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Best Mullet Mountain Bikes

By Sam Millers   /  Last updated - June 9, 2022   /  Electric Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Mullet MTB, Reviews

mullet mountain bike explained

A mullet mountain bike is one with mixed wheel sizes. Most often this is a 27.5″ wheel on the back and a 29″ in the front, however, this can also be a mix with 26″. Companies who sell and riders who use mulleted mountain bikes claim that they provide the advantages of each wheel size.

Due to their popularity, many big-name brands now carry a mullet model. This includes companies like Specialized, Santa Cruz Bicycles, and Orange Mountain Bikes.

What are the benefits of a mullet MTB?

“The best of both worlds” is a common response to the question posed above. In practice, there are four distinct benefits. That being said, some riders may not consider these things beneficial to their particular riding style.

  • A bigger 29″ wheel controls more smoothly in very rocky terrain. The larger the wheel, the more easily it rolls over big hits and hangs up less so that you can control the bike better.
  • For riders who want more clearance with a smaller 27.5″ in the rear because their 29″ wheel kicks up over steep drops.
  • A smaller 27.5″ wheel in the rear allows more movement and thus improves cornering giving riders the ability to take corners at higher speeds
  • A larger wheel in the front compared to the rear will speed up your ride by creating a slacker geometry, improving stability, and reducing rolling resistance

A brief history of mullet bikes

A recent increase in the popularity of these bikes would make it seem like they are a new phenomenon. However, this increase is mostly due to their inclusion in professional spheres including EWS and downhill races because of recent changes to UCI regulations.

Mullet bikes have actually been around for over 15 years, as seen in Specialized’s BigHit in 2004 which mixed 24″ and 26″ wheels. Here are some of the reasons why they were invented.

29er PROS

  • Smoother roll over obstacles and rocks
  • Larger contact path due to larger wheel (Unless the rear tire is drastically wider)
  • Higher axle
  • More stability on higher speeds

27.5er PROS

  • Faster acceleration
  • Better cornering
  • Lower center gravity
  • Slacker geometry
  • Better clearance


Best Mullet Mountain Bikes


Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon R

Mullet ready – comes in either 27.5″ or 29er

santa cruz chameleon special edition MSRP: $2999

The Chameleon R carbon c model is a lightweight, speedy, and stylish mountain bike with compatibility for 27.5-inch, 29-inch, or mixed wheels.

This hardtail bike uses FOX Rhythm 34, 120mm travel fork suspension, and a large front wheel to provide great shock absorption and rollover ability on rocky trails. The carbon fiber frame ensures a high level of compliance and additional dampening effects.

This model of the Chameleon comes with a premium 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, high traction Maxxis Minion/Ardent Race tires, powerful SRAM Guide hydraulic disc brakes, and reliable SDG Tellis dropper post.

Finally, this versatile MTB has extra mounts for water bottles and a cargo cage for those extra-long adventures.

  • Frame: Carbon C
  • 12-Speed SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide T
  • TLR rims
  • SDG Tellis dropper post
  • 29×2.3″ Maxxis Minion DHF front
  • 29×2.35″ Maxxis Ardent Race rear

Buy from Mike's Bikes


Santa Cruz – Bronson Carbon R

Santa Cruz Bicycles Carbon R Mountain Bike

MSRP: $5,049
Competitive Cyclist | Evo.com

The Bronson by Santa Cruz is a mid-range mullet MTB designed to ride comfortably on the harshest trail/enduro rides.

A large wheel in the front provides better rollover and stability while the rear 27.5″ wheel accelerates faster, is more agile, and corners better. This combo pairs with a 150mm travel FOX Float X Performance shock and 160mm RockShox Lyric Select fork, a lightweight Carbon R frame, and VPP suspension linkage for a more efficient and controlled ride.

Additionally, the Bronson has a slack head tube angle and steep seat tube angle to improve pedaling & descending further. Finally, tunable flip-chip geometry, Maxxis Minion 2.5/2.4″ tires, and an SDG Tellis Dropper round out a solid list of components. 

  • Carbon C
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Select 160mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance 150mm
  • SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed
  • 29×2.5″ / 27.5×2.4″ Maxxis Minion 
  • SGT Tellis dropper seat post
  • SRAM G2R hydro disc brakes

Buy from Evo.comBuy from CompetitiveCyclist.com


Best Full Suspension Mullet Mountain Bikes


Juliana – Roubion C S

Juliana - Roubion C S Complete

MSRP: $5,949

The Roubion by Juliana is a female-specific mullet bike designed for hard enduro races. This bike features a 160mm FIT GRIP 3-Position Lever fork suspension and 150mm shock in the back.

Perfectly suited to aggressive riders, the Roubion takes advantage of a large front wheel and small rear wheel to perform better in corners and roll over smoothly. Additionally, tuned geometry carefully aligns keyframe elements to provide a high-quality ride on all parts of the mountain.

This bike uses a lightweight monocoque Carbon frame with an integrated flip-chip and cable routing, and Santa Cruz’s famed VPP suspension Linkage platform. Other great components include 2.5/2.4″ Maxxis Minion tires, a 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle groupset, and SRAM Code R hydraulic disc brakes.

  • Carbon C frame
  • Fork: Fox 36 Float Performance 160mm
  • Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ 150mm
  • 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle
  • 29×2.5″ & 27.5×2.4″ Maxxis Minion 
  • SRAM Code R 200/180mm rotors
  • Rockshox Reverb Stealth dropper seatpost

Buy from Evo.com


Haibike – ALLMTN 3

Electric mullet enduro/trail bike

haibike allmtn 3

MSRP: $5,800

Haibike ALLMTN 3 is an electric mullet mountain bike optimized for speed on the most difficult terrain.

With this bike, Haibike has achieved a perfect blend of performance and versatility, loaded with premium Bosch electronics that make long days on the trials feel easy. 

The ALLMTN 3 allows riders to ride fast over obstacles while maintaining the ability to whip the tail around corners thanks to the mixed wheel sizes. 

A RockShox Yari 160mm fork and 150mm RockShox Deluxe RT shock provide a super smooth and controlled ride on rough enduro rides. To support the Bosch Gen4 Performance CX 250W/75Nm motor and 625Wh battery you have a 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain. Finally, ride with perfect confidence with Shimano MT420 4-Piston hydraulic disc brakes and premium Maxxis Minion 2.5/2.8″ tires.

  • RockShox Yari 160mm fork
  • RockShox Deluxe RT 150mm shock
  • Brakes: Shimano MT420 hydraulic

Buy from REI.com


Forbidden Bike CO – Druid
Forbidden Bike Co – Dreadnaught

MSRP: $6,699 – Druid / $7,399 – Dreadnaught

Forbidden Bike Co’s Dreadnought XT and Druid XT are both high-quality mullet mountain bikes with slightly different purposes.

Dreadnaught

The Dreadnought XT is the more versatile of the two intended for anything from enduro racing to Alpine descents. This high travel MTB uses a  170mm Fox 38 Grip2 fork and a custom-tuned Fox X2 Air shock with 154mm of rear travel. This high pivot system provides exceptional ride quality whether climbing or descending over rocky terrain.

Forbidden Bike Co’s One Ride geometry further contributes to a consistent ride experience with an unbeatable balance that makes the Dreadnought stand out from its competition.

  • Frame: Dreadnought Full
  • Fork: FOX Performance Elite 38 GRIP2 – 170mm Travel
  • Rear Shock: FOX Performance Elite FLOAT X2
  • Brakes: Shimano XT 4-Piston 203/180mm rotors
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT 12speed
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29″x2.5″ + Maxxis Minion DHR II 29″x2.4″

Druid

The Druid XT is specialized to take on rugged trails with a focus on reliability and trail performance. This model uses 150mm travel in the FOX Performance Elite fork and 130mm in the rear shock. This bike is also designed with One Ride geometry which ensures consistent sizing across the range.

The geometry on the Druid XT is optimized to ensure a balanced ride and combines with a suspension system that eliminates unwanted drivetrain forces so you can go further than ever before.

  • Frame: Druid Full Carbon
  • Fork: FOX Performance Elite 36 GRIP2 – 150mm Travel
  • Rear Shock: FOX Performance Elite DPX2 3 Position Adjuster
  • Brakes:  Shimano XT 4-Piston 180mm rotor
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT 12speed
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29″x2.5″ + Maxxis Minion DHR II 29″x2.4″

Buy the Druid Buy the Dreadnaught


Santa Cruz Bicycles – V10 MX

santa cruz v10
Weight: 37lbs
Fork: 203mm
Rear Shock: Fox DHX2
Frame: Carbon CC
Front Tire: 29×2.5″
Rear Tire: 27.5×2.5″

Best Electric Mullet Mountain Bikes


Intense Tazer Expert

intense tazer expert

MSRP: $6,299

The Intense Tazer electric mullet mountain bike is an innovative and powerful choice for any serious mountain goat out there.

With a classic mullet design featuring a 29″ front wheel and a 27.5″ rear wheel, this bike delivers maximum traction, excellent maneuverability, and ample clearance for the most difficult of trails.

The electronics on this bike stand out featuring an ultra-lightweight Shimano Steps mid-drive motor (2.8kg/6.1lbs) with 60Nm of torque and 250W of power. This pairs nicely with a 504Wh battery that lasts up to 62 miles on a single charge and a Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain.

Finally, this e-bike performs alongside the best because of its high-quality carbon fiber frame, 160mm travel Fox Performance suspension, and premium Maxxis Minion tires.

  • Frame: Tazer Optimized Carbon
  • Fork: Fox Performance Float, E-Bike specific 160mm
  • Rear shock: Fox Performance Float DPX2 155mm
  • Motor: 250W Shimano Steps E8000
  • Weight: 48lbs
  • Maxxis Minion DHR II, 29×2.6″ & 27.5×2.8″
  • 12-speed Shimano SLX derailleur
  • Class 1 e-bike – 20mph
  • Battery: BT-E8010, 504Wh

Buy from Planet Cyclery


Niner – WFO e9

MSRP: $6.595

Niner’s WFO e9 is a bike designed to tackle the roughest trails and steepest hills you can find. This bike gives you the ability to skip the lift and take your mountain biking to the next level.

To do so, you have a Bosch Gen 4 performance CX mid-drive motor with torque-sensing power transfer and a huge 625Wh battery. This premium system delivers predictable, smooth pedal assistance for mile after mile in the harshest conditions.

Although this bike comes with a 6061 aluminum frame, the design makes up for it. Forged frame end links and dropouts boost frame strength and smartly integrated electronics ensure great stability.

The WFO e9 uses RockShox 180mm travel coil suspension which responds perfectly to pedal assistance with stable yet supple behavior. This paired with the mixed wheel setup further improves maneuverability and traction on technical trails.

  • 6061 aluminum frame
  • Motor: Bosch Gen 4 Performance CX 625Wh battery
  • Fork: RockShox ZEB R 180mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Super Delux Coil Select R 180mm
  • SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain 12-speed
  • SRAM Guide RE hydro brakes 200mm rotors
  • 29×2.4″ / 27.5×2.6″ Schwalbe Eddy Current Evo Super Gravity
  • Weight: 55.5 lbs
  • KS LEV SI dropper seat post

Buy from Backcountry


Santa Cruz Bicycles – Bullit ‘2022

Santa Cruz Bicycles Bullit MX CC R E-Mountain Bike 2022

MSRP: $8,449

  • Shimano DU-EP800 Drive Unit, 85Nm
  • Shimano 630Wh Integrated Battery. Largest capacity battery by Shimano!
  • RockShox ZEB, 170mm
  • RockShox Super Deluxe Select, 170mm
  • SRAM NX Eagle, 10-51t
  • SRAM Guide RE, 4-piston hydro brakes
  • SDG Tellis dropper seat post
  • 29×2.5″ & 27.5×2.4″

Buy from evo.com


HaiBike – AllMtn 5

DH-spec eMTB for demanding trails

ALLMTN 5

29×5″ & 27.5×2.8″ Maxxis Minion DHF & DHF 2

MSRP: $6,800

The Allmtn 5 by Haibike is a high-performance mullet trail bicycle that has what it takes to climb and descend with the best.

The mixed wheel combination gives this bike great traction, better roll-over ability, and snappier handling in corners. Additionally, balanced 160/150mm RockShox suspension means there is no trail out of reach.

The electronics on the Allmtn include Bosch’s punchy Gen4 Performance CX 250W/75Nm motor and juicy PowerTube 625Wh battery. With this pair, you can expect ranges of up to 100 miles and the ability to get out of any situation such as soft terrain or steep gradients

Other notable components include a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain, large-rotor Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes, and premium Maxxis Minion DH tires.

  • 6061 aluminum frame
  • Fork – 160mm RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2
  • Shock – 150mm RockShox Deluxe+ RT
  • 12-speed Shimano XT, SLX shifters 10-51T
  • Shimano XT hydro brakes 203/180mm rotors
  • Gen4 Performance CX 250W mid-drive motor
  • 625Wh battery

Buy from REI.com Buy on GovVelo.com


Orange – Phase MX Pro

Orange eMTB 2021 Phase MX Pro

MSRP: from 8,400€

Orange’s Phase MX Pro is the company’s first mullet-style e-bike. Featuring a 27.5″ rear wheel and 29″ front wheel along with 160mm travel full-suspension, this bike boasts unbeatable versatility.

Powerful electronics set the standard for this premium bike starting with a super smooth and lightweight Shimano EP8 250W mid-drive motor with 85Nm of torque. This revolutionary motor provides 10 levels of power assistance so you can always find the perfect match.

A large 504Wh battery will keep you going for long ranges and has keyless removal so you can take an extra battery on your rides.

The thoughtful design of the suspension system led Orange to include a metric rear shock and increase the amount of progression resulting in less pedal kickback and overall better performance. Additionally, the geometry is optimized to balance stiffness with compliance to better deal with the punchy motor.

Finally, the Phase MX has top-end components in every other area of the bike to ensure high performance.

  • 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Fork: Fox Performance 38 Float 160mm travel
  • Rear shock: Fox Float DPX2 160mm travel
  • 29×2.5″ & 27.5×2.4″ Maxxis Minion DHF
  • SRAM Guide RE hydro brakes 200m rotors
  • Motor: 250W Shimano EP8 – 85Nm
  • Battery: Shimano E8035 504Wh

Buy from Orange Bikes

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