|Business in front, |
party in the back.
I assume most people are familiar with the frequently-ridiculed hairstyle it takes its name from, epitomized here by the David Spade character, Joe Dirt. Short in front and on the sides, but long and cascading down in back - like a hair waterfall.
Well, apparently, this is now the name given to a recent trend of putting MTB gearing on a drop-bar road bike. Typically it would have the drop-bar road controls (business in front?), and a 1x11 or 1x12 drivetrain (party in the back?). And for the true full-blown mullet in all its enthusiastic glory, it should have a cassette with a range of something like 10-50 teeth.
Holy cow. People must really hate front derailleurs.
|An SRAM-equipped "mullet bike" - from the SRAM website.|
More than anyone else, they seem to be embracing the trend.
Having such a wide range on a cassette would, I expect, mean pretty large jumps between gear ratios. But with 11 or 12 cogs, proponents say that effect is minimized (note: minimized). And apparently, at least one company (Spanish component maker, Rotor) is now offering 13 cogs! Jeezus.
Fans of the mullet tout the weight savings of losing a chainring and the front derailleur, although that's got to be mitigated at least a little by the huge cassette cogs, not to mention adding more (and still more) of them, which are more likely to be steel than aluminum. And then there's the issue that as chains and sprockets keep getting narrower, the shifting has to be much more sensitive to misadjustment, dirt, and wear. And yet, this seems to be where we're going.
Good or bad, I don't know, but I guess it's the hot new trend for "gravel" and "adventure" bikes.
As for me, I'm still unsure where all the hatred for front derailleurs comes from, but I'm still more than happy with a compact double crank and 6 cogs in back.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a leather saddle and a can of Proofide waiting for my attention.