Deniz merdano Revel rascal Chromag emma larossignol 18

2024 Revel Rascal V2

Photos Deniz Merdano

The first version of the Rascal put Revel on the map back in 2019, and many subtle changes have added up to make the new version a significantly new bike. The Rascal V2 is a 29er trail bike with 140mm travel up front and 130mm in the rear. Notable upgrades to the pivot hardware were made to match the designs of the Rail29 and Ranger frames, increasing the bike's stiffness and making maintenance easier by eliminating dual threaded bearings. Enhancements were made to the carbon layup, adding to the overall stiffness, in addition to geometry tweaks and SRAM UDH compatibility. All appreciated changes to a bike that Revel describes as the ultimate trail bike and feels is their best bike yet.

I have had minimal issues with the trail bike over the past few months, with the biggest concern being the bash guard peeling off after the second ride. Luckily, clear caulking made for an easy fix. I appreciate the intricate details that went in to the whole design. Every time I took it out, there was something new that I noticed, a thoughtful detail on the frame that was likely considered for a while. No detail overlooked by the small team in Carbondale, Colorado.

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Suspension and Setup

Fork: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 140mm

61 psi // 17 clicks of rebound (all clicks measured out from fully closed)

HSC 2 // LSC 2

Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 130mm

153 psi // 10 clicks of rebound

HSC 1 // LSC 1

Based on RockShox's tuning guide, my recommended settings for the shock are 154psi and 11 clicks of rebound (aka fully open) for a 25% desired sag. This isn’t far off from what I settled on. The recommended settings for the Lyrik were 64psi and 12 clicks of rebound, a little slow for my preference.

My HSC/LSC settings for both shock and fork were on the softer side, which is on par with my style of not enjoying firm suspension and I also felt the bike provided a good amount of support already. I didn’t feel the need to add volume spacers, rarely bottoming out the suspension. The suspension settings were relatively easy for me to get right and I quickly reached a comfortable state for all types of riding.

Geo and Builds

Sitting at 5’2”, I’m a size small and nothing on the geometry side of this bike stood out as unusual. A reach of 431mm, chain stay length at 436mm and wheelbase of 1175mm are all very normal and comfortable measurements for me. One of the few things I did change was to add a longer stem to ease the quick handling and make climbing steeps easier, as well as increasing the front rotor to 200mm and dropping to a 30T chainring for the Back40 race. A 28T chainring is compatible, however the smallest recommended size is 30T.

I don’t know what it feels like to be tall but I know the uniform chain stay length is a controversial subject. With no geometry adjustments available, a 436mm for sizes L-XXL can be a cause for reservation, although I’m sure it’s a hoot to whip around corners given that it it worked well for me on the size small.

Something I find a bit odd, and one of my criticisms of the build, has to do with dropper sizes. For all size small builds, the Rascal V2 comes with a 125mm dropper. I can’t imagine the amount of small riders who only fit on a size 125mm dropper be very many. A more reasonable option would be to spec the smalls with a 150mm dropper and if I were to buy this bike it would be one of the first things I would do.

To give you an idea, my dropper is sticking out by 50mm, which would give me room to comfortably put a 160mm Revive dropper. Not to mention, it’s the only frame size on the Rascal V2 that does not change dropper size as you go up in build spec. The size Large SRAM GX build comes with a 170mm dropper, while the size Large SHIMANO XT build comes with a 185mm dropper. Is this a normal thing that I have just never noticed?

Overall I think the rest of the build specs on this bike are top notch. All builds come with 4-piston brakes and the fork and shock selections are well balanced and appropriate for this trail bike. In terms of stiffness & flex, I don’t feel limited with a RockShock Lyrik Ultimate on the North Shore like I did with the Fox 34 Performance on the last bike I tested.

For the area I live in, the Continental Kryptotal and Xynotal Trail Endurance tire combination did not do me any favours. I found these tires super sketchy and I had multiple close calls that crushed my confidence in them. The endurance compound on these Continentals are the firmest of three options, which focuses more on rolling resistance than grip. A completely understandable decision to spec them on a trail bike whose company is based in Colorado, but they are just not ideal for the Shore or PNW trails and conditions.

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The Continental endurance tires had me nervous in wet conditions, forcing thoughtful lines and very selective braking.


The bike as a whole is built to be efficient for climbing, from the CBF suspension to tire selection. It was made very clear by an employee at Revel that climbing efficiency was critical to the bike as they don’t have nice, easy climbing trails near their head office. Designing a bike that is efficient on steep chunky road climbs and doesn’t suck your energy for the decent was key.

The effective and actual seat tube angles are 76/71 degrees respectively, increasing slightly by a half or full degree for the XL and XXL frame sizes. It’s not the steepest angle so you do have more weight towards the back of the bike making for excellent traction. The suspension is well supported, having anti-squat that starts around 140% and drops to 105% as you max out the travel. I never felt like I was sinking into the travel on slower technical sections that require punchy pedal strokes.

I didn’t feel the need to turn the climb switch on, but that can certainly help to get your weight forward when it gets really steep and grindy. Additionally, adding a longer stem helped push my weight forward and where the continental tires lack in grip, they certainly make up for in efficient levels of rolling resistance.

Because of how easy it is to pedal, the Rascal has been my go to bike of choice when I want to do a quick lunch pedal lap or a longer slow ride. In short, this bike rips uphill.

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CBF is a well balanced suspension platform that pedals smooth and floats over bumps making it so enjoyable to climb.

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With a shorter chain stay length, the Rascal can rail corners.

I rode this this bike through the spring, increasing my riding volume in anticipation of the Whistler Back40. Getting elevation gain and kilometers on this bike was just as important as getting used to riding it down steep, tech trails. Perhaps not its original intent, but getting comfortable pushing the bike to its upper limit was important to me and my goal for the spring.

One pedal stroke is all you need to get this bike rolling downhill. Not only is it fast, but it’s very reactive to suspension compression making it a blast for dancing your way down your favourite section of trail. I’ve never launched myself so far with such minimal effort, something that is fully credited to the CBF suspension.

On low angle trails, while I was still getting used to the bike, I felt like the Rascal was about to take off on me when my body position wasn’t ideal or when I was being a bit of a lazy passenger. I quickly realized this bike wants 100% of your attention. But when you give, it gives back. It picks up speed and keeps it, and the bike comes to life best when you engage with it by taking the double over the roots or really lean into the corner. Not that it requires much effort, the bike knows what to do and how to do it, it just requires focus and engagement to maximize its sportiness.

On steeper chunky trails, the bike performs fine but is understandably limited on stability with the shorter wheel base and tight geometry. The handling was sketchiest when going through a slow, steep corner, reinforcing the idea that braking and cornering don’t go well together. For these types of sections, line choice and brake control become more important, slowing down in the right spot to set myself up properly made for a faster line. Putting on a longer stem and bigger front rotor helped on the steeps, getting more weight over the front wheel and increasing brake power.

It’s not the bike you want to plow through a section of trail with. I would usually get ping-ponged around if I hesitated on a line. Getting back onto smooth fast trail makes you appreciate how much the bike thrives in that environment.

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Little effort needed to get the Rascal in the air.

Value & Accessibility

All good quality bikes are expensive. The Rascal V2 is no exception and it doesn’t help that there are no aluminum frame options available - it's carbon options only with builds starting at 5,999 USD for the SRAM GX build. Everyone’s perception of value is slightly different and I think it’s critical to identify which components on a bike are most important to you as a rider. If you can’t afford your ideal build, what parts can you upgrade over time to make it a better riding experience or extend the life of your bike.

I also think it’s important to associate a post purchase value to your bike. How easy is it to maintain if you’re going to keep it for a few years? Can you easily get your hands on replacement kits? Does my local mechanic know the build well? How easy will it be to get a warranty frame replacement and does the brand have a good reputation for taking care of their customers?

While Revel might not have a huge presence in Canada yet, which could influence your decision to buy one, there are a couple of retailers who proudly carry the brand on their floors. If you’re looking to get your hands on a demo bike or need support, reach out to your local retailer - here's their dealer finder.

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Revel's RW30 V2 carbon rims were comfortable and quiet.

The Rascal V2 is a very capable trail bike that knows its limit and is not going to mislead you into thinking it can do everything. Its climbing abilities are superb thanks to the Canfield Balance Formula suspension and it performs best on low angle, flowy trails. It is fast, playful and very lively, reacting well to jumping and quick movements so if you’re a rider who loves to stay engaged throughout the whole ride, this may be one for your list.

Here are some places I have ridden where I think the Revel Rascal would thrive:

  • Bellingham (Galbraith)
  • Vancouver Island (Heartland, Mt Tzouhalem, Cumberland)
  • Sunshine Coast (Roberts Creek)
  • BC’s Chilcotin Mountains
  • BC Okanagan (Three Blind Mice, Kalamalka Lake, Naramata)
  • Quebec (Empire 47, Gatineau Park, Orford)

For more on the Rascal, head to Revel's site.

Tags: Revel, Rascal
Posted in: Features, Bikes - Trail, Gear

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+12 Deniz Merdano FlipSide Alex_L Andeh BarryW Pete Roggeman Timer Jerry Willows Emma Le Rossignol Niels van Kampenhout UMichael DancingWithMyself

I like that the author of the review makes suggestions on where/what trail networks they think the bike would excel. Having ridden several of those places myself I am able to immediately grasp and understand the commonality.

It also gives me ideas of some other places I may like to go and ride.


+2 BarryW Emma Le Rossignol

I agree. It's a list I'd like to include on my reviews too..



I don't think it would be as helpful as it is here if you just include Emma's list in your reviews though Deniz.



But we ride the same places.. time to cut the cord I think...


+4 Jotegir FlipSide Jerry Willows Curveball

Thanks, glad that is helpful. Someone had asked for specific trail names on a pervious bike review but I thought giving trail networks would be more valuable.


+2 Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano

Here to say the subtitle of this article should have been "Little Rascal reviews the Rascal"

+1 Dave Smith

I regret the miss!



Understandable on the Why behind the tyre spec, but its a shame it came with the Trail Endurance compound/casing option as the soft and super soft Continentals are otherworldly and the Trail Endurance really doesnt let an incredible lineup of treads and tech shine.

I am however excited for the release of the Trail casing with Soft compound rumoured to arrive later this year. It would be a goldilocks OEM selected casing/compound option for a large majority of riders.


+2 Kyle Dixon Pete Roggeman


I have a Kryptotal Re Trail/Endurance at the back of my new trail bike and its not great. I would certainly not want it as a front tire. 

As a matter of fact, I am contemplating sending it to tire hell... (i.e.: at the back of my hardtail with a CushCore insert and low pressure). :)


+1 FlipSide

my dance with Trail Endurance was 2 laps at Kicking Horse sans insert...

Turns out when a bead delaminates, it goes BANG! LOL.   Continental was quick to make me whole via warranty and now I stick to Enduro Soft out front and DH Soft with a Tannus out back and have 0 complaints. I am however incredibly impressed with the longevity of the Soft compound. 21480 ish feet of Descent in 3 days at Bromont on the Quebec gnar barely wore the whiskers off...


+1 Kyle Dixon

I had the same problem with a DH Argotal super soft. Bead became super loose to the point I could install them by hand, but they wouldn’t seat and would blow full off the rim. Warrantied… apparently it’s an issue with continental tires.


+1 FlipSide

Oh, I should have clarified, this wasnt the bead became loose and wouldnt hold on the rim scenario

It was a "bead edge delaminated from kevlar bead strip causing rapid depressurization during landing phase of a ballistic event" kinda scenario.  Which is a fancy way of saying my fat ass exploded a bead.

Blown Bead


+1 Kyle Dixon

I was close to buying Endurance Trail tyres as the Soft Enduro Kryp/Xyn had run out of stock. I decided in the end to go full hog and get a Magic Mary Super Trail front and Hans Dampf Super Gravity rear. Might as well have some peace of mind smashing around!



I really want to know how the Krypto soft and super soft compare to Maxxis Maxxterra and Maxxgrip in the EXO+ casing on The Shore or PNW. I can't seem to get an answer from anyone. They either compare them to the DH casing or talk about them in dry climates.


+1 Deniz Merdano

Well, since the Krypto Super Soft ist only avaliable in DH casing, there isn't really any way to compare them with an EXO(+) tyre.

Krypto Soft ist available in Enduro casing, which is still beefier than Exo and the Conti Soft rubber is a bit grippier than Maxxterra. But if you try and replace a Maxxgrip tyre with a Conti Soft in the wet, you are in for a bit of a disappointment. 

The most noticeable difference between Conti Soft and Maxxterra, no matter where you ride, is the longevity. The Contis wear substantially slower than other tyres with medium-soft rubber.



Considering the Maxxterra is really not all that bad to begin with, the Continental Soft Enduro Casing is the best tire money can buy!



It really does seem like a miss when even the 5' 2" rider is changing to a 200 front rotor and commenting on the lack of a longer dropper post.


+3 Jerry Willows Emma Le Rossignol Curveball

I'd say dropper post length is a big personal preference thing, though. And the 200mm rotor is a function of regional terrain and rider style as it is anything else.


+1 Emma Le Rossignol

I think the spec makes sense for riding in the roaring fork valley, which is not surprising. All small and relatively cheap changes that could be made as things wear out though. I've got a friend that rides one of these who really likes a playful bike, and rips it on just about any trail you can imagine.



Once again, Emma writes an amazing review. She really captures what the bike is all about in a very clear and concise way. Simply brilliant.


Great article Emma! xo


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