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NBD: Giant Revolt Advanced 2 (soon to be Di2!)

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

NBD: Giant Revolt Advanced 2 (soon to be Di2!)

Old 11-22-19, 12:28 PM
  #1  
CarloM
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NBD: Giant Revolt Advanced 2 (soon to be Di2!)

Extremely excited to be joining the Gravel community! Just traded in two bikes to Pro's Closet that I no longer use (Trek FX S6 because I discovered I prefer riding drop bar bikes, 2018 Cannondale SuperSix EVO frame, because my TCR does everything this one did but better) to get me most of the way financially to this bike. I will be using this bike primarily for:
  • Commuting - I'm getting a rack as well in the coming weeks for my laptop and change of clothes
  • Trail and poor pavement riding - I have 2 road bikes that I'd like to keep on well paved roads and designated bike routes, my local areas have some terribly paved roads and yes, I know carbon fiber is strong, but I still wince when I inadvertently hit big divots and potholes with those bikes
I was originally going to wait to post this until the shop was able to move my Di2 drivetrain over to it (that they just stripped from the SuperSix) but that won't happen until next week. I decided to take possession of the Revolt on Wednesday and have been putting it through it's paces. Here's a picture of it "stock" before the shop moves all my stuff over.


First impressions:
  • Very compliant and comfortable, without feeling slow. Yes it's slower than my TCR and S3...but that's fully expected. But running those 38c tires tubeless at 40PSI has been a wonderfully smooth rides on crappy roads. I tested up to 55PSI and have settled on 40 for now.
  • The 105 groupset is very good! I shouldn't have been surprised as my FX had a 105 set but with MTB shifters on the flatbar and Tektro brakes. The brifters of the 105 are superior to those MTB shifters in feel for my style of riding, and the 105 hydro disc brakes have a feel I prefer to the Tektro brakes (more modulation and less drastic "bite-y" feel). Anyway, I've been spoiled by having 2 Di2 and SRAM eTap on my other bikes, so I was prepared to be disappointed by "stepping down to a lower tier mechanical groupset". Don't get me wrong, I still prefer my Ultegra Di2, but if I were forced to only ride 105...it would still be a great cycling experience.
Next steps/upgrades:
  • Shop will install my Ultegra Di2 drivetrain including my 50/34 crankset and 11-28 cassette which will change my gear ratios, but I'm used to that vs. what's on the stock Revolt. As good as the 105 hydro brakes are, I still feel the Ultegra brakes have just a bit more refined feel to it.
  • Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 + 38c Panaracer Gravel King SK TLC - my extra set of carbon wheels currently not on a bike will be mounted with those tires tubeless, I'll experiment with pressures but I think I'll start around 40 PSI as well.
I'll update this thread after that work is done and post more pics. Super excited to be entering the gravel bike world!
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Old 11-22-19, 12:46 PM
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Very nice! Terrific paint job!
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Old 11-22-19, 01:19 PM
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Welcome to the gravel club. Nice rig - enjoy!
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Old 11-22-19, 01:47 PM
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Nice looking bike. I take it that you have a secure place to hold this at the end of your commute. Otherwise the thieves will be licking their lips.
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Old 11-22-19, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gevad View Post
Very nice! Terrific paint job!
Thank you! I actually went with this build specifically for the color. I knew the Di2 was going to be moved so the groupset didn't matter much to me. It's my alma mater's colors (well, very close to it, as close as I can get without paying for a custom paint job). The frames for the Revolt are the same quality up and down the line, just the groupset, tires, and paint jobs differ.

But I will say this, the 105 groupset I'm keeping in a box for future use (whereas for the lowest build Tiagra I'd have probably tried to eBay for cheap). I've gotten fairly decent at fixing and maintaining my bikes, but one thing I've never done is built one up complete. At some point in the future I'll buy an inexpensive frame, maybe even a steel one, and put the 105 on it.

Originally Posted by texbiker View Post
Nice looking bike. I take it that you have a secure place to hold this at the end of your commute. Otherwise the thieves will be licking their lips.
Yes indeed: my office, which is located deep inside my office building. Someone would have to walk through (and by) a lot of people (who all know me and my bikes) in order to walk out with it...and be on security cameras the whole way. Luckily I get along with my coworkers so they'd have my back. Ours is not a public building, so there's really rarely ever anyone not affiliated with our workplace (or an official visitor) who would even get within 100' of the Revolt.
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Old 11-22-19, 02:49 PM
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Nice bike and great color choice! Time for a road wheelset... Hah!
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Old 11-22-19, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by str8jakett View Post
Nice bike and great color choice! Time for a road wheelset... Hah!
I am moving my Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 carbon wheels over when the shop installs my Di2 drivetrain. But I'm still going to put 38c Panaracer Gravel King SKs on there. If I really need speed, that's what my road bikes are for (and that will be on relatively smooth roads). For all other terrain (poorly maintained roads, trails, etc.) I'm not trying to set speed records and comfort is more important to me. That said, my experience with GravelKing SKs is that they roll surprisingly well for a knobby gravel tire. Can't wait until Tuesday!
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Old 11-23-19, 09:15 PM
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Sweet looking bike. I have the Revolt 2 Aluxx model and I couldnít be happier with it. Iíd imagine the carbon model would be lighter and responsive but equally as fun.

Do keep us posted on the Di2 build. I was interested in that but didnít know how to go about storing the battery in the frame and whatnot.
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Old 11-23-19, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
Sweet looking bike. I have the Revolt 2 Aluxx model and I couldnít be happier with it. Iíd imagine the carbon model would be lighter and responsive but equally as fun.

Do keep us posted on the Di2 build. I was interested in that but didnít know how to go about storing the battery in the frame and whatnot.
Thanks, and will do! This build isn't particularly light but I also wonder how much of that is the 105 mechanical and mass-market level Praxis groupset. Also I'll be swapping out the stock rims (which are aluminum) and tires with my Aeolus Pro 3 carbon wheels and Panaracer GravelKing SK tubeless (running at the same 38c as the stock tires). If I can remember to, I will ask them to weigh the bike with the stock drivetrain and wheels, and then to do so again with the upgraded parts to see what the weight change ends up being.

I'll also be swapping out the stock handlebars with the Cannondale bar they pulled off my SuperSix. Because the Giant one is swept back and has a little bit of an odd shape which doesn't let my peripherals mount securely. I can either mount my Wahoo or my headlight securely but not both, because there's not enough room for their clamps on either side of the stem without them hitting each other. If I put them the appropriate distance apart the clamps slide over to the irregularly shaped part of the bar which doesn't allow for secure clamping due to it's non-circular shape. I'm fine with this because I don't do serious enough gravel riding to benefit from the swept back bars, and the Cannondale bar was fine for me when I was riding the SuperSix.

I have no concerns about the Di2 battery as I have had it in two bikes and it worked flawlessly (located in the seat tube in both). I fully expect it will be fine in the Revolt as well.

So I've had the Revolt for like 3 days now and I've already fielded four compliments on the color, two from friends and two from total strangers. I bought it because I liked it, but of course it makes one feel good when others like it as well.
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Old 11-27-19, 02:30 PM
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Slight setback on my journey to transfer my spare Di2 to the Revolt. Shop informed me that there is no hole in the frame large enough for the Di2 connector to the front derailleur. The wire itself will fit, but not the connector ends. So my options are:
  1. Go back to 105 mechanical
  2. Go to a 1X Di2 drivetrain and get a larger rear cassette to make up for the loss of some lower gears (the front will stay on the 50 chain of the 50/34 I assume)
  3. Go SRAM eTap
#3 is out right now because I don't want to spend that kind of money at the moment. I'm tempted by #2 and later on try to do a kluge workaround similar to what this guy on YouTube did, which was to remove the connector from the Di2 wire, run the wire through the hole, and then re-solder the connector back. So if I went with 2 I could eventually down the line connect the FD again once I do the soldering and cable running. Or likely just the soldering and then have the LBS do the cable run. We'll see. The shop owner is putting a call in to his contact in Giant to see what else could be done.

Here's what the YouTuber did to connect Di2 (corrected video, go to 10:10 mark or so):

Last edited by CarloM; 11-28-19 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 11-27-19, 10:37 PM
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I have spliced Di2 wires and it is not hard. 2 wires a black and red inside the outer insulation. The wires are small you will need to be careful not to cut too many strands when removing the red/black insulation. The outer insulation is pretty tough, used a new razor blade to remove.

You could consider drilling the frame by the FD, there is a thread on here where this is done to a Salsa Cutthroat.
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Old 11-27-19, 10:44 PM
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Itís a new bike so Iím wary of drilling a hole into the frame or trying to widen the already existing one where the mechanical cable goes through. I just donít want to give any reason for an invalidated warranty claim if I ever need to, or even to potentially weaken the frame by my efforts of drilling or expanding a hole.

I think Iíd rather take my chances with the splicing because if I fail at that then I just have a 1X and the Di2 cabling is cheap so if I screw up it doesnít harm the bike and Iím not out much money.
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Old 12-01-19, 04:08 PM
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Ok I made peace with the decision to revert to 105. It’s a great groupset mechanically and will be more than enough for the type of riding I’ll do on the Revolt. I did however have them put the blue Panaracer GravelKing 38c tires on. They pick up dirt easily though so I’m not sure I’d make this choice again. Probably black with brown sidewalls next time change.

EDIT. Also stuck the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 wheels on there to replace the stock aluminum hoops. Between the wheel and tire change the bike feels a pound or more lighter


Last edited by CarloM; 12-01-19 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 12-03-19, 02:00 PM
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It really is a fantastic bike, after riding it I was shocked it doesn't get more mention/love around the interwebs. I picked up the 2020 1x version and have put Reynolds AR41s on it (after this photo). Couldn't be happier with the ride...and actually prefer it over my 2020 Defy Advanced Pro 1....which makes me cry because I could have saved a LOT of money if I bought the Revolt 1st.

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Old 12-03-19, 02:29 PM
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That's a beautiful color! My local shop had that one and I found it very attractive, especially in the light. But alma mater's colors took precedent.

The top-end build color is also stunning--I think of it as a Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer color. Although it also matches classic cars from many years ago. I like how my shop had it set up with Sandstone/Brown Panaracers...but those are a @##$# to keep clean. It's best for display only, and slap a different color wheel for actual riding.

I agree about it being a +1 remedy. I do not regret getting my S3 and TCR...but I totally regret the FX and SuperSix (which I've since traded in). And now with these three bikes I find myself in no hurry to add a +1. They all do different things very well. S3 for top-end speed on unbroken straightaways. TCR for the all-rounder mix of speed, comfort, climbing and lightweight. And now the very capable gravel bike that I plan to use both as a commuter bike (especially once I get the rack) and a gravel bike. Will also use it for interval training locally (sprinting from stoplight to stoplight) where the potholes in the roads always made me cringe when I hit it with bikes costing over five grand. The Revolt laughs at those same potholes and badly paved roads.

I too am surprised by the relatively lack of press it gets. My two finalists (after test riding the Grevil, Aspero, Checkpoint and Grail) were this and the Santa Cruz Stigmata. The Stig was a little lighter, and definitely had more of the cyclocross/MTB heritage Santa Cruz is famous for in it, but the ride qualities were pretty close overall. And since I wanted a commuter bike with the options for racks, the built in mounts on the Revolt were appealing, as well as the built-in downtube protector along with a 3rd water bottle cage option. And I got this build for the same price (a little less actually with being a loyal customer to my LBS) as just the Santa Cruz frame would have cost me. So it was a win-win for me.
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Old 12-03-19, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CarloM View Post
This build isn't particularly light but I also wonder how much of that is the 105 mechanical and mass-market level Praxis groupset.
For what it's worth, the Praxis Alba crank is right between the mid and upper level Shimano GRX cranks in terms of weight. It may be an entry level Praxis, but its a really good piece of equipment.
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Old 12-03-19, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
For what it's worth, the Praxis Alba crank is right between the mid and upper level Shimano GRX cranks in terms of weight. It may be an entry level Praxis, but its a really good piece of equipment.
Good to know! Also I do think a lot of the weight was in the stock wheels and fat stock tires. I wasnít kidding it feels maybe a pound or two lighter with the Aeolus Pro 3 and Panaracer GravelKing slicks on there. Itís never going to be as light as cyclocross bikes but Iím more than happy with it now. A buddy here on the forum has his decked out with top end wheels and drivetrain and his is around 17lbs.
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Old 12-04-19, 02:25 PM
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I like that blue! I have a '19 Revolt in metallic orange, love it!! Getting ready to put a set of 43mm GravelKing SK+'s on. Had no issues with the stock Crosscuts, but the rear got trashed in a wreck, and got the SK+'s cheaper on sale. Next will be some lighter wheels, the stock wheels are boat anchors. lol I've put a ton of road and gravel miles on it and it's performed flawlessly. Love riding the big tubeless tires on the road, comfortable and you don't have to worry about cracks/holes.
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Old 12-04-19, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I like that blue! I have a '19 Revolt in metallic orange, love it!! Getting ready to put a set of 43mm GravelKing SK+'s on. Had no issues with the stock Crosscuts, but the rear got trashed in a wreck, and got the SK+'s cheaper on sale. Next will be some lighter wheels, the stock wheels are boat anchors. lol I've put a ton of road and gravel miles on it and it's performed flawlessly. Love riding the big tubeless tires on the road, comfortable and you don't have to worry about cracks/holes.
Agree on the boat anchor wheels! I thought the Revolt was just a heavy bike until I swapped to my Aeolus Pro 3 carbon wheels and Panaracer GK slicks (which I'm sure also weigh much less than the stock tires).

So it turns out rather than waiting for Trek to get more Aeolus Pro 3V rear wheels in stock, the LBS opted to order a Shimano freehub to replace the XDR and gave me the Pro 3Vs. Just waiting on rim tape to arrive from Trek, and then I can make those my daily drivers on the Revolt. I'm thinking for the narrower Pro 3 I may mount 32c on them and make them the "fast" wheels for the Revolt, essentially turning it into a very rugged endurance bike when those wheels are on, and a gravel/off-road bike when the 3Vs (with Panny GravelKing SKs at 38c) are on.

Also, major props to Trek/Bontrager, whos wheels came in under the claimed weight on their website.

Aeolus Pro 3V front, no rim tape or valve


Aeolus Pro 3V rear, no rim tape, valve or cassette

Claimed weights on the site are 720g and 855g.

For science, once the rim strips come in, I'll mount the GravelKing SKs on the 3V and add sealant, then weigh those complete wheel/tire setups and compare it with the stock wheel and tires that came with the Revolt. Just to see what the weight savings truly is. My bet is almost 2lbs.

I'll also measure the Pro 3 + GK slicks as well.
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Old 12-04-19, 04:44 PM
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The stock Giant PX-2 wheels on my Revolt weighed 1109g (R) and 973g (F) but without tubeless valves or rotors.
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Old 12-04-19, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Justinitus View Post
The stock Giant PX-2 wheels on my Revolt weighed 1109g (R) and 973g (F) but without tubeless valves or rotors.
Wow, that's 529g total (or just shy of 1lbs 3oz). And mine is the step down wheel from yours (S-X2 which I can't find specs for online) so I bet the weight difference will be even higher. And I'm sure the tires are at least 100g difference from the Panny slicks, if not more. So my original guess may not prove to be too far off the mark.

Also just to forewarn: I'm going to be too lazy to take the cassettes and rotors off, so when I finally do the S-X2 vs. Pro 3 vs. Pro 3V it's going to be the entire wheel/tire/rotor/cassette system weights. And it won't be an even playing field because the stock tires will have whatever rotors came with the Revolt, and the Pro 3 will have Dura Ace rotors and the Pro 3V will have Ultegra rotors. The stock will have 105 cassette and the other two will have HG800 Ultegra class cassettes, but all 3 will be 11-34T.
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Old 12-04-19, 08:13 PM
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Were your tyres the tubeless 40mm Crosscuts? Mine were, they were 573g each. I’m on G-One Allrounds now at 439g each.

I don’t think the wheels and tyres Giant supply as standard are bad really - they’re decent quality at the price point of each bike they sell.
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Old 12-04-19, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Justinitus View Post
Were your tyres the tubeless 40mm Crosscuts? Mine were, they were 573g each. Iím on G-One Allrounds now at 439g each.

I donít think the wheels and tyres Giant supply as standard are bad really - theyíre decent quality at the price point of each bike they sell.
My stock tires on the S-X2 wheels (which I assume will weigh as much or more than your P-X2 since you have the next highest build to mine, came with Crosscut AT1 38c. So being a little smaller, may not weigh 573g. On my Pro 3 wheels I now have GravelKing TLC (the slick variant, no knobs, prioritized for commuting and speed) 38c. Claimed weight of 340g.

I don't have a bike scale (that's next on my purchase list) but I did a kitchen scale weigh-in (first standing on it, then standing on it with bike). Scale only has 0.2 lbs increments (so 144.0, 144.2, 144.4 etc.) Near as I can tell the bike is now 19.5 lbs With the standard 105 groupset, half-n-half pedals (half platform, half cleats) and plastic water bottle cages and a Barfly computer/light mount (but no computer or lights mounted for the weigh in). Same weight as the claimed for a Domane SL7 with pedals (okay maybe a little more since the Trek site is for a size 56) which is a $6K bike with Di2, and almost 2 lbs lighter (again perhaps less due to Trek using a size 56, but also not including pedal weight) than the Domane SL5 which is the 105 groupset version at $2900. Checkpoints weigh in aroudn the same amount as the Domanes. Not too shabby, Giant!

To confirm: your original weight for your wheels was for just the wheels and hubs right? No valve, no tires, no rotors, no rim tape, etc.?
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Old 12-04-19, 08:51 PM
  #24  
hefeweizen
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Really nice bikes.
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Old 12-05-19, 10:07 AM
  #25  
Rides4Beer
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Originally Posted by CarloM View Post
Agree on the boat anchor wheels! I thought the Revolt was just a heavy bike until I swapped to my Aeolus Pro 3 carbon wheels and Panaracer GK slicks (which I'm sure also weigh much less than the stock tires).
A friend of mine has the Pro Force Revolt and it's about 5lbs lighter than my 2, and the frames are exactly the same through all levels, so that's just components and wheels.

I agree with Justinitus, I don't think the wheels/tires are bad, they've performed great, just heavy. I was actually going to just put a new set of Crosscuts on, because they've handled everything I've thrown at them with no problems. But I got the Panaracers cheaper on sale, and figured I'd go a lil bigger while I was at it.
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