Banshee Rune or Spitfire?
Been lurking here for too long, decided to finally ask a question of my own. I’m selling all my stuff from building my hardtail and am going to get either a Banshee Rune or Spitfire.Posted 3 years ago
I’m a really light rider, 65kg or so ready to ride, I’ll be riding 50k rides with my mates all the way to hitting BPW, Cwmcarn downhill etc. Have had thoughts about riding the Mega one day too.
I want a bike to grow in to, but wondering if the Spitfire will be able to cope with it and be more playful? If you’ve got any experience with either, I’d be grateful as can’t get a demo on one.
I’ve got a Rune and am pretty happy with it. There are times I think that I should have bought a Spitfire but looking at the MTBR thread it’s not massively lighter than my Rune.
Think the Rune climbs pretty damn well especially for a 160mm travel bike. It’s much better than the SX Trail it replaced and to be honest, it’s better than my Stanton too. I’ve done some big XC rides in the Dales on mine and it was fine and it was fine at BPW and Antur. The biggest limiter is….er me!
Shameless pic of mine…
Its a large and weighed in at 33lbs when I first got it and it had Fox 36 Van RC2’s. I’m hoping the Devilles, a lighter saddles, pedals and no more chain device will have trimmed a bit of weight off it.Posted 3 years ago
I have been riding a spitfire v2 for over a year now and love it I wouldn’t really say that there is a lot between both the rune and the spitfire it really depends on how you choose to build them up. Obviously the rune can withstand some bigger hits, however I have built my spitfire with fox van 36 and ccdb and it is a solid bike. At your weight I’d say go for the spitfire because you’ll get the climbing benefits and it will still hold up to some serious downhill. I weigh 14 st and have had no issues jumping the bike you just have to make sure you don’t case the landings (this applies to most trail frames though). I only have the ccdb and if I’m climbing for prolonged periods I add 2 clicks of both low speed rebound and compression which is essentially what the climb switch is doing and this creates a firmer pedalling platform.
Ignore my jumping face!Posted 3 years ago
The start of this video shows you what the spitfire can handle…..Posted 3 years ago
Nice one again. I’m thinking Pikes on the front and a couple of sets of wheels, one of which (Stans Arch Ex) coming off my old hardtail build. Just wish someone would hurry up and buy something so my child doesn’t have to go hungry like Tiny Tim.
…Monkeyninja, I was doing fine til you chipped in with your informed and well rounded views. Jumping face made it a touch easier to discount though.Posted 3 years agopedladSubscriber
Quite intrigued by people’s description of how a spitfire is good to pedal but a right poppy blast on the downs. Combined with the ability to evolve from 26er to 27.5 as I replace stuff makes it a contender for my next frame.
What weight range are people building up spitfires at especially for lighter builds?Posted 3 years ago
Also is it a threaded external bb? The website doesn’t mention bb.woolymonsterMember
I have a Rune V2 and it is awesome…like MindMap said, the limitation is me with mine but the bike is so capable it’s unreal. Lumping a 160mm bike uphill is always going to be a bitch but in my mind it’s worth it…but always wondered if the Spitfire would have been enough 😀 …but, I do still love the Rune. I’ve seen Spitfires and Runes at both BPW and CwmCarn and every rider has been more than happy.Posted 3 years ago
BB is threaded.Posted 3 years ago
Mine is a burly build don’t know the exact weight but I’d say its about 32lb based on other builds with the same spec, however, I wouldn’t worry to much about the weight because when riding it, it pedals so well. Everybody seems to get so concerned with the weight of a bike, I think its more about how it rides rather than how heavy it is on paper, plus a few years ago 32lb was considered light. I find it funny when I read about people who say they wouldn’t want to pedal a 32lb full sus bike around all day, what are their legs made of twigs?
The spitfire is marketed as a downhillers trail bike and as such is a solid frame that can be ridden hard, for the riding I do I’m not sure i’d want it much lighter, I could save 1lb with a new fork and maybe 1/2lb if I loose the chain guide.tuskaloosaSubscriber
Jimmy – went on a week long trip in the highlands with a guy who rode an older Rune with fox 36’s – extremely competent rider though, he didn’t seem to have a problem with those ‘punchy climbs’ plus on the descents he tore us apart, he did have issues with his pivots/bearings but I think that was typical of the older Rune’s
ash – what size chilcotin?Posted 3 years ago
I genuinely don’t find my Rune that bad for pedalling. It feels like a much lighter bike once you’re on the move.
When I was in Swaledale I kept pace with the XC boys I was with on all but the nastiest climbs although I was working a bit harder than they were. The KS Link works really well I reckon. My mate has just built ip a carbon Stumpy and it’s only a pound or two lighter than mine.Posted 3 years agopedladSubscriber
32lb does sound pretty heavy compared to other options. Is that with coil shock/forks. I know it’s not the be all and end all but the local riding has plenty of long steep ups so I wouldn’t want to hobble myself too much compared to my mates carbon machines. I’d be coming from an orange st4 at about 28.5 lb and would be happy to get close to that if it’s possible with a spitfire….Posted 3 years ago
Thanks all, encouraging to hear how well the Rune works for longer days. Good to know it feels light when moving- I’m not hugely worried about weight, my steel hardtail weighed a fair bit so shouldn’t be a huge shock.
Tuskaloosa sounds like they sorted the bearings issues with the KS link. Hope so, living in Wales…
Monkeyninja, no worries.
Thanks again for input all. Now to sell my stuff…Posted 3 years ago
Like I said on paper it may appear to be heavy compared to other options but at the end of the day we’re talking about 4lbs here.. take a big shit before you ride and stay of the cake at the end of the ride and the 4lb will disappear. If I told someone my bike weighed 28lb and they rode it I really doubt they would be able to tell it weighed 32lb. It really pedals very well, mine is built with old van 36 coils and a ccdb air and a chainguide and dropper post. On mtbr most builds seem to be sub 30lb.Posted 3 years agommelMember
Nice to see so much interest in Banshee these past few days. There seems to be a new thread every day.
I have a 2014 Spitfire. Great bike, with a lot of geeky tweaking options. I don’t need to repeat what others have said above and what I’ve put in other theads but it’s worth believing the hype, especially with the CCDB CS and Pike forks. That suspension setup is fantastic. I test rode the Bronson, Rocket and the SB66/SB95 before choosing a Spitty and I’m very glad I did…
It’s no light weight, but that was never a priority for me.Posted 3 years ago
Spitfire with a CCDBair is 7.5lbs inc. shock – so it’s not light but it’s not heavy considering that the (AMAZING!) CCDBair is twice the weight of most air shocks. The pedalling efficiency totally outweighs the weight issue – I’m climbing hills just as fast as on my 26.5lbs hardtail.
How you choose to build up any similar frame will have far more effect on the final weight than the frame weight will. And at the end of the day, the only reason MTBers obsess over weight is because it’s much easier to measure than the rolling resistance of tyres or the pedalling efficiency of a frame/suspension design. It matters so little compared to those two factors.
The only time I notice that my Spitfire weighs about 31lbs is when lifting it over fences and into cars – plus it’s much bigger than my Soul so harder to manhandle in general. It rides light uphill and along and absolutely thunders downhill.Posted 3 years ago
It is good to see a lot of love for Banshee. I’ve had mine 2 weeks and initially i thought it was a bugger to climb with but it wasn’t really the frame it was more to do with moving up from a 32 tooth ring to a 36 tooth. Now I’m settled on that the suspension paired with the double barrel climb switch is fantastic and really does pedal so much lighter than you think.Posted 3 years ago
I agree its good to see lots of love for Banshee. Keith the designer is a top guy and responded to all of my emails.
I’ve yet to see another one in the wild despite there being a few owners on here and I had to wait a bit for my frame because they were all sold out. Part of me wishes that I’d got a brighter colour but being black no one seems to pay my bike much attention which suits me fine.
It’s way too much bike for me, but it love it. I’m still pretty quick up hills even though I’ve had a lazy winter and not ridden much road bike this year and it tackles everything I can throw at it down a hill. It’s a pretty confidence inspiring bike and feels stable at speed (although that may be because I don’t ride fast enough!). I wouldn’t get too hung up on weight, I think the way a bike rides is far more important.Posted 3 years ago
Think it’s 36/24 double 11-34 but I’d have to check and yeah it’s 27.5.
Ah, a double! I was going to say, that’s a pretty big gear to push on 1×10. I hadn’t thought about it before I rode it but 34t 11-36 on 27.5 is the same gearing as 36t 11-36 on a 26, which explains why I have no choice but to go up hills fast on my Spitfire…
Judging by how my Spitfire feels and extrapolating how the Rune probably is, I think I’d still ride a Spitfire living around here (South Downs) even if I was a much braver/better riding sending properly big jumps and drops. However, if I lived somewhere with more open steep rocky descents then I’d probably go for the Rune – I bet it still climbs well and the extra travel and even slacker angles would be great. That’s not that the Spitfire isn’t great when I take it to those places, it’s fantastic – but I think the Rune could be too squishy and slack for my local singletrack.
Another way to look at it is I suspect the Spitfire is the weapon of choice for UK enduro racing whilst the Rune the one for UK DH racing – I bet a DH bike would only be quicker at Fort William.Posted 3 years ago
I think this sums up the brilliance of the Spitfire design and how a great shock and forks bring the best out of it. I’ve had mine a couple of months and started out running 25% sag front, 28% rear, in the neutral dropout setting. Note that I’m running 160mm 27.5″ forks which makes it 10mm taller up front and 0.5 degree slacker than with 160mm 26″ forks (or 150mm 27.5″ forks).
For a trip to Wales I dropped it into the low/slack setting and added a bottomless token to give the fork more progression. Absolutely awesome thundering through the rocks and railing the berms. Didn’t even have to ratchet the cranks as often as I’d expect when climbing the techy bits because the anti-squat is so good. Slowed the HSR on the Cane Creek to balance the pop off the lip when jumping.
I thought that I’d have to raise it back up to neutral to handle our twisty local singletrack but in fact the lower slacker geometry made it easier to drift in the greasy mud whilst avoiding bouncing off trees. Felt like I’d had a skills upgrade!
As it’s dried out and got way faster around here I’ve started to feel like I’m holding the bike back, lacking the ability to flick it around the multitude of quick slalom turns which leave no room for error. As I’ve said to fellow riders, its natural state is to go flat out in a straight line over everything – it corners brilliantly once it’s turning but you have to really throw it on its side and aim past the exit, otherwise it ignores you!
I know a better rider could chuck such a long low slack bike around twisty turns and I’m working on getting better… However, for some immediate skill compensation I decided to try raising the dropout back to neutral, softening the fork to 30% sag (and adding a few clicks of compression damping) and the shock to 30% sag, thinking that this should steepen the angles, getting more weight onto the front and quickening the steering.
Tried it out last night: Still low and slack compared to many bikes but that bit more flickable, felt much less like it wanted to plough straight on in the tighter turns. I was more confident to barrel into corners hard knowing I could throw the bike around and not crash into a tree.
In a few (many) moments of extreme geekery I worked out all the numbers on this 160F/140R 27.5 Spitfire.
Low/slack + 25%F/28%R sag:
HA / SA = 65.7 / 73.2 deg
Sagged HA = 65.7 deg
Reach / Stack = 427 / 590mm
ETT length = 591mm (23.3″)
BB height / drop = 342mm / 16mm
Sagged BB height = 302mm
Neutral + 30% F&R sag:
HA / SA = 66.2 / 73.7deg
Sagged HA = 66.5 deg
BB height / drop = 348mm / 10mm
Sagged BB height = 304mm
(The neutral setting also shortens the chainstays by 2mm – insignificant? Probably!)
When we next head to steeper faster gnarlier climes I’ll swap the dropouts back to low/slack and add a little more air to the fork and click back its compression damping for high speed rock munching fun – literally a leisurely 15 minute job. What a brilliant bike, almost a work of genius!Posted 3 years ago
Curious to know if any of you who’re running 650b wheels noticed any real difference? I like the look of the geometry better with 26″ wheels and dropouts but as it’s going to be new thought I might as well ask.Posted 3 years ago
Also, chiefgrooveguru, curious as to your mentioning the Spitfire wanting to just plough straight on rather than be manoeuvred – do you find the bike harder work than other bikes to get in the air and move about? Is that something you might attribute to 650b wheels?
Apologies if I’m trying to split hairs, I get the sense that the bikes are dialed in either wheel size.
I rune my a Rune in the neutral position mainly because I’m too lazy to swap. The bike I demo’d was in the slack position and for general trail riding I found it quite hard work but amazing on the descents.
I’ve definitely found the Rune harder work on the twisted than the SX Trail that it replaced. It’s natural position is go fast and plough through stuff, but it can be man handled through stuff and it likes to be leant over in corners…it starts to carry some serious speed then. I’ve noticed now its dry, that I’m getting much more banked over on the berms locally which was caught me out a few times as I’ve carried more speed than I’m used to. The upshot to this is that the bike is very stable at speed.
With regards to getting it in the air, it’s fine. For such a slack bike that excels in being pounded through stuff, it’s quite poppy. I have no issues with it through smaller rhythm sections, launching off stuff on the trails and doing my dodgy table top tweaks.
The shock is great but can take a while to get dialled and it has got the ability to make the bike ride horribly as I found out last summer. The shock was set ip for trail riding and working well but it struggled with bigger hits and drops at Stile Cop so I ended up reducing the volume and cranking up the compression. No more bottoming out and blowing through its travel but it was nasty to ride, I’m now down to a diddy reducer and a bit past the stock settings (although I run more high speed rebound and compression).
I was up at Stile Cop this week and the bike felt much better than it did last time. The Devilles were better than my 36’s in certain areas but not as good in others; they’re not as stiff or plush over the small stuff but are better under braking and don’t bottom out so quickly. They felt better rolling the steeper stuff because they stay up in tier travel more. Above all else, the match the CCDBa better.
I’d love a go on a Spitfire because I reckon it’d be a hoot. I don’t think you can go wrong with either frame myself.Posted 3 years ago
That’s all good to hear. Very helpful, the reason I ask specifically is that being so light I have to really work my weight around. But I’ll have to do that on any frame as we’re pretty well equal weight. Was thinking of a small volume reducer to get a bit more progression and pop.Posted 3 years ago
Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.
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