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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like many people, I've been kind of curious how these new mullet bikes ride. I know in theory, the best way to execute it would be as the Bike Mag guys suggest (take a 27.5 bike with a 20mm differential travel, and slap on a 20mm shorter fork up front). I don't have one of those, or even a spare 27.5 rear wheel, so I wasn't planning on pursuing it any further. But last week one of my buddies had a crash that resulted in a broken shoulder, requiring surgery. He rides a Bronson v2, so I asked if I could borrow his rear wheel while he heals up. He said yes, so the Sentinel Mullet Experiment begins.

Base configuration:
medium Sentinel carbon
160mm 44mm o/s Fox 36 fork (with Luftkappe, which causes it to sag a bit)
Push 11.6 shock (sits higher in sag due to 475# spring)
We Are One Agent wheels (30mm internal) with Assegai EXO 3C front and DHR EXO 3C rear (both light wear)
170mm cranks
measured dimensions (using smart phone level & tape measure):
*64.4 degree HTA
*77.9 degree effective STA
*342 mm bottom bracket height

Mullet configuration:
medium Sentinel carbon
160mm 44mm o/s Fox 36 fork (with Luftkappe, which causes it to sag a bit)
Push 11.6 shock (sits higher in sag due to 475# spring)
We Are One Agent front wheel (30mm internal) with Assegai EXO 3C Santa Cruz Reserve 27 rear wheel with DHR EXO+ 3C rear (heavy wear)
170mm cranks
measured dimensions (using smart phone level & tape measure):
*62.9 degree HTA
*75.8 degree effective STA
*333 mm bottom bracket height

I'm going to give it a first ride tomorrow and will report back. Just sitting on it my garage made me notice that the BB is really ****ing low. It's a good thing we don't have a ton of rocks and roots here. What I'm expecting to find is that it will accelerate a bit faster, and the rear end should slide around a bit faster in steep, tight, off-camber turns. Dropping into steeps should feel a bit calmer due to the DH-like HTA.

I'm also going to loan it to the mechanic from my local shop, who is a much better and more aggressive rider than me (but he will have to run the stock DPX2 as he's heavier weight).

Known confounding factors:
*rear tire will be slightly narrower due to narrower rim, will likely slightly decrease grip
*27.5 rear tire tread is significantly more worn than the 29, although they are identical tire model and rubber compound (aside from EXO vs. EXO+). This again will decrease grip.
*the other guy hasn't ridden my bike in regular 29er mode. So all he'll be able to say is whether he likes it better than his HD4.
 

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When the Sentinel came out, Lars called it a "reverse mullet approach... party in the front, business in the back."
So I guess your experiment could be a Reverse Mullet Mullet bike? so confusing, lol.

Good luck, curious to see how this goes!
 

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My read is that most mullet bikes are either a) short guys in DH not wanting a big back wheel that gets in the way, or b) guys riding for companies that don't yet make a long travel 29er, so they ride a 27.5 frame and throw a big wheel up front.

Curious to see what you think, but I'm guessing it'll be pedal strikes galore and that the smaller back wheel will accentuate the relatively shorter travel rear end of the Sentinel relative to other bikes in the category
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I'm not at all expecting to keep this for more than a few rides, as this is not the right frame for this to be permanent. Maybe on a Patrol I could see it working, but not on the Sentinel.

Your first point is not far off of what my mechanic was telling me: he pointed out that the only people under 6' doing well in EWS or WC DH are on either mullets or 27.5 bikes. I'm 5'8", and haven't ridden a 27.5 in a half year, so will be interesting to see how the the smaller rear end feels in tight corners.
 

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Wow that’s low! But maybe awesome! If I’m doing math correct would a 160 29 fork on patrol frame slacked HTA by about -1.5 .... 20mm for increase to 29 below axle and +9mm for ATC diff between 170 27.5 fork and 160 29er fork? = 29mm/10 roughly =3, 3x.5 (.5/10mm change)? Wonder what fork length C Sullivan ran on his mullet patrol for TPE
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You got me curious what a Mullet Patrol would be like, so I drew it up in CAD (since the online geo calc tool doesn't let you change wheel sizes). There is a bit of weirdness with the dimensions Transition provides for the Patrol - I suspect some rounding on any or all of reach, HTA, or stack. If I assume the linear dimensions are right, the actual stock HTA is probably more like 64.3.

For a medium Patrol using a Fox 36 160mm 44mm offset fork (A-C 567mm) vs stock 36 170mm 37mm offset (A-C 559mm) , it should result in the following changes:
348mm BB (+8mm)
76.0 STA (-1.1 degrees)
439mm reach (-11mm)
63.2 HTA (-0.9 degrees)
1216mm wheelbase (+10mm).

Looks more reasonable than what I'm getting with the Sentinel. The short reach is unfortunate though.
 

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You got me curious what a Mullet Patrol would be like, so I drew it up in CAD (since the online geo calc tool doesn't let you change wheel sizes). There is a bit of weirdness with the dimensions Transition provides for the Patrol - I suspect some rounding on any or all of reach, HTA, or stack. If I assume the linear dimensions are right, the actual stock HTA is probably more like 64.3.

For a medium Patrol using a Fox 36 160mm 44mm offset fork (A-C 567mm) vs stock 36 170mm 37mm offset (A-C 559mm) , it should result in the following changes:
348mm BB (+8mm)
76.0 STA (-1.1 degrees)
439mm reach (-11mm)
63.2 HTA (-0.9 degrees)
1216mm wheelbase (+10mm).

Looks more reasonable than what I'm getting with the Sentinel. The short reach is unfortunate though.
Dude! Thank you! This is perfect, you are a hero
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's a photo of it as configured.
Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle fork Bicycle wheel


My thoughts after 1 ride on the local trails last night. There was heavy fog yesterday, so the usual dusty conditions were a bit variable. Some spots were a bit greasy, others were still loose and dusty.

Overall, it rode about as I expected. I'd best describe it as feeling both weird and familiar at the same time. The rear end did seem to snap around a bit faster in tight corners. Cornering, it really reminded me of my old Nomad 3, which I guess makes sense. In steep, flowy trails, it handled really well. The low bottom bracket SUCKED on rooty pedaly bits. It made rolling into steeps and G-outs even easier than before. I was also much slower climbing, but that could either be the softer ground from the fog, my getting over a cold, or the rear tire losing a bit of air.

Overall, I will probably convert back really soon. But I'd consider a bike designed like this in the future. It also makes me second guess getting a Sentinel over the Patrol a bit.
 

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8.5x2.5 X2 and offset bushing (lowering) does the trick.

Less efficient. More playful.
It turns in better, especially if you steer with your hips (bmxer) as opposed to high elbows (moto guys).

Felt like the suspension kinematics were too far off. Bobbed alot. Whole lot.

Also rode it alot with stock shock and offset bushing in high. Set some PRs like that. This mode w/150 fork was really good.

Back on 29, but not certain im done with mullets.

I think patrol with 150 29 fork would be better though.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I also think that mullet bikes make more sense when you are converting a 27.5 rather than a 29. But having tried the mullet approach in my previous bike I prefer the full 29 approach better.
 

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I mulleted my 2018 Smuggler for shuttles and bike park by putting on a 27.5 rear wheel and it made a very capable bike in terms of descents into a very very capable bike. Reduced the head angle from 66 to 64.5 and dropped the BB but not enough to make pedal strikes a real problem. The only big issue is that the suspension is too short to handle bombing steep and rowdy DH trails that this long and slacker bike can handle. It's felt more like a nimbler short travel Sentinel. I like it so much I have a dedicated mullet wheel for it now.
Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Helicopter Bicycle wheel Bicycle wheel rim
 

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8.5x2.5 X2 and offset bushing (lowering) does the trick.

Less efficient. More playful.
It turns in better, especially if you steer with your hips (bmxer) as opposed to high elbows (moto guys).

Felt like the suspension kinematics were too far off. Bobbed alot. Whole lot.

Also rode it alot with stock shock and offset bushing in high. Set some PRs like that. This mode w/150 fork was really good.

Back on 29, but not certain im done with mullets.

I think patrol with 150 29 fork would be better though.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This looks rad! A couple questions:

Have you reconsidered trying this with the Cascade Link? They published on their website that the link would keep the same geometry as a stock 29er Sentinel but increase progressiveness from -6% to 20% and increase travel from 145 mm to 155 mm with the same shock size you were running. I imagine the 8.5" x 2.5" shock is not trunnion - how did you mount it?
 

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I mulleted my 2018 Smuggler for shuttles and bike park by putting on a 27.5 rear wheel and it made a very capable bike in terms of descents into a very very capable bike. Reduced the head angle from 66 to 64.5 and dropped the BB but not enough to make pedal strikes a real problem. The only big issue is that the suspension is too short to handle bombing steep and rowdy DH trails that this long and slacker bike can handle. It's felt more like a nimbler short travel Sentinel. I like it so much I have a dedicated mullet wheel for it now.
View attachment 1289691
I tried that combo. Ended up with very short reach.
The alumimium smuggler is an awsome bike as you can use a 210*55 shock delivering about 135mm of rear travel with a way more progressive suspensi9n curve.
It makes a way better mullet than any sentinel or patrol.
Tested with cane creek DB coil in 210*55 and helm 150mm fork.
 

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Here is my carbon Smuggler with a custom length CC coil IL (212 mm eye to eye and 58 stroke, 138mm travel) set as a mixer. With the fork at 150mm the geo is about .3 degrees slacker than stock Also I can extended the forks out to 160mm and run a 27.5 front wheel for the fun stuff.
 

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