Words and photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith

What would you get if you crossed a boutique cycling brand entrepreneur and an innovative US design suspension patent, with an ex-lead engineer from SRAM and the founder of carbon giant Enve?

Well you’d get Revel Bikes… a relatively new bike brand out of Carbondale Colorado. At the outset Revel only had two bikes available, with their sights set firmly on the Enduro/Trail market. The super interesting Canfield Balance Formula (CBF) suspension is their star recruit doing most of the heavy lifting, differentiating their bikes the Rail and Rascal from the rest of this massive market.

We have got the 29” 130mm travel Revel Rascal on test for this issue and it’s certainly got our regular testers talking. With a lot of claims around the CBF suspension design and the ideas they have around the Center of Curvature and where it should be located it’s going to be an interesting one to put some real-world time on.

For me 130mm rear 140mm front is an ideal trail bike for most Australian conditions. It keeps most of our trails super fun without the need to drag a long travel rig around. A well designed 130mm bike will handle the more aggressive trails at its limit whilst still retaining the pedal ability you want for doing some longer rides on smoother terrain.

The carbon layup and aesthetic is super clean, with internal channels for cables and hydro lines, making it hopefully a quiet bike with easy to route lines. The CBF suspension was tweeked specifically for water carrying capabilities. It has all the usual boost 148mm rear end, classic threaded BB, modern tapered head tube and a custom specific chainguide. The angles look current and on trend without being extreme.

The Rascal is clearly a well-crafted machine, it oozes that wallet thinning high end feel. Matching the quality of the likes of Santa Cruz, Pivot or Yeti. Interestingly enough however, like most newer companies Revel have opted for a more direct to consumer structure than the others. Following companies like YT, Canyon and Commencal in the DC market. Due to it’s small size they have banded with a new Online Australian website Off Road Bikes Online for all their Australian sales which have brought the Revel bikes to our shore at a very reasonable $4499.00 for a frame only option. Completes will also be available with a fairly diverse choice of parts and groupsets.

Our bike was specced with parts to match the quality frame. With twelve speed Sram X01 Eagle, RockShox Ultimate suspension. Sram Brakes, Spank wheels, Carbon KS Lev dropper and some Burgtec bling for Bar and stem. I Literally can’t wait to throw a leg over this one. Make sure you checkout the next AMB for a full review.