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Lone Wolf
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Just curious why this trend seems to reemerge with a vengeance every few years. I get the logic around it, but it's been tested to death through the years, and the end consensus is always that it's just "meh". Now all of the sudden, once again YouTube is constantly taking about mullet bikes. People are very concerned whether or not the bike they're buying can be set up mullet, and people are claiming that mullet bikes are the end all be all setup.

Companies like Carver had tried this stuff long ago and it never took off. When 27.5 hit it came back for a minute, in hopes that the 27.5 rear would work better than the 26 people had been using. Then it fizzled out again. Now it's back.

Is this just a weird trend that newbies tend to grab on to so they can feel like they're "experimenting" with their setup?

Not hating, just generally curious why this trend comes back around every 3-4 years.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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yeah, I don't get it. I won't buy a bike this way. I remember 26/24 and 29/26 and now 29/27.5. yawn

I mean, they're bikes, and they go. If I had one, I'd ride it. Apparently my membership to the local mtb club renewed automatically during the membership drive this month and maybe I got an entry into the contest for a mullet bike? If I won it, I'd ride it. But I wouldn't buy one.
 

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Mullets are super fun. In specific applications, they're superior to symmetry. There's just something about it that makes for stupid fast nimbleness and agility. Unadulterated fun, until it isn't due to different trail conditions. I wouldn't buy a bike that way, but having the ability to swap a back wheel for a very different ride feel and experience is awesome. Its FUN, that's the point. If you don't like it, don't do it. Its not like its an electric motor or something.
 

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Get Down Do you
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Boredom is the driving factor for any niche product. If people just focused on riding what they have life would be simpler...

I mean progress is not bad but change for the sake of change is not good either. There is a certain demographic where mullets can be helfpul. Like short riders on DH bikes going really steep and I am sure it helps there and maybe even shorter riders period. But I wouldn't say it's just boredom.

1932492
 

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noMAD man
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I'm no engineer, and my comparison here is a dirt motorcycle vs. a mountain bike...but here it is. A 21" front dirt motor wheel and knobby on most dirt bikes is almost exactly the same height as a 27.5 MTB wheel and tire in the 2.35-2.4 range. An 18" rear dirt motor wheel and knobby is almost exactly the same height at a 26" MTB wheel and tire in the 2.4 range.

Why don't dirt motos have equally sized wheels and tires front and rear? Off road dirt motos have had the 21/18 combo for decades. MX has gone to a 19" rear for the most part, but it is not for "rollover" improvement...it's lower, stiffer sidewall for track performance. Honda tried a 23" front for a couple of years, and it was a flop.

Yes, some apples to lug wrenches comparison here, but it is a wheels and tires on off road conditions comparison. There are some crossover elements at play based on physics, but I'm not claiming this absolutely answers the mullet question posed here. I think I can state with a little certainty that mountain bike wheels and tires don't have to be the same size front and rear to perform excellently. Having played with the 29/26 combo quite a few years ago, I'll say the slight acceleration benefit of a 26" rear has some merit...along with some negatives. My current setup for my use for decently rough, technical off road is the 27.5/26...the rear having as large a tire footprint as possible. I'm sure I could easily be happy with a 27.5/27.5. The 29/29 has always felt a little ponderous to me. I am obviously in the minority. That's fine...it's why we have options.
 

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Vassago VerHauen SS 29+ rigid
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I mean progress is not bad but change for the sake of change is not good either. There is a certain demographic where mullets can be helfpul. Like short riders on DH bikes going really steep and I am sure it helps there and maybe even shorter riders period. But I wouldn't say it's just boredom.

View attachment 1932492
Funny cartoon. I'm just bias to the 29 wheel size, anything smaller just doesn't roll as well IMO. But I do see your point that in certain situations a big/small combo might work better.
 

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You can't compare old experiments with new experiments. If you did then 29" wheels would still be terrible, instead of dominant right now. Heck those old Mullets weren't even using the modern wheel sizes.

Geo is different, riding styles are also pretty different, now might be the time.

Aren't most of the top Pro DHers running mullet now?

A few years back manufacturers built bikes that could do both 29" & 27.5+. Clearly 27.5+ was a complete flop. But any manufacturer of S-L 29ers would be wise make their bikes convertible to mullet configuration.

If I rode a size medium AM bike I would 100% be on a 27.5/ 29 Mullet. That option should exist.
 

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When I had a Banshee Phantom I had both 29 and 27.5+ wheelsets for it. Liked 29 more but had both. When I snapped the rear axle on the 29er hub, I rode mullet for a little while bc why not? Overall I still liked that more than straight 27.5+.

Downsides of that mullet setup were the climbing performance and slacker seat tube, upside was slacker head angle. It kind of took the Phantom out of it's intended design though. If a bike's geometry was specifically designed for it I don't see a problem... it would probably be fun. Maybe with a flip chip for different rear wheels, and preferably without having to run a plus tire in the rear.

On the other hand, I have an Intense Primer now that was actually sold as a mullet, but I've never even tried it with the stock wheelset. Probably just a dumb marketing ploy in this case. The geo is a 29er so that's how I roll with it.
 

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I don't think they are for everyone, but they serve certain purposed, Hardtail Party just published this video riding some crazy scary trail on a 'mulleted' Banshee Paradox that really helped the bike in that specific situation:
 

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I've never tried a 29/27.5 mullet, but I absolutely loved my 27.5/26 mullet back in the day. I tend to prefer 27.5 bikes now, so I find a 29er mullet really interesting, but only if it doesn't compromise the seat angle too much.

On a side note, I've noticed some of the kids in my neighborhood are now rocking mullets. Made me laugh.
 

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You can't compare old experiments with new experiments. If you did then 29" wheels would still be terrible, instead of dominant right now. Heck those old Mullets weren't even using the modern wheel sizes.

Geo is different, riding styles are also pretty different, now might be the time.

Aren't most of the top Pro DHers running mullet now?

A few years back manufacturers built bikes that could do both 29" & 27.5+. Clearly 27.5+ was a complete flop. But any manufacturer of S-L 29ers would be wise make their bikes convertible to mullet configuration.

If I rode a size medium AM bike I would 100% be on a 27.5/ 29 Mullet. That option should exist.
Exactly, I also hated the first 29ers I tried but the geo has came a long way. It looks like for racing 29" in the front is the way to go. Rear wheel size for enduro and DH seems to be more about preference and height. I believe Cedric Gracia said there's no reason to run anything other than a 29" wheel up front for racing.

For XC it's probably a different story.
 

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I mulleted my 27.5 bike by running a shorter fork to preserve the geo, but eventually reverted to full 27.5. I definitely noticed the loss in ability to clean some technical climbs with the 27.5 front. Even with the 27.5 rear, though, I get buzzed on occasion, so I can see the advantage of a bike designed to be mulleted. Mulleting a bike not designed for it involves too many compromises IMO. At the end of the day, mullet configuration is just another parameter the frame designer has at their disposal.
 
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