New Hybrid Bicycle Technology from Giant

Here’s a little tidbit that came from our new friends at Dispatch Marketing, the PR firm used by Giant Bicycles:

Giant Hybrid

From the press release:

Advanced Technology That’s Simple to Use
Fusing human energy with the power of an electric motor is the essence of Giant’s Hybrid bicycles. What makes their function so unique is that Giant’s Hybrid bicycles engage the rider through a host of hidden technological features that work in unison with the body’s power output. The more human pedal power put in, the more supplemental electric power in response from the bicycle, all while being as simple to use as turning on a switch and pedaling.

There are several key technical elements to Giant’s Hybrid Cycling Technology, yet the advanced EnergyPak lithium ion battery technology and intelligence in Giant’s proprietary PedalPlus power sensor and I² driver technology are two crucial technological highlights that enable the unique Hybrid ride and offer a drastically increased range of use. At the heart of Giant’s Hybrid bicycles, rider input is read in real time through a highly receptive PedalPlus power sensor in the bicycle drivetrain that senses rider pedaling input and then interacts with the I² driver that intelligently and instantly reads pedaling motion, creating a smooth power transmission message to the SyncDrive motor in the front wheel.

Giant’s EnergyPak lithium ion batteries are lighter, smaller and provide more power and convenience than traditional batteries found in powered bicycles, ultimately creating a lighter, better performing, more agile feeling and drastically more stylish bicycle. EnergyPak lithium ion batteries also offer far greater range, allowing Hybrid bicycles to travel approximately 70 miles versus less than 20 miles utilizing previous battery power sources. The included SmartCharger charges the EnergyPak batteries in approximately four hours – half the time of older generation batteries. Riders utilize the RideControl command center, a handlebar interface that offers three power settings that enable a rider to travel farther or faster at their own command.

Quality, Dependability and Availability
Hybrid bicycle quality is second to none as every bicycle is made by Giant, the top producer of quality bicycles, in a dedicated Hybrid-only manufacturing facility. Consumers can depend on unparalleled service and support as every Giant Bicycle dealer will be a local resource for Hybrid consumers. For 2009, Hybrid Cycling Technology bicycle models include the Twist Freedom DX and Twist Freedom DX W for women, each available for $2,000 at authorized Giant Bicycle retail locations.”

In addition, our contact at Dispatch indicates that “[This] bike is a HUGE deal for Giant and will be for years to come as the company has a stand-alone factory ONLY making these bicycles…consumers can rest assured that it’s gone through arguably the most strict quality control process in the world and it’s backed by a global support team.

sweet hybrid

Very intriguing, indeed…who knows? Maybe they’ll let us borrow one to try out! This really sounds like the best of both worlds — electric assist for the tougher parts of a commute, pedaling effort for exercise and efficiency.


15 Comments

  1. 2whls3spds August 12, 2008 4:35 pm 

    Giant builds some very nice bikes for the buck. I have 2 in my stable right now. A 1990 Giant Iguana
    rigid MTB that is my Xtra cycle candidate and a late 80’s Giant Excursion that started out life as a EU trekking bike, but I use it as my loaded tour bike.

    AAron

  2. Stuart M. August 12, 2008 8:05 pm 

    If this is the same bike Giant is selling in Holland and the UK, it is a disappointment. Giant decided to dump the Panasonic crank-mounted motor on its old Twist and went with a hub motor that is very weak, maybe fine for the flat like in Holland, but no help on hills. The Panasonic crank-mounted motor has been picked up by Gazelle and Kalkhoff and these bikes are superior hill climbers. The Giant batteries (hidden in those tiny panier bags) certainly sound like they pack a lot of range, but too bad they are combined with such a weak hub motor.

  3. Dman August 13, 2008 6:03 am 

    A bit off topic, but you guys should try and get a Giant FCR to review. Flat bar road bike w/fender and rack mounts, and lots of clearances for tires and fenders. The higher end models have a carbon fork with fender mounts!

  4. Ghost Rider August 13, 2008 6:08 am 

    Hmmm…that sounds like a good one. I’d love to test a “fast commuter” — I’ve been getting city bikes almost exclusively, and I think I’d rather ride something a bit speedier. We’ll ask Giant, I suppose, and see what they say.

  5. The Punisher August 13, 2008 7:39 am 

    When are they going to start making them with solar panels?

  6. Paul August 13, 2008 8:01 am 

    I’ve got 2 e-bikes as part of my fleet, 1 with a front hub motor, similar to Giant’s, and a Currie I-ZIP that has a chain drive motor in the back wheel. The Currie can really help getting up some of Austin ‘s steep hills and has lots of low speed pull. But the hub motor seems to work much better at higher speeds (12-15 MPH), making it a better flat city cruiser where you would more likely be riding at a faster pace, not when you are going slower up a hill when the motor has much less pulling power. Either bike I like for different reasons, but the hub motor e-bike has a longer range, even with the same exact battery type as the I-ZIP. Neither of my e-bikes look anthing as handsome as the Giant Twist Freedom, which is why I would buy that bike in a heartbeat!!

  7. Jason August 13, 2008 8:49 am 

    Wouldn’t it be great if they could implement a generator that charged the batteries when you use the brakes? This is what the Prius does. 70 miles is an excellent range, but why not put that braking energy to use?

  8. meli August 13, 2008 10:00 am 

    wow those hubs look chunkylicious. I like the overall look of it.
    Reminds me of what the shimano hubs look like in that auto-shift Trek Lime.

  9. meli August 13, 2008 10:00 am 

    Actually I can totally see my mom using this…

  10. Stuart M. August 13, 2008 7:05 pm 

    Another problem with electric bikes, and electric cars too, is the ridiculous range claims. It is always a good bet to divide the advertised range claim in half to get a more realistic idea of how far one can go on a windless day. It also helps, if you are 5’5″ and weigh 135 lbs like the fine print sometimes says! Some electric bikes come with High, Medium and Low assist levels and the respective ranges are quite different. Low will get you quite far but the assist is so low it won’t help you much and kind of defeats the purpose of buying a bike with electric assist. Most users probably set it on High to get the maximum benefit and the range is more in the “half of claimed range” range. Some electric bike owners with lighter Lithium batteries buy an extra battery to take with them to almost double their range.

    Another consideration is the life of the battery, another area where ridiculous longevity claims are made. A good rule of thumb: the battery will not last any longer than the battery warranty! In the case of Ezee bikes this is six months. The Kalkhoff and Gazelle batteries come with two year warranties. Needless to say, the batteries are very expensive to replace.

    I still think electric bikes are a good idea for those people who need some help. I am 50 years old and my knees have been bothering me for some time. I love biking and can’t imagine giving it up. When that time comes when going up the hills around my house is too painful in first gear, I hope electric assist will buy me another decade of riding. Knee surgery is really too chancy.

  11. Lee R. August 16, 2008 11:55 pm 

    Stuart M., you obviusly have researched e-bikes. If you were buying one today, which one would you buy?

  12. Velosyped February 23, 2009 4:08 am 

    Welcome to new era of cycling!!!
    Thanks for the post,
    Giant e-bikes are really better with Panasonic motor-hubs.

  13. Shannon March 13, 2009 9:55 am 

    I have one of these for myself and my husband- this bike has turned him into a bike commuter, and I am getting lots of mileage out of it to, going to the store, etc. I love it! I like being able to choose the power setting and since I am overweight it makes biking distances possible and easier, something I wouldnt have even tried – I would have just driven my car.

  14. Novocastrian February 7, 2010 6:06 am 

    Well I ordered my Twist Freedom RS1 today and will be here on Tuesday. I chose this model because it really looks so handsome and traditional. I may get an extra battery in due course; it’s 18 miles each way to the office and I’m hoping I can get there and back on one charge. 55 years old and reasonably fit; but this journey more than twice a week on my non-assist bike was getting a tad too much. Roll on Tuesday !

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