Giant Revel 2 Trail Bike Review

Giant Revel



Lightweight frame, design, handlebars


Seat, pedals, no disc brakes


This bike is best suited for those who are looking for an entry level bike to use on trails.

Our Rating



The Revel 2 is Giant’s current version of the Revel for 2018.  While there have been several versions, such as the Revel 0, Revel 1, and Revel 3, the current design has been optimized for all kinds of trail riding.

With multiple versions available used, this is also a popular bike for young adults, those who are looking for an affordable trail bike, and those who are new to trail riding on varied terrain.

Tech Specs

BRAKE TYPE: Shimano EF51 Linear Brake Pulls
SHIFTER: The Shimano EF500
RIMS: Giant Alloy Rims
TIRES: Kenda, 26x2.10 Tires

The Revel line has been around for several years, and during that time the people over at Giant have had time to make tweaks and changes to make it an even better bike.

With a lightweight frame, and quality components, the Revel 2 operates like the well-designed machine that it is, regardless of what the trail ahead may hold.

frame size

The frame for the Revel 2 comes in sizes XXS, XS, S, M, L, and XL. It has a ALUXX grade butted aluminum frame that is well constructed and reminiscent of pricier racing bikes. The SR Suntour suspension fork creates a smooth and comfortable ride, with a surprising 63mm of travel.

Although this is an entry level trail bike, the frame is strong enough to handle rougher gravel roads and paths while still being lightweight.

Revel 2 Black Review

brake type

The Shimano EF51 linear brake pulls on the Revel 2 are levers made from a durable alloy. Unfortunately, the Revel 2 does not have disc brakes and many riders report that would be a great improvement.

For tougher or steeper trails, riders may want to consider upgrading this component, however, the brakes are sufficient in both wet and dry conditions.


For the shifter, Giant opted to use the same component it uses in another bike model, Cypress.

The Shimano EF500 is a good quality shifter that provides smooth transitions between gears, even on difficult trails.  It's comfortable design and ease of functionality make it a valuable addition to the Revel 2.

Revel 2 Shifter Review

On the bike itself, the shifters are placed at a comfortable distance for riders to access with either thumb. This makes it easy for riders to change gears as they navigate various changes to the trail.


The Giant Alloy rims are known for their sleek appearance and aesthetic appeal. On the Revel 2 these alloy rims are durable, thanks in part to being paired with matching alloy hubs, and stainless spokes.

The rims are manufactured according to Giant’s own specifications, ensuring the same lasting durability and appearance as previous versions of the Revel. Their process also ensures that the construction process of the rims results in optimal strength for the material.


The Kenda, 26x2.10 tires used for the Revel 2 are a good choice, but tend not to shed mud and similar debris very easily when on trail.  The tread on the Kenda tires is solid and it provides added stability and control as a result of the extra width.

The extra cushion from these high-quality tires helps increase how smooth the ride feels, while also giving a nice performance boost. The added stability and control is nice to have on rougher trail, and it provides the increased grip that riders notice.

Revel Tire Review

price range

You can still buy the 2017 version of the Revel 2 from the Giant website for $330. The 2018 version of the Revel 2 runs $380. There are also likely to be older, used versions around if one is so inclined, however, a new trail bike in this price range is an excellent choice for a foray into trail riding.

What We Like

The Revel 2 has been a popular model for Giant for quite some time, and it fills the trail riding niche very well with a quality bike. 

For many riders, no changes will be required, and the Revel 2 is immediately ready to hit the trail. Here’s some of the things that are most noteworthy about the Revel 2:

  • Durable and lightweight frame
  • Sleek and ergonomic design
  • Easy to upgrade various components
  • Handles well on various kinds of terrain
  • Smooth feeling ride

What We Don’t Like

The Revel 2 has a solid design honed from many years of tweaks and experience, however there are still some items that many riders would like to see improved. 

Heavy parts, hard seats, and other component issues make up the bulk of the complaints, but the Revel 2 still stands as a front runner in the trail riding community. Here’s what we think could use some work:

  • Uncomfortable, hard seat that could be more durable
  • Pedals need improvement
  • Some stock parts are heavy (most notably the handlebars, and fork)
  • Handlebar grips damage hands and could be more durable
  • Lack of disc brakes

Buying Advice

This bike is best suited for those who are looking for an entry level bike to use on trails. A casual trail rider, or someone riding for exercise will be equally pleased with the performance and quality of their ride on a Revel 2.

Others who are looking for slightly more excitement on single tracks, free riding, or easy mountain trails will also find great value in this bike. With easily upgraded components the rider can make changes to optimize performance and fit to the trail at hand.

Even if you choose not to upgrade the Revel 2, it's still a great all-around trail bike, worth every penny, and ready for the next trail adventure.


The Revel 2 offers great features for anyone looking to get into trail riding that doesn’t want to spend a fortune. High quality parts, good construction, and attention to detail make the Revel 2 durable, reliable, and well performing anywhere you might find a trail.

If you’re looking to get out on trail, but need a more capable bike to get there, the Revel 2 is an excellent way to be trail-ready.

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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