Zerode Bikes has announced the release of a mixed wheel size option to expand their full suspension Taniwha lineup. The new Zerode Taniwha Mulét capitalizes on the versatility of the Taniwha platform to deliver a ride that combines the best elements of 29 and 27.5” wheels, and it is available now in both 140 and 160mm travel versions.
The New Zealand brand has sold a number of mixer setups upon request over the years, and increasing demand in the North American market inspired the decision to add the bikes to the catalogue full-time. With the recent UCI rule change to allow mixed wheel setups in races and a mixed-wheel bike taking the top podium step at the opening round of the Enduro World Series, Zerode expects to see more brands follow suit by offering the Mulét as an off-the-shelf option.
Like the existing Taniwha models, the Mulét is built around a Pinion gearbox that offers durability, enhances suspension performance, and opens up new lines not available to those who need to worry about snagging their derailleur on an errant rock or other debris. Zerode is known for an unconventional but focused design approach that prioritizes performance over following the current trend of the season, and this new offering is no exception.
In-house testing revealed advantages to the mixed wheel setup. The Taniwha Mulét is said to retain the poppy playfulness that comes with 27.5” wheels and shorter chainstays, but offer the benefits of larger wheels up front where they count the most.
On the trail, riders can expect a blend of characteristics from the existing Taniwha and Taniwha Trail platforms. In addition to providing a stable front end, the 29” wheel slackens the geometry to match that of the longer-travel Taniwha, while offering the advantages of the shorter travel Taniwha Trail. Set up as an 140mm travel bike, it retains the same geometry as the 27.5”-only enduro model. Riders looking for a more planted and stable ride feel can opt for the 160mm travel version, which raises the bottom bracket and further slackens the head angle.
Indeed, it’s a widely held axiom that 29ers offer advantages in terms of capability — they roll over obstacles more easily and raise the bike’s front end for more control on the steepest descents. But some riders don’t want to compromise the playfulness that comes with shorter chainstays.
By mixing wheel sizes and retaining the existing frame dimensions, Zerode discovered a Taniwha that they say bombs big mountain descents and rock gardens with the confidence of a 29er, but retains a snappy rear end that’s easy to lift of the ground and makes the bike a breeze to manual.
Taniwha Mulét Tech Specs
- Travel: 160mm or 140mm
- Frame: Carbon Fiber with Internal cable routing for dropper post
- Wheel Size: 29” front wheel, 27.5” back wheel
- Seatpost: 31.6mm
- Seatpost Clamp: 34.9mm
- Rear Shock: 216mm eye to eye x 63mm stroke (160mm) or 210mm eye to eye x 55mm stroke (140mm)
- 22.2mm x 8mm reducer
- Headset: 44mm top/56mm bottom
- Brake Mount: 160mm IS
- Drivetrain: Pinion C.Line gearbox
- Rear Hub: 142mm x 12mm [single speed]
All build levels currently offered from Zerode headquarters and their North American distributor, Cycle Monkey, are available in the Mulét configuration on zerodebikes.com and usa.zerodebikes.com. To learn more head over to zerodebikes.com.