Banshee Prime alternatives

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  • Banshee Prime alternatives
  • jamiesilo

    NB, i’m not about to buy a new frame / bike, i’m just geeking/dreaming…

    the Prime ticks all the boxes: 135 rear 150 front, b+ compatible, ok those are the 2 main boxes. oh yeh, and frame rate suits a coil shock (dreaming again!)

    so what else is out there which is a Plus capable full suss frame, 130-140 rear, designed for longer 150mm fork? definately NOT interested in frames designed for equal travel front and back.

    it would have to be something a few years old i guess or i’ll never be able to afford it. so more than likely a 29er

    can anyone help me compile my geek list? maybe ther aren’t even that many?

    Buy my BNIB large prime frame and build that?

    /cheeky ad

    Salsa pony rustler? Not 150 front though. Evil following? Again not the travel specified but travel isn’t everything. They are quite specific conditions though. Why are you set on not having equal travel front and back?

    The prime is a great bike though.I had one for two years and loved it. Almost had another but plans change.

    Without going to Carbon, there’s nothing comparable in design intent to the Prime, at least, there wasn’t last September when I pulled the trigger on one after months of hawing and hahing.

    Similar bikes are available, but with not quite the same intent.


    The Prime is a great frame, I’ve spent the last year on mine and have settled on a 160mm FAST damper RS Pike up front and currently changing from the DB Air (no issues) out back to a DB Coil IL. Its a beast, and I run mine with a 650b rear (in the mid setting) for extra giggles, it works in the low setting also but it becomes so manual happy that you struggle to keep the front wheel on the ground.

    The only thing close to it was the Pivot Switchblade that I demoed at Ard Rock last year, great bike, but I couldn’t stomach the 6K price tag for a full carbon build.

    Absolutely everything I’ve ridden after my Prime feels like it has a flexy back end, the prime is so laterally stiff, you can drive it through on the front wheel (I’m on an XL with a 475mm reach), pin it and the rear sticks.

    I’ve had an alpine five, codeine and Nicolai and the Prime stands head and shoulders above them all. I’m tempted by the Evil Following at Biketart reduced to £1485, but I prefer aluminium and not to have to deal with Evil in a possible warranty claim as a few of my riding buddies have already experienced recently.


    Transition Sentinel or Smuggler, although their 10mm travel either side of the Prime.

    The Transition bikes are pretty progressive so play well with coil shocks (my Scout certainly does).

    Premier Icon Pz_Steve

    As a Prime owner and serial upgrader (in everything, not just bikes), I keep asking myself this, and I keep coming up with the same answer: Nothing.

    Before I got the Banshee I’d never go more than a few months before getting it into my head that the latest This, That or TheOther would be better than what I’d got. Now, coming up for 4 years down the line I still struggle to find anything I’d want to change.

    But don’t take my (or anyone else’s word for it). The other thing I learnt with all the bike swapping is that 100 reviews is no match for a single demo ride and everyone ‘clicks’ with different bikes.

    But the Prime really is ace…!


    none of you are helping!

    i oviously don’t need ot look any further tho.

    oh well, maybe in another couple of years.
    the frame i have is more than adequate.

    and yes gibbon, i’d decided inline coil was the way to go too.


    i tried a switchblade at a demo day and found it a little dead, especially compared to the Spitfire i tried, but it did have a CC shock on it, and the pivot may not have been set up for my weight.

    also tried a hightower. that was nice…

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex

    I ordered a Prime but Ison couldn’t get one in so got a 17 Fuel Ex instead. The trek is a great bike and a bit longer/slacker/lower than the Prime but I also have no doubt the Prime is awesome and also a bit more special than a Trek. The Fuel also has very low stack which may be a good thing or not, I have a few spacers and 45mm rise bars on mine

    Orbea Rallon looks mint but that’s new and carbon and expensive


    turns out the Hightower is 135 rear, 150 front as well, in 275+ set-up.
    i did test one as well the same day as the Pivot (was a good day!), but it was Large, so couldn’t really get the feel of it. not to mention both bikes had the brakes the wrong way round…

    anyway, a carbon santa cruz is probably a little out of even my imaginary budget. still, it can go on the list!

    As Davosaurusrex knows, my previous bike was a Turner Sultan built burly. I generally felt it was a pretty good trail bike, but it didn’t stand up well to the combination of my weight and change in riding style/taste some years ago. This resulted in expensive bushing replacement on a yearly basis.

    The inclusion of a new skool hardtail to my stock totally ruined the feel of the Sultan that is pretty old skool geometry, (last updated in 2011) in comparison to the much more radical Last Fast forward.

    The Prime has turned out to be exactly what I wanted to replace the Sultan as a ‘hardcore trail bike’ – (whatever that is). Bar the head angle, its frame numbers are within a few mm of the Last. It’s capable of being slammed down anything I have the nerve to hit, but is just rideable all day. It’s much stiffer laterally, which, as a heavyish rider is at more of a premium than normal, has DW-esque suspension which I prefer for balls out technical climbing and has a bit more travel. Where the Sultan began to struggle, the Prime just shrugs with a metaphoric ‘You’d better hang on then’. It picks up speed without even trying in a way that makes the Sultan seem like a moping teenager washing the car.

    The weight of the frame is approx 7.6lbs in a large, which is on the money for an alu frame intended for the chunkier end of riding, and makes it no heavier than the Sultan frame (although I’ve pushed the build chunkier over all).

    My one complaint so far is that I’m not convinced that the Monarch debonair plus is right for the frame rate with a heavier rider. Even with air tokens, I’m struggling to get the correct sag without mid stroke wallow and too much end stroke ramp up, but I’m about 90kgs.

    Don from Kustom bikes (its where I got mine) is currently selling his 2017 Large, black ano on the ‘bay for 999 if you’re interested.


    Not riden any of the above. What about the new transition sentinel alloy or carbon

    I haven’t ridden the Prime but I’ve had its smaller wheeled and fractionally longer travel cousin, the Spitfire, for four years now. I still can’t really fault it! In an ideal world I’d add a tiny bit of reach, drop the BB a little and steepen the seat angle a bit – mine’s a 2014 and the later ones already have those changes.

    It manages to be fun on less tech stuff and good at covering ground, whilst also climbing well and being hilarious for smashing out uplift days. I can imagine the Prime will be even better – at the time there was nowhere near the choice in burlier tyres and rims so I stayed with smaller wheels.


    yep chief, when i rode the spitfire that’s exactly how i felt about it, which is hy i got interested in the prime in the first place : )

    so, otherwise, a lot of people not reading my original post evidently, but to be expected. i’m NOT in the market for anything, and if/when the day arrives that i am, it will be a second hand one, with a good 3 or 4 years on it to make it affordable!
    on the other hand, i am just compiling a wish list so no reason why unrealistic stuff shouldn’t go on it!

    science officer, i reackon you want to stick an inline coil on it don’t you?
    adidng air tokens will give more ramp-up, rather than less as well.

    didn’t realise the transitions had different front and rear travel. they do look good and have had godd reviews ey? and 2.8 tyre clearance too. hmm

    i think neither of the new transitions are designed for bigger front than back travel, but i haven’t checked.

    They are and actually most burly 29ers are. In fact in recent years loads of bikes have gone with 10mm more fork than frame travel and 29ers often 15-20mm more.

    science officer, i reackon you want to stick an inline coil on it don’t you?

    Maybe, I have a history of running coils on trail bikes back in the day, but I think I just need the right shock in there. I’d rather not pack the weight of a coil these days, since its a 33lb machine already.

    I suspect the solution is an air shock from fox or CC tbh.


    DVO Topaz gives a very coil-esque feel.

    Food for thought, thanks. Do they have any proper UK support yet?


    thanks groovegu. i’ve been reckoning it’s the way to go for a few years, tho at the momnet i probably have the inverse

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