Mountain Bike Review: The 2012 Giant Revel 2

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).

Detailed Review

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!

Note the flange running around the gear that stops your pants from getting jammed with the chain

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.

“Say.. That’s a nice bike”

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.

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10 years ago

im glad that you like your bike. i bought the same one last june because it was discounted for being the previous year model. i too have had zero trouble with this bike. except tubes! the pinch flat you have encountered was a 2-3 times per week ordeal for me. it is the tires! the tires arent necessarily bad but increase the pressure to 55 minimum. i usually roll on 65lbs but anything over 55 seems to prevent this aggravating event. i have had zero flats since. just something to keep in mind.

the saddle is actually very comfy after you get used to it and know where to place your butt bones. i have been on very long rides with this bike, 146 miles round trip. even 3 hours straight in the saddle and i feel fine! it took me a while to figure out where to place my ass bones.

the components are kind of cheap but they work very well! i have deore lx components from an old trek 7000 that i detested, the bike itself not the components. i was going to swap them for the sram x3 but honestly the x3 works so well i cant justify busting out a wrench.

speaking of busting out a wrench, i havent! this bike is very well made, i have put 3,211 miles on it to date and everything on it is perfect! just some chain cleaning and one small adjustment of the front derailleur after the bike was stolen and recovered the next morning. speaking of which, what moron would steal a bike and then ride it in front of where they stole it from the very next morning.. a moron in indiana is who, but indiana is mostly populated by morons(with very few teeth, and even fewer brain cells). im not from indiana though :)

John Thomas
John Thomas
11 years ago

I too bought one for mostly street duty. If street is what your mainly doing first thing is change the tires to some thing towards that. Next are the shifters. While they work good they are delicate. The clear plastic can break easily and I was told and you have to replace the whole unit $15. Other then that it eats up pot holes.

10 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Hi Brian