A Banshee bike really has to be ridden to fully understand what all the different design considerations we make and how they translate into a thrilling riding experience. Few bikes in their respective categories pedal as well, feel as stiff or perform at a such a high level. Our bikes will give you the efficiency and control to ride beyond your current limits… this isn’t just something we say but something we’re constantly told by those who ride our bikes.
We spend far more time in engineering and design, and a whole lot less time marketing things we feel are either industry standards or completely insignificant to even mention. You’ll seldom see us creating 3 letter acronyms to try and make some process or feature sound like the next best thing when in reality every bike manufacture does the exact same thing.
We should probably make a bigger deal about what we do, as we’ve been subtley innovating things like the low and slack geometry, completely redesigning our bikes from ground up with new suspension systems, never sticking to one style just because we have a patent on it. How can you push yourself if you’re using the same thing you did back in the 1990s?
Being small and flexible allows us certain benefits. Having your design engineer out testing his own creations and intimately understanding all the nuances personally, not solely relying on the professional athletes to try and convey those nuances without the engineering background, gives Banshee a distinctive advantage over even the biggest competitors on the market. Having your people working immersing themselves in the production process while its happening, not just waiting until the product arrives in a warehouse gives a Banshee the ability to work with the production engineers and production staff to turn around the designs quickly and problem solve any production or process issues that invariably arise when bringing a new bike to market.
Currently with the new breed of bikes there is a lot of marketing spin on what creates the ultimate bike and which type of suspension design it should have. Many riders get confused and are constantly wondering which one is the best. Well to be perfectly honest there really is no clear winner and a well thought out simple design will outperform the latest multilink monstrosity. Our thoughts on the matter are to select the suspension design that will have the best possible traits given the type of riding the bike will be used for. We have come to some truths we feel work for us and realize that one suspension design doesn’t work for all purposes. There are priorities to consider and the reason there are so many other designs is because of the differing opinions on which trait is most important.
Banshee has come a long way in the past 13 years and through experience and a little trial and error we have found that the short link four bar, offers the greatest amount of flexibility to the designer, to engineer in the traits that will offer the best performance for a given category. We’ve come to the conclusion that less is in fact more, and that having multiple links on top of more links just to compress the shock may look fancy, but in reality a simpler cleaner design could have done the trick just as easy. Patenting your suspension system may prevent others from using it, but it can also stop the development process and pigeon hole you into continuing to use the same system for every single bike platform you produce; it’s the proverbial double edged sword.
Our approach puts a lot of pressure on us, to try and bring something new and fresh to the table, and while it can be really stressful, especially in a market that is so saturated, we realize bike models need to change it up regularly, but change for change sake is also not going to cut it… you need to improve on what’s come before, and I think that’s where the real challenge comes.
The New KS – Link Suspension
This new spin on the virtual pivot was designed by Keith Scott, Banshee’s research and design engineer, and also one of the owners. The main features is the extremely short links which provide a minimal rotation as the shock is driven directly by the rear triangle. All pivots have been mapped and the forces calculated to create a well engineered wheel-rate when combined with our shock factory partners accompanying shock rate. The goal was to create a pivot system that was able to take side loads really well and minimize the amount of rotation and wear on the pivots and the shock DU bushings. In addition to its solid looks, it is a suspension system that lends itself to keeping the chainstay length short on long travel 29r bikes without giving up the advantages of having a virtual pivot design.
If you want to learn more about a specific model, check the technical areas in each bike model’s page. There is a neat write up from Keith on why he designed the bikes and what features he added to m
ake the best performing bike in its respective category. If that’s not enough we have put much more information about each bike on our blog and many have gone through the design process from start to finish, you can see the bikes development as we progress in real time through it.