[This is coach Mike’s initial take on the Banshee Spitfire. He’ll do a full review later, once he’s got more time in the saddle.]
It’s been a month since I’ve put my 2017 Banshee Spitfire together,although I’ve spent some time on a Spitfire before. I had a shop demo bike from Banshee last year so I knew what I was getting myself into. Right off the bat I knew this bike would suit my riding. Besides having geometry on the longer and lower end of the spectrum, one of the things at the top of my wish-list is a stiffframe. Particularly the rear triangle. I don’t like the rear end to feel mushy when I’m pushing the rear tire into a corner. The Spitfire is definitely one of the stiffest trail bikes I have ridden. For comparison, I find stiffness to be on par with my 2015 Kona Supreme Operator, which is a full on carbon DH bike. I’ve ridden the Spitfire with both aluminum and carbon wheels and even with the more flexible aluminum rims it tracks alarming well through rough terrain. I find myself carrying a ton of speed through terrain I usually am a bit more conservative on. I probably need to sharpen my reflexes to keep up with the bike.
I have also been really impressed with the Spitfire’s climbing efficiency. After spending many years on a VPP linkage, the Spitfire just feels way easier to ride up hill. The VPP bikes suffer from pedal bob while the Spitfire keeps composed under power, even with the shock in the descend position. Since I already have a DH bike, I wasn’t in the market for a long legged enduro bike that could do dual duty in the bike park yet be slogged up hill. I wanted a snappy trail bike that climbed well. The Spitfire definitely delivered.
- Large Frame w/ pedals – 30.0 lb
- RockShox Pike RCT3 up front with a Monarch RC3 Plus Debonair in the rear
- NOBL TR38 rims laced to i9 Torch hubs
- SRAM XO Eagle drive train and cranks
- SRAM RSC Guide brakes
- Chromag BZA bars and stem
- Chromag Lynx DT saddle
- RockShox Reverb Stealth 150mm
- Maxxis 2.4 3C EXO High Rollers