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Haybike Xduro Allmnt 7 coffee-2

Mullets, or Mixed Wheels Bikes are Trendy. Eight Reasons to Ride One

They call them mixed wheel bikes or mullets:  MTBs with a 29″ front wheel and a 27.5″ rear wheel.

  • Mullets can better master obstacles
  • Mullets are better on steep descents
  • Mullets are more agile
  • Smaller wheels accelerate quicker and can have more grip
  • Mixed wheels are handier for small people
  • Mullet bikes are doing great in competitions
  • Mullet mountain bikes look smart
  • Mixed wheels are logic

They can be normal mountain bikes but also ebikes, like the Haibike Allmnt 7 in the picture at the top. A 29 inch front wheel and a 27.5 inch rear wheel is the most common setting, although some manufacturers propose different configurations like the 26″ front and 24″ rear Big Hit launched by Specialized in 2020.

Of course you can always change a wheel on your bike to turn it into a mullet, but then you will probably end up altering its geometry and worsening its performance across the board. So it’s better to stick with mullets that were conceived to have mixed wheels from their manufacturer. Now let’s see why you could opt for a mullet.

2022 Canyon Torque Mullet CF 8 Bike

2022 Canyon Torque Mullet CF 8 Bike

Mullets can better master obstacles

Just think about a small boat. If it hits the waves being flat, parallel to the sea surface, it will advance more slowly than if it keeps its prow up, almost surfing on the waves. Something similar happens with mountain bikes. A bigger front wheel allows them to better overcome rocks, roots and obstacles in general, because it helps to shift the balance backwards.

Mullets are better on steep descents

Especially compared to 27.5 inch mountain bikes.

Mullets are more agile

On the mountain bike, just like on a car, only the front wheels turns. That means that the rear wheels are sort of dragged when it comes to turning. Practically they skid, that’s one reason that makes them wear faster than front wheels, front wheel drive cars excepted. Now, the longer the section of the tire that touches the ground, the bigger the resistance it offers when turning. That’s why smaller rear wheels are easier to maneuver and to handle when it comes to turning. It’s the same for trails and chariots: their wheels tend to be small.

Smaller wheels accelerate quicker and can have more grip

The bigger the wheel, the farther the thrust from the rim, since the motion comes from the pivot. Also, a smaller wheel is more suitable for larger tires, increasing your grip. Nevertheless, bigger wheels can better keep high speeds once they have been reached.

Mixed wheels are handier for small people

A small area real makes life quite easier for smaller people, keeping the advantages of a 29 inch wheel up front.

Mullet bikes are doing great in competitions

In  2019, the UCI, the International Cyclist Union, lifted the ban for mixed wheel bikes in competitions. Soon Martin Maes rode his mullet-equipped GT Force to the top step of the podium at the opening round of the Enduro World Series in Crankworx Rotorua. Similarly, Finn Iles (Specialized) and George Brannigan (GT) ranked second and third in the downhill race once again on mullet bikes.

Then, Loic Bruni won the first round of the downhill World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia and Danny Hart finished in second, both on asymmetrically wheeled bikes.

Mullet mountain bikes look smart

We know aesthetic is subjective, but don’t you think that mixed-wheels mountain bikes look somehow cooler?

Mixed wheels make sense

Front wheels and rear wheels perform quite different functions, bear different weight  and pression. Just consider how sooner rear tires must be replaced. IWe think even rear wheel tires should be different from front wheel ones, to better fit the different working conditions of front and rear wheel.

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