Revel bikes...

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews' started by mtbMike, Feb 20, 2020.

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  1. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Current Bike:
    Ibis HD5 & Intense Primer
    I had the opportunity to ride my buddies Revel Rail (27.5 170/165) out at Greer Ranch yesterday. The old cliche "the bike climbs well for what it is....a long travel bike" fits well here. I think bikes are just so good that it's hard to go completely wrong nowadays. I actually PR'd the 2 mile climb up to the towers which surprised me. I knew the climb felt smooth but it didn't feel especially fast. The rear suspension design produces great traction. Going down is where the bike really shines of course as it soaks up everything. It's one of the plushest suspensions I've never ridden. Since it's a 27.5 and I'm 5-8, it rails corners like you would expect and I like how you can dive deeper into corners where on a 29er, you sweep the corners. Both fun but it' one of the reasons I still enjoy 27.5 bikes. It's built up with a Fox 36 Grip2 and Factory X2 rear shock which didn't hurt matters.

    Fast forward 24 hours and I took out the 29er Revel Rascal on a demo from Pro Bike Supply. It obviously has the same suspension design but with only 140mm travel up front (a RS Lyrik on this build) and 130 in the back (RTS Super Deluxe) andNOBL 36 wheels. I had never ridden either and this was only set up for my weight so I'm sure they could both get better but I was surprised how much more *plush* the Rail was and yeah I know it has more travel. Anyway, climbing through Whiting and up to the Luge was uneventful and it felt that a 29er for sure; after demo'ing the new Yeti 140 27.5 with 2.6 tires last week, the Rascal was a dream. However, I could definitely tell it was heavier than @pperrelle's 27.5 lb Ripley that I rode on Tuesday and wasn't as snappy but the build was much beefier. Anyway, going down the Rascal really stepped up and shined. While it's wasn't plush like the Rail, there is only one word for the rear suspension....AMAZING!!! It essentially soaked up the chatter and brake bumps like no bike I've ever ridden.

    I can sum up the Rascal as simply as this....if you told me I could only have ONE bike right now, I think I'd take a Rascal.
    HBkites, bvader, Cyclotourist and 8 others like this.
  2. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Laguna Beach
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Thanks for the review.

    The Rail was on the top of my list until I decided to try a 29er. The Rascal isn't enough travel for my riding preferences and style. I am sure they will join the most crowded market segment soon - the 150-170 travel 29er.
    mike, bvader, Cyclotourist and 2 others like this.
  3. JimN

    JimN Newbie with Hope!

    Pasadena, CA
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Late to the party on this thread. Anyway, I scored a free demo on a Rascal from OTE in Sedona last September. Bike was a fresh, top-end build that I don't think had ever been ridden previously. Pretty much nailed the suspension settings for the ride, but the stem was set a bit lower than I would've preferred. Otherwise, the bike was a good fit.

    Got in 13 miles on some trails that I've ridden countless times in the past, ones that really test all characteristics of a bike. I was very impressed with the Rascal, and would definitely consider buying one in the future. My current main ride is a Pivot Switchblade running 29s, so that's what I was comparing it to.

    I found the Rascal to be a bit poppier/more playful than the Switchblade. Everything I've seen and read about the Canfield suspension platform's technical climbing prowess was very noticeable. And as you said, the bike is an amazing descender. Not a super plush plow bike, but extremely confidence inspiring regardless. Felt like it was very capable of being pushed far harder than I was willing to take it.

    Only negative to me was that the bike felt more sluggish than the Pivot on the longer, steep, non-technical uphill slogs. Not a whole lot of that in Sedona, though. I don't think this had anything to do with the suspension platform. I'm guessing it might have been due to the wheel/tire combination. I have a very light carbon wheel set on my Pivot with i9 hubs, and I'm running a 2.3 Aggressor rear/2.3 DHF front. I think the Rascal had an aluminum wheel set with Shimano hubs, and the tires were 2.5s. Pretty sure it was DHF front, DHR rear. I had never ridden 2.5s previously. They definitely do a better job than the 2.3s when it comes to hooking up in deep sand.

    Summary: Great bike, cool company, and definitely a consideration for my next purchase, particularly since I'll soon be retiring and living in Sedona full-time. Suits that terrain and my style of riding quite well.
    scan, Cyclotourist, mtbMike and 5 others like this.
  4. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Huntington Beach
    Current Bike:
    Why Cycles S7
    The Rascal is a fun bike. More capable descender that any bike I owned previously.
    I would recommenced demoing one if you are in the market for a do it all trail bike.
    Love me some Cuesta Ridge Chunk.

    herzalot, mtbMike, pperrelle and 3 others like this.
  5. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    San diego
    Evan S
    I went up to a Worldwide Cyclery demo at Space Mtn a couple months ago and got to demo both the Rascal and Rail. The Rascal was pretty much what I expected - climbed well and descended ok. If anything it wasn't as plush as I expected but you don't get much time to dial suspension in for an hour long demo so I'm sure that could be improved on. As it was, I didn't like it as much as the Ibis Ripley V4. Haven't demo'd many other 29ers so I don't have a ton of reference there.

    It was the Rail that blew me away vs expectations. If I didn't already know which bike I was on I would have assumed it was the Rascal. The bike felt light and nimble, and climbed great. It wasn't until I reached some really steep pitches I could finally tell it was a longer travel bike. It was more of a grunt then but was able to pedal up the whole way. I had not expected it to be nearly that good. Descending was good as expected.




    bvader, herzalot, mtbMike and 3 others like this.
  6. Obsidian

    Obsidian Well-Known Member

    Costa Mesa
    Current Bike:
    2017 Intense Tracer
    I just watched this review of their suspension platform a couple of weeks ago. I found it to be interesting. Then again, everyone says their bikes climb as well as they descend.

  7. Makoto

    Makoto Member

    Costa Mesa
    The most recent Vital Inside Line Podcast has Chris Canfield as the guest and he talks quite a bit about his suspension design that he licenses to Revel. I found it very insightful.
    herzalot and HBkites like this.

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