see what's unique or exciting here. This basic chassis has been in existence for years from several different manufacturers.
 

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It looks (geo, travel, intent) like almost every other bike out there. Just 3 or so years late to the party, and maybe a little overbuilt. I like overbuilt, I just don't see what's unique or exciting here. This basic chassis has been in existence for years from several different manufacturers.
People could say the same thing about Lens, no?

Its the execution that matters.....
 

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People could say the same thing about Lens, no?

Its the execution that matters.....
Pedantic?

You're making my point for me, even though that's not where I was going with it.

The Lenz bikes have always been ahead of the curve, on purpose, building something that does not yet exist instead of just pumping out another 'me too' frame. Banshee has cachet and Keith is a great, thorough designer. I just fail to see what's new/better/interesting about this chassis.
 

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It's good you are happy with your new bike.

Maybe in the next year or 2 you might be riding with carbon wheels & frame.
 

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Chain Stay Length that long is a little disappointing

Is it possible to run the CS a 10mm shorter with a set of shorter brackets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Maybe carbon hoops, but never carbon frame, just don't trust it on our rocks, just don't have the $$ to risk.
It's good you are happy with your new bike.Maybe in the next year or 2 you might be riding with carbon wheels & frame.
You're very welcome, think this is going to be a very popular bike for a lot of people, especially those who can only have one bike.
Great review thank you for sharing! :)
Exactly Martin. You forgot the adjustable geo ;)
Short travel, slack, multi-link. Not many other frames with that combination.
It looks (geo, travel, intent) like almost every other bike out there. Just 3 or so years late to the party, and maybe a little overbuilt. I like overbuilt, I just don't see what's unique or exciting here. This basic chassis has been in existence for years from several different manufacturers.
 

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Hi

Please disregard my disappointment as i had no intent to intrigue

I am looking for a short Chain Stay frame which i was hoping the Phantom would be and hence is my question
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's the fantastic marketing some companies are putting out that have people believing that they need uber short stays, despite how it might effect the handling of the bike :skep: I was somewhat in this camp when I had the Paradox, then I got the Prime and realised that it's the sum of everything and that uber short stays don't necessarily climb better and aren't absolutely necessary to make an agile bike going DH. You are going to love the Phantom Jon ;)
Is this comment based on you testing the bike, or because you know a lot about geometry and designing bikes?
I am guessing neither. :skep:
Chain Stay Length that long is a little disappointing.Is it possible to run the CS a 10mm shorter with a set of shorter brackets?
 
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