If you’re caught between going for a mountain bike and a road bike, a gravel bike might just be that happy medium you’re looking for. In this Giant Revolt 1 (2021) review, I test out this hybrid that aims to cover all bases.
What with only really riding mountain bikes before this, it took me a little (although not a lot) of getting used to a gravel bike. The Revolt 1 is more in the style of a racer with the drop handlebars and therefore gives the rider a more streamlined shape.
The biggest differences that I noticed after the first few rides were as follows:
- More care is needed when cornering (easier to lose control and slip). I almost came a cropper when attempting a sharpish bend at speed!
- This is definitely faster on the road than a mountain bike (as expected) by a 15-20% improvement
Here’s a video showing the bike from all angles:
2021 Giant Revolt 1 Specs:
The Revolt 1 is 10.4 kilograms in weight and comes with an aluminium frame. The forks are made of carbon.
The tyres are 38c and wheels 700c. With rigid suspension and a 2 x 10 drivetrain, stopping relies on hydraulic disc brakes.
The Groupset is GRX 400 (Tiagra). So, all in all, these are pretty much mid-range components.
Performance on the Revolt 1
Hill climbing is known for being a bit easier on the Revolt 1 when compared with similarly specced bikes. And I found this to be the case when compared to a group of other riders out on the road at the same time as me.
Downhill speeds were also comparatively fast.
This is a very versatile bike that you can use for every occasion. Plus, you won’t get too far left behind when out with a group of other riders on road bikes.
I would say that it’s wise to be a bit careful on wet roads or where the ground is a bit loose. It’s not a mountain bike – yet the tyres are much grippier than a road bike for certain.
This bike is a decent price, all things considered. The fact that you get all of these components for a very sturdy yet light gravel bike is certainly not too damaging on the wallet. In the UK, this retails at around £1500.
The riding is smooth and the handling feels robust. While not as comfortable as my mountain bike, the trade-off for the extra speed advantage feels worth it. Plus, you can always lean on the top handlebars if you want.
I love this bike and look forward to many years of gravel bike riding on it.