My first experience owning a gravel bike has been excellent considering my preferred bikes are mountain bikes.
The transition to narrower bars and tyres has been made a lot easier with the high quality and spec of the Giant Revolt. The paint job alone makes the bike a stunner. I wasn’t expecting the ‘candy’ paint finish based on the catalogue. When it arrived I was blown away by the deep orange and gold colour.
I did chose the cheaper of two full build options. The Advanced 2 comes with a very similar spec to the Advanced 0. Apart from lighter carbon wheels and lighter drivetrain which weren’t essential for what I intended to use this bike for. Giant fit their own brand seat post, saddle, handlebar and stem. The stem is designed to be adaptable for a variety of uses. From cycle computer mounts, extensions for front lights and more. It’s a genius idea to integrate the various mounts as it looks sleek and very user friendly without any extra cost. With multiple mountings for dual water bottles, mud guards or bike packing this bike can haul a lot of gear if you are into your adventure riding! It’s got more than enough space for what I may need on the commute to work or a training ride.
Tyres are 700×40 so wide enough to absorb most bumps on the road and take most of the smaller vibrations away. They come set up tubeless to minimise punctures. It seems to work better than a lot of mountain bike tubeless setups as I’ve not had a single issue! And that is even when riding the RLT course with the Manx 100 creator Nigel Morris. If you have ridden in Nigel’s challenging events you’ll know the calibre of his events.
The tread manages dry surfaces with ease and only deep mud or wet slate will slow you down, although not many road focused tyres grip in wet off road conditions either. There isn’t any noticeable drag on tarmac unless you run the tyre pressure below 45psi. That’s very low for a road tyre and I rarely ran tyre pressure less than 75psi in the front and rear tyres.
Shimano 105 components make up the majority of the drivetrain including shifters, levers and derailleurs. The only part I changed was the Praxis crankset as I planned to fit a crank based powermeter. It was relatively simple to fit the correct bottom bracket to run a Shimano 105 crankset which matched the rest of the drivetrain already fitted.
Giant’s own brand hydraulic disc brakes are phenomenal! They are operated by Shimano levers connected by a cable to a very clever junction in front of the handlebars where you can adjust the sharpness of the hydraulic brakes. They have been incredibly reliable, consistent and I’ve had no need to adjust the lever feel since owning the bike. They are powerful enough to brake hard or progressively, even in wet weather conditions. Compared to road rim brakes I’ve ridden in the past they are night and day. Disc brakes are going to be a must have on road bikes in the very near future.
The time in the saddle was high in preparation for my Everest Base Camp trek back in April, with rides a maximum of three to four hours in duration. The standard saddle has been comfortable and easy to live with. Saddles are usually the first component I remove from a bike, however this one has earned it’s place.
The carbon frame itself has been rattle free, with no signs of flaking or wear in the paint thanks to thoughtful cable routing and very easy to maintain with Knightshine 101. It also has mounts for mudguards to keep the spray away during the winter months or luggage racks for carrying everything you need for an adventure ride. The double bottle holders have been handy for me to carry pump, tube, snacks and drinks etc for commuting and longer rides.
Overall this bike offers great value for such a versatile and high quality bike. It’ll be in my stable for a very long time!
You can get the 2020 edition from Bikestyle in Market Hall.
All the high quality photo credit goes to Darren Fowden Photography. The rest were taken on my iPhone!