Exclusive First Look: The All-New 2013 Banshee Rune v2 29

We're stoked to introduce Banshee's improved Rune v2. It was time to progress, so Banshee went back to the drawing board for something completely new (and completely awesome).

Like all Banshee bikes, the new Rune was "born on the shore." Jon drops in on some Squamish goodness, not far from the North Shore.

At the heart of the new Rune's design is the KS link, which is also used on the Banshee Prime 29er.

Current Banshee owners will rejoice about the new bearing system. We can vouch for Jon's statements about the rear end being more active. It really is a huge improvement over their old VF4B system.

Squish! Here's the KS link in action.

Banshee ripper Lear Miller putting the rear end to the test. It's surprisingly stiff side-to-side, which makes for a more predictable ride that can be pushed even harder.

That's all wheel flex. This rear end is solid.

By eliminating the links between the rear end and the shock, the suspension performance has been improved.

Less DU bushing rotation = less friction, which is a good thing.

The Rune now tracks over the smallest of bumps, improving traction and the overall ride experience.

While the Rune maintains a rearward axle path, they've reduced pedal kickback big time.

Less hangups means more fun. The rearward axle path was greatly appreciated over the rough, rooty, and rocky terrain that we found while testing the bike in Squamish.

Somewhere along the way we've all stepped up our game on trail bikes in the past few years, which is why Banshee felt the need to slacken and lower the bike a bit more.

Aussie shredder Dennis Beare and Jon make quick work of a steep rock roller, an instance where the slacker head angle is nice to have.

Head angle and bottom bracket geometry adjustments can be made by swapping the "flip chips" in the rear dropouts. The dropouts and flip chips will all be anodized and looking pretty for production frames.

Head angles from 65 to 66-degrees and bottom bracket heights of 13.4 to 13.9-inches can be achieved using these in the rear end. The process is very quick and easy.

Dennis and Jon get their trail on...

That's right, Banshee is now also in the 650b game. By simply swapping the dropouts, the frame can accommodate the larger wheel size.

142x12mm? Gotcha covered. 135 quick release? Same thing. 150x12mm? Yeah, they can do that too.

In very little time on the bike, Lear was able move it around with ease. The familiar geometry and improved suspension make for a very playful bike.

Internal "ribs" run the length of the seat and chainstays. The holes shown here are needed during that manufacturing process.

With a new release comes the chance for some general updates as well. The Rune is now fully up to date with current standards.

Dennis has a long and successful history in the gravity racing scene, and his feedback during the testing stage was key to how the new Rune turned out. Here he is ripping the Rune's big-wheeled brother, the Banshee Prime.

As Lear shows, this thing loves to be ridden hard. Welcome to the high-end, high-performance aggressive trail bike market, Banshee!

The 2013 Rune v2 will be available in blue, raw, and black, with the graphics shown here.

For more details about the Rune v2, keep an eye on <u><b><a href="http://www.bansheebikes.com" target="_blank">www.BansheeBikes.com</a></b></u>.

There's a new Banshee Rune on the loose. Major updates to the suspension and a few fine tweaks to the geometry make it bigger, badder, and better than ever before. Take a gander at everything new and exciting in this Vital MTB exclusive, where Banshee shows us a prototype that has been tested for the last eight months.
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29 comments
  • Warren569

    9/2/2012 8:56 AM

    I currently have a Wildcard which I absolutely love. What I'd like is something that is as stiff, jumps and handles as well as the Wildcard but loses >5lb in weight, as it would make a brilliant all rounder for trails, DH runs and enduro races. Is the Rune V2 that bike, or is there something better out there that would replace my existing set-up?

  • bturman

    8/23/2012 5:05 PM

    For those interested in more detail, here's a little linkage analysis...

  • KeithBanshee

    8/26/2012 8:31 PM

    Although that is analysing closest aproximation to prototype frames with reasonable accuracy... so isn't accurate for what the refined and improved production will be since it has all changed a bit... still a cool blog tho.

  • ZAKBROWN!

    8/18/2012 8:24 AM

    Frame weight?

  • KeithBanshee

    8/20/2012 10:34 PM

    Frame weight is not confirmed 100% yet, but is likely to be around 7.5-8lbs with shock. Banshee knows that frame weight is not a top priority for a bike like this. A good suspension linkage and a stiff frame will make more difference to acceleration, handling and efficiency than loosing a few grams ever will. Saving weight in the wheels (rotational mass) makes a far bigger difference than saving weight in the frame. The center of gravity of this frame is also low, with most material around the BB area, this results in a bike that is easy to lean over and whip around.

  • Uncle Cliffy

    8/21/2012 1:00 AM

    "Banshee knows that frame weight is not a top priority for a bike like this." Really? Granted, there isn't really a bike EXACTLY like this on the market, but if you're grinding out long climbs with a single ring, weight is indeed a factor. There's a lot going on with the prototype material-wise, so I'm guessing the XL will be closer to 9lbs...

  • N'Duro

    8/21/2012 5:47 AM

    Sure we're all focusing on weight but I do agree with Keith that weight/tyres weight is WAY more important on a long climb (unless you carry your bike of course!). It's not an opinion but a physical fact. But a low center of gravity will not make your whip any easier.
    Nevertheless 8.5lbs on a L size (just guessing) would clearly be too much. I want a substential difference between my DH bike and enduro/all-mountain one. It shouldn't be too difficult considering that my Commençal isn't that light, but if I start building up a 8.5 lbs frame I may have to get ruined with carbon rims and Ti screws all-over!

  • KeithBanshee

    8/26/2012 8:34 PM

    The proto pictured there is about 30-31lbs I think with pedals... and the production frames will be lighter. I'm not saying that frame weight is not a factor I consider, just that I know it isn't the only important thing to consider, I would certainly argue that linkage efficiency and frame stiffness make a bigger difference on frames where weight is similar. As I often find myself saying... if you want a lighter weight to drag up a hill, go for a shit before you ride, as it is combined weight of bike and rider that matters.

  • Uncle Cliffy

    8/14/2012 9:51 PM

    Wow, wow, and wow. (Except for the planned colors...)

  • iceman2058

    8/14/2012 2:59 PM

    So they're NOT gonna do it in that awesome neon yellow color then? Other than that, this looks like pretty much like the actual, perfect, do-it-all bike.

  • maximumradness

    8/14/2012 9:37 AM

    this is THE bike ive been waiting for. fine-uuuh-leee someone got that head angle where we are all putting it anyways! can run my dh wheelset? thank you! for fucks sake, who wants ten wheelsets??? 6 inch dh/trail weapons are the future!

  • JimEG

    8/13/2012 9:44 PM

    23" TT in medium is perfect for a bike like this(for me!). Good call on the Straitline guide.

  • mtb junkie

    8/13/2012 8:03 PM

    The Good: Nice suspension design, no more plastic bushings, adjustable/convertible rear, a better climber?, bolt on front der. The Bad: Short TT, Price gouging (what happened to value for money as banshee is known for?), what's up with the colors/paint scheme? For a minute there I thought I was looking at Transition Coverts (totally agree with Leviathan's post below). Prefer the Rune insignia/sign in the old rune vs. just the word "rune" on the current bike, and for the head tube, a sticker for the banshee logo? what gives? For the price, I rather get a Chili.

  • bturman

    8/13/2012 9:09 PM

    Banshee showed us a prototype. The real deal will surely have Banshee's metal headtube badge.

  • mtb junkie

    8/13/2012 9:40 PM

    That is good news indeed! thank you. please do offer solid paint schemes as opposed to the pic posted here. It really looks like coverts from a year ago.

  • leviathan

    8/13/2012 4:13 PM

    is it just me or did banshee steal transitions graphic kit?

  • ryan_daugherty

    8/13/2012 4:18 PM

    They're more like cousins rather than siblings.

  • mtb junkie

    8/14/2012 12:16 AM

    i second the motion.... yes, totally agree, reminds me of transitions. don't wanna gripe, kudos to banshee for job well done; frame looks awesome, but I wish the finishing touches (paint) is commensurate with the design. just keep it simple.

  • GrantEllman

    8/13/2012 1:24 PM

    neon green seems to be the go-to color for AM bikes lately!

  • canadmos

    8/13/2012 12:38 PM

    As a current Banshee Spitfire owner, this makes me happy that they are FINALLY making the switch to bearings in the frame.

    One thing that confuses me a little though is how similar the Rune is to the Spitfire. I have a 160mm fork on my Spitfire, with an external headset cup on the bottom of the head tube. This has slackened it out quite a bit and it rides like an absolute dream. Not once has the travel on my Spitfire ever felt lopsided or like I needed more in the back. The bike just rails trails like there a Yeti chasing you down in the forest. I can't see how having a Rune with an extra 30mm of travel will improve on it??

    The reason I ask this, is because with the problems I have had with the Spitfire bushings, I will be in the need of a new frame soon enough and I'll have to decide between this or another Spitfire. The one thing this bike seems to have going for it, is the much stiffer rear end. If you grab the Spitfire's rear end, it does move quite a bit.

    I hope the prices stay the same too.

    Also, to anyone that has a Spitfire, how long of a seat post do you have? I am using the maximum recommended length on the stock Banshee post, but I still need more for proper pedaling.

  • strahan

    8/13/2012 9:25 AM

    want.

  • JimEG

    8/13/2012 8:38 AM

    Nice looking bike. Chainstay length?

  • bturman

    8/13/2012 8:44 AM

    16.7 to 16.9-inches with the 26-inch dropouts. Here are the complete geo specs for 26-inch and 650b.

  • N'Duro

    8/15/2012 12:04 PM

    Damn! I thought I had found my new bike you just ruined my hope with this link!
    Seat Angle of 70,5 actual or 73 effective but I have an old slayer with the same "effective seat angle" and as soon as I ride in a steep uphill my bike wants to back-flip! Those angles are reasonable for anyone below 6 foot. Obviously not many bike designers are taller than that
    I'll go for a test ride though. Who knows...

  • KeithBanshee

    8/20/2012 10:45 PM

    I think you'll find when you test ride the it is very very different. The antisquat makes a big difference by itself... but also the rune V2 is steeper than the early slayer which had a 72.5degree effective seat angle compared the the rune V2's effective seat angle in the neutral postion of 74degrees.

  • KeithBanshee

    8/26/2012 8:41 PM

    Antisquat always increases with smaller chainrings due to their smaller radius affecting the drive line of the chain... much as antisquat also changes when you change gear at the cassette. If any bike brand says they have perfect chainline and pedal characteristics (except if single speed of internally geared hub) then they are lying to you. You can only pick characteristics that are optimal for a range of options that are likely to be used by customers since the chain moves around when changing gears. Running a 28-30 tooth on this frame will not be an issue, you'll get a little more pedal kickback and antisquat than you would on a 32-34 tooth setup, but that is not always a bad thing, it just depends on personal preferance. The sag you run on your shock also makes a big difference.

  • N'Duro

    8/28/2012 3:39 AM

    Don't worry, I don't believe in perfect bikes being perfect in any conditions! I know it's always a question of compromise and priorities. But I was just asking as I wasn't very sure of the outcome of "my" analysis.
    I look forward to giving it a try!

  • N'Duro

    8/21/2012 5:21 AM

    I may have reacted a little too fast... I hadn't seen the actual seat angle which is steeper than on the rocky yet with smaller offset. But I guess it's gonna be steep enough for the tall guy I am!
    And you're also right about the anti-squat effect which was close to 0 on the slayer resulting in a more compressed suspension and apparent flatter seat angle!
    About antisquat, I made (well a software did...) an analysis of it, based on a picture (so it's a little inacurate). But it seems the antisquat is really high when using a small chainring upfront is that correct? I would probably mount if with a 28-30 single chainring.
    Last but not least (yes I'm superficial!): any chance you react to the non-overwelming enthusiasm about the graphics? I'm not that keen on them either to give my 2 cent opinion.
    But I really look forward to try it!
    Oh, I was about to forget: weight?

  • ryan_daugherty

    8/13/2012 7:53 AM

    Jon - maybe you should moonlight as a documentary narrator?

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