Throwback Thursday - 2005 Giant Lite


Well-Known Member
I ran across this old link yesterday detailing my first electric bike (2006-2008).

A Giant Lite, with a Panasonic 250W MD, 6.5Ahr, 24V, NiMH battery (25mi range)

Not too many OEMs with mid drives back then, nor with something besides Lead acid.
Giant Lite, electric assisted bike


Type e-hybrid (pedal-activated)
Weight bike 39 lbs + battery 8 lbs = 47 lbs
Motor Brush-less dc motor, 24V/240-380W
Battery 6.5 AH quick-release NiMH pack (8 lbs)
Charger 1.9 A, upto 3.4 hours charging time
Transmission The motor drives through a five-speed SRAM internal hub (operated with handle bar twist grip shifter).
Hill climbing 15% with moderate pedalling.
Assist cut-off 17 mph

The Giant Lite electric bike is in a class by itself and has been heralded as the perfect ride for many a cyclist. At first glance the Lite appears to be a normal comfort bicycle but appearances can be deceiving. Behind the seat tube you'll find a large capacity NiMH battery pack and behind the bottom bracket panels is the smooth, intuitive and very quiet Panasonic pedal-activated drive system.

Pedal the Lite like a regular bike, or flip the power switch and you'll have up to 390 Watts and up to 17 mph at your disposal. As the electric motor uniquely drives on the common chain through the 5-speed internal rear hub the Lite outperforms even some 600 Watt electric bikes on a steep hill. The Lite's pedal assistance is activated by pedaling. You simply have to ride like normal and the Lite's intelligent system will do the rest. It will provide you with an appropriate amount of assistance based on the amount of pressure you're applying to the pedals. For example, if you're riding uphill or starting from a stationary position you will be applying more pressure to the pedals and the system will know to help you more. If you're going downhill you will be putting very little to no pressure on the pedals, and the system will know to help you less, if at all. In the end, you don't have to think twice about it. The Lite will automatically make all of the adjustments for you and you'll be riding with ease at all times.
As the internal hub allows you to shift even when stopped at a light, the Giant Lite is a perfect urban commuter. Here in Manhattan we have several customers that work as bike messengers, which highlights the strongest aspect of the Lite: reliability and durability. The Lite just keeps on going and rarely seems to have any problems.
The Lite electric bike weighs only 39 lbs and with the 9 lb battery comes in at 48 lbs. The lockable battery removes in a couple of seconds. On a fully charged battery pack you can expect a range of up to 25 to 30 miles.
The Giant LaFree Lite comes equipped with highly effective V brakes. The internally geared 5-speed hub is by SRAM and the rear wheels is designed to be easily removable if the occassion calls for it. The adjustable Lite is designed to accommodate riders from about 5 to about 6'5". The handle bar is fully adjustable, allowing for differenting riding positions.


New Member
I purchased on of these from NYce Wheels in Manhattan in 2002 ($1,200). I loved, loved, loved it and commuted most days to work on it in PA. Only now (2017) are Bafang and Tongsheng creating a true pedelec (torque sensor) motor kits. The harder you pedal, the more power assist you get from the motor. I really do not like throttle based motors--that's an electric motorbike or moped.
To prove what an amazing bike the biant LaFre lite was, we still own and ride it daily today--I've stripped everything electronic out of it, and it still just a fabulous non electric bike (albeit, just a little heavier than normal with that motor still in it. Unlike a conversion kit, this motor is fully integrated into the frame, so no removing it.
This was my first electric bike, and I still have a warm place in my heart for the many years and miles it gave me of sweat-free commuting.


Well-Known Member
It has been a while since i looked, but there are places places that will pack your glite battery with lithium cells and give you a charger.....

Thanks for the reply and scoop. They were ahead of their time.