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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Gonna rock the trend here and say I might give it a shot over the summer. I have a Honzo ST just waiting for an oddball experiment like this. I'm a bit concerned about dropping the BB even more though since the bike isn't designed for this. Maybe I'll add some travel to the fork at the same time for the full effect :D
 

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Lone Wolf
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
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:
I'd be curious to know how it "really helped". Not saying he's wrong, but riding that trail with a 29 vs 27.5 rear is probably a very, very minimal difference.

Keep in mind that these guys on YouTube tend to embellish things to make their content seem more interesting.
 

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I can highly recommend the mini-mullet. I’m running 29x3.25 up front and 29x2.6 out back - mostly because the 2.6 is the biggest that will fit.

Diameter of the front is more than an inch greater than the rear. Works great.

Have two buddies doing exactly the same thing, but with 3.0 up front. Mini-fat front for the win.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I ran a few SS bikes as mullets and/ or fat fronts several years ago. I found some benefits as I have short legs as well as the somewhat improved rollover factor. Honestly haven’t tried it with new geometries.
 

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I'd be curious to know how it "really helped". Not saying he's wrong, but riding that trail with a 29 vs 27.5 rear is probably a very, very minimal difference.

Keep in mind that these guys on YouTube tend to embellish things to make their content seem more interesting.
I’ve tried it. i Could feel a significant difference when skidding the rear around the corners, broke loose quicker but felt like an anchor. Pedal strikes were about the same. Seemed like I was sliding forward a bit and putting more weight on my bars compared running matched tires. Ran 2.8 up front, 2.4 in back. So I guess the on question is...

29er
1932532


Reverse mullet
1932533


Is this party in the front, business in the rear?
I think I should start a You Tube channel to share these innovations.
Next up, replacing my air with racquetballs to create the ultimate tubeless setup. Probably need to use tennis balls in the front to get the right tire profile, we could call that mixed doubles. I wonder if my valve stems could hold a -.25 atm vacuum in order to tune the ride.

You heard it here first.
 

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I haven’t been on a 29” wheeled bike that I’ve been truly happy with in terms of jumping. That rear wheel always ends up getting nice and friendly, if you know what I mean. It’s not a dealbreaker, but I prefer 27.5s or even 26” wheels for jumping and freeride type stuff. It’s just more nimble fore and aft, as well as laterally.

I have a very modern, some would say extreme 29” Honzo ESD. I love it on most terrain, but prefer my older bike 26” rear/27.5 front for extremely tech terrain.
 

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mullet bikes are not back, it's not a craze, it's a dead end.
I would be surprised if mullets don't blow up like we've never seen before soon. Why you ask? Because 29'ers have taken over like no one ever thought they would with many shorter riders jumping on the bandwagon. Many of these sub 5'10" riders will grow tired of burn outs on their bung holes. Considering the lion's share of rollover happens up front, mullets will still provide most of the benefits of full 29 without the skid marks on your drawers.
 

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29x26 mullets were far different that 29x27.5 I'm guessing. Willing to bet we not only see more of it, but it becomes common if not "standard" over time. Geo has changed, everything is getting optimized and figured out to the nth degree. For a good majority of bikes and riders a mullet might actually be ideal. They have done a fantastic job getting 29ers to have the geo and ride characteristics they had trouble with early on. However I am guessing there are still compromises that designers are sitting there saying to themselves "If only I could change that axle path a bit this way, or get the bb a bit lower. Front suspension is what it is. Rear suspension has so much go into the pivots and where to place them, making it all fit. My money is on that that little bit extra in the rear gained by a smaller wheel will pay off in the long run as mtb's continue to mature and progress.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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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.
Also of note, the dirtbike knobby has been going since the 60's and the tread pattern has changed very little. Spot on observation although, a 250 cc stroker makes more watts than anyone!
 

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I decided to try mixed wheel because i was on a 27.5 with 65.5 HTA and I liked the slacker 63 (unsagged) hta on my hardtail. Also i wanted a slightly higher BB for less pedal strikes. So went with same travel (170mm Z1 bomber for old school flavor even if its now fox owned and a good price) in 29 up front and a 29er wheel. HTA became 64, BB raised 17 mm (only 7 mm comparing the new low to the old tall flip chip mode). These were the geo changes I was after and i like the results as anticipated. Just need to run enough sag and no compression platform switch to still feel planted deep inside the bike in high speed turns.

the unexpected bonus is that the turning radius has definitely decreased and it is easier to drift the rear, or both wheels (no brakes) which is where the fun playful comments come from. This bonus point is what will make me always want 1 mixed wheel bike in my fleet but matching wheels will always have their place.
 

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Gonna rock the trend here and say I might give it a shot over the summer. I have a Honzo ST just waiting for an oddball experiment like this. I'm a bit concerned about dropping the BB even more though since the bike isn't designed for this. Maybe I'll add some travel to the fork at the same time for the full effect :D
And/ or a taller lower headset cup would be a cheap way to lift it a tiny bit more if yours isnt already max height
 

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One of my bikes is a mullet (29x27.5). It accelerates well on technical singletrack uphills. The bike also has a short wheelbase, which is good in tight places. However, the bike is slower than full 29ers on non-technical uphills, and it rides rougher in the chunk.
 
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