Are Mullet Bikes Faster? | Is Mixed Wheel Size Better For MTB?

Are Mullet Bikes Faster? | Is Mixed Wheel Size Better For MTB?


– Welcome back you beautiful people. And today is an experimental day. Yes, we’re are going to
get a lot of numbers. I’m going to go super technical for myself where I’m going to be switching out my 29 inch
wheel on the rear to a 27.5, turning it into a mullet
bike to find out… – Hey, did you say mullet Blake? – No mullet Blake, I said mullet bike. We’re out here at BikePark Wales and we’re going to find
out which one’s quicker. (upbeat music) Bust my ass there. (upbeat music) Big gap coming up, big gap. Big gap.
(screams) Okay, for some of you
that don’t understand what a mullet bike is all about, well it’s two different wheel sizes and it’s basically a 29 inch wheel on the front and 27.5 on the rear. Okay for some of you racers out there, you’re probably asking is this legal? Well back in 2019, the UCI pretty much said mix wheel sizes are allowed throughout the event so you can be racing downhill or enduro. Now Specialized and Canyon are doing this already
on the downhill bikes, which is pretty cool. Now you’re probably
wondering, why mullet bikes? Well having a 27.5 wheel on the rear, it makes that bike a lot more nimble when it comes to moving
around on the trail. It means you can have a shorter chainstay, means you got a lot more wheel clearance. You don’t bust your ass that much if you had a 29 inch wheel. And the best thing about having a 29 on the front is because it can roll over a lot
of obstacles quicker. And when you’re going at
high speed down the trail, it makes that bike a
lot more stable as well. (upbeat guitar music) Earlier, I did say we’re
going to talk tech. Yes, I’ve got my tech head on and numbers are going to be
changing quite significantly. And changing from a 29er to 27.5, the characteristics of this rig are going to change dramatically. So I’ve chosen my Canyon Strive CF 9.0. Now from factory standard, this bike comes with 29 inch wheels front and rear. Now the unique thing about this bike is it has a shape-shift system and what is is you can change it from click to clack. And clack is the descent mode which I’ll be riding in today, and where I got all these
numbers from as well. Head angle on this bike at standard comes in at 66 degrees. Now mullet setting comes in at 64 degrees. So it’s changed quite dramatically. The seat angle on this as
standard is 73.5 degrees. Now mullet setting is 71.5, another dramatic change. Bottom bracket height, standard is 37 cm. Now, obviously with the
mullet setting on this it’s going to drop it to 33 cm. The reach on this bike,
standard is 440 mm. Now mullet setting, this is 420. The wheel diameter or width tire, standard 29 inch wheel is 74.5 cm. Mullet with 27.5, this is 71 cm. So it’s another dramatic change. So what do all these
numbers mean in real life? Well, I’m going to put down a base time with 29 inch wheels front
and rear down a trail, that one over there, and I use that as a base then I’m going to go down the same trail again on a 27.5 and find out
what it’s all about. (upbeat music) Before we start putting in race times, let me explain the route I’ll be riding to compare the two
different styles of bike. It’s a combination of three trails. A blue, a red, and a black. This would give me a vast
variety of rough and steep, fast wide open, and a
mixture of both in one. At the top, we have a black trail. Rough, steep, tight and techy. One called Dai Hard. Then it’s a quick fire road sprint into a blue trail called Willy Waver. Then tight switch back from blue to a red trail called Rim
Dinger to finish it off. Course set, let’s race. (upbeat music) Okay, set a base time on the 29er. In three, two, one, go. (upbeat music) (groans) Bust my ass there. (upbeat music) This is super rough and steep. (upbeat music) 29, 29. I feel like way better at pedaling still in descent mode. Blue run. (upbeat music) Woo. Time for mullet Blake. Mullet Blake good luck. Oh my gosh. That was hard work, that was hard work. (upbeat music) – Dude. It’s time for the mullet man. Totally give that guy a run for his money. In three, two, one, go. (upbeat music) Aw, I didn’t even bust my seat dude. (upbeat music) Feels a bit boggy. Big gap coming up, big gap. Big gap, oh! Big hip, ah. (laughs) (upbeat music) Oh yeah! Man, this kind of Blake for the times man. – I’m super surprised. I’m super excited as well ’cause flipping the times. I don’t have to go back to the shed, work it all out to the exact second just to show you which one’s quicker. Back to Blake in the shed. I’m going to break down the route I rode into three different segments. We’ve got the black, we’ve got the blue, and we’ve got the red to finish. Now, obviously we
started off on the black. Dai Hard trails. You know how like I said
it’s rough and steep and tight and techy. Let me give you the times that I put in. Okay, I’m going to
start off with the 29er. I did it in one minute 54. The mullet bike, I did
it in one minute 50. Hands down I thought the 29 was going to be way quicker through there. Obviously because it’s a big wheeled bike, it’s going to float over
all that rough stuff. But I was wrong, and it
felt totally different. So the 29er, I was quite
neutral on the bike. I know how that bike rides. I’ve ridden it for a long
time and quite used to it. So, what I mean by neutral on the bike is I couldn’t really get
back over the wheel enough when it came to those steep descents. Those tight, techy steps. I couldn’t get far enough. And plus riding the mullet bike, it filled me with so much confidence. Now with anything that
fills you with confidence, you’re definitely going to be riding a little bit more aggressive. You’re going to be riding a little bit more faster because you’re comfortable riding a bike that suits you. Now moving down onto the blue trail. So it was a little sprint
down the fire road, up the fire road and then into
the blue called Willy Waver. Now this is a flat out trail. This trail is fast,
it’s flowy, it’s jumpy. You want to keep your speed
maintained down this trail. Now, the times. The 29er, two minutes 22. Which, yeah it’s a long trail ish. Mullet bike, two minutes 21. Definitely thought the 29er
was going to be quicker because it’s big wheels. And when it came to the 27.5 on the rear of the mullet bike setup, I felt like it was a little bit boggy. I was pumping through the trails, I was like oh man it’s boggy. And I thought that would
be slowing me down. Obviously not, ’cause
the times say different. Now the red trail. Now this was a bit of both. So it was rough, it was techy, it was fast flowing and there was a nice big hip on it which I quite enjoyed to hit. Now the times for this on the 29er was one minute point zero four. The mullet bike, one
minute point zero two. Again, I felt super comfortable riding that mullet bike down that trail. After all of that, all of those three segments combined, the overall time that I’ve put in on the 29er was four minutes 37 seconds. Mullet bike was four minutes 33 seconds. That’s a lot quicker. Now, if you were racing you’d win that. And it shows in the times
that mullet bikes are fast. That was a big surprise ’cause I’ve never done a mullet bike switch. I’ve done the reverse
mullet just to be hilarious and see how horrible it is and
it was amazing on climbing. Now talk about climbing when
it comes to mullet bike, I climbed from the bottom
of that trail to the uplift. It was the worst thing ever. Even when I switched
it from clack to click, which is my shape-shifter
on the Canyon Strive, I went into climb mode and it still felt like I was sat like that. It was terrible so I think the overall thing is
if I was going to race, I think this would be
the best way to do it. For me, I would definitely
go to mullet bike. Now that’s why all those downhill dudes are going to mullet bikes. (upbeat music) Big hip, ah. (laughs) Yes it is because the ECU. The UCI. It is because the UCI
dibbed demmed it as… My mouth’s cold.