Mythic Rune review

Agile and capable all-rounder

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £2,500.00 RRP | USD $3,573.50

Our review

If you’re confident in your shock tuning abilities this is an agile all-rounder with a distinctive, drive-reactive suspension character
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Known as Banshee everywhere else, the name ‘Mythic’ gets these Canadian hardcore builders around potential trademark problems in the UK. Their all-mountain Rune delivers a distinctive Canadian take on tough trail bikes for riders who know how to tune a shock. 

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Ride & handling: Rips through technical singletrack – if you’ve got the shock set up right

The combination of the tall, long stem cockpit and super-sloped top tube – which relies on long seatpost extension to give decent reach – meant the Rune felt worryingly treacherous at first.

In fact it was so steep, choppy and ready to stumble over its front wheel like a race BMX that we had to check the geometry several times before we believed the head angle was the right side of 70 degrees.

Whip out the spacers, fit a shorter stem and push your arse back, though, and it becomes clear that the basic handling angles are absolutely fine. But you still need to know how to really tweak a shock to liberate its full potential. 

The linkages change to a falling rate at just the point where Fox’s DHX air shocks always start to feel baggy anyway, which makes it hard to find a decent compromise between blowing through the mid and end stroke or feeling really inert and hardtail-like. 

We don’t want to dwell too much on the shock, though, because that’s mostly solvable via Fox’s Boost Valve and air volume changes if you know your tuning onions.

The basic suspension design underneath reminds us a lot of Santa Cruz and Intense’s original VPP platform. It handles square-edge hits really well and there’s loads of traction feedback whatever you’re doing. 

Add a seriously light wheelset and a 13.6kg (30lb) weight, and the Rune can really rip through technical singletrack. Get that saddle up and there’s enough space not to compromise breathing on longer climbs.

Frame: Light and agile, with distinctive rider-reactive suspension

Banshee have always made their bikes on the sturdy side, and the Rune starts off the frame with a big 1.5in head tube for maximum fork versatility. The flared square-section down tube and the shaped and super-sloped top tube make the most of the extra weld potential too.

Monster rectangular chainstays and kinked square seatstays are rib reinforced internally and come together via CNC machined yokes up front and a really nice blended junction with the big rear dropouts.

Grease-ported IGUS polymer bushings take the place of conventional cartridge bearings and the frame has ISCG tabs. The straight seat tube means you can drop the saddle out of the way on steep terrain, although it definitely needs a quick-release lever, not the bolted collar we had.

Equipment: We’d spec a different fork and shock, and shorter stem

UK importers Freeborn can build up your Rune any way you want from the £899.99 frameset. There’s certainly some quality kit on this £2,500 build.

The Hope/Stan’s wheels are impressively light yet tough enough to take rocky descents in their stride. Stan’s No Tubes self-sealing kits reduce both weight and pinch or thorn puncture problems in the Specialized tyres too. 

We’re big fans of the RaceFace Atlas chainset too and Freeborn will be switching from Avid’s Juicy brakes to the company’s more powerful Elixirs now that they’ve got some stock.

There are a few tweaks we’d probably make though. We never felt the urge to drop fork travel, so we’d swap to the lighter, smoother, cheaper, 160mm-only Fox 36 Float or a 1.5in fork to make full use of the massive head tube.

We’d also go for a Float R rear shock rather than the DHX – more on that later. A SRAM or Shimano Shadow-style rear mech would reduce the massive loop of cable from the badly placed final gear stop and stop the mech braining itself on the chainstay. In our opinion switching to a shorter (50-70mm) stem is vital too.

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The fact you can do all this tuning before you buy your final bike is obviously a big bonus compared to off-the-peg rigs, especially as it’s still competitive on price.

You need to know how to tweak a shock to free this bike’s potential:
Steve Behr

Product Specifications

Product

Name Rune (pro build) (09)
Brand Mythic

Available Sizes L M S XL
Rear Wheel Weight 2250
Top Tube (in) 22.5
Seat Tube (in) 17
Chainstays (in) 16.69
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.18
Weight (lb) 30.46
Year 2009
Weight (kg) 13.81
Stem Thomson X4 90mm
Shifters Shimano XT
Seatpost Praxys Dual-Bolt
Seat Angle 71
Saddle SDG Bel Air Ti
Rims Stans Flow
Rear Shock Fox DHX 5.0 Air
Bottom Bracket RaceFace X Type
Rear Hub Hope Pro II
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
Head Angle 67
Handlebar Easton EA70 Hi riser bar 27in
Front Wheel Weight 1880
Front Hub Hope Pro II
Front Derailleur Shimano XT
Frame Material Custom hydroformed 7005 alu
Fork Fox 36 Talas RC2 (160mm travel)
Cranks RaceFace Atlas AM 22-32-44T
Chain SRAM PC971
Cassette Chain Shimano XT 9spd
Brakes Disc Avid Juicy 5 180mm rotors
Wheelbase (in) 43.5