I got a Liberte and am surprised at its handling ability. Not in a bad way, but in a different way. I can't ride with one hand, ride with no hand or ride off the saddle easily. Hopefully I will get the hang of it and be able do them at ease in the future. But since the bike is mainly for my wife and I mentioned about mounting a water bottle carrier to drink on the go, she doesn't think she can even take one hand off to in order to grab the bottle.
I wondering if it has to do with the small lightweight wheel and frame geometry. I've ridden mtn bikes with 20" wheels and can do all those handling techniques with no issue. Althought the wheel is much heavier and wider. Do you have the head tube angle and trail of the bike? Those are usually the parameters that defines a bike's handling speed (along with wheelbase).