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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished building this and taking it for its maiden voyage. Holy Sh*t.


(sorry about the crappy pics - camera is still broken)

Banshee Paradox - Large
Marzochi 44 TST micro
FSA Orbit MX Headset
Race Face Deus 3/4 riser ano green
Saint shifters, XT rear der, SLX front
Saint brakes
Gravity gap 60mm stem
ergon grips
Race Face Atlas AM cranks - green
BMW Veggie Burger Flats
Thompson elite setback
WTB Pure Saddle
Spec Captain tires (temporary)
I9 Enduro wheels laced to Flows
XT cassette

Without rehashing everything that's been said about the Paradox, I'll summarize by saying that the short chainstays make this thing super lively, light up front, a hell of a lot of fun. The 140mm of travel is AWESOME on this frame, even though the BB is just a smidge higher than I would like. I know that the 44 gets no love on here, but I have to say that the reborn Marzocchi is super-plush, and a totally new fork after the fix.

I wrote a review on the 44 HERE, and then updated it with some tech info about a Marzocchi-recommended fix HERE. Long story short, it was fine from the factory but the small-bump was lacking. I was still stoked on it, Marzocchi threw me new uppers on the Uber-cheap so that I could run it on the Paradox, and recommended cutting the flange off of the bushing on the negative spring while I was in there anyway. I also replaced the stock 7.5 wt oil with 5 wt just for giggles, but hadn't had a chance to ride it after rebuilding it.

Riding it today, I was jaw-droppingly stoked at how plush it rode, and amazed at how drastically the small bump had improved. I only had an hour and half to play around with it today, and spent the first 45 minutes getting the cockpit dialed, but I can tell already that this is exactly the AM 29er hardtail that I was hoping to build. Banshee really hit a home run with this frame. Also, harassing my LBS to get this frame has also led to them becoming a Banshee dealer, which is also awesome for such a small but awesome bike company.

I have next week off, and should have a thorough ride-report and some real pictures up by next weekend.
 

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:eek: I don't know, maybe I'm too old or what, but I can't see running a HT that needs a 140mm fork being too much fun on the old bones - I bet it is fun though ;) Def will be keeping an eye on this thread to see if your initial thoughts stay after a few more rides.
 

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Yeah dude, it's a sick ride isn't it? I'd love to try the 44 to see if I'd like it.

After my thursday maiden voyage, I realized what the paradox is capable of. Ill admit, it wasn't groundbreaking like I expected. I was figuring it'd be more like a sketched out xc bike with 29 inch wheels. I couldn't have been more wrong.
 

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Any updates on this? How's it going running the 140mm or have you changed to something else? I take back my comments about the 140mm on a HT though, as since owing one myself I can totally see the fun it'd be - not really for needing the travel, but in slightly slacking the angles out a bit more and making it more steep DH friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LyNx said:
Any updates on this? How's it going running the 140mm or have you changed to something else? I take back my comments about the 140mm on a HT though, as since owing one myself I can totally see the fun it'd be - not really for needing the travel, but in slightly slacking the angles out a bit more and making it more steep DH friendly.
It's been too wintery for me to do much in the last few months, but I rode it a ton through the end of the year and am still really stoked on the 140mm. I think that you're spot-op about the HTA vs the travel issue, and definitely think that the slacker geometry makes the paradox an awesome 29er AM hardtail. It's hard for me to comment on the climbing ability relative to the intended 120, as I've still never run it with another fork, but I don't at all feel that the frond end gets too light/squirrely when it's pointed up hill. Overall I've been really happy with this build, and would definitely do it again.
 

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Sweet :thumbsup: Thanks for coming back and updating this thread. So what's your long term thoughts on the Marz, worth what you paid for it? Not many options out there for 140mm 29er forks, so have to consider this maybe as a choice for the Prime, sadly. Maybe RS and Fox will have gotten off their collective lazy arses and some decent sized company would have placed an order for some OEM 140mm, 35mm stanchioned forks and we'll soon be able to get them.

good4nothing said:
It's been too wintery for me to do much in the last few months, but I rode it a ton through the end of the year and am still really stoked on the 140mm. I think that you're spot-op about the HTA vs the travel issue, and definitely think that the slacker geometry makes the paradox an awesome 29er AM hardtail. It's hard for me to comment on the climbing ability relative to the intended 120, as I've still never run it with another fork, but I don't at all feel that the frond end gets too light/squirrely when it's pointed up hill. Overall I've been really happy with this build, and would definitely do it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LyNx said:
Sweet :thumbsup: Thanks for coming back and updating this thread. So what's your long term thoughts on the Marz, worth what you paid for it? Not many options out there for 140mm 29er forks, so have to consider this maybe as a choice for the Prime, sadly. Maybe RS and Fox will have gotten off their collective lazy arses and some decent sized company would have placed an order for some OEM 140mm, 35mm stanchioned forks and we'll soon be able to get them.
The value of the 44 is a bit of an interesting question for me personally. I ended up with it as part of the WFO party pack, which my LBS discounted quite a bit more deeply than advertised, so I ultimately got into it for next to nothing. The WFO outgunned it pretty intensely once I really got the feel for the bike and punted on the RP23, and since I was back in the market for a hardtail at the same time, I figured I would the paradox and punt to the Fox 120 offerings if it sucked. All that being said, I still had to buy the std uppers to move it over to the paradox, and had to replace those after I beatered pretty thoroughly into a rock garden, so I guess I've probably got around 300-350$ in it, for perspective.

The Good:
Even though the small bump sucked before the flange mod, but even out of the box it was pretty good on medium and big hits. After the mod, the small bump is fine (though nothing noteworthy), and the medium and bigger hit compliance is great. I think they nailed the main air spring volume for a really nice ramp up on an AM bike, and I've left the oil volume pretty close to recommended for that reason. After riding it a bunch I think that the volume adjustment increment is pretty good too if you want to stiffen/soften it. It's as stiff as I would hope a 32mm straight steerer to be, and the 15mm axle is well thought out and adds to this. It's also super easy to work on, and Marzocchi has been awesome about support.

The Bad:
I think it needs higher pressures to stay out of the stiction zone in the first 2 cm of travel. Deeper in the travel it's fine, even at lower pressures, but when I dropped mine even to 55 it to test it, it gets a little crappy in the top. It also takes a bit of work up front to make it worth owning, and unless you're comfortable jumping in yourself, I would tell anyone thinking about one to consider the cost/time of getting it modded.

Overall, for this type of a build and big rider, I think that the 44 is a good offering. What it lacks in the small bump it makes up for in the bigger stuff. For comparison, I found that with with both the 120 foxs & the reba i've ridden I gave up controlled bigger hits for better small bump, which wasn't worth it to me with the geometry changes. Specific to the paradox, I really, really, really like the geometry with the slacker HTA, and the 44 is a long way from bad enough to make me consider any of the current 120 offerings. I'm still definitely hoping that someone (i'm looking at you, fox) will bring a smoother, beefier 140mm fork to market, but even when they do, I'll wait to make sure that all the bumps are ironed out before I jump from the Marzocchi.
 

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Thanks for that feedback on the Marz G4N, makes me think it could be a workable solution if RS is still having issues with their lowers when I'm ready to get mine. As to working on my own stuff, well being on an island in the Caribbean you either have to be able to do that or have loads of $$ to ship stuff back to the US and have it serviced/fixed - I'm the first :D Love tinkering, hate having to get someone to help me with my own stuff, so now I also service/fix friends bikes for a small fee.
 
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