Review: The Revel Rascal V2 is a Live Wire Trail Bike

May 15, 2024
by Matt Beer  

Words by Matt Beer
Photos by Max Barron


The lines between bike categories continue to blur, but somewhere in between an overbuilt cross-country machine and a lightweight enduro steed you’ll find the Revel Rascal V2 - a trail whippet that is intended to be equally as enjoyable uphill as it is on the way down.

As the name suggests, this is the second iteration of the Colorado-based brand's 29" wheeled trail bike. Carrying over is a dual-link design with the goal of transferring power to the rear wheel at all points in the 130mm of travel. That calls on carbon construction to balance the weight versus stiffness across five frame sizes. Minor tweaks to the geometry steepen and slacken the angles bring the bike up to date.

Rascal V2 Details

• Full carbon frame
• Wheel size: 29"
• 130mm rear travel, 140mm fork
• CBF dual-link suspension design
• 65.5° head angle
• 76° seat angle (LG)
• 436mm chainstays
• Weight: 14.2 kg / 31.30 lb (size L)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Price: $5,999 - $10,499 USD
revelbikes.com
Starting with either a flashy gold or deep purple paint, the Rascal build kits begin at a loftier price of $5,999 USD with base-level SRAM/RockShox components. The sky's the limit in terms of build kits which top out at $10,499. If none of those float your boat, you can custom build your own frame kit using air shocks from Fox or RockShox.


Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron





Contents


bigquotesThe Rascal is a strong and agile trail ninja. You’ll be rewarded with speed for being precise in where you pump and jump. Miscalculations aren't taken kindly, though. Matt Beer





Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron

Frame Details

Looks shouldn’t matter when it comes to performance equipment, like mountain bikes, but they do because we pay money for them. The Rascal’s straight lines and color-matched carbon links should meet most people’s tastes.

Revel has paid attention to what the people want, especially when it comes to water bottle mounts inside the front triangle. Secondary mounts on the outside of the downtube allow for second bottle or bikepacking accessories. The XXL frame even makes room for a third on the underside of the top tube.

Around the rest of the frame, thoughtful additions such as fully-guided internal cable routing, universal derailleur hanger (or SRAM Transmission) compatibility, and a mud guard for the linkage are thoughtful additions to the V2. Absent from the Rascal are any geometry or chainstay length flip-chips or shock progression adjustments. The frame is a set-and-forget full time 29er.

Solid collet-style pivot axles existed on the original Rascal and it’s easy to see why they carried over to the V2. Those remained tight and quiet through the review. The only areas that raised eyebrows were the cable routing, which runs mighty close to the rear tire and the rubber frame guards that ended up losing their adhesion.

Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron
Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron




Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron

Suspension Design

Dual-link designs are not all the same. Revel has licensed the Canfield Balance Formula (CBF) and features two short, co-rotating links to marry the front and rear triangles. At the top of the seatstay, a separate pivot is home to a clevis mount to drive the shock.

This arrangement produces high levels of anti-squat and anti-rise throughout the 130mm of travel, averaging around 120 and 100%, respectfully. Those numbers lead to a firm pedaling platform and neutral geometry under braking.

The shallow progressive leverage curve leads to a supportive ride throughout the travel. The Rascal plays well with an air shock, however, a helping hand from an extra volume spacer or two may be needed to reduce bottom-outs.

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Geometry

In the First Ride, I sounded like a broken record talking about the sharp handling of the Rascal’s 65.5-degree head tube angle. While I found the 140mm fork lined up well for the Rascals intentions, it’s worth pointing out that bumping it up to 150mm won’t void your warranty.

Helping this thing turn on a dime are the 436mm chainstays. That length seems suited to the size large I rode, and the two smaller frames, however, taller riders might find the short rear end a touch unbalanced.

The saving grace, at least while seated on climbs, is that the seat tube angle tips forward ever so slightly as the frame’s front triangle length increases on the XL and XXL.




Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2023
Price $9199
Travel 130
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 140mm
Headset Cane Creek 40 Series, IS52/IS42mm
Cassette Sram X01 Eagle 10-52T
Crankarms Sram X01 Eagle Transmission, 170mm, 32t
Bottom Bracket Sram DUB BSA 73mm
Rear Derailleur Sram X01 Eagle Transmission
Chain Sram X01 Eagle Transmission Flattop
Shifter Pods Sram AXS Pod Ultimate Controller
Handlebar Trail 1 Crocket Carbon 25mm
Stem Trail 1 Viking Alloy Stem 40mm
Grips Trail 1 Farlow Gap
Brakes Sram Code RSC 180/180mm rotors
Hubs Industry Nine Hydra 148 Boost
Rim Revel RW30 V2 Carbon
Tires Continental Kryptotal-Fr, 29x2.4, Trail Casing, Endurance Compound Front / Continental Xynotal Trail Casing 29x2.4 Endurance compound, Rear
Seat SDG Radar
Seatpost Bike Yoke Revive 185mm



Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron






Test Bike Setup

Figuring out the Rascal's strong suit didn't take any time at all - it's picking up speed by pumping through sections and transmitting pedal strokes into power. Everything about the Rascal is sporty, very sporty, including the steering.

Switching to a higher bar and longer stem would relieve some weight on the front wheel. That calmed down the twitchy direction changes to my liking. To each their own.

The Continental Trail casing/Endurance compound tires weren't too hot in the cold and wet winter slop. I ran as low as 18 psi in the front and 21 in the rear before swapping out to an equally light, yet tackier set of tires.

After a few touchdowns to both ends of the suspension components on the initial rides, I added volume spacers all around. The fork arrived with zero tokens. I added two and shortly after plugged in another token, settling around 90 psi for 15% sag.

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Matt Beer
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Age: 37
Height: 5'10" / 178 cm
Weight: 170 lb / 77 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mattb33r
At the back end, the shock was set to 175 psi which equated to roughly 27% sag. The single token wasn’t enough in the Super Deluxe, in fact, neither was two. The shock performed well but I did tag the end of the stroke frequently. Higher pressures were experimented with, although those began to detract from the small bump performance.





Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron

Climbing

Point the Rascal uphill and it won’t hang around. Keen and energetic, it’ll encourage you to get up out of the saddle and keep the speed going on undulating trails.

Technical climbs can be tackled because power gets to the rear wheel efficiently, however, you’ll want to pick lines with shallower angles and fewer lumps that can throw off your balance. The shorter chainstays and wheelbase, which make the Revel so exciting to ride elsewhere, can pose a limit on steeper climbs, especially while in the saddle.

If you find yourself in front of one of those hills that's closer to a wall than a road, reaching for the climb switch will be the right call. The seat tube angle is neither overly slack for this bike category, nor is it the steepest. Tall riders interested in an XL or XXL Rascal will likely appreciate that this number increases north of 76 degrees to push weight further forward while seated.

Together, the respectable weight, compact geometry, and a strong suspension platform mean that it’s anything but sluggish uphill, but those hellish climbs will require scooting up on the saddle and crouching foward to keep the front wheel down.


Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron

Descending

Straight up, the Rascal might be one of the most impressive bikes to enter the stable when it comes to bringing life to most unassuming pieces of trail. It whips through tight corners, builds speed on command and handles smoother descents commendably.

You have to keep your wits about when charging and manage downhill expectations from the tight geometry and 130 millimeters of travel. Even though the rear suspension handles most heavy hits well, there will be consequences for bashing your way through sections. This isn’t an enduro bike or even a sendy trail bike, so take your time and enjoy the downhill. Calculate a route because smooth is fast. Find the side hits because straight lines mean less tomfoolery.

Expert riders looking to gain excitement over other brutish bikes will have no trouble turning the trails into a playground. For some less experienced riders, the tight wheelbase of the steep-ish head tube angle and shorter chainstays will expose the Rascal’s quick handling.

When pushing the limits of the Rascal’s comfort zone, the frame doesn’t wince too hard. The carbon frame and wheels have a suitable amount of stiffness and flex for a sharp handling trail bike.

We did lose some of the rubber protectors, which already ran a bit short. Thankfully the chain don’t knock around enough to cause a major concern and the cables stay quiet. The brake hose takes a precariously close route to the rear tire and under the BB, however, it remained intact and out of harm's way during the review.

Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron




Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron
Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron


Technical Report


Trail One Crockett and Viking Stem: Behind the big logos and trail kickbacks, the 35mm diameter carbon Crockett bar from Trail One has common angles of 5 degrees up and 8 degrees back. The 20mm rise was on the lower side for my taste when matched with the short stack height of the Rascal, but a 35mm rise option exits as well. Their CNC'd Viking stem lies in the middle of their two other handlebar holders. More material been removed from their fancier Rockville stem. Surprisingly, 40mm is the longest stem option that Trail One makes.

Revel RW30 Carbon Wheelset: Fusion-Fiber is Revel's term for thermoplastic technology used in their carbon rims. These RW30 wheels are built on the buzzy Industry Nine Hydra hubs using 28 double-butted Sapim spokes. That builds up to a claimed weight of 1,850g. For the purposes of the Rascal, the RW30s rode had a bit of snap to them, but never a sting.

Continental Trail Tires:I've ridden both of these treads before and found they performed well beyond their intended drier conditions, however, they were of the SuperSoft, DH casing. I expected that the lighter Trail casing and firm Endurance compound would rival a Maxxis EXO+/Maxx Terra combo, but that wasn't the case. I've noticed that Continental tires tend to be very slippery out of the box, so I gave them a good gravel slalom break in but that never changed their performance. They were downright unrideable on wet rocks, even at sub 20 psi pressures, and persisted to glance off roots.

Revel did state that this particular bike went together before the specified front, Soft compound tire was available. Regardless, that wouldn't change my feelings about the rear tire. Even for a bike with a heavy focus on efficiency, transferring power in wet conditions was challenging.




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Which Model is the Best Value?


Carbon this, that and the other - do you need those premium components? Usually not. You will need a carbon Rascal frame though since there are no alloy options here. Custom building your own would be one way to go, however more value lies in the complete bikes.

The most affordable Rascal build is the SRAM GX kit at $5,999. It's a solid choice, but why not take advantage of the Rascal V2’s UDH updated frame? $500 more earns you the GX Transmission version of that same build, bringing a serious improvement in shift quality and durability.

In that list of parts, you’ll find the adjustable Super Deluxe Ultimate shock and Lyrik Select+ fork. You still get the Charger 3 with all the same clickers as a Lyrik Ultimate, just without the Buttercups or fancier bushings.

Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro alloy wheels and a Highline 7 dropper get the job done, but add more than 200g versus the Revel RW30 carbon rims and BikeYoke Revive on the pricier builds.

Lastly, the Code R brakes don’t have the same modulation or overall power as the Code RSC. That might be more of a concern on an enduro bike. For the Rascal’s intentions, they’ll do just fine.

One asterisk tagged onto this GX Transmission option is that, unlike all of the other builds which are available online, you’ll have to order it through a Revel dealer.





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Revel Rascal V2
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Transition Smuggler

How Does It Compare?

The Rascal provides a bit more cushion than the shorter-travel (120mm) Santa Cruz Tallboy, but doesn’t necessarily descend more confidently. I’d chalk up the majority of that secure, “in-the-bike” characteristic to the higher stack and lower BB drop on the Tallboy. Does that take away from the playfulness though? For sure. If the Tallboy is the downhiller’s cross-country bike, then the Rascal is the dirt jumper's cross-country bike with a snappier quality about it.

Crossing over with the Rascal’s 130 and 140mm of travel is the Transition Smuggler Carbon. That’s about where the similarities end though because the Smuggler is a lightweight, hard-charging, short-travel trail bike.

Singing a similar tune to the Tallboy, the Smuggler has a taller stack, longer chainstay length, and more progression. The head angle has also been knocked back a half degree, leading to a longer wheelbase. Granted, it didn’t get jammed up in tighter corners, but I felt a little stretched out on the size large (485mm reach).

For those riders caught in between the usual size gaps of 460 (MD) and 485mm (LG) frame reaches, Revel’s (and Santa Cruz’s) sizing overlaps well with their size large typically landing on the 470mm-ish mark.

The downside to such a capable, yet svelte descender, like the Smuggler, is that you can often push the limit too easily. That can land yourself, or your wheels, in trouble, whereas the Rascal doesn’t overstep its realm.




Revel Rascal V2 - Photos by Max Barron

Pros

+ Power is transferred well from the pedals to the rear wheel
+ Suspension generates speed from body inputs exceptionally well
+ Sharp and agile handling brings excitement to all types of trails

Cons

- Becomes skittish on steeper trails (up and downhill)
- A few components will keep you on the edge of control (easy to change for personal preference)
- No geometry adjustments or size-specific chainstay lengths


Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Rascal’s 130mm travel and conservative geometry place it in what I'd call the 'traditional' trail bike category, because it’s more than a downcountry bike but it’s not an aggro trail bike either.

What it definitely is though, is one of the most rewarding bikes I’ve ridden when it comes to producing speed. That will suit riders who don’t want to let up when there are short uphill bursts - flowing, rolling terrain is where it absolutely shines. 
Matt Beer







Author Info:
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Member since Mar 16, 2001
375 articles

140 Comments
  • 49 0
 There was a time when head angles >= 65.5° dominated Champery.
  • 17 2
 indeed! my old sb5.5 had a 66.5 HTA and it never held me back once. it was better on the climbs than my ripley and better on the descents than my capra. still one of my all time favorite rigs
  • 4 0
 @twonsarelli: I also loved my 5.5, especially with a coil and progressive spring. Was also sub 30 lbs, with pedals, on an XL frame.
  • 5 0
 @Hookem34: totally. i got lucky and the 11-6 from my gen 1 insurgent was easily re-configurable. also got push's damper kit for the lyrik i had on there. same as you, it was super light considering it was quite a burly build. in 2021 i 'upgraded' to a 130LR and even though it was good bike, it never felt as good as the old 5.5 and i sold it after just 1 season
  • 27 1
 Yeah, it is funny to go back and read reviews from 6-10 years ago. The part that is a bit damning of the "expert opinion" in the reviews is when they say that that the, for example, 66 or 67 degree head angle is "plenty stable" without falling prey to the "sluggishness" of something radical like 65.5. Now, just a few short years later, that same 65.5 degree angle is "steep" and "twitchy". At each phase of the incremental move towards longer/lower/slacker bikes, there seems to be a desire amongst the expert class to pretend that bikes have finally arrived at the perfect point. It really makes you respect the few, brave, people who were already doing the modern numbers years ahead of time, even though those numbers were considered to be radical overkill at the time.
  • 7 0
 So your saying it needs and angle set and a 150 fork...
  • 3 0
 @twonsarelli: I rented one of those in Whistler years ago and agree, it was the best all around bike I've ever ridden, rode the valley trails with big climbs and did some park stuff, did at all, poppy, sporty, climbed great.
  • 1 0
 @thekaiser: Not to mention what the all the top EWS guys were racing over 5 years ago which were HA's around 65-66, I'm sure a 2017 Sam Hill would be just as dominant today as he was back then.
  • 5 0
 @RadBartTaylor: spot on. most of the fastest times i've ever put down were on that bike, including places like downieville, which is super fast and rowdy. on the flip side, i did multiple 70+ mile rides on that thing and it never let me down on long climbing sections. the only bike that's come close to giving me the same fizz is my current stumpy. it feels very energetic and even though it has 10mm less rear and 20mm less front travel than the 5.5, i think of it as the spiritual successor, at least as far as my current stable goes.
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: hah - funny, I have a Stumpy Evo now and I friggin' love it for many of the same reasons, I run it in the high BB position with steeper HTA and it reminds me a lot of that Yeti too....but I may downsize to the std. Stumpy to get a bit more sportiness back.

I have it built up with lightweight carbon wheels, lighter trail tires and generally a lighter build but I think a std. Stumpjumper with a light build if I could get it under 30 lbs would be ideal.
  • 5 0
 @RadBartTaylor: I've actually got both the standard stumpy and the evo at the moment. i bought the evo first, as a replacement for my highlander 150 (which was a great descender but a total lump on the climbs). i thought the evo pedaled as well as the 130LR, to be honest (but neither of them as well as the 5.5). then, i swung a leg over the standard stumpy and was blown away by how rapid it felt on the pedals. the evo currenly has a cascade link and a 38/X2 combo on there, so I've beefed it up a bit compared to the stock builds. with pedals and accessories in the downtube, it's like 33-34 pounds.
for the little stumpy, i got a custom tune on the shock and upgraded from a 34 to 36. i have a set of roval controls with XC tires, and when i slap those on with some eggbeaters, it is at about 27 pounds. alternatively, i have a set of ibis S35 wheels with minions and I pop those on (plus some mallet E pedals) and it's more like 29 - but i get fewer flats and it still totally slays.
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: sounds like a perfect setup.....I have a 170 Lyric on mine with Hayes Dominions but run Noble XC wheels with some Ardent / Ardent Race off the XC bike, its Alum frame and it's 33-35 lbs as is. I had it built up as a enduro race bike but started to transition to something I could pedal more and it morphed into Up-duro setup it is now. Do you prefer the 36 on the std. Stumpy? What is the travel set at?
  • 2 0
 @RadBartTaylor: they're so versatile, it's amazing. i know we're risking more punctures with light tires but they change the feel so much!
i put a 140 air spring in the 36 (it was 160 on the 130LR), even though it was tempting to go 150. i like the stock geo and didn't feel like i needed to increase the stroke on the fork. initially i thought it might be a bit under powered for downieville but it isn't at all. it actually is so much fun, even in the rough stuff, because of how agile it is
  • 1 0
 @thekaiser: Be awesome to test ride back to back some of those bikes with something like this to compare...

Be interesting if that test ended up modifying the opinion on this new bike. OR... if the memory of how that older bike used to ride would change?

Sometimes it's better to just have that memory rather than test how accurate it is!! Smile
  • 2 0
 @thekaiser: may be so, but wagon wheels and offsets also come into play. HA doesn’t dictate a bike’s “slugishness” in it’s entirety…
but I will have to say that’s it’s just funny how opinions are things that don’t always stand the test of time ;p
  • 2 0
 @RadBartTaylor: I'm running full XT, Lyrik and trail tires on some very light carbon wheels on an S3 stumpjumper and it's 27.5 lbs
  • 2 0
 @twonsarelli: @RadBartTaylor ... I had and EVO, loved it and may get another eventually. Currently my daily trail bike is a Stumpy 130. I have Ohlins TTX air rear shock and and Ohlins 36 at 150mm on front with EXO+ tires fr/rr. Perfect trail machine for most everything. My enduro'ish bike that replaced the EVO is a Scor 4060 at 160 front and rear
  • 1 0
 @bman33: Funny, I am in the process of downsizing to a regular stumpjumper from an alloy EVO. I had the EVO set up with a Lyrik (push coil converted), and a MRP Hazard. Kind of a tanky build even with carbon hoops, came in around 36ish pounds. Looking forward to a lighter overall trail bike. If I find the stock shock on the regular stumpy isn't up to par , I can run a super deluxe on it. Saw that Flow Mtn Bike had one setup that way a few years back.
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: Couldn't agree more. That bike was FAST! i wouldn't have called it playful, but that Infinity kept that rear wheel glued to the ground and it could just carry speed. I LOVED that bike, but in the PNW, that Press Fit BB would creek to no end. Could never get that bike quiet in the Winter so I sold it. Still, consider finding a used one for summer trips as it truly could do anything quite well.
  • 1 0
 @calvinjp: I must say I have a RockShox Super deluxe on my Scor and I've been very impressed with that shock.
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: glad to hear I’m not the only one. I have a lot of times on technical trails I haven’t been able to touch since my 5.5. Unfortunately I had two break under warranty but they were so good all around. Able to go fast in the chunk but you could really get it through tight spots as well. I had an XL, crazy looking at the difference in wheelbases from then to now on similar bikes - roughly 1220 vs 1300.
  • 24 2
 Being a size medium rider for pretty much every bike, I don't care about this as much, but I can see how for other sizes the non-size specific chainstay lengths would be frustrating.
  • 10 1
 Arguably the most frustrating thing there is about being an XL height guy looking at bikes
  • 7 2
 @stormracing: it’s a shame. Luckily brands like Forbidden and Norco got you!
  • 10 8
 If you're interested in a bike like this and want larger chainstays on bigger frames, may i introduce you to a rare, little known bike called the specialized stumpjumper
  • 9 0
 @arrowheadrush: is that European, I’ve never heard of it
  • 13 3
 Tall folks are getting hosed by companies trying to save $ with M chainstays bolted to XL / XXL front triangles.

When chainstays dont scale up the front wheel wants to drift/tuck. Its scary AF to go BACK to a bike with shorter chainstays after riding one with properly scaled (or closer to properly scaled) chainstays - thats when it hits you how sketchy it was all along.

Let's take a look at how out of whack these Rascal chainstays are:

M = 451 reach / 436 chainstay

XXL = 528 reach / 436 chainstay (510 chainstay would be proportional to the M ratio!!)

FIVE HUNDRED AND TEN MM

Conversely, if the M had the same reach/chainstay ratio as the XXL it would sport 372mm chainstays (think BMX bike)
  • 3 0
 And that's why as a L/XL rider the longer rear ends on Banshee and Giant bikes along with usually higher stack heights never bothered me.

Though, it is a bummer we have to ignore certain brands because they seem to ignore a certain percentage of their customer base optimizing geometry better.
  • 7 1
 For the longest time I loved the short chainstays on my Kona Process. Super playful. Then I got on size specific on my XXL transition. Holy moly, I didn't realize what I was missing climbing and descending!
  • 1 0
 @ethanrevitch: In theory only - Norco has zero XL (downhill / park) bikes and Forbidden has zero S4's at this moment. Killer gear - just nothing in stock for taller types
  • 3 1
 @stormracing: the most frustrating thing about being 6'9" looking at bikes is hearing guys complain about XL options.
  • 1 1
 @Blownoutrides: same goes for smaller sizes, remember XS/S bikes with 400mm reach and 430mm chainstays. Also, today short people better like big bikes, considering these 430mm minimum reach...
In the past, front centers were so short, there was only benefits in trying to keep the chain stays as short as possible.

Now reach and HA have grown so much, at 190cm my geo review process is CS (435-455) and SA (75-7Cool allow steep climbing? Then a reasonable front center please, and with 64° HA I don't want more than 470-495 reach. I'll use a 50mm stem instead of 30 if I feel cramped.
I'm often looking at M size bikes now...
  • 1 0
 The STA is .5° steeper though so that should be enough to keep XL and XXL riders satisfied.

Jokes.

The lack of care and effort is astonishing, and brands have the nerve to call it a feature.
  • 2 2
 @arrowheadrush: I had one and the flex-stays snapped on ride #1
  • 5 1
 Actually, I’m really happy that there is a handful of companies left, that do not equip their XL frames with chainstays that rival the top tube in length. This clearly is personal preference, but since first getting on a Canfield I always felt that the other manufacturers are getting it wrong. To me, size specific chainstays are fine - if they start at 410mm and top out at 435mm…
  • 1 0
 @ethanrevitch: add Banshee to the mix. Long chainstays, and swappable rear dropouts for an extra 10mm, you can get those things in a perfect spot.
  • 3 0
 @Blownoutrides: I'm tall too, and i'd love 455mm or bigger chainstays, but i dont think scaling it linearly with reach is totally accurate. I'm not sure what the answer is, but i don't think its that.

that said, i'd be more than happy to test a bike with equal reach and CS length out of pure curiosity.
  • 1 0
 @Blownoutrides: damn that sucks, i've only heard of that happening to 1 other person but they had basically no air in their shock. I've been riding mine hard for 3 seasons and its been great. Did specialized cover it under warranty?
  • 1 0
 @arrowheadrush: If you have never tried a CBF rear, Horst link on the Stumpjumper isn’t even close. The CBF almost feels like magic. Good pedal platform, I stopped using the climb switch. Provided plenty of support and tracked well. Given with those high anti rise numbers, I would of expected more suspension pack on the brakes, but I never felt that.
  • 1 0
 @Comatosegi: im no suspension expert, but the current stumpy isn't horst link, its flex stay single pivot. Its a great platform and a super lively and poppy. Although I've never tried a CBF bike to compare
  • 1 0
 @arrowheadrush: Your right b/c of the flexstay it isn’t a 4 bar Horst link, but I think that is the only change to the overall design layout, where instead of a bearing, there is a flexstay.
  • 19 2
 I like Matt's reviews and have zero doubt that he's forgotten more about riding bikes than I'll ever know. But having been on a Rascal for a couple years now and finding it basically perfect for tight techy relentlessly rooty but often rolling East Coast singletrack, I'm reminded again of how bikes that feel spot on in one place just don't fit well elsewhere and vice versa. Would love to see Pinkbike source reviews from more regions more often, to get a different perspective on how bikes ride in a lot of the places we do that aren't Squamish/Whistler etc. (If I recall, the review for the OG Rascal was in Pisgah, and it captured what's so good about that bike for this kind of terrain.)
  • 6 0
 Fully agree. I get when you're in PNW that's going to be your lens and there's nothing wrong with that per se, but many of these short travel reviews pick on the fact that they have short wheelbases or aren't slack enough, but if you're riding Upper Midwest or East Coast rock soup single track, you don't really want or need a raked out super slack bike. Those are the people this bike is really for more than most of the enduro sleds reviewed here.
  • 16 0
 @ecwecw, fair point, but it's worth noting that there's great XCish riding in the Squamish area, and down in Bellingham where many of us are based. Yes, there are also steep gnarly trails, but for bikes like this and other shorter travel offerings we do our best to test them on trails that are appropriate for their intentions. There's a good selection of trails within close proximity that feel a lot more like the East Coast or Pisgah then you would think.
  • 8 0
 @mikekazimer: yeah, I can appreciate that, and I like the addition of the Trailforks loops in recent reviews. (And I know it's an impossible task for any publication to represent where all its readers ride). With regards to the NE, part of what makes our riding unique - even when compared to similar terrain elsewhere that I've ridden - is just how much slow-speed jank we have, as well as really narrow trees. So a trail bike that borders on what Matt called twitchy and that puts a premium on generating speed and responding to body movements wherever you can goes a long ways to making all that more fun. It's probably a big part of why the Rascal feels great around here (though at least for how I ride, I've found its suspension a lot better at soaking up chatter and at climbing traction than it sounds like he did.)
  • 8 0
 @ecwecw Online reviews are why so many people at my local trailhead in the town park show up on 170mm enduro bikes weighing 36lbs with a tube, two water bottles, air pump and multi-tool strapped to the frame for 57min ride averaging 5.9mph and 280ft of elevation.
  • 2 0
 @yupstate: This is so true it hurts.
  • 14 0
 I've got a v1 Rascal and it's been a damn near perfect bike for my area. Super fun little bike that made me think twice about just how long and slack everything has become.
  • 6 0
 Was looking for this comment. Same here, been riding mine for a few years now. Fun, poppy, and exciting on any trail. Has enough travel and stability to take on longer enduro descents. Weight is not a focus, so I like to run mine with heavier tire casings and 4 piston brakes and that really opens up the rowdier end of what it can handle. For me it's been the Goldilocks bike - I can take it anywhere from green trails to longer enduro tracks. It's not a slacked-out enduro rig, but I've been continually surprised how much it can handle.
  • 3 0
 Same. Have my V1 set up with a mezzer at 140 travel, a push 11-6, hayes dominion a4 brakes, and continental dh tires (for summer use, use maxxis exo in winter) and the bike can ride anything from rolling terrain to technical double black trails at mountain creek bike park. This is pretty much the bike to have if you could only have one bike
  • 13 0
 Because of my BMX background, I'm always disappointed when I see the T1 logo and realize the part isn't from Terrible One.
  • 11 2
 this review reads like Matt didn't really like the bike. All the positive words are forced out

CBF suspension is everything they claim, I though I had placebo effect after getting new bike, but I took my previous bike for a rip from big T and once back to Rascal it felt like my previous bike was a Walmart discount model Big Grin It is just on a totally different level. Canfield is a magician, and I really want to try one of their AL bikes as well now.

The only bike that ever came close to me in comparison to Rascal is Ibis RIPLEY, but Rascal still climbs better which is what I want as I suck at it Big Grin
  • 16 1
 "Straight up, the Rascal might be one of the most impressive bikes to enter the stable when it comes to bringing life to most unassuming pieces of trail."

Doesn't seem forced out to me? He quite clearly seems to think its a good bike for mellower trails.
  • 16 4
 I got that impression too. The Pinkbike testers don't seem to like bikes in the trail category unless they are basically mini-enduro rigs.
  • 6 1
 @BikeHancho: It's a consistent and weirdly skewed perspective. I wonder if it is just due to the highly technical areas they're used to riding. To read a review suggesting that a 31lb, 130mm travel bike with Kryptotal tires is a "cross country" bike....
  • 1 0
 @sdurant12: read the whole thing... duh Big Grin
  • 5 0
 get a canfield. you won't be disappointed. my balance was an eye opening bike to own.
  • 3 0
 The Canfields are soooo nice!
  • 1 0
 @sdurant12: Having tested out the new V2 as well it seemed far more capable on harder trails than I expected as well. I personally don't agree with the "good for mellower trails" comment.....but that's just my opinion! It's an amazing trail bike and it definitely felt pretty sendy....and I'm coming from a 2022 Slash!
  • 4 0
 I’ll second this. CBF is the real deal.i just got a new Canfield Lithium, and I’m a little leery of bro hype around suspension systems, especially after riding DW, which in my opinion is way overrated. But damn if the CBF doesn’t pedal efficiently and just float over the rough stuff. There is some wizardry involved. I’m surprised no one else has licensed it or has come up with anything close.
  • 3 0
 The kinematic curves shown in this article look like they were generated by a single pivot, so where's the special CBF sauce hiding?
  • 2 0
 @boozed: the magic is isolating suspension from brake and pedal forces.

My old process 153 was dramatically different. Rear suspension stiffened under heavy braking, you could feel the suspension fighting the chain when pedaling through a rock garden. My lithium is so, so much more predictable and composed in those situations.
  • 2 0
 @TheRamma: But that's not what the provided AS and AR plots show?
  • 3 0
 @boozed: you're completely right - I looked at the geometry and wondered how it's much different to a linkage driven single pivot. The instantaneous centre is pretty much where you'd mount a single main pivot and the brake is mounted to the same member as drives the shock, so you can't "play games" with anti rise.
  • 3 0
 @TheRamma: I’m also coming off a Process 153. I loved that bike, and I thought that suspension was also surprisingly efficient and supple. There’s a similar feel, but it’s not quite the same. It doesn’t have that same feeling of float in rough stuff that the Lithium does.
  • 3 0
 @boozed: I do not know much about kinematics and all this suspension magic, I've been told by friend who knows these stuff that CBF is just best, I tired it, confirmed for myself, and got the bike.

I go by the feel, it is easier to climb on this bike compared to everything I rode before, I feel like I have a lot of control bombing though the any type of trail, when I put power into the pedal, bike just takes off. My initial impression of the bike was like it has small motor and propels with assistance.

It's just hard to explain, especially if you come with desire to hate this bike without even trying it first.

Majority of companies simply dump a load of marketing bullshit on you, so you expect that Revel is no different, but I assure you, bike checks all the marketing check boxes Revel talks about. Also I have never met a person that would not like Canfield bike
  • 4 0
 @valrock: I agree with this 100. I don’t want to completely dismiss kinematic charts and geometry charts and whatever other data. I’m sure there’s some valid information in all that. But there’s theory, and then there’s practice. In practice, the suspension is pretty damn amazing. I don’t know about it feeling like it has a motor up hills and all that, but I can feel the efficiency compared to other bikes I’ve ridden.

And I’m with you regarding the marketing hype. I try to ignore it. I’ll get a bike I think I want to ride, and my general attitude toward any given suspension platform is, “Yeah, whatever. It will be fine.” But I’m telling you — everything I’ve heard so far is true.

And that’s not to say it’s the one and only good suspension platform out there, or that I will never buy anything else, but I’d say right now, it’s the best I’ve tried.
  • 2 0
 @boozed: "brake jack" (at least as I understand it, knowing that it's not a universally well-defined term) and pedal kickback aren't measured by AS/AR plots. AS/AR can be adjusted to alter a platform's susceptibility/resistance to those forces, but different suspension designs/bike designs have inherently different amounts of brake jack/pedal kickback, independent of calculated AS/AR. There are also various way to mitigate brakejack and pedal kickback without altering AS/AR.

Canfield has a long explanation on their site...
canfieldbikes.com/pages/cbf-suspension

FWIW. It also makes sense to just ride the bike. AS/AR are fairly crude calculations with a lot of limitations.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Yeah, I got the Lithium right as park season ended, and thought "boy, this is a better trail bike than the process." Just based on being able to float through rock gardens.

When bike park season came around, I was blown away by how much better the suspension was at behaving through steep rough stuff when braking.
  • 20 13
 The article doesn't mention that this bike was also engineered by one of the nicest dudes in the industry - noteworthy, IMO...
  • 11 0
 oddly contested comment
  • 6 0
 This would perfect for the Livewire classic
  • 2 0
 On the Revel website it states under FAQs for the Rascal that you cannot run a longer shock to increase travel. The stock shock is a 210X50mm. If you remove the spacer are you running a longer shock? It's the same shock, without a spacer to limit stroke. I've heard of people running 210x55's on Rascals. Has anyone here done it and how did it work?
  • 2 0
 I think a 55mm stroke would sub the seat tube, but a 52.5mm stroke clears and gives you 7mm more travel (137mm)
  • 1 0
 "If you remove the spacer are you running a longer shock?"

Yes.
  • 1 0
 @plustiresaintdead: agree to disagree
  • 1 0
 There is no movement on the front shock mount. So you could run a 2mm offset bushing making it a 212x55, then run a 150 fork and have a 150/143 Rascal, Geo be the same with more BB height.
  • 1 0
 @Caddz: I agree with you, but regarding what Revel meant on the FAQ. you could probably get away with 52.5 but warranty etc would be the issue.
  • 1 0
 @in2falling: Doing that would move both the upper and lower links closer to interfering with the frame which is something I'd be a bit nervous about, though it's difficult to tell how much clearance there is in the photos here.
  • 2 0
 @boozed: There is appears to be plenty of clearance on the Rascal. I put two offset bushing in reverse on my Ripmo and bumped the fork up to 170 to raise bottom bracket.
  • 2 0
 I have a V1 Rascal and I have found that, on anything other than on the very steep stuff, this bike is a fantastic all-around bike. The CBF suspension is active and efficient up and down. I found it hard to get tired after even 2-3 hours on the bike. My only gripe is that this version offers a mud guard for the rear pivot and not for mine.
  • 1 0
 there is a group on FB - Revel owners club or something like this. There is a dude that sells pretty nice 3D printed guard. You can prob find it on Etsy as well
  • 1 0
 “somewhere in between an overbuilt cross-country machine and a lightweight enduro steed you’ll find”… A trail bike Big Grin

I do feel that bikes have plateaued with much of the geometry, most bikes are very good angles wise these days and the harder part is finding the right sizing to allow the rider to integrate perfectly.

We need to step away from full carbon frames and get fully back on board with aluminium, there’s clearly no weight saving these days, and if you’re building a bruiser DH bike a little heft is your friend.
  • 1 0
 "I do feel that bikes have plateaued with much of the geometry, most bikes are very good angles wise these days and the harder part is finding the right sizing to allow the rider to integrate perfectly."

For sure. My 2019 bike was a fairly progressive new model at the time and I loved it from day 1. Now it's pretty normal in terms of geo and suspension characteristics and rides as well as ever. The problem now is that I like new bikes, but can't in any way justify one while mine is still just as good as anything coming out today.
  • 1 0
 Interesting comment RE: leverage curve, seems to be a digressive curve (not progressive), therefore you'd want to remove volume reducing spacers, not add them, as the leverage rate is falling through the travel, not increasing...
  • 1 0
 No, that's a progressive curve you're seeing - Vorsprung has a handy explainer that might help it make more sense: vorsprungsuspension.com/blogs/learn/understanding-leverage-curves.
  • 1 0
 Feels like Revel is on the verge of becoming a much bigger player in the market. With Santa Cruz now no different then Trek and Specialized...its nice to see some smaller companies stepping up to move the market forward.

Also I don't know how bike companies are going to handle a lack of innovation in geo over the next 5 or 10 years. It feels like we are there and now you buy a new bike because your old one wore out (rather than newest being greatest).
  • 1 0
 Normally they start a new ‘standard’ to rock the apple cart!
  • 1 0
 @DG370:

Yep, 28” wheels are going to be the best of both worlds, and oh btw, we now Are introducing boost+ wheels with a subscription service requirement…
  • 2 0
 The original Revel staff and owner have all left the company and Revel has been sold to two private equity companies, so it might turn out to be more of the same.
  • 5 1
 Gold. Always believe in your soul
  • 4 0
 You've got the power to know you're indestructible.
  • 2 0
 @vitaflo: ..Always believing....
  • 4 0
 sweet, no different than my sb130
  • 2 0
 Right? My bike is now 5 years old and still as good as anything currently on the market.
  • 1 0
 There was a demo day at my local spot and the bikes looked really sharp in person. I'm curious how the longer travel Revel Rail performs. The build I saw there for that bike looked really nice.
  • 2 0
 Come see us at Beaufort to find out! I have a few options for Rail demos too!
  • 4 0
 471 is perfect size medium IMO
  • 2 0
 Yes, more 470 frames please.
  • 1 0
 Agreed
  • 1 0
 I wish I could own Ranger and Rail 27, but I already have Session and can only afford one bike for everything else - so I got Rascal V1 for the price of a got damn frameset - it focken rips!!!!!!
  • 6 2
 A clevis link that long is going to absolutely eat shocks alive.
  • 5 0
 I had the V1 and it did, creaked all the time too, no matter what I did.
  • 3 0
 Not sure how the term "snappy carbon hoops" helps to convince people into buying these...
  • 1 0
 Burly trail bike weight, and yet it sounds like this is more skittish than some modern XC bikes. Also sounds like there are better options in this travel bracket (and price bracket).
  • 3 0
 Trail ninjas unite! Great review Matt!
  • 2 0
 The real rascal is the person who triggered my OCD with that opposing f/r valve stem alignment.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, bike is no longer legit according to the marketing bros. We are the only ones that saw it. haha
  • 3 0
 How does it compare to the commencal TEMPO?
  • 1 0
 I sold mine and bought a Neuron CF 8 complete bike, the whole bike cost less than this frame in my country. How does that work?
  • 1 0
 I sold this bike (V1) and bought a Canyon Neuron CF 8 , right now in my country the Revel frame cost more than a Neuron CF 8 complete bike. How does that work out?
  • 1 0
 What is it with manufacturers that can't make a frame protection that stays stuck on? Have they not heard of 3M?
  • 1 0
 Cool! is that the new Klein Rascal, paintjob is bit tame...oh wait, sorry I've been in a deep coma......
  • 3 1
 They are catching up to where Nukeproof trail bikes were in 2019.
  • 3 2
 is pinkbike getting the new vampire bikes cbf 3.0 platform to review?
  • 4 0
 Is anybody?
  • 2 0
 Its a super cool looking rig. I'm waiting for someone to build a cbf bike around a gearbox somehow.
  • 2 1
 how much did Yeti pay to get an ASR ad mid article?
  • 1 0
 Did he say what updates this new version got?
  • 1 0
 Apart from a UDH, nothing really looks the same as my 2019 Rascal V1.
  • 1 0
 The rear triangle is stiffer. Same upgrades the Ranger V2 has over the V1. Having been on all 4, it is a noticeable upgrade in rear support.
  • 1 0
 Seems like a noble Canyon Spectral 125 to me.
  • 1 1
 My Canyon Spectral 125 is much more capable and cost me $5k less!!
  • 1 0
 lol
  • 1 1
 Jumpcountry anyone ?
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