Sunday, January 25, 2009

Installation Lap: 2009 Banshee Legend Mk1

Today was first time I've been able to ride the Legend on the trails. The Installation Lap.

All I can say is that it was well worth the wait. After receiving the frame earlier this month, I'd build the bike up and just had to sit and wait for the snow in my area to melt and recede further up the mountains. It has been over a month since I have been able to ride so being able to get out on my new Legend was oh so sweet.

Last week I could have brought the bike out for a ride on maybe one trail, but I thought getting some trail maintenance done was more important and was worth the effort because I was able to ride the trail that I cleared last week of fallen trees.

With the lower trails clear of snow, I made my way up to The Woodlot and did a few shake down runs to get a feel for my new steed.

One word sums up this bike. Speed. It is fast and pedals really, really well. When you mash on the pedals while riding downhill on most bikes you can feel the suspension working but you are met with mush at the pedals, well my friends, not with the Legend. The pedal is firm, really firm. Nearly every once of power you put into you pedal stroke is met with a surge forward and speed on this bike builds up fast.

The Legend is low slung and slack. This makes for a bike that is really comfortable at speed and gives the rider added confidence knowing the bike will be stable and predictable as speed increases.

My bike is equipped with a Fox 40 RC2 fork and a Cane Creek Double Barrel (CCDB) rear shock. The CCDB comes with a nice little manual that explains how the shock works and how to tune it to the riders needs. I brought this manual with me today and over the course of an afternoon got a good start on getting my suspension dialed in.

The trail I rode was Bloggy Style, not a trail that I ride very often, but it is a trail that offers lots of turns, roots, bumps, whoops and sections you can pedal on which are all essential to aiding in tuning a suspension. Six laps later and I am comfortable with the set-up and in the coming weeks I know I'll be getting in a lot more riding to really get this bike up to speed.

installation lap
noun. - An F1 term to describe the necessary lap on arrival at a circuit to test functions such as throttle, steering and brakes before returning to the pits. Also know as the shake down run or the first run of a vehicle or bike.

The initial impression that the bike left with me after it's maiden voyage on dirt is that it is a bike made to go fast. It is long, low, slack, builds up speed very easily and pedals like a dream.

The name is truly fitting for the Banshee Legend.