Giant unveils the Revolt X - a super-capable suspension gravel bike
Giant’s new Revolt X gravel bike, featuring an all-new suspension fork, has already been making the headlines when it leaked to the public last month. It's now official and we can finally delve into the details of the gravel bike intended for those who love rougher gravel adventures. With its suspension and dropper seatpost, the Revolt X blurs the line between gravel and mountain bikes.
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Giant Revolt X models
The new X has taken the original Revolt that has been around for more than a decade and changed it thoroughly to meet the desires of those who love chunky gravel. The new gravel machine is available under two model names: Advanced Pro X (three configurations) and X 1.
All of the Revolt models get 40mm of travel provided by the suspension fork. The Advanced Pro X1 runs a RockShox Rudy Ultimate XPLR and the other models get a RockShox Rudy XPLR - there is also an Advanced Pro 0 model that is not available in the UK, which comes with Fox 32 Float AX Performance Elite fork.
The suspension fork is paired with a frameset and cockpit engineered for compliance - and compatibility with suspension. According to Giant, the frame's lower seat stay junction and thin-diameter seat tubes improve rear-end compliance without sacrificing the stiffness needed for sprinting and climbing.
Ginat says these changes have made the Revolt X excellent at “bombing a descent with the speed of a drop-bar bike and the confidence of a mountain bike”.
Giant has gone further than just throwing in a suspension fork, though. The frame now has a longer reach and higher bottom bracket height for added control. And to make the bike adapt to the terrain ahead of it, Giant has added a flip-chip to adjust the wheelbase and the tyre clearance of the Revolt X, which means you can now throw on up to 53mm wide tyres - all of the models already come with 45mm tubeless tyres as standard.
Let’s have a quick look at the components of the models that are available in the UK market.
Giant Revolt Advanced Pro X 1 and 2 - £5,499 and £4,499
The Advanced Pro X comes in two carbon-frame options, with the Advanced Pro X 1 running on Sram Rival eTap AXS 1x12 groupset, and the 2 gets a cable-operated Rival 1x11 shifting. The top Pro X 1 model also utilises a Sram GX Eagle AXS rear derailleur that allows the bike to run a whopping 10-52T cassette.
The Advanced Pro models roll on Giant CXR X1 Carbon disc wheels, and Giant CrossCut Grip tyres. Unlike the alloy model, the Advanced Pro X 1 and 2 come with a Sram Dub press fit bottom bracket.
Giant Revolt X 1 - £2,999
The alloy-framed X 1 gets the same mechanical Sram Rival 1x11 groupset and the same finishing kit as the Advanced Pro models but rolls on lower-end Giant XCT-1 Disc wheels.
The X 1 also gets a threaded bottom bracket and a little less premium cork bar tape.
Giant Revolt X finishing kit
Taking the Revolt X even further to the mountain bike territory, Giant has equipped the new models with a dropper seatpost that absorbs bumps and vibrations with 25mm of vertical compliance and 75 or 100mm of height adjustment, depending on frame size.
You’re not stuck with the dropper post for the Revolt X though, as Giant lists three seatpost options for it: the included suspension/dropper seatpost for maximum control, a proprietary D-Fuse seatpost for more compliance, or a traditional 30.9mm round seatpost.
At the cockpit, both the Revolt X models come with a Contact SL XR D-Fuse handlebar, featuring 16 degrees of flare and widths 44cm to 48cm across the size options. The flare adds control and Giant says the design helps minimise hand and arm fatigue by absorbing shocks and vibrations before they reach the body.
The Revolt X models are available in five sizes: S, M, M/L, L and XL. You can check the full details of the bikes and your local Giant dealer on Giant’s website below.
I wonder what the weight is.. weight has been a factor between XC and hybrid bikes previously.. the addition of a front suspension fork makes this basically an XC bike with curvy handlebars.. where is this bike going to be ridden that makes it better than a £4.5k XC bike?
For all my sceptism about this I really must point out that by Giant standards that green bike looks stunning. Love how they've incorporated the gloss black fork with the black seat tube and stays. Very classy.
Feels to me that you could have an absolute top end XC race bike for less money which will be far more capable. Stick that on "Road Plus" tyres and off you go. I used to run WTB Senderos and Byways on my hardtail in the summer and that thing would go everywhere fast/efficiently. Ran it with a Jones Bar for additional hand positions and long ride comfort.
For UK use where gravel bikes really come into their own is as an "endurance" CX bike - clearance, eyelets, relaxed geo etc, enabling a mixed commute or leisure ride. I'd love to know the split between on-road and off-road for most gravel bikes in the UK. Even here on the edge of the New Forest/Salisbury Plain mine spent more time on the road doing transitions than offroad, which is why an endurance road bike on CX rubber (should we call it a randonneur?) will be my setup for the summer.
The logical extension of this is seeing drop bars on MTBs, then we've covered all the bases.
The Revolt is just retracing the steps of the evolution of MTBs. Whether you need suspension is really a matter of how far off-road you want to go. If we are talking an occasional descent of a steep, rocky path, then I'll take the battering over lugging the weight of suspension. If I'm intent on riding MTB territory, then if give serious consideration as to whether it was a mountain bike I needed. It'll either find its niche or it won't.
Also - £3k for an ally-framed bike which sans fork only costs around half that?
*inserts Goodfellas laughing bar scene gif*
Pretty sure that it's not the "Revolt Advanced X" just "Revolt X" for the ally version. Advanced in Giant language means carbon fibre.
Let's hope they've fixed the seatpost cracking issue on the carbon version.
Rival 1x11 is a crappy choice for the amount of money you are paying.