Revel bikes...

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



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  1. mtbMike

    mtbMike iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis HD5 & Ibis Ripley
    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.
     
  2. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    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.
     
    Danmtchl, Mikie, Tom the Bomb and 5 others like this.
  3. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    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.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl, Mikie and 8 others like this.
  4. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Sharone
    Current Bike:
    Why S7, Revel Rascal, Spark RC
    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.
    IMG_7530.jpg
    Love me some Cuesta Ridge Chunk.

    IMG_7533.jpg
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl, Mikie and 6 others like this.
  5. evdog

    evdog iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    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.


    Rail

    IMG_6628.jpg


    Rascal

    IMG_6645.jpg
     
  6. Obsidian

    Obsidian Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    Obsidian
    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

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    Mike
    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.
     
  8. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Playing off of Yeti's SB 130 Lunch Ride Edition, here comes the Revel Ranger "Brunch Ride" edition. A beefed up Ranger. Now we're talkin!

    Revel Ranger Brunch Ride.jpg



    Up front is a 130mm Rock Shox Pike Ultimate fork paired with a Super Deluxe Ultimate shock in the rear. This gives the Ranger an incredibly sturdy feel (compared to the stock 120mm Sid fork and shock) when the trail starts to get fast and chunky. Some 780mm wide titanium handlebars from our sister company Why Cycles are super comfortable and smooth out the ride even more. We kept the RW30 wheels on there because they are badass but upgraded from Maxxis Dissectors to some Minions. All these mods mean a bit more speed on the downhills so a brake upgrade was necessary. This particular iteration gets the stopping done with TRP Slate 4-piston brakes and 180mm rotors.
     
  9. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    I guess I never actually posted or discussed my own Revel Rail in this thread.

    I'll start with photos. Here's the full 27.5" wheeled version (XL):

    Rail at Home.JPG

    And here's the Mullet version:

    Mullet Rail.JPG

    I'm still not ready to do a full review since most of my rides on it have been while recovering from shoulder surgery. I will say that it absorbs braking bumps better than most bikes, and stays very level and active while braking. It also stays very quiet while climbing, yet is active enough to claw up chunky stuff.

    I am really enjoying it as a mullet though. Although 10mm higher in front and 1/2 degree slacker throughout, the climbing is fine. Carving turns, rolling ledges and drops, and straight ahead plowing are just stupid fun.

    This bike is set up with identical components to my Santa Cruz Megatower including tires, transmission and drivetrain, handlebar, grips, brakes, shock, fork and dropper post. That way, when I get around to a comparison, I have very few variables other than the performance of the frame itself. Stay tuned for that. Coming in early October.
     
  10. buggravy

    buggravy iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash, Transition Spur
    I have to say, I think Revel's paint schemes are the best in the biz. The way they do a 2-tone with matte and gloss of the same color is sublime. The new Charcoal Rascal is especially beautimous.
     
  11. buggravy

    buggravy iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash, Transition Spur
    You've probably posted this elsewhere, but how do you like the Lyrik Ultimate? I kind of want to try a reduced offset fork on the Smash, and have a line on a good deal on the Lyrik. It would be replacing, at least temporarily, a 36 Performance Elite.
     
  12. Sasquatch9billion

    Sasquatch9billion Well-Known Member

    Name:
    trinidad j. mendez
    Guys, stop making me look at bikes.

    Also, I wouldn't mind an 80's/90's paint splatter Rail. Yes, I know that's supposed to be mud.

    Revel_Rail_Mint_Dirty-RS-1.jpg
     
  13. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    The Lyrik Ultimate is the best out-of-the-box fork I've ever ridden. I demo'd bikes with them and they were superb. I purchased a 2020 on my Meg and a 2021 on my Rail. I just ordered another 2021 Lyrik 29 for the Rail (so I can keep the Megatower intact). Not to be crude, or to upset anybody, but the new Rock Shox forks Sh!t all over the same model year Fox stuff. I won't say they are better than my beloved Marzocchi, but damn close (and maybe nostalgia is making me remember the Marzocchi as better than it really was). And I won't say the Lyrik is better than a coil fork, but easier to adjust and lighter.

    The 2020 Lyrik sagged a little under its own weight, like a Luftkappe does to a Fox. I liked that, but RS didn't, so they changed the seal head and footnut a little for 2021 and it rides higher without losing the suppleness. The upgrade is available for about $40, if you get a 2020. I feel no need for a Luftkappe with the Lyrik, where it was essential for a Fox.

    When I demo'd the Yeti Sb 150 back to back with my Megatower, the primary difference between the two was the fork. Fox 36 Factory Grip 2. I ran the bikes back to back down 5-Oaks and there was no contest. The Lyrik was far more plush, yet plenty supportive.

    As for offset - I have no idea. Both bikes were spec'd with reduced offset forks, so that's what I bought. I haven't ridden them with longer offset. More offset = less trail = quicker steering, yes?
     
  14. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Low trail is supposed to be good for climbing, as it reduces front end wandering. So I think it's the opposite: More offset = less trail = slower (stable) steering. I don't think the few mm of difference between 44 and 51 rake is going to matter much, and you the rider are going to get used to whichever it is.
     
  15. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Nope. More offset = Reduced Trail = Quicker steering

    Fork Offset Article

    Decreasing trail improves agility. The front wheel feels easier to turn and it can make a bike feel more nimble.

    In a way it's like getting your head around rebound damping. Adding "rebound" slows the fork.
    REDUCING Offset increases trail. Increasing trail increases stability (decreases agility). Thus decreasing offset increases stability.

    I have no idea if I would be able to tell the difference between 44 and 51 mm offset, other than an even-longer wheelbase. I think the Lyrik 29er comes in 51 or 42 offset.
     
  16. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    The rando guys all like low trail, as it increases stability on their loaded rigs, so was coming from that perspective.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl and Mikie like this.
  17. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Good article. So the takeaway seems to be .........meh???
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl, Mikie and 2 others like this.
  18. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Again - decreasing trail increases agility and decreases stability.
     
  19. riiz

    riiz Member

    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    Name:
    Eric
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Heckler/Killmaleon
    That makes sense, adding 10lbs+ to the bars when bikepacking feels likes your trying to steer a flat tire. Reducing trail to restore the nimbleness of the steering is nice.
     
  20. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    My new Stooge is relatively low trail. Not the low 40mm or so a rando bike has, but a bit lower than normal.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl and Mikie like this.
  21. dssgaffler

    dssgaffler Member

    Location:
    IE
    Name:
    Sellout
    Current Bike:
    Intense Recluse + Revel Rail
    I guess it is still early October, so I'll be patient :D
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, Danmtchl and 3 others like this.
  22. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    I'm waiting for my new 29er fork so I can rebuild my Megatower AND use the Rail as a mullet. Side by side by side comparison? The fork shipped yesterday.

    ORRRRRR, I'm having so much fun on the Rail I could just call it good right there and sell my beautiful beast of a bike (Meg) without the promised comparison rides. I just have a hard time wanting to do that every time I go out to my storage closet and look at it.
     
    Tom the Bomb, HBkites, Mikie and 9 others like this.
  23. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    HBkites likes this.
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