Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 62 total)
  • Is mullet the new 27.5+?
  • Premier Icon rickon
    Full Member

    Hey,

    With Santa Cruz releasing the new Bronson and Juliana as a mullet bike, I cant help but think that mullet is another way to keep 27.5 wheels alive, and start moving folk gently over to 29.

    Is mullet actually a useful thing, or is it just like 27.5+ and doomed to the fringes of bicycle usage and history?

    Premier Icon rickon
    Full Member

    Well, what do you think? 🙂

    Premier Icon Larry_Lamb
    Free Member

    Is mullet actually a useful thing

    I’ve got one, short answer – no.

    Premier Icon v7fmp
    Free Member

    I have a specialized status, which is mullet. It seems to ride pretty well. But without an equivalent version with a 29er in the rear, there is no baseline or anything to directly compare it to.

    At least with a mullet setup they are using and racing it in DH WC and a few are in EWS. Whereas 27.5 plus didnt really have a platform to prove its advantage/disadvantage etc.

    Again tho, would those WC DH riders still be as fast on a full 29er…..?!

    Premier Icon rickon
    Full Member

    Yeah, I wouldn’t trust what pros ride as a guide to what’s good or not. There’s more than just a good time at play for the sponsors!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    BNG

    Premier Icon mashr
    Full Member

    As someone who can buzz their arse riding 27.5″ but would like a 29er, it seems to work for me. Would try it on my current bike but it would become complicated as I’d also need a chuck a (reversed) angleset on their too

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Only time will tell whether it sticks, but as a two-time mulleteer I can say it definitely has some benefits over full 29 or full 27 (as well as some disadvantages, obvs).

    Twisty and/or steep trails and more fun being the main improvement IME.

    I also had a B+ bike, and the only real advantage there was big bouncy fun, though a B+ rear and 29in front was awesome until the rear flatted.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    It’s all I’ve been riding the last past few years. There’s no good reason for anyone not to run a 29″ front wheel these days, in my opinion. Still good reasons for some to run a 27.5 (or 27.5+) rear.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    I like the idea… Thin front, fat rear could definitely make a lot of sense for a lot of people, for hardtails etc. And just occasionally a 29er rear does get in the way- though rarely. Buuut, it means less interchangability of parts and it looks daft.

    Main thing is for me it’s just not something I feel like I gain enough from. I got on the enduro 29er bandwagon pretty early and it’s been fantastic, and literally the only time I’ve ever wished the rear wheel was smaller was at the mega on the glacier. And even that was just because I hadn’t figured out how to ride it properly. Other’n that, it’s just not how bikes work any more, long and slack and low and lots of dropper post means I’m above the bike not behind it, the tyre isn’t in the way.

    (could give a new lease of life to some 29ers with bad geometry though… But then that goes back to teh whole “interchangability” thing, unless there’s geometry adjustment you just can’t have it both ways, if it’s made right for 29er it’s not made right for 650b.)

    (I’ll try my Solarismax with 29er front, b+ rear at some point though- it’s too low for b+ at both ends but it’ll be an interesting compromise)

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    Makes me feel like an early adopter with my Carver 69er

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Free Member

    I think it will be more of a size related thing. If you’re not quite big enough to justify a 29er then mullet is a good compromise. There’s also the case that certain bikes work better with certain wheel sizes. Xc tends to work best with 29 but 4x is still mostly 26.

    I think different wheel sizes started partly as a way of marketing new bikes for sales but I think we’ve passed that point and bikes are being made with the right wheel size for the given situation

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Full Member

    Liteville were pushing the idea for years and they used to have loads of tech stuff on thier website explaining why it was advantageous. However, about 5 years ago they decided that being niche wasn’t helping with sales so quietly dropped it as their USP and went all mainstream. The tech stuff is no longer available either. And now it seems everyone is jumping on the same bandwagon and claiming it as the next great thing.

    EDIT: found a pdf which contains their technical bunff on why different sized wheels should be better…
    https://www.liteville.com/application/filebrowser/master/PDF/Scaled_Sizing_ENG_Flyer_210x210_8seitig_ver-05.pdf

    Premier Icon SirHC
    Full Member

    Is mullet actually a useful thing

    With a few spacers, I can swap my G1 between full 29 and 650b. I swap between the two, been running the 650b through the winter, 29 is back on for a bit, will swap back again, just because I can and its easy to do.

    650b
    +a bit better in the twisty and tight turns
    +more forgiving under braking and turning in, bike doesn’t stand up as much as it does with full 29 (bb drop is less on 650b, so you are closer to the axles)
    +easier to turn in, bike tends to flop into turns
    -I don’t think it carries speed as well on the faster/flowier stuff
    -Doesn’t climb as well, 29 feels like it rolls over stuff better

    29
    See above but round the other way.

    IMO, there isn’t a lot in it at all. If your shorter of the leg, than the bit of extra clearance a 650b rear wheel affords is great, especially on a dh bike. Other half prefers her Genius in mullet, for all the reasons above.

    Quite a few frames its a bodge to make it work, there are very few where the’ve done their homework.

    Premier Icon marksnook
    Full Member

    I have a commencal meta am 29. It’s a great bike but I’ve often felt it was just a bit of a handful, like unless I was going full gas and attacking it just didn’t ride that well. I know it’s a big enduro bike and that’s kind of the idea of it but not 100% a good thing all the time in my eyes.
    So I bought a wrp mullet link for it, it essentially retains the stock geometry with the 27.5” back wheel.
    Tested on the same trails I feel it’s an improvement in handling. I can relax a bit and chill if I want to but it still remains stable at full gas. Rode it on gnarlier stuff at risca and it hasn’t slowed me down at all. It feels equally great on that terrain. Climbing also still feels the same.
    I have a couple mates on mullet bikes as well and they are very happy and report the same as me
    All feels a bit tin foil hat the whole bike industry forcing people to change and all that! They sell bikes, surely different whee set ups work for different people so the more choice the more likely you are to find a bike that suits you more?

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    Again tho, would those WC DH riders still be as fast on a full 29er…..?!

    Lots of them tried it and didn’t like it that’s why they went back the smaller rear wheel. Just watch any DH footage from recent years and you can hear the rear wheel hitting the saddle and see the brown stripes on riders cracks. They’re not great for everyone and lots of WC DH riders are under 6′.

    For once it seems to be a trend born on the race track and developed by the riders themselves rather than in a marketing department. Now it’s the copy writers job to convince you it’s the new best thing ever like they planned it all along.

    Premier Icon lardman
    Free Member

    I run my stumpjumper as a mullet, because as a short legged person, I get more clearance from the rear wheel, but the traction and rolling advantage from 29 out front.

    Won’t run to convince anyone it makes a big difference, but works for me.

    However, I also run the bike with lighter 29 wheels both ends for more cross country rides and use the Mullet setup for trails/woods/jumping type stuff. This is only because the wheels/tyres combo I had worked better like that. Although, the slightly steeper front end works nicely for longer cross country routes, leaving the slacker Mullet set-up for jibbing around.

    Premier Icon deanfbm
    Free Member

    I think the mulley thing will have longer legs than plus tyres, since plus tyres had limited benefits and lots of drawbacks. Where the mullet thing does seem to be more of an nice to have available tool where I think it’s pretty difficult to argue its better or worse, there’s pros and cons that covers a wide base of scenarios, where it’s really up to the rider to pick based on their preferences.

    Premier Icon chiefgrooveguru
    Free Member

    “Liteville were pushing the idea for years and they used to have loads of tech stuff on thier website explaining why it was advantageous. However, about 5 years ago they decided that being niche wasn’t helping with sales so quietly dropped it as their USP and went all mainstream.”

    Yes and no – they didn’t really go all mainstream, they found a way to make it possible to swap between full 27.5, full 29 and mullet without messing up the geometry on the recent 301’s. At the back they have a thing that changes the axle height and at the front they have a headtube insert that adds headtube height below it.

    I think we’ll be seeing 29” forks on most adult MTBs within the next few years. If you’re shorter of leg or riding really steep stuff or want loads of travel or more of a play bike the smaller rear wheel makes so much sense. If not then the bigger rear wheel rolls and grips better.

    Not sure about it on hardtails – do I want a smaller wheel that struggles more with bumps on the end without suspension? And I know I don’t like plus tyres to solve that issue.

    Did any pros race on plus tyres? Pros on mullets preceded mainstream mullet production bikes.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Seems we have a consensus from those who’ve actually tried it.

    That’s unusual.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    I think we’ll be seeing 29” forks on most adult MTBs within the next few years.

    This.

    Not sure about it on hardtails – do I want a smaller wheel that struggles more with bumps on the end without suspension? And I know I don’t like plus tyres to solve that issue.

    My hardtail setup has settled down to grippy 29er front, fast rolling 275Plus rear… love it. Plus tyre on the front was rubbish for me on the “changeable” trail conditions we have in the UK.

    Premier Icon rickon
    Full Member

    I think we’ll be seeing 29” forks on most adult MTBs within the next few years.

    Covering all bases there – Do you mean as 27.5 disappears entirely? Or just the 27.5 fork?

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    I can totally see the point in using a bigger wheel for improving 27.5 bikes. I just don’t really see that much advantage over a sorted 29er for 99% of riders. Most people are just bimbling around the countryside. A few are going kinda fast.

    I think in 2021, you have to be pretty committed to jibbing (or perhaps just really short) to go for a 27.5 bike. I say this as someone who has recently spent a lot on a 27.5 bike.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Full Member

    What really are the benefits to most riders in playing more with wheel size yet again? Seems yet another cynical marketing-driven decision.

    I love new developments in bikes, but IMHO right now we are at the point of emperors new clothes.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    What really are the benefits to most riders in playing more with wheel size yet again? Seems yet another cynical marketing-driven decision.

    Nope, see this above –

    For once it seems to be a trend born on the race track and developed by the riders themselves rather than in a marketing department

    It’s really not a new push, lets be honest SC ain’t exactly front of the queue in pushing new tech are they?.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    I can’t be bothered to check but how many years have DH racers being riding mullets now? As soon as the UCI changed changed rules about matching wheels sizes they started experimenting with it. It’s hard to be cynical about something that was developed during off season testing by the fastest riders on earth. If they didn’t like it, they would have turned up at round one on regular bikes.

    I don’t really care which new bikes have which wheels as I won’t be buying one and I don’t read press releases full of bro-science so it’s one less thing to get wound up about.

    P.S. I did try 27.5+ and it was terrible.

    P.P.S I still haven’t ridden a 29er I really like. Fine for pedalling around but no good for the stuff I enjoy doing. Maybe a mullet is the answer for me?

    Premier Icon marksnook
    Full Member

    I’ve only ridden my hardtail in full 29er so can’t compare but I’m pretty happy with it that way. I guess it’s a different bike for different riding. Although I still end up riding the same trails but slower!
    Marketing driven? Emperors new clothes?
    Damn you are all cynical! No one is forcing anyone to ride anything. All the major brands have 29er and a lot still develop 27.5” bikes. Adding mixed wheels in just adds choice. Why is choice a bad thing?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Yeah the industry is jumping on it as a cool new thing, that’s what it does FFS.

    It kind-of is a cool new thing. As above, it offers a genuine performance difference to full 29 which will appeal to a lot of riders.

    Premier Icon TheGhost
    Full Member

    I’ve ridden both my hardtails 29 and mullet. I like both.

    My Middlechild Ti hardtail has a highish bb. I have ridden it with 27.5, 27.5+, mullet, and 29 (2.6) wheel – I prefer 29 overall but mullet is good fun too.

    I haven’t tried my Ripmo AF in Mullet mode yet, it’s so much fun as it is 🙂

    I sold all my 27.5 forks about 2 years ago. 29er forks are only 10mm longer A to C. By dropping the travel 10mm you can fit them to any 27.5 bike with a 27.5 front wheel. Or just don’t drop the travel 🙂

    Premier Icon fooman
    Free Member

    One truism is bike manufactures make the bikes people want to buy, not the bikes that are best for people, so I guess there must be demand, or maybe waning demand for 27.5 despite nobody saying the previous Bronson was lacking, and Santa Cruz have 29er options too. Seems a bit of a ‘give it a go see how many we sell’ move.

    Still plenty of current model bikes in 27.5, Nukeproofs 2021 Reactor / Mega are available in 27.5 up to XL, with arguably more radical geo than Bronson. Both Nukeproof and Santa Cruz Bronson are 27.5 only in XS mind.

    If only we all did the same riding there would be one spec / wheelsize to rule them all but most things are a slight compromise one way or another.

    I definitely didn’t get on with plus tyres though, like pedaling porridge, for me and my riding tyre choice is a bigger factor than wheel size.

    Premier Icon luket
    Full Member

    I’m another one with short legs. I buzz arse on 27.5 tyre fairly frequently on both my FS and hardtail, both of which are modern geo. Much more often than I did with 26. So I’m not keen to move to 29er on the back but I don’t see this has much relevance for the front (only that perhaps stack gets a bit high for my height) and I think my hardtail has been improved by changing the front to 29. So that’s size specicific but also on a frame that remains within its intended geometry with mullet wheels. Come to think of it the same happens a bit on my DH bike as well (also 27.5). Rightly or wrongly, it looks to me on pictures like I tend to get very low compared with other people, even accounting for my size.

    My local riding tends to the tight and twisty too and I hypothesise that I don’t want 29 for that, but that’s conjecture. Those I ride with are a pretty even split.

    I didn’t like plus (OK, 2.6 isn’t really plus, but it’s heading that way) tyres on a 27.5 enduro FS at all, but on my fairly burly hardtail I really do, esp in the winter, and it’s now 29×2.6/27.5×2.6.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    or maybe waning demand for 27.5 despite nobody saying the previous Bronson was lacking

    I recall the PB review of the previous version listed “no 29er version” as a negative.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Free Member

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time chatting with the Geometron boys and particularly CP himself about Mullet… Half of the guys that work there ride Mullet/MX, half of them ride full 29er on their Geometron G1’s…

    With a few spacers, I can swap my G1 between full 29 and 650b. I swap between the two, been running the 650b through the winter, 29 is back on for a bit, will swap back again, just because I can and its easy to do.

    650b
    +a bit better in the twisty and tight turns
    +more forgiving under braking and turning in, bike doesn’t stand up as much as it does with full 29 (bb drop is less on 650b, so you are closer to the axles)
    +easier to turn in, bike tends to flop into turns
    -I don’t think it carries speed as well on the faster/flowier stuff
    -Doesn’t climb as well, 29 feels like it rolls over stuff better

    29
    See above but round the other way.

    IMO, there isn’t a lot in it at all. If your shorter of the leg, than the bit of extra clearance a 650b rear wheel affords is great, especially on a dh bike. Other half prefers her Genius in mullet, for all the reasons above.

    Quite a few frames its a bodge to make it work, there are very few where the’ve done their homework.

    Is basically the long and the short of it…

    Yeah the industry is jumping on it as a cool new thing, that’s what it does FFS.

    FFS!!! We DESPERATELY need to ignore industry bandwagonism… People were asking if longer, slacker geometry was a bandwagon thing even only last year… 🤦🏻

    Sometimes there’s real science to these movements… Sometimes not.

    In the case of Mullet/MX wheel size setup there’s some real benefits to be had in terms of agility, which given how long and slack some modern Enduro bikes are, isn’t a bad thing necessarily. The trade off is as it always has been with a smaller rear wheel, less outright grip and a slightly slower rolling speed.

    I like it… But it’s definitely more of a geometry and longer travel specific thing for me. Once you’re up in the realms of 160mm travel bikes, 1250mm+ wheelbases (on a medium sized bike), 44mm or shorter offset 29er forks and sub 65deg HA’s, then you’re at the point where the bike might benefit from a slight increase in agility in tighter turns as long as the effects aren’t detrimental to its high speed stability… Cue a smaller rear wheel…

    I won’t however be putting a 27.5″ rear wheel in my XC bike any time soon!

    Premier Icon Alex
    Full Member

    I really liked 27.5+ om my Ibis Mojo3 and my SolarisMax. Both the ‘max and my newer HT both run 29 now tho as 29×2.6 v 27.5×2.8 really isn’t that different (to me anyway). I might try the chubbies on the new HT (as it can take both) to see how different they are.

    BUT after much dithering, I bought a 27.5 Mojo4 in March. The odd nutter on MTBR has created a (non warrantied) mullet, but I’m really happy with mine on 27.5s. Sure it’s probably a bit slower than my V1 RipMo, but in some places (esp round the FoD) I prefer it.

    I did accept tho when paying full retain for the frame and forks, I needed to get over any idea of second hand value 😉

    Premier Icon doug_basqueMTB.com
    Full Member

    I think that modern bikes turn really well just now, especially the good ones. Probably BB height and nice TT length / trail makes more difference than mullet or not in my opinion.

    I like not buzzing my bum when going fast where the gradient changes. Especially a thing as hopefully seat-tubes get shorter and droppers longer on modern enduro bikes. That’s the big plus for me.

    I think being able to change without affecting geometry is going to be key. Just throwing a small wheel in the back seems a big compromise for geometry if not.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Is B+ perceived to be rubbish?

    Seems to be more viable to me than mullet, esp given what happened with 69ers.

    Bias alert – I like my B+

    Premier Icon Littleman
    Free Member

    As a very short arse bloke (5ft on the button, see username), I genuinely think a 29er would be too big for me (arse buzzing) for steeper / tech stuff. I’ve tried my wife’s 29er at a trail centre and loved it, but I don’t think I’d want a full suss 29er for the tech / steep stuff that I love the most.

    And I don’t buy the whole “it’s not a problem with modern long bikes as you stay central over the bike and not over the back” thing – yes for the most part I’m central on my modern LLS bike, until I’m not. E.g ‘killing’ a jump / hump, going into a steep chute etc, then I need to go over a little towards the back for split second before going back to central.

    So I think shortarses like me will always benefit from a smaller rear wheel. For me, I’d be curious to mullet my 27.5 bike but I do have a question mark if a 29er front wheel would actually be beneficial for me I.e if it would put the bars too high (I already run my bars with no spacers under the stem – yes I’ve tried them higher and I couldn’t get my weight over the front wheel enough in corners, they’re already higher than my saddle).

    As it is, my theory is 27.5 both ends is probably best for me at my size, even if it is probably slower. I am an outlier though and well out of “average” size.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Is B+ perceived to be rubbish?

    I liked it on my hardtail, but it didn’t really have anything to offer on my FS, and I don’t ride HT’s any more.

    Premier Icon doug_basqueMTB.com
    Full Member

    I loved b+ on my hard tail. Was so much fun. I wouldn’t want it on FS though. I need to see if I can get another b+ hard tail.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    Looking at the differences in diameter between a 27.5×3.0″ and 29″x2.5″ it’s about 1/2″ or 6mm radially (ish) so. 27.5+ is barely any different to a 29″ in my book, all you would really be gaining would be tyre volume (assuming you go for a ‘plus’ rear tyre) which might be enough of a benefit for some.

    I think ‘the indutry’ (having not so long ago miss-sold the idea of 27.5″ wheels) is about to start pushing 29er frames labeled as “Mullet compatable” when they’re basically just doing a wheel swap…

    You might as well just buy a 29er, throw a 27.5+ wheel in it, see if you like it or not and go from there…

    Anyway, Santacruz tweener coolaid circa 2013:

    is it Deja vu all over again? You decide…

    I’ll admit I’m mildly intrigued to see how a 27.5×2.8″ish tyre might behave in the back of my Stumpy 29er, but not enough that I’d go out and buy a new wheel and tyre tomorrow.

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