With the option to tackle the lesser travelled path and away from traffic, it’s no surprise that gravel is fast becoming a popular segment of cycling. These versatile bikes are part road bike, part cyclocross and part off-road-tourer, all wrapped into one do-it-all machine.
Giant Bicycles have long offered gravel-friendly bikes, but the new Revolt Advanced is the company’s first carbon fibre offering. CyclingTips’ tech editor Dave Rome recently received the Revolt Advanced 0 for review and offers his first impressions below.
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Sitting at the top of Giant’s new performance gravel range, the Revolt Advanced 0 is priced at AU$4,299 and weights 8.72kg (medium, without pedals). With a quality frame and component specifications, it’s a high-value gravel machine with a lot of promise.
The Revolt Advanced frame is made using Giant’s Advanced grade of composite carbon fibre, just one grade below what Giant’s WorldTour-level race bikes feature. The frame is chocked full of the latest features, including an asymmetrical chainstay design for improved tyre and drivetrain clearance; 12mm thru-axles front and rear; flat mount disc brakes; tapered headset and fork steerer; internal cable routing and an integrated seatpost wedge.
“In addition to the thin, low-slung seatstays and carbon layup tweaks, Giant has taken additional steps to ensure the ride won’t beat you up. Shaped like a “D”, the composite D-Fuse seatpost offers visible rearward flex, and is matched with a new handlebar that works on a similar concept,” said Rome.
“The drivetrain is just about perfect for mixed terrain riding with an enormous gear range provided, one that goes beyond the capability of popular 1x systems. The Ultegra 11-34T cassette is mated with Praxis Zayante cranks which feature sub-compact 48/32T chainrings – a ratio that Shimano themselves don’t currently offer and one that’s perfect for steep gravel routes.”
“The Ultegra shifting is a proven pick, and it’s matched to the new clutch-equipped Ultegra RX rear derailleur which keeps the chain quiet and in place when pushing the bike on less than ideal terrain.” The drivetrain is matched with Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes, another classy inclusion.
For the past couple of years, Giant have been strong proponents of tubeless tyres, going as far to ditch the tubes entirely from all of its performance-level bikes. “The Revolt Advanced is tubeless straight from the box (shop), which saves me from having to make the conversion myself. I see tubeless as an absolute must-have for gravel riding, and I wouldn’t ride or test a bike off-road without it.”
“The tyre clearance surrounding the knobby 700x40c rubber is generous (enough for 45c), and I’m keen to test how 650B wheels fit and ride in this frame.”
For those seeking a little more adventure, the Revolt Advanced is setup with both fender and rack mounts front and rear, which remain cleverly hidden if not needed. There’s also mounts for three bottle cages.
“It’s still early days, but it’s clear that there’s a lot to like about the Revolt Advanced. Perhaps the only thing that’s really bothering me at this early stage of testing is the matte finish, as evident in the photos, it’s not the easiest thing to remove smudges from.”
There’s a quickly increasing number of options in the lightweight gravel bike space, and Giant have seemingly ticked a lot of boxes with its high-value Revolt Advanced. Expect a full review on CyclingTips.com in near time.
Looking to get your hands on a versatile new ride? Browse the range of Gravel Bikes for sale right here at BikeExchange