Revel Bikes set out to create the world’s best full suspension mountain bike. With a lineup of three incredible, carbon fiber mountain bikes plus a gravel bike, they’re certainly in the running.
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A relatively new and environmentally-conscious company, Revel Bikes has made a quick impact on the mountain biking scene.
The Colorado-based company set out with lofty goals. Only a few years in, and the Revel Bikes’ team of industry professionals has created some of the best full suspension mountain bikes out there.
In this Revel Bikes review, we’re going to tell you what Revel Bikes are and who they’re designed for.
Overview of the Company
The story of Revel Bikes is certainly a unique one, backed by industry leaders and decades of experience in the cycling industry.
Founded in Carbondale, Colorado in 2016, Revel Bikes was created by Adam Miller, who also founded Borealis and Why Cycles.
Miller has a long list of accolades, many of which pertain to Revel Bikes, including one of Bicycle Retailer’s most influential people in the cycling industry under the age of 35 in 2016, and a BikeRadar Best of Show award at Interbike in 2013.
To lead Revel Bikes to what it is today, Miller enlisted the help of Jason Schiers (co-founder of Enve), Jeremiah Starkey (Rockshox, Trust Performance, Selle Royal), and Mike Giese and Chris Reichel (Why Cycles, Industry Nine).
Revel Bikes is known for creating industry-leading full suspension mountain bikes, with a full lineup prepared for wicked jumps, gnarly trails, or casual lunch loops.
Revel first launched the Rail and Rascal in its infancy. They have now expanded to a lineup of four bikes that are all carbon fiber frames that use the Canfield Balance Formula (CBF™).
Finally, Revel also prides itself as an environmentally-conscious business. They have reduced their cardboard waste by shipping their bikes in reusable cases and removing plastic utensils from their company break room.
Revel also chooses manufacturers that recycle scrap carbon and minimize or eliminate the use of harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process.
With the goal of building the best-ever full suspension mountain bikes, Revel bikes have a number of intricate features that stand out amongst the industry leaders.
Perhaps the more unique feature of Revel Bikes is the Canfield Balance Formula (CBF™). It’s a system that decouples the suspension system from the drivetrain, maximizing pedaling efficiency regardless of terrain, according to Revel.
Revel also uses internal routing and full carbon tubes molded into one piece inside its carbon fiber frames. According to Revel, you can route the entire frame in about a minute.
That is among the best we’ve ever heard. Molded guides are used on each cable to help ease the stress of replacing cables or brakes lines.
Depending on the bike, Revel uses Japanese Toray T700 and T800 fiber, specifically in 30/60-degree fibers. That is to optimize their carbon fiber frames and create the strongest and stiffest tubing possible whilst simultaneously using less material.
The integrated Revel chain guide is a final feature unique to Revel Bikes. It’s generally an underrated feature in the mountain bike world. This simple guide will keep your chain in place, is easy to adjust, and is even optimized around SRAM DUB cranks and bottom brackets.
Revel Bikes’ ultimate goal is “to build the absolute best full-suspension mountain bikes–EVER”. Using a mix of tried and true and unique, once experimental materials and manufacturing practices, Revel Bikes has created a strong lineup of full suspension, carbon fiber mountain bikes, plus, their very own gravel bike.
The Revel Ranger is the lightest bike in Revel’s lineup. It is designed to go up as well as it goes down. The ultra-light frame is a full pound lighter than the Rascal. It has the climbing feel and ability of a race-ready cross-country bike.
In fact, the Ranger is designed for racing, but can also be used for climbing and exploring on local trails.
Available in four different sizes, the Ranger is designed for riders across a wide range of abilities.
With 120mm of front suspension travel and 115mm of rear suspension travel, the Ranger is the most enduro of the Revel mountain bikes. The 29” wheels are like the Rascal’s, but the Ranger is more designed for comfort and long rides. The shredding is reserved for the Rascal and Rover.
On the Large frame size, the Ranger has an effective top tube length of 639mm, a seat tube angle of 75.3 degrees, a head tube angle of 67.5 degrees, and a wheelbase of 1194mm.
The stock Revel Ranger comes with a GX Eagle kit for $5,799 and includes the Rock Shox SID Luxe Select 120mm front fork. Crank Bros Alloy XCT 29” wheels are covered in Maxxis Dissector 2.4” tires. The 180mm SRAM Level TL disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power. You’ll have plenty of gearing to choose from on the climb with a SRAM GX Eagle 10-52t cassette.
One of the original Revel Bikes, the Revel Rascal is the bike designed for fast climbing and gnarly trail-shredding. With more suspension travel than the Ranger, the Rascal can handle much more technical trails while being even more forgiving.
The Revel Rascal has 140mm of travel in its front suspension and 130mm of travel in its rear suspension. That puts it between the Ranger and the Rail. And like the Ranger, the Rascal has 29” wheels.
On the Large frame size, the Rascal has an effective top tube length of 633mm, a seat tube angle of 75 degrees, a head tube angle of 66 degrees, and a wheelbase of 1220mm.
Overall, it is a bit shorter up top, and a little lengthier on the bottom to give you that extra bit of control while also increasing stability over the gnarly stuff.
The stock Revel Rascal comes with a GX Eagle kit for $5,899 and includes the Rock Shox Pink Select 140mm fork. Its wheels are 29” Industry 9 Enduro Alloy’s, with Maxxis Minion 2.5” (front) and Maxxis Aggressor 2.3” (rear) tires. The Rascal comes with 180mm SRAM G2 R disc brakes and the same SRAM GX Eagle 10-52t cassette as the Ranger.
Between the differing tires widths and compounds, you’ll certainly feel a handling difference in the Rascal that is built for much more challenging terrain than the Ranger.
The Rail is Revel’s most extreme mountain bike designed for big jumps, shredding berms, and comfortable climbing. That last part may be surprising for a bike like this. That’s what Revel set out to do: create a capable downhill bike that is still lightweight and efficient on climbs.
On the Rail are the smallest wheels of the Revel lineup, with 27.5” wheels on the front and rear.
The Rail has a deep full suspension setup, with more travel than both the Ranger and Rascal. The Rail has 170mm of travel in the front and 165mm of travel in the rear suspension.
The Large frame size of the Rail includes an effective top tube length of 642mm, a seat tube angle of 75 degrees, a head tube angle of 65 degrees, and a wheelbase of 1230mm. All in all, it’s incredibly close to the Rascal in these measurements.
The wheels and suspension make the biggest differences when it comes to overall handling. With the GX Eagle kit, the Rail comes with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select Shock to help cushion those landings on the trail.
The stock Revel Rail comes with a GX Eagle kit for $5,999 and includes the RockShox Lyrik Select 170mm fork with 27.5” Industry 9 S Boost wheels. The tires are the Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5” EXO+ (front) and Maxxis Aggressor DHR 2.3” EXO+ (rear) tires. These are slightly different from the tires on the Rascal.
Lastly, the Rail comes with 180mm SRAM Code R disc brakes, and the same SRAM GX Eagle 10-52t cassette as the Ranger and Rascal.
The biggest outlier in the Revel Bikes lineup is certainly the Rover. Revel Rover is a high-end, modern gravel bike with specially shaped carbon fiber that optimizes ride quality over everything.
The Rover is Revel’s only bike without suspension. In fact, the Rover is a completely different style of bike. While the rest of Revel’s lineup consists of full suspension mountain bikes, the Rover is a top-of-the-line gravel bike, complete with drop bars, 700c tires, and without suspension.
Despite the 700c distinction, the Rover’s wheels are still 27.5 compatible, with enough clearance for 700x50mm, 27.5×2.1 tires. Revel added to the XXL to the Rover lineup, giving us five different sizes to choose from.
Related: Bike Wheel Sizes
In the Large frame size the Rover has an effective top tube length of 6583mm, a seat tube angle of 75 degrees, a head tube angle of 71.5 degrees, and a wheelbase of 1064mm.
The most affordable Revel Rover comes with a SRAM Rival kit for $3.999 and includes the Revel Gravel Fork and 700c Industry Nine GRCX wheels. Maxxis Rambler 700x40c tires are the first pair on this list that match in size, and finally, there is the SRAM 11-42t Black cassette that will limit your climbing much more than the full suspension mountain bikes above.
The Rover is a 1x, and with the SRAM Rival kit you can choose from the SRAM Rival 1 175mm 42T or 172.5mm 40T/42T front chainrings.
See More: Best Gravel Bikes
Revel Bikes has the goal of leading the way in the creation of full-suspension mountain bikes. With three options to choose from, from the casual Ranger to the extreme Rail, Revel has something to offer for every level of mountain biker. Add to that their carbon fiber gravel bike, the Rover, and there are a lot of high-end bikes to choose from at Revel.
Revel makes high-end, carbon fiber mountain bikes and one gravel bike. Their mountain bikes are all full suspension, while their gravel bike does not have either front or rear suspension. Every one of their bikes uses patented Canfield Balance Formula (CBF™) which decouples the suspension from the drivetrain. Revel claims that CBF technology enables the most efficient pedaling platform of any full suspension mountain bike.
Revel Bikes is based in Carbondale, Colorado, but has outsourced their bike frame manufacturing to China and Vietnam.
There are four different kits that you can buy with the Revel Rascal. Each with different forks, shocks, wheels, and tires. The cheapest is the Rascal with GX Eagle kit which costs $5,899.
Next is the Shimano XT kit which costs, $7,199, then there is the X01 Eagle kit which costs $7,999. Lastly, there is the premium XX1 Eagle AXS kit which costs $10,999 for the Revel Rascal.
The Revel Ranger weighs about 27 lbs depending on which kit you get. For example, the Ranger with X01 kit weighs about 26.5 lbs.
Revel Bikes was founded in 2016 by Adam Miller in Carbondale, Colorado.
When Revel Bikes was first founded in 2016, their group of experienced industry leaders set out with the lofty goal of creating the best full suspension mountain bikes.
Revel has expanded from their initial offering of two full suspension mountain bikes to now a full lineup of three full suspension mountain bikes plus a gravel bike.
Their patented Canfield Balance Formula (CBF™) technology stands out the most. No other major bike manufacturer uses it – you can’t find this technology anywhere else.
This team of riders and business people knows their stuff. They are based in Carbondale, Colorado, after all.
With intentional designs, sustainable processes, and some of the best materials in the business, Revel Bikes are truly something to behold in the world of full suspension mountain biking.