Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wildcard Version 2.0- More than just a dream?

A follow up response to

As my eyelids struggled to compete against the force of gravity, a few thoughts tripped on my mind’s doorstep. What if money grew on trees? What if first time homebuyers didn’t need a 25 year mortgage? What if I could change whatever I wanted on the Banshee Wildcard?

As my eyelids regained their crown as the daily Awake Champion, I began to contemplate the thoughts that only moments ago occupied my cerebrum. The first two questions were quickly dismissed as I remembered a wise and BIG philosopher once said, “Mo money, mo problems.”

But what if I could change whatever I wanted on the Banshee Wildcard? What would I change?

In my opinion, the Wildcard was initially designed as a slopestyle bike, but due to its versatile geometry it soon found its niche as a true jack-of-all-trades bike capable of slopestyle esque riding and freeriding. As a result, most riders who choose to purchase the Wildcard also spend a great deal of riding time on the trails.

With the above disclaimer in mind, there are three and a half revisions I would like to suggest. The first is revision is around the area of geometry. The Wildcard is an excellent all around platform suitable for climbing, jumping, descending, and cornering. However, I would like to see a slightly lower bottom bracket height of approximately ¾ of an inch (bringing the bottom bracket height to 13.15” on my current set up), and a slacker head angle by one degree (bringing my current head angle to 66 degrees), while the rest of the geometry numbers remain the same.

With a lower bottom bracket height, the Wildcard would have a lower center of gravity and in my opinion, be even better at railing through high-speed corners. With a slacker head angle, the Wildcard would be even more stable when pointed down steep descents. Of course the drawback of having a lower bottom bracket height means more bottom bracket, crank, and pedal smashes while having a slacker head angle means having a slower turning response for slopestyle maneuvers.

The second area of revision is around weight. While by no means heavy at 8.92lbs (for an anodized finish DHX air 5.0 equipped size small), a loss of ½ a pound would place the Wildcard ahead of its competitor the Transition BottleRocket and be one more reason to hand over the green (or brown bills) to Banshee Bikes.

The third area of revision is around appearance. With riding hotspots like Whistler peppered with wildly finished carbon fiber helmets and TLD superhero suits, riders are definitely spending money on their riding kits. My preference would be to see anodized links to colour match or colour clash the anodized finish on the Wildcard. Banshee specific decal kits (think Rock Shox like) for the wet paint Wildcards would also be a draw for all the sticker-crazed groms.

The last half revision is around price. The reason I claim this to be a half revision is because while the Wildcard is a fairly pricy frame, you definitely get what you pay for. It is a solid frame, backed by a great warranty, and a standup company. However in tough economic times, what will entice new riders to purchase a Wildcard over similarly priced frames? I believe my first three suggestions are the key.

Wildcard Version 2.0, am I still dreaming?