My main impression of the Rail 29 is fun
The Rail 29's favorite thing is cornering. It's easy to lean over and carve through flow trails, and it loves to change direction quickly for any and all side hits over rocks and roots.
Once I figured out just how little input it takes to turn the Rail 29, I started to lean into how much fun it is hopping over sections of trail. My riding style is on the lighter side, finding skipper lines rather than staying planted through the choppy stuff, and the Rail 29 played to my strengths quite well. I also loved that any small bumps on the trail could translate into very real airtime. It felt like keeping the bike on the ground would be keeping it from living up to its potential.
I hesitate to describe things using their opposite, but here we go: There's a category of long, heavy, modern enduro bike that I've been riding quite a bit lately. That category of bike feels like it has endless traction and can plow through any choppy line like a freight train, gathering speed until I hit the next corner and barely make the turn, thanks to the bike's seemingly unstoppable momentum. The Revel Rail 29 does not do that. Instead, it wants to take the high lines and feels less glued to the ground, breezing up and over obstacles rather than through them, but snapping easily through the corners. The rock crushy enduro bikes and the Revel Rail 29 are made for similar terrain and have similar goals, but accomplish those goals in very different ways.
I don't feel that the Rail 29 makes any true compromises, but it's worth mentioning that no single bike can have all
the ride characteristics, and the Rail 29 trades a degree of high-speed stability for its snappy handling and ability to play around. That trade-off is well worth it, in my opinion.
While it's not exactly meant to be an enduro bike, I did race the Rail 29 at the recent Galbraith Enduro here in Bellingham, WA, which featured a twisty mix of rocky, rooty, and pedally stages. When put against the clock, the bike came out about how I expected, about one second off the pro women's podium (and it was definitely me, not the bike, that lost that second). It's plenty capable of running just about any enduro stages, it just isn't quite as comfortable on the steep-and-rough as longer, slacker, more grounded rigs.
The CBF suspension does a good job of staying sensitive at the top of the stroke, absorbing chatter while still feeling supported. Even with high anti-squat and the bike's efficient, firm feel, I found the bike's energy level on the descents to be incredibly fun, not remotely unmanageable, and even better as speeds increased. I've wondered if I would feel the same way if the bike were heavier, as I've found similarly energetic but heavy bikes exhausting to ride in the past, but I think in that case, slowing the rebound on the shock would tone it down enough to keep it in the fun type of lively
zone. I'm also curious to see how the bike would feel with a coil shock.
I'd love to see what Revel can do if the young brand does decide to add an even longer
travel 29er to its lineup and fully enter the bike-park-capable enduro category, but for now, the Rail 29 is more than enough to impress.
Let's have more of that in general please Pinkbike?
I couldn't agree more about the comparisons. Very detailed and lots of bikes. Excellent!
I also prefer my daily driver to balance big-line ability with a more nimble, usable package.
Actually made me want to try a light „short“ trail bike with 27,5 wheels.
Not many bikes like that available anymore. Santa Cruz 5010.
Any other suggestions?
That said the Rail 29 is currently top of my list for my next "bigger" bike.
The Canfield lithium also has more tire capacity in the rear end, but does not have room for a water bottle inside the frame triangle.
These bikes run a touch large, at 6 foot with long arms I’m riding a medium.
How does the Lithium compare to other well known bikes? Have you owned a Ripmo ?
Unstable company, went out of business with no replacement parts
Uses cheapest frame bearings
No torque specs ( you have to guess how tight to tighten everything LOL)
Riot plagued frame alignment issues
Riot and Balance and plagued with cracked head tubes. My Riot cracked little after 2 years use and they told me tuff sh!t we have no replacement parts and would not warranty if they did.
Forgot to add all the poor Riot owners got stuck replacing the Cane Creek DBAirCS, shock should have never been put on the bike not enough leverage to drive it (harsh as hell with no LSC/HSC on). Probably did extensive testing in the parking lot and on the pump track LOL. And the other shocks they offered probably had to be replaced/rebuilt every other year from premature wear from frame alignment issues, that the knowingly shipped to everyone.
1) Can you get replacement Riot frame parts? Could you after 2 years of use? Did they have inventory to warranty replace frames or frame parts in 2018?
2) The knowingly shipped many mis-aligned frames, some really bad
3) They used/use cheap chinese frame bearings
4) Many many stories of Riot and Balance frames head tube/top tube cracking, they even warned about using a 10mm longer fork on the Riot. Probably because they knew head tube/top tube was weak and would crack?
5) No published torque specs. Did you guess the torque on your Lithium rebuild?
5) Cane Creek DBAirCS should have never been offered or put on the Riot
Yes I have a chip on my shoulder and had really bad experience with them and letting it be known.
Glad you are enjoying your Lithium, hope it lasts, don''t have any issues and they support you if you do.
I've rented a couple Revels as well, there's a dealer locally, and they ride very similarly, which is to say, well.
"If it failed within the 2 year warranty period, I would understand your situation a bit better"
Failed after 2 years and 2 months (1500 miles) of light trail riding.
Yes, the 2 year warranty period is wonderful example of how long they think their frames are going to last. Most bike mfg have a lifetime or at least a five year warranty.
"anyone else having issues with their balance frames? in our riding group everyone either has a knolly or a canfield and so far 4 of the 5 balance frames have cracked
one of the guys uses it pretty much for cross country only and the top tube cracked above the weld to the bottom tube, the others have hairline cracks around the shock mount welds and two of them the brace for the rear triangle started to contact the seat tube"
People are simply sharing their experiences, not hating.
"Canfield Bikes offers a Two Year Limited Warranty"
If it is such a new great company with great reliable frames why is the warranty still so short?
Please point out other bike mfg with a short 2 year warranties?
MTB: Aluminum Frame: 10 years
Everybody in this thread you posted is saying that Canfield took care of them when their bikes broke. Shit breaks. I broke my Kona frame recently, and they are not going above and beyond. They also aren't screwing me. They don't have any frames to replace it, and would only offer crash replacement if they did! I can't really expect an MTB company to offer reasonable prices (which Canfield does) and give everybody free frames out of warranty. SC? Sure. But you're paying for that upfront with a higher cost.
You should call the company, Lance answers the phone a fair amount of this time.
"Canfield Bikes offers a Two Year Limited Warranty"
"Failed after 2 years and 2 months (1500 miles) of light trail riding."
"Another Cracked Frame"
"Canfield has been impossible to get a hold of for the past 18 months now"
"reasonable prices (which Canfield does)"??
"paying for that upfront with a higher cost."??
Canfield Lithium ( 2 year warranty)
Ibis Ripmo AF (7 year warranty)
Yeah, I watched that video a while back. The dude comes off a bit like a whiny choad. He's being extra dramatic when Canfield tells him that the won't have frames until the end of summer. And makes it sound like they're telling "two different stories" because his shop (DTC Brand?) heard they would have new frames by then. That exact thing happened to me with Kona, a few weeks ago. And they're so much bigger of a company. He's also complaining about a frame lasting 4 years of park riding. He's also dishonest, saying they have been impossible to get ahold of for 18 months, and then shows you the communication they've had.
He's saying how much the company sucks, and glosses over Lance Canfield getting him so new linkages (no idea if it was free, discounted, or retail). Also manages to make getting free, nice pedals from Canfield into a passive-aggressive comment about the company getting rid of its stock (on pedals they sell to this day.) f*cking choad. I love how he points out all the crash damage on his bike and talks about how much he's crashed it. But the head tube was definitely from MaNuFaCtUrEr DeFeCts.
Frames have a lifetime expectancy. 4 years of mixed trail and park on an enduro/AM bike isn't terrible. It's more than I got from my Kona before it cracked, and I do very little park on it.
You should check the pricing on the Ripmo AF, they have big, red letters saying $50-100 in container surcharge fees will be added. The AF is one of the best values in MTB, and Canfield is matching it. Small, alloy focused companies like Banshee and Knolly come in at higher prices than Canfield when I recently compared (although not a huge amount). None of these companies are pricing like SC, which is the company whose warranty people seem to love.
Never dealt with Ibis, but I doubt they're just no questions replace a frame with a crack in it after two years of riding. Hard to call that a manufacturer's defect. Their warranty gives them lots of outs, and I bet they'll use them. Check the comment section here...
Lots of people giving really different experiences, many cracked their frames and didn't get a warranty! What almost no one ever says, who has a cracked frame, is "I rode the shit out of it, overforked, and it cracked after two years." Internet stories are best taken with a grain of salt, every manufacturer has them. Yours is just another.
Like I said, you should call Canfield. More effective than whining on the internet about Chinese bearings.
I expect we’ll see the industry as a whole start to move in this direction geometry-wise as well.
But yeah-I ride lots of steep stuff and don’t love bikes as long (5’9” and prefer reach between 450 and 460).
I had a previous generation Slash and loved the bike, but had to get a large for the reach I wanted (455ish) and standover was snug.
It just does all the things well. Every one.
If they don't tell the full story, what measurements do we have that does?
How do two bikes with the same leverage curve have different suspension forces, all other things being equal?
I wondered about this myself. The anti squat graph on the lithium is nothing special and pedal kickback is basically the same as the GG Gnarvana which is a burly horst link design. What are the objective differences in the CBF system that make it special? The instant center? Not bashing on it, just want to know what makes it different mechanically vs a well tuned Horst link.
Usually I’d say, that once you hit 6’4”, your first look should always be at the XXL.
Funny to describe relative to what it’s not a-la Hitchhiker’s guide’s "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."
I simply can't tell one stem from another. suffice to say, i love the way this stem looks.
The bars are my faves. They are similar to oneup, but I find them a little more stiff, which i prefer. That is not to say they are stiff bars, they are not, just stiffer than oneup, which were may favorite until I rode these in carbon.
I don’t like my latest purchase due to Velcro vs button but I’d still recommend them.
I even bought some of the 9” shorts to use for hiking and fly fishing.
Stem - mine was not made properly, the bottom half was marginally undersized and wouldn’t slide onto steerer tube. Sits on a shelf looking pretty aka paperweight. Pretty sure it was from the first run, hopefully qc is better now. Note; if you like to slam your stem the short one will hit your frame.
Carbon bar - stiff and a little harsh, scratches easily. Also on the shelf.
I put the stock Specialized 31.8 alloy bars and stem back on my bike. Deathgrips for life now.
Nope. Nope. Nope.
Because no matter how "easy" it is to push a housing or hose through, having to disconnect one end, and likely need to do a bleed, is never easier than just using zip-ties.
It's a nice idea, but the size of the connector seems like a problem to me.
Why does everyone have to want 490 reach then? brands are pulling their reach numbers back now - so now what?
Heated has a point, Several brands like Commencal are shortening their reach.
you obviously follow him to much lol chill out champ
But no other brand is currently shortening reaches. Actually, the opposite is true.
And I must know what I'm talking about as I'm one of the admins of the geometry database of another online bike magazine.
The Ripmo feels more sporty to me and comes alive quicker and it’s on the ready to attack position and this might be due to the geometry.
They both jump very well, the Ripmo pops out rocks or natural features easier than the CBF.
The CBF feels better landing the jumps and is more comfortable for longer rides.
CBF feels better braking, and is hard for me to explain.
Both are great, it comes down to preferences and the terrain you ride.
I have to wonder if that expectation of compromise says something about the common perception of what "pedals well" means. The common refrain is that more platform, more anti-squat, means it's going to "pedal well", and perhaps it feels that way on smooth parking lot tests or fire road climbs. But many of us ride trails where the climbs are decidedly not smooth, and if the platform is so firm as to be a detriment to traction when it matters, that's not "pedals well", that's just "pedals stiffly". "Pedals well" needs to be a combination of both platform (which doesn't not necessarily always mean more than 100% anti-squat) and traction, which it sounds like this bike has.
I know this probably came straight from Revel or CCS, but thermoset plastics ARE polymers, so saying "polymer-based glue" doesn't actually explain the difference. Pretty sure they are using a thermoplastic (also a polymer) epoxy, as thermoplastics are re-moldable; unlike thermosets which don't re-melt into a re-usable state.
But waaaaay too much word salad about a manufacturing technique that’s been used on bike frames and parts since the 1990’s.
Even the price is reasonable(ish) at 6k starting for a solid build kit (Santa Cruz, take note).
Also-some companies have abandoned this segment as their enduro specific bikes have gotten bigger-looking at you Trek.
My honest opinion: I MISS the way the CBF felt on the Canfield. It just felt so supportive. The Stumpy Evo does feel a bit lazy in comparison. I've found myself eyeing the new Revel Rail 29 or a Canfield Lithium. But damn, the SWAT box is so good to have!
I ended up on a Ripmo for situational/financial reasons but that low-BB anxiety definitely stuck in my head. Revel will forever be the bike that got away, still can't believe how well it cornered. I really hope they put out a dedicated mixed wheel bike in the future.
The RipMo has a springier, livelier quality that belies its big bike nature. The Revel has this sort of... flatline thing where you can pedal through things like you're on a rope. I don't want to say it makes them dead, it just makes them into a harmonic. I think if I rode on rocks I'd take the Revel platform and for loam/PNW the Ripmo. But it's splitting hairs, they're both incredible.
I haven't ridden this new 29'r Rail and it looks like an improvement.
Bike comparison notes: The Ripmo is two pounds lighter, it's huge. Ripmo yoke design is apparently hard on X2s, lots of shock maintenance, consider a coil if you are a lighter rider.
If you can do it, get an old DH bike and N+1
I wasn’t going flat out on every back diamond I could find but took it down every open blue trail and at Trestle last July, played around on the dual slalom, stretches of one or two black diamond trails (Rainmaker and Boulevard?) and I never ran out of travel.
Source: my 2020 balance does literally all the things you've mentioned and is super pedally for a alloy/coil/170mm bike. Its like a slightly more poppy alloy nomad.
The no bottle mounts in the triangle may annoy you, as it did me at first but I find a small hip pack with a bottle and windbreaker does really well (the highabove one with the fid lock bottle is suuuper convenient, if a little spendy)
I’m always under the impression that these DWLink/CBF linkage bikes have less compromises when it comes to a rowdy bike...but one that still can pedal well enough and have some pop. Likely not required for a dedicated enduro/park bike but important for something that can kind of do it all but pedal a bit still. Hell maybe that’s just a firebird lol
Tweaking the angles to be more inline with what works on many other modern bikes might just make it that much better.
Like bike weight, static geometry numbers only tell a small part of the story.
The geo's are within 1/2 degree give or take, but the Wrecker's wheelbase is around an inch longer than the Rail. The Wrecker has 10-11mm more travel, but every review says that it "hides" its travel well. (From my personal experience, I'll agree with this sentiment)
The Wrecker doesn't pedal like a 170mm enduro sled and retains quite a bit of liveliness, pop and that signature Evil character. I'm confident the Rail is a snappier climber, but I wonder how apart they are - for example, Bike Magazine (when that was still a thing) even compared the Wrecker to the Ripmo in their review - citing that the Wrecker would be perfectly suited for Galbraith as well as bike park days and could easily be a "1-bike" quiver.
Any thoughts to offer on Wreckoning vs Rail 29?
Rail pedals uphill better than the Insurgent, Rail feels less kinetic than an Insurgent coming downhill though.
Not slower with the Rail just it doesn't feel like a nearly out of control freight train like Evil bikes do, GPS times on the same trails for me show the Rail is consistently faster.
There are certain situations where I got reminded that the Insurgent is a single pivot bike, not horrible consequence/wet the bed type deals but reminders when sharp on the brakes, never get that with the Rail as it just feels like it will take more and more and more and doesn't give you the sense that you are hitting a rough edge somewhere in the setup.
Rail is better all rounded bike in my experience and opinion. Insurgent is a blast and serviceable uphill but not tons of fun to ride uphill.
Both frames ridden with air and coil shocks - Insurgent - Topaz, X2, 11.6, Storia and Rail X2 and Fast Fenix Evo
With those short reach numbers, would a contemporary seat angle make the bikes feel very cramped when seated?
It's not the bike for me, but my pal has the 27 version and it rides (and looks) great - I'd love to give this a spin as a comparison point to other bikes.
Where this bike shines is that it has a proven (basically DW link) suspension feels very similar to an Ibis HD or any yeti. The conservative Geo makes it more comfortable for a full day ride in the saddle. Revel = Moab, Nicolai Geometron = Squamish etc.
It's quite similar to my old Enduro 29, which was pretty perky and nimble with the Fox inline shock.
Instead all we usually get from the manufacturer/brand is "this bike is built to smash the ups and shred the downs and race better than anything ever with it's *marketing term* suspension and modern geo"
What I want to know is, "we chose this reach and this stack (or other specification) because we found that _____ " and "we don't recommend that you size down because ______"
This is too nerdy for marketing, but ultimately what we are buying is a design which is always some type of compromise decision
Awesome! Congrats! You are fast!
The bike sounds great, good climber, agile and playful on the descents. If it wasn't for the too steep actual seat tube angle it would make it to my list of dream bikes.
1) Add my thanks to @alicialeggett for the review
2) To share a sizing perspective - everyone is different but for the way my 5’11 is spread out the factory L frame and cockpit were just about perfect and
3) The Rail climbs (steep trails in Bentonville, some back country in Keystone) better than anything I tried last summer.
I like the company, I love the finish, and am excited to see a longer travel 29 er.
Now @revelbiles - any updates on a longer travel dual crown bike?
You don’t need different molds for longer chainstays, you design it into the front triangle pivot locations. Each front triangle is a different mold anyway
My waaaay too linear Reign Advanced 29 became the bike I wanted it to be with a DVO rear, tuned by them.
I’d do an Ibis with DVO squish-and get the shock valving factory dialed if needed.
inb4 "I ride loose trails"
even in the moondust of Mammoth and the kitty litter of like Snow Valley I see people on 2.3 FRONTS so idk can't say that a 2.6 rear is a necessity
2.6 tires roll around alot.. They move too much unless your using huge rims
Jeff kendalWeed put 2.6 frt n R on a bike when touring once. I would say thats the only time or reason to go above 2.4 imo
I’ve always been keen on Mondraker, the new “spindly” Rocky’s, and the Last Tarvo. Straight lines and open triangles.
Also, the most loaded bearings (usually near the bottom bracket) need replacement a lot more often than the less loaded ones. So you can just do the high wear ones 2-3x before going all-in with $150 of bearings.
I would like to hear more about the wheels. You just say "the ride quality - is there".
The bike though? Meh. Not impressed by the value. At least not on paper.
Did you mean glitz and glamour?
"Several high-end bike companies source most of their carbon bikes in Vietnam. Ibis, Rocky Mountain, Evil, Revel, Specialized, and Intense all confirmed that they rely on Vietnamese carbon, particularly from one distributor that makes carbon parts in the southern part of Vietnam, where the pandemic is hitting the hardest and where the factories have shut down."
Stay tuned for more revelations, such as, "If 'trail-country' is cringe worthy, them so is 'downcountry'.", or "seat tube angle is not nearly as important as a balanced rear-center", or "The comments were right all along: size specific chainstays actually make sense!"
And suspension performance/fit are waaaay more important than bike weight.
I’ve had 21 pound mountain bikes. I ride a carbon bike (Reign Advanced 29) that’s over 30 pounds built. And it’s faster than an ultralight bike almost everywhere.
And the tires don’t flat all the time.
And I’m not gripped riding high stakes lines (or at least not as gripped).
And the brakes actually work.
And the 210 dropper is freaking awesome.
And the suspension is supportive but has good reserves for hard hits.
Bikes under 24 pounds sacrifice performance by every metric but weight to be light. For a dedicated race chassis for a powerful, lean rider that might be a worthwhile race day trade off. As a daily rider-hell no.
Put another way, the title of this article is not accurate. The bike is awesome, even if it isn't accurate to say it wants more uphill.
I'm not surprised you've got this wrong though, most people in most places on the Internet do. It's just easier to click that down arrow than actually say why you disagree (or *gasp* agree) in a civilised way, innit...