Last week at the bike show in New York City, I test rode the Giant Revive. Needless to say, I loved it. Here's a pic of it.
I know alot of traditional bent riders will look in disgust at this bike but it's really a very beautiful recumbent. Seriously. The paint job on that bike is MUCH better than the pic on the Giant web site. I thought it was the most beautiful bike out of all the test models we had to choose form. People were staring only at ME when I rode that bike.
Here are the pros and cons.
PROS - The bike was comfortable. The seat could have been improved but it's fine as a comfort bike. It was also highly adjustable. To be totally honest, I don't know of a better "comfort" bike than this one. This bike is more confortable than any hybrid or cruiser that I've ridden. There weren't any bumps to test the shock but it looked like a solid unit.
LOW GEARED - The bike was very low geared. This is a positive since you need these to spin up hills. I don't think you should have any problems with hills but mountains may be a different story. I tested all the gears and found the Sora system shifted very easily.
HIGH SEAT POSITION - You can actually ride this bike on city streets. Your not sitting low and your about the same height as a mountain bike. A must for city riding.
OTHER POSITIVE POINTS - The bike had internal cable routing. and the rear alloy rack was built into the bike just like the BikeE but better designed. The bike used internal hub brakes. Excellant. The wheels were solid and came with fenders. It even had a built in spot on the frame specifically designed where you could attach a U-Lock to. The length of the Revive was about the same size of Hybrid. Giant thinks of everything.
now for the CONS.
NOT ENOUGH GEARS - While the Sora unit worked very well and was low geared, the bent really needed more gears. I think we'll see this in the 2004 version. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
NOT A REAL BENT SEAT - The seat was very good but not "Rans" quality. I don't see you having problems with this seat since the shock is right under it, but it was a sore point. I'm almost positive you can do 25 - 30 miles with this seat without pain. It wasn't bad but not great.
HEAVY -- The bike's weight was about 42 pounds. I really think Giant needs to bring this down to 35 for it to be considered a serious recumbent. There's no reason why this bike needs to weight that much.
Overall. I think the Revive is a work in progress. I really believe the improvements will eventually show up especially the lack of gears. The Revive is about 75% there and I have high hopes for this bent. I would put this bike in the same catagory as the BikeE AT and has the potential to be a lot more. We can close the door on the 2003 model and eagerly wait for the 2004. If they install the Sram 3 by 9, fit a better seat and cut down 7 pounds, this bike is MINE!!
On a positive note, Giant was actually marketing this Bent with a huge display and allowing anyone to test ride it while ignoring their road bikes.