When I first found out a new Giant Revolt was on the horizon for this winter, I felt a little apprehensive about where Giant might take a gravel bike that’s impressed me in many of its previous guises.
However, this evolution takes the Giant Revolt’s proven pedigree, adds a racier ride and increased tyre clearance, and delivers some of the most fun you can have on a drop-bar bike.
That’s why the Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 – the flagship model in the range – takes the overall and gravel titles in our 2022 Bike of the Year Awards.
In fact, this is the first time a gravel bike has won the overall crown. How? Well, let’s dive in.
Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 frame and fork
At the heart of this Revolt is an all-new frame and fork, released in November 2021.
At first glance, it looks remarkably like the outgoing design. You get the same low-slung sloping top tube, so it’s equally easy to move around on the bike when the going gets technical.
The frame details share much of Giant’s signature design cues from the road range. The triangulated head tube to the junction of the top and down tube recalls the TCX cyclocross bike (with a bit of Giant TCR thrown in too).
At the back, the ovalised seat tube, with its aero-style cutaway, looks very much like the Giant Defy endurance road bike, as do the dropped seatstays.
On the new bike, the seatstays are slimmer than before, and the yoke as they join the seat tube is flattened to add a bit more flex. It retains the D-shaped post that debuted on the TCX and has become a staple of bike design from many brands.
The new D-Fuse seatpost is lighter than the previous generation and more flexible with it.
The seatpost fitting, however, is now round (30.9mm diameter) with a wedge to take the D-shaped post, meaning the Revolt can accommodate a dropper post should you want to change things up.
The new fork is lighter and provides clearance for up to a massive 53mm tyre. At the rear, there’s a clever flip-chip dropout, so you can extend the wheelbase to accommodate a 53mm tyre here too (in its short standard setting, you get 42mm of clearance).
Giant says the increase in tyre size and the extended wheelbase also have an effect on the trail, pushing it out to 68mm on the large model (from 65mm in the short setting), which in theory should add a bit of extra stability when you’re making the most of bigger tyres on technical terrain.
These detail changes are all well thought-out, making the Revolt a versatile machine that caters to the demands of most gravel riders.
And unlike the current trend for more stripped-down, racier gravel bikes, such as Cervélo’s radical Áspero 5 and 3T’s aero-optimised Exploro Racemax, Giant has stuck with giving you plenty of fixtures and fittings, useful if you’re of the bikepacking persuasion.
Those mounting points include bosses on the top tube, underside of the down tube and on the fork, so you can add bikepacking bags just about everywhere, if you’re planning to head out on a multi-day adventure.
Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 geometry
The biggest change, however, is the way in which the bike’s handling has been sharpened up, with Giant steepening the head angle by a degree to 71.5, while also dropping the bottom-bracket height (to accommodate the trend towards larger tyres).
The reach has also been extended to 397mm from 391mm to make the ride position a little racier, though the stack height (thanks to the increased tyre clearance) has grown by 14mm, which meant I could run the stem on the Revolt pretty much slammed.
|Short / Long||Short / Long||Short / Long||Short / Long||Short / Long|
|Seat angle (degrees)||73.5||73.5||73||73||73|
|Head angle (degrees)||71||71.5||72||72||72|
|Chainstay (mm)||425 / 435||425 / 435||425 / 435||425 / 435||425 / 435|
|Seat tube (mm)||450||470||490||510||530|
|Top tube (mm)||550||560||575||585||600|
|Head tube (mm)||135||150||165||180||195|
|Fork offset (mm)||50||50||50||50||50|
|Trail (mm)||72 / 75||68 / 72||65 / 68||65 / 68||65 / 68|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||80 / 81||80 / 81||80 / 81||80 / 81||80 / 81|
|Wheelbase (mm)||1020 / 1030||1026 / 1036||1031 / 1041||1041 / 1051||1056 / 1066|
|Standover (mm)||740 / 747||757 / 764||774 / 780||791 / 797||807 / 814|
|Handlebar width (mm)||420||440||440||460||460|
|Stem length (mm)||60||70||80||80||90|
|Crank length (mm)||170||172.5||172.5||175||175|
Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 drivetrain and braking
The Revolt has 11-speed Shimano GRX Di2 RX-815 throughout, in a 2x setup with 48/31t chainrings and an 11-34t cassette.
The Di2 shifting is exact and precise every time, and the clutch-equipped rear derailleur keeps chain bounce in check superbly.
However, I still have some reservations about wiring and gravel mixing, and I’ve had one episode where I dropped the bike in a corner (I’m blaming the tyres as opposed to my lack of finesse), which twisted the left-hand STI unit. Upon straightening it, I managed to pull the Di2 wire from its connection, rendering the system dead.
This meant a bit of trailside fettling to first find the problem and then reconnect the cables so I could continue with 22 gears rather than one.
On to braking and the GRX lever design, shaped to better fit the hand when riding on the hoods, has some of the best power and progressive feel out there, also thanks to the mountain bike-derived Servo Wave tech.
With this, the movement of the lever and pad are non-linear, so you only need to gently pull on the brakes to control the bike.
Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 ride impressions
I was already a big fan of how adept previous Revolt incarnations have felt when the going gets rough, and this new design builds on that character. The front end feels sharper, quicker to react and generally nimbler.
It may have lost a touch of stability, but Giant has more than made up for this by making this an even more exciting bike to ride. Its on-road manners, even with 40c tyres, feel endurance-bike rapid.
Where it’s improved markedly, however, is in the ride comfort. The wearying vibrations of hard-packed gravel are crushed into smoothness by the combination of the very clever D-Fuse bar that soaks up bumps and buzz with ease, yet feels brutishly stiff when sprinting or out of the saddle climbing.
At the rear, the combination of skinny stays, and the new D-Fuse post gives the Revolt’s posterior an almost floaty air. The Approach SL saddle is also a fine place to sit for a few hours. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it certainly didn’t offend either.
There’s no fancy gravel bike suspension, but the Revolt’s built-in frame features and big tyres provide plenty of plushness when it’s needed.
The 8.33kg weight sounds somewhat average on paper, but the Revolt rides like a much lighter bike.
A lot of that is down to the new CXR wheelset on this flagship build. With a weight of 1,398g a pair, it’s in quality road-wheel territory, rather than toughened gravel hoops built to take hard knocks.
The wheels accelerate well with a solid laterally stiff feel, and the 54-point engagement from the DT Swiss internals on the Giant hubs means snappy acceleration when you put in a big effort.
Giant should be applauded for sending out all its bikes set up and sealed tubeless, because far too many brands still compromise their bikes by equipping tubeless wheelsets and tyres, then throwing in inner tubes to make the worst of both worlds.
The Maxxis Receptor tyres here, however, are something of a mixed bag. The tight, chequered tread pattern through the mid-section is just about as rapid as it gets for a gravel tyre on tarmac, and the small shoulder knobbles don’t hinder on-road cornering to any great extent. Off-road, they’re similarly fast.
As I began testing, though, most of the gravel trails the Revolt was exploring were getting worse for wear from rain, mud, greasy rotting leaves and vegetation – a lethal combination.
Stick with the Receptors in these kinds of conditions and you need to prepare yourself for two-wheel drifts in corners and spinning out the rear wheel on even the slightest of greasy gradients.
Now, tyre choice is a massively subjective thing, depending on where you live in the world, what you ride on, and in which season.
The Advanced 0 in this guise would be supreme on long, dry summer rides. But to make the most of what is one of the superstar gravel bikes right now, I’d want a set of mud-capable gravel tyres and to make use of the extra clearance afforded by the smart, adaptable wheelbase of the Revolt chassis.
Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 bottom line
With the new Revolt, Giant takes all of the great points of the original design and modernises them.
By shaking up the bike’s handling, this is one of the most fun drop-bar experiences I’ve had in a long time.
The smile that the Revolt brings to my face whenever I return from a ride has made my own gravel bike jealous.
Add in the versatility afforded by tons of tyre clearance, plenty of mounting points and a comfy ride, and this is a thoroughly capable machine that captures everything you’d want in a gravel bike in 2022.
Gravel Bike of the Year 2022 | How we tested
Testing for our 2022 Gravel Bike of the Year category started on a loop around Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.
This fast blast takes in wide, well-paved gravel roads, proper mountain bike singletrack trails and forest fire roads, with the ride out using connecting towpaths and bridleways, and the ride back taking in a bit of tarmac. It’s exactly the kind of multi-terrain route on which we want a gravel bike to excel.
Following this, each bike was then taken on a 70-mile/113km route over mixed terrain with plenty of elevation changes.
The bikes were then ridden back-to-back over a few weeks, during which we assessed the pros and cons of each, finally coming to a decision on the best gravel bike on test based on how well it handles, its spec choice and – arguably most importantly of all – how much fun it is.
Our 2022 Gravel Bike of the Year contenders are:
- Cervélo Aspero Rival AXS
- Cinelli Nemo Gravel Disc Ekar Mendini
- Cube NuRoad C:62 Pro
- Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0
- Vielo V+1
|Price||AUD $6699.00EUR €5599.00GBP £4999.00USD $6400.00|
|Features||Extras: Factory tubeless set up, 53mm max tyre size in "long" flip chip position, 42mm max tyre size in "short" flip chip position|
|Handlebar||Giant Contact SLR XR D-Fuse, 31.8mm S:42cm, M:44cm, M/L:44cm, L:46cm|
|Tyres||Maxxis Receptor, 700x40c, tubeless|
|Stem||Giant Contact, 8-degree S:60mm, M:70mm, M/L:80mm, L:80mm|
|Shifter||Shimano GRX RX-815 Di2, 2x11|
|Seatpost||Giant D-Fuse SLR, composite, -5/+15mm offset|
|Saddle||Giant Approach SL|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano GRX RX-815 Di2 Max 34T|
|Front derailleur||Shimano GRX RX-815 Di2|
|Available sizes||S, M, ML, L|
|Frame||Advanced-Grade Composite, 12x142mm thru-axle, disc, flip chip dropout|
|Fork||Advanced SL-Grade Composite, full-composite OverDrive steerer, 12mm thru-axle, disc|
|Cranks||Shimano GRX RX-810, 31/48 S:170mm, M:172.5mm, M/L:172.5mm, L:175mm|
|Cassette||Shimano CS-HG800, 11-speed, 11x34|
|Brakes||Shimano GRX RX-810 hydraulic, Shimano SM-RT800 rotors [F]160mm, [R]160mm|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano, press fit|
|Wheels||Giant CXR 1 Carbon Disc WheelSystem, 25mm inner rim width|