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Banshee Titan Frame

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Vital Test Sessions - Banshee Titan

A blend all its own for a ride that many will love.

Vital Review
Vital Test Sessions - Banshee Titan

Banshee is a brand with some serious street cred. Whether you are a loyal Banshee owner or have only heard the name, this is a brand the commands respect. The Titan may not have the most travel, only 155mm, but Banshee was confident it would hold its own in our Test Session. Utilizing Banshee's KS2 linkage on full bearings, the Titan is claimed to deliver an efficient ride that will still blast the descents.

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Strengths

  • Carries speed incredibly well
  • Makes excellent use of suspension travel
  • Comfortable, efficient climber
  • Accentuates the traits of a mixed-wheel bike
  • Rear suspension has tons of pop but never harsh

Weaknesses

  • Tall head tube is not for everyone
  • Can take a little getting used to

Highlights

  • 7005 T6 Aluminum frame
  • 170mm (6.6-inches) front travel
  • 155mm (6.1-inches) rear travel
  • KS2 Suspension design
  • 29-inch front wheel, 29 or 27.5-inch wheel
  • Internal cable routing
  • Modular rear dropout for chainstay length and ride height
  • Threaded bottom bracket with ISCG05 tabs
  • Rubber molded chainstay protection
  • Size medium - x-large
  • Boost 148mm rear spacing with 12mm axle
  • Price: $7,000 USD in limited markets

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Overview

Beyond the smaller travel numbers, the Titan runs a geometry combination somewhat all its own. The 445mm reach on our medium is on the smaller side these days but was not the shortest in our test. At 452mm, the Titan's chainstays are rather long. Due to the 64.5-degree head angle, the wheelbase stayed right in the mix at 1235mm. The final outlier of the Banshee was the 120mm head tube length, by far the tallest of any in our test. We ran only a single, 5mm spacer under the stem to keep the front end in check.

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With modular dropouts and a flip-chip, the Titan can be run as a full 29er or as a mixed-wheel (27.5-inch rear) bike. Banshee was kind enough to supply us with both wheel options. We went right to the 27.5-inch rear, knowing it would offer our testers and readers far more to work with for the purpose of this review.

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While it was the only alloy frame in our test, the Titan was the only bike sporting carbon rims courtesy of RideFast. Our particular build kit was a brand-new offering from Banshee, which tends to focus on selling frames only. OneUp bars, stem, grips, and dropper post (180mm) were all a nice touch. A SRAM X01 drivetrain with SRAM Code RSC brakes (200mm front, 180mm rear) were among the higher-end parts in our test. While the Titan had a FOX Performance Elite 38 fork, the rear shock was FOX's Performance X2. Banshee was only one of two brands that supplied Maxxis Double Down casing on the tires.

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Despite the high-end drivetrain our Titan went through a derailleur hanger and ended the test with some shifting woes. To us, it shows that no matter how nice some parts are, aggressive terrain will always show its teeth.

Rider Setup

Our testing team fussed with their settings during testing. The numbers below represent where they settled in the end. Compression clicks all started at the factory recommended settings and moved on from there. For simplicity sake, here are the highlight numbers that each tester used.

Casey Coffman

  • 5-foot, 9-inches
  • 180-pounds
  • Fork - 95psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 185psi
  • Front/Rear tire - 22psi, 24psi

Andrea Napoli

  • 5-foot, 8-inches
  • 140-pounds
  • Fork - 76psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 130psi
  • Front/Rear tire - 20psi/22psi

Ryan Lummis

  • 5-foot, 8-inches
  • 160-pounds
  • Fork - 82psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 150psi
  • Front/Rear tire - 20psi/22psi

Brad Howell

  • 5-foot, 9-inches
  • 165-pounds
  • Fork - 82psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 155psi
  • Front/Rear tire - 22psi/24psi

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On the Trail

Going up! Banshee has struck a beautiful balance of rider position and suspension kinematics with the Titan. We'll touch on the lower travel numbers later, but that likely played a role as well. Our Titan was an eager climber, quickly moving forward with each pedal stroke and seemingly no energy lost. A steep seat angle was met with a comfortable front end that was absolutely composed during loose, technical climbing. Of the bikes that managed the rough terrain best, the Banshee was a distinct winner when the trail pointed uphill. Every bike in our Test Session should be expected to own the descent and it was refreshing to get on the Banshee Titan and not feel punished for that on the climbs.

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When it came to descending performance, our reviewers were split among the Titan. The largest complaint is more subjective and has to do with the tall front. Whether your body is built for it or it is just a matter of preference, some like a tall front, others do not. Most brands have opted for a low front since riders can just add spacers. Chopping a head tube lower is not advisable. One of our testers never got fully comfortable through the rough and steep sections on the Titan. Another wanted to pull the 5mm spacer to get the stem even lower. Perhaps with some lower-rise bars, we could have gotten along better but we are working with bikes in their stock form. It seemed all too easy to pop the front end and come in with the front wheel too high, Ronnie Mac style.

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Another issue was the relatively short seatpost insertion on the frame. Our OneUp 180 dropper could not go far enough into the frame to be comfortably low enough for several of our testers. Conversely, only one tester could extend the seat all the way to climb. It was great that Banshee specced a 180mm dropper but for most of our testers, it was essentially a 160mm. #shortlegproblems

The head tube was 20mm taller than any other in the test
As low as the post goes


Regardless of the head tube, there was no denying the Titan's suspension performance was phenomenal. High-frequency chatter and consecutive mid-sized hits disappeared under the Banshee. The Titan remained composed and confident through the rocks, encouraging higher and higher speeds. Banshee's kinematics do not have the Titan blowing through its travel in the name of comfort. This is a bike that easily pops and heads skyward whenever a rider so chooses. Given a lip, the Banshee got itself aloft with more boost than any of the other bikes in the test.

Once used to Banshee's special blend of geometry, riders all had a sense that the Titan's 27.5-inch rear wheel offered a fantastic cornering experience. Able to drive with their hips and feet, testers felt like they could slap berms harder with the Titan.

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Whether it is the stiff, carbon wheels, the reduced travel number, or an inherent trait of the Titan - this bike rolls fast! On low-angle terrain, the Titan will use undulations and features to build more and more speed. In switching between bikes, it would seem whoever was on the Titan was scooting through the flat bits at a higher speed. To us, this again spoke to the Titan's versatility.

Build Kit

Banshee may have been the only alloy frame in our test, but it was also the only one with carbon wheels. The RideFast combo worked extremely well. There's a new battle scar on the side of the rear rim but it's a simple surface abrasion. For having a tall profile, the RideFast wheels held up well. Interestingly, the hubs use a Centerlock rotor, which is not super common. We dig Centerlock and appreciate the ease of mounting rotors. Banshee was also kind enough to equip the Titan with Maxxis Double Down tires. Being able to air down a touch gave us a tad more traction in the loose stuff.

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Drivetrains on our bikes were somewhat varied. Among the four SRAM drivetrains, the Titan was the lone X01 kit. Riding it all in such a tight sequence, we can get a sense of the softer touch of the X01 shifter over the GX model. One of two bikes with Code RSC levers, we again really appreciate how much faster and better these bite over the Code R found elsewhere. Niceties aside, the Titan was the only bike to have drivetrain issues in the form of a bent hanger and later on, issues with shifting consistency up and down.

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We've grown so used to seeing the FOX Performance Elite X2 rear shock on bikes that it took a second to realize we had a Performance model on our hands. Ask us how much that mattered on the trail? Not one bit. Banshee's KS2 design is darn good and we'd have no issue sticking with a lower-end shock on this bike. Banshee struck a Goldilocks balance of butter-smooth bump absorption and lively feedback.

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Test Sessions Take

Our test crew was not as divided on the Titan as they were on the Firebird. There was a spectrum of love for this bike though. No matter how each test rider felt about this bike overall, there were some things everyone agreed with. First up, the Titan climbs incredibly well. It's comfortable and efficient, proving itself an excellent companion for bigger rides. Banshee's KS2 suspension platform is awesome. Say bye-bye to bumps without the backend going dead or not having a sufficient platform off which to get some pop. Reduced seatpost insertion and a tall front end kept the Banshee from winning over the whole team. That said, there's a bit of preference and body type at play there. For riders that fit this bike's geometry, we highly recommend the Banshee Titan as a do-more big adventure bike.

Head here to catch the full 2021 Enduro Test Session Feature

Learn more about the Devinci Spartan HP head to BansheeBikes.com

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Specifications

Product Banshee Titan Frame
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
MD (Low, Neutral), LG (Low, Neutral), XL (Low, Neutral) View Geometry
Size MD (Low, Neutral) LG (Low, Neutral) XL (Low, Neutral)
Top Tube Length 595mm 623mm 650mm
Head Tube Angle 64.5°, 65.0° 64.5°, 65.0° 64.5°, 65.0°
Head Tube Length 120mm 130mm 140mm
Seat Tube Angle 76.75°, 77.25° 76.75°, 77.25° 76.75°, 77.25°
Seat Tube Length 430mm 455mm 490mm
Bottom Bracket Height 344mm (25mm drop), 352mm (17mm drop) 344mm (25mm drop), 352mm (17mm drop) 344mm (25mm drop), 352mm (17mm drop)
Chainstay Length 452mm 452mm 452mm
Wheelbase 1235mm 1265mm 1293mm
Standover 725mm 744mm 769mm
Reach 445mm 470mm 495mm
Stack 635mm 644mm 653mm
* Additional Info All specifications listed are with 577mm axle-to-crown fork with 44mm offset.
Wheel Size 29", 27.5+, 29+
Frame Material Aluminum
Frame Material Details Hydroformed 7005 T6 alloy tubing, molded chainstay protection
Rear Travel 155mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Performance, trunnion mount, 205mm x 65mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered, 1.125" top, 1.5" bottom
Bottom Bracket 73mm threaded
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 148x12mm Boost
Option: 142x12mm
Front Derailleur Size N/A (1x-specific)
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Max Tire Size 29" x 2.6" (2.8" with long dropout option) or 27.5" x 2.8"
ISCG Tabs Splined ISCG05 mount
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes (single)
Colors Red, Black, Raw
Warranty 4 years
Weight 8 lb 11.3 oz (3,950 g)
Miscellaneous 2020 version
KS2 suspension linkage
Designed for 160-180mm forks (single crown only)
Internal cable routing
Weight given for size MD frame, in Black Ano finish, including shock, dropouts, axle, and seatpost clamp
Includes pre-installed headset
Price $2,499
More Info

bansheebikes.com

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