With a smart, durable and lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame built to optimize its 100-millimeter suspension fork, Revel offers a stable, comfortable ride. The frame tubes are engineered with a sophistication more typically seen in pricey race bikes, and each one is outfitted with quality components that make it a reliable ride.
Strengths: Great control, light weight and good value
Weaknesses: None at this time
I have had my bike for about 6 months and have had no issues with it falling apart or the chain coming off. It has been off road and on the trails with no issues. I am a beginner rider but I think its a great bike for its price. If your bike is falling apart it was probably put together incorrectly.
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2012
Strengths: This bike had good handling and was excellent had climbing because of its drive train and mega range gear. The thumb gear switches also met my expectations because the were very easy to press and worked well.
Weaknesses: It has a few weaknesses. The first one is that the front forks were really stiff even with the preload completely softened. I brought it back to the cycle shop where I bought it. That was at East Providence Cycle which had excellent service but they said they couldn't do anything to fix it. I will have to by an aftermarket fork. My other disclaimer is that I went for a short trail ride that was less than 2 miles long and the chain fell off 3 times. This was when I had had the bike for about 2 weeks.
This bike is good for begginners but might need some new parts.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2012
Strengths: Low cost, good value, good performance for the price.
Weaknesses: Seat is hard as a rock. I'll probably have to replace it at some point.
This is a good entry-level mountain bike for a good price. For photos and more details, check here: http://lifetricks3.com/2012-giant-revel-2-mountain-bike/
Strengths: Looked good. "THOUGHT" it was the perfect bike.
Weaknesses: Handle bars fell apart. Seat also fell apart. And the gears wont change. I just got it 2 days ago and im already bringing it back.
Dont buy this bike. If you do then get it for 100$. Not 400$. And I got it from a bike shop.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2012
Strengths: This is a great bike for someone who wants to try MTB'ing but not sure how much they'll get hooked on it, so they don't want to spend thousands off the bat. Or don't care much about doing anything beyond beginner stage trails as far as technical difficulties. I've had this thing for a year and have taken it to many trails in the Santa Monicas. Probably took it on trails that it was not meant for too (super rocky like parts of Will Rogers backbone or jumps at Jedi). You will have a great time. You will get to know the trails. Also learn some techniques. Climbs ok too I guess. Couldn't have asked for a better bike at this price for my first year.
Weaknesses: Well, I wouldn't call it a weakness because it is what it is - a barely entry level mountain bike. On some trails you will feel like your bike is going to explode. Lots of chatter. Weak braking.
I would sum the bike up this way:
1. It is what it is (low entry level mountain bike)
2. But a great value/price for what it's made for.
Again, don't get me wrong. You will have a great time on a lot of the trails. I would actually suggest those starting out to get a bike like this to learn on and see how much you like it. Of my 5 friends that started MTBing, I'm the only one left since eveyrone hated putting in work (climbing) haha. Now I upgraded to an upper-entry level FS and it's like riding on a cloud. So much easier to maneuver too, and I would bet a lot of that is because I started on this bike. Makes better bikes easier to ride.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2012
Strengths: Beautiful, maneuverable, smooth-riding frame. Comfortable, generic saddle. Good crankset for the price.
I'm in my early fifties and I've been cross-country riding for a long time, but I've never been into extreme or technical riding. My trusty old bike got stolen, and I wasn't patient enough to wait for a used bike that fit me right, so I went shopping.
Being old and stubborn, I did not want to switch to discbrakes, this limited the selection a great deal. I found the Revel2 on sale for $320 at my LBS and spent about $180 on upgrades, which might have been more if I not already had a couple of spare components lying around. The point is that you should expect on spending some extra money on this bike if you actually plan on anything but very casual riding. (And if you do only plan to ride casually, then you really shouldn't be looking at a bike with a 4' suspension fork and 2.1" knobbies.) The stock pedals cannot accept toe clips and seem designed for someone who would ride while wearing flip-flops. The steel handlebar is heavy and a bit narrow. Most importantly, the Shimano MegaRange freewheel makes no sense at all.
The worst attibute of this bike is its gearing. With a ten-tooth jump between the two largest cogs, the MegaRange freewheel is basically a six-speed road-bike freewheel from the seventies with one extra very large cog tacked on to justify its name. As soon as you get off road and start trying to climb, you discover that about a third of the expected gear ratios just aren't there. And did I say this was a freewheel? No, it's not a cassette -- as Gaint's website erroneously calls it -- it's an old-fashioned freewheel mounted on an old-fashioned freewheel hub. If you want to upgrade to a cassette with better gears, you have to buy a whole new wheel (or you could buy a 7-speed freehub and rebuild the rear wheel). I did just that, and the bike rides well now, but what a bother. Fortunately, replacement wheels of quality similar to the stock wheels are not very expensive. Consider having the bike shop do all this for you if you're going to buy this bike.
Enough of the down side, I actually do like this bike. Giant's aluminum frame features elegantly shaped tubes that provide a ride only marginally more harsh than my stolen bike, which was butted steel. The geometry seems pretty good, the bike is maneuverable, with a good tight turning circle, but not skittish. Most new bikes these days seem to come with 4" suspension forks, and this one is no exception. Sizing these bikes is tricky. I'm 5'7," and I'm riding the size small frame. With the seatpost at maximum extension, I'm just barely the right distance away from the pedals, yet stand-over clearance relative to the sloping top tube is barely adequate, and the handlebar is still noticibly higher than the saddle. Now that I'm getting older, I'm finding I like the more upright position, but for those who are more hardcore there's over an inch of steerer tube that could be removed, and the stem could be flipped.
The Suntour XCT V4 fork does not provide damping or lockout, so you could call it a pogostick, as someone else has, but I prefer simple forks like this. They make every whoop-de-do feel like a trampoline! The pre-load adjustment actually works. It can make the fork less lively, and it's even marked so you know which direction to turn the knobs. Unfortunaely, there is a noticible thunk each time the fork extends to its limit which is a bit annoying. You'd think Suntour could have put a better bumper in there. My old Manitou Magnum, which was also undamped, did not have this problem.
I disagree with one of the other reviewers here about the crankset. The Suntour XCT V2 is one of the reasons I chose the Revel2. It's hard to find a one-piece spider and crankarm on a V-brake equipped bike these days. Sure, it's a square-taper set with steel chainrings, but that's what one should expect on a recreational bike. I've never had trouble with square tapers over the years, and steel chainrings are more durable and bash-resistant than alloy. Although, speaking of bash-resistance, the chainrings on this bike -- 28, 38, 48 -- are a bit large for a mountain bike. Giant could have given us more ground clearance by using 22, 32, 42, rings and a decent cassette.
The generic saddle on this bike is surprisingly comfortable and serious-looking for this price range. Long and narrow, it lets you shift your weight around very nicely.
The derailuers shift well, although they are both kind of cheap if you look closely.
The fat, Kenda tires that come with the bike look like they would be especially good for sand or mud. I mostly ride on hard-pack and pavement, so I switched to Kenda Pathfinders.
a All Mountain Rider
from Peoria Il
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2012
Strengths: Light, inexpensive, nice drivetrain, killer design, tires kenda small block 8, sram shifters, double wall rims,
This is a perfect beginners bike. Im refering to the 2011 model not the 2012. I heard the 2012 model is slightly heavier but idk. I got the silver and black theme and it looks sick in person. Very nice bike my buddy has a trek liquid 20 full suspension and he was a little bit jealous lol. His bike has a lot nicer components but this one just looks cooler in person i guess!
Weaknesses: Ahhh the weaknesses.... well theres a few. The first thing i had to replace was the junkie suntour pogo stick. I mean fork. I put on a rock shox xc32 and what a difference in performance and weight. The only other thing i dident trust was the suntour crankset so i took it off and it was heavy as hell! I put on a raceface evolve sterling and the bike feels A LOT lighter after those two upgrades. I got em for cheap brand new off ebay aswell. The grips are really slippery when wet and i upgrade to white oury grips only to find those are slippery when wet too. But look cooler. Comes with crappy pedals those needed to go too.
This bike is the perfect choice for any mountain biker on a budget. Ready to go right out the door perfect for commuting, xc, trail. The fork does suck but you can pick up a nice fork on ebay for $150 brand new when that one wears out or you get sick of it. Either way it will be the first thing to go. Ive owned this bike for almost a year now and nkthing has failed me on it. The SB8's arent too good in loose conditions but roll great on pavement and hardpack/ dry dirt ect.. they do good on wet pavement too. They just sont climb steep hills in wet grass and are horrible in mud. Get a kenda evcavator 2.1 in the rear for those things and somethin else up front too. But yeah this bime is truly glorious and will definetly keep you encourage to bike. Keep you confident too! Highly reccomend.
Similar Products Used: Gary fisher wahoo, trek 4500, trek 820
Bike Setup: I got this bike setup now for aggresive xc/ all mountain. Im not putting disc brakes on ive never had any trouble stoppin with vbrakes in any conditions and they are a lot lighter.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fayetteville, AR
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2012
Strengths: This is an absolutely incredible bike for what you pay for it. This was my first major mountain bike I purchased. I've had it for a year now and it is just as good as new pretty much! The Kenda tires that come already on it have excellent grip for not only cross-country and trail, but for commuting, as well, since I'm a college student. The aluminum frame is surprisingly light. For the cost, you can't beat the components on this bike. It comes with a Sram deraillur and a Shimano Cassette. The Suntour XCT V4 fork is a great fork. It definitely absorbs the impact on those wicked root patches with that nice 100mm. Now the Revel 2 does not come with disk brakes, but the brakes it has haven't failed me yet! I'll probably eventually upgrade when I have the money, but for a poor college student, you couldn't ask for a bike with the components and build it has for the price. I've gotten so many compliments on the look too!
Weaknesses: The only problem I've had with it, I hit a huge curb on my back wheel which pinched my tube while I was going really fast down a hill on campus. This was really just a freak thing so don't let it deter you from going with this bike. Mountain biking though, has been a breeze! I've had no problems with it at all.
The bottom line is this is the best mountain bike for your buck! It has Sram and Shimano parts and was made by Giant (a very dependable company). Giant has definitely gone the extra mile in building a bike that not only looks really good, but can back up that look with hardware that you would not expect on a bike under $400! This was a great first bike to start seriously mountain biking on! If you are on a budget, and you want a durable, light, bike that's made by a legit bike company, seriously look no further! I did a ton of research before buying this bike, and you won't find it's equal for this price.