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Giant Revolt 0 gravel bike review

23 Jun 2020
Verdict:

The Giant Revolt 0 is an ideal introduction to riding off-piste at a price you can’t argue with

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Road and trail comfort • Handling belies its weight • Well geared • Keenly-priced
Against 
Jarring on rougher terrain • Tyres would struggle on really muddy paths

Remember when cycling was fun? Not the ‘beating your mate in a street sign sprint’ kind of fun; more the ‘this feels like freedom’ levels of elation you first felt when you were allowed to ride further from your house than parental range of vision. The way you felt when you first jumped off a kerb, did your first skid…

The Giant Revolt 0 has the ability to reignite that childlike passion, and indeed to rekindle the flame of freedom that cycling offers at every stage in our two-wheeled education.

For some pure roadies (and until about five years ago, I’d have counted myself among that number), this bike will open their eyes to the wonders of off-road, in a way which carries very little of the ‘trip to A&E’ risk that novice trail centre mountain biking can.

No, the Giant Revolt 0 is a bike that broadens horizons and grins in equal measure. And for the princely sum of £1,499, which might not be ‘drop in the ocean’ territory for a lot of us, it certainly represents an enticing door into a whole new world of riding.

 

Comfort above everything

What hits me first is that the Giant Revolt 0 doesn’t feel out of its depth on tarmac. Even with 60psi in its own-brand Crosscut AT 1 tubeless tyres, the wheels roll with surety of direction and speed with the big (48t) chainring selected, and the biggest gear on the Shimano 105 cassette (11t) engaged.

Buy the Giant Revolt from CycleStore here

It’s a feeling which doesn’t desert the bike once I reach my local network of hard-packed woodland trails and flint-littered perimeter paths, as speed is easily found and ably retained.

 

What does strike me initially is that the rear contact point is much better damped than the front. Hammering across baked paths with the exuberance of a kid on a BMX, chattering teeth are the counterpoint to a cosseted backside.

I'd say this relative comfort at the behind is partly down to the application of Giant’s D-Fuse seatpost system, designed to allow flex (and coincidentally makes it impossible to get the saddle alignment wrong, thanks to the post’s D-shaped profile).

I daresay gloves might have been a sensible wardrobe choice, rather than my usual bare hands approach. Although the forks are a carbon composite, they don’t really reveal themselves to be capable of eliminating vibration until the paths become smoother.

Put the hammer down

For an aluminium bike that weighed 10.16kg even before I’d fitted my Shimano XT pedals, I’m blown away by the progress it makes, especially uphill, even on some really bumpy stuff.

Of course, the trademark compact Giant rear frame triangle plays a part in facilitating max power here. But, with those 38c tyres rolling over ridges in the path (Giant says the frame has clearance for diameters up to 45c), the gearing provision also strikes me as well considered.

 

Uphill progress never becomes an uphill struggle, even in the big ring (albeit approaching the 34-tooth sprocket on the cassette). Apart from hearing the internally routed cables jumping around inside the alloy frame, forward momentum is retained on steep, rutted inclines without having to leave the saddle.

 

Feel the fun

The wide, flared drops allow me to muscle the Giant Revolt 0 around some slower turns of singletrack with ease.

The Giant Revolt 0 responds to inputs with surprising quickness, allowing me to focus on scanning the trail for my ideal lines through the trunks. The 70.5° steering angle encourages confidence.

 

It’s here that I’d be a little more careful in muddier months; while the tread on the Giant Crosscut AT 1 tyres is well matched to heatwave conditions, its lack of pronounced knobbles on the shoulder of the rubber means it does not cope well with cornering at any speed on slime and deeper mud (which a minor get-off in the same location a few weeks later proved).

Buy the Giant Revolt from CycleStore here

The Shimano 105 hydraulic brake set-up performs with trademark accuracy and predictability throughout, offering finesse and urgency when either is required.

 

Dusting down

It is hard to pick fault with the Giant Revolt 0. Yes, there are limitations to the Giant Revolt 0 if you intend to hit some very serious off-piste riding in the autumn and winter.

But if what you’re looking for is a resilient bike with the versatility even to commute on (bottle and rack mounts are included), a taste of what it means to feel true cycling freedom away from traffic, and a reminder of how much fun riding can be, you would have to go a long way to beat the Giant Revolt 0.

Especially given the price.

Spec

Frame ALUXX-Grade aluminium frame, composite fork
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105, hydraulic discs
Chainset Praxis Alba 2D, 48/32
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-34
Bars Giant Contact XR D-Fuse, back sweep, flared drops
Stem Giant Contact, alloy
Seatpost Giant D-Fuse, alloy
Saddle Giant Contact Neutral
Wheels Giant S-X2 Disc, Giant Crosscut AT1 tyres, 700 x 38  
Weight 10.16kg (size M)
Contact giant-bicycles.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£1,499