2023 Giant Revolt X Review | A burly new gravel bike that’s purpose-built for suspension

The not-so-minor details


Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 0


Giant Bicycles



From $6,199 AUD ($8,199 AUD as tested)




- Hugely capable for a gravel bike
- Comfortable, bump-smoothing ride quality
- The supple Fox 32 TC fork
- Responsive but comfortable CXR X1 wheelset
- Supple high volume tyres
- Flip chip adds versatility
- Huge array of mounting points


- Dropper post lacks adjustability
- Remote ergonomics could be better
- Toe overlap may be an issue for some riders
- Limited brake lever reach

Wil reviews the Giant Revolt X

The Giant Revolt first arrived back in 2013, long before Gravel™ was really a thing. It was a progressive bike for its time, featuring disc brakes, wide tyres and dropped seatstays that made it a comfortable and practical road bike for riding across different surfaces.

Fast-forward a decade, and gravel riding has well and truly hit the mainstream. The Revolt has settled nicely into its niche and has evolved accordingly. The latest generation model was introduced in 2022, and with its sleek lines and big tyre clearance, has become a great example of a contemporary gravel race bike.

For 2023, the standard Revolt is now joined by this more radical variation that’s called the Revolt X. Featuring a purpose-built frame, suspension fork, dropper post, 1x drivetrain and 50mm tyres, it’s a significantly more aggressive gravel bike that aims to offer more capability and comfort for those exploring rougher and more demanding terrain.

2023 giant revolt x
The Giant Revolt X brings added capability and versatility to drop bar gravel riding.

An overview of the Giant Revolt X

The Giant Revolt X is an all-new model for 2023. In contrast to the standard Revolt, the Revolt X is designed specifically around a 40mm travel suspension fork. It gets a unique carbon frame, which features a shorter head tube in order to accommodate the longer axle-to-crown height of the Fox 32 TC and RockShox Rudy.

Whereas the standard Revolt uses the Overdrive headtube standard with a 1.25-1.5in headset, the Revolt X gets a more conventional 1.125-1.5in tapered headset in order to fit these modern gravel suspension forks.

The Revolt X is also 1x specific with no provision to fit a front derailleur, and it features pencil-thin dropped seatstays in order to maximise rear-end compliance. Along with the sloping top tube, PF92 bottom bracket and oversized downtube, it’s clear the Revolt X has taken some inspiration from the current XTC hardtail.

2023 giant revolt x
The Revolt X gets a unique frame with a shorter head tube that’s specifically designed around a 40mm suspension fork.

In-built adaptability

Just like the standard Revolt, the Revolt X features a neat dropout flip chip. This two-position chip is designed to provide you with 10mm of chainstay adjustment, altering the rear centre length between short (425mm) and long (435mm) settings. This alters the bike’s overall wheelbase and therefore handling.

Max tyre clearance does change between the two settings. The long position (which is how the bike comes setup from the factory) allows you to fit up to a 53mm wide tyre. That’s enormous! In the short position, tyre clearance narrows to a still-generous 45mm.

2023 giant revolt x
A two-position flip chip provides 10mm of chainstay length adjustment, allowing you to tweak the handling of the Giant Revolt X.

There’s some adaptability built into the seat tube as well. The Revolt X is able to accommodate a 30.9mm seatpost, a 27.2mm seatpost with the aid of a shim, or Giant’s D-Fuse seatpost that uses a D-shape profile to increase compliance. A wedge system is used to secure the post in place, though Giant has updated the main clamping plate with a small magnet that helps to avoid it from falling down into the seat tube (something we complained about with the Liv Devote, the women’s specific version of the Revolt).

Like the standard Revolt, the Revolt X features heaps of mounting options to accommodate multiple bottles, a top tube bag, pannier rack and mudguards, giving it further appeal for long-distance touring and bikepacking.

2023 giant revolt x
There are plenty of mounts for carrying extra gear on long rides, while the D-Fuse handlebar features flat tops and flared drops for added rider comfort.


Aside from the shorter head tube, the overall geometry package is very similar between the Revolt and Revolt X.

Both bikes share a 71.5° head angle, a 73.5° seat angle, and similar reach measurements. The chainstay length is identical and wheelbase lengths are much the same.

The most significant difference is the BB height. The Revolt X gets a shallower 69mm BB drop, so that it doesn’t get too low when the fork is compressed deeper into its travel.

The Revolt X also features a slightly longer trail figure, which should make the steering feel a little more stable at speed.

giant revolt x geometry size chart
Giant Revolt X Size Chart
2023 giant revolt x
The Giant Revolt X also introduces a new CXR X1 carbon wheelset that utilises a shallower and wider rim profile.

There’s a new Giant CXR X1 carbon wheelset

Alongside the 2023 Giant Revolt X is a brand new carbon wheelset called the CXR X1.

Compared to the existing CXR wheelset found on the regular Revolt, the new CXR X1 features a wider and shallower rim profile that’s been inspired by Giant’s mountain bike wheels. The hookless carbon rims employ a 31mm external width and a 25mm internal width, which is designed to suit modern 40-50mm wide gravel tyres and allow you to run lower pressures. The thick beads purportedly increase impact absorption and reduce the chance of pinch-flatting.

Rim depth sits at 25.8mm, which is claimed to offer more compliance over the existing CXR wheelset.

Sapim Laser spokes are used to lace the rims to Giant’s own straight-pull hubs, with the rear incorporating a variation of the DT Swiss Star Ratchet freehub system. Giant’s version uses 60-tooth driver to provide a 6° engagement angle. Claimed weight for the CXR X1 wheelset is just 1,430g.

Giant Revolt X price & specs

There are only two Giant Revolt X models coming into Australia for 2023, both of which are built around the same Advanced Grade Composite frame. There will be alloy models available elsewhere in the world, but it’s unclear at this point in time whether those bikes will make it Down Under.

You’ll find the same flared D-Fuse handlebar, 50mm wide Maxxis Rambler tyres and Giant CXR X1 wheelset on both Revolt X models. They also receive a new Postmoderne dropper post, which offers 30mm of suspension squish at any point in its travel.

The two key differences between each bike is the fork (Fox 32 TC vs RockShox Rudy) and the groupset (SRAM Force eTap AXS vs Rival). You can see the detailed specs on both bikes below, followed by our first impressions of riding the Revolt X Advanced Pro 0 over the past couple of weeks.

2023 giant revolt x advanced pro 0 gravel bike
The top-end Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 0 gets wireless 1×12 shifting and a Fox 32 TC fork.

2023 Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 0

2023 giant revolt x advanced pro 2 gravel bike
The Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 2 is almost identical, save for the mechanical 1×11 drivetrain and RockShox Rudy fork.

2023 Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 2

2023 giant revolt x
We’ve only had a few rides on the Giant Revolt X, but so far it’s proving to be a comfortable and speedy companion for all-terrain riding.

Giant Revolt X sizing & fit

There are six frame sizes available in the Giant Revolt X. At 175cm tall I’ve been riding a Medium.

Coming from a mostly mountain biking background, I found it easy to get comfortable aboard the Revolt X. The chunky tyres, wide handlebars and lengthy wheelbase gives it a substantial footprint on the trail, and thanks to a decent stack height, it feels far less aggressive than a purpose-built road bike.

Unfortunately there is some toe overlap, which isn’t uncommon for a drop bar bike fitted with big tyres. I have relatively long feet for my height, and I tend to run my cleats to suit a modern mid-foot pedalling stance, which doesn’t help the issue. It’s not a problem at typical riding speeds, and is only noticeable when track-standing or navigating through gates at walking pace. Still, I’d prefer not to experience it at all.

The only other fit issue I’ve had is with the SRAM Force brake levers. These are great when you’re on the hoods, with a substantial body that gives you plenty to old onto. In the drops however, I find it difficult to comfortably reach the lever blades, even with the reach dialled to the minimum setting. For reference, I wear a Small/Medium-sized glove.

2023 giant revolt x
Even with the reach all the way wound in, the lever blades still stick out quite a way.

Suspension & tyre setup

Since the Fox 32 TC fork uses a much smaller volume air spring compared to its bigger MTB siblings, the required air pressure is considerably higher. Fox recommends 108psi for my 68kg riding weight (compared to 72psi in a Fox 34 SC fork), which I’ve found to work well so far. Rebound is set a few clicks faster than halfway, and I currently have the compression dial set wide-open for maximum compliance.

I’m still experimenting with tyre pressures, though 30psi at the front and 32psi at the rear seems to work well for the chunkier gravel riding in my backyard. I did try lower, but found the ride to be a little too squidgy on the road hardpack surfaces. As I get more comfortable in taking the Revolt X onto more technical terrain, I’d be keen to investigate some CushCore gravel inserts to see how that impacts the ride quality.

2023 giant revolt x
30-32psi has been a good zone for the Maxxis Rambler 700x50c tubeless tyres.

Giant Revolt X weight

Our Giant Revolt X Advanced Pro 0 test bike weighs in at 9.9kg with the tyres set up tubeless and without pedals. Interestingly, it’s only a fraction lighter than my personal Specialized Chisel.

Given the Fox 32 AX fork and 100mm stroke dropper post, the Revolt X is actually lighter than I was expecting. We don’t have a figure on the frame weight, but I’d hazard a guess that it’s comfortably under the 1kg barrier.

2023 giant revolt x
Is this just a 90s XC bike? Nope, it’s WAY better.

What do we like about the Giant Revolt X so far?

Straight away I’ve been impressed by the overall comfort of the Giant Revolt X. Despite riding on some pretty shitty fireroads and old moto singletrack, it’s proved to be a smooth performer thanks to a combination of the high volume tubeless tyres, suspension dropper post and Fox 32 TC fork.

The fork in particular is brilliant. It’s incredibly supple and allows your hands to float comfortably over bumps and corrugations, providing an effective layer of insulation between you and the ground. 40mm isn’t a lot of travel, but it’s managed well with noticeable progression that prevents it from bottoming out. The air spring comes with three volume spacers from the factory, and there’s room for a fourth if you wanted more progression for bigger impacts.

Perhaps the only downside of the Fox 32 TC fork is that the FIT4 damper doesn’t offer a rock-solid lockout. It is firm, but you can still get the fork to move under hard sprinting efforts, which may bother some riders who are looking to access a rigid platform for riding on the bitumen.

2023 giant revolt x fox 32 ax
It may only have 40mm of travel, but geez the Fox 32 TC is a smooth operator. It also ramps up nicely to avoid bottoming out all the time.

On proper dirt however, the supple fork, grippy tyres and generous wheelbase help to provide decent stability at speed. Being able to get the saddle out of the way on steeper descents is a total boon, allowing you to move around the cockpit unhindered. The subtle flare to the handlebars also provides you with a wider and more surefooted platform when descending in the drops, further boosting the bike’s overall stability.

The steep head angle means the steering is still quite sharp though, so it’s not as planted on technical singletrack compared to a modern hardtail. The contemporary build kit does a lot to boost its off-road performance, though we’ll admit we were expecting slightly more radical geometry for a bike with an ‘X’ in its name.

So far I’ve only ridden the bike with the dropout chip in the long setting, which feels like a great match for its long distance ambitions. Along with the fast-rolling tyres and 40T chainring, it’s comfortable ticking along at higher speeds compared to a hardtail MTB with lower gearing.

I can see racers appreciating the shorter chainstay setting, especially when paired to a narrower and lighter set of tyres. It’s pretty straightforward to do, so I’ll be trying out that setup in the near future to see how it affects the overall handling experience.

2023 giant revolt x
The dropper is an absolute boon on the Giant Revolt X. We’d like to see more gravel bikes coming with a dropper post.

Any issues?

Aside from the aforementioned fit issues with toe overlap and brake lever reach, there are some less desirable traits I’ve noted with the Giant Revolt X.

The suspension seatpost certainly does the job it’s intended for, with its 30mm of travel helping to effectively take the sting out of the bumps. Unfortunately, the spring rate isn’t adjustable, which means your experience will be dependent on how heavy you are. At my weight I’ve found I sit close to the top of the travel, with the suspension only engaging when enough force is applied to it. While it works well for me, a heavier rider will naturally sag deeper into the travel. That will see some dynamic variation to the BB-to-saddle height, which obviously isn’t ideal.

2023 giant revolt x
Unfortunately the spring rate isn’t adjustable, and it makes a noisy top-out ‘clunk’ every time it extends back to full travel.

Furthermore, the dropper post exhibits a noisy top-out ‘clunk’ every time it extends. This is useful for alerting you that the saddle is fully extended after you’ve engaged the dropper remote, but it’s a little annoying when you’re bouncing along corrugations. I seem to have mentally tuned it out after the first couple of rides, though it would be nice if it was as quiet as the rest of the bike.

While I’m on the dropper, the dual-action remote works well enough, though it has to be said that the ergonomics leave a bit to be desired. The lever requires some thumb force to activate, and its bulky shape can get in the way when you’re gripping on the hoods during out-of-the-saddle efforts.

It’s not world-ending, though I plan to try out some other gravel-oriented dropper posts and remotes on this bike to see if I can improve those ergonomics. It’s possible to fit a Reverb AXS XPLR dropper and make use of the wireless functionality of the Force eTap AXS levers, which would certainly neaten things up.

2023 giant revolt x
We’ve already had a hoot riding the Giant Revolt X, and look forward to embarking on some bigger adventures aboard this highly capable gravel bike.

Flow’s Early Verdict

As a mountain biker, it’s our official duty to mock new-school gravel bikes like the Giant Revolt X. Some folks have suggested that they’re just XC bikes from the 90s, but I can attest that the experience is a million times better on this Revolt X compared to the hardtail I was riding back then. No doubt about it, this bike is faster, more comfortable, and definitely more capable.

I’ve been especially impressed with the Fox 32 TC fork, which brings significant comfort and grip to the drop-bar experience. It’s also a great aesthetic match for the Revolt X, which is the complete opposite of most gravel bikes I’ve seen fitted with suspension.

Along with the suspended dropper post, big tyres and compliance-focussed carbon frame and wheels, the Revolt X offers a calm and bump-smoothing ride over rough ground that is eerily close to a hardtail MTB. It’s still bloody quick though, and given its flared drop bars and all of the mounting accruements, the Revolt X is clearly ready for big multi-day adventures.

I’ll be exploring some of that long-distance capability over the coming months, while also trying out some different components and setups. Perhaps we’ll even do some comparisons with a high-end hardtail MTB to really dig into the differences between the two platforms, since the lines are becoming increasingly blurred these days.

2023 giant revolt x
Early impressions of the Giant Revolt X are very positive. If you appreciate what suspension is for and are looking for a drop bar gravel bike, this is surely one to add to the list.

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