Revel bikes review

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Long Term Review: Revel Ranger is like the Rascal, only smaller (and w/ more tire clearance)

You can tell a lot about a bike based on how long it’s been in for a review. Sometimes, quick turn arounds are required by the manufacturer so the bike can make the rounds for different publications. Other times, we are happy to send a bike back for any number of reasons. And then there are times when a bike hangs around much longer than planned, like with the Revel Ranger.

That’s usually a good sign, as it means we just can’t seem to part with it. That’s the case when it comes to this bike. More than once, I thought I was done with the review (and the bike), only to pick it back up again to do some more, uh, testing.

Revel Ranger x01 complete build 2021 mountain bikeRevel Ranger with Fox suspension package

Part of that extended testing process involved multiple options when it came to suspension. Initially shipped out with a full RockShox SID kit, Revel asked if I wanted to try out the alternate Fox suspension set up as well. That essentially made for two different bikes to test, and a lot of back and forth of parts and suspension tunes.

At this point, I’ve had more than enough time on the Ranger to say that it is an awesome bike, regardless of suspension choice – and one that feels different than many of the short travel aggressive trail bikes out there.

I really am not a huge fan of the term ‘downcountry’, but it’s stuck around because it’s an easy way to describe this type of bike. Aggressive Cross Country just doesn’t have the same ring to it. For those that aren’t up on the latest MTB nomenclature, downcountry refers to bikes that are XC light and efficient but built with the geometry and parts needed to get rowdy.

Great Suspension

CBF Suspension system on the Revel Rascal.

There’s a lot going on with the CBF suspension, but it works beautifully.

While many of these bikes feel like lightweight XC race machines that have been stretched into slightly longer travel machines, the Ranger feels different. It’s certainly short travel – just 115mm from the CBF (Canfield Balance Formula) suspension system paired with a 120mm suspension fork. But the way that it’s packaged makes the Ranger feel more like a mini-enduro bike rather than a more capable XC bike.

Riding the Revel Ranger on rocky terrain

Part of that is likely the CBF suspension itself. Like other bikes in the Revel family, the Ranger’s suspension feels impressively pedal efficiently without giving anything up when it comes to suspension performance when it’s needed. For a bike this small, the suspension is eye-opening when things get rough. Close your eyes on a downhill (OK, don’t really do that), and you could easily be convinced you’re riding the 130mm travel Revel Rascal (which rides much more capable than its own numbers would imply). That includes being incredibly forgiving when touching back down to Earth. Even when using every last millimeter of travel, the CBF platform remains completely controlled allowing you to focus on your line, rather than what the suspension is doing.

Actual Weight

Revel Ranger actual weight on scale

Stock X01 build in medium on the left, Fox build with a few accessories and different tires and bars on the right.

Admittedly, the Ranger doesn’t feel quite as fast as other downcountry bikes on the XC bits. But the trade-off is a bike that feels more capable on the parts of the trail that matter – the technical bits. It still pedals extremely well, but there’s just something about it that feels a bit slower. That could certainly be the weight. Compared to something like the previous gen Santa Cruz Blur TR, the RockShox build of the Ranger is more than 2lbs heavier.

The Ranger frame isn’t particularly light for its class at a claimed 6.1lbs for a medium frame with a SID shock. Depending on your idea of the perfect ‘XC’ bike though, that added weight with better performing suspension could certainly be worth it.

RockShox SID Ultimate suspension forkRockShox SID Luxe rear shock

When it comes to the suspension itself, you have a choice. Complete builds are offered with either a RockShox SID fork and rear shock, or a Fox Float 34 Step-Cast Factory fork with Fox Float DPS Factory shock. This Ranger was sent out as an SRAM X01 Eagle build which included a RockShox SID Ultimate fork and SID Luxe Ultimate rear shock. As a demo bike, this setup had been ridden previously and then repacked for shipping. I only mention that since when it showed up, the fork was compressed and wouldn’t extend when inflated with a shock pump. After consulting with RockShox, the fix was completely deflating the air spring, attaching the pump, and physically pulling the fork lowers from the uppers while pumping up the spring. It was kind of a pain, but after that initial hiccup, the fork has performed well since.

RockShox SID Ultimate vs Fox 34 Factory fork actual weightRockShox SID Lux vs Fox Float actual weight

As mentioned, I’ve also spent time on the Revel Ranger with the Fox suspension package. Honestly, for most riders, the difference will likely be negligible. There is a slight weight penalty for the Fox components of about 105g for the fork and shock combined.

RockShox Torque cap compatible fork with G2 brake

Torque Cap Compatible: Torque Caps are an interesting idea, but when Torque Cap Compatible forks are used with non-Torque Cap wheels like this, it makes installation of the wheel more challenging.

There’s also a tiny penalty at the front brake since the SID has a 180mm post mount brake caliper. You’ll need to add a brake adapter and longer bolts on the Fox fork to run a 180mm rotor (but you also gain the ability to run a 160mm rotor if desired).

My overall impression of the two setups was that the SID suspension led to a slightly more racey feel while still maintaining big-hit performance. The SID damping is impressive for such light components, but the Fox suspension felt a little more controlled in terms of damping. Interestingly, the RockShox suspension seems to be improving with use. It’s also pretty impressive to consider that the SID Ultimate has a larger 35mm chassis, yet is lighter than the Fox 34.

One thing to note is that the CBF suspension is so good at its job, that shocks with built in pedal platforms are almost unnecessary. My preferred setting on either shock was full open, which still made for a bike that could hammer up climbs without a hint of bob, then turn around and float to the bottom. I did use the firmest setting while pedaling on the road to get to the trailhead, but that’s about it. Note that there is an option for a remote lockout kit for the rear shock with internal routing through the frame – if that’s your thing.

Frame Details

Internal cable routing on Revel RangerThreaded bottom bracket on Revel RangerDown tube protector on Revel Rangerrear post mount brake on Revel Ranger

In terms of the frame itself, the Ranger uses the same advanced carbon layup tech found in other Revels, that was optimized by ENVE Co-Founder Jason Schiers. Details include a threaded 73mm bottom bracket, an IS42/52 tapered headset, Boost 148mm x 12mm rear axle, a custom Revel chainguide, internal cable routing, and a 160mm post mount rear brake.

More Room for Tires

Tire clearance on Revel Ranger is 29 x 2.6"

One of the most notable specifications is the listed tire clearance of 29 x 2.6″. I was honestly a bit skeptical – the Revel Rascal barely has room for a 2.4″ rear tire, and this bike can fit a 2.6″? Yup. It can. And with plenty of mud clearance. I threw in a 29 x 2.6″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic on a properly wide rim with a 35mm internal width, and it fit with plenty of room to spare. With that said, the stock 2.4″ tires are probably more ideal for the bike’s intended purpose, but if you wanted to run wider tires for specific purposes, you can.

More Room for Bottles & Accessories

Room for a water bottle cage and other accessories on Revel Ranger

The other welcomed improvement comes in the form of bottle or accessory mounts. Thanks to a new shock layout, the Revel Ranger has more room for accessories than the Rascal. On a medium, that room for a water bottle inside the main triangle is still limited, but with some fettling you can get a bigger bottle in the main mount position under the shock. Bigger bikes have it easier with more room for larger bottles, as usual.

Your best bet is to use a side mount cage like the Topeak Ninja Master+ shown above. We just got this in, but it’s a great design that allows you to choose which side you want the bottle to be accessible from. It also makes getting the bottle in and out much easier than a traditional bottle cage. The cage also has the ability to mount the tool underneath, but in this case, there isn’t enough room in the frame for it to fit.

Topeak Ninja Master+ ToolBox 16 on Revel Ranger

Fortunately, there is an upper mount for accessories like that Topeak Ninja Master+ ToolBox or a Wolf Tooth Components BRAD strap base. The Topeak ToolBox is neat and tidy and allows faster access to the multi-tool. However, if you use something like the BRAD strap base and their TekLite Roll Top Bag, you can fit a mutli-tool, spare tube, tubeless plugger, and mini pump or CO2 in the same space.

There’s also the bottle cage mount on the bottom of the down tube for another bottle or accessories.


2021 2022 Revel Ranger geometry

The geometry includes a 67.5° head tube angle and a 75.3° seat tube angle, and modern but not outrageous reach numbers. You can really feel that difference in reach if you’re used to ultra long bikes, but the geometry numbers give the Ranger a versatile fit that feels at home both on old school XC trails and more modern flow trails. I’ve ridden the Ranger on everything from shuttle laps to big XC missions without ever feeling like I was on the wrong bike.

Build Kit

Revel Ranger cockpit with ENVE carbon handlebar

The Ranger ships with an ENVE flat bar, but I ended up swapping it out for a riser bar.

From a distance, the Revel Ranger might appear to be an XC bike, but up close the build kit tells another story. Nearly all of the additional parts are worthy of bikes with bigger travel numbers like SRAM G2 RSC brakes with four piston calipers, 780mm wide ENVE M6 carbon bars with a short 40mm Truvativ Descendant stem, and Maxxis Dissector/Rekon EXO tires.

Revel Ranger with RW30 wheels instead of RW27

Complete bikes will now ship with the lighter RW27 wheels from Revel instead of the RW30 pictured here.

When this Revel Ranger was sent out, the company hadn’t yet unveiled their new RW27 carbon wheels. Which meant that my test bike was equipped with their wider RW30 wheels, which were great. But the whole time I couldn’t help but think the bike would benefit from something a bit lighter and more XC/Trail oriented.

The Revel RW30 wheels are very durable

A large, jagged rock that took out the rear derailleur barely scratched the surface of the RW30 rims.

Well, now that the RW27 wheels exist, that’s what will be speced on this build level – and they should be a perfect match. The Revel Fusion-Fiber carbon wheels have proven to be exceptionally durable and lend a smoother ride quality to the bike with the added benefits of being recyclable.

Truvativ Stylo carbon cranks on Revel RangerCrankbrothers Highline dropper post on Revel Ranger

Other highlights include a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain with a mega 10-52t cassette, a SRAM Stylo Carbon DUB crank, and a Crank Brothers Highline 7 dropper post. With the exception of the rear derailleur that was taken out by a rock that was flipped up by the front wheel on a high speed descent, all of the components are still performing like new (even after a lot of use).

Revel Ranger Availability & Pricing

Revel Ranger side view

Pricing for the Ranger starts out at $5,499 for a complete SRAM GX Eagle build, but as tested, the X01 Ranger is priced at $7,699. There’s also an option for a frame+rear shock for $2,999, or the frame+rear shock+suspension fork for $3,699. At the moment, Revel doesn’t have anything in stock – which is endemic of the bike industry this summer. Revel is expecting the next shipment this fall, and they’re bound to go fast. If you want to pre-order a bike and reserve yours, Revel just asks for a $100 refundable deposit. At that point, they say they’ll provide a more accurate lead time as well based on the build you choose (different components have different lead times at the moment).

Final Thoughts on the Revel Ranger

Riding the Revel Ranger on single track

Going into this review, I sort of expected something along the lines of other downcountry bikes. Knowing the team behind Revel Bikes though, I should have known better. On paper, the Ranger is very similar, but on the trail it’s clearly a different beast. The Ranger feels so capable that it leaves me thinking that it may cannibalize some of the Rascal’s sales. The Rascal is still an incredible bike – and one that I ride regularly.

But there are very few trails around here that would make me grab the Rascal over the Ranger. Which makes the Ranger feel like the perfect bike for riders who think they may want something lighter and more efficient than the average trail or enduro bike – but who don’t see themselves among the spandex-clad, XC racing set. You could technically still race XC on the Ranger. But you’d probably be that guy putting more effort into styling out the jumps and having fun, rather than winning the race. Which is precisely the point.

For more on the Revel Ranger, check out our original post here.


Revel Rascal: First Ride Review

enduro-lite — full flavor with half the calories

Revel is a brand new bike brand with an impressive pedigree. That’s why their first offering in the full-squish MTB market doesn’t suck. In fact, it’s downright impressive, especially on the downs (see what I did there?) We’ve all heard the really annoying “it rides like it has way more travel than it does” phrase. In this case it’s kind of true — and kind of not. It rides big, but still feels like a mid-travel trail bike — most of the time. The times when you spend 2 hours climbing above 7000’ it feels just like you’d want a trail bike to feel. But, the times when you pull up, huck to flat, get off line and the bike saves your derrière, it feels like a big, forgiving bike. Maybe a better way of saying it is, the Rascal has no business descending as well at it does. All the numbers say “trail bike.” However, after giving it a proper thrashing, I’d say its more enduro-lite. Full flavor with half the calories.

revel rascal review

Sizing and build kits

I rode the XL Rascal. I’m 6’2” and pretty lanky. The fit is comfortable — I wouldn’t consider going to another size. The reach felt nice and roomy for a trail bike, giving the Rascal its confident demeanor. The overall wheelbase is long without being extreme. That means when you hop on the Rascal it just feels like a mountain bike. You don’t have to change the way you ride to get it around a corner or tight switchback. The seated position felt a little on the slack side, but then again I've been riding the Ripley, Ripmo and Megatower recently. All three of those bikes are in the new wave of steep seat tube bikes — something I’ve really come to appreciate. The Rascal’s 75° seat tube isn’t really all that slack, but it’s noticeable when compared to those other bikes. The head tube angle feels about spot on for a bike meant to go both up and down mountains. It didn’t leave me feeling outgunned on the steeps, but it kept cornering and climbing easier. All in all I’d have to say the geometry just felt balanced.

I rode this bike blind. I didn’t research geo numbers before throwing a leg over it. I really like doing this as it lets me get a feel for how the bike actually rides without preconceived notions influencing my opinion. I also like to guess what some of the numbers might be. Based on my guesses you can see how I felt the bike rode. I guessed the reach and wheelbase were longer than the actual numbers because the bike felt so stable in the chunk. I guessed the head tube was slacker because I didn’t feel nervous in the steeps. These guess charts can tell you a lot about how I felt about the bikes ride characteristics.

revel rascal geometry.jpg

Let’s talk build kits. I rode the XO1 Eagle kit with the optional upgrade to Enve M6 wheels. The build leaves nothing to be desired. Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything out of the box. I especially appreciated the Ergon contact points. The high-end saddle and grips are a very nice touch. That build in XL weighs a respectable 30lbs. Now, you might be saying to yourself “Self, 30lbs is a little portly for a 130mm trail bike.” You wouldn’t be wrong. The Rascal is a tad on the heavy side — especially compared to the Ibis Ripley, which on paper is very similar to the Rascal. In the real world they are very different bikes. I’d argue the Rascal is much closer to a Ripmo or Hightower. When you put it in that category, 30lbs is rather respectable. Now to address why I’d lump it in with longer travel, big hitters.

The ups

Let’s set the record straight. The Rascal does not climb poorly. It climbs much like you’d imagine a trail bike should. You hit the gas and it moves forward without any fuss or excessive bobbing. It’s not “Ibis” efficient but its much better than other bikes with the same descending chops. The geo puts you in a comfortable climbing position — not too cramped and not too stretched out. The seat tube is slightly slacker than its contemporaries, but not by much. At 75° it is comfortable without making the cockpit feel too cramped or tight. The Rascal is more of a sit and spin style climber than it is a stand and sprint bike.

The Rascal starts to impress with tougher terrain— the rockier and rootier the better. When climbing steep, technical pitches, it glides over the top of all the obstacles in your way. I’d love to give it a spin on the technical climbs on Captain Ahab. I think it would really shine there. On my test track I was able to clean sections I’m about 80% on usually. These sections have tight switchbacks, steep punchy pitches littered with pedal grabbing rocks and plenty of roots. I didn’t have any pedal strikes in the rocky bits and there was great traction over roots and steep punchy climbs.

revel rascal review

The downs

The descents are where the Rascal shows its true intentions. It really comes alive the harder you push it. Dropping into the first rough descent of the day, I was completely caught off guard by how hard the bike wants to push. I wasn’t expecting a 130mm trail bike to handle the roots and bumps as well as it does. It’s tough to describe, but the best comparison I could come up with is it feels like an enduro bike that has a firm suspension setup. Not in a pogo, get rattled around kind of way — more of a snappy tune that gets off the ground easily. The Rascal doesn’t hug the ground as well as say the Megatower, but it is surprisingly planted. By the second descent of the day I felt pretty confident holding it open on tough sections of trail. I even tried some spicy inside lines that I had eyed up for a few years, but had never hit.

In the tighter sections of trail I really appreciated the way the Rascal was quick to respond to steering input. It wasn’t difficult to get the bike to lean over and get it around a corner. On the upper rooty bit of the first descent (in the video above) I was easily able to pump in and out of corners generating speed. When the trail got steeper and bumpier I could feel the back end bouncing around a little. Not an unmanageable amount of bouncing but more than a plush, long-travel bike would have. I guess that’s to be expected with only 130mm of travel. In fact, I’d expect a lot less of that planted feeling than the rascal provided.

The Rascal’s suspension felt very progressive. It ramped up nicely and I never once noticed a harsh bottom out. I ran the bike right at 30% sag and was barely able to reach full travel. I’d even consider removing a spacer or going to a smaller one. I wouldn’t want to reduce the air pressure to reach full travel though. Right at 30% the pedal performance was good, not great. Any more sag and I think things would be way too squishy.

The praises to sing & the nits to pick

  • Downhill Performance

  • Progressive Suspension Platform

  • Solid Value

  • High Quality Finish

  • A Tad Portly

  • Only Fits a Small Bottle

  1. Free keyboard themes
  2. Chain coupler sprocket
  3. Edd news

Revel Rascal mountain bike review

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Okay, you may not be able to ask for more, but the Rascal certainly delivers more. For starters, the carbon frame is gorgeous, right down to the paint. This bike gets noticed for its stunning appearance, not to mention the Canfield Balance Formula (CBF) suspension. The CBF suspension looks cool, sure, but the real radness is in the ride. You can read a bit more about CBF suspension here in my first ride review of Revel’s longer travel Rail.



Build Notes

I may have gone a bit overboard with the build on my Rascal.

That’s important to note because my test bike is not a stock build. Not even close. I upgraded the fork to a 160mm Fox Factory 36 FIT GRIP2 — the stock builds come with a 140mm RockShox Pike — so perhaps makes my suspension setup overkill for many trail riders.

Fox 36 fork

The Rockshox Reverb AXS dropper post operates wirelessly, which means it installs in seconds. It’s very convenient, easy to set up, and smooth-operating. The battery tucks underneath the saddle on the clamp, and battery life seems to last forever. The two downsides: The post costs a whopping $800; and there’s a bit of play in the clamp, which felt a bit clunky at times. After almost a solid year of riding the post, however, it still works flawlessly otherwise.

My Rascal also has a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain. This turned out to be an excellent choice as well. Every shift feels smooth and positive, and I get remarkably little chain slap. But I also had to seek out a Microspline freehub body, which was difficult early on after the Microspline system hit the market. There are far more options now, but I still struggle to see why we needed yet another freehub body style.

The Rascal’s stock chain guide also didn’t work with the XT crank, which I found odd. So I asked Revel’s founder, Adam Miller about it. “You’re correct, our chain guide was designed to be optimized for use with SRAM Dub cranks/BB,” he said. “It also works with most other modern cranks that use the exact same chain line as SRAM, such as Cane Creek, RaceFace, and others. However, Shimano chain lines are just barely different, so that guide doesn’t work so well with Shimano. We are working on offering more chain guide options for Shimano cranks in the future, potentially made out of Fusion-Fiber like our new Revel Wheels.”

And finally, the Rascal comes stock with a RockShox Super Deluxe rear shock with 130mm of travel. It took me three rides to blow the shock, so I replaced it with a Fox Float DPX2 Factory EVOL. (NOTE: RockShox did offer to replace the shock, but I had the Fox on hand, so I replaced it instead.)

Rascal CBF suspension

What’s remarkable about the Rascal is its ability punch above its weight both up and down the mountain. Descending at high speeds feels like a totally new experience on the Rascal: It soaks up small bumps with preternatural efficiency, yet big square hits also get tamped down with relative ease. Good shock tune? Perhaps, but the CBF suspension can take credit for much of the Rascal’s exceptional handling. It’s eager to pop out of corners with speed and I never once felt like the Rascal needed encouragement to dive into those corners hard, with no oversteer. The Rascal knew where it was going, every time.

Revel Rascal

So it’s a truly transcendent descender, yet its climbing prowess is rivaled only by the likes of Yeti’s SB130  in the trail category. No, you won’t mistake it for an XC bike on long, grind-it-out climbs, but are you really looking for that in a trail bike? Probably not, given what you’ll give up on the other side of that hill. Still, you don’t pay much of a penalty when climbing, and it was easy to pop the front end up and over steep rock outcroppings and roots. When settled into a dirt road climb, the Rascal performs best with the suspension locked out, but even when I left it in trail mode, there was only a bit of tempered bob.

Revel Rascal


Riding where I should, and where I shouldn’t

Most of the riding I do takes place on the Colorado front range, in Golden. The trails get chunky, and on high-speed descents you’ll immediately get a sense of whether a bike can handle rapid-fire square-edge hits. But before that can happen, you have to grind your way up.

In that sense, the terrain I ride most often is ideally suited to the Rascal, which shouldn’t be too surprising given Revel’s roots in the Rocky Mountains. Revel’s founder Adam Miller knows these trails and has ridden them enough to know what it takes to counter them. The Rascal does just that: The CBF platform feels remarkably supportive on climbs, bobbing only slightly and tracking the ground over obstacles large and small. I found it incredibly easy to pop the front wheel up and over big rocks and steeps, too. That again largely comes back to the CBF suspension, which Revel says can increase anti-squat at the top of the travel and reduce it lower in the travel. That seemed to play out on climbs, especially under herky-jerky pedaling, which is often necessary during technical climbs.

Revel Rascal

I’m sure there’s some pedal kickback when the suspension compresses, but I didn’t feel much of any.

Braking feels very controlled, due to the anti-rise programmed into the CBF suspension. I can think of some bikes that perform just as well here, but none come to mind that perform better.

I took the Rascal to Winter Park in Colorado to do a lift-service day. This bike isn’t made for that kind of riding, but I went and did it anyway, largely confirming my consistency in making poor life choices. The Rascal saved me from myself, though, and the 130mm of rear travel only felt outmatched on some of the rowdier terrain. Early on in the day I knew the Rascal probably couldn’t handle much of what I was about to put it through; it proved me wrong. I never — not once — got a hard bottom-out.

It was here, on the steep and fast chunk, that I thought I’d be able to tell if there was enough pedal kickback to be bothersome. I waited and waited all day for it. And I’m still waiting today.

Revel Rascal

Rascal verdict

I liked the Rascal so much that I bought it. I’m not sure I could give this a more ringing endorsement than that. It does everything I want it to do — climb well, descend like a bat out of hell, and corner with a planted feel I’ve only gotten from a few other bikes, ever. The CBF suspension paired with the Fox fork seems to address big square edge hits with the same efficiency as lighter chatter. The suspension, in general, feels nearly constantly active, except on climbs when I wanted it to settle down. The Rascal and I work together like Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker pulling a double play: We both know where to be, when to be there, and what moves come next.

This is a remarkable bike with a remarkable rear suspension system that I find to be well-balanced: It’s stable and planted uphill, and bottomless and predictable downhill. Revel got it right on the first try. I can’t recommend the Rascal enough.

Dirt wheels
Revel Rascal

Usually when we review a bike, we go over previous iterations, updates to geometry, or if it’s a new model, how it fits in with a brand’s existing offerings. In the case of the Revel Rail, however, the usual pfaffing is unnecessary because this is a brand-new bike from a brand-new company. That the Revel Rail held its own at the Bible was impressive, and that the brand pulled this off in their first year is quite frankly mind-boggling.


It would be easy to paint this bike as an underdog, but that’s not exactly the case. The Revel team, while small, packs a ton of industry expertise—and consequently everything on this bike feels well thought out. The geometry is what you’d expect for an aggressive 27.5-inch trail bike (75-degree seat tube, 65-degree head tube and 430-millimeter stays), and you get all the modern touches, like guided internal routing, refined layups and just one size of pivot bearings. The company even designed a clever integrated chain guide.


Photo Credit: Margus Riga

Still, the numbers only tell half the story. We were shocked by the immediate sense of confidence we got from this bike, pretty much from the minute we pulled it off the stand. It doesn’t feel like a small company’s first attempt; it feels like an established heavy-hitter.
Revel rail

The Rail makes excellent use of the relatively unsung but well-proven Canfield CBF linkage, which gives you nearly 100-percent anti-squat no matter where you are in your travel or gear range. On the trail, that translates to a bike that pedals efficiently while still attentively reacting to the terrain. At 31 pounds and sporting 165 millimeters of rear-wheel travel, it’s no XC bike, but with the range it can cover, we’d put it firmly in what we think of as the ‘mountain adventure’ category. It even felt fast climbing the road back to our house. Then there’s descending. It feels like Christmas when you realize that you do, in fact, get 165 millimeters of travel. This bike picked up speed over Park City’s most jumbled quartzite lines, giving you that elusive purr you sometimes get with good suspension. It is joyful in the air, and true to its name, corners like a slalom ski. You can snap it around almost carelessly and it’ll hold traction just a little longer than the taller-feeling 29ers. Push it and this bike will be a willing accomplice for whatever trail mischief you can cook up.


Bikes review revel

Real innovation or just bold marketing slogans full of hot air? Revel Bikes is another ambitious newcomer lining up at the starting blocks and we were the only magazine in the world fortunate enough to review the Revel Rascal. Does the brand new 29” trail bike from Colorado have what it takes?

Revel Bikes, the brand

Never heard of Revel Bikes? Don’t worry, there’s no way you could have, with the release of their trail bike, the Rascal, and their enduro bike, the Rail, the Colorado-based brand is making its first public appearance. But the folks behind Revel are no strangers to the scene and bring with them a lot of experience from the bike industry. Before the launch, founder Adam Miller paid us a visit in our headquarters in Stuttgart to tell us some more about the background of Revel Bikes. Adam hasn’t even cracked 30 but he’s already built two bike brands from the ground up (Borealis and Why Cycles). Senior engineer Jeremiah Starkey has worked for RockShox for over 11 years, and Jason Schiers, the founder of ENVE, brings with him a wealth of carbon know-how.

The story of Revel Bikes began when founder Adam Miller was in search of a new trail bike. After testing countless bikes from the well-known brands, he tried a Canfield Balance at a trade show and was immediately convinced – this suspension was exactly what he was looking for. Canfield was ready to license the rear linkage and so after two and a half years of development Adam is ready to present us with two carbon bikes with the patented Canfield Balance Formula, or CBF for short. The Revel Rascal we tested is a 29” trail bike with 140/130 mm travel, the second model is called the Rail and rolls on 27.5″ wheels, offering 170/165 mm travel.

The Revel Rascal in detail

We tested the 29er Rascal with 130mm of travel, but the longer-travel Rail shares the same details and features. The bike is exclusively available in carbon and comes in four frame sizes S, M, L and XL. The cables are routed internally through carbon channels, which makes them very easy to feed through the frame, and the mechanics among us will be happy to hear it’s got a threaded bottom bracket. There is space for a 600 ml water bottle in the front triangle of all frame sizes. Revel offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and even has a crash replacement program.

The geometry of the Revel Rascal

The geometry of the Revel Rascal holds little surprises for a bike of this category, the dimensions corresponding with the current interpretation of a modern, versatile trail bike. With 464 mm reach in size L, the Rascal is long enough without going to extremes. Some might call the 66° head tube angle slack for a bike of this class, we think it’s spot on. The 75° seat tube angle is acceptable, although it could be a bit steeper for our taste. The chainstays fit into the scheme and are neither overly long nor exaggeratedly short. The only really remarkable value here is the bottom bracket drop of 38mm, which promises to keep your centre of gravity low.

Seat tube386 mm416 mm446 mm476 mm
Top tube555 mm575 mm590 mm612 mm
Head tube104 mm115 mm125 mm135 mm
Head angle65°65°65°65°
Seat angle75°75°75°75°
Chainstays430 mm430 mm430 mm430 mm
BB hight337 mm337 mm337 mm337 mm
Wheelbase1,173 mm1,208 mm1,230 mm1,254 mm
Reach430 mm450 mm470 mm495 mm
Stack595 mm607 mm615 mm625 mm

Revel Bikes Launch Video

Revel Bikes \


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