Giant Spirit Revive review
Rich man’s toy? Electric moped in disguise? Surely not a ‘serious’ bike? Well, yes; whilst this electrically assisted cruiser looks fun and is fun to ride it’s a serious attempt by the world’s self-proclaimed biggest manufacturer of quality bicycles to shape, quite literally, the future of cycling. The whole ethos of the Revive is one of convenience and comfort, perhaps designed to appeal to those who think of cycling as hard work.
Wide seat with backrest (with quick release ‘one-size-fits-all’ adjustment), fully enclosed chain, dynamo lights, roller brakes and integral computer make this a stylish and easy to maintain ‘sit and go’ machine. The very solid looking aluminium Aluxx 6061 Y-shaped frame of this semi-recumbent is a strong base on which a unique collection of quality components are built. The rear Nexus 3-speed hub with integral roller brake is extremely reliable but surely a few extra gears wouldn’t have been amiss on such a high spec machine. The front hub combines a dynamo with the same style roller brake as on the rear. The Lithium-Ion battery weighs only 2kg and in my moderately hilly neighbourhood delivered approximately 10-15 miles range per single 4-hour charge and using the ‘boost’ power function sparingly (electric power assists whilst pedalling and a throttle control with ‘cruise’ setting can be used to increase the assistance).
Giant now have two sizeable factories in the far east that produced the 250,000 or so electric bikes that they sold in 2005. Whilst their main market is China, where 9 million ‘light electric vehicles’ are forecast to be sold in 2006, the Revive is clearly a luxury item aimed to tempt westerners away from their cars.