Apr 25, 2023
This we sit down with Andrew Juskatis from Giant Bicycles to discuss the Giant Revolt X gravel bike. With 50 years in the bicycle business, Giant brings massive engineering and manufacturing resources to the sport. The Revolt X model features front suspension matched with a compliant rear end and dropper post. Sounds like my kind of ride!
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Automated Transcription, please excuse the typos:
[00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Hello, and welcome to the gravel ride podcast, where we go deep on the sport of gravel cycling through in-depth interviews with product designers, event organizers and athletes. Who are pioneering the sport
I'm your host, Craig Dalton, a lifelong cyclist who discovered gravel cycling back in 2016 and made all the mistakes you don't need to make. I approach each episode as a beginner down, unlock all the knowledge you need to become a great gravel cyclist.
This week on the podcast. We welcome Andrew. from giant bicycles to the show. Andrew is a global product marketing manager. And had a hand in the launch of the new revolt acts, gravel bike. I have to say after I saw former Gaston friend, URI has walled. Old riding this new giant bicycle where the RockShox suspension fork on it. I couldn't resist reaching out to the team at giant to learn a little bit more.
I'd been curious as to when we'd start to see larger manufacturers bring suspension forks into the gravel bike world. I know it is a topic. That many of you feel very passionately one way or the other about, but I thought it would be interesting to talk to Andrew about that decision
and how they see the market evolving. Giant is a close to 50, maybe 50 plus year old company. That's been producing bikes for many, many other brands, as well as developing their own brand. Back in the eighties, they've got a huge amount of research and development and organizational strength in the engineering department.
So it was exciting to talk to them about what they were seeing with this bicycle. Obviously they have models available. With, and without that rock shock, we talk about the revolt X model as well as one of the other models that shares a similar chassis, but not an identical chassis. And we'll get into why giant was uniquely capable of producing something specific.
For running a suspension fork versus just slapping something on the same bike or the same frame that they had produced for the non suspension. Model. Anyway, I look forward to you listening to this conversation, Andrew and I are contemporary. So we share some stories about our early experience in the mountain bike market and the evolution of that market. And some of the parallels were.
We're seeing in the gravel world. With that said, let's jump right into my conversation with Andrew. Andrew, welcome to the show.
[00:02:29] Andrew Juskatis: Hey, thanks for having me, Craig.
[00:02:31] Craig Dalton: It's good to, good to have you. I'm, I feel like I've been wanting to have someone on from Giant for a few years now, and I couldn't resist reaching out through my friend Yuri Oswald, who just started riding for Giant u s A. Uh, when I saw the new Revolt acts, it seemed like too, too much of a bike that was right up my alley not to get someone on the show to talk about.
[00:02:53] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's, it's a new launch for us. It just came out this February. Um, so it's still new, it's still hot, and it's an interesting product from Giant.
[00:03:02] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. Before we dig into that, let's just get a little bit about your history. Where, where did you grow up and how did you discover the bike, and ultimately, how did you end up working in the bike industry?
[00:03:13] Andrew Juskatis: cow. That's a long story, but I will try and make it short for you so, I'm coming up on 50 years old. I've been riding and racing bikes, specifically mountain bikes since I was 14 years old. I grew up in Southern California. I started ri erasing and then riding, you know, around 87, 88. So I've, I've been through the f almost the full trajectory of mountain biking as, as a result of that, my love and for cycling has grown.
So Southern California. Um, you know, went to college at University of Utah and just absolutely fell in love with the sport of mountain biking. But out of that, I took my first job, um, working for cycling publications. So over a period of nine years, I worked for five different magazines starting in 1996, working for Mountain Biking, mountain Biker Bike Magazine, bicycling, and then eventually finished off my tenure at Venu and throughout the entire.
I was the tech editor for all those publications. I did a lot of product testing, um, and, and had a pretty good gig doing all that, but it was 2004 when I was an editor. I flew from Colorado out to Southern California to be a guest at Giant Bicycles when they were introducing their maestro suspension technology.
And I remember specifically as an. Riding that product, meeting the people behind the product and saying, Hey, giant has something going on for it. Like this is legit. Not only is this technology legit, but the people behind it are serious about what they're doing, and it really put, honestly put Giant on my radar for what is going to be my next job.
Lo and behold, position opened up in their marketing department in 2005. I took the job at Giant, and here I am, what, some 18 years later. On the other end of the stick here, talking to editors around the world.
[00:04:58] Craig Dalton: Amazing. I love that we're in the same age range and went through sort of our coming up and mountain biking around the same time. I know we could probably share a lot of stories that might not be interesting to our gravel riding audience, but thanks for sharing that. And just for a little bit of context, can you just talk about the origins of the giant, uh, giant company and the giant.
[00:05:19] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, for sure. And for, for those listeners who aren't aware, you know, we're ob. OB obviously a legacy brand. We just celebrated our 50th anniversary. And again, another really long story short, the reason why giant exists is way back in the seventies when Schwinn was having its bicycle boom, Schwinn was manufacturing the great majority of their product.
You know, here in the United States. They realized that they needed to expand, they needed to bring prices down to some more affordability. So they sent off kind of their Lewis and Clark guys over to Asia to source out, uh, bicycle manufacturing over in Asia. And one of those guys ventured over to Taiwan, which at the time wasn't.
Producing anything to do with bicycles and fortuitously stumbled across a fledgling little company, manufacturing company called Giant at the time. Um, at the time they were not making bicycles, but had the capability to do so well. Long story short. Giant became the main manufacturer of Schwinn bicycles kind of in the, in the late seventies there.
And so they were pumping out the great majority of Schwinn bikes that maybe our parents grew up with, or we grew up as, grew up with as kids. That grew and grew and grew. The manufacturing business continued to improve. The factory got bigger and bigger. We got better at it. And then in the, um, early eighties, we started our own brand, and that's the brand that I worked for, which is Giant, that's the brand that most of your listeners are familiar with.
So, early eighties on that, we started making our own product, unique product, own designed, um, manufactured and engineered by us. And that's the brand that we're talking about today.
[00:06:55] Craig Dalton: I remember in the very late eighties selling a giant iguana or two on the mountain bike side. If I can name, drop that little bit of history to
[00:07:04] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, that's still a running joke I get all the time. What do you feed the Johnny Iguana? I, I love oldie, but goodie.
[00:07:11] Craig Dalton: And I also remember obviously like, you know, in addition to that Schwinn product line that they were producing for many years, they then expanded to a lot of product for a lot of different manufacturers. And I remember sort of learning that as I was working in a bike shop on the East coast and realizing that, you know, of the seven brands that we were selling, it was three or four of them were actually produced in the same factory, um, via Giant, which was kind of interesting at the.
[00:07:38] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, for sure. So our manufacturing side of the business. Does produce bicycles for some other brands out there, but the great majority of of product that comes out of our factory is giant. And just to clarify, you know, anything that comes out of our factory is engineered and, and designed by that brand.
So everything is unique. Like the giant brand is completely different than anything else that might come out of that factory. Um, but I'm here today to talk about, you know, giant product and the giant brand. So excited to get.
[00:08:09] Craig Dalton: Yeah. And you know, as we trace back kind of the brand history as you've been there the last 18 years or so, obviously Giant is a full service brand, meaning they're doing everything from kids' bikes, Tor de France and you know, U C I downhill bikes across the product line. When you think about how the brand kind of approaches.
Entire suite of product. Is it, does it, does it sort of come from the top down and you're trying to make the best product possible? Or is each, each kind of division kind of focused on like, oh, I'm trying to make an affordable bike, or commuter bike, or what have you, and really just trying to be best of class in the area that it's competing in.
[00:08:49] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, first things first is we make sure that we have the right people leading the right categories. From that, every one of those category managers, their goal is to build the absolute best in class for that. Whether it be, uh, a youth bike, whether it be a road gravel or mountain bike, we always wanna shoot for the top.
Only after we have all those, these pieces in place, do we start thinking about price points. How do we want to, you know, what price points do we want to hit? We look at, maybe sometimes we'll look at our competitors and see what they're doing and see how we can, you know, beat them. But for the great majority of time, because our factory, we are the factory.
We have the greatest buying power in the entire cycling industry. If you think about it. I mean, we buy more D R X T rear derailers than any other brand on Earth. So normally we're, we're always gonna get the best pricing out of that. We don't normally focus on pricing. You know, your, your, your listeners can certainly do their own shopping and, and look at different brands and different prices, but that's certainly something where we differentiate our categories.
Um, how do we break it down? And that's something we can talk about when we talk about Revolt X. What are, what are the prices here in the United.
[00:09:54] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I'm curious and excited given your tenure at Giant, just when you started to see like a gravel bike first emerge in the lineup, and obviously the date you dropped to me earlier I think was 2013. The category barely existed at that point. So I'm curious if you recall, like why was that bike created originally?
[00:10:14] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, that's a really good question. And I, I, I don't wanna say it was created by accident, but at the time, w. You know, the category managers, the marketing staff, we're in touch with the market. We ride a lot. It's our passion. So we're out there and seeing what, what people are doing. Gravel at the time from a mass production level really didn't exist.
This is over a decade ago, like you just indicated. The consumers were, you know, maybe the, the elite that bleeding edge was kind of experimenting with, you know, taking a road bike and putting on the biggest tires possible and riding it in more aggressive terrain. I would say we caught onto that, that, that, that trend and it was, it was just a developing trend way back then.
And we said, Hey, you know what, let's experiment. It seems like it makes sense. This might actually go somewhere. This, this might not be a fad. Like single speeding, right? Like that came and went for the most part. This actually has legs given the trends at the time of. Generally speaking, you know, road bike sales were just beginning to slump off.
People might, might have started getting turned off a little bit about road riding just because of safety issues or just because of wanting to explore their terrain a little bit more than a traditional road bike could take them. Um, so it was kind of a culmination of a lot of a different events. Let us dip our toe in the water with the first Revolt series, and that was like over a decade ago.
And looking back at the bike, looking at the geometry, looking at the max tire size, you know, I'm not gonna say it was wrong in every way, but it was an experiment, right? It was our first mass production toe dipped in the water, and we learned a tremendous amount from that first generation. So here we are today talking about our latest generation, which is the Revolt X, which as your listeners know, is a front suspension, gravel bike, and definitely happy to talk about that.
[00:12:06] Craig Dalton: Yeah, it's so interesting. I feel like back in that 20 13, 20 14, 20 15, like there was this pocket of riders that weren't necessarily, you know, riding gravel. They were just happened to be riding on dirt roads or wanted a more durable drop bar bike for commuting. And so there was like enough of a pocket in there despite like.
People wanting to use the bike for many different things. That type of bike made a lot of sense. And then, you know, as we moved forward into 20 15, 20 16, you started to sort of see this very much more specialized gravel event happen and people like really leaning into a gravel bike as a replacement for a road bike potentially in certain scenarios.
So talk a little bit, if you can, at, at sort of a broad level. How you saw the revolt model evolve over those early years into, you know, 20 16 20 17?
[00:13:00] Andrew Juskatis: Right. And so just like you indicated, Craig, you know, the, the racing scene at that time was. Just starting to bubble up more local events, little kind of underground events, but we, when we a, anytime we create a new product, we do ask ourselves. Okay. Is this product going to be raced or is this product going to be ridden?
Is this for the adventure rider or is this for the guy, you know, shaves his legs and has the liker, uh, one piece kit on and is going, going for the number plate thing? So at that time we said no on racing, cuz racing really didn't seem like it was that big a deal. So the original revolt was geared more towards a.
Was more towards exploration, was riding those b and C level roads, or even some, you know, all all, maybe at the time very light single track kind of stuff. But it was not
[00:13:47] Craig Dalton: it originally a, was it a carbon bike originally?
[00:13:50] Andrew Juskatis: no, no, no. Again, I, I would use the term experimental at the time, and so first generation, I think we talked about this a little bit offline, but committing to composite cutting molds.
Is an entirely different thing than building an aluminum bike. Aluminum bikes obviously take a lot of engineering. There is a lot of technology in it, but the commitment level to building an aluminum bike from a, from a mass production standpoint is. Significantly less than committing to composites. So, like I said, bit of an experiment.
The first revolt, um, we want to dip our toe in the water. It was aluminum and so really easy if we needed to second generation, if we needed to change geometry. It's very, very easy to do that once you cut molds, and, and I know you and I know a lot of your listeners know this, but once you cut those molds for composite, there's no going.
And you know, I think we talked about this offline, the commitment level to cutting molds for a composite bike can can be darn near a hundred thousand dollars per size. So you need to think about your return on investment when you're committing to composite.
[00:14:56] Craig Dalton: Yeah, for sure, for sure. Amazing. Like I love taking this journey with you. And then, you know, as I mentioned to you offline, like I became super attracted, I think, to the revolt aesthetic and performance attributes in that like 2018 timeframe, maybe, maybe 2019. But found that it was sort of oriented towards a, a narrower tire size at that time.
Does that kind of track with the, the sort of design and performance objectives at that time for that model?
[00:15:26] Andrew Juskatis: for sure. At that time when we, you know, we're trying to look into our, our crystal ball of the future, just, you know, point of reference when we build, uh, or create a new range or series of bicycles, you know, we're looking at a three year lifespan. No more, absolutely no more than a five year lifespan before we're gonna come out with the next generation.
So three years generally. But we need to look at our crystal ball because we need to see what trends are happening, what trends are, are, are growing. What trends are faltering At the time, we, um, wanted to kind of maximize tire size without going bonkers. And I know a lot of folks, including yourself, kept screaming for larger and larger tire size at that, like that second generation revolt.
Um, we didn't feel it was necessary, but when we move into this next generation here, like especially with Revolt X, we can talk about larger tire.
[00:16:14] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Well, let's get into it. Let's get into the revolt. Um, and, and maybe you can sort of break down. You've got one series that has the Rock Shock Suspension Fork and a Dropper Post, which I love the idea of. And then you've got the other, the other sort of, uh, standard rigid bike.
[00:16:33] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, that, I mean, that's a, a great takeoff point. And, and kind of just for the record, let me, let me state our, our view of what you, just, what you just talked about. So, currently in our line, um, we launched this, uh, a little over a year ago was our Revolt Advanced Pro, and that's her composite, um, revolt bike.
That's the bike you're gonna see our, um, professional racers on. Um, you're gonna. With most folks should probably pick that bike if they're gonna put a number plate on for most type of terrain. Um, and we certainly in our marketing materials and our communications, we talk about racing openly, freely, and, and proudly with that bike.
No, it is not just a race bike. It's a very lightweight, it can be used for exploration or simply, you know, riding on ruffle roads. That's fine. But you will hear us talk about racing quite a bit with that, with that current model of revolt advance. The bike that we're focusing on today is the re, is the Revolt X Advance Pro.
And so that has a suspension fork, just like you said. Just like you love, and it has the suspension seat post on it. It does have a little bit of suspension on it if you notice that in the spec, but the dropper as well, so. Not to say that's not a race bike, but we're not gonna be positioning it. Our professional racers probably won't be seen racing on that bike.
It's a bit more for exploration really. Those all day adventure rides down rougher, rougher terrain, which there is certainly a trend for, but just to put it in perspective, um, in terms of sales numbers, You're gonna still see most people choosing the Revolt Advances Pro, that that composite line, um, for their everyday writing, this Revolt X is for a unique person like yourself or maybe some of your listeners who want and are asking for more.
[00:18:15] Craig Dalton: Yeah, it's interesting, you know, as when rock shock and sh tram launched that fork, gosh, maybe a year ago,
[00:18:21] Andrew Juskatis: Right? Mm-hmm.
[00:18:23] Craig Dalton: like I realized that, you know, the early adopters of that fork were likely gonna have to either retrofit it and deal with the geometric changes that it's gonna apply to their bike or get a custom frame built because, The larger manufacturers just weren't ready to kind of jump on that trend.
I think it made sense to like allow rock shock to put it out there in the world alongside, um, what Fox had been doing for some time earlier than that and just see where it was gonna sit. But I was sort of eagerly waiting for a larger brand like Giant to put one on a bike just to expose the world to the attributes of something that was purpose built and designed.
Around that fork because to your point, not everybody's racing and it seems like there is a world and there are locations in the world where this type of suspended gravel bike, while it's still oriented around. Gravel riding, right? You're still gonna ride it on the road and mix train or whatever. But giving the rider an advantage, whether it's more comfort or stability, or safety or performance, with that suspension fork was gonna be something that is gonna appeal to yet these ever more refined niches of gravel that are emerging.
[00:19:38] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, it, it, it's interesting, Craig, you know, you and I were talking offline before and I, I learned a, a bit about your history, um, certainly with mountain biking and, and we all remember way back in the day when, you know, the rock chalks RS one first came out, it seemed like a gimmick, maybe a novelty, and manufacturers, pretty much all of them simply took that suspension fork and threw it on an existing frame and frames back then were all steel, but, You know, that was one way to kind of dip their toe in the water to try out suspension and see if it's gonna stick and, and all of that.
But they were taking a new product. That seriously altered the geometry and putting it on an existing frame, and that would've been the easy way for us to approach this. It certainly would've been the more economical way. Again, you know, we think about commitment to cutting molds is so expensive in order to open a new mold for composite frame.
But we said, and we believe, you me, we argued about this a lot, um, within the company is do we fully commit if we're gonna put a suspension. On a revolt, do we fully commit to creating an entirely new series of molds? And the answer was, we either do it or we don't. And so we did it and we committed to a full size.
Um, of new frames that are suspension, augmented, or suspension adjusted to accept a 40 millimeter fork. Um, it's a gamble. Uh, we will see about how sales are, um, universally again, um, it's, it's, it's definitely a risky move cuz we invested a lot into this frame to make sure that it, it handles correctly. We didn't want it to be, you know, a tugboat and really sluggish.
If you put. A longer fork on an existing frame, it would slack out the front end so much so that it would, it would kill the characteristics of the bike. We didn't want to do that.
[00:21:23] Craig Dalton: Yeah, I think that's a critical balance. And for the, for the listener who can kind of, can't visualize, like with the suspension fork, your head tube has to, there has to be a little bit more space, right? Cuz those forks are longer in order to add that 40 millimeters or whatnot of suspension in there. So there has to be an adjustment and if you just slap it on your average, It's gonna make it a little bit more relaxed, and maybe that is actually appropriate for how you're gonna ride, said bike, but is not the intended geometry that the designer put underneath you to begin with.
So it is important to have someone thinking about those adjustments and designing them into the frame. Geometrically speaking, but also you mentioned to me that you, you also added a little bit more beef to the head tube in an understanding that the bike is gonna face different challenges and obstacles out there.
[00:22:12] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, th That's exactly right, Craig. So if you think about this, so our existing revolt, advanced Pro, all size medium, has a head two length of about 150 millimeters in order to properly compensate for the kind of that axle to crown length of a suspension fork. The Revolt X Advanced Pro that we're talking about today is 115 millimeter head tube, so that head tube is significantly shorter in order to accommodate that longer lever arm of a suspension fork.
And just like you indicated, um, in order to make sure that the bike would be safe, strong enough to handle that longer lever, lever arm, the engineering of the frame is a bit different In order to handle that, that suspension fork.
[00:22:54] Craig Dalton: Now, I know you've got a ton of experience personally and passionately about mountain bikes in the mountain bike world. When it came to putting a dropper post on that bike, what were you thinking and how do you feel that, you know, the dropper post adds value in that particular bike?
[00:23:09] Andrew Juskatis: For me it was easy because I am a mountain biker and it, within the company I was early adopter of, of a drop seat post and. I can't imagine riding a bike today without a drop seat post. It just has become part of the ride experience. And maybe I'm even more radical in thinking that pretty much every bicycle should have a drop seat post on it.
And, and I know I'm joking about the roadside of things, but maybe I'm not joking about the roadside of things when it came to this product, especially considering its intent of being rid ridden over more rough terrain, vari. Yeah. I mean, that was a no-brainer. And so there is a, a dropper seat post on all of the models of the Revolt X.
[00:23:52] Craig Dalton: Okay. Yeah. Well, you'll get no objection from me here. As everybody well knows, big fan, I considered an upgrade to any bicycle I have underneath me, but I will get off my soapbox or maybe not even mount it today because I've been on it many times before on the pod.
[00:24:07] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah.
[00:24:10] Craig Dalton: We've talked a little bit about the, the fork and the, the dropper post, but let's talk about the frame and some of the other attributes.
I know that there's some shared attributes. The revolt, advance, and the Xs. In terms of like that flip chip, let's drill into what that means and let's talk about the tire size and capability of the bike.
[00:24:26] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, for sure. So some of the similarities between the two, uh, ranges. So that's the, the Revolt Advanced Pro and this new Revolt X Advanced Pro is, and that's one of the features you just mentioned, is the flip chip dropout. Flip Chip dropout is simply a flippable chip that is located in the rear dropout of the frame.
That dropout, whether it can be shifted from its low. Or to its high position, that's 10 millimeters of difference, what that 10 millimeters does for yourself and for your listeners, you do understand that that will elongate the wheel base, making it more stable ride. Um, I think more significantly than that even is that it allows for different tire size.
So in its short position, when the flip chip is, is shifted forward, that allows for a 42 millimeter maximum tire size. If you really.
[00:25:14] Craig Dalton: On the 700 Seari.
[00:25:16] Andrew Juskatis: 700 C. Yeah. If you wanna flip to the, um, long position that allows for a 53 millimeter tire, um, in that long position, that's,
[00:25:25] Craig Dalton: Yeah.
[00:25:25] Andrew Juskatis: that's pretty meaty
[00:25:27] Craig Dalton: What are the, what are the different lenses of the stays, if you recall?
[00:25:31] Andrew Juskatis: off top of my head. I, I don't know, but it is a 10 millimeter difference from the short position to the long position for sure. All geometries are available on our website, so you can see. And that, that is size specific as well, that change.
[00:25:44] Craig Dalton: Got it. And then on the, on the rigid fork, on the advance, is there a flip ship up front
[00:25:49] Andrew Juskatis: No, no, we didn't see the need for a flip chip up front. Um, you can run, you know, a 53 millimeter tire. It doesn't matter. Um, there is no flip chip up front. That's, you know, we, we, we ask ourselves these questions when we're creating the product. That starts to get down the wormhole of how much is too much.
You start adding, A lot of features to a product like this. Obviously that adds complication. That can add complexity and maintenance, and it can also add weight. So what is really gonna make a difference for the rider is something we always ask ourselves.
[00:26:21] Craig Dalton: And when you design these bikes, are you designing strictly around a 700 sea wheel set, or are you also, you know, accommodating a six 50?
[00:26:28] Andrew Juskatis: No, we, we think about 700 c I mean, the majority of of consumers who are gonna purchase this product are interested in purchasing this product. Certainly will ride a 700 C wheel. I know others, including yourself, might wanna run a different size wheel. Um, you're obviously free to do that as well, but are geometries listed.
Don't get in, go down that, that rabbit hole of what if you use this size.
[00:26:50] Craig Dalton: Yeah. It's interesting, you know, several years ago, I think just sort of the, the design constraints or the vision at that moment was. You needed to do six 50 B wheels in order to get that bigger tire size. And now that you and you, like many others, are able to run 700 by 50 tires without changing geometry.
To me, who was a big proponent of six 50 b a number of years ago, I'm, I'm sort of more open to the idea that, you know, at 700 c you. you could need. If you can go up to 700 by, you know, in your case 53, like I don't see a need for, for much more than someone on the bike packing margins to ever want.
More than that. And then to your point, like the bike, both aesthetically and performance-wise, you go down to a 700 by 40, which maybe is a sort of standardish race size. You can take that tighter, uh, rear end with that flip chip. And you've gotta have the supercharged race bike underneath.
[00:27:50] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, so it does have that, that variability in it, and we're just seeing, I don't, we are seeing less six 50 B out there in the market because again, um, we've been able to compensate very well for 700 C so we're, we're pretty satisfied with that decision.
[00:28:06] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. Any other attributes of the bike that you would typically point out?
[00:28:12] Andrew Juskatis: Well, the, the neat thing about it is, you know, if you're a reader or if your, uh, listeners are familiar with the Revolt Advanced Pro, one of the, the core features on that is what we call our, our diffuse handlebar and diffuse seat post. Um, in general, you know, kind of taking a big step back with Giant, one thing we've always been really proud of is not promoting, not creating gim.
Um, integrated suspension systems, you know, really, really complex things, unique to frames like that. We try and avoid doing that kind of stuff because we see a lot of our competitors making those decisions to add whatever their own integrated suspension system and, That's not our angle. That's not what we're pro we're proud of.
So when we introduce the technology, we want it to be effective, but we want it to be simple as well. Diffuse is our kind of flexible handlebar and flexible seat post. It's a D shaped seat post. It's a D shaped handlebar. It offers a little bit of compliance. It's a little bit of compliance. No weight penalty, simplicity, you know, it's not gonna break.
It doesn't require maintenance, and it's something that riders can feel. Now obviously the Revolt X that we're talking about today, um, doesn't have that diffuse seat post. It has a, a dropper seat post, which does have a little bit of suspension in it, about 20 mils of suspension. Um, But the point I'm trying to make here is that there are options for seatpost.
If you don't wanna run a dropper, you can run a traditional round, uh, seatpost if you want, or you can run our defuse seatpost, which offers, I'll call it a 10 millimeters of four AF travel on it as well. So options for the, uh, for the rider, for the owner.
[00:29:54] Craig Dalton: And for clarity, so that the diffuse C Post it, it's the, the frame accommodates a round C post, but the diffuse has a D shape somewhere in the. In the post.
[00:30:06] Andrew Juskatis: No. Well, so the entire seatpost itself is D shaped. It's using a series of shims you can put in, um, that D shaped into our round seat tube, or you can use a different shim to put in a, you know, a round seat post.
[00:30:19] Craig Dalton: Okay,
[00:30:20] Andrew Juskatis: So options, the bottom line is options.
[00:30:23] Craig Dalton: one of the hallmarks I always think visually of the giant design has been that sort of dropped seat stay. And I know it's not just an aesthetic decision. What's the kind of design philosophy behind that?
[00:30:37] Andrew Juskatis: Rudimentary suspension. If you think about it, it kind of creates a pivot point for the seat tube. If you think about it, your listeners can visualize this. The actual flexing of the seat tube is kind of pivoted off that drop. Um, That drops stay. If you put the stay up in a old school traditional format, it would kind of negate that.
So, long story short, it offers a tiny bit of overall seat tube suspension as the seat post, as your seat, as your weight. Kind of pivots off that pivot point.
[00:31:09] Craig Dalton: that makes sense. And am, am I correct, does that technology also translator or maybe it originated on the road side of Giant's business? Are the road bikes kind of leaning into that compliance as
[00:31:20] Andrew Juskatis: Started way back when everything we just talked about started from the Cyclecross side of things. Um, started with our Tcx Tcx featured a lot of what we're talking about today. That was our test bed for Diffuse. Um, that was our test bed for kind of the, the, the drop stays because it, and, and you know, we all know how the sport of cycle cross has gone.
It, it's, it's kind of been superseded by, uh, by gravel. But everything we just talked about today was tried on our cyclecross bike first We proved it and it moved on to revolt. And then a little bit, we'll move on to, you know, endurance road bikes as well, and then to some degree onto high performance road racing as well.
[00:32:06] Craig Dalton: Yeah, interesting. I just had this other giant model name pop into my head and I, I think it might have been officially my first proper road bike I bought as an adult was a giant kdx.
[00:32:17] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, that's a really, uh, that's, that's a poignant topic you're bringing up. So KX was our first line of carbon fiber bicycles, you know, way back when, first one of the first mass produced, um, not the first, but one of the first mass produced carbon fiber bikes that consumers could buy, both road and mountain.
That was innovative at the time, really complex to make, reasonably successful for us, but that went away. Um, today, the KX net name lives on in our extremely high performance range of componentry that is separate from giant. Um, those components can be found on many other brands as well, but that KX name lives on, um, moving into the.
[00:33:03] Craig Dalton: I reme, I recall it being reintroduced, uh, as a brand for those components. And I, sorry, I can't help but jump on the way back train when I'm talking to you.
[00:33:14] Andrew Juskatis: it, it's totally, it's totally appropriate. I, I, I love jumping on the way back machine and, and looking back because you know, the, the topic of. The conversation of the comments that certainly come up with Revolt X are, my gosh, you know, it looks like an old school mountain bike. And, and I, I'll be honest with you, Craig, I just hopped in the garage.
I have a revolted Revolt X advanced Pro zero sitting in my garage. It's size extra large, and I just wanted to weigh it. Just, you know, this is actual production. This is the same bike you can buy again, size, extra large. I'm a pretty tall rider, but it was 20 pounds, 15 ounces, uh, without pedals. So, you know.
That, that, that's fairly heavy. And you know, I think you could get a hard tail mountain bike somewhere down within that realm of range. But these are two totally different products that are geared towards two different riding experiences. So you can draw your similarities, but it's different.
[00:34:08] Craig Dalton: yeah. You know, I get, I get drawn into those debates as well, and I, I, you know, living in the Bay Area and formally living in San Francisco itself, I had a hard tail mountain bike. And I can tell you that while I touch the same terrain that I, I did back in my hard tail mountain biking days, I definitely ride it differently and create different loops because of the drop bars and the gravel bike.
It gets definitely like it. It exists and it's hard to describe potentially. It definitely exists in a different space in my mind and in my garage in terms of like where I'm gonna go when I get on a gravel bike versus a mountain.
[00:34:43] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, for sure. I mean, uh, we're speaking of generalities here, but I'm sure as heck not going to ride my mountain bike 15, 20 miles on the road to get to some. Mixed conditions. You know, I'm not, I'm not gonna do that on my mountain bike. You can, but I, it's just not traditionally done. I would gladly do it on Revolt X, right?
You pump up the tires and, and go for a 15, 20 mile, 30 mile road ride to get to those interesting BC roads or light, single track, different experience altogether.
[00:35:14] Craig Dalton: Yeah, that's so true. Like you would consider that a failure of a mountain bike ride. If you had to ride for an hour, rode 30 minutes of dirt, and then rode an hour home on the road, that would not be a mountain bike ride. Whereas it's a perfectly fine gravel ride.
[00:35:27] Andrew Juskatis: it's exactly what we intended when we created Revolt X.
[00:35:31] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. I will, uh, Andrew, I'll put uh, links in the show notes so everybody can find images of these bikes and find where to buy them from their local, giant dealer.
And I very much appreciated you coming on the show and talking a little bit about your history and the history of Giant, because it's such a, A storied brand that many of us have been familiar with for obviously, you know, our entire cycling careers, that it's great to see it come full circle and for you guys to have such a, what I think is sort of a spot on spec for a modern gravel bike.
[00:36:03] Andrew Juskatis: Well, great. Thanks for having me, Craig. I mean, I, I think it's a really interesting story, not only with this particular product, but kind of where it came from, what we were thinking and, and how Giant was able to make it unique in the marketplace.
[00:36:14] Craig Dalton: Yeah, and I think it's also like, you know, the economics of the bike industry are important to consider and the, the sort of, uh, engineering and manufacturing might that a giant can put forth just kind of provides a lot of confidence, I think, for owners that, you know, the bike has been well engineered, well tested, and didn't come out before it was ready.
[00:36:33] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for noticing that and that that really was, you know, a massive argument within the company. If we're gonna do it, let's do it right, and let's commit to a frame that is suspension adjusted. So thanks for noticing that.
[00:36:46] Craig Dalton: Yeah, of course. It was a pleasure talking to Andrew.
[00:36:48] Andrew Juskatis: Yeah, thanks Craig.
[00:36:51] Craig Dalton: That's going to do it for this week's edition of the gravel ride podcast. Big, thanks to Andrew for joining the show and talking a little bit about Giant's history and a lot about that. Interesting revolt acts, gravel bike. That is now available. In the United States. I look forward to seeing more front suspension, running gravel riders out there in the world to join me.
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