Previously we shared the story on how we built up a Revel Rail 27 in mullet configuration and what we thought about it. After two years in mullet configuration we have swapped it back, read below to see how it went!
When we first went to the mullet configuration, we put on a 160mm Selva to keep geometry the same as the 170mm Rock Shox Lyrik that was on it previously. Whilst climbing and BB height felt unchanged, there were some noticeable differences. Front wheel traction was improved, jumping took a short adjustment to get used to and cornering required a different approach. Overall, we were fans and kept it like this for two years.
Lately, more and more of the ORBO crew had been experimenting with up-forking the Rail 27 and all were stoked with the results - so we thought we’d give it a shot too! After some research the Manitou Mezzer 180mm fork was chosen and the Selva was swapped out. The first few rides felt very different, but now we’ve got it dialled in, here's what we’ve found:
At first, the front wheel looks tiny! This is a real visual distraction that took a couple of rides to get used to.
Front wheel traction is definitely reduced. We have since put on a heavier duty, softer compound tyre which has taken traction back up to get close to the 29er, but still doesn't match.
Extra travel rules! With the extra bit of travel, the front end feels more capable than ever, that extra travel is great for rough sections of trail and chatter. Comfort and “safety margin” is definitely higher than the 29er now.
Jumping feels more neutral and intuitive - the adjustment back was really fast.
Cornering is also more natural and intuitive - both wheels feel the same around corners which feels better than the 29er.
And what about climbing and BB height? The longer fork has a longer A2C so it is definitely impacted - we have pushed the seat forward on the rails to counteract this and it has been able to get up everything we ride. You do need to use a little more body language.
Overall, set up as 27 front and rear and over-forked the Revel Rail 27 feels more capable and more neutral. Climbing takes more work. If you are really focussed on racing and going fast the mullet is probably faster and the better choice. For people that are looking for something a little more neutral and better at sending the straight 27 is a better match. And if you are focussed more on descending and not doing heaps of climbing, then over forking a little is definitely an upgrade.
Get in touch with us now if you have any questions, or hit up the store to get your hands on one. We can build fully custom completes - send us an email or message. Frames and components are in stock now!
Also as a reminder, we have demo bikes in selected areas so you can go for a short ride to see what they are like free of charge, and rental bikes for those that want to get a better feel for them over a fortnight or longer. The cost of rental is taken off the price of a new bike or frame.