Sunday, January 29, 2012


Back in the dark ages of ought-nine I got an out-of-the-blue email from Keith Scott at Banshee Bikes. Seems Keith and his cohorts had decided the time was right to start working on their iteration of a big wheeled trail bike.

Keith solicited opinions from several folks, made some basic drawings, got some more opinions, then tweaked the drawings. More conversations were had, dead end roads were taken, then backtracking was done--all parts of any healthy and inclusive design process. Measurements were extracted from the currently available 'big' forks, rims and tires, then guesses were made as to how much bigger things could, or would, go.

There is a lot of skill required to be able to see each minute part of the equation independently, but then it takes significantly more vision to be able to zoom out and, um, envision the overarching whole. Sure, CAD helps but you need to couple that with an acute understanding of how, where, and by whom a bike like this is going to be ridden in order to end up with something that not only works and lasts, but that people come out of the woodwork to find. And buy. Keith has done a brilliant job of sticking to his guns through the process--no small feat when you're consulting a ~dozen vocal minorities, each convinced that their vision is "right".

Here's my preproduction sample of what will eventually come to market as the Banshee Prime.

Just need to heal up the elbow so that I can stop *pedaling* it and begin to really *ride* it.

I'll keep a build log with a moderate amount of geeking HERE as the process continues.