Park Bike Build: Banshee Wildcard

Banshee Wildcard (click to enlarge)

Banshee Wildcard (click to enlarge)

The build kit we used on the Wildcard is the same as the other park bikes so feel free to browse them to learn more about the parts used.

non-drive side (click to enlarge)

non-drive side (click to enlarge)

The Banshee Wildcard was one of the first bikes Banshee’s new engineer Keith Scott tackled when he joined them. Available in three sizes, the Wildcard clearly has inherited some traits from the Banshee of old while incorporating some new school things as well.

Gone are the days of the Banshee Scream but a lot of the same goals still are met with any new Banshee. The Wildcard features internally ribbed chainstays, bearings a stiff rear end, welded ISCG-05 chain guide tabs, a robust 1.5″ head tube and a solid 7005 Al custom hydoroformed tubeset.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Looking at the geometry of the Wildcard it’s clear that it is designed to tackle jumping, offer agility, and perform tricks which is great for a park bike. The Wildcard is a good bike that can be used in most any bike park quite well. The bike can fit a full length seat post as well as a front derailleur so pedaling up to the top of a hill is possible for the willing.

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(click to enlarge)

The Wildcard has 2 travel settings, 5″ or 6.5″. The 5″ setting is what the bike was designed around for the most part. It is a progressive setting that really lets the bike pop off of jumps and out of corners with confidence. The 6″ setting works as well and gives the bike a big bike feel and is a bit more supple.

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The bikes geometry is a bit steeper than a few of the other bikes in our roundup so attacking steep terrain took some adjusting coming off of slacker bikes. The flip side is that it turns quickly, jumps easily, and is a quite agile as a result.

We paired our Wildcard with a Manitou ISX-6 air shock. Once this shock gets some preload on it and the bike is up to speed, you’d be hard pressed to think there wasn’t a coil shock underneath you. It isn’t quite as supple on the small slow bumps as a coil shock, but once up to speed it eats them up along with medium to big hits. It delivers in a big way.

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(click to enlarge)

The only hiccup we came across was installing the non drive side bottom bracket cup. The big swing arm can get in the way. The Shimano BB tool fit in there just fine but other tools might have issues getting in there.

The last clear indicator that this isn’t the Banshee of old is putting it on the scale.

Weight:

Manufacturer Model Year Real(g) Desc. Pic.
Banshee Wildcard Large (Frame Only)
2009
3638
Banshee Wildcard Shock Bolts
2009
50
Banshee 35mm seat post collar
2009
41
Manitou ISX-4 Air 7.875 x 2.25
2009
462

Our Wildcard complete weighed in at 32.98lbs with the park bike build kit. More weights are available in our weight section if you’re curious about other part weights we used. The Wildcard is available now and you can learn more about the Wildcard by visiting the Banshee website or the Banshee Blog.

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(click to enlarge)

A comparison between the Wildcard is in the works with the other Park Bikes we selected.

[Banshee Wildcard Gallery]

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