We need YOUR HELP to find the Best Build of 2022.
Bookmark this webpage, because starting on Monday, January 9th, you'll be able to cast your best guess on the winner of our 64-bike bracket.
Let's start by highlighting a few custom builds with some words from their owners on what makes them unique.
Tan-Wall Transition Sentinel
Why did you create your build around a Carbon Transition Sentinel frame?
This is my second go with the Sentinel V2 frame because it is truly the most dynamic frame I’ve ever ridden. I had a V2 before this build, and there was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to repeat this frame again. Not only is it pretty, but the thing just flat-out performs. I feel so confident on this frame and the medium V2 hits the geometry sweet spots; it never leaves me unimpressed. I do the majority of my riding in Vermont, but I like to hit other areas of the country at least once a year. That might be anything from Santa Cruz to Bentonville, big days, or bike park. This is a bike that can do it all and never leave me with any concerns about too much or too little. I’ve never felt over-biked, and I’m certainly not talented enough to ever be under-biked with this platform.
What makes your custom build unique to you?
This is definitely my favorite question because there are a lot of bits to this bike worthy of explanation. My dad raced the pro circuit and ran a bike shop up until my early childhood. He was a real mountain biking OG. I’m talking like riding in Marin on those early rigid mountain bikes OG. I’m not sure if you can see in the photos, but the top cap is custom, and on it is a photo of him in his bike shop taken right around the time I was born. He had like 20-something bikes when I arrived, and though my arrival meant getting rid of most of them, he got me riding at a very young age. I definitely owe this passion to him. To the left of that top cap attached to the handlebar is a gold bell that my mom gave to me after he passed away. That bell gets moved from bike to bike year after year. And then the neatest of all these niche additives is the top tube. While working with Fanatik on this, I was deployed to Syria with my Forward Resuscitative Surgical Team. The top tube now has a hand-drawn cartoon done by one of my teammates outlining many of the peculiarities we encountered out there. That’s definitely really special to me, and I have the original drawing framed in my house. It’s a constant reminder of how fortunate I have been to be able to ride bikes and grow up in Vermont. Man, it can always be a lot worse!
@The_Loam_Roamer Alloy Patrol
How would you describe the aesthetic of your build, and what was it inspired by?
My bike’s aesthetic is centered around contrasting colors to give it an understated pop. The bike is meant to look relatively stock at a quick glance, but in taking a closer look, riders will notice the small details that really make this bike special. The silver and gold against the blue frame are a personal favorite. I was inspired by the PNW night sky and the berries I frequently stop to eat along the trails.
How would you describe your custom build experience with Fanatik?
I have some good friends that work at Fanatik that helped make the experience extremely smooth and got me exactly what I needed. The whole team is easy to work with and willing to make changes and get the bike dialed in the exact way the rider wants. Everyone was stoked to see it get built and roll out of the shop with me. Felt like Christmas morning. Overall such a great experience building this bike.
@avonsover Revel Ranger
Which component on your bike is your favorite?
I really like the SRAM AXS wireless shifting. I was a little hesitant to get this, but it works so well, so smoothly, and doesn’t have any of the “hiccuping” when you’re pedaling hard. It was a great choice.
Where was your first ride on your custom build, and how would you describe your initial impression of the bike?
My first ride was Armstrong to Mid-Mountain to Spiro - a classic and popular loop at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. It’s a loop I ride a bunch of, so it’s the perfect first ride. My initial impression was that it climbs like a mountain goat; so solid on the ups, which I expected. But the down was even better and so fun. Pinkbike described the Ranger as a party animal, and that’s so true. Little hits, jumps, pops, all of that were fun as hell on the down, making you think you have a lot more travel than you do.
Fanatik Select Builds
While the majority of our bracket consists of customer builds, we couldn’t help but include some of our own as well.
Chris King Dreadnought
Centered around Forbidden’s long-travel, high-pivot Dreadnought, this build was curated for terrain ranging from steep to steeper. Using our Custom Bike Builder tool, we selected components from Chris King and other US manufacturers including 5DEV, Tenet, and Jank Components. The resulting dream build weaves the subtle hues of Chris King's limited edition Matte Midnight colorway into an eye-catching ride that will be right at home in the dark, dank woods of Cascadia.
Forbidden Druid Select
The chassis of this Fanatik SELECT Custom Build is the venerable Druid, a bike not easily defined by its travel numbers. That's because 130mm of Forbidden's High Pivot Witchcraft feels entirely different than 130mm on any other bike; by allowing the rear wheel to move backwards away from rocks and roots, and extending your bike's wheelbase instead of shortening it, this is a machine that holds its own with much longer travel rigs while retaining the playful pre-load characteristics of a shorter travel rig. The size Large frame will fit riders ranging from 5'9" through 6'1'', and is a machine that's built for speed.
We opted for one of the only remaining US assembled forks out there, the 160mm Cane Creek HELM. This fork often flies under the radar, but is one of the most aggressive, tunable forks available. A stiff, stout chassis and independently adjustable air springs, combined with an extremely supportive damper tune keeps this fork mobbing through the chunk, the perfect pair for the Druid.
In keeping with this need-for-speed mentality, we opted for a smorgasbord of high-end, high-performance components, like the full XT drivetrain and brakes, Industry Nine 1/1 hubs, Stan's Flow MK4 rims, and a RockShox SuperDeluxe RCT rear shock.
Enter A Bracket To Win
From January 9th-15th, bracket predictions will be open to the public right here on our website. Then, starting the week of January 16th, we'll pit these builds against each other via our Instagram stories to see who moves on!
We will be awarding prizes to the most accurate bracket predictions.
- 1 REVEL Ranger Frame for the most accurate bracket prediction! (Winner will have their choice of frame size; color will be dependent on availability.)
- $200, $100 and $50 Fanatik Gift Cards
- DEITY cockpit kit (bar, stem, grips, pedals, and saddle)
- 2 sets of DEITY Deftrap pedals
- 3 sets of DEITY grips
- 2 TRANSITION BIKES apparel packs (jersey, gloves, hat, socks and water bottle)
- 2 EVIL x 686 apparel packs (jersey, riding pants, socks)
- 1 SPECIALIZED Butcher/Eliminator Soil Searching tire set and SPECIALIZED swag
Bracket Predictions: Jan 9 - Jan 15
Round 1: Jan 16- Jan 20
Rounds 2 and 3: Jan 23, Jan 27
Elite 8 and Final 4: Jan 30, Feb 3
Final: Feb 6 - Feb 10
Keep an eye on our Instagram @fanatikbikeco for more information and updates!