Banshee Rune XT review

Super-slack and low gravity groover

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £4,300.00 RRP

Our review

Gravity bomber with dual-wheel versatility but kit compromises and not super-stiff
Buy if, You want a tough, slack and low gravity bomber with dual wheel/multi axle versatility
Pros: Seriously slack, 26 or 27.5in wheeled, practical and tough gravity iron
Cons: Some complete package compromises and lacks stiffness at ragged edge
Skip to view product specifications

Banshee may not have the loudest presence in the UK market, but it deserves a serious look if you like your bikes slack and low for blowing up berms and attacking fall-line descents, or are still transitioning from 26in to 650b wheels.

Advertisement

The 64.5-degree head angle of the Rune in its lowest/slackest setting is the standout figure on paper, and the ‘XT’ build kit from UK distributors Ison maximises the outrageous stability inherent in that kind of choppered-out front with a super-stiff 35x800mm Renthal Fatbar and matching 40mm Apex stem.

Broad 35mm Halo rims fatten up the legendarily grippy Schwalbe Magic Mary front tyre too, although, at well over 14kg, it’s a bike gagging for the deliciously-damped ‘Super Gravity’ carcass in a larger size rather than the lighter 2.3in SnakeSkin version fitted.

In a size large without pedals the Rune XT weighs 14.36kg / 31.66lb
Mick Kirkman / Immediate Media

The raked-out head angle and max-leverage cockpit also put the RockShox Pike fork under a lot of stress that would be better handled by its stouter Lyrik sibling.

An older RockShox Monarch Plus shock, rather than the latest Super Deluxe model, is used at the rear, but it’s still a well sorted, easily tunable damper that’ll suck up a ton of stress without losing the plot.

The twin-short-linkage suspension handles square edges well without wallowing under power and it’s an easy bike to find a consistently capable tune on.

Being able to switch the bolted rear dropouts between long and short versions in 142 and 148mm (Boost) widths, as well as adjust each option vertically, doesn’t just let you tune geometry. It also makes the Rune 26in wheel compatible.

Advertisement

External control routing, a threaded bottom bracket shell and an ISCG mount make it an easy bike to live with too. It’s a hefty piece of kit though, especially given that it’s not as obviously stiff and surefooted in max aggro situations as similarly heavy-duty frames such as Ison’s own Identiti Mettle.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Rune XT
Brand Banshee

Brakes Shimano Deore XT M8000, 180/160mm rotors
Fork RockShox Pike RC Boost, 160mm travel
Frame Material Hydroformed triple-butted 7005-T6 aluminium
Front Tyre Schwalbe Magic Mary 27.5x2.3in
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar, 800mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore XT M8000
Rear Tyre Nobby Nic 27.5x2.3in
Saddle Gusset R-Series Black Jack
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth, 150mm
Stem Renthal Apex, 40mm
Wheelset Halo Vapour 35 wheels