Special note regarding Banshee bikes: Banshee has recently undergone a change in distribution. We are still selling Banshee bikes, but they generally take about 2 - 3 weeks to get once your order is placed. As long as you're willing to wait, we're happy to get you rolling! Some size/color options may incur a longer lead time, please contact us for details.
There aren't too many bike companies that can call Vancouver, BC home. Even fewer bike companies that are run 100% by mountain bikers who rigorously torture test their bikes on the surrounding trails that we've been watching in movies since the dawn of the “freeride” movement. The Darkside is Banshee's latest creation, named after one of the gnarliest downhill trail networks in all of British Columbia, and designed to be the ultimate bike park weapon.
What sort of traits are we looking for in a park bike? Slack head angle and long front-to-center for the steep, gnarly stuff – check. Lively suspension and short chainstays for the jump trails – check. Just enough suspension travel to have fun on all the trails – check. It's clear that Banshee did their homework with the Darkside, and it seems to check off everything we'd want in a park bike – and then some.
Banshee realizes that everyone's riding preferences vary, as do bike setups. For this reason, Banshee has equipped the Darkside with the same adjustable dropout system found on the Rune and Spitfire. These dropouts offer three positions, each of which adjust head angle, seat angle, BB height, and chainstay length. These settings are referred to Low, Neutral, and High. In the low setting, the head angle sits at 63.5° - about what you'd find on any full-fledged downhill rig. The chainstay will be at it's longest in this setting, and the BB height will be as low as possible at 13.7”. Low, slack, and long translates to ultimate stability and confidence at high speeds. If you're out there tackling the steepest, rockiest, nastiest stuff you can find, you'll probably find this setting to suit your liking. Flip the dropouts to the opposite extreme, and the bike will be transformed into a lively, poppy, jump-trail machine. Head angle is steepened to 64.5°, BB height raised to 14.3”, and chainstay shortened to 16.8”. Naturally, the neutral setting will set the bike right in between – optimal for the rider that doesn't want one extreme or the other.
Banshee decided to equip the Darkside with their patented KS-Link virtual pivot suspension platform for several reasons. To name a few: active braking, tuneable leverage curve, and lateral stiffness. Banshee's dedicated downhill rig (the Legend) is built from a single-pivot platform with an entirely different shock placement. This has it's inherent advantages, but Banshee wanted the Darkside to appeal to a wider crowd. Implementing the KS-Link suspension design allowed Banshee to build a bike that strikes a fine balance, achieving optimal stability, liveliness, and FUN factor.
Although this is a park bike, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that the Darkside can be pedaled up the hill, should there be no chairlift nearby. The frame does have a decent amount of seat tube adjustability, making it possible to raise the seat when it comes time to pedal up a hill. Speaking of versatility, Banshee knows there are number of ways to build this bike. Single-crown and dual-crown forks are both viable options for the Darkside. For the dual-crown crowd, the frame features integrated ODI rubber fork bumpers – a nice detail that eliminates the need to use the stock fork bumpers that come with dual-crown forks. Optimal fork travel for the Darkside ranges between 180mm - 200mm.
As with all Banshee bikes, the Darkside is backed by a two-year limited warranty, as well as a lifetime crash replacement policy.
The Darkside comes stock with a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air rear shock and 12x150 - 27.5" dropouts (axle included).
Please note, Banshee frames and bikes may only be shipped within the United States.