Giant's partnership with Starkenn has paved way for a larger collection of bicycles in the Indian market. One such bicycle is the Giant Revel 2 2016, one of the very few specific cross trail bicycles for dual ride surfaces. We got the chance to test ride this bicycle. Look what we have to say about the Revel 2 2016 in our detailed review.
The Revel 2 is a cross-country mountain bicycle. Cross-country bicycles are designed to be lighter and more agile than other mountain bicycles. They are designed to handle a mix of climbing and descending over moderately technical terrain. The Revel 2's ALUXX-Grade butted alloy frame is solidly built and Giant's predictable heavy manipulation of aluminium tube shapes is present. One example is the sturdy down tube that tapers to a wider, yet shallower shape as it nears the bottom bracket, in an effort to minimize frame twist under hard pedaling without increasing weight.
The Giant-labelled SR-Suntour fork with 63mm travel was the weakest link in the frame build, as is often the case of bicycles at this price point. The non-adjustable rebound was a little too fast, creating an unstable bounce back over big impacts and small jump landings.
The Giant Revel 2 2016 is a neatly constructed bicycle from a design stand point. The Revel 2 we test rode came in a light green primary colour with sky blue secondary colour thrown around a few parts of the bicycle. The gloss paint job and colour design is easily a head turner with a graffiti style bold brand and model names embossed on the frame, fork and chain stay. The blue tints on the saddle and the handlebar grips stand out and enhance the looks of the bicycle.
The entry level Shimano Tourney 21-speed drivetrain shifted through gears with a little hiccup. There was some evident shadow shifting while on the smallest chain ring which is not a surprise from the cheapest available Shimano gearing groupset. For off-road use, we recommend fitting a chainstay protector to reduce the bothersome chain slap noise and protect the paint. The Shimano EF-51 shifter console is a simple componentry which worked seamlessly with no obvious discomfort other than the little extra effort on the thumbs. As a groupset on a cross country bicycle the gearing on the Giant Revel 2 2016 leans more towards urban use than on the trails. Over-all the average transmission performance is nothing but a sign of limits at this price point.
The basic MTB Alloy Linear Pull brakes were a surprise as we clearly expected to see at least a Mechanical Disc Brake for the price tag of the Revel 2 2016. While not hugely powerful, on our test ride the braking power was easily controlled where required and with no unusual pulsing or noise. Put this bicycle to a lot of trail use which requires rigorous braking and you will be changing your brake pads sooner than expected. While we keep seeing the constant issue of shorter brake levers affecting riders with smaller hands, the Revel 2 2016 has got it right on the brake lever length. The levers were long enough and mainly in comfortable reaching distance from a clutched handlebar.
A relatively high bar position of the high-tensile steel handlebar with about an inch of stem adjustment potential, combines with confidently neutral geometry to create a rock-steady and pain free ride. This brings out that sort of handling that feels nimble at high and low speed on any sort of trails.
The Kenda K1052 26''x2.1'' tires were vigorous and easy to get up to speed, yet never felt twitchy. This characteristic made the Revel 2 2016 a joy to ride, encouraging us to find the limits of the tires in and out of every corner during the test ride. Wider 2.1'' tires meant it did not feel harsh even though the tread pattern was low profile. We found the bicycle slow to accelerate and hard to throw around but was never too difficult on the body, thus making the ride quality average on trails and slightly better on urban conditions.
If you plan on pushing your skills on jumps and drops, a full-fledged MTB might be better choice for the same price. The excellent design and paint-job will make this bicycle stand-out in a crowd. Falling under the cross-country segment the Revel expands its testing grounds as a multi-purpose bicycle. Taken as a complete package, you will be able to ride seamlessly on the Giant Revel 2 2016 in urban and flat trail conditions but the limits to reach will be restricted while on harder and challenging trails