Banshee Darkside Prototype – First Ride- Demo- Coming Soon

Check out Pink bikes first ride on the all new Banshee Darkside.

Banshee Darkside- First ride

Banshee had two prototypes of their Darkside, the company’s new 180mm travel rig on display at this year’s Crankworx Whistler. In development for the last year, the Darkside will be replacing the Scythe and the Wildcard as Banshee’s freeride / park bike, and is expected to be available in the spring of 2014. When asked about the inspiration behind the new bike, Keith Scott, Banshee’s engineer, frame designer and part owner of the company, simply said, “It’s the bike I want to be riding.” Although final pricing isn’t available yet, Scott stressed that he wanted to create a bike that was a little more affordable than other offerings currently on the market, but without skimping on any features.

Geometry and Frame Design

The Darkside is constructed of hydroformed 7005 aluminum, and features a tapered head tube, threaded 83mm bottom bracket, and integrated bump stops on the frame for riders who choose to run a dual crown fork. The bump stops are easily replaceable – ODI’s bar end plugs fit into the hole in the frame, giving riders a myriad of color choices. The prototype frame uses Banshee’s interchangeable dropout system, but this probably won’t make its way into production in order to keep the frame costs down.

Banshee Darkside- First ride

The Darkside prototype’s features include a tapered head tube, integrated, replaceable fork bump stops and adjustable dropouts.

Banshee Darkside- First ride

The Darkside uses Banshee’s KS-Link, which rotates on sealed cartridge bearings, with the majority of them sitting directly inside the frame.

Suspension Layout

The Darkside uses Banshee’s KS-Link suspension design, which uses two short links to attach the rear swingarm to the front triangle, with the rear shock mounted directly to the rear swingarm. A shorter stroke shock should could be used to reduce the amount of travel while at the same lowering the bottom bracket and slackening the head angle. The Darkside’s suspension is intended to have a neutral feel, with a very slightly rearward axle path and a progressive suspension curve to prevent harsh bottoming out. The bike’s suspension curve works well with either a coil or air shock, and the bike we spent time on was equipped with Cane Creek’s latest version of their DBAir. Banshee has been working closely with Cane Creek to come up with the best possible base tune for the bike, which will help simplify the initial suspension setup.

• 180mm travel
• 26″ wheels
• 63.5 – 64.5 degree head angle
• 16.5″ chainstay length
• Sizes: S, M, L
• Colors: black, raw, bright (final color TBD)
• Available Spring 2014

Banshee Darkside- First ride

The Darkside would have been called a freeride bike a few years ago, but that terminology seems to have fallen out of favor, replaced instead with ‘mini-DH’ or ‘park bike.’ Whatever you’d like to call it, the Darkside looks like it may be a good choice for the rider searching for a bike that could be ridden hard for multiple seasons of lift or shuttle assisted riding. Sure, it’s not carbon, and you probably won’t see it on any World Cup podiums, but we’d be willing to bet that countless riders will be pushing this bike as hard as possible for years to come. Keith Scott set out to create a bike that he wanted to ride, basically a bike with the stability of a downhill race bike but with better cornering ability, and our first impression is that he has succeeded. Our time on the Darkside wasn’t long enough put our theories on its long-term durability to the test, but once we get our hands on a production version we’ll be sure to give it a thorough thrashing- Mike Kazimer
If you would like further info on any of the bike’s Banshee have to offer give us a call on 01694 781515.
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