Revel Bikes is still a relatively fresh face, but in just a few short years has made its mark in the mountain bike world with competitively-priced bikes offering an effective suspension linkage layout and a durable carbon fibre layup developed by the founder of Enve, Jason Schiers.
Since then, the company put its name to ‘FusionFibre’ wheels made with an automated thermoplastic composites technology, and more recently the company announced a gravel version of the carbon rim tech.
Now, the Colorado-based mountain bike company has officially launched its first gravel bike (well, sort of). In fact, it’s Revel’s first bike that isn’t a full-suspension mountain bike.
While this may be the first gravel bike to wear the Revel brand name, it’s really more of a sibling to Why Cycles’ R+ titanium all-road bike. Why Cycles and Revel fall under the same ownership, with the former specialising in titanium bikes, while the latter is all about carbon fibre.
Compared to the Why Cycles R+, the Rover offers a slightly more mountain-bike-inspired geometry and feature list, such as a 1x-specific frame design that offers clearance for up to 700 x 50 mm tyres. However, while the geometry is progressive in some areas, it’s not to the extreme point that we’ve seen from other mountain bike names, such as Evil.
The Rover offers a 69 mm trail figure up front from the 71.5-degree head angle that’s consistent across the five available frame sizes. And as we’ve seen from the likes of BMC and Evil, the reach figure (and subsequent front centre) is lengthened to match with a shorter stem.
The 420 mm length chainstays and 70 mm bottom bracket drop are somewhat common for the category, but the 75-degree seat tube angles across the board are steeper than what’s typically seen on gravel bikes. Steeper seat tube angles have become the status quo in modern mountain bikes, however, and make it easier to keep your weight over the front axle on steep climbs.
Revel doesn’t make much fuss about the carbon layup used here, they don’t have a weight to share (yet), and the frame is notably without any trendy geometry flip chips or comfort-focused elements. And while the Rover is manufactured in Asia, Revel has confirmed the frame is entirely its own design. It’s covered by a lifetime warranty.
The Rover keeps things fairly normal in terms of component fitments. The seatpost is round, the bottom bracket is English threaded, and even the derailleur hanger is the new SRAM UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger) which is quickly being adopted by countless mountain bike brands.
Despite the obviously dropped chainstays, Revel opted to make this frame for 1x-shifting only in order to afford room for 700 x 50 mm (or 650B x 2.1 in) rubber plus the use of up to a 46T chainring with the short 420 mm chainstays. The frame is ready to accept both mechanical and electronic shifting, and can be fitted with a dropper post, too.
Slightly unexpected is the general lack of mounts – Revel has kept this frame clean. There are four pairs of bottle cage mounts given but that’s about it. And I’m not seeing any way to run fenders or racks on this one.
Bike and frame options
Complete bikes start from US$3,999 for a build with Industry Nine 700c 1/1 GRCX wheels, SRAM Rival 1 shifting/brakes, and Zipp Service Course SL XPLR cockpit. Spending US$4,600 will get you a similar bike but with Shimano GRX810 for the shifting and braking bits. For a not-insignificant increase to US$8,199, there’s a build option with SRAM Red AXS XPLR complete with Revel’s own RW23 hoops laced to Industry Nine Torch Torch road hubs – while not low in cost, the build kit on this bike is impressive.
Revel will also offer the Rover as a frame and fork option, priced at US$2,400. Bikes and framesets will be available in both mint or black paint. The company expects the first stock to arrive by March 2022, but like most new bike releases as of late, these bikes are likely already sold. More information on the Revel Rover can be found at revelbikes.com.