The Revolt Advanced Pro took our overall 2022 Bike of the Year title, earned with its exciting ride, great value and a specification that helped it impress both on and off road.
But what happens when the Revolt becomes much more focused on digging through the dirt?
The Revolt X showcases the bike’s pure off-road readiness rather than its versatility. Out goes the lightweight carbon fork and seatpost. In comes a RockShox Rudy XPLR Ultimate 40mm-travel fork, plus a remote-controlled Post Moderne dropper post that provides 25mm of suspension travel and 100mm of drop.
Meanwhile, the tyres are swapped for something chunkier, and the geometry has been tweaked to bring the handling towards off-road manoeuvrability.
In all, the Revolt X is just about as much fun as pure gravel bikes get.
Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 1 frame details
The Revolt X frameset has plenty of similarities to the suspension-free Revolt Advanced Pro.
Both, for example, feature an adjustable rear end thanks to the flip-chip dropouts. This means the Revolt can switch between a huge 53c maximum tyre size in ‘long’ position and a still generous 45c in the ‘short’ setting.
Then there’s Giant’s Overdrive headset/head tube design (with 1 1/8 – 1 1/4in bearings), said to keep the front-end stiffness optimum.
It’s all wrapped up in a compact frame shape that maximises the length of exposed seatpost (a core design principle that has been a key element in Giant’s road offerings since the original TCR).
However, the Revolt X has a much shorter head tube, at just 145mm compared to 180mm on a size-large bike. This renders the Revolt X’s geometry ‘suspension corrected’.
The wheelbase is shortened, and the frame is designed to be run with a shorter stem to keep the handling keen.
The top tube’s squared-off and flattening shape is designed to bolster the stiffness at the head tube, but be more compliant as it tapers back towards the junction with the seat tube.
The seat tube is round, and its 30.9mm diameter opens plenty of dropper post options, or you can just run a standard round post.
The oversized, square-shaped down tube runs into a ‘Powercore’ bottom bracket design – an integrated oversized 86mm-wide area, which flows out into asymmetrical chainstays to balance the distinct forces acting upon the back end from the drivetrain.
The seatstays are dropped, and their small diameter is designed to provide compliance. This is in contrast to the chainstay shapes, which are focused on delivering high levels of stiffness.
There’s provision for water bottles on the seat tube, underneath the down tube and in two positions on the top of the down tube (to enable you to install larger-sized frame bags).
The top tube also sees bento box bosses installed.
Giant has gone against the grain when it comes to front-end integration. There’s a two-piece setup, with the cables and hoses routing into the head tube, rather than the sort of fully integrated system now common on gravel bikes such as the Basso Palta, BMC’s Kaius and Factor’s Ostro Gravel.
From there, they run internally to the rear brake and through to the dropper post – but there are no complex proprietary integrated bar/stem/headset systems going on here, which bodes well for upgrading the cockpit in the future.
It’s worth noting the Advanced Pro 1 specification is the range-topping bike in the UK, but US customers can also opt for an Advanced Pro 0 version ($8,500) that steps up to a SRAM Force/Eagle AXS mullet drivetrain, and features Fox’s 32 Float TC 40mm-travel fork.
Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 1 geometry
The Revolt X’s geometry is focused completely on off-road performance; there are no concessions to making this an all-road bike.
Up-front, there’s a slightly relaxed 72-degree head angle (which effectively modifies to 71.9 degrees if you run the rear flip chip in the long setting).
This, combined with the tall suspension fork and compact 145mm head tube, results in a 607mm stack on a size large.
The reach of 399mm is a good, long length that keeps the ride position sporty, but it’s offset with a short 80mm stem to keep handling sharp up-front.
The wheelbase maxes out at 1,051mm with the rear dropout set in its long position (1,041mm in the short setting). Similarly, the rear chainstay length switches between 435 and 425mm.
The difference between the two settings isn’t night and day, but the longer setting produces slightly slower, more stable reactions (especially if you take advantage of the extra tyre clearance it affords).
The RockShox suspension fork brings a 45mm offset. With the bike running 45c tyres, this leads to a long 73.4mm trail.
All-in, this should add up to a bike with super-stable steering more suited to technical trails than fast fire roads, hardpack gravel and the tarmac in between.
|Short / Long||Short / Long||Short / Long||Short / Long||Short / Long|
|Seat angle (degrees)||73.5 / 73.4||73.5 / 73.4||73.0 / 72.9||73.0 / 72.9||73.0 / 72.9|
|Head angle (degrees)||71.0 / 70.9||71.5 / 71.4||72.0 / 71.9||72.0 / 71.9||72.0 / 71.9|
|Chainstay (mm)||425 / 435||425 / 435||425 / 435||425 / 435||425 / 435|
|Seat tube (mm)||450||470||490||510||530|
|Top tube (mm)||553||560||575||585||600|
|Head tube (mm)||100||115||130||145||160|
|Fork offset (mm)||45||45||45||45||45|
|Trail (mm)||76.9 / 80.3||73.5 / 76.8||70.1 / 73.4||70.1 / 73.4||70.1 / 73.4|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||68 / 69||68 / 69||68 / 69||68 / 69||68 / 69|
|Wheelbase (mm)||1,024 / 1,034||1,026 / 1,036||1,031 / 1,041||1,041 / 1,051||1,057 / 1,067|
|Standover (mm)||736 / 743||755 / 761||772 / 778||790 / 796||808 / 814|
|Crank length (mm)||170||172.5||172.5||175||175|
|Stem length (mm)||60||70||80||80||80|
|Handlebar width (mm)||440||460||460||480||480|
Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 1 specification
The Advanced Pro 1 gets a very competent specification for the money. One of the first highlights is the wheelset – Giant’s own 1,398g (claimed) CXR 1 boasts a high-quality performance road bike wheel weight, rather than one typical of toughened gravel bike wheels built to take hard knocks.
The carbon hookless rim is built onto Giant’s own hub design, running on cartridge bearings (with DT Swiss 350 internals for the freehub), laced together using 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes per wheel.
The wheelset reacts well with its stiff feel, and the 54-point engagement from the DT Swiss freehub internals means snappy acceleration when you put in a big effort.
The tubeless-ready rim has a hookless design with a gravel-optimised 25mm internal width. This blunts the external profile, which is 35mm deep.
Giant should be applauded for setting up the Revolt X tubeless, rather than opting for the common method of equipping tubeless wheelsets and tyres, but setting them up clincher to the detriment of performance.
It uses its own CrossCut Grip 1 45c tyres. These have a light, knobbled tread through the mid-section and more pronounced knobs on the shoulders to aid cornering grip.
At the heart of the bike is a mullet mix of SRAM Rival eTap XPLR AXS and GX eTap AXS wireless mountain bike components. A single Rival XPLR 40t chainring is matched to a long-cage GX AXS rear derailleur and wide-range 10-52 tooth cassette.
Brakes come from the road/gravel-oriented Rival range, with large 160mm rotors. It’s all controlled by SRAM’s Rival AXS shifters.
Up-front, the short 80mm Giant alloy stem clamps onto Giant’s Contact SL XR D-Fuse bar with a 16-degree flare and a generous 48cm width.
Under that, a Rock Shox Rudy Ultimate fork provides 40mm of air-sprung travel.
Giant’s Approach SL saddle is held in place by Post Moderne’s 30.9mm-diameter dropper post, combined with a drop-bar mounted remote control.
The post drops 100mm at the push of the lever, but cleverly also acts like a suspension post with 25mm of travel when fully extended.
Compared to rivals with effectively 40mm of suspension at the front end and 25mm at the rear, the Revolt X represents great value for money.
The Specialized Diverge STR comes in at £7,500 for a Rival AXS-equipped Expert model. Cannodale’s Topstone Lefty 3 with mechanical GRX and alloy wheels is (understandably) cheaper at £4,000 – you need to part with £7,500 for the Lefty 1 to get electronic shifting and carbon wheels.
Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 1 ride impressions
I’m hugely familiar with the standard carbon Revolt, but before testing the Revolt X, I wondered if the much more focused design might push it too far from its sibling’s brilliant all-road-gravel prowess.
It’s certainly different, but if you’re going to be taking in the technical side of gravel riding, it’s worth it. The Revolt X works brilliantly off-road.
The frame still has the same efficient feeling that made the original so addictive to ride.
However, here, it combines it with enough bump-taming tech to mean you’ll never have to think twice about which trail you take.
The Rudy Ultimate fork might provide ‘only’ 40mm of travel, but it uses it to stunning effect, swallowing up high-frequency, energy-sapping vibrations with ease. Ruts and roots are nulled well too – you’ll still feel them, but they won’t jar.
The way the fork works through rough terrain impresses, delivering progressive compression resistance the further through the travel you push. For a short 40mm-travel fork to feel almost bottomless is an impressive feat.
At the back, the Post Moderne dropper post is quick to respond, and the drop-bar specific rocker-style remote lever is easy to use with a finger from the hoods or thumb from the drops.
The 25mm of suspension travel is welcome on water-barred gravel roads and bumpy descents, though on rocky and rooty singletrack it can get overwhelmed a little and become bouncy.
In reality, for the most technical parts of my rides, I found myself dropping the post out of the way to better enjoy the Revolt X’s brilliant off-road handling.
The drivetrain’s huge range, with a 40/52t bottom gear, means you’ll almost never have to walk, no matter how steep the going gets.
Even with the limited traction afforded by a wet test period, the Revolt X would soldier on in the worst boggy conditions – a tribute to the impressive CrossCut tyres.
They don’t have anything approaching what you’d call a mud-specific tread, but the combination of their generous width, low-pressure tubeless setup and grippy shoulder tread meant they cut into sloppy trails better than I expected. They proved puncture-resistant, too.
Then you can add into the equation the lightweight wheelset and its fast pick-up. While on paper the Revolt X looks heavy at 10.5kg, it climbs with the same liveliness as true featherweight gravel bikes such as Specialized’s Crux and BMC’s Kaius.
The RockShox Rudy Ultimate fork comes with a lock-out dial on the top of the right-hand fork leg, which can be engaged when you start to climb. I found it useful on tarmac, but I never felt it necessary to engage it off-road.
The fork’s natural movement as you climb works well to keep things smooth. Even with hard out-of-the-saddle efforts, it never felt energy-sapping, or as if it was bobbing unnecessarily.
The upside, thanks to its gnarlier overall design, is that coming back down the other side, the Revolt X smashes through things those lightweight, lithe machines can’t handle.
The combination of the long trail, short stem and super-wide gravel bar gives the Revolt X an abundance of control when the trail toughens.
In short, when the gravel route ahead tightens to twisty technical singletrack, I can’t think of another gravel bike I’d rather be on.
Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 1 bottom line
While the standard Revolt is one of the best versatile gravel bikes around, the Revolt X is much more focused on tough, technical routes and trails.
In fact, you could argue it’s a much more focused gravel bike for the UK and northern Europe (or even areas of North America not laced with wide hardpack gravel roads).
Huge clearances, wide tyres, two forms of suspension and handling that’s so easy to get in sync with when the going gets lumpy and twisty are all compelling feathers in the Revolt X’s cap.
Given the technical nature of the trails I tested it on, the fact I never once wished I was on a mountain bike speaks volumes.
Time will tell whether gravel bikes become divided into separate lightweight ‘aero race’ and ‘get-out-in-the-wild-and-have-fun’ categories.
If that does happen, on the evidence of the Revolt X, I know which post I’ll be hoisting my flag to.
Gravel Bike of the Year 2023 | How we tested
Each of the bikes selected for our Bike of the Year gravel category was first subjected to a two to three-hour ride at Salisbury Plain in the south of England.
This first fast blast took in wide gravel roads, mountain bike singletrack and forest fire roads, with the ride out using connecting towpaths and bridleways, and the ride back taking in a bit of tarmac.
Next came 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 to compare the pros and cons of each contender.
I reached my decision on the best-balanced bike, weighing up how well it handles, how well it’s equipped, and most importantly how much fun it is.
Our gravel Bike of the Year contenders
- BMC Kaius 01 One
- Factor Ostro Gravel
- Ridley Kanzo Adventure Rival AXS
- Pivot Vault Ultegra Di2
- Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 1
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, EUR €5999.00GBP £5499.00USD $6200.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 10.5kg (L), Array, kg|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Giant|
|Available sizes||br_availableSizes, 11, 0, Available sizes, S, M, M/L, L, XL|
|Bottom bracket||br_bottomBracket, 11, 0, Bottom bracket, SRAM DUB, press fit|
|Brakes||br_brakes, 11, 0, Brakes, SRAM Rival eTap AXS hydraulic, SRAM PaceLine rotors 160mm|
|Cassette||br_cassette, 11, 0, Cassette, SRAM XG-1275, 12-speed, 10x52|
|Chain||br_chain, 11, 0, Chain, SRAM GX Eagle|
|Cranks||br_cranks, 11, 0, Cranks, SRAM Rival D1 DUB, 40t 175mm|
|Fork||br_fork, 11, 0, Fork, RockShox Rudy Ultimate XPLR, 40mm, Charger Race Day damper 12x100mm thru-axle|
|Frame||br_frame, 11, 0, Frame, Advanced-Grade Composite, 12x142mm thru-axle, disc, flip chip dropout|
|Grips/Tape||br_gripsTape, 11, 0, Grips/Tape, Stratus Lite 3.0|
|Handlebar||br_handlebar, 11, 0, Handlebar, Giant Contact SL XR D-Fuse, 16-degree flare L:48cm|
|Rear derailleur||br_rearDerailleur, 11, 0, Rear derailleur, SRAM GX Eagle AXS|
|Saddle||br_saddle, 11, 0, Saddle, Giant Approach SL|
|Seatpost||br_seatpost, 11, 0, Seatpost, Post Moderne, dropper, 30.9mm with 25mm of suspension 415mm length / 100mm drop|
|Shifter||br_shifter, 11, 0, Shifter, SRAM Rival eTap AXS, 1x12|
|Stem||br_stem, 11, 0, Stem, Giant Contact, 8-degree 80mm|
|Tyres||br_tyres, 11, 0, Tyres, Giant CrossCut Grip 1, 700x45c, tubeless|
|Wheels||br_wheels, 11, 0, Wheels, Giant CXR X1 Carbon Disc WheelSystem|