Revel Rail X01 EagleCheck Out the Full Specs and Review
Usually when we review a bike, we go over previous iterations, updates to geometry, or if it’s a new model, how it fits in with a brand’s existing offerings. In the case of the Revel Rail, however, the usual pfaffing is unnecessary because this is a brand-new bike from a brand-new company. That the Revel Rail held its own at the Bible was impressive, and that the brand pulled this off in their first year is quite frankly mind-boggling.
It would be easy to paint this bike as an underdog, but that’s not exactly the case. The Revel team, while small, packs a ton of industry expertise—and consequently everything on this bike feels well thought out. The geometry is what you’d expect for an aggressive 27.5-inch trail bike (75-degree seat tube, 65-degree head tube and 430-millimeter stays), and you get all the modern touches, like guided internal routing, refined layups and just one size of pivot bearings. The company even designed a clever integrated chain guide.
Still, the numbers only tell half the story. We were shocked by the immediate sense of confidence we got from this bike, pretty much from the minute we pulled it off the stand. It doesn’t feel like a small company’s first attempt; it feels like an established heavy-hitter.
The Rail makes excellent use of the relatively unsung but well-proven Canfield CBF linkage, which gives you nearly 100-percent anti-squat no matter where you are in your travel or gear range. On the trail, that translates to a bike that pedals efficiently while still attentively reacting to the terrain. At 31 pounds and sporting 165 millimeters of rear-wheel travel, it’s no XC bike, but with the range it can cover, we’d put it firmly in what we think of as the ‘mountain adventure’ category. It even felt fast climbing the road back to our house. Then there’s descending. It feels like Christmas when you realize that you do, in fact, get 165 millimeters of travel. This bike picked up speed over Park City’s most jumbled quartzite lines, giving you that elusive purr you sometimes get with good suspension. It is joyful in the air, and true to its name, corners like a slalom ski. You can snap it around almost carelessly and it’ll hold traction just a little longer than the taller-feeling 29ers. Push it and this bike will be a willing accomplice for whatever trail mischief you can cook up.
It is interesting that Revel chose to go with the 27.5 platform for this bike, especially when it seems that long-travel 29ers are the only thing anyone’s willing to ride anymore. But to us the Rail was a nice reminder of what you can do with smaller wheels. This is a bike that never feels wallowy, or locked-in, or like you’re piloting a tractor; it feels like it’s begging you put a little extra sauce on that hip, because why not?
Revel primarily sells direct-to-consumer, so you’ll probably have to make your build selections and payment online. The website makes it clear what you’re getting, and you can toggle between fork, dropper and wheel options. The bike we tested with the RockShox Lyric fork, Industry Nine wheels and SRAM X01 Eagle retails for $7,000. Frame-only runs $2,800 and a unique frame-and- fork option goes for $3,500. As a bonus, every complete bike comes shipped in an Evoc case to help eliminate cardboard waste.
As we head back into a 29er world, a long-travel 27.5 bike might feel like a blast from the past, but it makes a strong case for littler wheels. The Rail is so capable that we forgot about the travel, wheel size and almost everything else—besides, of course, milking as much speed and fun as we could get out of every inch of trail.
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