- Bike Checks
With thousands of Bike Checks being uploaded by our members each year, getting selected for Bike of the Day is a bit of a big deal. However, if your bike is REALLY special, there's another goal to aspire to: admittance to the Five Banger Bike Builds club.The doorman here is notoriously picky, and don't try to bribe your way in either - there are only five entry tickets and they all come in the form of an outstanding build and hopefully a couple of nice pics to do your pride and joy justice. If your bike is on this list, congratulations, you're doing it right. And if it's not, better luck next year!
The Intense Uzzi was one of the OG freeride bikes, back in the day when enduro wasn't a word we used and most big bikes wouldn't see a fireroad climb in their lifetime. Today's version stays true to its brawler roots but will happily let you pedal back up for more too. Jason Guthrie put together this banger build with custom graphics to help give it extra pop. RockShox Lyrik fork and Vivid Air shock make sure the bike is ready to rumble, while the carbon cockpit and cranks from Race Face and the carbon rims from Nox keep the weight in check. A Wolftooth 44t sprocket in the rear helps add just a touch more range for those pesky uphills too!
For those looking for just a little less travel in a very capable package, Evil's Insurgent ticks quite a few boxes. Vital member jarrodnz made sure to grace this banger build with a selection of parts every bit as sexy as they are functional - we even looked past the non-horizontal cranks in the pics when we selected this one! With a super plush Elevensix shock from PUSH out back, getting the FOX 36 PUSHed too was a foregone conclusion. To keep the weight down and the stoke factor up, a Renthal Fatbar Carbon cockpit and the super light Race Face SixC crank match up perfectly with a pair of Derby 40mm carbon rims. Hope gets the nod with their ultra-reliable Pro2 hubs and extra wide-range 10-44 cassette, while Magura's MT7 brakes are tasked with slowing the whole thing down before it gets in over its head. It would almost be a shame to scratch it!
One of the easiest ways to get into the Five Banger Bike Builds club is to customize your rig. But be careful, it's not as straightforward as it sounds. Going wild on the graphics sure is fun, but you have to make it work too - and nobody did a sicker job of that than Bartosz Bugalski in 2016! The Demo itself needs little introduction, and the parts picked for this banger build are all up to the job at hand. But it's the gold digger custom sticker job that pushed this one over the edge and into the Vital MTB Bike Check history books. There's even a bonus video that shows off what went down during the build process - this sick rig deserves the extra attention!
On a race bike, there's no room for needless bling or parts that don't perform. Todd Schumlick, owner and manager of the Norco Factory Racing team made sure that his riders wouldn't have to worry about their equipment, with a fleet of dialed-in Aurums ready to go conquer the world. As a full factory team, Blenki and the boys are always testing new stuff, like the idler featured on this banger build. On suspension duty, the FOX 40 and Float X2 are up for anything that a World Cup run might require, especially when it's our favorite gloveless Kiwi dishing out the punishment. Shimano handles shifting and braking, while Race Face provides cockpit and cranks - and yes, even the World Cup racing teams run carbon cranks these days!
What do you do when you really like the Syndicate paint jobs but Santa Cruz won't sell them to you? You make your own of course! Vital member WisnuA had his Nomad CC custom painted using one of Ratboy's bikes for inspiration. But he wasn't the only Syndicate fan out there dedicated enough to build his own replica, so we actually had to run a poll to figure out which one was the sickest. As you have probably figured out by now, WisnuA's banger build won!