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Banshee Paradox V3 Review
Pros and Cons
Who it's for:
Who it's NOT for
More thoughts on the Banshee Paradox V3
everybody today I'm reviewing my banshee paradox v3 I know so many of you are excited for this and you've been waiting and waiting and waiting but I wanted to put it through its paces and really ride it and get to know it really well this bike is amazing but it's not gonna be for everyone it's interesting it's an aluminum hard tail and a lot of people will ride it off for that reason and a buddy today just said oh that looks like a sweet bike but I wish it was steel and he needs to watch my video and anyone who thinks that way still needs to watch my video is steel really real where I talk about this a bit and what Banshee has tried to do with this frame is make an aluminum frame that feels like a steel frame and they kind of did but they kind of made something almost better I'm gonna try and explain what this frame feels like because what we really want to know is does this ride like a steel frame and so what they've done is they've engineered keep component areas here like this seat Staybridge to be totally Hollow and to be able to have some give to it same within here and back here and the question is does that make a difference it absolutely does this bike rides supple is not the right word it doesn't ride supple it feels muted it feels dead it feels like running cush core it feels like vibrations just never make it to you they hit the bike and then they dissipate in these areas and so it doesn't feel like a thai frame where it's kind of springy and you can feel it flexing and moving it doesn't feel like as a steel frame we're just kind of comfortable all around it feels muted so on the small stuff on the small and medium hits and most things under 20 miles an hour that aren't just square edged rocks just over and over and over it actually takes the sting out of those and it feels very similar to a steel bike but it the material doesn't quite feel like steel and it's not better or worse than steel it's just a different feel it just mutes that vibration in the back now the front triangle is actually quite stiff and I found it to be a little bit too stiff that's what surprised me the most is I thought I don't care how stiff the front is cuz I've got a fork to handle that but I had to keep letting out pressure in my front a little bit to get it to react right because I could feel more stiffness in the front and it was a little bit jarring which was a surprise so do these all these manufacturing things really work and can you make an aluminum frame supple I'm gonna say yes supple is the wrong word but you can make an aluminum frame not right harsh it rides mellow this is hands down the best aluminum bike I've ridden I would take this over 99% of the chromoly frames I've ever ridden this felt like it handled bumps extremely well up to a point when you get blasting through this and you forget you're on a hardtail and you're just coming into really steep really rocky really square edge hits really fast this can only flex so much and then it just feels like a normal aluminum hard tail and just beats you up and you're just bouncing it's kind of like when you're riding tires and you've got a great grip great grip and then you tell you don't and it's very noticeable it's kind of like that when you hit this hit the really big stuff you're just like whoa and you're getting bucked around and it's just like hanging on to a bucking bronco for dear life and then you realize I have been pushing it so hard I got going so fast I forgot I was on a hard tail for a second and it does have limits but every hard tail has limits this one's just nice nice nice nice mean all of a sudden when it gets to that point and I need to paraphrase this this is still a hard tail it still rides like a hard tail you're not gonna mistake it for a full suspension bike but if you love that hard they'll feel if you're addicted to it like I am snapping corners popping manuals in the middle of nowhere sprinting on things it's got that but it also has this quality that aluminum it's so rare to find that it does not transfer these bumps to you in the rear triangle what don't I love about this bike as you know when I built it up I had some issues with the paint the when I peel the sticker off of the head badge some of this paint came with it and if you look closely I haven't taken amazing care of this which I like that it's aluminum it's a rowdy bike you kits made of metal you can lay it down on things if you crash you don't care cuz you didn't if these were carbon you know that might have been a crash that cracked carbon I don't know but the paint is pretty fragile I've got a whole bunch of chips up here chips all over in here and I've talked to banshee about that and they're aware of it and they're working on improving their quality control and I got to give a huge shout out to banshee as well when they saw the video of how I didn't love that the cable went routing around the water bottle cage like this they watched it and they took note and they said thank you for showing that that highlighted a few things that we didn't think about and we're gonna make some changes based on that so I really appreciate a company that does that I like the internal routing here and that protects a derailleur cable a ton so I wasn't a fan of that at first but now I love it chain slap is super quiet with this awesome chain stay protector this bike with the zip 3-0 motor wheels is a match made in heaven it is you can rally it so hard and the wheels coupled with the way that this is designed it they both just absorb impacts like you've never felt on a hardtail now a lot of people say but isn't that bad when aluminum flexes think of a paper clip that you bend back and forth until it breaks aluminum you can't bend as many times as steel aluminum is less ductile and when you bend it it snaps off quicker so people think well that's bad that aluminum is flexing but we're not talking about it flexing enough to fatigue that or anything we're talking about small vibrations not making it through think about aluminum handlebars or aluminum rims or wheel sets they flex more than carbon wheel sets usually and that's why they don't beat you up as much so don't think of this as flexing like four inches it's not a full suspension bike it's flexing in little ways and prevent stuff from getting transferred to the front triangle it's hard to see on camera but this reminds me of like a b-2 bomber it's it's wide up here it flares out here and then comes down narrow here that tube just looks so cool in person and I love their graphics it's really a beautifully built frame I like the color it's different it's unique I like the way they've got the is CG tabs in there so I can run my bash guard which I've used a ton let's talk a little bit about geometry of this bike and you can look at geo charts and kind of get an idea there and that's kind of a good starting point but those numbers don't always tell the whole story so when you ride it it's kind of a collection of all the geo numbers together the very first thing I noticed about this bike when I got on it and wrote it ten feet was how high the stack is the handlebars sit high it's the highest stack I've ever felt I usually run most of my spacers under my stem I kept removing spacers and putting them on top to get the bars lower because that stack is significantly higher and you feel it and I like that because I get over the front and I I still can pressure the front in corners and when I'm diving down steep stuff the bars aren't way down and I'm not I don't feel like my chin is you know I'm not leaning over to the bike it feels upright and more comfortable to me I really like that feels that also means it gets into manuals easily for me which surprised me because this has a 430 chainstay which is short ish it's not nearly as short as my middle child which is 4:15 and I thought this would be really hard to get into manuals but it's actually not and it manuals quite well it's not quite as playful and fun as my middle child it's like 95% as playful as that but it's it's the most playful I felt on 4:30 chainstays and it handles down hills extremely well this bike corners extremely well I'm gonna give it a 10 out of 10 for corners climbs I'm gonna give it a 10 out of 10 playfulness I'll give it a nine point five out of ten a little bit shorter chains these are a little bit more playful to me this doesn't feel like a dirt jumper with a dropper it feels like a full-on enduro bike whenever I get a bike for review I asked myself would I take this on High Line hangover or hogs and that kind of helps me know how comfortable I feel on it on we steep difficult technical terrain this bike I never once questioned would I take these on these after the first ride I'm like absolutely I'll take it on these a because I want to see just how far I can push this rear end that's pretty soft and softs the wrong word that's just muted in a good way and B I want to see where the limit of this thing is cuz it just wants to go faster and faster and faster and this thing loves to charge I never felt like the reach was too long I never felt like this head angle was too slack or too steep it just felt perfect so the geometry was dialed on this the bottom bracket is lower which I like the lower bottom bracket it gets your center of gravity lower especially when you're cornering with your feet it really wants to dance and when you when you corner through the feet it just feels so planted but you will get more pedal strikes if you're not careful in timing your pedals I'll take that any day over a higher bottom bracket so compared to my middle child this has a lower bottom bracket and a higher stack both qualities that I like the middle child has a shorter chain stay and that's a quality I prefer so I like them both for different reasons party mode this thing is an 11 it just wants to blast and jump everything and rip everywhere and go as fast as possible and whether you prefer to pop off of everything or stay glued to the ground and plow stuff it does extremely well for a hardtail I like that it's metal if it was carbon I would baby it a little bit more but it's not carbon and I'm this thing is like if it was a band it be the Ramones it's just like punk rock all the way it's so raw but I don't know that backends kind of refined this is probably the bike that I feel the most comfortable taking on any trail no matter what happens I feel totally confident and comfortable taking this bike on that trail I also ran this bike in plus mode with 2.8 and it actually had more clearance than this has with two fours in the back so I think I might even be able to get away with a 3o in the back I don't think that's the right setup a 300 on this bike but with two eights this thing clawed up stuff and it was actually easier to pop into manuals and the playfulness factor went up when I put those 2.8 plus tires on it and I had a blast on it and I did run them with cush core in the back and it felt good that way so it's a little bit quicker with the 29 it feels a little bit more like a race bike if I were racing enduro would I rather have this with the two eights or this with these wheels that would be a tough question because the frame is able to absorb a lot of the trail chatter and not transfer it to your body I think I'd go with the two 9s on the zips cuz these wheels are just so they swallow bumps just like this frame swallows bumps and you put those two together it's just a really cool combination I would wholeheartedly endorse it in either setup there it did not feel like a disadvantage at all with plus tires it just felt different with different characteristics it was a little more playful a little bit less racy just wanting to push the speed envelope all the time and wanting to goof off and pop around things so maybe I'd say I'd give this like a 9.2 playfulness with 29 so I'm like a 9.6 with the 27 5s what a cool bike this thing is amazing I wholeheartedly recommend it if you like the high stack a modern geometry and you want to attack stuff I had an absolute blast riding it Thank You banshee for sending this for review I'm sure you'll see this in more videos as always check out my other bike reviews check out my video building this up subscribe if you want to hear more content like this the Stoke factor is off the charts on this thing it is such a blast to ride it is a riot you can see that in all my videos of me riding it and it's so composed on the gnarly trails I've been able to find thanks for watching there's a party in the mountains and you're invited
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