A mid-travel 29" mountain bike remains the most popular category of bike among everyone here at Worldwide Cyclery as well as our customers. With the release of the Revel Rascal (a 130mm 29er) you bet we hopped on the opportunity to ride one, especially with it riding on the notorious CBF suspension platform that Canfield Bike enthusiasts have come to know and love. The Rascal has quickly become a favorite, if not the most favorite bike around the shop, and for good reason.
Simply put, a group of die-hard mountain bikers that enjoy business and creating a phenomenal product. Their goal is simple: build the absolute best full suspension mountain bike. To do so, they have recruited some of the top names in the bike industry
Revel Bikes came from out of nowhere, launching a few months ago with two carbon trail bikes. The Rascal and the Rail. The Revel Rascal is a 29” trail bike that has 130mm rear travel and a 140mm fork. It has an aggressive but not extreme geometry and makes use of the CBF suspension technology. The Revel Rail will be Revel’s big travel 27.5” trail bike, with 165mm rear travel and 170mm front, the same aggressive yet not extreme geometry and also has the amazing CBF suspension technology. More on CBF in a bit.
There are quite a few features that make us really happy with the new Revel Rascal. From the aforementioned CBF suspension to its full carbon frame (CBF has never been produced on a full carbon frame before), to full internal cable routing, IS style headset, and threaded bottom brackets. These features along with a 66-degree head tube angle and 75-degree seat tube angle gave us a pretty good idea of how great the Rascal would be even before riding the thing.
|Wheel Size||29" only|
|Shock Size||210mm x 50mm|
|Shock Hardware||22.2mm x 8mm|
|Axle Size||12mm x 148mm|
180mm (min) 203mm (max)
|Tire Clearance||29.5" x 2.5"|
Threaded 73mm English
Revel Guide Included
IS42 Upper / IS52 Lower
Ansel Adams (Black/Grey), Alaska (Navy/Gold)
Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
Looking at a few other numbers with the Rascal, we find the up to date yet not too extreme with its geometry. A Medium frame has a 444mm reach, Large comes in at 464mm and XL at 489. This is right in line with other modern bikes, yet not so long that it has you scratching your head on what size you might ride. Chainstay length is 433mm across all sizes and the seat tube lengths are on trend as well with a 415mm for size Medium, 445mm for Large and 475mm for XL. Another nice feature is a long seat tube giving you the ability to run a longer dropper, something taller riders will be glad to hear.
As mentioned, the Revel Rail and Revel Rascal are the first carbon production bikes to sport the CBF suspension platform. What is CBF and why is it so special? CBF is actually an acronym for Canfield Balanced Formula coming from the Canfield brothers of Canfield Brothers Bikes. CBF uses two parallel moving links that are tuned to optimize all key features suspension should have. From a smooth rear axle arc, to good anti-squat and anti-rise. One of the main features of CBF is that the center of curvature is aimed right above the front chainring, so no matter what gear you are in, or sag, or any other variable, CBF bikes still pedal great without squatting or bobbing into the travel. While still remaining plush to soak up bumps on the climbs, CBF is quite a well rounded and balanced suspension platform. Having spent time on a Canfield Riot in the past, I knew just how good CBF was and that with a slight tweak to the extended link (or yoke), it would perform great.
At 5'8”, I opted for a size medium in Alaska (otherwise known as Navy) and immediately felt right at home. Much of that can be attributed to the top-notch choice of parts Revel decided to spec their lineup with. The X01 build comes stock with Industry Nine 305 wheels, ENVE Carbon bars, SRAM G2 RSC brakes, and a long list of other top tier parts. It is pretty rare for me to get a new bike and not have to change a single part. With the Revel, the only thing I had to swap out was the grips! Seriously impressive stuff from the small Colorado company.
For many of the trails around me, there is a fair bit of climbing required before you get to the fun stuff. The Rascal's balanced and playful feel made it easy to maneuver the bike in any direction at a moments notice, allowing me to relax a bit more during my climbs. Climbing position while seated is neutral, placing you right in the center of the bike making tight switchbacks a breeze.
While the Revel Rascal is an extremely efficient bike when you point it up the hill, there are a few scenarios in which I noticed the rear end spin. Mainly, if I was too light on the pedals while climbing through chattery/loose sections. That being said, I have a feeling that if I rode with clips it would reduce this from happening significantly. Considering this makes up a very small portion of my riding, I really wasn’t too concerned and was willing to live with it.
This bike likes to party, plain and simple. The term “confidence-inspiring,” is overused these days but when it comes to describing the Revel Rascal out on the trail, there really is no other way to do it. I felt comfortable immediately and within just a few hours of my first ride, the bike was pushing me to hit new lines and send jumps farther than I ever had.
On top of that, the Rascal corners like it’s on rails. I knew the CBF platform was special but damn! The way this bike handles corners and switchbacks is on another level, and in my opinion one of the main things that separate it from the rest of the pack. It really is one of those bikes that makes you want to ride all day and will keep a smile on your face the entire time. And at the end of the day, that is what riding bikes is about, having fun.
"After riding the Rascal for almost a month now, I am convinced that it is one of the best “all-around” bikes currently out there. Got a steep climb you need to crush? The Rascal can handle it. Looking to bomb rock gardens? No problem. Park laps? Easy. While 130mm of travel might not sound like a lot, this thing will go toe to toe with some of the biggest enduro rigs and not wear you out while doing it. The Rascal is a damn impressive first bike from a brand new company that clearly knows what its consumers want. If you are looking for a playful, easy to ride, and flat out fun mid-travel mountain bike, the Revel Rascal should be high on your list." - Adam Englander