With 29x2.6 rekons clearance is tight, mud does tend to cake up
Nice review, may I ask what your height is?After a handful of rides on my new Paradox I thought I’d share some initial riding impressions. I originally got it to replace a Canfield Nimble 9, which I’ve ridden for the past couple years both geared and as a singlespeed, with 27.5+ and 29” wheels. Despite loving the N9 (and one I had before that), I was itching for something different. I got my Large raw frame and Bike Yoke Revive 160mm seatpost from Dirt Merchant Bicycles, who had everything sitting on my doorstep in less than a week. Thanks, Ethan!
First off, the raw frame is stunning. Beautiful welds, stout hydroformed tubing, precisely machined yokes/dropouts and just the right tint to the clearcoat. I expected it to look good from the photos, but seeing it in person is even better. I’ve built my bike up with parts mostly from my Canfield – X01 11sp drivetrain, Guide RSC brakes, Fox 34 130mm fork, I9 101/Flow MK3 29” wheels (new), Maxxis Rekon 29x2.6 tires (new), Race Face cockpit. Weight is around 26.5lb. ready to roll with pedals.
To this point, I’ve been riding it on rolling PNW singletrack, which has included a reasonably technical mix of roots, rounded rocks, punchy climbs/decents and grippy hero dirt. I haven’t yet had it on anything terribly steep or uber-tech, but that will happen.
On the terrain I’ve ridden so far, it’s immediately obvious how responsive the Paradox is - just think and it goes. The front end immediately responds to steering or weighting input and the bike jumps the moment you apply any pressure to the pedals. It’s makes climbing a breeze, between putting the power down effectively and being able to manueuver over climbing obstacles with instant response to your inputs. I was originally a little leery of the 65 degree head angle (mine’s closer to 65.6 with a 130mm fork), but the bike’s geo has been spot on. It has remained composed on everything I’ve thrown at it so far. The front end doesn’t wander on climbs, yet is stuck while cornering, the rear tracks well on descents, and the bike remains stable as speeds climb.
Comfort-wise, you do pay a price for all that responsiveness. While I expect the Paradox is indeed more compliant than other aluminum AM hardtails, it’s still aluminum and rides like it. Coming off a series of steel hardtails (Canfields, Konas, Transition, Salsa, etc.), this was immediately noticeable and no amount of riding will change that. It’s just has a different feel with its own special character. Not bad, just different. After a few rides, my muscle memory has adapted and the Paradox is my new normal. Do I miss the feel of steel? Yeah, a little. But do I enjoy the improved geo, responsiveness, capability and speed of the Paradox? Absolutely.
So that’s my experience with a few rides under my belt. I’m really liking the Paradox and looking forward to logging more miles with it in the coming months.
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What is your inseam length if I may ask. I just checked with Banshee and they advised me a size XL. I am 6'1" tall and inseam length 2'95". How do you like the size small in the longer run?I picked up my frame on Thursday and got it built up over the last couple nights. I ended up replacing a few more things that I hadn't planned on, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. The only stuff I reused was the wheel set, fork, bars and brakes.
- Large yellow Paradox
- 150mm Yari, 51 offset
- Raceface 50mm stem
- Renthal 40mm rise bars
- BR-MT520 4 piston brakes 180/160
- 170mm One Up dropper
- Raceface 170mm Aeffect crank and BB
- GX Eagle shifter/derailer
- NX cassette due to the Shimano hubs
- 27.5x2.8 Minion DHF
- 27.5x2.8 Minion DHR II
- And a sweet Chromag saddle
I'm 6'3" and still chose the large. Looking at the geo chart I'm right at the top. My Big Honzo was an XL with 510 reach and I felt every bit of that length. My full suspension ride is a Fezzari La Sal Peak and the Kona felt longer than that does. So I wanted something a little shorter and more playful for my hardtail. It's dumped 4 or 5 inches of rain here in the PNW the last 48 hours so I'll wait a few days for a proper ride. However, I'm already digging the feel so far just around the house. Here's a few pics.
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FWIW I’m 6’1 and very happy on a large with a 40mm stem. Manuals much easier then my Large Prime.What is your inseam length if I may ask. I just checked with Banshee and they advised me a size XL. I am 6'1" tall and inseam length 2'95". How do you like the size small in the longer run?
Not directed at me, but I like my XL (6'1 , 33in seam) with a 150mm fork and 35mm stem. I do tend to slide the seat fwd on the rails, but that's just preference. Feels "smaller" and more maneuverable than my XL Levo SL (~480mm reach, 170mm fork)What is your inseam length if I may ask. I just checked with Banshee and they advised me a size XL. I am 6'1" tall and inseam length 2'95". How do you like the size small in the longer run?
Components are expensive al a carte regardless of if you or your shop source them. Only difference price wise between the shop building it, or you building it would be whatever they charge for labor.Kind of a noob question - I cannot build a bike, so with a local shop that can build it for me, can they get component discounts? Or would a build cost me an arm and a leg since I cannot do it myself or have a lead on components?
Thanks. Too bad Banshee is not offering this in a complete bike.Components are expensive al a carte regardless of if you or your shop source them. Only difference price wise between the shop building it, or you building it would be whatever they charge for labor.
That said, a good shop may have some components in their used parts bin they could sell at a discount, but parts are hard to source for everyone right now so deals are scarce. It’s always cheaper to buy a complete bike if you can.
Banshee probably can’t find parts either.Thanks. Too bad Banshee is not offering this in a complete bike.
What is your heigth and inseam length please? Don't if i should get an L or XL frameI'm on an XL with 29" wheels. Hope Fortus 30s. I'm running Bontrager XR4 tyres 2.6" front and 2.4 rear.
The bike is superb and I certainly don't want for agility or anything else for that matter. Of course your preferences may vary.
Either way, you've landed on the right hardtail.
I’m running a 2.5 Aggressor on 30mm Bonty rim in the back.In the process of building my V3. I intended on running 29er.
In terms of maximum tire sizes, Banshee says 29x2.6 maxxis is the limit of the frame. Does anyone know if that is on 30mm or 35mm internal width rims?
I am trying to decide on spank 350 or 395+, possibly just XM481 which in 27.5 have held up for me incredibly well on my Bronson3. Tires wise I was going to use aggressor 2.5 or Rekon 2.6, which both work well for rear tires in my area.