Revel launched their brand three years ago with two bikes, the do-it-all short travel 29er Rascal and the longer-travelled 27.5" Rail. Today, the Colorado-based company has released a 29er version of the Rail with 155mm of travel. Revel says that the Rail 29 will be right at home on the top of any enduro race track, the bike park, or all day epics in the hills.
The Rail 29 continues to use the Canfield Balance Formula (CBF) suspension design, but has bigger bearings, beefier hardware, ISCG-05 tabs, a universal derailleur hanger, and extra seat post insertion room for longer droppers on all sizes compared to its 27.5" sibling, which will remain in the line. The Rail 29 can run any coil shock thanks to a smaller yoke at the lower shock mount.
Revel Rail Details
• Wheelsize: 29"
• Rear travel: 155mm / 160mm fork
• Carbon frame
• 65° head angle
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL
• Chainstay length: 436mm
• Reach: 427mm / 447mm / 469mm / 494mm
• From $5,999 to $10,999 USD
• Two Frame Colours
The Rail in four builds, starting at $5,999 USD and as a frameset, which will set you back $3,499 USD and in two colours - "Lead King" and "Shred Velvet Cake".Frame Details
The Rail has completely redesigned linkage hardware so that you only need one tool, a 6mm wrench, for pivot maintenance. Keeping with that ease of maintenance theme, Revel says that you can disassemble the entire linkage without taking your cranks off. There are also now bigger bearings for increased durability, better seals, and only one row of bearings needed.
All sizes have extra seat post insertion room for longer droppers and are compatible with all coil shock options thanks to a smaller yoke at the lower shock mount.
You can fit up to a 29" x 2.4" tire in the rear, there's a threaded bottom bracket, and room for two water bottles (on the top and bottom of the downtube).
The Rail 29 is Revel's first bike with ISCG-05 tabs and a universal derailleur hanger (UDH). Geometry
The geometry on the Revel 29 mirrors that of its 27.5" sibling. The head tube angle is exactly the same at 65°, and although the chainstays have grown by 6mm on the 29er to 436mm, the reach is a touch shorter.
The 27.5" Rail has a 430mm reach on the size small, 450mm on the size medium, 470mm on the size large, and 495mm on the size XL, while the current version has a 427mm reach on the size small, 447mm on the size medium, 469mm on the size large, and 494mm on the XL. The Rail 29's geometry numbers are on the more conservative side for a bike with this amount of travel, a little steeper and shorter than what has become the norm.
The effective seat tube angle is a degree steeper on the Rail 29 compared to the 27.5" version at 76°.
The Rail 29 comes in four sizes, Small through XL.Suspension Design
The bike uses the same very distinctive Canfield Balance Formula (CBF) suspension design that the Rail 27.5" does, which Revel licensed from Canfield. Revel says that CBF focuses on designing rear suspension around the Center of Curvature (CC) instead of on the instant center.
CBF points the chainline and corresponding drive forces around the top of the chainring through 100-percent of the travel which Revel says results in maximum pedaling efficiency, regardless of where you are in the travel and what terrain you are on. This allows the suspension to do its job completely independent of drivetrain and braking forces. Models and Pricing
There are four models of the Revel, each of which is available in two colourways. The SRAM GX model is $5,999 USD, the Shimano XT model is $7,299 USD, the SRAM X01 model is $8,299, and the SRAM XX1 AXS complete $10,999 USD. You can also get a frame for $3499 USD. Bikes will start shipping in the spring.
Hefty frame only price for D2C...
With the advent of 1x drivetrains we like to think we've avoided pedaling issues due to chainring size, but there's still sensitivity to chainring size for some platforms. good to know about the CBF, where the instant center is relatively close to the BB (as opposed to a Horst).
just like @justinfoil said, if reviewers could take into account where in the world a bike's suspension and geo would be most or least ideal based on common riding conditions, it would help consumers choose more wisely. Many reviews say X bike or suspension is great for Y terrain but that assessment is often limited to where they rode it. Imagine if every PB write-up included tests in 5 global locations @notoutsideceo make it happen!
PS I think we ran into each other a few months ago at La Costa! I was gawking at your Rascal while riding my GG.
I had the same experience reducing chainring size on Meta SX: a 32t gave just under 100% anti-squat (IIRC) in climbing gears near sag, but a 30t sent the AS through the roof and killed traction on chunky climbs.
I’ve heard good things about the quality, weight isn’t much higher than XT, and price is $100
Whether a design uses a twin-short-link (ex. VPP, Maestro, CBF, dw, etc.), one-long-one-short (ex. Horst), or two-long (ex. Lawwill), any of these designs can have a high instant-centre, low instant-centre, or anything in between. The IC could be near the BB or infinitely far from it. The location of the IC is not intrinsic to the length of the links, it's located where the designer chooses to locate it. Shorter links give the designer the option to make sharp kinks in the suspension parameter curves (ex. the famous S-bend in dw*link curves), while long links enable the designer to create more consistent curves.
That said, I'm skeptical of this sensitivity to chainring diameter. Most anti-squat behavior comes from the geometry of weight transfer, not from chain interaction - it should be a very subtle difference if noticeable at all for a single jump in chainring size, even on a short-link 4 bar. More likely, the difference is a combo of good day vs bad day, placebo affect, and the reality that if you're in a higher gear at the same cadence, you're carrying more speed and momentum through the section, and are putting down less torque. I clean my most technical climbs in the middle of my cogset, not my granny. In granny, I'll stall out, get hug up, and/or spin.
The median change in a bike's anti-squat between 30T and 32T 4.5%.
Yes and no. I recall hearing Dave Weagle mention this as part of the magic of DW-link, the acceleration force pushing the wheel forward relative to the frame (the cause of the weight transfer) causing a suspension extending force, and and it makes sense. However, all the measurements I've ever seen (including PB's Behind the Numbers) derive anti-squat exclusively using the chainline as a factor. So while the geometry of acceleration forces is a factor in actual anti-squat forces, it's not a factor in the AS number people are usually talking about.
But I think you're right in an oval having minimum effect on any anti-squat factor. Because it's continually variable, it's a different situation than a set change in chainline or acceleration force that a different tooth count would bring. The whole point of ovals is to smooth the power transfer, and though I don't like ovals for regular riding*, I think they feel amazing traction-wise on sloppy and/or rough climb: it felt like I had a crazy low pressure in the rear tire, that I could keep turning up the power but didn't have to worry at all about accidentally pushing too hard and spinning out, which equates to smooth power to the ground, which equates to smooth anti-squat forces. Yeah, an oval probably isn't going to mess up anti-squat feeling, might even help.
* Ovals make me tend to use a higher cadence, and get tired faster because then I'm hitting the power stroke more often than I would at my normal cadence.
And yeah, to both your and @R-M-R's comments, I haven't seen any calcs or tests on oval ring behavior, so I'm speculating there, but my gut says on a bike with ~100% anti-squat at *climbing* sag, an oval ring shouldn't give you noticeably worse behavior unless you're a rare human with very very consistent circular cadence, because most riders just aren't pushing that hard enough between strokes to have much effect on the suspension. Even road cyclists are generally right around zero Tq with their second leg, right as they are finishing at zero with their first leg: www.cyclinganalytics.com/blog/2014/04/torque-effectiveness-and-pedal-smoothness. You're carrying momentum, not accelerating, between strokes.
Canfield sells a long travel 29er called the Lithium, it's less expensive, made of aluminum, has room for a 29 x 2.5-2.6, has shorter chain stays (430 vs 436), and it has a long stroke option (165mm). The only issue I have with the Lithium has no place for a water bottle, but I ride with a pack so it's a non issue.
I really like my Lithium, so smooth, pedals well up, handles tech as well as any bike I've ridden, and it very capable on the downs.
Frames run $1850 plus shock.
There's a lot more to fit, handling, and suspension feel than just looking at the linkage configuration!
Possibility to put 2.6 rear tire doesnt mean that you must have 2.6 on the rear but you have much more room for mud when you have 2.4 or 2.5 tire on back.
Also those cables under BB looks fugly
I agree with you that a typical 2.6" set-up - usually on a 30 mm wide rim - has problems. My point is that it can work - and work better - but only with a few, very specific combinations of current products. This will change in time, so don't write off wide tires yet, only the current implementation!
The problem with the current implementation is many people experience excessive lateral deflection of wide tires on typical rims. Solutions can include stiffer casings, highly supportive inserts, and/or wider rims. The rim option usually adds the least weight, particularly with carbon rims, which concentrate most of their mass at the bead lips and have light central spans. Therefore, wider rims - especially carbon rims - enable riders to get the traction, comfort, and rolling resistance benefits of wider tires without the unwanted lateral deflection and with minimal extra mass.
In the past few years, most of my testing has involved 2.4" - 2.65" on the rear (limited by my frame) and 2.4" - 2.85" on the front (limited by my fork) on 30 mm - 45 mm rims. (These are actual widths; nominal widths are often way off the mark.) Lateral stability and ride quality kept improving with increasing rim with, but 45 mm is the widest decent rim I can find and the tread profiles of many tires became unsafe with extremely wide rims. My main set-up is 2.6" rear on a 36 mm rim and 2.6" - 2.85" front with the same rim or slightly wider. There's room for improvement, but it would definitely require a different tread profile and probably a different casing stiffness profile.
@makripper: I read that latest Eliminator 2.3" are more like 2.4. Spesh puts these on 30mm id rims
@ceecee: My favourite rear tire has been the 2.6" Kenda Nevegal2 on a 35 - 40 mm rim. The Nevegal2 and Hellkat have more tread wrap than anything else I've tested, so they can handle wide rims. Still undecided on my favourite front. The widest I can fit is a 3" Minion or Bontrager XR4/SE4 on a very wide rim. I wanted to see if this was way too much tire ... and I think I like it. Maybe. It's a lighter set-up than a 2.5" Double Down and the lateral stability is good at pressures low enough to work properly with the volume, so the downsides of such an extreme set-up are less than I expected. It has a bit of the "fat bike" handling feel, but my head-tube angle isn't super slack, so those factors somewhat offset each other with respect to steering agility. For anyone who thinks they don't like larger tires, I might recommend a Kenda Hellkat 2.6" on 40 mm rim for good casing performance with excellent lateral stability (since that tread pattern can handle the wide rim), but Kenda's DTC rubber compound is only average. My ideal front tire doesn't exist ... yet.
Soil here is dry and ranges from hardpack to sharp limestone scree. Compared to what people might be familiar with seeing from our neighbours in British Columbia, our trail speeds are typically higher and gradients are less steep. Imagine something halfway between Colorado high country and BC interior.
If the tread wrap on a Nevegal.2 2.2" is proportional to that of 2.6, putting the 2.2 on a comparatively wide 27mm iw ought to provide more of the wide rim experience without me having to shell out for new rims. I want to see if this is way too little tread. Hellkat lugs look fun too-a less hyperactive Vigilante. Thanks for the infos
Yep, it remains a back burner project. Tires are a high capital, low margin product, hence the concentration of products among a small number of vertically-integrated companies, plus a few major OEs that work with CST/Maxxis, Hutchinson, and, recently, a few other factories. In other words, a tough game to break into with lots of downside and little upside, so I continue to screw around with off-the-shelf options, occasionally cutting some lugs to mildly reshape a tread. Haven't even bothered to try cutting an existing tread and gluing it onto an existing casing. Existing projects are just so much more straightforward - and profitable.
Anyway, the relationship isn't linear and the tread pattern usually changes between sizes, so I don't think the 2.2" on a 27 mm rim will be equivalent to a 2.6". Plus, there's a lot more to it than just the aspect ratio - if it was just about the aspect ratio, we might as well put a 33 mm cyclocross tire on a 23 mm rim! Also, I'm not sure the tread wrap is proportionate; some people have said the wrap on Kenda's 2.4" tires isn't above average, while the 2.6" Nevegal2 and Hellkat definitely have more than average.
A 2.2" tire on a decently wide rim will have sufficient lateral stability at low pressure, but that low pressure stability isn't very useful when there's insufficient casing height to protect from bottoming out - and maybe a shallower tread? You could use a very stiff casing or an insert, but if you're going to add that kind of weight and stiffness, you might as well use a larger tire on a larger rim. It's about finding the optimal balance of limiting factors between lateral stability, bottom-out protection, handling, weight, rebound energy management, and - particularly for rear tires - casing shear collapse. 2.2" is definitely too small (limiting factor: bottom-out) and 4" is definitely too large (rebound energy, weight, and maybe handling, though maybe that could be addressed addressed via reduced steering trail). Still trying to figure out where the optimum lies between those bounds, but, as you've noticed, I've found some moderate improvements to typical set-ups and I'm not trying that hard to push beyond off-the-shelf solutions.
I'm not a fan of this bike for a number of reasons, but at least the geo numbers seem perfectly reasonable and relatively contemporary.
-20mm front shock mount extension
+2 degrees actual seat tube angle
(All nicely rounded bs numbers but you get the idea)
And that's not to mention the same length chainstay on every size, which is weak.
At your height (mine too, I'm taller than you), you can't complain about everything not fitting you. Pants, shoes, cars, bikes, nothing is built for us. Support the brands that do care about us and don't stress about the ones that don't.
"we are the only company using the mostly unheard of, yet legendary CBF suspension design".
That's not true, the CB literally stands for Canfield Brothers, and Canfield Brothers Bikes also employ the CBF. It makes it sound like they're trying to take all the credit.
Weird that they'd use the "only company" verbiage, but from what I've seen/heard, Revel has a pretty good relationship with the Canfield dudes - I doubt it's intentional.
Also not sure how I feel about the domain on the gx build for a 6k dollar bike, but I wasn't expecting a great "value" from a more boutique brand like this anyway. There's always the 2.1 damper upgrade. Also interesting how conservative the numbers still are. I think that makes this seem like it could be a great "aggressive trail" bike, but compared to a lot of enduro bikes on the market, it does feel conservative, which does make it a good pick for someone like me that just wants a good trail bike that can cover me when I write checks my skills are not able to cover. FWIW I do love my rascal and have absolutely drank the CBF kool-aid.
Are you telling me not everyone races for a living all-day every-day? That straight-line speed, plow-ability, and fire-road "efficiency" aren't the only things that matter? Doesn't everyone want only the newest, non-"dated" shit even when it's not ideal? What-evs, boomer. Long and slack AF, or bust!
I can't decide if this should be touted, or wonder why it wasn't that way already... I mean, it's definitely a nice change, but it's not uncommon anymore, kinda the status quo.
Dh makes up for dated seat angle.
Wasn't it not to long ago that PB had pictures with the chain run through the RD wrong? They fixed for the ride, but used the pictures anyway.
I'm the first to say I hate under the BB routing, but having had a ton of different bikes, it was something I was willing to deal with for the performance of CBF.
I have a Ranger and seen a few Rascal out on the trails, none have loops that big.
The Rascal if I'm not mistaken has a clamp for the cables, they don't get pulled out.
Ranger is short enough travel a clamp isn't needed. Going to assume the Rail has a clamp as well based on the travel numbers. So again cables being pulled out is not an issue.
Or Ibis-style where they have a splined piece that optionally slips onto the BB shell? That's ok, and actually counts as having [optional] tabs, IMO.
Bashless isn't be 100% fine for me, I know from experience of buying a bike without a bash, and the repeatedly fixing chains that got plates crimped together by unavoidable rocks so they didn't articulate anymore. Promptly got a crank that could mount a bash-ring and proceeded to beat that up instead of chains.
Looks like they hit it out of the ballpark again...
How tall are you and what's your preferred seat-tube length?
I'm the same height, with average proportions, and I'd be max'd out with a 185 mm dropper on a 470 mm seat-tube, providing I use a low-profile saddle and 170 mm cranks, so I should be able to fit a 200 mm dropper on a 455 mm seat-tube. Let's call it 450 mm to be safe.
Are you using long cranks, a high-profile saddle, or maybe you like a lower than typical saddle height for your inseam?
Regardless of that, including most existing models and new releases for 2022 this is on the longer side for seattube lengths on a size large. It takes away the ability to upsize for people who want to, and on a bike like this you definitely need to. The math just ain’t mathing on your average numbers and the trend, I’ll believe it when I see an excel chart.
Do you ride flat pedals? Flat pedal users often prefer a lower saddle height. Combined with your shorter legs, we may have found the explanation for our discrepancy.
I've had under-BB routing for about 5 years now, never snagged or smashed a cable/hose. It's one of those things that ppl like to bitch about online but never actually happens. If I screw up going over a log/ledge the chainring takes the beating while the cables are either protected or just flex out of the way.
About that picture... some of these internally routed under-BB-cable bikes do sometimes slowly "suck" housing from the handlebar to the BB, which can be a little annoying. My friend's Intense will sometimes have a big loop of housing after a ride that wasn't there before. Might be a VPP thing, since it's never happened on my horst link bike. Idk.
Seems like experience with a demo fleet of these exact bikes is pretty damn relevant...
Price point is $$$$ considering Revel is a pop up niche brand
Suspension platform is solid though (DW link essentially, dont care what you say, the COO works closely with Weagle)
This is basically like buying an IBIS Mojo, but from a company with fresh roots...meh