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Mullet Madness

norbar

KESSLER PROBLEM. Just cause
Jun 7, 2007
11,466
1,679
Warsaw :/
I'm just coming to the point where I can afford my first brand new bike and am sort of stuck on what to get in regards to wheel size. My gut says 27.5 but so many people here seem to like mx and 29"ers. I had my first 29" wheel the front of a G19 after getting a cheap fox49 to replace the boxxers I destroyed. The experience I had with the mullet'd bike was a bit underwhelming. I'm not sure if it's down to riding style since I tend to try and spend as little time as possible on the ground and only really noticed the benefits on tech I couldn't jump into and/or out of. A bit more smoothness and more grip from the front but the biggest difference was the way the bike entered corners and I wasn't a fan of the feeling.

Tried a full 29" YT Capra and the only standout feature of that bike was how boring it was.

Do I stick it out and demo more full 29"ers as a 6'1" person or do I ignore the lizards and stick to 27.5? Do the people here really like their MX and 29"ers that much or are people buying because that's what the markets are selling?
I just went through the same process. Test rode quite a few new gen bikes before pulling the trigger on a mullet but it seems we look for different things

Have in mind a lot of the earlier 29er frames had some weird geometry (and I mean 3 years ago not weird Niner 2010 bikes). The biggest issue was long TT but short CS which made the bike unbalanced AF. I know some mullets really do have better geo than their full on 29 brothers (Canyon Torque and Commencal Meta SX if I remember correct) but it seems to me you want a bike that will work mainly on the jumps where a bigger wheel offers very little advantage.

If you can test a few more bikes, maybe something with a bit less travel than the capra (I just got my Mullet Capra and after a few rides it really does feel close AF to a DH bike).

Edit: Just noticed you tried the torque - I don't like any Canyon enduro bikes but the Torque is longer travel than most of enduro bikes you find on the market and it's in a weird spot of being a big bike/enduro hybrid while Canyon has a different traditional enduro bike. Most 160mm mullets will be more agile.
 
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toodles

ridiculously corgi proportioned
Aug 24, 2004
5,649
4,982
Australia
No matter which option you go for, there's bound to be sections or trails that make you wish you'd gone for something else. There's also going to be the realisation that the things your bike isn't supposed to be "good" at, it still does pretty bloody well.

The percentage difference in performance between the wheel sizes isn't monstrous, maybe a couple percent either way? I'd take a 27.5" wheel with a Zeb through chunky rocks over a 29"er with a crappier fork.
 

Rodge

Chimp
Apr 15, 2021
13
22
No matter which option you go for, there's bound to be sections or trails that make you wish you'd gone for something else. There's also going to be the realisation that the things your bike isn't supposed to be "good" at, it still does pretty bloody well.

The percentage difference in performance between the wheel sizes isn't monstrous, maybe a couple percent either way? I'd take a 27.5" wheel with a Zeb through chunky rocks over a 29"er with a crappier fork.
Yeah I've been thinking about this way too much. I just need to demo some more bikes and figure out exactly what I want
 

norbar

KESSLER PROBLEM. Just cause
Jun 7, 2007
11,466
1,679
Warsaw :/
Most of the stuff I ride at Wharncliffe is quite steep and rough and I do need a bike that'll hold up to that. Whilst I enjoy trying to jump over as much tech as possible I don't think it's the reason I think I want a full 27.5". I don't think the mullets offer enough grip on the front when compared to a full 27.5" to offset the awkwardness I think they have entering corners and when plowing I tend to notice my rear wheel getting caught up more than the front. So I was struggling to see a reason to go for one given the choice of full 27.5"s or a full 29" since I don't have clearance issues.


I had a ex demo cotic bfe like this. After I got it warrantied for cracking I just got rid of it.


I don't mind longer travel. I loved my g19. That thing got really fun so long as you pushed it. Didn't notice that on the torque. Felt dull no matter how fast I went on it.
Regarding the front end on the front. This is not really a mullet/29/650b (remember when we called them that?) issue. It's a case of modern enduro bike geometry and most modern enduro bikes are 29ers and mullets. Everyone was chasing the long TT trend but they kept the chainstays the same length you your center of gravity got further and futher away from the front wheel. Some manufacturers adressed it and since mullets are their newer bikes weirdly mullets sometimes get better geo.

If I were you I'd test ride a few bikes with different wheel sizes and geo. Remember which ones you like and then compare on that geo list site. It's quite useful as it helps you understand what were the differences between a bike you liked and you didn't like so you can understand which specific feature was a problem. Generally mullets do seem a bit more agile but personally I just went for a mullet because YT had a crazy good deal on one. I liked some full on 29ers and if you are looking for a bike that does well in the rough this may be an option for you. Though generally I'd test more since Enduro bikes now are in this weird spot where companies are chasing dumb geometry trends and there isn't a proper consensus what works.

I'd argue shorter TT and longer CS than most companies offer is the way to go for most people since the "o wow I can manual over things easy" is less useful than a bike that actually handles well.

As for Travel - Isn't the G19 a full on DH bike? Probably different expectations from a DH bike. I didn't ride the Torque but I know a few people owning them and they claim that bike has a pretty boring ride quality.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,922
5,827
UK
I'd argue shorter TT and longer CS than most companies offer is the way to go for most people since the "o wow I can manual over things easy" is less useful than a bike that actually handles well.
From this statement I'd guess at manualling not being something you do every day anymore? or possibly not your particular forte in the first place?
Shorter TTs/Reach makes a bike easier to raise the front wheel to initiate a manual and also more comfortable to hang off the back of.
Shorter CS make a bike easier to pop the front end up but far less stable to actually control a manual.

My most stable manaulling mtb has 435mm reach and 445 chainstays
My least stable manualling mtb has 420mm reach and 400mm stays - It's both the most difficult and most fun bike I have to manual.
Bigger rear wheels also make a bike more stable and less of a handfull to hold at the balance point once in a manual
over 460mm reach and bikes become increasingly difficult to manual for me with somewhere around 475 being the longest I'd ever even consider riding for this reason. But anything under 450mm chainstays is fine.

Bar height and BB drop make a pretty big difference too. but let's not turn this into a manualability disertation.

Mullets are only considered nimble in comparison to full 29. And even then it's by a tiny amount with that big 29" wheel outfront still doing it's best to kill nimbility. Do yourself a favour and ride some old skool 26" bikes for a few weeks to re-acquaint yourself with what "nimble" actually feels like.

but back to the topic. Yeah @Rodge. Try as many different bikes as you can. but make sure when trying them bar and controls set-up, suspension set-up and tyres are as close to your taste as possible because those can be the biggest factors between a bike feeling "right" or "shite"
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,922
5,827
UK
companies are chasing dumb geometry trends and there isn't a proper consensus what works.
TBF there isn't one set-up or geometry that works best for everyone because of personal preference and personal/preferred riding style.

Intriigued to hear which geometry trend do you personally feel is the dumbest? But whatever it is. There will be another rider who thinks it's the best thing ever.

Personally I can't stand super long bikes. and if they've got super steep seat tubes as soon as I throw a leg over one I just want to get right back off it again as quickly as possible.
 

buckoW

Turbo Monkey
Mar 1, 2007
3,805
4,775
Champery, Switzerland
TBF there isn't one set-up or geometry that works best for everyone because of personal preference and personal/preferred riding style.

Intriigued to hear which geometry trend do you personally feel is the dumbest? But whatever it is. There will be another rider who thinks it's the best thing ever.

Personally I can't stand super long bikes. and if they've got super steep seat tubes as soon as I throw a leg over one I just want to get right back off it again as quickly as possible.
I made a shorter and steeper version of my steel front triangle bike and it is one of my favorites to ride in the end.
 

buckoW

Turbo Monkey
Mar 1, 2007
3,805
4,775
Champery, Switzerland
How steep is it out of interest?
64* instead of 63* with a 180mm fork and a little steeper with a 160/170. It‘s also 1cm shorter reach but with a 1cm longer stem to compensate. I wanted more weight/grip on the front tire. On the flat and tighter trails it is so quick and fun to ride. The long and slack bikes are fun at my top speeds but harder to do a lot of fun things. Also, loose Italian jank works a lot better for me with shorter reach and a steeper head angle to get good front tire grip. I like both geo ideas but in different places and paces.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,922
5,827
UK
1cm longer stem to compensate
50mm? Yeah. I went back to 50 on my Eeb, Capra and old DH bikes after trying 35s. Just feels better all round.
My wee punptrack/DJ hardtail is the only bike I have now with a 35mm stem.
All my bikes are still super short tho.
 

buckoW

Turbo Monkey
Mar 1, 2007
3,805
4,775
Champery, Switzerland
50mm? Yeah. I went back to 50 on my Eeb, Capra and old DH bikes after trying 35s. Just feels better all round.
My wee punptrack/DJ hardtail is the only bike I have now with a 35mm stem.
All my bikes are still super short tho.
Yeah, 50mm on this one and the longer one I have a 40
 

toodles

ridiculously corgi proportioned
Aug 24, 2004
5,649
4,982
Australia
50mm? Yeah. I went back to 50 on my Eeb, Capra and old DH bikes after trying 35s. Just feels better all round.
My wee punptrack/DJ hardtail is the only bike I have now with a 35mm stem.
All my bikes are still super short tho.
I never meshed with crazy short stems. I dunno how people corner with them. I've got a 42 on my trail bike and a 45 on the enduro and wouldn't really go shorter on either.
 

jstuhlman

bagpipe wanker
Dec 3, 2009
16,842
13,278
Cackalacka du Nord
get outta here with all that unobtainable bike porn, ya filthy heathen! and i know, i could ride it if i came for a visit...

still think about mulleting the nomad every once in a while but seems like a lot of work/$ to mess with a bike i'm still pretty happy with anyway. interested to throw the 180mm airshaft in my 38. and yeah, agree, ~50mm stem is the sweet spot.
 
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rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
23,595
11,724
In the cleavage of the Tetons
Total dork question here:
Gonna do an Enchilada/Mag 7/Palisade weekend next month. debating between Mullet or Standard 29” configuration. There really is nothing that you get way, way back on, and there are no super-turny sections…so I am thinking regular 29” might be better for hauling ass on the straight and ledgy stuff. Thoughts?
I know, I know…”paralysis by over-analysis…
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,024
20,179
Canaderp
Total dork question here:
Gonna do an Enchilada/Mag 7/Palisade weekend next month. debating between Mullet or Standard 29” configuration. There really is nothing that you get way, way back on, and there are no super-turny sections…so I am thinking regular 29” might be better for hauling ass on the straight and ledgy stuff. Thoughts?
I know, I know…”paralysis by over-analysis…
I would just ride whatever you've been riding recently and are already comfortable with.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
23,595
11,724
In the cleavage of the Tetons
I have been going back and forth, actually. Both are really similar, the mullet has the edge in switchbacky/slalom type sections. My two local KOM’s are mullet, for sure. (blatant dick wave) But I do feel a little more on square hits with the mullet, and lord knows there are lots of those in Fruab.
That being said, the mullet is more ‘playful’, and there is lots to play on out there.
1 point to Mullet.
 
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6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,277
13,548
I have been going back and forth, actually. Both are really similar, the mullet has the edge in switchbacky/slalom type sections. My two local KOM’s are mullet, for sure. (blatant dick wave) But I do feel a little more on square hits with the mullet, and lord knows there are lots of those in Fruab.
That being said, the mullet is more ‘playful’, and there is lots to play on out there.
1 point to Mullet.
29er for rollover out there. But was pondering a long weekend next month out there so let us know when you're thinking.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,922
5,827
UK
In 1985 hairdos like those got you laid, free Alcohol and drugs. Not necessarily in that order.
1674217805467.png
 

trib

not worthy of a Rux.
Jun 22, 2009
1,516
471
I’m sure it rides great, and I love that it’s not a copy paste of a generic hardtail shape…but that top down view of the chain/seat stay bridges had me thinking I was looking at an old school, chromed out GT performer BMX.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,922
5,827
UK
Are the chainstay for standing on? Is that a thing now in slopestyle?