Will a mullet make your riding better?

A mullet haircut is a questionable fashion choice but a mullet wheelset could improve how your bike rides.

A mullet is a 29” front wheel paired with a 27.5” rear wheel. You’ve no doubt seen plenty of DIY mullet setups but there are also an increasing number of production bikes with this setup.

Our 27.5” rear demo wheels give you the chance to try a mullet for yourself, on your own bike, and make your own decisions.

A mullet can have the advantages of:

  • Slacker frame geometry means your bike will track better in high speed, rough sections
  • The smaller rear wheel turns-in easier and leads to a more responsive and fun bike
  • You might be able to fit a larger rear tyre
  • Slight weight reduction

The disadvantages are:

  • Slacker bike can feel awkward while climbing
  • You’ll need to carry two different sized spare tubes (or use bacon strips)
  • More pedal strikes because of the lower bottom bracket

Our 35mm Flite Carbon demo mullet wheels come with a 2.4” Maxxis Minion DHR II tyre and your choice of freehub body and rotor type so they’re easy to fit and trial on your own bike. We charge a few dollars to cover wear-and-tear, however we’ll credit this cost back if you buy a wheel or wheelset from us after trialing.


By  Rod “rocking a permed mullet back in ’82” Bardsley

They worked great in the ‘70’s…what about now?

They say that if you rocked a trend the first time, then you’re too old to rock it again when it swings back decades later…. Well luckily for you readers, therodfather is a timeless icon and can make anything work at any time…you should see me in socks and sandals!

Mullet bikes…. Business in the front, party in the back. It’s not new… There’s been 69ers for yonks, Specialzied Big Hits from the early 2000s were 26/24, and recently lots of big brands are releasing 29/27.5” production bikes.

Is it better? Faster? Funner? There’s some unsupported data online that says it’s an improvement on same wheel sized bikes and the theory is good. A big front wheel rolls over the terrain better and a small back wheel keeps the handling lively. There’s talk of better cornering, anti-tip, constant attack position , less push-pull effect in corners and vector this, torque that.

Look, we know now that 29ers are faster , smoother and grippier, but also that 275 is snappier and more playful. So doesn’t it make sense that if combined , you get the best of both worlds? In my Neanderthal brain yes it does. And out on the trail? We’ve seen a whole lot of riders win races on Mullet bikes. But my old mantra of 5% bike and 95% rider kicks in. You can argue that these winners may be riding Mullets because they only had 275 bikes from their teams and had to try something to compete with the faster 29ers. Chuck a 29er fork+ wheel on and BOOM!

So how do us plebs find out for real? Easy. If you have already been sucked into the already passing (ha) 29er fad, all you need is the 275 back wheel from your antique bike you can’t sell and chuck it on the back. #mullettimebabyyeah . Trying to sell your 275 before you get a 29er and it’s been 12 months already? Bite the bullet, find a 29er fork and wheel and you’re back in business.  Buy a dedicated Mullet bike? There are plenty of options available from big brands like Specialized, Canyon, and more.

Ever since I discovered Mullet bikes back in 2016 when I punctured my 29er rear tyre and threw on my 27.5 rear wheel to get back on the Rotorua shuttle as quickly as possible I’ve been a fan. So has Zerodes’ Rob Metz…OMG!... that’s the first time we’ve ever agreed on anything, He’s smart, I’m dumb..I just nod a lot. Have a look at Zerodes’ new Mulet platform

Putting a 29er fork and wheel on your 275 is a great option for moving forward but the added height at the front may freak you out, especially climbing. But going down?…Holy crap, you are going to love it! Put a 275 back wheel on your 29er? Too easy as you can do it for free in 5 minutes if you borrow a mates wheel or a demo wheel from Wheelworks. Same issues but as you are only dropping a wheel size and not a longer fork so the change isn’t as radical.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, yet many in the industry haven’t, is that a whole lot of time and money could have been saved if we had just followed motorcycle design from the beginning: Many motos are 18”rear and 21”front. Goddammit!