• Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Travel: 115mm rear/120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.5

Seat Tube Angle: 75.3

Reach: 473mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.23 lbs

Price: $5,199

What We Like: Downhill prowess

What We Don’t: Seat angle could be steeper

A new short travel bike offered by Revel, the Ranger, is a mean (can be green) downhill riding machine. The climbing ability with this bike is solid, but the geometry could be a bit more climb-friendly and could have a slightly steeper seat tube angle. As for downhills, this thing rips. The Canfield Brothers Formula that was applied to the rear suspension is super impressive and makes for a surprisingly smooth ride with lots of traction. For being Revel’s first go at a short travel bike, they have done a lot of things right.

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  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
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The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker
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Born from a brand that is less than two years old, Revel has made quite a mark delivering two high-performance mountain bikes: the Rascal, a 29er with 130mm of travel, and the Rail, a 27.5er with 165mm travel. Now, they have introduced the new short travel Ranger with 115 of travel sitting on 29” wheels. The direct-to-consumer company has built the Ranger to be a one quicker short travel bike. Capable of longer day cross country rides, it still can handle itself on technical terrain thanks to modern geometry and a neutral riding position.

 

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker

The Bike

Overall frame weight is a bit heavier compared to some others in the short travel 29 world. At 6.1 lbs for a medium frame with the SID rear shock, it is a beefier carbon frame. There are two bottle cage mounting options: one inside the triangle and the other on the downtube. With the positioning of the rear shock, the main bottle mount does have some extra room for a bigger bottle, which is excellent for the long cross country rides. There is a third accessory mount option higher on the inside triangle for a strap mount or other gear.  

The frame comes with internal routing for all of the cables that make change-outs as easy as feeding one end through until it pops out the other side. There is even space for the previously mentioned optional rear shock lockout system cable if it is so desired.

There are also two half gloss half matte color options available. A green called “Johnny Green Jeans” and a black “De La Coal”—I think someone had fun naming those.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker

Climbing

On Revel’s website, they claim that the Ranger has been built for “the ups and the downs.” With the lockable rear and front suspension, the Revel Ranger will also climb as well as it can descend, however with the neutral position and the patented Canfield Brothers Formula, CBF, rear suspension system, locking out may not be that necessary on climbs. With a moderately steep head angle of 67.5 degrees and a seat tube angle of 75.3 degrees, you are in a great position for burning up technical climbs or gravel roads.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker
With the CBF suspension system, the chain is always perpendicular to the axle travel. So in regular terms, your pedaling efficiency will improve as no pedal force is wasted and everything goes into the rear wheel. The CBF keeps the drivetrain and suspension separated so that everything can independently do its job to the highest level—mainly by reducing the movement of the bike up and down and keeping everything moving forward as you tackle technical uphill climbs. There is even the option to have a remote rear suspension lockout system for when you’re tracking watts, not air time.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker

Downhill

The Ranger works on the downhills, and it works well. The longer reach, 473mm on a large, keeps your body in a stable position for tossing up brown powder around berms. Revel has gone with a shorter front fork offset of 44mm, adding more stability on the downhills to help keep everything organized. The handling on tight technical terrain at speed helps the Ranger into a league of its own while the CBF suspension gives that immediate power feedback when you punch down into the pedals. For the amount of travel, it is an excellent descender, maybe not as good as the Yeti SB 115, but Revel is new and taking all the right steps. Again with the limited travel on the downhills, experienced users may find the Ranger is a bit underqualified for overly choppy terrain when flying through some chunder on the trail. Smooth groomed downhill paths are more suited to the travel and geometry of the Ranger, though it is competent at catching some light air.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker

Build Options

There are three kit options for the Ranger, a GX Eagle Kit ($5,000), an Eagle X01 kit ($7,200), and a high-end Eagle XX1 AXS kit ($10,000). The Ranger is also available as just a frame ($2,800) or as a frame and fork build kit starting at $3,500. Every bike purchased will also come in a hardshell EVOC bike case that the consumer can keep, which is a great addition for future travel and adventures.

Each build comes with excellent parts sourced from well-known companies such as RockShox, SRAM, and Crank Brothers.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

If you ride cross country but also like to mix it up on some all-mountain or light enduro trails on the way to the brewery after the last lap, the Revel Ranger may be for you. The neutral riding position makes it a great climber while the fork offset and CBF suspension keep the ride super smooth on some gnarlier downhills. A poppy party bike, unfortunately, it may get a bit rough in some of the chunder you can find on certain trails.

While it is Revel’s first shot at a short travel 29er, the outcome is super impressive, and it’ll be exciting to see what this new(ish) company can do in the coming years as they perfect their craft and the bikes that come with it.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Revel Ranger - Gear Hacker

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!