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Review: Revel Ranger V2 – Canadian Cycling Magazine

Review: Revel Ranger V2 - Canadian Cycling Magazine

These days, there is more than one way to approach a cross country race bike. The newest version of the Revel Ranger falls nicely into the down country category, straddling the line between XC and trail.  Usually with XC bikes, you get a great climber that descends not badly.  In the case of the Ranger, you get a very good climber that is super fun on the descents.

Revel Ranger’s new V2 uses 115mm of Canfield Balance Formula rear suspension. Photo; Matt Stetson

Revel Ranger V2 build: from the ground up

I started with a medium Ranger V2 frame that Revel has updated with SRAM’s UDH. There’s also more lateral stiffness in the rear triangle and greater tire clearance at 2.6″. I built it up with SRAM’s new Transmission GX, Fox’s new Float SL shock at 115mm and Step Cast 34 120mm forks. Wheels were ENVE M5’s with Maxxis new Forkcaster front and Rekon Race rear tires.  Dropper post and a carbon fiber bar/stem were from FSA.  All in all a great build that added to the very stylish look of the bike.

Revel adds a tidy little fender to the Ranger V2 to keep debris out of the pivot. Photo: Matt Stetson

Revel, Canfield and the Ranger

Revel is a reasonably new brand out of Colorado, five years and counting. Back in about 2017, as Revel was getting off the ground it came to a licensing agreement with Canefield Bikes to license its Canfield Balance Formula suspension system or CBF.  The primary function of the CBF is that it keeps the pivot point along the chain line at the front of the chain ring. This helps maintain tracking on the rear wheel by reducing the fluctuating distance between crank and rear axle.  So when climbing and descending the rider feels less of the bike bucking and bouncing and, when pedaling, the bike’s suspension is less evident.

The Ranger’s CBF suspension adds come weight and complication, but it pays off on the descents. Photo: Matt Stetson

CBF is one of the central features of all Revel’s frames from the beginning as it is a suspension system that can be tuned to work for a variety of types of bike designs. Revel uses it from this down-country rig, which prioritizes pedalling efficiency, all the way up to the Rodeo, the 3-d printed DH bike. My only initial caveat is that the CBF comes with some added complexity. There are five pivot points plus rear shock hardware, so there is a potential for things to get squeaky. But, to date, all has worked beautifully.

The Ranger is a carbon fiber 29er, as you’d expect from…

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