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Banshee Rune V1 - Suspension Upgrade

fluider

Monkey
Jun 25, 2008
440
9
Bratislava, Slovakia
Hi all. I haven't been following this threads for more than 2 years due to nice family reasons, so I stayed a bit surprised by topics that are mainly being discussed here these days and I doubted if I'm still going to post it.
I feel very shameful, it's not going to cover any of the new super-plus-boost world-saving mega standards as I do realize that bicycle (not even out of carbon) from pre-Boost-Plus-Air-Spring era doesn't fit in this universe anymore. It seems, that even He, The Internet is going to make us forget about those ancient times.

I decided last summer that I was going to design my own suspension linkage parts running on ball-bearings for my good old hook, 1st gen Banshee Rune that I have been more or less seriously riding since 2010. I was sick of the sticky bushings, that I was not willing to service after each ride, didn't want to throw the frame out and I still hadn't had enough free time to be spent by riding so I spent it at CAD, drinking wine or beer.
After 2 months of CADing I was lucky to get response from a Chinese CNC milling company who were willing to make a single batch for me at a for me reasonable price. I gave it a go, and at the end of november 2015 I received a tiny super light cartoon box from China, containing all the linkage arms, axles and washers. ENDURO MAX bearings came from wychbearings.co.uk. Unfortunately, damn bushings did make a damage to my frame and I wasn't able to prepare them by hand for the new pivot axles. Fortunately, my uncle saved me and professionally hand reamed the pivot holes in main frame and pressed new precise sleeves in there to fit with new pivot axles.









I managed to construct entire assembly on 17mm pivot axles. Both lower and upper pivots use pairs of 17mm bearings, chainstay axle runs on 10mm bearing and seatstay axle uses flanged 8mm bearing (not ENDURO). My main requirements were as large pivots as possible for overall stiffness, ease of manufacturing and maintanence, and many-years long durability.

Everything is made of 7075-T6 aluminium without surface treatment (I hand sprayed it with some matte laquer, but it doesn't hold), except for standardized stainless bolts.








After that, things were again easy. I used several types of washers here and there, assembled it and was stoked how smoothly entire suspension worked. There was no sticky friction, no thresholds to overcome. Just one beautiful smooth rotations at each pivot. Simple beauty.



Another surprise came during the first ride on my favorite trails including some more technical sections. While I had been using very small damping settings previously on the bushings, I now had to add more compression and even rebound damping and I still haven't set up my DHX5 finally. Previously I used only 3 clicks of rebound damping, and 4 clicks of compr. damping. Now, I am experimenting with twice harder damping settings.
The overall feeling from riding the new linkage is quite natural, the linkage movement is very responsive and smooth. There are no thresholds, no lagging. As for lateral stiffness I am very happy as well, I'd say it's noticeably stiffer sideways than before. I'll see how it holds up during the time, whether some misalignment or play arises, but now it made the bike completely new. The frame may not have the super popular geometry, but it still can climb and descent very agilely. With oldish Lyrik with travel increased to 170mm there is 67° head angle. The Lyrik is 2stepAir chasis converted into Coil UTurn with MissionControl damper.



 

AngryMetalsmith

Business is good, thanks for asking
Jun 4, 2006
14,521
2,330
I have no idea where I am
Very cool. My V1 Spitfire has a metric ass ton of slop in the bushings. It's a shame because the front triangle has no dents and very few scratches. Would loved to have had your upgrade as an option. But the 2016 Spitfire ain't so bad.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,266
1,694
AK
That's awesome, but you're going to have to do something about your swingarms made out of fabric!
 

SuboptimusPrime

Turbo Monkey
Aug 18, 2005
1,387
986
NorCack
Very cool. I also had and loved a V1 spitfire (frame is still in my basement). Definitely woulda kept it going longer had this been an option at the time. Enjoy that thing!
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
9,740
5,523
Canaderp
That is freaking awesome. I too had a Spitfire v1 frame, which had to be warrantied because of the bushings.
 

4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
3,904
442
Lizard Town
Super cool! Were local shops more expensive? I wouldn't even know where to start getting something machine in China!
That geometry with an active rear end is probably a blast to ride!
 

JustMtnB44

Monkey
Sep 13, 2006
773
62
Pittsburgh, PA
Awesome. I thought of doing this for my Spitfire V1, but went the warranty upgrade route to a V2 frame instead as there were other good improvements as well. But my V1 frame is currently just sitting in my office as a decoration, so maybe someday I will resurrect it.
 

fluider

Monkey
Jun 25, 2008
440
9
Bratislava, Slovakia
Thanks for response. Yes, the local shops in Slovakia were 4-5 times more expensive, one London based shop was even cheaper than Slovak but still too expensive. Set of ENDURO MAX bearings costed another 100eur, so it hasn't been cheap upgrade but still cheaper than buying new frameset with new fork, wheels and other parts.
What is more important, I've learned some new things around importance of tolerances.

I contacted several machining companies on Alibaba.com, was lucky to get response from one, and was satisfied with them from start to end. They were super willing to negotiate and keep the costs in normal level even for uncertain 1-piece batch.

The V1 geometry may not be up-to-date as the rider position is placed very in the middle, it's overally balanced frame and I love it, whilst today preference is long front-end, with shorter rear-end and slacker HA. Yes, it can be ridden pretty hard if one is capable, I would welcome slacker head-angle (67° now with 170mm Lyrik) in deep and long downhills but it can be handled.

I was surprised how big difference it made on small bump sensitivity. Before that I thought it was only some suspension mantra, but it really exists :-). Also, the lateral stiffness on big bearings is pretty nice too.
 

fluider

Monkey
Jun 25, 2008
440
9
Bratislava, Slovakia
Thanks for response. Yes, the local shops in Slovakia were 4-5 times more expensive, one London based shop was even cheaper than Slovak but still too expensive. Set of ENDURO MAX bearings costed another 100eur, so it hasn't been cheap upgrade but still cheaper than buying new frameset with new fork, wheels and other parts.
What is more important, I've learned some new things around importance of tolerances.

I contacted several machining companies on Alibaba.com, was lucky to get response from one, and was satisfied with them from start to end. They were super willing to negotiate and keep the costs in normal level even for uncertain 1-piece batch. The machining tolerances are precisely up to my requirements. Where I didn't specified tolerance they made it to zero (no default machine settings)!

The V1 geometry may not be up-to-date as the rider position is placed very in the middle, it's overally balanced frame and I love it, whilst today preference is long front-end, with shorter rear-end and slacker HA. Yes, it can be ridden pretty hard if one is capable, I would welcome slacker head-angle (67° now with 170mm Lyrik) in deep and long downhills but it can be handled.

I was surprised how big difference it made on small bump sensitivity. Before that I thought it was only some suspension mantra, but it really exists :-). Also, the lateral stiffness on big bearings is pretty nice too.
 

Mo(n)arch

Turbo Monkey
Dec 27, 2010
4,190
1,116
Italy/south Tyrol
Thanks for response. Yes, the local shops in Slovakia were 4-5 times more expensive, one London based shop was even cheaper than Slovak but still too expensive. Set of ENDURO MAX bearings costed another 100eur, so it hasn't been cheap upgrade but still cheaper than buying new frameset with new fork, wheels and other parts.
What is more important, I've learned some new things around importance of tolerances.

I contacted several machining companies on Alibaba.com, was lucky to get response from one, and was satisfied with them from start to end. They were super willing to negotiate and keep the costs in normal level even for uncertain 1-piece batch.

The V1 geometry may not be up-to-date as the rider position is placed very in the middle, it's overally balanced frame and I love it, whilst today preference is long front-end, with shorter rear-end and slacker HA. Yes, it can be ridden pretty hard if one is capable, I would welcome slacker head-angle (67° now with 170mm Lyrik) in deep and long downhills but it can be handled.

I was surprised how big difference it made on small bump sensitivity. Before that I thought it was only some suspension mantra, but it really exists :-). Also, the lateral stiffness on big bearings is pretty nice too.
Pretty awesome project you did there :clapping:

Regarding the geometry: Did you think about repositioning the mounting points of the rear end on the linkage to lower the BB a bit?
Would be cool to implement this geo change in the new shiny bits and it shouldn't affect the characteristics of the rear end at all.
Anyway, it's always possible to run offset bushings on your damper.
 
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fluider

Monkey
Jun 25, 2008
440
9
Bratislava, Slovakia
Sure I did consider to look for slightly different pivot points, not for lowering BB which even didn't come to my mind but for altering laverage ratio curve to make it a little bit less degressive at its end as I've been using DHX shock, not an air shock. But I would stuck myself in spending few more weeks in Linkage :-).
At high speed descents I was always feeling the bike was more floating around than rolling over the terrain, which I later found to be some weirdly nice behaviour. But this came to my mind as well, so I was considering to even prolong the chainstay length (the Rune's chainstay is one of the longest in the market :-)).

But as I wrote, the ball bearings made such a big difference to the work of linkage and the feeling I get it that I must play with the shock settings because this may have the biggest influence.
The offset bushings for damper are pretty interesting idea, thank you!