Home > Biking

Wildly Popular Mid-Travel Mountain Bike Just Got Better: Revel Rascal V2 Review

The updated 130mm travel Revel Rascal proved to be one of the best bikes when you want to ride all-mountain and more.

Revel Rascal V2 mountain bike(Photo/Berne Broudy)
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

I’ve ridden many 130mm travel mountain bikes, and while they’re fun, I usually opt for a bike with more travel or less. Sometimes, mid-range travel bikes feel like a compromise on both ends. But when I swung a leg over Revel’s new Rascal, its competence in challenging terrain, playful personality, and easy climbing made me fall in love.

I can’t decide if shopping for a mountain bike is simpler or more complicated than before. It’s easier because there are so many competent bikes. But it’s more complex than ever because there are so many good and great bikes, and you must ride them to know which is which. Revel’s V2 Rascal proved to be one of the greats.

Revel released the original Rascal in 2019. It was its first bike, and since 2019, the Rascal has been Revel’s bestselling bike, according to Adam Miller, the brand’s founder. 

Revel redesigned the 29-inch wheel Rascal, making significant and minor changes to transform a good bike into a great one. The brand reconfigured the frame’s carbon layup, swapped pivot bearings for bigger and better ones, and tweaked geometry, rendering the bike more efficient and capable. Minor changes, including new carbon internal cable guides, a universal derailleur hanger (UDH), and new fasteners, also contributed to the improved Rascal V2.

I rode the 140mm front/130mm rear travel Revel Rascal in Vermont about half a dozen times in late fall and early winter when the conditions allowed. Temperatures ranged in the 40s and 50s, and the trails were often wet, with slick rocks and roots. If it was dry, leaf-covered tracks were common. The terrain was solidly all-mountain, and I threw in a bit of enduro riding as well.

In short: The Revel Rascal V2 took full advantage of the update, becoming one of my favorite mid-travel bikes. It was smooth pedaling and extremely capable. The Revel Rascal V2 is a worthy contender if you want one bike to conquer all. This single bike made me believe in the one-bike quiver, from the fastest trails on the flats to super technical descents.

Revel Rascal V2 Mountain Bike


  • Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 140mm
  • Drivetrain SRAM X0 Eagle transmission
  • Brakes SRAM Code RSC
  • Cockpit Trail 1 The Crocket Carbon Handlebar, Trail 1 The Viking Alloy Stem 35×40
  • Dropper post Bike Yoke Revive 2.0
  • Wheels Crank Brothers Systhesis Alloy Rims, Industry Nine 1/1 Hubs
  • Tires Continental Kryptotal-F Trail 29 x 2.4 Soft Front, Continental Xynotal Trail 29 x 2.4 Endurance Rear


  • Capable across a wide range of terrain
  • Feels much lighter than it is when riding
  • Incredible traction
  • Attractive color selection


  • Heavier than some mid-travel bikes
  • No XS size

Revel Rascal Frame Updates

Revel Rascal V2 mountain bike
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

“The Rascal V2 is 100% brand new everything,” says Miller. “It’s in the same category with the same suspension, but we completely redesigned the geometry and carbon layup.”

To make the new Rascal, Revel opened an office in Taiwan for production and quality control. They updated the bike’s hardware — including bolts, bearings, and frame hardware — to higher quality and tolerances.

Revel uses Toray pre-preg thermoset carbon fiber, known for its exceptional strength, low weight, high impact resistance, and relatively reasonable price. The size M frame weighs 6 pounds, 4 ounces without a shock. On my scales, the fully built bike weighs 30 pounds, 10 ounces for a size M with SRAM XO transmission and carbon thermoplastic wheels, but no pedals ($7,999, not including the wheels). The frame is 150 g lighter than the V1 frame.

To improve the rider experience, Revel equipped the Rascal V2 with new pivot hardware. The more oversized bearings and axles Revel now specs contribute to the bike’s stiffer, more responsive ride feel. They’re also more durable and easier to maintain because all pivot bearings can now be tightened or removed with a single tool, not multiple. Revel now secures the shock with titanium hardware for weight savings and durability.

“We wanted the V2 Rascal to be the best possible all-mountain bike out there,” says Miller. “We checked every box, adding bigger Bolu bearings where it matters. They’re the best bearings with the best seals and are longer lasting. We reduced the number of bearings from 18 to 10, which saves weight and adds simplicity.

“We made sure that all frame hardware could be adjusted with one tool, not two, as previously needed. That makes trail tweaks easier, though the rider should never have to touch the bolts. We designed and built a stiffer, stronger frame with the best tolerances in the industry, which means that the Rascal V2 should be low-maintenance for a long time.” 

In its second iteration, the Rascal lost weight, but Revel achieved that savings without skimping on features. Revel added a rear triangle debris guard to reduce the dirt and mud that gets flung into the bike’s pivots by the rear wheel.

To keep the bike silent, they co-molded carbon internal cable guides. These also make maintenance easier because threading new brake cables and shifter/ dropper cables is easier. And they wrapped the right chainstay with a beefy rubber guard to protect the bike and reduce noise.

As with most high-end brands, Revel adjusts the seat tube angles by size so that all sizes have the same ride feel, even if the geometry is slightly different. On XL and XXL Rascal V2s, the seat tube angle is slightly steeper. And every Rascal V2 has a size-specific carbon layup designed to meet the needs of a rider’s anticipated weight.

Suspension Changes

Revel Rascal V2 Suspension
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

I’m a big fan of Yeti’s Switch Infinity translating pivot because it gives bike suspension a bottomless feel. I felt like Revel’s CBF suspension on the Rascal V2 achieved much of the same. Revel licensed the Rascal’s CBF suspension from Chris Canfield, who founded Canfield Bikes.

The system doesn’t use a virtual pivot point (VPP) like the suspension popularized by Santa Cruz and VPP-utilizing brands. CBF suspension operates at the center of curvature.

“If you take VPP and the wheel axle path at all travel points, there is a point that is the center of curvature,” explains Miller. “In VPP, that center of curvature can be a foot across. In CBF, it’s 50mm across at the top of the chainring … what that means is that the bike has consistency at all points in the rear wheel’s travel, whether you’re riding up or downhill or braking.”

On the trail, that meant there was no squatting when I braked. The pedal forces were consistent, so the bike felt extremely efficient and delightfully predictable when riding. 

The bike I demoed paired a Rock Shox Lyrik Ultimate front fork with a Lyrik Super Deluxe Ultimate piggyback shock. It took me a little time to fine-tune the sag, compression, and rebound settings, but once I did, they rode like a dream.

Chassis Geometry Changes

Revel Racal geometry chart

Revel took its time refining this bike’s geometry, and it was time well spent. The Rascal’s geo numbers are in the middle of what you’ll find across the all-mountain category.

The Rascal V2 has a slacker head angle than the previous version, combined with a 44mm offset fork. The previous Rascal had a 51mm offset fork. This new combination gave the bike more precise handling and stability, especially at higher speeds.

The new Rascal has a steeper seat angle than the V1. I felt like the watts I was putting into the pedals translated directly to forward motion without the bike feeling squirrely. That’s at least part of the reason that the bike rode with a lighter feel than what the scale indicated.

The new Revel is available in S-XXL. When asked why they don’t offer an XS for smaller women and kids, Miller says the small fits riders down to 5’1” and that the XXL fits riders over 6’3”. The Rascal’s shock placement prohibits smaller than size small construction. All Rascal V2 frames have room for a water bottle, and many sizes have space for a second bottle on the underside of the downtube. 

Parts and Pieces

Revel Rascal v2 cockpit and dropper post
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

Instead of the Crank Brothers Synthesis Alloy Rims with Industry Nine 1/1 Hubs that come standard with the XO build, I rode Revel’s RW30 Thermoplastic Carbon Fiber wheels with I9 hubs. I’ve tested these wheels on multiple bikes, and I loved them for how stiff and smooth they were without being jarring.

Revel Mountain Bike wheel
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

The cockpit included a Trail 1 The Crocket Carbon Handlebar held by a Trail 1 The Viking Alloy Stem 35×40 and a Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 dropper. An SDG Components Radar seat rounded it all out.

SDG Components Radar saddle
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

Revel specs the Rascal with Continental tires, a departure from the nearly universally spec’d Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR or Assegai/DHR. The Rascal’s Continental Xynotal (rear) and Kryptotal (front) were interesting choices. SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth Brakes handled braking duties.

Revel Rascal V2 front end
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

Finally, I don’t usually comment on bike color. But the Rascal’s Ponyboy Gold, a color chosen by Revel team rider and Skida founder Corinne Prevot, caught my eye, and I got compliments from other riders regularly. The other Rascal color, Pinot Gnar, is just as good and will make this bike recognizable on the trail.

Revel Rascal V2 Ride Impressions

Riding Revel Rascal v2 bike
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

“We set the bar high; we wanted to not just meet but to exceed what people expect,” said Miller. “We’re pleased with how it’s gone.”

I was excited when I threw a leg over this eye-catching bike. On the technical all-mountain/enduro trails behind my house in Vermont, I pedaled my standard lunch ride loop as fast or faster than usual. When I came around a tight corner and a tree had partially blocked the trail, I easily maneuvered around it without a hitch.

On a ride on Goodnight Irene in Vermont’s Mad River Valley, the bike boosted off little hits and jumps and landed with plenty of suspension to spare. Cornering was intuitive and fast. Climbing switchbacks on Revolution, also in the Mad River Valley, the bike gripped the slippery rocks and roots without a slip. It rolled onto an awkwardly angled bridge without issues.

Continental MTB tires
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

The Continental tire combination was superb for Vermont riding, with exceptional grip on greasy rocks and slick trails. They inspired me to ride with confidence on every feature.

Conclusions on the New Revel Rascal

Rascal v2 mountain bike
(Photo/Berne Broudy)

The new Rascal is meant to satisfy the largest number of mountain bikers riding the most diverse terrain. If you are primarily an XC racer, grab a Specialized Epic or a Scott Spark instead. If you’re purely an enduro rider, hop on Norco’s Shore or Yeti’s SB160 instead. Do you want one bike to have max fun, that pedals efficiently while climbing, and makes you hoot and holler on the descent? The Revel Rascal is a splendid choice.

“The Revel Rascal V2 is an all-mountain bike for everybody,” says Miller. “It’s a bike that invites the widest range of riders to have fun on it. This downcountry 29-inch wheel, 130mm suspension spec is the bread and butter of the full-suspension mountain bike world. We’re proud of what we created.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

Zach Overholt jumping on the 2024 Pivot Switchblade

Pivot Switchblade Mountain Bike Review: Updated Classic Is Still a Jack-of-All-Trades

The latest reiteration of the Pivot Switchblade didn't disappoint. It's a a vastly capable trail/enduro bike that can still do it all. Read more…

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!