We enjoy riding MTBs of all wheel sizes… 26″, 27.5″, and 29″ all have a place for us. That said, after building up a 27.5″ hardtail, it simply didn’t have a place.. the 26″ was more fun on the pump track and dirt jumps, and the 29″ was more useful on the trail. But what if it was a mullet? A larger diameter 29″ front wheel could potentially retain some of that go-fast vibe, while still being fun on slower speed tech lines and flow trails, so when Nick Neuhaus reached out to share his own journey into the world of the reverse mullet hardtail, it was interesting to hear his take — it certainly looks like a fun bike with those short chainstays and aggressive geo.
Here are some pictures and build details on the mullet I recently built. To give you a little background, I’ve been building frames for myself and a few friends for the last couple of years. I’ve finally gotten enough requests that this year I decided to start offering frames to anyone. I created Neuhaus Metalworks llc, got my OEM accounts set up, and am now able to offer anything from a frame to a complete bike. My focus is mountain bikes and aggressive gravel bikes, but I also build traditional steel and titanium road bikes, XC-oriented mountain bikes, pretty much anything that is asked of me.
I built the first version of this bike with some very traditional geometry. To be to the point, it underwhelmed me. It was sluggish, it hung up, and it just felt a little odd. It was totally unimpressive until it was pointed down, that’s when it really woke up. It transformed from a bike that made you dread every pedal stroke to bike that made you want to push it harder and harder, the front wheel screaming “trust me we’ve got this” while the back was along for the ride. It was great, but only in that moment.
As much as riding the bike in Marin was a chore 90% of the time I knew there had to be more to get out of the setup. There had to be a way to make a mullet all-day friendly, but still just as ready to charge headstrong and blindly into anything. Enter the Mullet V2 or M2 for short. The goal was a bike that was enjoyable to climb, confident in the flatter tech, and still retained that “hold my beer” feeling when things got steep.
The M2 spec as are as follows frame and build specs are as follows:
Frame: a mix of Variwall heat treated 4130 chromoly Main tubes and straight gauge 4130 chromoly stays and seat tube, the chainstay yoke is a cnc machined piece from Lichen Mfg.
- Head angle: 64º
- Seat angle: 75º
- Reach: 455mm
- Chainstay Length: 415mm
- BB height: 315mm
- 120mm IS 41/52 Headtube
- 148 boost hub spacing
As spec’d/ built up
- Fork DVO sapphire 29/44 offset set to 130mm
- Wheels: Hope Pro 4 hubs, Spank rims, DT Swiss double-butted spokes
- Front tire Maxxis DHF 29×2.5 WT
- Rear tire e13 semi-slick 27.5×2.35 with Cushcore xc
- Brakes Shimano XT m8120 4-piston with Flo motorsports billet lever blades
- Seat post: PNW loam dropper 170 with loam lever
- Seat clamp: Engin Cycles 35mm
- Stem: Spank split 35
- Handlebar: Race Face SixC 35 780 width
- Grips :PNW
- Seat: WTB Silverado
- Cranks: Shimano XT m8000 170 32t
- Cassette: Sram GX 11-42 with one up 44t expander cog
- Derailleur: Sram 11s GX
- Shifter: Sram 11s GX
- Headset: Cane Creek Forty