I bought a Giant Revel 1V about 5 months ago and i would like share a review especially for those who think trek is the only way to go to have a great mountain bike. I hope this review changes that mindset and helps those looking for a new bike that is perfect balance of components for the price range of sub 20k.
The first thing youll notice about this bike is the frame and you wont believe it costs this less. Check out the fat down tube and head tube the way the whole thing is sculpted is simply beautiful!
By the way for those of you who may think this is just fancy let me tell you that these oversized tubes will give you greater stiffness this means better control, better feel and more efficiency during pedaling.
Now for the spec sheet. You can find that even on the giant website but ill just elaborate on the components that i feel makes this bike great.
The seat is pretty shock absorbing and at the same time is narrow enough to not interfere with your thighs during pedaling. And the seat tube is alloy and a large length of it protrudes out of the frame this means the seat tube can flex more which has some shock absorbing effect. Giant bike frames are generally designed with smaller rear triangles.
The handle bars are wide and provide very good control and I like its flatness and the short stem that holds it, this whole low handlebar setup gives me a direct steering feel and helps a bit with the aerodynamics. But if you dont like this low setup you can always invert the stem and youll have a higher handle bar. By the way the stem and handlebar are alloy and whatever bike you buy make sure you have an alloy stem and handle bar it saves a lot of weight and will not rust!
The shifters have nice gear indicators and the grips and brake levers are high quality.
The derailleurs are good both the front and back. The rear derailleurs are very easy to tune and they dont need a perfect setting to shift properly this means youll need to tune them less frequently (they look good too). But youll have to keep the drivetrain clean, use some good thin oil or preferably use ceramic oil. They make noises and do not run or shift smoothly when dirtly i have experienced this during long rides when i dont clean for over 200km. But presently i use tailor machine oil but ill switch to ceramic soon.
The rims are solid and light weight and i only have a negligible bend after riding at top speeds into potholes after downhills countless times. Excellent rims!
The kenda small block 8 are fast rolling and run smoothly on tar and they are surprisingly grippy offroad too! Really dont know how they work they have tiny nobs and look like road tires but they work offroad trust me!
Pedals are alloy based and it looks like they will last forever. Never had problems with grip.
I have the v brake version and i choose it as it is cheaper and as I have never had problems with v brakes in the past. The stopping power is great and even in wet conditions i didnt face any problem. Now after using this bike for over 1000km the brake cables are stiffer and I get a great feel. I made a small change to make my v brake attain a better feel. I just cutoff the rubber tube on the brake cable between the calipers. When I pressed the brake this rubber seal sort of thing compressed and the brake didnt feel smooth. Now atleast my front brake has a smooth feel almost like that of hydraulics! Those who have v brakes try this!. Also v brakes are lighter the disc brake version would weigh about 400g more.
Now ill come to the only part of my bike I wish to upgrade. The suspension!. Its does a good job it takes large bumps but it does not absorb small bumps and i need something better but I cant complain for how much i paid as even trek 4300 comes with the same front fork( suntour xcm v3). But its gotten better with use and I am happy with what it is now. It travels about 90mm in a decent drop so it performs decently. The fork is heavy around 2.5kg and looks beefy (adds to looks). But youll get a lightweight suspension only in the range of 60K+ bikes. Anyway a good fork will cost about 10k. I wish to upgrade soon. If you can afford 30k you can go for Revel 0 it has a much better fork (the same that comes on the 2012 trek 6000).
And i replaced those orange rim reflectors with white ones it looks much better now. Also i took off that white plastic ring near the cassette as it collected dirt and looked ugly. The bike feels better now than when it did when it was new. This bike is really value for money i got it for 18k, i think it costs more now but all bike prices have increased now. It has the same components of the trek 4300 which was costing 25k then. I hope this review was helpful for those planning to buy a new bike. Please research before you buy a bike! You can even get a indian bike that weighs 20kgs for 18k. So be smart!