Benji's Bandito – Minty Fresh

Diamondback Bandito

Diamondback Bandito

(£449 RRP from Raleigh)

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The forks top out during "car park testing" but seem fine on the dirt.

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Isis has its place (on jump bikes anyway...)

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This year’s mantra for me is to learn how to jump properly on proper jumps. It’s a funny old game. You pretty much have to unlearn a lot of the way you normally ride a mountain bike. It’s been very hard to stop “soaking up” the jumps and to actually stiffen my legs and use the shape of the jump to er… jump.

I’ve been doing some jumps on various mountain bikes (Santa Cruz Chameleon, Cannondale Prophet MX) with varying degrees of spazziness. But recently my local jump spot has dried out enough for me to dare and have a go with my Diamondback Bandito test bike. A proper dirt-jump bike…

Wow! What a difference. The front end came up so easily that I nearly smashed my chin off doing some preliminary bunny hops on the road down to the park. And on the jumps themselves (which are modest cute little things admittedly) the shape and overall heft of the bike “made sense”.

So, so far so good. I’m now very much looking forward to having a go at a bigger jump spot. I’ll let you know how I get on…

Check out my lame video!