Meet the Banshee Paradox – An alloy hardtail that rides like steel

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The Banshee Paradox is an ultra-rare alloy hardtail that has been designed to ride with the spirit of a steel bike

Banshee bikes aren’t exactly ten a penny in the UK. You might bump into a Spitfire now and then but they’re not the usual bike you’ll see at your local trail. So to think that there are only 50 of these Banshee Paradox hardtails in existence and only 1 of them is in the UK is staggering especially as the UK is home to the hardcore hardtail.

banshee paradox hardtail
You can have any colour you want as long as it’s tinted raw.

We spotted this example of a Banshee Paradox during the Fort William World Cup so stopped for a few photos and a chat about the bike.

bansee paradox hardtail
An alloy bike that rides like steel? Very interesting.

This is actually the 3rd generation Paradox from Banshee and like the previous hardtails, this bike is aimed at trail and all-mountain riders who prefer the feel of a rigid backend combined with a 120 – 150mm travel fork up front.

Banshee Paradox Geometry
Banshee Paradox Geometry

There will be three frame sizes including Medium, large and X-Large. As you would expect, the angles are pretty slack, with a 65° head angle up front. The seat tube angle changes through the frame sizes, varying from 75.3° to 75.9° when measured with an 800mm BB-to-saddle height. The chainstay length is a very tight 425mm across all sizes.

banshee paradox hardtail
Engineered for compliance.

Banshee decided to manufacture the Paradox from aluminum to ensure low weight, and those hydroformed tubes are all neatly welded together with buttery welds.

banshee paradox hardtail
‘Tuned’ yokes add vibration damping qualities to the Paradox.

The rear end is attached to the front via CNC machined alloy yokes but they aren’t there to create a stiff ride, but in fact, they’ve been developed to do the exact opposite. Banshee claims that the machined alloy dropouts and yokes are ‘tuned’ to offer vertical compliance and vibration damping. The idea being that this lightweight hardtail should have similar ride characteristics as a steel bike.

Ensuring the rear of the bike only flexes vertically, the rear stays are internally ribbed. In theory, the Banshee Paradox should be a fast accelerating, efficient, yet comfortable frame to ride.

banshee paradox hardtail
Plenty of tyre clearance.

Those lucky few riders who manage to get there hands on a Banshee Paradox can choose to build their bike up as either a 29er or 27.5in plus ride, and with generous tyre clearance, you can run a 2.6in wide tyre in wagon wheel model or 2.8in in plus for even more comfort.

Framesets come with a pre-installed headset and rear axle and are priced at $849 USD, $1099 CAD, €849 or £849.

Could the alloy Banshee Paradox with the ride of a steel hardtail be the ultimate UK frameset? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (10)

    Lovely looking, but at that price, nope.

    How light, exactly? SC Chameleon is pretty stiff competition for those seeking an alloy HT, and a pocketful cheaper

    I am intrigued as to how such small features of a frame actually flex enough that you could feel it. Happy to test ride if needed…? 😉

    2 psi in tire pressure will have a far greater affect on ‘feel’ than the infinitesimal amount of flex in that upper yoke. Aluminum is a great material for bikes, light and cheap. But, it also has the least fatigue resistance of any of the materials used in bicycle production, especially the weldable alloys. So, if that hokey yoke is moving enough to be felt, it will certainly move enough to fatigue and crack well before the ultra rigid front triangle will. If you want the ride of steel, by all means there are plenty of incredible choices.

    Looks to me as an 1st gen evil sovereign/ Kingdom vendetta rip off to me

    “An alloy bike that rides like steel? Very interesting.”

    And not remotely novel – this was a regular topic of conversation 20-odd years ago, and there have been bikes around to satisfy the brief for most of that time.

    As a previous poster has noted, any alloy frame that “flexes like steel” is likely to have a pretty short service life with an abrupt end. At the very least I’d be asking for a lot of info on their frame testing processes before I went anywhere near it!

    light and cheap

    One out of two isn’t bad I suppose

    Does the article say ‘machined alloy’ and not aluminium? Could these be steel yokes and drop outs?

    Will you be doing a ride review? Wondering how this compares to the sonder signal ti.

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