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Mixed Wheel Size (Mullet) Mountain Bikes- What's the big deal?

2021 has seen heaps of new mountain bikes being released with a 29er up front and 27.5 in the back.  Business up front: smash through rocks and roots, party at the back: carving corners and popping all over the trail.  Mullet mountain bikes have been on the horizon for the last year or two, with riders experimenting either running a 29er fork on a 27.5 bike or a 27.5 wheel in 29er frames. There's been pitfalls with these types of DIY mullet bikes, from compromising BB height, seat tube angle, and other aspects of the frame geometry.  

Exciting Mullet Mountain Bikes coming.


Mountain bike brands have wisely met consumer demand for mullet bikes, by releasing a whole heap of them this year.  Three of the brands we carry have all released exciting mullet options in their line-up. Santa Cruz took the interesting step of first launching its newest ebike the Santa Cruz Bullit as a mixed wheel only bike, soon after it offered the Santa Cruz Heckler ebike in both mixed wheel and 27.5" options.  So it was only logical that the latest version of their  Bronson would be a mullet, you can see an excellent video review of the 2022 Santa Cruz Bronson V4 MX at the bottom of this page.  At the same time their sister brand Juliana has added a mullet wheel set up to their classic Roubion, the 2022 Juliana Roubion shares the same frame and technology as the Santa Cruz Bronson but with a tune for women riders.  Transition Bikes have released their newest Patrol with updated geometry and revised suspension to accommodate a 29er up front and 27.5 in the back. Evil's recent Insurgent release has both an Insurgent MX mullet option and an 27.5" only option, both also having a bump up in rear suspension travel from 150mm to 168mm.  
These new bikes have their geometry optimised for mixed wheel sizes, meaning there are no compromises, and all of the benefits of running mixed wheel sizes.

Why Mullet?

But let's cut to the chase, what's the big and small deal?
Let's start with the fun factor- the main reason we're all riding mountain bikes. Having a rear 27.5 is going to let you carve out tight corners, and hit jumps like there's no tomorrow by having shorter and stiffer stays than a 29er.  At the front the bigger 29er allows for your to smoothly and quickly roll over roots and rocks, while achieving strong grip on the trail.  Riders coming off riding a straight 29er will noticed more pop in your jumps, while tight, niggly corners will feel more open and easier to get around. Riders coming from a 27.5" wheels will feel speed easily increase as the larger 29er takes all the beating on the descent.
With a mulleted wheel set up you are getting the best of both wheel worlds, with no sacrifices in the geometry department. If you are interested in a much deeper dive into the specifics of Mullet bikes regarding race speed, fun, etc you should head over to this excellent article from HERE.  At Gravity we are excited to throw a leg over some of these new mullet models and test them out on Nelson's tracks.  .

2022 Santa Cruz BRONSON V4 MX Mountain Bike Review by Vital MTB