Review: The Revel Bikes Rail

This weekend I had the privileged to test ride the Revel Bikes Rail. What an amazing machine!! Revel (and their sister brand Why Cycles) from Carbondale, CO, was established by passionate bike nerds and dedicated industry experts, and it shows in their work. Every line on the frame is beautiful and there is exquisite attention to detail.

The first thing I noticed while riding was that it was dead quiet. As a mechanic that stands out. It isn't just the endless hours I have spent exercising, creaking, pinging, and shrieking evil spirits out of bikes, but the knowledge that sounds mean things are rubbing, rattling and moving. When a bike is made to less then exact tolerances, there will always be some rattle and noise. But when a bike is this stealthy and silent on the trail you know it is a masterpiece. With a carbon layup designed by the original founder of Enve, I would expect no less.

Now, quality is all well and good, but the world is full of well-crafted frames that get a lot of attention parked in front of the local brewery, but often aren't fit to shred real terrain. The Rail is not one of those bikes. First of all, I will say it pedals at least as well as the top tier of efficient climbing 27.5" wheeled enduro bikes, but it also packs 165mm of travel in the rear end, which puts it in the bigger travel end of the spectrum. What is unique about the suspension platform is that it is efficient and functions perfectly at any sag. To get a bit technical, most bikes need to be set in a narrow band of about 25-30% sag. Outside of the sweet spot, the chain action and braking forces can wreak havoc on the suspension dynamics. Brake jack, pedal bob, squat, rise, etc. To put things simply now, thanks to their Canfield Balance Formula suspension system, the suspension did exactly what it should do through every millimeter of travel no mater if the shock was stiff or soft or if I was pedaling through rough rocks, cranking through a g-out or braking over a rise.

With their suspension system, the downhill experience was beyond words. You can only fully understand by feeling it for yourself. Not only did the bike devour every brake bump, square edge and big hit, it felt absolutely glued to the ground and perfectly planted no mater what. It had constant support throughout the travel and responded appropriately to every terrain feature, allowing me to crank through the roughest bits and boost out of every corner no mater how rough and poppy the feature. If they didn’t tell me it had 165mm of travel, and was equipped with a single crown DVO fork, I would have easily believed 200mm, but at the same time it was agile and playful. As far as cornering goes, well, they call it Rail for a reason.

On top of everything else, Revel did a masterful job of sculpting the angles and dimensions of this bike to find a perfect balance in geometry and provide a bike worthy of every day trail use with gnarly descending ability. There is nothing this bike cannot do, but don’t take my word for it. Come try one out at Snowmass Demo Days, June 29-30!

Evan Winn
Ride Demo Days