Review of Carrera Banshee Mountain Bike

Review of Carrera Banshee Mountain Bike I have always been a bit weary of Halfords own brand products, this however has been a really nice surprise. I was looking to upgrade from my Hardtail XC as I was starting to get into free-riding. I originally planned on getting a Kona Coiler or similar, but after a chance visit to a Halfords store, I saw the Carrera Banshee Mountain Bike. I did a double-take as I read through the spec, and couldn’t believe that I could pick this up brand new for £499. Not believing what I was seeing, I carried out some research online, bikeradar and a few other sites rated them, however there are a few mixed opinions out there. I decided to go for it, the coiler was £999.00 and what with the credit crunch and all, I went for the cheaper Banshee. First impressions were excellent, being a four bar linkage with 6″ suspension travel, it is pretty bad at up-hills, however after re-adjustment and re-assessing my riding style, you get used to it. It has a really laid back almost chopper style sitting position, which means that it loves the downhill sections, and boy it does!! Traction is excellent, it comes with Tioga DH 2.3″ tyres as standard and the relatively wide rims make the most of the tyre width. The brakes are more than adequate, being Tektro Auriga Hydraulic jobbies, they do heat up on the long descents (as do most other brakes) and can fade (might be something to do with me being 17 stone and riding DH at 36mph), however for the type of rider this is aimed at, they are more than adequate. I have now done over 200 miles of hard off-roading, it has been a joy to own, and have only had a couple of problems which were dealt with under warranty by Halfords. In short the problems encountered were: 1. Original rear wheel cone races failed (standard wheels are pretty shoddy to be honest). However Halfords replaced with their “Bikehut XSD-3” wheels which are excellent. 2. Pedal axles bent (think this is due to me being a bit on the large side), I upgraded myself to DMR v12 copies. One thing I will say, and this is only based on my experience at the local Halfords store, My experiences with Halfords customer services is pretty bad, they took three weeks to sort out new wheelset. The bottom line is: If you want a credit crunch beating all-round bike (biased to DH) then this is an excellent choice, and worthy of serious consideration. Good Points: The spec is good at this price range, in short: Rear Air Shock, Good Suntour Raidon 150mm travel front forks, Sram SX5 does an excellent job, Tioga Tyres are a touch at this price range. Bad Points: Original wheelset is total rubbish, as are the standard pedals. The Carrera brand is still not quite up there with the likes of the rest!

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