Video: Miranda Miller Tests Mullet vs 29er Against The Clock

Aug 18, 2021
by Seb Stott  

Miranda Miller has been testing mullet and full-29er wheel setups to find out which is fastest for her. The video is the latest from the MGM Alternative channel, which features Miranda Miller, Remi Gauvin and Jesse Melamed. Here are the lap times picked out from the video:

LAP TIMES
Lap 1, Mullet: 1:37.65
Lap 2, 29: 1:34.74
Lap 3, 29: 1:35.88
Lap 4, Mullet: "Same time as the run before on the 29er."

Much like my mullet vs 29er test from a few months ago and Kazimer's test before that, the lap times are pretty inconclusive - they don't point to one setup being outright faster than the other. But Miranda's impressions of how the two bikes felt to ride are pretty interesting. It sounds like she wanted and expected the mullet to be faster. But although she found the mullet easier to push into turns, and she got some tire buzz on the bigger wheel, the 29er made it easier to carry speed.

bigquotes"I'd kinda written off the full 29er until today... I was really surprised by how good I felt on it"Miranda Miller



76 Comments

  • 25 0
 Really enjoying their candid pro insight. The things the MGM squad test is what I would love to do on my own bike!
  • 22 0
 Well that's what you have us for! What do you want to test next? As in, what do you want us to test for you next?
  • 48 1
 @JesseMelamed: I'd be interested to see you test your personal bike vs. a completely stock, mid level version of your bike. How much speed is gained by having a perfectly dialed setup that you're intimately familiar with, vs. the same bike that's capable but not "yours"?
  • 33 0
 @JesseMelamed: relative efficiency of various chamois creams. detailed analysis with power meters, spreadsheets & graphs.
  • 6 0
 @JesseMelamed: I want to see Jesse on mullet Smile Given that I stand for similar height 170cm, I still feel full 29 is to big.
  • 12 0
 @JesseMelamed: Would definitely tune in for Episode 2: Chainstay Length
  • 6 1
 @JesseMelamed: please test a reverse mullet. 27.5 front and 29 rear. I have a feeling that this will be 12.3% faster…
  • 5 1
 @caradock: You color your hair i bet.
  • 1 3
 @JesseMelamed: What’s left haha? Downhill bikes vs Enduro bikes? Did you guys ever get your hands on a Trust fork?
  • 5 2
 @JesseMelamed: Had another thought, maybe a legit wide rim plus tire (27.5x3.0) setup vs traditional (29x2.5/2.6). If plus ended up faster it could throw the whole MTB world for a loop Big Grin
  • 2 5
 @JesseMelamed: Long versus short droppers.
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: This is the one. Test your last gen instinct vs the new one. Speed is only one factor of interest but so is agility, fun factor, jumping, cornering etc. No one ever seems to test the past gen bikes vs the new generation. Would be interesting!
  • 4 1
 @kclw: That's actually an interesting idea. Coming from DH racing, saddles aren't slamed as-low as possible, yet people are asking for always longer droppers. For instance, at 180cm with 150mm dropper adjusted to be fully extended for pedaling, place the saddle just above my knee whem dropped which is where I like to have my saddle. But my next bike will be specced with a 170mm dropper which will likely be too low for this to work. Most DH WC riders ride with their saddles above their knees so why enduro goes with 210mm droppers which I am not sure are even relevant for 2+m guys ?
  • 3 0
 @Balgaroth: Depends on the frame design and the seat tube angle. Up on your pedals the saddle is not at the same place between enduro and dh bike, so are your feet.
  • 1 1
 @JesseMelamed: Timed testing; your regular air fork vs. coiled fork?! You' ve got Vorsprung just around corner!
  • 1 0
 @mobiller: @JesseMelamed Yes, for sure looking forward to chainstay puzzling! Also, since she asked to be told, (lol) tell Miranda to run full 29er with short chainstay. I think that'll be the ticket. Wink
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: grippy tire vs. fast rolling tire. Grippy tire front, fast on the rear and the other way around. M. Maes ran a mudd tire on the rear in Madeira once I remeber (try in front). Great content, thank you!
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: Whether growing a mullet makes you faster.
  • 1 0
 @egb81: pretty sure a mullet is cut not grown
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky:
If you leave your hair to grow naturally from short it'll look a lot like a mullet.
  • 2 0
 @egb81: not but maybe if you're Korean
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: I asked this question on the pinkbike podcast and they pretty much said that it was an optical illusion haha it obviously isn't and I wonder the same thing. Loic brunis saddle is way up there for his height
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: I'd read that article.
  • 3 0
 @JesseMelamed: can you pls test Lee McCormack's RAD (Rider Area Distance) way of picking a bike size? That usually ends up sizing down a bike size. And then do that size vs. a bike company's suggested bike size based on their sizing chart? I'm more curious about qualitatively how does the bike feel rather than is one size faster than the other; I know you guys already did a med vs size large.

Another idea is testing bike sizes and compare your favorite size to manufacturer's suggested size chart. You could even do the test "double blinded" like they do in medical studies. Get two or three bike sizes (Specialized Stump Evo has 6 sizes). Take the size stickers off. Don't let the bike tester know what size it is. Don't let the second person (ie mechanic or filmer) know what sizes they are. Only have a 3rd person that knows what sizes the bikes are and code the bikes x, y, z. I get you'll be able to see and feel which bike is bigger. Comment on how does it bunny hop, climb, pop and jump, descend?! Cheers!
  • 2 0
 @CyclingThe425: Ah good one. His teammate downsized inadvertently into a bike that's much more inline with his RAD.
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: I don't know, the older I get the more my hair wants to grow in to a natural mullet. Maybe it's in my genes...that would explain the urge to put an IROC in the front to let it rust away.
  • 1 0
 @M1K3M0: So Joe Dirt is your second cousin.
  • 15 1
 Back to back testing on the same track doesn't show much difference on time for me but when I am on an unfamiliar trail or changing conditions where you need to make line changes the MX set-up is more confidence inspiring.
  • 10 0
 That's an interesting point! Added to the list of pro's.
  • 7 0
 You guys may be strong enough it doesn't make a difference, but I'm curious if transfer stage climbing efficiency affects your subsequent downhill performance at all?

I tried the experiment for myself and the difference was huge...but then that's like saying my Honda Civic was faster running on high octane gasoline, you should put some in your Intergalactic Space Cruiser.
  • 3 0
 lmao "intergalactic space cruiser" is such an appropriate description for Jesse's bike
  • 13 3
 imagine having a mullet, but also a 27.5 on front instead haha
  • 2 0
 hot rod. for when you really want to go over the bars and land on your forehead.
  • 7 0
 You mean with a 26 on the back, right? I love that idea...
  • 4 0
 Hey don't bring your crazy ideas here!
  • 1 0
 Step into my office, your fired!
  • 5 0
 So like my 27.5/26 DH bike (because it's old, I'm cheap, that that's the best configuration I can manage).
  • 1 0
 It is uphill mullet!
  • 2 0
 @robito: 26 / 27.5 is what i got from that to
  • 8 0
 @MattP76 paging the anti-mullet lunatic to the comments. we need entertainment.
  • 9 4
 Page answered.. I'm here!!
  • 7 2
 @MattP76: say something angry and stupid about fads already then.
  • 8 2
 @blackercanyons: Read other comments.

I appreciate you thinking of me

Much love x x x
  • 5 0
 Awesome video @mkem and @JesseMelamed! For me, your channel is the best biking channel on Youtube right now. I would love to see similar back-to-back testing with the different CS lengths on the Kona.
  • 7 0
 how can you not like Miranda? Seems like such a cool person.
  • 2 0
 The lap times are pretty inconclusive?

Going by my shoddy maths 2 runs on the 29 add up to 03:10:62
Mullet added up to 03:13:53.

So the 29 was 3 seconds faster.

You call that inconclusive when races are wore but 10ths and 100ths of a second?
  • 1 0
 Agree! 3 seconds on a 3 minute run. The top 10 will fit inside that margin.
  • 6 0
 In Russia mullet wears you !
  • 5 2
 First question: is she able to do 2, 3 or 4 runs with the same time? According to the times given there is no conclusion of this testing
  • 9 10
 yeah, most of these youtube channel "tests" prove nothing, including the pinkbike ones. they do like two runs and call it a conclusive result.
  • 21 0
 @blackercanyons: Good thing we didn't call this one conclusive. Simply that both are good in their own right.
  • 14 0
 I think we are able to ride at the level where, when pushing it, a change in setup will make a difference in ride-ability and how fast you are able to push and get away with things. If you wanted me to do the same time 4 times in a row I could, but not if I'm trying to get my fastest time.
  • 3 1
 @JesseMelamed: Should suspension tuning be tinkered with when switching wheel sizes? Seems like there would be different settings between the two. I realize that throws another wrench into the equation.
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: that's a good point, maybe less HSC to compensate for less rollover of the 27.5?
  • 3 1
 Nobody can ride the same trail constantly. You’re going to make mistakes, get tired the more runs you do and your going to learn the track and conditions in the process and there’s hardly any difference between 29 and a mullet to start off with. I’m hardly any faster on my full suspension as I am on my hardtail slightly different wheelsize’s won’t make any difference at all to 99.9% of riders neither will idler wheels and an axel path that moves backwards slightly more than usual.
  • 1 0
 @blackercanyons: So true - 4 data points is scientifically statistical nothing. No conclusion, other than more data is needed.
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: "I’m hardly any faster on my full suspension as I am on my hardtail"

You must be riding vastly different terrain that what we are discussing here.
  • 1 1
 @swenzowski: very similar but our trails are generally steeper and more technically difficult than what I saw in this video so the speeds are going to be lower meaning the difference between a hardtail and a full suspension are going to be smaller.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: ah gotcha. Yeah I can see slow steeps being similar. Enduro racing is more about maintaining speed and finding flow through fast, janky terrain though.
  • 5 3
 Biggest change I found in wheels was going from my old square wheels to round ones. So much faster and smoother. Smile


The answer is simple, find a wheel size (or combo) you like, and ride the shit out of it.
  • 2 0
 Pros and cons of coil shocks - lots of people putting coils on all sorts of bikes in all sorts of places. Would be good to get MGM views on coil/air - pros and cons and why you run what you do, when you do....
  • 1 1
 Been riding my Force29 as a mullet for tue whole season with flip chip in high mode. Still slackened the bike a bit but geo is actually pretty good as it is. For most of it I really enjoy this setup as the bike is more stable and yet is easier to manual, bunny hop and throw around. Now one thing I noticed with this bike is that in loose conditions (dust or mud), the rear end has a massive tendency to break loose which more often than not leads to a crash by oversteering. Even with innapropriate front tire and a very agressive tire this is mitigated but still happens. As soon as the grip is good again the bike rips in corners and allows to be agressive.
I suspect this to be due to the smaller wheel but I will need to build a 29er back wheel to test it out. I suspect that the playfull behaviour of the bike is partially due to the increased differential between stack and BB and not so much with tue BB being higher than rear axle but this needs to be tested to be definitive about it.
  • 3 0
 36r front, 26 rear. The modern penny farthing.
  • 2 0
 It looks like that was shot in the spring, can you share what setup Miranda has been riding all summer?
  • 6 0
 After this test session I went back to 29” for a few weeks but I just couldn’t do it! I think I ride in a stronger body position with the mullet as I can use my legs more. I also feel more comfortable on unknown terrain and mostly I think it’s more fun and I’m a bit of an emotional rider!
  • 2 0
 @mkem: love this answer!
  • 3 0
 First lap: warming
Second: on spot
Third: getting tired
Last: tired
  • 3 0
 Now I want a mullet.
  • 2 2
 Run a heavy casing 2.6” rear tire on the mullet with a wider rim, like a 35mm. Run a 2.5” up front on a 30mm rim. See how that feels.
  • 1 2
 Invest in a second rotor and cassette. Make the switching way easier.
  • 1 0
 ... and re-bed in pads/rotors while you're doing a timed lap? To be consistent you'd have to also swap pads.
  • 1 2
 This is not a shock in the slightest.
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