After my Specialized mountain bike was stolen, I had to go out and find a new one.I did some research and settled on the 2012 Giant Revel 2. This lists for $379, but I was able to find it at a local bike store for $359.
The Short Version
To be sure, this is considered to be a low-end mountain bike. That’s fine with me, because I mostly ride around town. But, I like having a mountain bike because I like being able to go up and down curbs, go off-road to avoid pedestrians, etc. Plus, the roads on the East Coast are pretty bad with lots of potholes and such. And who knows, maybe I’ll actually take it mountain biking someday!
Overall, I’m happy with it! It has a sturdy aluminum frame with much wider tubes than my previous bike. The ride is smooth and it seems to have less friction and go faster than my previous bike (even though I had just gotten that one tuned up).
One of my few complaints is that the seat is hard as a rock. This is backed up by other reviewers on the Internet. I’ll definitely have to replace that at some point. Fortunately, this is an easily-replaceable item.
The bike has 21 speeds with SRAM shifters. I haven’t had any problems with shifting so far.
I’ve seen some criticism online of the front fork being heavy, but it’s fine for my needs. The brakes are regular brakes, not disc. This is also fine for my needs.
There’s a nice feature on my model (not sure if this is on every version) that I really like. It’s a simple rim around the front gear that stops your pants from touching the chain or getting trapped in there. It’s a small touch, but now I don’t have to roll up my right pant leg when I ride. I love it!
One thing I have encountered with this bike is frequent flats. Other readers have confirmed this! The guy at the bike store said that it was caused by under-inflated tires. Keeping the tires fully inflated solved the problem, but I’ve never had tires pop so easily on other bikes. Just something to keep in mind. UPDATE: It’s been years since I had a flat; I must have been using bad tubes or something.
Overall, I think this bike is a good value compared to what else is out there, and it suits my needs very nicely! I would highly recommend it for urban riding and light occasional mountain biking. If you are a hard-core mountain-biker, I would recommend spending more.