The 97.5 AM Bike Thread (29" front, 27.5" rear wheels)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Idea! The 97.5 AM Bike Thread (29" front, 27.5" rear wheels)

    Also known as "reverse mullet" (and a few other colorful names) a 97.5 is a bike build with mixed wheel sizes, more specifically, a 29" wheel at the front and 27.5 at the back.

    The first one I remember seeing on sale was the Foes Mixer, which had good reviews and was revolutionary for its time. Now that the UCI has greenlit mixed wheel sizes back in competition, expect to see more reverse mullet bikes on the media.

    This thread is to discuss possible builds, actual retail releases, and share experiences with building, riding, and racing 97.5 AM bikes.

  2. #2
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    I ride a 27.5 front and a 26 rear. With Maxxis 2.5s there is hardly a difference in diameter. I cant quite fit a 27.5 wheel in the back, otherwise Id try it. No downsides, so far.

  3. #3
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    Pennygnarthing.

    I rode a Tantrum mixer... The geo wasn't quite what I was looking for but I think there's huge potential in the combo. Why not take the best of both wheel sizes?

  4. #4
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    I always loved riding my B6er. I would definitely be down to try one, if you could keep the SA at 75.

  5. #5
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    Martin Maes is racing the EWS with a mixed wheel setup. Photo and quote from Pinkbike:





    Martin has been testing the 29'' wheels on his new Force frame over the winter and at the moment he's running a 29'' front wheel and a 27.5'' rear wheel combo. The cockpit sports a 50mm stem with 780mm bars.



    I'm guessing he's using a 50mm stem to match the 51mm offset on the fork. I hope he does well in Rotorua.

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  6. #6
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    Liteville has been doing this for years. Their larger bikes use 29F and 27.5R. Smaller sizes use 27.5F and 26R.

  7. #7
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    I've been on a Tantrum 29ee(140mm)/27.5(160mm) and it's an amazing bike coming off a Lenz 29er(100mm f&r). No regrets with a mixed up bike for me.

  8. #8
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    Finn Illes narrowly missed the top step (by 0.09 sec) at Crankworkz today. I know it's DH but it shows running a 97.5 setup can be a boost for some riders and riding styles.

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  9. #9
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    Martin Maes just won EVERY stage of the Rotorua EWS on his 97.5 Force.



  10. #10
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    IAUI switching a 27.5 wheel and fork to a corresponding 29" setup would raise the bike's front end by about 35-40mm which is quite a lot and probably throws the bike geometry pretty seriously out of whack. I wonder how much front travel Maes has in his rig?

  11. #11
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    Martin's probably using a 150mm 29 fork. The Force was designed with a 160mm 27.5 fork in mind, which has an axle to crown length of about 549mm (Fox 36). A 150mm 29 fork has an A2C of 557mm. Even at 160mm, we're only looking at an 18mm difference.

    The Sensor and Force have the same front triangle, too, so the geo won't necessarily get that screwed up by using a 29 front wheel. Offset bearings and anglesets are also available to mitigate changes with their setup.

  12. #12
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    Last Saturday a friend acquired a used Production Privee Shan 27.5" frame. The plan was to build it spending zero extra cash, using just spare/borrowed parts. He only managed to find a 29" 120mm fox 34 with a 29" wheel and 2.6 tyre for the front, which proved to be roughly equivalent in length to a 27.5 140-150mm fork (frame is rated for 140-160mm). The rear is a 27.5 Flow with a 2.25 tyre and the rest of the build came from components we had laying around.

    We proceeded to test it immediately on some nearby urban trails, and surprise surprise, it rode just fine. Nothing weird about the handling, climbing, descending or turning. Just some extra stability on the front end compared to my own 27.5 AM hardtail with similar geo. . Using our phones the head angle measured around 65.5 and the seat tube around 72 degrees. BB height came out around 315mm.

    None of us has tried the bike in full 27.5 configuration so we can't compare, but as a 97er it felt perfectly natural.

    The 97.5 AM Bike Thread (29" front, 27.5" rear wheels)-ppshan-97er.jpg

  13. #13
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    Bike: Kona Process 153 97.5
    Rider: 5'6" (168 cm), 29 inch inseam

    Getting the rear shock to track the same way as the fork took a bit of tuning and testing. After doing 5 runs, I was surprised to see that I beat a Strava PR in 1 segment by 9 seconds (1:53 to 1:44) on my 5th run. I wasn't even pushing as I focused on getting the suspension dialed.

    I'm definitely sticking with this build for the time being. There's a bit of understeer but all you have to do is lean the bike more. Otherwise, it's very maneuverable. It flies higher on jumps and that's probably due to the added speed you carry (and the really short chainstays of the Process).

    The hype is real.

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  14. #14
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    I'm a big fan of this concept. I purchased a Pivot 5.7c about four years ago, and while it is a 26" frame, Pivot had blessed it to run with 27.5 f/r. Tried that but didn't like the limited tire size in the back, the reduced rear travel and the higher BB. Put a big 26" tire in the back and it just worked. Read all the info on Liteville and Foes and the science is interesting. I've moved on to another bike, but the Pivot made its way to my son so I still get to ride it every now and then. Doesn't give up much to today's geo bikes really.

    The 97.5 AM Bike Thread (29" front, 27.5" rear wheels)-img_2648.jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar View Post
    I'm a big fan of this concept. I purchased a Pivot 5.7c about four years ago, and while it is a 26" frame, Pivot had blessed it to run with 27.5 f/r. Tried that but didn't like the limited tire size in the back, the reduced rear travel and the higher BB. Put a big 26" tire in the back and it just worked. Read all the info on Liteville and Foes and the science is interesting. I've moved on to another bike, but the Pivot made its way to my son so I still get to ride it every now and then. Doesn't give up much to today's geo bikes really.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Good looking bike! Did you measure the change in BB height with the 1" smaller rear wheel? I'm assuming .5"?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    Good looking bike! Did you measure the change in BB height with the 1" smaller rear wheel? I'm assuming .5"?
    I think it was closer to 0.4" if I recall. This also was using a 140mm fork rather than the 150 spec'd on the 5.7c. The BB height would be less if I had a less voluminous tire on the front. Those e*13 tires run pretty big on on 30mm rim. It was still high by today's standard, but pedal smacks didn't happen as often

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verbl Kint View Post
    Bike: Kona Process 153 97.5
    Rider: 5'6" (168 cm), 29 inch inseam

    Getting the rear shock to track the same way as the fork took a bit of tuning and testing. After doing 5 runs, I was surprised to see that I beat a Strava PR in 1 segment by 9 seconds (1:53 to 1:44) on my 5th run. I wasn't even pushing as I focused on getting the suspension dialed.

    I'm definitely sticking with this build for the time being. There's a bit of understeer but all you have to do is lean the bike more. Otherwise, it's very maneuverable. It flies higher on jumps and that's probably due to the added speed you carry (and the really short chainstays of the Process).

    The hype is real.

    Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
    Is that originally a 27.5" or a 29" Process? Looks really nice, almost like it was meant to be like that in the first place.

    I am strangely attracted to the 97.5" concept even though it probably doesn't make sense in the terrain I ride.

  18. #18
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    Since the 29 and 27.5 Process had the same rear triangle, I thought it would be better to use a 29 frame for the build.

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  19. #19
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    you'd probably want the highest offset fork you can get right? to keep the steering reasonably quick.

  20. #20
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    Yes, I'm sticking with a 51mm rake for the moment.

    * * *

    The first races of both the EWS and World Cup DH were both won on a 97.5 bike. With the latter getting a 1-2 for the mixed wheelsize, too.

    Choices are good.



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  21. #21
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    I think Danny Hart would have the same result regardless of wheel size. First (Bruni) and third (Brosnan) were on 27.5.

    IMO...wheel size makes very little difference in pro DH and Enduro race results. The rider that races the cleanest run wins...regardless of what wheel size they are on.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    I think Danny Hart would have the same result regardless of wheel size. First (Bruni) and third (Brosnan) were on 27.5.

    IMO...wheel size makes very little difference in pro DH and Enduro race results. The rider that races the cleanest run wins...regardless of what wheel size they are on.
    Bruni was on a mixer too.

  23. #23
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    Marco Osborne runs a mullet setup, bike and haircut! Just won the TDS on a Patrol.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  24. #24
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    I'm curious about converting my Scout 275 (27.5+) to a 29er front. Not sure it'll be as simple as just changing the front wheel & tyre though. Emailed Nukeproof to see what they suggest. Waiting to hear back

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    I should add, that I'm a shorter rider, about 5'6" and whilst I really like how my 29er rolls and climbs, I find myself a lot more maneuverable on my 275 when I hit switchbacks and tighter features downhill. I'm hoping for a best of both worlds with this.

  26. #26
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    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

  27. #27
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    They should've tested it on a 2+min track.



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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verbl Kint View Post
    Martin's probably using a 150mm 29 fork. The Force was designed with a 160mm 27.5 fork in mind, which has an axle to crown length of about 549mm (Fox 36). A 150mm 29 fork has an A2C of 557mm. Even at 160mm, we're only looking at an 18mm difference.

    The Sensor and Force have the same front triangle, too, so the geo won't necessarily get that screwed up by using a 29 front wheel. Offset bearings and anglesets are also available to mitigate changes with their setup.
    The A-C isn't the only place where stack would grow though. You've also got the increased height from the ground to the axle due to the larger wheel. So that adds ~18mm to the stack in addition to whatever the A-C difference is when moving to a 29er fork.

  29. #29
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    I rode a lot of motocross in the 90s so Im attracted to the ride qualities of a mixed wheel size bike.

    I experimented with a 27.5 rear wheel on my 29er Trek Rumblefish a few years ago and enjoyed the cornering but had a lot of pedal strikes.

    One of my current bikes is a Tantrum with a 160mm 29er fork and the frame has modular rear drop outs designed for 27.5. Its amazing

  30. #30
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    My Liteville was like this years ago, I sold it and moved on.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb:skep:

  31. #31
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    Done this concept three times.

    Mixed wheeled my Switchback Unveil 9. Mixed results. Was ok I guess. But I wasnt* that fast back then.

    Tried it on a 2016 Stumpjumper. This is amazing, reduced the rear travel to 140 and put a 140 29er fork on the 27.5 frame. Very fast, but only rode this 2x with this setup. Building it back out in this config when money allows.

    Current mullet bike is a Foes Analog. 140 29er fork, with WAO Agents, and WTB Vigilante 2.6s. This is my favorite bike so far. BB is a reasonable 12.5". Its way more stable hitting things hard, and when you corner, it has a way of carving harder than with the same wheels. Combined with the big WTB tires, it's a monster. Will take a photo tonight.

    Have a SWORKS Enduro on the way that going to get the same treatment.
    Last edited by FastBanana; 05-29-2019 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Typo

  32. #32
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    Been thinking to do the same on my bike. What would be better, reverse mullet a 29er frame or a 27.5?i have a 2016 yt capra.

  33. #33
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    From what I've read, 27.5 frame is what most are doing.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loic Donny View Post
    Been thinking to do the same on my bike. What would be better, reverse mullet a 29er frame or a 27.5?i have a 2016 yt capra.
    You need to do some geo-checking.

    Try out https://bikegeo.muha.cc/ and plug in the numbers of what your likely theoretical setup will look like.

    I chose a 29" Kona Process 153 but used a 27.5 rear wheel. The reason is that, for the Process 153, the 29" and 27.5" models share the same rear triangle.



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  35. #35
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    I'd be all over this if my geo would not be wrecked on my current bike. Particularly STA but to a lesser extent BB height. Downhill sharp turns are my arch enemy and I feel a Mullet bike would assist with that.

    Good luck with ya'lls set ups!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I'd be all over this if my geo would not be wrecked on my current bike. Particularly STA but to a lesser extent BB height.
    I got into this because the geo works for my bike... okay and because I had an extra 29+ plus front wheel/tire laying around with nowhere else to run it.

    2017 Norco Torrent HT (designed for 27.5+)
    Had swapped forks with another bike so lost 20mm A/C (10mm travel)
    Front wheel is a WTB Scraper with a 29x3.0 Bomboloni
    Found a 27.5x3.0 Ground Control for cheap, to bring the rear end up a little.

    Front wheel/tire > rear by about 35mm.... so now I'm maybe 15mm taller in front than stock.

    I know this slackens HTA to about 66* (maybe less), and STA to less than 72*... I thought that the bike might climb poorly but two test rides in have disappeared those worries! I just took it out for a long, techy climb that I've done like 20 times and set a PR right out of the gates . I think I might have set a PR on any of my bikes that day, but still it reassures me this setup is fine for me going up.

    And going down is a no-brainer, of course. Love that big front tire, glad to get it back into action .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The 97.5 AM Bike Thread (29" front, 27.5" rear wheels)-img_20190630_110448.jpg  

    Last edited by S​​usspect; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:15 PM. Reason: pictures no workie

  37. #37
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    Has anyone seen this done with an Ibis Mojo3?

    I've been looking at replacing the whole bike with a 29er, but might try out this idea first.

    It's a 2016 Mojo3 with a Large frame. Can someone help me figure out which 29er fork would be best and what the final geo numbers might look like?

    I also have a new 27.5+ Fox Factory 34 fork sitting in a box that allegedly fits up to 29x3, and I even have 120, 130, and 140mm cartridges for it. (525.5, 535.5, and 545.5 a2c measurements respectively). Do you think I could use this instead of a 29-specific fork?

    Thanks ahead of time for the help.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleh0rse View Post
    Has anyone seen this done with an Ibis Mojo3?

    I've been looking at replacing the whole bike with a 29er, but might try out this idea first.

    It's a 2016 Mojo3 with a Large frame. Can someone help me figure out which 29er fork would be best and what the final geo numbers might look like?

    I also have a new 27.5+ Fox Factory 34 fork sitting in a box that allegedly fits up to 29x3, and I even have 120, 130, and 140mm cartridges for it. (525.5, 535.5, and 545.5 a2c measurements respectively). Do you think I could use this instead of a 29-specific fork?

    Thanks ahead of time for the help.
    It sure sounds like you could unbox that Fox 34 and run it, and it's a bonus to be able to change up the travel. You don't mention what the A/C is on your current fork, but reducing A/C with the new Fox fork will offset the 29er wheel height in the front, and minimize any changes to geometry you would otherwise get from different wheel heights front/back.

    There's another thread about this where a forum member has done some work with bikeCAD, and that's a good way to visualize what's going on with all the angles.

    Check it out here:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/general-disc...n-1106491.html

  39. #39
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    That was my thread, yeah the bikecad that a fellow forum member got me into really helps visualise the changes. Understanding how those changes will actually feel is a different story though.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by S​​usspect View Post
    It sure sounds like you could unbox that Fox 34 and run it, and it's a bonus to be able to change up the travel. You don't mention what the A/C is on your current fork, but reducing A/C with the new Fox fork will offset the 29er wheel height in the front, and minimize any changes to geometry you would otherwise get from different wheel heights front/back.

    There's another thread about this where a forum member has done some work with bikeCAD, and that's a good way to visualize what's going on with all the angles.

    Check it out here:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/general-disc...n-1106491.html
    Great info and link, thank you!

    BikeCAD sounds like a good plan. I just need to dig up all the numbers.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by S​​usspect View Post
    You don't mention what the A/C is on your current fork, but reducing A/C with the new Fox fork will offset the 29er wheel height in the front, and minimize any changes to geometry you would otherwise get from different wheel heights front/back.
    My current fork info:
    2016 RockShox Pike Solo Air RCT3 140mm, 27.5 boost, 42mm offset, 532mm A2C

    The specs for the Fox F34 fork I have in mind to run 29x2.6 tires:
    120mm = 51mm offset, 525.5mm a2c
    130mm = 51mm offset, 535.5mm a2c
    140mm = 51mm offset, 545.5mm a2c

    Stock Geometry:
    SIZE: LARGE
    C-to-T Size: 470mm
    EFF Top Tube: 617mm
    Head Tube Length (4mm stack of lower cup not included): 117mm
    Chain Stay: 425mm
    Seat Tube Angle: 73.7
    Head Tube Angle: 67.1
    Wheelbase: 1158mm
    BB Height (with Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.6" tires): 337mm
    Stack: 602mm
    Reach: 441mm
    Standover: 724mm

    If I run the new fork at 130mm, the a2c only increases by 3mm. My biggest concern is probably the STA. Does anyone see anything else that could get thrown completely out of whack with the above numbers?

  42. #42
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    When you account for the larger wheel diameter (basically add about 19mm to a2c) in addition to the a2c length I think even the 120mm fork will slacken the bike somewhat. I'd be especially wary of that if you do a lot of techy climbing.

  43. #43
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    Mine slackened out about 1.5 according to bike cad. Tbh the biggest disadvantage I've found so far is that you don't really want to run a skinnier rear tyre, that will increase the geometry changes beyond what is already at the limit in my mind. You can adjust bar/stem height and riding position to balance the decrease sta to a point.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleh0rse View Post
    [B]If I run the new fork at 130mm, the a2c only increases by 3mm. My biggest concern is probably the STA. Does anyone see anything else that could get thrown completely out of whack with the above numbers?
    Like these other guys have said, running this fork at any travel setting is going to slacken the bike to some degree, due to the 29er wheel/tire raising the front end more than you are able to eliminate with A/C change.

    I can't remember what the general rule of thumb is, but if 1/2" slackens your HTA by one degree (just for example, don't know if that's accurate) you might end up 1.5* slacker like crembz did. I'd say try it and see. You can reduce to 120, and/or run a taller rear tire to bring things closer to original if you find 130 too slack.

    STA can be mitigated to some extent by sliding your seat forward on the rails.

    At this point, you're kind of committed to this experiment, since you've told us all about it 😜.

  45. #45
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    Could someone please educate me on the advantages of running a 97.5. Im most likely getting a GG Smash and you can swap out the rear for a 155 27.5 instead of the 145 29 wheel or even 170/165(I feel this is too much bike for my normal riding ). Ive seen a couple of YouTube comparisons and race results tend to be mixed, I think the riders wouldve placed where they did on any wheel size. It just seems like a cool to try thing than any real, I wouldnt say advantage but maybe cornering, righty switchbacks, jumping, rock gardens/roots improvements. For the GG Smash, obviously adding more rear travel could be helpful but other than that Im not sure if its worth it. Thoughts?

  46. #46
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    This is pretty cool that GG is offering this option. Curious if the geometry remains the same between rear wheel size/travel... if geometry does stay the same, you *might* find the 27.5 rear feels a little more maneuverable/quicker in the rear end and it might change/improve cornering.

    Many of us on here are running the 97.5 because we started with a 27.5 bike and wanted the added rollover of a 29 up front. We've had to do some gymnastics to keep geometry within reason, because of changing the height of the front tire. Presumably GG and other bikes sold as mullets (like the Foes Mixer) have all those problems sorted.

    I would read a few reviews from GG owners, if you can. Honestly I wouldn't have thought of going mullet if I had a 29 rear wheel to run a 2.8 on.... I'd just be running my hardtail as a 29+. But as it is, I've been running a 27.5x3.0 on the rear, and while it'd be inaccurate for me to call the back of my bike "quick" with all that heavy rubber.... with all things considered, the 'plus mullet express' has been working just fine.
    Last edited by S​​usspect; 6 Days Ago at 09:40 AM. Reason: spell check

  47. #47
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    I'm curious whether anyone has done this to a 29er. As susspect said most have put a 29er front on a 27.5 frame. I'm thinking along the same lines, would it make a 29er more maneuverable.

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