Mulleting the T8: My Journey with a Mixed Wheel Bike Setup
Hey there! It's Wendy, and I recently embarked on a quirky adventure to explore the world of mullet bike setups. You know, the kind with a 27.5" wheel in the back and a 29" wheel in the front. I couldn't resist the temptation to find out if I could truly have the best of both worlds—speed and control of 29" wheels and the playful agility of a 27.5. Join me as I take you through my experiment, the technical adjustments, and the exciting test results.
Before I jumped into the testing, I had to make some technical modifications to my size small Polygon Siskiu T8 mountain bike. I replaced the front wheel and fork with 29" versions to achieve the coveted mullet setup. Now, I know some of you might be wondering about the geometry changes—slackening the headtube and seat tube angles, increasing the stack, and slightly reducing the reach. To counteract these effects, I opted for a fork with 10mm less travel than my original 27.5" fork, setting it to 140mm. Smart move, right?
Alright, let's get to the fun part—the actual riding and testing! I conducted my experiments in three different categories: technical climbing, descending, and jumping. For the technical climb, I tackled a challenging 1/4 mile terrain with plenty of twists and turns. Right away, I felt the difference with the mullet setup. It was easier to navigate chunky sections, and I had better control over the front end. The result? I shaved an average of 2 seconds off my climb time—pretty impressive!
Next up, the thrilling descent—my absolute favorite part of mountain biking. I chose a half-mile section of a black diamond trail, packed with roots, rocks, and tricky corners. Here's where things got interesting. While the 29" front wheel felt great on rocky drop sections, I missed the nimbleness of my 27.5" setup in those tight hairpin corners. As a result, I ended up being 2 seconds faster with my full 27.5" configuration. But hey, I'm guessing if it was a gnarly Rocky course without those tight corners, the results might have swung in the mullet's favor.
Now, let’s talk about jumping—the adrenaline-pumping part! Quantifying the performance of each wheel size in jumps isn't as straightforward as setting a stopwatch. Here's the thing—I felt a bit awkward on the mullet setup during jumps. It might have been because I was more used to the original configuration. As I tackled bigger jumps, the mullet setup started feeling more stable, so utilising it for a more bike park focused set up might have me favoring it in the end.
My mullet bike experiment revealed some fascinating results. The mixed wheel setup shines in technical climbs, offering improved control and faster times. However, the decision between the benefits of a 29" front wheel on descents and the agility of a 27.5" wheel in tight corners depends on the terrain you ride. And when it comes to jumps, it's a bit subjective—your familiarity with the setup may influence your preference.
Remember, mulleting your bike involves geometry changes, so it's essential to consider these modifications for optimal performance. Some bikes, like the Siskiu TE series, offer flip-chip options to fine-tune the geometry without sacrificing the bottom bracket height.
Feel free to drop your questions or share your experiences with mixed wheel setups in the comments below. Ultimately, the joy of mountain biking lies in discovering what works best for you. Happy riding!
Siskiu T8 Available: Here