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£849 do-anything cyclocross/endurance road bike with 35mm tyres and disc brakes gets the once-over

The Revolt is an interesting bike in Giant’s range. “Pedal into the unknown, then keep on going. Ride further on road, gravel or dirt with the adventurous Revolt,” is how Giant describes the Revolt. It's a bike for going anywhere then, for people who like to ride a bit of everything, with space for 50mm tyres, disc brakes and ‘endurance’ geometry.

We’ve got the middle of the three bike range in for test. It costs £849 and features an Aluxx SL aluminium frame with a carbon fork. The top tube is dramatically sloped to provide loads of clearance, and the down tube is adorned with a plastic XDefender mudguard, which also doubles as a neat cable housing for the externally routed gear and brake cables.

The bike is specced with a Shimano Sora 3500 groupset with a triple chainset (50/39/30) and 11-32 cassette. You could lug this bike up a mountain if you wanted to, with a loaded pannier on a rear rack. The wheels are a combination of Giant’s own Tracker Sport hubs and S-XS rims with Schwalbe Smart Sam 35mm tyres fitted, with tall flanges on the hubs to increase wheel strength.

The Revolt is built around disc brakes and on this model, TRP’s excellent Spyre mechanical brakes, with 160mm rotors at both ends. The rear rotor is neatly tucked inside the angular dropout. You get a second pair of stubby brake levers on the top of the handlebars, which makes controlling the bike on bumpy trails a bit easier.

A carbon fibre Giant Connect 27.2mm seatpost will help smooth out the bumps a little. Giant’s own Connect equipment is also used for the XR Ergo-Control handlebars, stem and saddle.

The Revolt isn’t an easy bike to categorise. If we were in the US we could do so by just calling it a gravel bike, but since we don’t have many gravel tracks in the UK, it instead looks like the ideal sort of bike for people who like to mix in some off-road riding, whether it's woodland bridleways, canal towpaths or other unsurfaced paths, with a good dose of regular roads too. Simply put, if you want a road bike with the potential to venture away from the Tarmac, the Revolt is for you.

You could also use it for a cyclo-cross race or one of the growing number of cyclo-cross sportive events too. I can see it appealing to mountain bikers who perhaps want a road bike for riding to work, but prefer bigger tyres and a bit of ruggedness.

Perhaps a good alternative to the Revolt, and it shows how popular this category of bike has the potential to become, is Specialized’s brand new Diverge. That too takes some of the DNA of a cyclo-cross bike but mixes it up with the genes of a endurance road bike, with big tyre clearance, disc brakes and comfort boosting features.

One thing is for sure, the Revolt looks like a lot of fun, and as winter is the ideal time for mixing up road riding with some off-road antics, we're off to explore our local network of bridleways in the name of adventure. 

More at www.giant-bicycles.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

14 comments

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mylesrants [387 posts] 2 years ago
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I love these. Bikes just for living . Grass and trails and craic.

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jacknorell [976 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks pretty perfect if you simply want a 'bike' to get around and 'ride places'.

I.e. everyone who's not too worried about being the fastest, but just having fun or get around.

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monty dog [463 posts] 2 years ago
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Suitable 50mm tyres should see you well-sorted for a few MTB trail centres too  1

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HalfWheeler [660 posts] 2 years ago
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I like the idea of these road/cross bikes but can't say I like this frame at all. Esp the rear stays.

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Tin Pony [73 posts] 2 years ago
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I've gotta hand it to Giant. They really do deliver something for everyone. The Revolt seems to define any and every classified genre. This is a good thing. I love the concept and feel it could be really popular. It strikes me as a versatile, sensible solution for the growing number of people who dont like to pigeon hole themselves into one genre of cycling and don't have space or cash for a fleet of specific bikes. I count myself firmly as one of them and for that reason will strongly considering buying one.
www.tinpony.co.uk

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Initialised [324 posts] 2 years ago
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I ride a similar bike, a Specialized Secteur Disc. Today I rode it through mud, over grass, in gravel and on roads, I jumped a few roots and manhole covers, got some air through a section of off road trail, rode it on smooth newly paved roads and worn out off road tarmac, all on 23mm "training" tyres. Even when I've hit ice I've been able to recover because the low join between top-tube and seat tube means you can "steer" the back end with your feet like you would on a hardtail.

Then only thing I'd take issue with on this Giant is the lack of continuity between seat-stays and top tube. With my engineers hat on it looks like a weakness in the frame that will allow the front and read triangles to rotate around the seat tube leading to cracks in the welds... It is also aesthetically unappealing.

The rear brake position is trading utility (makes fitting guards and racks easier and allows simpler cable routing) off against longevity. On wet days and muddy rides the caliper will get covered in whatever you're riding through reducing lifespan of the pads and caliper accelerating the eventual upgrade to hydraulics.

Having said that, this bike would be on my list if I hadn't already got a similar bike.

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The _Kaner [1146 posts] 2 years ago
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"suit me sir"...looks to be a decent spec workhorse, do it all kind of bike...it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a Canyon CF Aeroad SLX...but then it's not trying to be that bike...It'd certainly earn it's place in my stable...

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Doper [74 posts] 2 years ago
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What. the heck. is THAT?  31

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 2 years ago
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@Initialised

I wouldn't worry about the structural design of the frame. Giant have one of the lowest warranty return rates in the bike industry.

They have always erred on the side of caution (light enough, but not too light) when building frames under their own brand name, and have actually declined to build particular frames for brand customers because of Giant's refusal to trash their reputation by fabricating a design they were not comfortable with, structurally.

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Matt_S [297 posts] 2 years ago
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Doper wrote:

What. the heck. is THAT?  31

Revolting?  26 24

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Mountainboy [98 posts] 2 years ago
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I am a fan of Giant, I had a TCR Advanced that I loved, the Defy Disc frame is beautiful, but...

That's just too much for me, I had a Kona Dew Drop that was similar, in the end the additional weight over a more 'normal' bike meant it had to go. I replaced it with a Genesis Croix de Fer, hardly a lightweight, but it feels faster.

I think Trek have nailed this kind of bike this year with the CrossRip.

http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/road/fitness/crossrip/

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edd23 [47 posts] 2 years ago
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Needs a name change, Giant 'Revolting' nearer the mark...  31 31

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aguyonabike [2 posts] 2 years ago
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.

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trepador [12 posts] 2 years ago
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So, no review yet?  39