Table Of Contents

  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120-140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 76.6

Reach: 470mm

Weight: 31.97 lbs (aluminum frame)

Price: $2,249

What We Like: High quality components

What We Don’t: Heavy

Banshee offers the Phantom in a singular frame style: aluminum. This choice has allowed them to invest in solid components for the ride and a great rear shock. Sure, it is heavier without a carbon frame, but with a well planned out frame geo, this bike still eats the climbs and can kick up some brown powder on the downs. The build quality on these bikes is impressive, and it shows that Banshee is a leader in alloy frames. It also has a really friendly price tag.
We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes of 2021

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Ibiscycles.com

  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Upgraded Rear Suspension

Cons

Bottom Bracket Has Had Some Issues

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 475mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.87 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Santa Cruz Tallboy - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 100% 100%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Downhill Ability

Cons

A Bit Heavy

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76.2

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.63 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Marin Rift Zone - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Marinbikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Budget All Day Rider

Cons

It Is Heavy

Travel: 125mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.6

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 32.25 lbs (aluminum frame)

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Downhill Prowess

Cons

Seat Angle Could Be Steeper

Travel: 115mm rear/120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.5

Seat Tube Angle: 75.3

Reach: 473mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.23 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Norco Optic - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Norco.com

  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

App To Dial In Custom Suspension Settings

Cons

Slow On Climbs

Travel: 125mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.2 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Evil the Following - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Evil-bikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

DELTA Link Rear Suspension

Cons

Expensive Build Options

Travel: 120mm rear/ 130 or 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.9

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.3 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Yeti SB 115 - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

New Rear Linkage

Cons

Not Different Enough From The Yeti SB100

Travel: 115mm rear/ 130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.6

Seat Tube Angle: 74

Reach: 450mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.63 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Trek Fuel EX - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Trekbikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Down Tube Storage

Cons

Suspension Sag While Climbing

Travel: 130mm rear/ 140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.94 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Orbea Occam - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Jensonusa.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Upgraded Rear Suspension, Customized Colour Options

Cons

Left Hand Only Water Bottle Access

Travel: 140mm rear/ 140 or 150mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 474mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.67 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Trek Top Fuel - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Trekbikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 100% 100%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
  • Overall Fun 70% 70%

Pros

Super Lightweight

Cons

Knock Block in Headset

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 68

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.08 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Bansheebikes.com

  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

High Quality Components

Cons

Heavy

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120-140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 76.6

Reach: 470mm

Weight: 31.97 lbs (aluminum frame)

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Specialized Stumpjumper ST - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Specialized.com

  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

New Rear Suspension Linkage, SWAT Bottom Bracket Storage

Cons

Price

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 74.5

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 27.80 lbs

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Alchemy Arktos ST - Gear Hacker
  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

High Quality Build Components

Cons

Low Bottom Bracket, Under Bottom Bracket Water Bottle Attachment.

Travel: 120mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.1

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5

Reach: 454 (large frame)

Weight: 30.75 lbs

This is one of the simpler bikes to review on our list because there is only one model and build of the Banshee Phantom V3. This makes it feel like Banshee is saying, “We know what we’re doing, so you only get one.” That’s pretty rad.

It is also the only bike that does not have some form of carbon in the frame, opting for only aluminum framing. This framing decision has allowed for the price of the bike to lean away from the frame and into higher quality components. That’s a worthy trade off if you ask us.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker

The Bike

The Banshee Phantom is now sporting a 66-degree head angle, coupled with a 76.6 seat tube angle, and excellent climbing specifications in the geometry. The large frame has 470mm of reach to keep the riding position neutral for the climbs yet engaged in the descents. There is a 44mm offset fork and 445mm chainstay, which is a bit longer than some of the other bikes in the review, and we found it helps improve stability but did not take away too much from handling while climbing.

Banshee has included modular dropouts that can run 142mm or 148mm boost hubs. In addition, the dropouts offer the ability to slightly change the bike geo when switching between neutral or low/slack depending on your riding style and location.

The bike can also be set up as a mullet, meaning that you can switch the rear 29” wheel for a 27.5” wheel. That’s some business in the front with some serious party in the back.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker

Climbing

The Banshee weighs around 31lbs, which for an alloy frame is quite surprising. They have built a very stable and snappy bike that weighs almost the same as the Norco Optic that uses a front triangle made from carbon. So there are no excuses when you’re on the climbs that your bike weighs a little more than your buddies.

The 76.6-degree seat tube angle puts you in a perfect riding position for climbing and the Fox DPX2 Performance Elite rear suspension keeps everything nice and firm on the climbs. You barely notice any pedal bob while pushing up a hill. There really isn’t anything else to mention in the climbing category, as this bike will get you uphill and keep you stoked for the downhill.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker

Downhill

The Phantom comes with a forged rear suspension shock cage. It is a singularly forged cage that keeps all of the force from the rear wheel impact in a very small section of the frame around the shock. This helps to firm up the rest of the frame while allowing the frame to be lightweight but stiff. The DPX2 suspension also helps to make the bike feel like it has a bit more travel than the 115mm that it offers. On different tests, testers both mentioned that it has the best ability to bring speed in and out of turns, and you can really push into turns with absolute confidence.

The KS2 linkage on the rear suspension is a really smooth linkage that helps you take advantage of the limited 115mm travel the bike comes with. This does make trail feedback happen when you take it into some nasty lines. The chainstays have added internal ribbing for additional frame support without adding too much weight. This bike is built super well and will give that ultimate feedback of speed and control when you take it down the right line. You may also find yourself spending some more time in the air than expected, but the stiff frame and KS2 will help you land softly and keep on trucking.

Build Options

There can only be one Banshee Phantom! I forget who said that but they meant it. Banshee only offers one bike build, which is a pretty cool (and bold) move. They have gone with an alloy frame, but this opens up the ability to add higher performing components. Components such as SRAM Code R brakes, carbon wheels, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, and a MRP Ribbon Air fork. These components make the bike light and hard-charging with that added braking confidence.

It really is a good build-out, and on Banshee’s website, the Phantom is listed at $2249, which seems like an absolute steal.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

As one of the pioneer bikes in the, at the time, unknown “down-country” category, the Phantom is still leading the charge in the short travel shredders. The build quality is so impressive, and the components that Banshee has opted for complement this bike super well. It is poppy and a pumping machine; the feedback is so quick. It climbs well and descends even better. Using the same linkage as some of the other longer travel bikes in the Banshee range, it has just enough Enduro blood to make it an all-day charger.

We were super impressed with the Banshee, and it comes with all the bells and whistles (and then some) of more expensive carbon framed bikes that have been reviewed on this list. With the price tag of $2249, it is a perfect first bike into the new down country world, but don’t be fooled, this truly isn’t an entry-level bike. The Phantom will keep you wanting more for years to come.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Banshee Phantom - Gear Hacker

Compare Prices From Retailers Below

You help support Gear Hacker by purchasing from our retail partners.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!