Rebuilt the DH bike, finally!

Right, done it, finally!

Before my accident last June, I had stripped the forks off of the Banshee, as the last time I rode them up on Nessit Hill, they felt like they had developed a lot of play in the bushes, and in fact almost as if they were banging. I had previously done quite a bit of work on the bike’s setup
addressing its angles, specifically the head angle, trying to get it a little
slacker. One thing that bike is good for is adjustability, there are two shock base positions for altering BB height, and three top positions for setting travel. There is also an inch of wheelbase adjustment in the horizontal dropouts, which obviously has some effect over the travel as well.

I’ve never really messed with the wheelbase, just left it as it was about half way, and being as when I bought the frame, I was firmly of the belief that more travel would make me better, I was running the 8” setting, and as the instructions stated you couldn’t run a ling throw shock in the low
BB setting, it was running high!

……I will get back to my point, bear with me……

So ignoring the manual, I removed the shock spring and started experimenting with the travel in different shock positions, and found
that running the shock in the low BB position but in the mid travel setting still gave me an uninterrupted range of travel, less than before granted, but a much more pleasing head angle, more in line with 65 degrees which is popular among manufacturers at the moment for their DH offerings. By lengthening the wheelbase to its absolute maximum setting, I will have clawed back some travel, but now I have no idea what it is, somewhere I’m guessing, in the region of 7”.

One downside to all this fettling, is the effect it’s had on how the shock works, it has gone from being perfectly progressive with three
clicks of compression on, to being very linear, and running through its travel to easily. I guess now I have to see if I prefer the new setup, and if so, get the shock dialled to deal with the changes.

Anyway, the point I was getting to, has the new slacker setup contributed to the failure of the bushes? Well, as I said earlier, before the accident I had stripped the fork, and taken them to the LBS, where Steve Peat’s mechanic resides, and had new bushes fitted. On collection and dry
rebuild, it felt like there was still play, so I took them back and Andy Kiffin had a look and claimed they were ok, and that was a normal amount of play for new forks. I wasn’t convinced until he took me round to look at a brand new pair of Race Boxxers and demonstrated! Right, my degree is in engineering, it seems like a lot of play, but…… You aint gonna argue with Peaty’s mechanic, are you!? So I took ‘em home then went out and hospitalised myself!!

…..but now they are back together, and the Banshee is begging for a ride! J


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