Recycledmountainracing.com’s All-Mountain Banshee Rune buildPosted on 19 Sep 20:19
Upgrades, Suspension, Imports, Closeouts!
Recycledmountainracing.com’s All-Mountain Banshee Rune build
We know it’s been awhile since we have done a bike build blog so we hope this gives you some stoke. If you missed any our previous bike build blogs, just hit the “Blog” section in the main menu of recycledmountainracing.com. Summer has passed and now we are headed into one of the best mountain biking seasons: Fall. Moisture is making it’s way into the dirt in most locations in the USA creating prime tacky conditions. In this blog we will continue our tradition of commenting on direction of tech in the mountain bike industry and of course give you our bike build-up notes.
The primary purpose of this bike build was to be a super fun and good all-arounder. “All-mountain” has been an industry term since 2006 or so. We first heard the term used to describe the Santa Cruz Nomad, which was a new model at the time. All-Mountain meant you were getting a burly full suspension bike with 6” of travel that could be ridden hard, but it was toned down from the near downhill like “freeride” hucking and sending machines like the high bottom bracket 8” travel Santa Cruz VP-Free or similar bikes from Intense, Kona, Rocky Mountain, or Banshee. In this build, as always, we try to maintain an awareness of the cost and value for the components. In our minds that means a few very nice cherry picked parts, a few closeout deals, and an overall high performance to $ ratio in the build. We tend to still favor alloy frames over carbon for the value. A carbon frame saves about 1 lb weight on average at a cost of $1k+. This performance / cost ratios is not attractive to us, but we did go with carbon bars and cranks from Race Face’s gravity focused “SixC” line. In the following write up will will discuss our thought process for the build and highlights most of the specific parts chosen in their respective component categories.
A question we get allot is “what is the difference between trail, all-mountain, and enduro bikes?”. As the years go by this question gets more difficult to answer, but in a nutshell across the spectrum “trail” to “all-mountain” to “enduro” we see the “trail” side of the spectrum being more focused on weight savings and using less suspension travel for efficiency- KTM’s Lycan models are good example of this- The lines continue to get blurred as we see sub 26 lb bikes having carbon frames and 6” of travel and we have certainly taken note of the “enduro-fication” of XC race courses that have becoming rougher and required dropper post useage. The “all-mountain” bike in our minds is built to handle a little more punishment than a “trail” bike and was originally intended for someone who lives in the mountains or is doing “big-mountain” riding. We think of “all mountain” bikes as having burly-ier frames and parts, but still using some carbon and air shocks with pedal platforms to save weight in the right places for climbing. At the opposite end from “Trail” of the spectrum, “enduro” bike builds are getting about as “downhill” optimized as possible without actually becoming full on downhill bike. When we look at what top pros’ use for enduro racing we see still see 6” travel frames and many models for MY2017 will push this suspension travel out to 170mm, coil rear shocks for durability and suppleness, and tires with heavy duty downhill casings. Our Banshee Rune build was set for the middle “all-mountain” range of the described spectrum of 6” bikes. We think this is the sweet spot for what most guys want in a mountain bike for most types of ridding. This type of bike allows you to ride all your local trails, but is still burly enough to be taken to the chair lift bike park a few times a year without sacrificing allot.
MY2016 Banshee Bikes Rune
We here at recycledmountainracing.com are stoked to be a new Banshee Bikes dealer. The Rune is Banshee’s main all-mountain or enduro model for 27.5” or 26” wheels. We are stoked on this frame for a few reasons. The Rune has a virtual pivot style suspension linkage called “KS Tuned” after Banshee’s engineer Keith Scott. This type of suspension uses the axle path to correct some of the chain tension issues of suspension compression. We are stoked on how it pedals and combined with a shock with a “pedal platform” climb switch or valving, it can climb exceptionally well for the amount of travel it has. The powder coat on this frame is stunning. The orange model uses some type of fluorescent or “day-glow” color that looks amazing. Please check out the pics as we have tried to take them in different lightings to try and catch some of the effects of this color. We also got in a Banshee Spitfire at the same time and the finish on both frames were top notch. The Banshee Rune has several shock options including Cane Creek’s double barrel air with climb switch and Fox’s new X2 air, but we ultimately went with RockShox’s Monarch Plus because although it is not perfect is does a very good job at about two thirds the cost. Another notable feature on the Rune is it’s modular dropout design. There are different dropout kits for 26” and 27.5” wheels and each kit has three axle positions. We don’t think it will surprise anyone to know we went with the 27.5” wheels in the highest axle position = lowest riding position. Long, low, & slack! It is also worth noting that Banshee makes use of the most common sizing standards. If you get a Banshee headset with your frame the headset comes stock with races for both tapered and 1-⅛” straight forks. The bottom brackets are threaded, seatpost are very common 30.9mm and dropouts were 142x12 with other sizes available. These things make it easy for mountain biker to spec their favorite parts or get spares in a pitch while on vacation. We love everything about this frame; color, construction, sizing standards, geometry, suspension, and most importantly overall ride quality.
MY2017 Banshee Rune frames and bikes might be available as early as November
We have seen color swatches for the new models and expect things to be sick in 2017
Get stoked for Banshee Bikes
Check out the Rune here:
As mentioned above we went with RockShox’s Monarch Plus on this build. If cost was no object we probably would have gone with Cane Creek’s DB air with climb switch - The killer feature on Cane Creek’s DB Air is the climb switch not only affects low speed compression but also the low speed rebound for climbing, this is a feature that even Push’s impressive $1200 ElevenSix custom shock doesn’t have. On this build we were looking to keep costs down. We think in general riders are happy with the performance Monarch Plus and at more that 30% discount to the other shock options it offers a lot of value.
The Monarch Plus’s progression curve can be tuned with a token system similar to RockShox forks. On our bike we did not add any tokens. We see many riders loading up their shock and forks with as many tokens that will fit to get very high progression curves. We understand that the effect of doing this is have a “poppy” and “bottomless” feel but we think most of the riders doing this are missing that the high progression curve is making the force of the hit go more into your body, arms, and legs to support the shock not bottoming harshly. We think for most riders, and especially trail riders a more linear suspension curve is superior to getting the most use of your travel even if this makes it slightly more likely you will take a hit that bottoms the fork or shock out. The rule of thumb use to be that you should bottom your suspension maybe once or twice per ride. We understand guys like Aaron Gwinn win in Dh by running some of the stiffest suspension on the World Cup circuit, but remember a WC DH racer suffers for 3-7 minutes to put in a winning run, how long are you gonna spend on your bike sucking up hits?
The RockShox Monarch does have a 3-position climb switch for low speed compression adjustment. We will admit we were a bit unimpressed with the shock after ridding the Marzocchi 053 on our previous all mountain bike. The 053 shock has independently adjustable high and low compression as well as the ability to adjust the threshold for the 3 position climb lever. We dialed up the LSC compression threshold on the 053 which in comparison left the climb mode a little underwelling on the Monarch Plus. The Monarch Plus did not have independent high and low compression adjusters. The 3 position lever was the only compression adjuster. We were left thinking a three position switch might be too simple. Out on the trail we felt less disappointed as the bike’s rear suspension felt good and flicking the switch did stiffen things up for climbing. Overall the Monarch Plus is a good performer and a good value. Suspension tuner and tinkerer types will probably want the Cane Creek DB air with the climb switch. We are not experts but we did see an expert’s comparison of the Cane Creek’s internals against the Fox and the general opinion was Fox and Cane Creek are becoming extremely similar internally and in pricing.
RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo-air 160mm travel 27.5” 100x15mm
We don’t think it is any secret that RockShox’s new Lyrik has stolen some of the Pike’s shine. Having said that the Pike is still an excellent fork and it was produced in very large numbers so there are often deals to be had. The Pike RCT3 and Lyrik RCT3 both have RockShox’s well liked charger damper, but the Lyrik has straight internal legs and a stiffer chassis for more of a rigid “enduro” package - On this bike build the Pike that was used was from a previous build up. We did notice that play has developed in the bushings from one season of riding and this fork will need a re-fresh this winter. It was hard to pass up a fully functional used Pike in good condition for the cost of new fork even at industry prices. The most exciting new forks are only being produced in boost spacing and many are not available yet. On our radar include MRP’s new Ribbon, DVO’s new 170mm boost Diamond, and we are even curious of Magura’s e-bike specific Boltron inverted single crown fork. We considered going with a RockShox Yari with the lower end motion control damper but we have decided to wait for a fork upgrade later. We will re-access once we have more info on all the upcoming offerings. We do think boost spacing has value for 29”er and 27.5”+plus wheels that are intended for aggressive riding, but we think the extra few millimeters of flange spacing is less of an issue for 27.5” and 26” wheels. Also many of the best wheel and fork deals right now are 15x100 front and 142x12 rear. We think unless your professional racer it pays to be slightly behind the standards curve as that is where the closeout deals have the greatest value.
Spank Oozy 295 trail 27.5” 100x15mm/142x12mm
We think Spank wheels are highly underrated. We understand they probably won’t steal the spotlight from full carbon race wheels, but these allow wheels offer a lot of performance for the $$$. We have brought in some closeout wheel deals here and are stoked on these for a few reasons. In 2015 these wheels sold well at $599 so we feel they are great deal right now at $449 shipped. The 295 have 29.5mm external width rims which is still plenty wide for a 2.2”-2.5” width tire. The wheels have straight pull spokes which we feel leads to more snappy acceleration. The side walls also have grooves cut into the inner walls. This is called bead bite tech. The purpose is to give some additional footing for tire sidewalls to perch on and get a better seal and seating for running your tires tubeless. Spank has two newer models the 345 and 395 with the 345 having 5mm wider external width rims and 395 have 10mm extra width for “mid-fat” or “plus” size tires. The newer sets come in at $649 right now. Some riders have noted that these closeout are 28H as opposed to newer models having 32H. We agree that 32 spokes in general are stronger than 28H, but these wheels are rated for enduro and the straight pull spokes are run at a higher tension than standard “J-bend” spokes. This provides more rigidity at slightly less weight. We have a 250lb rider currently on the 28H and loving it, he feels the straight pull 28h spokes put the wheels on par with 32h J-bend in terms of strength. We did notice that the 29.5mm rims felt a little “twitchy” after coming off a set of 35mm rims on the previous bike, but after a short break in period this “twicthy” feel started feeling more like “nimbleness”. The nimbleness trade off was awesome in rocky sections as it could be used to slash lines between small rocks with great precision. The wheels also have 30 engagment points which is fairly fast and it is also unheard of at this price point. We are very stoked on these wheels
Check out the Oozy 295 Trail wheel deal in red, chrome, and black and 29” and 27.5” here:
Maxxis Highroller II 27.5” x 2.4” EXO 3C TR
It’s no secret that Maxxis’s High Roller 2 model is an extremely popular tire. Our two favorite models right now are the 3C TR model for performance bikes and the SC EXO economy version is pretty sweet also. The “3C TR” stands for “triple compound tubeless ready”. The triple compound model puts different rubber durometers in center and sides to optimize grip and durability. “Tubless ready” is a bicycle industry term that means this the tire can be run tubeless with sealant - We have certainly got the comment from customers that any tire can be run tubeless with sealant and we agree with that, but the TR version seals up much easier. When converting non-TR tires to tubeless we often have to use an air compressor to get the tires to inflate fast enough to seal. The “TR” version can usually seal up fast enough with just a floor pump and the rim/tire connection seems to seal up better and with less attempts - Anyone who has done a tubeless conversion and thought they nailed it only to check the bike the next morning and see a flat tire knows what we are talking about here. The SC EXO tire is Maxxis’s basic single compound tire with it’s EXO folding sidewall casing - The SC is a great tire for the $$$ and it does fairly well in tubeless conversions also. Get a pair of SC EXO for under $100 right now -
Here is the 3C TR tire:
Not going tubeless? on a budget? We have the single compound EXO tires on sale:
We went with the SRAM Guide RSC brakes on this build. We find it hard to fault this brake and we think it is fast becoming the “Gold” standard for gravity disc brakes. The brakes offer 4-piston modulation and the higher end models have some decent adjusters for dialing in the feel. The brake is not perfect and in our opinion it is one of the harder brakes to bleed with about a 20 step process, but luckily we don't think it needs excessive bleeding to stay in the green zone. We prefer these to comparable Shimano models as we think they have less of an on/off feel. The Guides are also on closeout right now which offers allot of value at many price points. The Ultimate models have ti hardware and carbon levers. Carbon levers are nice in the winter. The brakes come pre-bled (rotors and adapter mounts sold separately), bolt on and go. Check them out here:
We have deals on the R, RS, RSC, and RSC Ultimate - Check it out:
BrakeCo 203mm front 180mm rear floating spider
The BrakeCo rotors were some nice but inexpensive rotors we imported from Asia, originally made in Japan. We do sell a good number of a rotor with the same type of design by a much more well known brand in the mountain bike space Hope Tech. The floating rotor design allows a lighter allow spider to be run with the steel brake track. Hope Tech also makes a nice variety of colors.
Check out the Hope floating rotors:
Race Face SixC w/ DM 32T narrow wide chainring w/ HopeTech 30mm threaded BB
Originally we were a bit leary of going to carbon for crank arms. We got the weight savings part but I think the part we didn’t fully appreciate was how much better stop and go pedaling would be with carbon cranks. Rocky sections where you pedal and coast and pedal quick sections to avoid pedal strikes and keep momentum were significantly easier with stiff carbon cranks. We were surprised just how much faster, nimble, and firmer the bike felt threw quick pedal and coast and pedal sections. We think once you try carbon cranks you won’t want to go back to alloy. Furthermore, among carbon cranks Race Face’s SixC are some of the best. Strong enough for downhill and light enough for XC. The SixC line is the gravity line as opposed to the Next line which is more XC and trail focused. We liked the SIxC’s direct mount chainring that uses a thin lockring very similar to cassette lockrings to lock down the chain ring on the drive arm. We discussed it before but if you're running a 1x10, 1x11, or 1x12 setup you are certainly going to want a narrow-wide style chainring. We don’t like how SRAM and RaceFace don’t use one standard but in our minds the lockring wins out over the 3-bolt style direct mount. The SixC also has a very stiff 30mm spindle and it was a little harder finding threaded bottom bracket options but Hope Tech’s 30mm threaded bottom bracket matched up with the SixC spindle perfectly.
Check out the SixC line here:
Looking for a good deal on 1x carbon crank? Check out the SRAM X01 GXP w/ 32T ring:
We probably won’t write a lot here on the benefit of 1x drivetrains as we have covered that in previous blog posts, but there was a nice discovery here. We used drivetrain parts from three different manufacturers and the bike’s shifting has been running flawlessly.
SRAM X1 1x11
KMC 11spd SL-Gold chain - (not an eagle)
E-13 TRS+ 9-44T 11 speed
The stand out part in the drivetrain is certainly the cassette. We were very impressed with the E*13/Hive TRS+ 9-44T cassette. The cassette has an interesting two piece design and the larger cogs are held on to a SRAM XD driver freehub by a lock ring and then the smaller half of cogs “lock” into place on the larger cogs. Two chain-whips are required to remove the smaller cogs from the larger ones. Cheers to E*13 for keeping innovation alive and even their packaging seems unique and efficient. The TRS+ cassette had the widest range 11 speed spread at the time of the bike build. It is worth noting that since this build, SRAM has released it’s 12-speed Eagle XX1 and X01 groups. Do we really need 12 speeds? We think the jury is still out on this one, but our gut is saying “no, we don't really need 1 extra speed”, but what we do like is that the Eagle drivetrains are extremely smooth shifting. We think this is probably more to do with the engineering on the new 12-speed chains than anything else. The new Eagle groups have been strong sellers from the get go, but they are still at the higher end of price scale. The XX1 group has a beautiful 10-50T spread gold finished cassette, but the cassette alone runs $420 which might make it hard to justify the cost of a new group for many riders. If you just upgraded to 1x11 as many mountain bikers have, E*13 should be releasing a updated 9-46T cassette that has a comparable range to keep the 11-speed rider set competitive. If you're still looking for a good deal to get into 1x11 we have deals on the SRAM GX kits and Shimano M8000 XT - check them out here:
We are excited to see Eagle’s smooth shifting technology trickle down to the more economical groups in the future. We also think that is nice that SRAM is offering 12-speed chainring upgrades so if you already own one of their direct mount 3-bolt cranks you don’t have to buy a whole new crankset just to upgrade to 12 -speed (you still need a 12 speed shifter, derailleur, cassette, and chain in addition to the $100 ring)
Check out Eagle here:
Handlebars / Grips
RaceFace SixC / ODI Vans
Everything we said about Race Face’s SixC crank above applies fairly to their handlebar
Check out the handlebars here:
Oozy Trail 50mm length 31.8 clamp red
We think Spank offers a high quality stem with deep rich colors, not to mention a good aray of color choices- We think this stem is very reasonably priced. Check it out here:
On this build we are running an old Race Face Evolve 30.9 post for two reasons. We think this post has an interesting linkage head that allows saddle angle to be set independently from clamping force. This post is a temporary part until me pick out a new dropper post. We think it a dropper is in your budget it is a “must do” upgrade. The ability to drop your post at the push of a button for your descent and return it on the fly to full extension is an extremely valuable high performance option. There are many new models hitting the market this season. We are looking forward to see what E*13 does with their dropper post. There are also some good deals to be had right now on one of the most popular lines: Kind Suspension
Check out the deals here:
The SQLabs 611 ti is still our saddle of choice. We understand there's a new model coming out soon and are looking forward to checking it out. See previous blog posts for what we like about this line.
We think we built a super fun all-mountain bike here.
- Banshee Bike’s Rune check all the boxes
- We saved $$$ by going with a combination of used, closeout, and high value parts!
- We saved weight by going with air suspension and carbon parts in few key area
- Spank Oozy 295 Trail wheels are snappy and fast engaging at a great price
Thanks for checking out our build - Have a question for your bike build? Email us!
For more photos check out our Facebook page:
Need some guidance for your own build? Check out our build guide:
Recycledmountainracing.com is: Upgrades, Suspension, Imports, Closeouts