It's strong enough to dance on winding Shore style stunts and tame gravity at bike parks, yet still light enough to be able to grind out those big epic rides and rip up single track. The Chap suspension geometry can adapt to both coil and air shock compression rates by adjusting the rocker pivot position. With a coil over shock, 7" DC fork and tight, Scream inspired geometry, the Chap has amazing traction and is incredibly plush and predictable on high speed stutter bumps, tight single track and "Shore Style" drops.
Cesar de Diego
from Lloret de Mar. Girona. Spain.
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2010
Strengths: rigidity, robustness
After four years of use, I can only rave about the Chaparral. Going down is impressive, the bike-parks there is nothing better. But with a mounting any use as I have, you can make up to 70 km routes, and that it weighs about 20 kilograms.
a Weekend Warrior
from Forest City, NC
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2009
Strengths: Super Stong frame! I am BIG guy and this frame has taken everything I have dished out. Nice machine work, tight. Climbs well with Romic
Weaknesses: For what it is used for NONE.
I have a 04 model and it is the best bike I have owned. It climbs well and descends much better. After I the suspension was setup correctly (for my weight) it really set it self apart from all others I had tested. The 4-Bar rear end really smoothes out the bumps and soaks up the drops. The powder keg head tube is very beefy and really resists ovalizing.
Strengths: Extremely strong, super stiff, perfect geometry for an AM/FR bike.
Weaknesses: Heavy, interrupted seat tube.
I'm a big dude (>300 lbs) and like to ride hard, but still need to climb. I didn't think that anyone made a bike that would work for me until I discovered the Chaparral. I have the 2007 model with 6" or 7" of travel, I keep it in the 6" mode for the lower leverage ratio.
When I stand and mash on any other bike the frame flexes like nobody's business. Not so with this thing, sure its heavy but so am I. I currently have it built to over 40 lbs but it feels much, much lighter because the energy I'm putting into pedaling isn't being used to flex the frame to and fro. With the DHX 5.0 it also has minimal bob.
I routinely take the bike on 20 mile XC rides and hit the DH runs at Northstar with no issues. I highly recommend an adjustable travel fork with this frame because it does fine with a 140mm as well as a 170mm fork.
The interrupted seat tube is definitely a pain, I am not a fan of telescoping seatposts. You also can't get a Speedball/Joplin for it because of the 30mm seat tube. You can obviously run a Gravity Dropper, but I am not willing to trust a 27.2mm seatpost and a shim with my heft.
So depending on the type/size of rider you are this bike is either a godsend or just way overbuilt. If you are a light rider looking for an all-mountain bike look elsewhere, if however you are a big guy looking for a stiff bike that can be pedaled up and bomb down then I don't think there is a better bike on the market.
Similar Products Used: Ibex Atlas, Santa Cruz Nomad, Specialized Enduro SL
Bike Setup: DHX 5.0, Marzocchi 66 Light ETA, Formula The One, Saint crank/rear mech, Halo SAS Wheelset, XT shifters, Titec Pyro Scoper seatpost, Thomson 70mm stem, WTB Dissent 2.5"
from Provo, UT, USA
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2008
Strengths: Biggest strength is the strength of the frame! This thing is a monster, overbuilt in just the right places, huge headtube, ribbed chainstays, but still light enough to be a very agile bike. This thing jumps like no other.
Weaknesses: I had a hard time finding a new rear shock besides the Romic to run. The small frame cannot fit a shock with a reservoir like all the new shocks have. I also had trouble with the rear swingarm tapping my seatpost under full compression (solved by making a bumper out of a bike tube).
Fantastic bike, I got two great years out of it, and it was the best bike I had ridden up to that point. I rode it All mountain, raced it, hucked it, did dirt jumps... you name it. It is such a great bike and if you find a good deal on one I would highly recommend it.
This is the best pure freeride frame I owned. Indestructible and flashy-looking. Frame is stable at high speeds and nimble through streep, technical descents. Despite its weight, there is almost no pedal bob and thus it climbs efficiently. I had the 6 inch travel. I imagine the 7 inch is even better.
Bike Setup: 888, EX721's, hayes, race face evolve x-type
a Weekend Warrior
from Brisbane, Australia
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2007
Strengths: Frame is exceptionally well built and super strong. 8mm thick head tube walls, big CNC'd drop outs, super gusset welds and appropriate walled tubing. Incredibly well thought out and tested geometry. Can build it as downhill, freeride or super-tough all mountain.
10 year warranty! Nuff said.
Weaknesses: Nothing at all really. Some riders have bagged the paint and overall finish, but I find it just right. The only real weakness is the broken seat tube, requiring a telescopic seat post. It can get frustrating at times when you want to raise the saddle for a climb or long XC ride. I keep my saddle slammed most of the time, so I should just get one seat post.
My God - this is an incredible machine!! With the build I adopted, I can do everything on this bike - even whip my chicken legged XC friends on the short blasts on flat sections. This bike drops and flies so straight, true and controllable and just eats up the landings.
The gnarlier, rockier, steeper it gets, the bike just comes into its own! It crushes rockgardens and takes drops so effortlessly. What previously scared you, is dusted off with so much ease, you'll be looking to step up your riding at every opportunity.
The 66's on the front were an excellent choice for this frame. Don't sell the frame short and get any less travel. 180mm travel or more is required on this frame - perfectly matching the rear end travel and geometry. With ETA (forks) on my bike, you can also climb quite steep technical terrain too - especially if you stop and raise your saddle.
The bike gives you that plush lounge-chair like feel on really nasty terrain, but without compromising its handling, feel and intuitiveness. The best bit is, when you make a mistake - the 7 inches of travel and the weight of the bike will save your arse - all you have to do is lean right back over the bike, hit the rear brakes and the bike does the rest - kind of like auto-save-your-arse stop!
The geometry is so good, you'll be hitting berms like you're on a 4X bike, doing jumps like you're riding motocross and still having that great feel to be able to wheelie, roll skinny shore/ramps and take that huge drop.
I'm absolutely loving it. Highly, HIGHLY recommend.
Similar Products Used: Kona Stinky, Santa Cruz Nomad.
Bike Setup: I built my bike as a Heavy Duty - All Mountain - Freeride. Final weigh in 19kgs, with the following. Marzocchi 66 RC2 with ETA, Hope headset. Hope hubs laced to single track rims. Hussefelt bb and cranks. Sram components and WTB saddle. I've to a Medium frame and I'm 1.75m and 72kgs (82kg with gear). I'm also running the Manitou Intrinsic Air as the rear shock.
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2007
Strengths: Clearly a very well made and thought out frame, strong, nice paint finish. Once built up the handling is sharp and the ride very quiet. Feels lively and straight away I was hitting jumps and drops with confidence, great fun!
Weaknesses: None yet
Just a great fun freeride bike from the moment I got on it, strong, quiet, nimble. Suspension action is very plush for small stuff without feeling soggy or bottoming out on the drops. Yet to try full on DH with it but its not a race bike anyway. Money well spent. I am a Banshee convert.
Bike Setup: Boxxers, Mavic and Hope wheels, Hope Disc Brakes, Romic rear shock, hone cranks.
a Weekend Warrior
from gilford ct usa
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2007
Strengths: Strengths... Yeah lookit the frame. There's no metal under 1/4" anywheres... Fox 5 DHX Coil... Bullet Proof... Balanced... A bike to be ridden.
Weaknesses: Piss poor paint job. But then you don't care so much when you drop 'er in the dirt.
I must work to keep up with the AM boyz... Until the trail tilts downward. Then, I cin hear the Banshee Scream on the front as the trees and trails become a blur. Drops? bigger. Bumps? not noticable. Bike is quiet and powerful. Climbs okay, does trails okay, but when you need balance, strength, and fortitude... This bike rocks. It's fast & the funnest. It's not the right bike for everything. Its the right bike for menacing terrain that would crush udder weakling trail bikes.
Bike Setup: Frame 2006, Fox 36 van rc2, hayes 9 ctr
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2006
Strengths: Geometry Suspension system Easton tubes Versatility of the frame Look
Weaknesses: Just to write one the paint is not very solid, but I like to have the bike a little scratched and used like a pair of jeans, so for me it is not really a weakness.
The 2006 Chaparral is the best and most versatile bike I have ever had, I'm 1.89 Cm tall and the XL frame is perfect for my height, it is not too big as other XL frames I had and is the first good thing because I'm in the middle between LARGE and XL. The bike has something special in its geometry,it pedals very well and at the same time has a freeride attitude that inspires you confidence when it is time to go down,technical things are a joke compared to other full suspended bikes I had. I wanted to build an aggressive all mountain bike and that's what I did,the bike weights around 35/36" with standard and solid equipment. The Chaparral suspension system works great, very firm when you go uphill but still very responsive downhill, the avalanche twin tube rear Shock works very well, it's not too heavy and I forgot to have it. When I go to bike parks I use larger tires and I have another bike,that's why I said that it is the most versatile bike I have ever had. I hope that Banshee will build more all mountain frames in the future,but until now the Chap is great!
This bikes is just plain awesome, rides great, climbs great, jumps like no other and its just fun to ride on any type of trail. Can be set up in many different ways to accomodate styles of riding. I would like to say my set up is in between light and heavy but i havent weight it yet. Get one, bad ass bike for the money. and you have the liverty to build it as an XC or freeride bike.
Bike Setup: Banshee Chaparral, vanilla r, 66rc 170 mm, SIC stem and bar(camodized), Truvativ Howitzer cranks, Azonic xtension pedals, Atomlab pimp rims with IRC trailbear tires and 07 Formula ORO k18 brakes. sweeet set up.
from north carolina
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2006
Strengths: super burly frame with awsome dhx 5.0 shok. rearend is ultra stiff. great on downhill, freeride, dirt jumps, slopestyle and all mountain. great warranty
Weaknesses: none after 6 months and a brutal dh season
the frame is super strong and worth the money. its listed as a freeride trail but ive hit 25ft hucks and big dirt jumps on mine and not had any problems. best bike ive ever owned
Bike Setup: 66 light eta, shimano drive train, e 13 srs, race face dh crank, clim8 brakes 8in front 6in rear with shimano saint brake levers, fizik freek saddle, ect
a Weekend Warrior
from Calgary, AB, Canada
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2006
Strengths: Solid, well built
Weaknesses: heavy for my riding
I have have this bike for over two years now and it has been bombproof. The geometry is bang on for me for XC riding and turns into a dh bike with a matter of lowering my seat. I have had some clearance issues with my front derailleurs and chain line since day one. My LX derailleur never worked well(either it rubbed on the rear tire or the bottom pivot pushed it out too far and it would rub on the chain. Also happened with my new SRAM X Gen but I have been able to fix that by grinding out a notch on the back of the derailleur) That also was affected by the set up of hte cranks. They had to be fine tuned just right to keep the chainline rideable and not have the cranks rubbing on the chainstay or the chain rubbing on the derailleur cage. I have been able to get it perfect but there is not alot of room for error. I also have a small dent in my downtube from a rough ride in the back of a pickup on a rough road but it is small and I doubt it will affect it adversely. If it does, I will buy an '06 or '07 because this bike is the right one for me.
Similar Products Used: Rocky Slayer, Cannondale Gemini, Bullit, Stinkys
Bike Setup: Sherman DC, Fox DHX3, SRAM drivetrain, raceface, mavic 729 and Juicy 7's
a Cross Country Rider
from Cairo, Egypt
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2006
Strengths: Very strong, well made, very affordable and even though it is heavy it is fun on the techincal terrain.
Weaknesses: It is the ugliest bike I think I have seen along with the scream.
Hated the origional paint job so I had a custom paint job with and annodized purple with metallic flec. Looks great. The bike is fun when set up with goods specs and I am looking forward to adding it to my other 40 bikes. Thank you!!