We put Giant's aluminium adventure road bike to the test
If you’re after a beautiful bike, the Giant Revolt isn’t it. It’s jagged seatstays have a certain industrial quality to them, while the seriously compact geometry almost made me question whether the test bike that Giant had sent was going to be big enough for me. Thankfully though, the Giant Revolt does ride quite a bit better than it looks.
On the road, the Giant Revolt is surprisingly good. Whack those 35mm Giant P-SLX2 tyres up to their recommended maximum pressure of 70psi and the bike taps along rather well, taking in flat and gently rolling roads with ease. And even at these sort of tyre pressures it is very comfortable too, soaking up rough road surfaces very well, especially at the front where the gently curved and elongated carbon fork provides a seriously plush ride.
In the hills it’s only natural that the Giant Revolt’s 10.25kg weight is going to hold it back, but it still copes with gentle gradients quite nicely, and Giant has at least gone to the trouble of fitting a 34t sprocket at the back so the steep stuff can still be tackled when needed.
Off-road and the Giant Revolt also offers a fairly good ride. The Giant Connect handlebars are hugely flared, so you get great handling even if you’re pushing at the edges of the off-road credentials of the Giant Revolt, and a comfortable position when riding on the drops on the road.
The comfort that the frame exhibits on the road is also replicated on rough forest tracks and bridleways, where the Giant Revolt skips along rather nicely and never giving you a rough ride or an unexpected jolt if you hit a root across the path.
However, if you’re looking to ride the Giant Revolt off-road on muddy tracks through the winter, you might find the supplied tyres a little lacking as they’re quite slick down the middle, so don’t provide great grip when it’s wet off-road. The best thing to do would be to fit wider tyres with better a little more tread, and the Giant Revolt offers plenty of clearance for up to 50mm tyres.
One point that does count in the Giant Revolt’s favour when riding in muddy conditions is the built in front mudguard, which sits on the bottom side of the down tube and does a great job of protecting you from spray being kicked up from the front wheel, also shielding the brake and gear cables at the the same time.
The Giant Revolt comes in three different builds, and the lower the number, the better the spec. At the bottom of the pile is the £699.99 Shimano Claris-equipped Giant Revolt 3, moving up the the £849.99 Giant Revolt 2 with Shimano Sora, and finally the Giant Revolt 1 you see here. If you’re after an adventure bike but have a little more to spend, then the Giant AnyRoad CoMax is another (unfortunately just as dodgy-looking) option.
The Giant Revolt 1 has a Shimano Tiagra drivetrain (although with a non-series Shimano R460 chainset) which performs very smoothly even when being juddered up and down over rough bridleways. The 48/34t chainset and 11-34t cassette offer a massive range of gearing that’s great for this type of bike, and don’t be put off by the lack of 50t chainring, as you’re going to have to be going some to get up enough speed to spin out on the Giant Revolt.
Giant has moved away from Shimano with the brakes, which are TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes. These do a fairly decent job on and off-road, and the choice of going for mechanical means that the Giant Revolt can be fitted with in line brake levers, letting you use the brakes even when riding on the tops.