A few months ago we posted news that 3Sixty Sports had picked up the distribution of Banshee Bikes in New Zealand. In that post we gave you a glimpse of the 160mm travel Rune All Mountain/Enduro bike. 3Sixty have now sent us a Banshee Spitfire that we will be reviewing for the September issue of the magazine. Here’s a first look.
Although slightly less burly than the Rune, the Spitfire’s frame design and construction is almost identical, albeit scaled down in places. With 140mm of travel the Spitfire is intended to be an aggressive trail bike and, not surprisingly given its origins in BC Canada, the emphasis is on the “aggressive”. Slack, low geometry, a no bullshit frame construction, and a solid component spec suggest that the Spitfire should be at its happiest in attack mode.
Keeping it in the hood. Banshee bikes were “Born on the Shore” (North Shore of Vancouver that it is). As were Raceface, so it’s no surprise to see a tidy selection of their components being specified on the Banshee bikes.
The KS-Link suspension is a 4-bar virtual pivot design intended to improve rigidity and durability by reducing the number of parts and the amount of movement required during suspension actuation. The shock is driven directly by the rear triangle, doing away with the swing link often used in other 4-bar designs.
Our review bike is fitted with the CaneCreek DB Air CS rear shock. There will be three different specs of the 2015 Spitfire available in New Zealand (from early October). The Expert model will be fitted with a CaneCreek rear shock.
One of the neat features of the Rune and the Spitfire bikes is the adjustable dropout system. Rearranging the little aluminium chips that secure the rear dropouts allows you to customise the bikes geometry, dropping the bottom bracket height and changing the head angle. Not only that, should you choose to, you can switch between old school 26″ wheels and the hip and happening 650b. How’s that for adaptability.
The Spitfire has a headtube and some cables . . . . .
Who doesn’t like a good raw aluminium frame.
No need to take a drill to this frame. The Spitfire comes ready to accommodate an internally routed stealth dropper post.
Our review bike is kitted out with the formidable RockShox Pike, which should make a very nice pairing with the CaneCreek rear shock . Different specs of the 2015 bikes come with different fork options (See below).
The Halo carbon wheels are not standard spec on the Spitfire, but these are another 3Sixty Sports product and so we’ll be taking the opportunity to review these too. (More details here)
Our review bike is running a 2.25 Maxxis Ardent on the rear, but there looks to be plenty of space for bigger options. Banshee say you can run a 2.5 650b rear tyre. Not bad for a bike with relatively short chainstays.
Cables are routed on top of the downtube which might not be the most stealth solution but keeps them well and truly out of harm’s way.
After a initial wet and muddy outing on the Spitfire I can report that I’m pretty excited about spending some time on this bike. I’ve got a bit of work to do figuring out exactly which geometry setting best suits my riding and getting the CaneCreek shock set up nicely, but first impressions are certainly positive. Keep posted for our review.
2014 Spitfire frames are currently available through selected bikeshops nationwide. 2015 frames and complete bikes will be available through those same bike shops from early October this year. Here are the different specs and current recommended retail pricing for the 2015 bikes:
2015 Banshee Spitfire:
- X-Fusion Sweep Forks
- X-Fusion O2RCX shock
- SRAM X7 1×10 drive train
- Raceface Ride Cranks and Cockpit
- Kore XCD Wheels
- Avid Elixer3 Brakes
- Marzocchi 350CR Forks
- Fox CTD shock
- X1 drive train,
- Raceface evolve cranks
- Raceface Turbine Stem and Atlas bar
- Kore Duroxwheels
- Reverb Stealth
- SRAM Guide brakes
- Rockshox Pike forks
- Cane Creek Inline shock
- Raceface Sixc Cranks and Bars
- 35mm Atlas stem
- Spank OozyWheels
- Reverb Stealth
- SRAM guide brakes
- Fox CTD or Cane Creek Inline rear shock
Bikes will be available at the following retailers:
- Cyclexpress (Auckland)
- Outdoor Action(Auckland)
- Ride Central (Rotorua)
- Dirt Merchants (Wellington)Outdoor World (Queenstown)