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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know everyone loves interjecting opinions so here is a thread to do so.

I am currently riding a Lenz Behemoth. It is a 5" travel 29er, with decent geometry. I am not convinced 29ers make great All Mountain bikes because there are barely any forks available and the HA are always so steep.

I have demoed a couple of my buddies bikes. A large RFX with coils, a medium RFX with air and this weekend the Firebird. The RFXs were great bikes, but I cant find a Large frame for sale. Now the Firebird though. Holy sheeit. That bike is so damn plush! I loved the way the bike descended. So smooth and easy to maneuver, and it saved me from some potentially painful crashes. I didn't care too much for the climbing ability, but it was kinda small for me. I am ~6 feet tall and the Firebird was a medium.

So now I am selling my 29er frames (RIP 9 and the Lenz) and want to get a 6'' travel 26er. The bikes that have caught my attention are the Firebird, Rune and El Terremoto. There are no demos for Ventana or Banshee locally so I am hoping someone has some good info for a cross comparison.

I live in Albuquerque, NM. We have a huge variety of trails, and I want the magical bike that can ride them all. I want a bike that I can climb with, and a bike that rides like the Firebird on the downs.
 

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1st off, I've never ridden any of those bikes aside from a parking lot test... but every review I have ever read + quite a few people talking too rave about the Firebird's climbing ability. What exactly didn't you like? If it was just uncomfortable that could easily just be that it didn't fit you. If it was something else like the geometry or the way the bike pedaled then that's something different.

But to me it seems like you really really liked the Firebird... so maybe try to get one set up right and give it a good honest shot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're right the Firebird just felt too small for the climbs. I do believe that with a large frame I would love it. I was just hoping to hear about the other two since I can't demo them locally.
 

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Question for you - what front ring do you climb in? Is it technical climbing or fire-roadish singletrack?

The biggest difference I see between those bikes is the TNT/SP design of the Turner/Ventana vs. the minilink of the Rune.

I have a TM, love it, because it is really active for techy climbing in the small ring - something that is necessary here in Austin. Out of my group/riding circle, there is 1 other TM and 3 RFXs...wish I could see a Rune in person!

I have ridden a bit of ABQ trails on the TM and loved it, but those were shuttle days. FWIW, I'd only consider replacing my bike with the same frame or a Rune. Just not sure that the Rune's suspension is what I need to get me to the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CharacterZero said:
Question for you - what front ring do you climb in? Is it technical climbing or fire-roadish singletrack?

The biggest difference I see between those bikes is the TNT/SP design of the Turner/Ventana vs. the minilink of the Rune.

I have a TM, love it, because it is really active for techy climbing in the small ring - something that is necessary here in Austin. Out of my group/riding circle, there is 1 other TM and 3 RFXs...wish I could see a Rune in person!

I have ridden a bit of ABQ trails on the TM and loved it, but those were shuttle days. FWIW, I'd only consider replacing my bike with the same frame or a Rune. Just not sure that the Rune's suspension is what I need to get me to the top.
Lots of small ring, long technical climbs.

What trails did you hit here? Back side of the Sandias?
 

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Well I've demoed a firebird and now have a rune. Its kind of hard to make a good comparison since I got the rune about a year after demoing the firebird, but I have thoroughly enjoyed both bikes. Since I have more experience on the rune though I will speak to it. The vf4b suspension is great. If you use a 22t granny ring you might get some bobbing, but throw a 26t on there and no more bob, no need for pro-pedal or anything. I'm not very great at explaining how one suspension design is better than any other since my last ride was a 99 canondale super-v, so you may want to read some reviews on the banshee forum, but I'm very happy with my rune.

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention is how awesome the Keith and the guys at Banshee are. Their customer service is second to none. With them you know you are getting a quality product, and if you ever have any problems they will go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of. Not many manufacturers will tell you that they make less than a mechanic at a lbs but still do it because they love it.
 

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Calhoun said:
Lots of small ring, long technical climbs.

What trails did you hit here? Back side of the Sandias?
So the Rune is supposed to have some pedal feedback issues if you don't run a 24-26t front chainring. You'd have to take a long, hard look at your gearing (or get that new 36t rear cassette coming out with the 2x10 drivetrains, iirc), or just man up and climb harder!

Honestly, the Banshee guys are right up there with V and Turner from everything I have read. I wouldn't hesitate to do business with them - I really respect their level of openness and honesty and participation on the forums. So they mfg outside of the USA, so it goes. Great product at a fraction of the price of the other frames at MSRP. Like I said before, if I had to switch frames, the Banshee would get a long hard look.

As for the trails ridden, I don't think I can name them here...so I'll send a PM.

In other news, looks like me and my terremoto will be making a little Paj. run late this week, if all the stars line up!

What kind of suspension setup would you want to run? Honestly, the CCDB has changed my TM for the better - simply incredible. Looks like it works well for the Banshee too, according to a couple of posts. Happens to be the same i2i/stroke too (and for RFX as well).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
CharacterZero said:
As for the trails ridden, I don't think I can name them here...so I'll send a PM.

In other news, looks like me and my terremoto will be making a little Paj. run late this week, if all the stars line up!

What kind of suspension setup would you want to run?
If it was a Bandolero ride I think I have some ideas where you went.

I might try and meet up with you in Paj to give the Moto a look.

I am fairly clueless with suspension setups. So far I have really liked all the bikes with the RP23s on them. (RIP, Lenz, Firebird)
 

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Calhoun said:
If it was a Bandolero ride I think I have some ideas where you went.

I might try and meet up with you in Paj to give the Moto a look.

I am fairly clueless with suspension setups. So far I have really liked all the bikes with the RP23s on them. (RIP, Lenz, Firebird)
Ah, PM'd. Met the Bandos at the top, and have evidence that we rode some of the same stuff, but was with another crew.

As for shocks on the TM, not a whole lot of people running RP3s iirc...there are a couple of reports out there, but most go coil on the rear.

Right on, see you in Paj!
 

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Owned a Terremoto for 2-3 years and have just gone to a Rune. Tmoto is a little plusher overall but the Rune definitely has the edge on the climbs.

I've run a CCDB on both frames and have yet to get the tuning perfect for the Rune, but I'm close.

I'd happily own either frame but the Rune seems to be a little more confidence inspiring overall and is definitely less piggy to pedal on both the flats and the climbs, but the Terremoto seems to have better small bump sensitivity. Both frames are super stiff.

Paint on the Ventana is WAY better (have already got multiple chips and scratches on the Rune), but I don't really care about paint. 30.9 post on the Rune opens up more adjustable seatpost options if that matters to you.

Both Ventana and Banshee have excellent customer service (have used Ventana warranty twice on other frames and they were awesome).

If you are concerned about pedalling efficiency, go for the Rune for sure. The Ventana is not a bad pedaller, it is just not as good as the Rune. The Ventana has a nicer finish overall and is definitely better on the small stuff. Both seem to tackle bigger hits well and both are amazing when taken downhill.
 

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marcus_dukakis said:
Owned a Terremoto for 2-3 years and have just gone to a Rune. Tmoto is a little plusher overall but the Rune definitely has the edge on the climbs.

I've run a CCDB on both frames and have yet to get the tuning perfect for the Rune, but I'm close.

I'd happily own either frame but the Rune seems to be a little more confidence inspiring overall and is definitely less piggy to pedal on both the flats and the climbs, but the Terremoto seems to have better small bump sensitivity. Both frames are super stiff.

Paint on the Ventana is WAY better (have already got multiple chips and scratches on the Rune), but I don't really care about paint. 30.9 post on the Rune opens up more adjustable seatpost options if that matters to you.

Both Ventana and Banshee have excellent customer service (have used Ventana warranty twice on other frames and they were awesome).

If you are concerned about pedalling efficiency, go for the Rune for sure. The Ventana is not a bad pedaller, it is just not as good as the Rune. The Ventana has a nicer finish overall and is definitely better on the small stuff. Both seem to tackle bigger hits well and both are amazing when taken downhill.
Hey man, thanks for posting up the comparison. You know I had been researching the Rune!

Your post really reaffirms that I am on the right bike for what I do with it...given the opportunity, I'd try out both, but small stuff makes up a lot of our climbs here.

What is going on with the CCDB on the Rune?
 

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melon farmer
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CharacterZero said:
What is going on with the CCDB on the Rune?
I'm liking the CCDB on the Rune but when compared to the Monarch that the frame shipped with, it doesn't seem to be the night and day difference I saw between the RP23 and the CCDB on the Terremoto..

I'm guessing I need to spend some more time tweaking the CCDB settings to get better small bump sensitivity out of the Rune. It may be just a design issue, as the Rune is much more pedal friendly and definitely rides higher in the travel than the Tmoto/CCDB combo. I'm running less LSC and LSR on the Rune than the Tmoto, which helps a lot.

Lots of Rune owners seem to be loving the Elka, so I've thought about that as an option, or maybe even a Manipoo ISX-6 which also gets good reviews from other Banshee owners. To be frank, I think I'm just looking at other optiosn without any real motivation - a bit more tuning the CCDB could be all I need...
 

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marcus_dukakis said:
I'm liking the CCDB on the Rune but when compared to the Monarch that the frame shipped with, it doesn't seem to be the night and day difference I saw between the RP23 and the CCDB on the Terremoto..

I'm guessing I need to spend some more time tweaking the CCDB settings to get better small bump sensitivity out of the Rune. It may be just a design issue, as the Rune is much more pedal friendly and definitely rides higher in the travel than the Tmoto/CCDB combo. I'm running less LSC and LSR on the Rune than the Tmoto, which helps a lot.

Lots of Rune owners seem to be loving the Elka, so I've thought about that as an option, or maybe even a Manipoo ISX-6 which also gets good reviews from other Banshee owners. To be frank, I think I'm just looking at other optiosn without any real motivation - a bit more tuning the CCDB could be all I need...
I went from a DHX Air on my Firebird, which I loved, to the CCDB. Like you it wasn't a night and day difference like it was when i went from a DHX coil to the CCDB on my Nomad. However, now that I've got it dialled in it is definitely a worthwhile upgrade. I'm finding the rear wheel sticks to the ground a whole lot better and also gives me more 'pop' if i try to jump something compared to how the DHX Air felt. I also have the LSC and LSR opened up a fair bit from the factory standard settings.

I also have an ISX-6 for the Firebird but I haven't got around to trying it out yet. When I get the new carbon link I might give it a go, especially now that I'm happy with how the CCDB is performing. At least if I dont like the ISX-6 I can go straight back to something I know will work how I want it to.:thumbsup:
 
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