Every time I write a brand new evaluation protecting a gravel bike, I have a tendency to elucidate what an enormous vary you’ll find. Simply have a look at our greatest gravel bikes patrons information and you will spot choices aimed toward gravel racing, bikepacking, and journey driving. Regardless of that, I nonetheless discover myself genuinely shocked driving new choices with a spotlight that is totally different from what I’ve seen earlier than. The Revel Rover is a type of bikes. It comes from a mountain bike model and brings with it a novel tackle what gravel cyclists may need.
Tech Specs: Revel Rover
Weight: 8680 grams able to experience together with 441 gram Garmin Rally XC200 pedals
Groupset: SRAM Rival AXS
Wheels: Trade 9 1/1 GRCX 700c Centerlock
Brakes: Rival Hydraulic
Bar/stem: Zipp Alloy in 44cm width/Easton Aluminum in 90mm size
Seatpost: Revel Carbon
Saddle: WTB Volt CroMo Black
Distinctive doesn’t suggest higher although, is the Revel Rover value your consideration? With one thing this totally different, that query is larger than ordinary. It is definitely not a quiver killer and it is from boring however what does it do nicely and who does that make sense for?
With these questions in thoughts, I’ve put the Revel Rover to the take a look at. I frolicked on pavement within the flats and climbing, I frolicked on easy gravel and tough gravel each climbing and descending, and now that I’ve obtained a really feel for it I am able to share the main points. If you’re occupied with a brand new gravel bike this yr, and also you need to think about one thing totally different, preserve studying to see if the Revel Rover is the fitting choice for you.
Design and aesthetics
Hailing from Carbondale Colorado, Revel is an organization identified for making full-suspension mountain bikes. It is so pervasive that the template for the web site lists suspension journey for each bike even when it is 0mm. Certain, you’ll find a couple of choices on the web site which are totally different however these aren’t actually Revel bikes. As an alternative, sister model Why Cycles handles titanium frames and a few of them discover themselves filling out the lineup on the Revel web site. Up till the tip of 2021, that was true of the gravel class as nicely. That is when the Revel Rover hit the market representing a real expression of the Revel model within the type of a carbon fibre gravel bike.
The Rover allowed the engineers to free themselves from the constraints of metallic frames and construct the bike they needed. In some ways what that appears like is the anti-modern gravel bike. There isn’t any aerodynamic shaping and the headtube seems an terrible lot just like the titanium headtube on the R+ that Revel considers the predecessor to the Rover. The downtube is large but it surely’s not large sufficient to think about in-frame storage. It is also not spherical.
As an alternative of spherical tubes, a lot of the Revel Rover makes use of faceted tubes. Probably the most noticeable spots are on the entrance of the bike. You’ll be able to see the angles that come collectively to make a tube within the entrance fork and the downtube with solely a fast look. Look intently although and you will see it in every single place. The highest tube is flat throughout the highest however look beneath and it is not spherical there both. The tube angles down and narrows out because it heads towards the seat tube however the three sides that create the underside keep comparatively unchanged.
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The seat tube is definitely probably the most rounded tube on the body, seemingly owing to dropper compatibility, but it surely’s additionally far more complicated than spherical. As you get nearer to the threaded BSA backside bracket, there’s the often-seen curve that follows the rear wheel. As that curve begins to exit the tube, you possibly can really feel the spherical form taking up distinct faces like the opposite tubes.
In fact, the chainstays additionally meet on the backside bracket however there is no phantasm of roundness to the chainstays. The non-drive facet is a slim rectangle that elegantly curves out and in to go away loads of room for the 700x50mm max tyres and the crank arms. You will don’t have any drawback becoming a crank-based energy meter on this bike and you can take your choose of sides. The drive facet chainstay makes use of a dropped design and it is even thinner. Take note although that among the large clearance comes from the 1x-only design.
For color, you get one in every of two decisions. In the event you like some color, you will need Mint Chip. It pops towards a gray sky within the unique launch photos and there is a bit extra sophistication than is widespread in one thing like a pink. The opposite choice is T1000 which, if you do not get the reference, matches fairly nicely with Silca titanium bottle cages. Each decisions are shiny on the high of the bike earlier than transitioning to matte on the backside.
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The body is identical it doesn’t matter what construct you select. From there, the choice is between mechanical SRAM Rival or Shimano GRX or you possibly can leap as much as digital shifting with a selection of Drive AXS or Rival AXS. You have additionally obtained the choice of getting simply the body and that is what you will have to do for a Di2 or mullet construct that are appropriate however not accessible.
Of the builds which are accessible, solely the Drive AXS affords a lot distinction. In the event you tackle the additional $1500 for that construct, it comes with an Easton carbon cockpit together with RW23 Carbon Trade 9 Torch wheels. The nicer wheels are additionally accessible as an improve for all of the builds and provide a 23mm inner width with FusionFibre recyclable (downcyclable) rims. In any other case, you get the identical WTB Volt CroMo mountain bike saddle and 31.8mm, non-setback, carbon seatpost at each construct. The decrease builds embrace Zipp aluminium bars and a 90mm Zipp stem.
The bike I examined was the Rival AXS choice. In my explicit case that additionally included a 90mm Easton aluminium stem and 44cm Zipp bars however that was an availability concern. Most customers will see a size-appropriate Zipp bar and an identical Zipp stem. Gearing was well set at 10-44 (Rival XPLR) for the rear plus a 42-tooth crank. For the wheels, the no-extra-fee selection is the Trade 9 700c 1/1 GCRX which really affords a wider inner width, 24.5mm, than the upgraded RW23. Quoted weight for the wheels is 1,710g they usually come paired with 40mm Maxxis Rambler tyres that look positively tiny within the large entrance fork.
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My favorite strategy to take a look at a gravel bike is with a loop I’ve ridden many occasions over time. It is about 100 miles / 160km ranging from my entrance door. Initially, it is a flat mixed-use path then it transitions to rolling hills and the ultimate paved part is your selection of steep climbs. On the high of the ridge, you hit the gravel and it is what you’d name both American gravel or luxurious gravel if you’re American. You get to descend on it for a bit earlier than hitting some double monitor that’s easy in some locations and a bit extra technical in others. The ultimate part is extra descending earlier than heading again to the highest of the ridge with a six-mile / 9.5km climb. Then it is house.
There’s a wide range of causes I just like the loop, I do not drive to the experience and so forth, however greater than something, I feel it encapsulates what a gravel bike ought to have the ability to do nicely. There’s mellow metropolis driving, there’s out-of-the-city highway driving, there’s steep climbs, lengthy climbs, quick gravel, and gradual gravel. The most effective gravel bikes is likely to be good at all the things or they could excel in a single explicit space. The Revel Rover ended up being a type of bikes that shines specifically areas.
Within the first hour or so, I assumed I had the evaluation written. The Rover is not a very playful accomplice driving on flat pavement. I discovered it needed to cruise at round 17.5 mph / 28 km/h and it didn’t beckon you to push more durable. I think a few of that’s the wheel and tyre bundle however as ordinary, I examined the bike because it got here to me.
As I obtained out of the town, I settled into the part the place I wish to get low and aero and let the space fall away. The Rover doesn’t reply nicely to this want. From the very starting I felt just like the place was tremendous snug however making an attempt to get down low in an aero place shouldn’t be this bike’s forte. You are able to do it but it surely by no means feels fairly proper, this isn’t a protracted low gravel race bike.
This part of the experience did give me a possibility to confirm that the bike can transfer although. On the way in which out I obtained handed by a professional continental rider who was being motor-paced by a scooter. The draft seemed tempting so I put down as a lot energy as I might for a few minutes to try to catch on (I didn’t make the catch). Later within the day, in the identical part, I once more noticed a draft that seemed tempting. This time there was no motor tempo however I used to be nonetheless at threshold for the ten minutes or so earlier than my turn-off. In every case, what I seen is that whereas the Rover does not really feel playful in zone 3, and getting aero does not really feel nice, it will possibly maintain velocity simply fantastic should you put within the energy and push into zone 4 or 5.
That feeling got here again once more as I pushed up the primary main hill of the day. It is a little bit over 3 miles / 4.8km with a mean 8.2% gradient (with spikes to fifteen%). I anticipated this could be a grind but it surely seems the Rover can climb fairly nicely. At house it scaled out at simply over 19 lbs (8,680g precisely together with heavy pedals) and identical to on the flats, whenever you give it energy the bike responds. Does not matter a lot if that is on the flats chasing a quick highway rider or up a hill. In each circumstances, there is a little bit of a lifeless zone in zone 3 however issues get up as you get extra intense.
This can be a gravel bike although, and it is the gravel part that the lifeless zone began to make extra sense. With 40mm tyres on the highway, there’s nothing to easy out and the body simply feels a bit uninteresting. On the gravel, the rougher the higher, that is when you possibly can actually inform what’s occurring. The body is so easy it nearly appears like some form of low-travel suspension system.
The graceful body is smart on the gravel and it does not really feel lifeless in any respect. It is easy however with a 420mm rear finish, it is nonetheless full of life. Truly, on gravel, the dealing with feels only a tad on the facet of squirrely throughout quick descents and there’s a little bit of a twin character on show. The body soaks up the bumps whereas the geometry feels a lot sharper. It handles tight turns fairly nicely, though my dimension medium nonetheless had average toe overlap with my cleats all the way in which again.
The place I assumed all of those options got here collectively the most effective was, once more, the climbs. A protracted average climb is quick sufficient to understand the body retaining your arms contemporary and it highlights the low weight of the bike. On the similar time, there’s no want to fret about toe overlap or the brief rear finish feeling free. On the rougher double-track climbing sections, the exact dealing with made it straightforward to level on the appropriate line and once more the body absorbing impacts was appreciated. As I replicate again on the expertise, it appears the Revel Rover is a easy climber above all else.
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That is the a part of the evaluation the place the Revel Rover struggles probably the most. The Trek Checkpoint, Ribble Gravel SL, and Ventum GS1 are all considerably cheaper with a construct that is nearly the identical. The Ventum is not a motorcycle I’ve ridden but when it is something just like the NS1, I think it is value testing. As for the Trek and the Ribble, they’re each higher as throughout do all the things bikes. All three bikes even have sufficient room to improve the wheels considerably and nonetheless keep below the value of the Revel they usually aren’t the one decisions. Canyon is an apparent contender right here however for the value of the Revel, you possibly can forged a really large web and have quite a lot of ultimate selection.
One oddity I did discover right here is that the body value for the Rover is far more aggressive than the ultimate construct costs. Wanting on the costs of the elements concerned, I’d guess the wheels are pushing the value up they usually aren’t including a lot to the experience. In the event you like the thought of the extremely easy body think about sourcing solely the body and increase the remainder of the bike your self. If you wish to preserve the value low, search for cheaper aluminium wheels. You probably have extra funds, see if there’s a carbon wheel for less than a small total value improve. Our information to the greatest gravel wheels will assist.
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As I frolicked with the Revel Rover, then labored via the evaluation, I felt myself being a bit puzzled by the imaginative and prescient. There are mounts for 4 bottles however no bento field mounts on the highest tube. It does not really feel as sharp as gravel race bikes in combined floor driving, it doesn’t lend itself to making an attempt to get aero, however on the similar time it’s snappy on the gravel and the dealing with nonetheless feels sharper than you’d count on. It is one of many smoothest gravel bikes I’ve ever been on however the lack of mounting factors on the fork appears to level away from this being a long-distance bikepacker’s best option.
Then there’s the body. I preserve mentioning how easy this bike is and that is a operate of the carbon body. The low weight factors to an intensive understanding of carbon building and utilizing a faceted design helps optimise the layup for compliance.
What actually helped me carry all these seemingly disparate items collectively was speaking with the proprietor of Revel. What he mentioned is that all of it begins with the corporate title. The conceptual concept is to ‘revel’ within the second and that’s what this bike is sweet at. The Revel Rover is a motorcycle designed for actual enjoyable, it’s easy and exact within the filth and it’ll depart you feeling contemporary afterwards. There’s no bento field mounts as a result of they spoil the traces and catch on shorts. Plus, it’s not a race machine, simply add a bag and take a minute to seize some meals. There are many bottle mounts as a result of water is essential when you’re removed from a supply.
That each one matches my expertise however I didn’t put all of it collectively immediately as a result of that’s not what I’m used to searching for in a motorcycle. I search for outright efficiency and it’s very uncommon that I’d describe the expertise as enjoyable. It’s sort two enjoyable and it’s both fulfilling a particular coaching want or reaping the advantages of that coaching. In relation to gravel I both compete in gravel races or spend 7+ hours protecting combined surfaces. Most individuals aren’t like me although. If you wish to simply have enjoyable on a motorcycle after which head house feeling contemporary, the Revel Rover is value consideration. There’s a value premium to think about although, and it places it immediately within the firing line of hardtail mountain bikes.
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|Design and aesthetics||The engineering on this bike quantities to a grasp class in what carbon can do. SRAM UHD is a giant bonus and the aesthetics are stable.||10/10|
|Construct||You pay loads for what you get. Particularly, the wheels appear costly they usually don’t add a lot to the construct.||9/10|
|Efficiency||There’s a particular use case for the bike but it surely does an amazing job when put in the fitting scenario.||8/10|
|Weight||It’s not the lightest bike on the market but it surely’s undoubtedly up there with the most effective.||9/10|
|Worth||There are such a lot of nice bikes for this value or much less. You’re mainly paying for the carbon layup.||6/10|
|Total||Row 5 – Cell 1||76%|