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Giant Revolt Advanced 3 Review

The Revolt Advanced 3 is a complete carbon fiber gravel bike that retails for less than most carbon frames.
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Price:  $1,850 List
Pros:  Inexpensive for carbon, compliant seat post and handlebar
Cons:  2x drivetrain, non-aggressive tires, quirky geometry
Manufacturer:   Giant Bicycles
By Jeremy Benson, Dillon Osleger  ⋅  Nov 7, 2019
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RANKED
#5 of 5
  • Downhill - 30% 7
  • Climbing - 30% 8
  • Versatility - 20% 7
  • Weight - 10% 6
  • Build - 10% 6

Our Verdict

In the cycling world, Giant is synonymous with value and that is evident in their very reasonably priced Revolt Advanced 3 gravel bike. This complete carbon-framed bike costs less than most carbon frames do on their own. To keep the price this low, the Advanced 3 has a very budget-conscious build and plenty of Giant's house brand components. This bike has a relatively good all-around performance and a very comfortable ride quality thanks to the use of their compliant D-Fuse handlebar and seat post which help to reduce vibration over rough surfaces. Unfortunately, the rest of the low-end build doesn't do this bike any favors in the performance department, nor does the racier feeling geometry. That said, we still feel this is a viable option for riders new to the gravel scene seeking a comfortable carbon-framed ride.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $1,850 List$3,599.00 at Competitive Cyclist$3,399.00 at Competitive Cyclist$2,800 List$1,499.00 at REI
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Pros Inexpensive for carbon, compliant seat post and handlebarLightweight, nice build, excellent bland of frame stiffness and complianceVery lightweight, fast, nice build20mm of Future Shock suspension, light and stiff carbon frameInexpensive, versatile, many frame mount options
Cons 2x drivetrain, non-aggressive tires, quirky geometryExpensiveCan feel harsh over the rough stuff, narrow non-flared handlebarNon-tubeless tires, 2x drivetrain, limited tire clearanceHeavier than the competition, budget build
Bottom Line The Revolt Advanced 3 is a complete carbon fiber gravel bike that retails for less than most carbon frames.The Stigmata is a well-rounded high-performance gravel machine and the winner of our Editor's Choice Award.The Ibis Hakka MX is a very lightweight, uncompromisingly stiff, fast, and efficient gravel bike.The Diverge Sport is a reasonably priced, versatile, and comfortable carbon gravel bike with a unique front suspension design.The Salsa Journeyman is an affordable and highly versatile entry-level gravel bike.
Rating Categories Giant Revolt Advanced 3 Santa Cruz Stigmata Carbon C... Ibis Hakka MX Rival Specialized Diverge Sport Salsa Journeyman Apex 1 700
Downhill (30%)
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8
Climbing (30%)
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8
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9
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8
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8
Versatility (20%)
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7
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8
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9
Weight (10%)
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6
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Build (10%)
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Specs Giant Revolt... Santa Cruz... Ibis Hakka MX Rival Specialized... Salsa Journeyman...
Measured Weight w/o pedals 22 lbs 7 oz 19 lbs 2 oz 18 lbs 13 oz 21lbs 5 oz (with tubes) 24 lbs 5 oz (with tubes)
Frame Material Advanced Grade Composite(Carbon) Carbon CC Carbon Fiber Fact 9r Carbon Aluminum
Wheelsize 700c 700c (tested) or 650b 700c or 650b (tested) 700c (tested) or 650b 700c (tested) or 650b
Frame Size Tested Large 58cm 58cm 58cm 57cm
Available Sizes XS, S, M, ML, L, XL 52, 54, 56, 58, 60cm 49, 53, 55, 58, 61cm 48, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61cm 50, 52, 54, 55.5, 57, 59.5cm
Wheelset Giant S-X2 Disc 700c Wheelset WTB Asym i23p 700c rims with DT 370 hubs Ibis Alloy 733 27.5" rims with Ibis hubs DT R470 Disc 700c Wheelset WTB ST i19 TCS 2.0 700c rims with Novatec hubs
Front Tire Giant Crosscut AT 1 700 x 38c Maxxis Ravager EXO 700 x 40c Schwalbe Thunder Burt 27.5 x 2.1" Specialized Sawtooth Sport 700 x 38c WTB Riddler Comp 700 x 37c
Rear Tire Giant Crosscut AT 1 700 x 38c Maxxis Ravager EXO 700x40c Schwalbe Thunder Burt 27.5 x 2.1" Specialized Sawtooth Sport 700 x 38mm WTB Riddler Comp 700 x 37c
Shifters Shimano Tiagra SRAM Rival 1 SRAM Rival 1 Shimano 105 SRAM Apex 1
Rear Derailleur Shimano Tiagra SRAM Rival 22 Long Cage 11-speed SRAM Rival 11-speed Shimano 105 R7000 lond-cage 11-speed SRAM Apex 1
Cassette Shimano Tiagra 11-34T SRAM PG-1150 11-42T 11-speed SRAM PG 1130 11-42T 11-speed Shimano 105 11-34T, 11-speed SRAM PG 1130, 11-42T
Crankset FSA Omega 48/32T Easton EA90 175mm Praxis Zayante Alloy 40T 175mm Praxis Alba 48/32T SRAM Apex 1 X-Sync, 40T
Bottom Bracket Shimano Press Fit Easton BSA T47 Threaded Praxis PF30 not specified
Fork Giant Advanced Grade Composite Santa Cruz Carbon ENVE G-Series Carbon Specialized FACT Carbon Fantail Deluxe Carbon
Seatpost Giant D-Fuse Composite Easton EA50 27.2mm Ibis Aluminum 31.6mm Specialized Carbon, single-bolt, 27.2mm Alloy 27.2mm
Saddle Giant Contact (neutral) WTB Silverado Pro WTB Silverado Pro 142mm Specialized Body Geometry Toupe Sport, steel rails, 143mm WTB Volt Sport 142mm
Handlebar Giant XR D-Fuse, flared Easton EA50 AX flare Ibis Flat Top Alloy Specialized Adenture Gear Hover, 12-degree flare Salsa Cowbell
Stem Giant Contact Easton EA50 Ibis 31.8 Specialized Alloy Salsa Guide
Brakes Giant Conduct hydraulic disc SRAM Rival 1 flat mount SRAM Rival 1 flat mount Shimano 105 R7070 flat mount TRP Spyre-C mechanical
Measured Effective Top Tube (mm) 575 573 573 575 568
Measured Reach (mm) 392 390 392 390 380
Measured Head Tube Angle (degrees) 71 72 72 72.5 70
Measured Seat Tube Angle (degrees) 73 73.5 73.5 73.5 73
Measured Bottom Bracket Height (mm) 282 285 276 268 279
Measured Wheelbase (mm) 1046 1038 1040 1025 1060
Measured Chain Stay Length (mm) 425 425 430 422 440
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime 7-years Lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Revolt Advanced 3 is an affordable entry-level carbon-framed gravel bike.
The Revolt Advanced 3 is an affordable entry-level carbon-framed gravel bike.

Should I Buy This Bike?


The Revolt Advanced 3 is Giant's affordable entry-level carbon fiber gravel bike. This bike is very inexpensive for a carbon-framed model, and Giant offers it a price-point that can't be touched by the competition. In order to keep the price low, Giant has spec'd this model with a mixed bag of low-end components that don't exactly perform up to the level of the quality frame. That said, the build is functional and will serve riders just getting into gravel grinding with a versatile and comfortable ride. We feel this is a good one-bike quiver that could function just as well as a road bike as a gravel/adventure rig. It has a racy feeling geometry with a lower front end that excels in the flats and on the climbs, though it doesn't inspire tons of confidence on the descents. It does have an especially comfortable ride quality thanks to Giant's unique D-Fuse components that allow for compliance and vibration absorption in the seat post and handlebar. This takes the edge high-frequency vibrations and rough roads and helps keep you feeling fresh. If you're looking for a carbon gravel bike and don't want to break the bank, this is a good place to start, though if you've got a little wiggle room in the budget we'd suggest checking out one of the more expensive builds that Giant offers or some of the other bikes in this review.

The "Advanced" frame is lightweight and stiff with a compliant rear triangle and a unique d-shaped seat tube to accommodate the D-Fuse seat tube.
The "Advanced" frame is lightweight and stiff with a compliant rear triangle and a unique d-shaped seat tube to accommodate the D-Fuse seat tube.

Frame Design


The Revolt Advanced 3 is built around Giant's Advanced composite frame and fork. This lightweight carbon frame features Giant's "versatile gravel geometry", full-length internal cable routing, integrated downtube protection, and mounts for racks and other accessories. It features Giant's Overdrive oversized fork steerer tube which is intended to provide maximum steering stiffness. The seat tube is D-shaped to fit the proprietary D-Fuse composite seat post that is designed to help absorb impact and vibration while riding. The Revolt comes in 6 frame sizes, XS, S, M, M/L, L, and XL.

We measured our size large test model and found that it had a 575mm effective top tube with a 392mm reach. The head tube measured 71-degrees with a 73-degree seat tube angle. The chainstays were 425mm long with a 1046mm wheelbase and a 282mm bottom bracket height. It weighed 22 lbs and 7 oz set up tubeless without pedals.

Note the D-shaped seat post. It allows noticeable compliance and flex towards the back which helps reduce vibration on rough roads.
Note the D-shaped seat post. It allows noticeable compliance and flex towards the back which helps reduce vibration on rough roads.

Design Highlights

  • Advanced composite frame and fork
  • D-Fuse seat post and Contact XR D-Fuse handlebar to absorb vibration and impact
  • Clearance for up to 45c tires
  • Integrated X-Defender downtube protector
  • "Smart mount system" for racks and accessories
  • Internal cable routing
  • Advanced carbon models ranging from $1,850 (tested) up to $3,550
  • Aluminum frame model offered at $1,000

The Revolt's downhill performance was defined by its geometry and components. It was best suited to smooth and moderately pitched roads.
The Revolt's downhill performance was defined by its geometry and components. It was best suited to smooth and moderately pitched roads.

Downhill Performance


The Revolt Advanced 3 lost a little ground to the competition for its less confidence-inspiring downhill performance. Testers like the vibration reduction of the compliant handlebar, but the bike's geometry and some of the components hold it back compared to the competition.

When riding fast on flats or descending gradual pitches on smooth surfaces, the Revolt felt great. This bike is fast and racy feeling, and the D-Fuse seat post and handlebar noticeably take the edge off of chatter and smaller impacts. The frame itself is stiff, but it doesn't feel harsh at all, the rear triangle is just compliant enough to feel forgiving without sacrificing efficiency.

While the geometry of the Revolt is quite similar to most of the other bikes in this review on paper, it has a decidedly more aggressive almost race-like feel and body position. The front end is simply lower and this causes the rider to get into a more aggressive position on both the hoods and in the drops compared to the more relaxed positions offered by the competition. In fact, the stack height of the Revolt in a size large is 37mm lower than on the 58cm Specialized Diverge, which is significant. It appears that the handlebar on the Revolt is at least an inch lower than all of the other models we tested in the same size. Testers found this body position to be less comfortable on the descents, with the slightly more upright positions of the other bikes providing a more confidence-inspiring feel.

The low front end of the Revolt gave it an especially racy feeling geometry which felt a little too aggressive for our testers  especially down in the drops.
The low front end of the Revolt gave it an especially racy feeling geometry which felt a little too aggressive for our testers, especially down in the drops.

The Giant Crosscut tires also didn't do the Revolt any favors on the descents. Sure, they work well on pavement and smooth hard-packed gravel surfaces, but they didn't provide much in the way of traction in looser gravel conditions or when riding on singletrack trails with mixed soil types. That said, they roll fast and work well in the right conditions, but don't inspire the confidence to try and rail gravel corners with speed. The Giant Conduct hydraulic disc brakes were also quite finicky with an inconsistent braking feel. We never experienced any dropped chains while riding the Revolt, though the 2x drivetrain tends to rattle quite a bit and make more noise compared to quieter 1x systems.

The Revolt is an efficient and relatively comfortable bike on the climbs.
The Revolt is an efficient and relatively comfortable bike on the climbs.

Climbing Performance


The uphill performance of the Revolt was one of its strongest suits. This bike rolls fast and climbs with the best of them. Sure, its a little heavier than our top-rated models, but the stiff carbon frame feels efficient and it scampers uphill with intention.

While the geometry of the Revolt feels a bit aggressive on the descents, it feels a bit more natural when the bike is pointed uphill. Sure the front end still feels a little low, but with your hands on the hoods or on top of the handlebar you can find a relatively comfortable position. The 73-degree seat tube angle is properly steep for a gravel bike and power transfer feels nice and direct with your weight right over the bottom bracket. The D-Fuse seat post soaks up some vibration through compliance without feeling like there is any wasted energy while pedaling. Out of the saddle efforts also felt great with no energy loss through frame flex thanks to the oversized rectangular downtube beefing things up between the head tube and bottom bracket.

In or out of the saddle  the Revolt feels right at home when riding uphill.
In or out of the saddle, the Revolt feels right at home when riding uphill.

Again, the component grouping of the Revolt Advanced 3 is perfectly functional, though it doesn't exactly shine on the climbs. The low-end Shimano Tiagra 2 x 10-speed drivetrain has plenty of range for just about any climb, but testers agreed that the shifting felt clunky and we found ourselves shifting between the front chainrings more often than we'd like. Front derailleurs are going out of style and this applies to gravel bikes as much as mountain bikes. We much prefer the simplicity and ease of shifting provided by 1x drivetrains. The tires also proved to be a little underwhelming on the climbs. They work just fine on pavement and hard pack, but they tend to dig in and spin out in loose conditions.

Versatility


Giant designed the Revolt with versatility in mind. It seems they intended for it to be whatever you choose, from a gravel racer to an adventure bike packing rig. This is evident in details like integrated downtube protection and a smart mount system for racks and accessories. Giant claims it is compatible with third-party accessories to mount up front and rear racks, fenders, etc, so you can go from casual gravel rides or races to week-long bike tours with ease.

The somewhat more aggressive geometry of the Revolt lends itself well to road riding. If you like to road bike from time to time and maybe you're just a little gravel curious, this could be a good option. Unlike the 1x drivetrains, the 2 x 10-speed drivetrain has gearing that is well suited to smashing pavement miles and gravel alike. We feel this could be a great winter training bike for racers who seek an affordable and versatile ride that isn't limited to the tarmac.

The Revolt comes with a bunch of mounts that integrate into the brake system at the front of the stem for all your various accessories.
The Revolt comes with a bunch of mounts that integrate into the brake system at the front of the stem for all your various accessories.

Giant has also included an array of accessory mounts for the front of the bike that integrate into the front of the stem at the unique brake cable/hydraulic interface. This includes mounts for various Garmin products, a GoPro, and a universal light mount. Whether you're training for racing or commuting home in the dark, these mounting options are very convenient and a nice addition.

Weight


The Revolt Advanced 3 tipped the scales at 22 lbs and 7 oz set up tubeless and without pedals. While this is by no means heavy, it is the heaviest carbon-framed model in this test, over 3.5 lbs heavier than our lightest model. Considering the lightweight carbon-frame, we expected it to weigh less than it does. We attribute this heavier weight to the lower-end and heavier components that make up the build. This bike is very inexpensive for a carbon-framed model, and that is due to the budget-minded build that simply weighs more than higher-end parts.

The build is far from flashy  but this complete carbon fiber gravel bike costs less than most carbon frames.
The build is far from flashy, but this complete carbon fiber gravel bike costs less than most carbon frames.

Build


The Advanced 3 model we tested is very inexpensive for a bike with a fancy carbon frame and the build kit reflects that. While far from exciting, the components are perfectly functional and get the job done. Riders interested in flashier components would do well to check out the 3 more expensive Revolt Advanced models, or the Advanced Pro Force.

The Shimano Tiagra 2x10-speed drivetrain. Functional  yes  flashy  no.
The Shimano Tiagra 2x10-speed drivetrain. Functional, yes, flashy, no.

Groupset


The Advanced 3 comes with a 2x 10-speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain. This includes the shifters, rear derailleur, and cassette. The cranks are FSA Omega with a 48/32-tooth combo paired with an 11-34-tooth cassette. Slowing and stopping duties are left to Giant Conduct flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors front and rear.

The Giant Crosscut tires work fine in the right conditions  but they didn't inspire much confidence to push them hard in corners.
The Giant Crosscut tires work fine in the right conditions, but they didn't inspire much confidence to push them hard in corners.

Wheels/Tires


Giant produces their own wheelsets and the Revolt rolls on a set of Giant S-X2 Disc 700c wheels. These wheels are tubeless-ready with tape and valve stems pre-installed. Giant also makes tires, and they have mounted a set of Giant Crosscut AT 1 700 x 38c tires. These tires are tubeless-ready and have a fast-rolling and relatively low-profile tread design.

We've mentioned the D-Fuse components many times. Here you can see the handlebar where it is thinner on both sides of the stem. The shape of the tubing allows for some compliant flex.
We've mentioned the D-Fuse components many times. Here you can see the handlebar where it is thinner on both sides of the stem. The shape of the tubing allows for some compliant flex.

Cockpit


The cockpit setup of the Revolt Advanced 3 consists entirely of Giant branded parts. Giant has developed a line of D-Fuse parts that are intended to absorb shock and vibration. This includes the Giant Contact XR D-Fuse handlebar with lightly flared drops. The seat post is another D-Fuse component and it is a unique D-shaped composite post that that is vertically compliant with a slight but noticeable amount of flex to absorb impact and road feedback. On top of that seat post is a Giant Contact saddle.

Build Options


Giant makes 4 models of the Revolt Advanced including the Advanced 3 we tested. All of the Advanced models feature the same Advanced-Grade Composite frame and fork, although their build kits and prices vary significantly.

The Advanced 2 retails for $2,450 comes with the same wheels and tires as the model we tested, but the drivetrain is upgraded to a 2x Shimano 105 with Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes.

The Advanced 1 will set you back $2,600 and it comes with a SRAM Apex 1x11-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes and a Giant P-X2 wheelset.

The Advanced 0 goes for $3,650 and comes equipped with a 2x Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, Praxis Zayante carbon cranks, a Giant CXR-1 composite wheelset, and Maxxis Velocita 40c tires.

The top of the line Revolt Advanced Pro Force comes fully tricked out at $5,500. It comes with a 2x12-speed SRAM Force eTap AXS drivetrain, SRAM Force brakes, and a Giant SLR-1 composite wheelset.

Giant also makes a budget-friendly aluminum-framed model called the Revolt 2 that retails for $1,000. It has an ALUXX Grade aluminum frame and a full composite fork. It is clad with a Shimano Sora 2x drivetrain, Giant Conduct hydraulic disc brakes, and a Giant S-X2 disc wheelset.

The Giant Conduct hydraulic disc brakes have a unique cable and hydraulic fluid system that interface in this contraption mounted to the front of the handlebar.
The Giant Conduct hydraulic disc brakes have a unique cable and hydraulic fluid system that interface in this contraption mounted to the front of the handlebar.

Suggested Upgrades


There is little that our testers wouldn't upgrade on the Revolt Advanced 3. That said, we'd probably opt to spend a little more on the initial complete bike purchase than to slowly upgrade this build kit over time. As an entry-level bike, the components on the Advanced 3 get the job done, but we think it was an interesting choice to equip a fancy carbon frame with a grab bag of lower-end components. If this bike were ours, however, we feel that the drivetrain and the tires are the two things that we'd probably try and change first.

The Giant Crosscut 38c tires have a round profile and a non-aggressive tread pattern. Testers found these tires to work best on pavement and smooth packed dirt conditions, but that was about it. They didn't offer the best traction in anything loose, nor did they provide much confidence when cornering. If we were planning on doing some serious gravel grinding on this bike we would swap them out from something with a more aggressive tread design.

The Shimano Taigra drivetrain was another low-point. It works well enough, but this is a relatively low-end grouping and the shifting performance leaves something to be desired. Our testers also prefer the simplicity and reduced noise of 1x drivetrains and find themselves shifting the front chainring more often than they'd like.

Value


With a retail price of just $1,850, the Revolt Advanced 3 costs less as a complete bike than most carbon frames cost on their own. For that reason alone it would be almost impossible for us to not call this a good value. While the build kit doesn't turn any heads we can't deny that it is functional and this bike is definitely a good entry-level option for the rider looking to get into gravel riding or is seeking a versatile bike to serve as a gravel/road/commuter bike. We challenge you to find a more affordable carbon-framed gravel bike, we've never seen one.

The Advanced 3 is an entry-level carbon gravel bike. We feel it is a reasonable option for the rider looking for a carbon bike for road and gravel riding that won't drain your bank account.
The Advanced 3 is an entry-level carbon gravel bike. We feel it is a reasonable option for the rider looking for a carbon bike for road and gravel riding that won't drain your bank account.

Conclusion


The Giant Revolt Advanced 3 is a very affordable carbon-framed gravel bike. As mentioned above, the price of this bike is very impressive for a carbon frame, although the build kit and budget components hold this bike back a bit from greatness. That said, aside from the low front end and more aggressive feeling geometry, this bike has a respectable all-around performance and a comfortable ride quality thanks to Giant's unique D-Fuse components. If you've gotta have carbon and don't want to break the bank the Revolt is worth a look.


Jeremy Benson, Dillon Osleger