Lets talk 'Mullets' - are they a benefit for short riders?

cragginshred

New Member
Jun 10, 2024
27
32
Sonora ca
I currently ride a Santa Cruz Bronson mullet and am 5:3" We ride a lot of chunk, slabs, rock rolls that drop up to 4' so in my mind getting my but back and down on the smaller rear wheel will keep me from going OTF. Monday pulled the trigger on a Pivot shuttle AM Ride with 2 29's. I rode my buddies 29 er Sat a bit and it felt fine with the dropper down and positioned in attack posture

The Pivot is mullet able but I am not sure if my above premise is even correct? I know some riders like them to whip the rear end and be more snappy in the turns. Will the extra .75 height be very noticeable from a short riders perspective in the drops and chunk?
 

RustyIron

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
Jun 5, 2021
1,634
2,537
La Habra, California
Monday pulled the trigger on a Pivot shuttle AM Ride with 2 29's. I rode my buddies 29 er Sat a bit and it felt fine with the dropper down and positioned in attack posture

I'm 5' 11" and ride the same bike as you. This is my first full 29" bike. Previously I was on a mulleted Santa Cruz Heckler. The Shuttle AM jumps, whips, and carves FAR better than the Heckler. The AM is easily the best handling bike I've ever owned, so although I might be a little curious about the mullet, I'm going to leave it exactly the way it is.

Although the bike is spec'ed with a 170mm dropper, I put a 200mm on it. The seat tube is plenty accommodating, and the saddle drops far enough that I can routinely just push the bike out in front without catching it on my low-hanging manliness. 🍒🍆

My recommendation is to ride the bike a bit with the 29er out back, and make sure you have ample clearance when the saddle is slammed.
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,674
8,946
Lincolnshire, UK
I'm 6'1" and my first 29er was an emtb. For the first time, my arse was getting buzzed by the tyre when I went down steep stuff. It was not a pleasant experience having mud and water forced through to my nether regions. The thought of a stone picked up by the tread being introduced into my alimentary canal was disturbing. :eek:

My next emtb was a mullet. :love:
 

Plummet

Flash Git
Mar 16, 2023
1,084
1,538
New Zealand
5'11 and mulley all the way.

29 wheel gets in the way on slow steep decents when you have to get your arse back. It can also get in the way manuevering in the air jumping.

Short people should look at mullet for sure and average height people if they chase the steep slow tech and like jumping.
For people not riding the steep tech then not so much.


IMG-cee2252ce7e4b8099146e8228cabbc4c-V.jpg

Rock roll 1.jpg
 

arTNC

Member
Feb 1, 2024
226
262
Texas
C'mon Plummet, those pics are all repositioned 90 degrees. I've been there. That blue post is sticking out of a rock wall, not coming out of the ground. :ROFLMAO:

But seriously, what is that second bike...the gray looking one?
 

cozzy

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2019
883
984
Hampshire UK
At 6' I buzz my butt on a 27.5 occasionally on slow speed big dropoffs.
I really don't fancy doing this sooner with a 29", jamming the wheel and being sent otb.
 

Zed.

Active member
Apr 26, 2023
75
129
Deepest Bandit country (Wales)
Mrs Z (5'4" and sorta small) has an S-works Kenevo SL that we built from a frame (S2 so a small size) when first built it ran 29/29 but she complained that it was a barge and turning it was hard work:unsure:
after lengthy discussion she eventually believed enough of the mullet hype and tried a wheel (from her NP Mega275) and was instantly convinced:cool:

seems to work for her(y)

Rich.
 

cragginshred

New Member
Jun 10, 2024
27
32
Sonora ca
I buzz my junk on the current mullet so? Shuttle Am arrives tomorrow so I plan to ride it on the chunk and see how I do
 

Doug Stampfer

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2018
737
755
NZ
For me it's more about the way the rear wheel just falls in around a tight corner. Rather than having to ride the whole 29er bike around tight terrain all I need to get is the front wheel around & the rear follows. The lack of arse buzz is the bonus.
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,283
4,780
Weymouth
depends if you think getting that far back and low on the bike is the best technique for steep shutes.......it leaves you with little or no control of the front wheel! I ride a 29 er and OK , I am not short but I never need to adopt a position that extreme. Probably the best solution for smaller riders is to ride a full 27.5 bike.
 

arTNC

Member
Feb 1, 2024
226
262
Texas
depends if you think getting that far back and low on the bike is the best technique for steep shutes.......it leaves you with little or no control of the front wheel! I ride a 29 er and OK , I am not short but I never need to adopt a position that extreme. Probably the best solution for smaller riders is to ride a full 27.5 bike.
You bring up an interesting point. I think our long travel, full power emtb's may not need as much off the rear in the gnar as our pedal-only bikes did. Most of these emtb's are much more stable under most any situation, and don't need as much extreme rider input.

And please don't take that as poo-pooing the importance of rider position in extreme conditions. I'm just noticing that my Rail seems to have a better overall balance in the rough stuff and more stability so as not to require as much extreme moving about on the bike. A lot like my dirt motorcycle behaves.

I say as long as it's not causing you to crash, then personal style and technique doesn't have a one-size-fits-all. And on the 29'er front and rear, for me personally I find the bike maybe more forgiving in most all conditions.
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,674
8,946
Lincolnshire, UK
depends if you think getting that far back and low on the bike is the best technique for steep shutes.......it leaves you with little or no control of the front wheel! I ride a 29 er and OK , I am not short but I never need to adopt a position that extreme. Probably the best solution for smaller riders is to ride a full 27.5 bike.
I know what you mean. Early on in my MTB ownership I used to ride so far back when descending steep stuff that control could be become a bit dodgy. I was cured when I went on an MTB skills course run by Tony Doyle (aka the Jedi). He videoed me before and after his intervention. He had me descending a very steep hill that was about 40' high (my memory says 40', it might have been a bit less). He advised me to remain seated on the saddle and to just lean forward. This was so alien to me that I was really nervous as I went over the edge; I could clearly be heard saying "Dear God!". Those were the days of 26ers, so arse buzz was not much of a problem.

When I failed to go over the bars and in fact felt quite comfortable, I realised what he'd been on about. I've been a different rider ever since, but I still put my arse over the rear wheel if it keeps my centre of gravity over the BB.
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,283
4,780
Weymouth
I thought I would get an outcry!! It may be about the Geo and/or weight distribution with EMTBs...I dont know .....but what I was pointing out was that hanging off the back leaves you with little or no control over the front wheel. I have/had both 29ers and a full 27.5 bike and neither requires that sort of extreme position so I dont think it is about wheel size. On my Whyte E160 RSX I remain pretty central on the bike for steep shutes and drops and keep my cente of gravity low over the BB...not over the rear wheel hub. Going OTB is invariable caused by the front wheel tucking ( no steering control) or failing to roll over/stall on a landing section ( unable to lift the front wheel) rather than where the rider body weight is to a large extent.
 

CrunchBytes

Member
Subscriber
Oct 7, 2021
38
20
Warwick, UK
Partner (165cm tall) has an Orbea Rise M20 (Gen0), always felt ‘on top’ of the bike. Now put in a 27.5 rear to make it mullet (she had 150mm cranks already and weighs sod-all, so pedal strikes are not an issue). She’s much happier now as she feels she’s ‘in’ the bike. She’s deffo riding better!
 

Plummet

Flash Git
Mar 16, 2023
1,084
1,538
New Zealand
I thought I would get an outcry!! It may be about the Geo and/or weight distribution with EMTBs...I dont know .....but what I was pointing out was that hanging off the back leaves you with little or no control over the front wheel. I have/had both 29ers and a full 27.5 bike and neither requires that sort of extreme position so I dont think it is about wheel size. On my Whyte E160 RSX I remain pretty central on the bike for steep shutes and drops and keep my cente of gravity low over the BB...not over the rear wheel hub. Going OTB is invariable caused by the front wheel tucking ( no steering control) or failing to roll over/stall on a landing section ( unable to lift the front wheel) rather than where the rider body weight is to a large extent.
Weight back on steep is a function of how slow you need to go. If it's real steep and real tech and you need to go slow and really control speed then weight needs to shift back to retain speed control.

If there is a nice run out of catch burm or something and can run out with speed then weight central all the way.
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,283
4,780
Weymouth
Weight back on steep is a function of how slow you need to go. If it's real steep and real tech and you need to go slow and really control speed then weight needs to shift back to retain speed control.

If there is a nice run out of catch burm or something and can run out with speed then weight central all the way.
weight too far back and all you have is the rear brake whereas the front brake is far more effective once the bike is pointing downhill.....................as long as the steering is straight!!
 

Bad-Latitude

Active member
Aug 21, 2022
75
263
Simi Valley
Weight position on steep stuff is different for each feature obviously but I prefer a mullet set up personally. I’m not short (6’1”) but I like having the clearance for when I need to get back over the rear of the bike. I also like how mullets handle better than a full 29er.
 

G-Sport

Active member
Oct 7, 2022
291
227
Yorkshire
I currently ride a Santa Cruz Bronson mullet and am 5:3" We ride a lot of chunk, slabs, rock rolls that drop up to 4' so in my mind getting my but back and down on the smaller rear wheel will keep me from going OTF. Monday pulled the trigger on a Pivot shuttle AM Ride with 2 29's. I rode my buddies 29 er Sat a bit and it felt fine with the dropper down and positioned in attack posture

The Pivot is mullet able but I am not sure if my above premise is even correct? I know some riders like them to whip the rear end and be more snappy in the turns. Will the extra .75 height be very noticeable from a short riders perspective in the drops and chunk?

Yes. I think you will definitely want to mullet it. I'm 5'7" and going full 29" was not something I wanted to do; for the brief time I rode it (about 2 months) it nearly caused me to crash at least half a dozen times and on one occasion I got "sucked into" the gap between the seat and the tyre.
A lot of the time it is fine, but when things start to go wrong, like you suddenly need to get the weight off the front wheel, then it is super dangerous.
If you imagine suddenly encountering a drop-off and you don't have time to pre-load the front to get it up in the air, the only option is to throw your weight back instead. Legs, being of finite length, force your arse down towards the tyre, arse-braking of the rear wheel then forces the front back down which is exactly what you were trying to avoid and potentially you go OTB at the worst possible moment...
Additionally, it isn't just a difference of 0.75" unfortunately unless your BB is 0.75" higher to account for the bottom part of the wheel. The tyre is the full 1.5" closer to your arse!
Mulletting the bike transformed it.
 

cragginshred

New Member
Jun 10, 2024
27
32
Sonora ca
Yes. I think you will definitely want to mullet it. I'm 5'7" and going full 29" was not something I wanted to do; for the brief time I rode it (about 2 months) it nearly caused me to crash at least half a dozen times and on one occasion I got "sucked into" the gap between the seat and the tyre.
A lot of the time it is fine, but when things start to go wrong, like you suddenly need to get the weight off the front wheel, then it is super dangerous.
If you imagine suddenly encountering a drop-off and you don't have time to pre-load the front to get it up in the air, the only option is to throw your weight back instead. Legs, being of finite length, force your arse down towards the tyre, arse-braking of the rear wheel then forces the front back down which is exactly what you were trying to avoid and potentially you go OTB at the worst possible moment...
Additionally, it isn't just a difference of 0.75" unfortunately unless your BB is 0.75" higher to account for the bottom part of the wheel. The tyre is the full 1.5" closer to your arse!
Mulletting the bike transformed it.
Good to know, and I will look into it because this is the terrain we ride -not your average fire road! A lot of steep drops which I managed but there were a few of $hit moments feeling I was sitting higher up. I was able to roll and descend slabs well but would be safer with a mullet set up I'm sure

 

Plummet

Flash Git
Mar 16, 2023
1,084
1,538
New Zealand
thats the only thing I wish my norco range vlt had, 190mm-200mm travel. ive got it at 170mm rear 190mm front right now but theres no linkage im aware of to make the rear travel any longer.
Yeah, there's very little in the way of big travel e bikes on the market which is surprising to me. Surely the gravity crew would be hunkering for such bikes!...
 

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