We just received our first shipment of electric assist bicycles from Giant. The Giant Freedom Twist DX is unlike other electric bikes I have come in contact with over the years. The Freedom employs what Giant calls Hybrid Technology.

The motor kicks in when the rider is pedaling rather than as a result of twisting a throttle. Riding the Freedom Twist is like having a constant brisk gust of wind at your back as you pedal. The motor is housed in the front hub and the batteries are hidden in the left and right rear bags fixed securely to the rack. The rider controls which battery powers the motor as well as which gear the bicycle is in by manipulating controls on the handlebar. The gears themselves are the super reliable and low maintenance Shimano Nexus internally geared rear hub.

Now listen up all you naysayers, haters, and general wankers. I don’t want any negative comments about this (or similar products) not being a “real bike”. This bike was designed for a specific type of bike rider and if that is not you, fine. To be frank it is not me. But than again I am a 28 year old man in decent physical condition with well over a decade of cycling experience. If I was 68 and recovering from knee replacement surgery I might have a very different point of view. I also might want the bike if were a casual rider who lived in downtown Frederick, DC, Rockville, etc. where an electric bicycle is a cheap, practical, reliable, and sustainable way to get around. Electric bikes might even be a way to attract more people into the cycling community. Nuff said.

My plan is to ride a Twist to the shop and blog about my experiences. So check back soon.

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