If you regularly check our Instagram or have some awareness of current trends in off-road cycling, you might have encountered the word “mullet.” No, it doesn’t refer to the hip, most aerodynamic haircut for all-road touring (much to some of our staff members’ dismay). But the classic mantra of “business in the front, party in the back” remains applicable.
Put simply, a mullet drivetrain refers to a gravel bike which has a pairing of road shifters, a 1x chainring, and a wide-range mountain derailleur and cassette in the rear.
Besides the cool name, there are some serious benefits. Firstly, cutting out extra chainrings minimizes weight. Second, the 1x system makes it easier to rapidly change your gearing when on more technical trails and routes. Third, the huge range allows riders to go fast as hell on the flats but still retain an easy gearing for climbing even the steepest grades, even with a loaded down bikepacking rig. Finally, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want something no one else has?
In the past, the easiest way to set up a mullet system was with an electronic groupset such as SRAM eTap. The limitation? Cost.
However, parts availability and experimentation has helped us to find new ways to bring ideas to life.
For instance, this Otso Warakin Stainless replaces traditional road shifters with a bar-end shifter. The benefit? For casual riders, the bar-end is easy to use while still keeping an 11-50 range that will allow you to shred on just about anything. And for those interested in long distance touring, bar-end shifters are exceptionally durable, easy to maintain, and inexpensive to replace should you encounter technical difficulties in the wilderness. What’s great about this solution is it makes a mullet drivetrain accessible at as little as half the cost of a typical electronic set-up.
Interested? Come see it in person at our Greengate location! And check out all of our custom builds here!