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Beach Cruisers Do you love balloon tires and fenders? Do you love riding the simplicity of a single gear and coaster brakes or a single gear cluster? Do you love the classic curves in the tubing of a cruiser that takes you back to the 1950's and 1960's, stylistically? Here's your home! Welcome to the Beach Cruisers and Cruisers forum!

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Old 12-10-16, 03:31 PM   #1
JehD
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Electra Moto 3i longer term review????

I bought it so there is a review at post #7



After having an assortment of bikes over the years and at this point having sold them all off but 1 I was looking into getting a new bike. I currently have an Electra Cruiser. Steel, balloon tires and a coaster brake. I dont ride it as much I used to probably because having arthritis I find the pedal forward awkward and to me the coaster brake with the pedal forward setup hurts my knees.

So having purchased 3 bikes from my Local Trek dealer over the years I went back to the website to see whats new. I had a DS 8.4 a few years ago and thought it was a great bike and kinda regret selling it but in a 17.5 it fit perfect I liked the 29 in wheels, the gearing and the Hydro Disk brakes were awesome. So kinda what Im looking for but maybe a little less expensive. Pic for reference.


I thought about getting another DS even though its more bike than I need but a 2016 DS 8.4 is $750 a 2017 DS 3 (its replacement) is $880 and a little more than I want to spend. The current DS 2 seems pretty well equipped for $650


Anyway I found the Electra Moto 3i is on sale for $550.



29's, wider tires, a few gears (3 speed) and mech disk brakes. nice and simple. But very few real world reviews. Did the not sell well? Not hold up? Pure Crap? or a hidden gem?

Anyone have any real world experience on these? Is 1st low enough to climb a moderate hill? Is 3rd high enough to get a decent cruise without spinning the hell out it? I loved my DS but didnt need all the gearing. I know its best to go and ride one but Im just curious.


TLDR----Is the Moto 3i a good bike?

Last edited by JehD; 01-14-17 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 12-19-16, 03:14 PM   #2
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I had one, and then sold it. Bikes come and go in my life, so don't hold it against the bike that I sold it along.

I think in general USA is reticent about internal gear hub bikes. On top of which, the 3i was a "neither here nor there" style -- is it a cruiser, a hybrid, what? -- which did not fit into any particular category in which people usually shop bikes. On top of which, it was kind of pricey.

It was a blast to ride. If you used anything but the middle cog on your DS, you might wish you had bigger and smaller gears. The bigger gear was easiest to accommodate by just coasting where you might be in the DS big ring; the lower gear might not be low enough if you frequently climbed hills on your ride in the small ring on the DS.

For me, where it fell short was quality -- they rear hub and frame were fine; pretty much everything else on the bike is bargain basement, heavy stuff. The mechanical disk brakes were adequate, but nothing like the hydros you had on the DS. The rims are wide and the tires are heavy which results in a lot more rotating mass than you might have been used to on the DS. The cranks and bottom bracket are more a BMX style setup than a usual BB, and on mine, there was a creak I could just not dial out. Also, less standover on the 17.5 only size of the Moto3, compared to the DS, which may or may not be an issue, depending on your inseam measurement. Finally, compared to the DS, the reach to the bars is shorter, easily solved with a different, longer stem.

On the other hand, it was a hoot to ride, and a perfect casual bike. The big balloon tires made it a hoot, the shifting was great, and the disk brakes on basically a cruiser were awesome.

It's a good bike... with some caveats. If I'd kept it, first things to be swapped out would have been the crank/bb, and the brakes. Then the wheels. And tires. Along with the pedals, seatpost, and saddle. But the frameset and rear hub were solid!

Judged on its own merits, it's a decent, fun bike. Compared to a DS 8.4 or even the new 8.2, it probably falls short.
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Old 12-22-16, 05:21 AM   #3
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@mconlonx nice review. There are so many nice bikes out there that use crap parts to hit a price point. Sounds like Moto was one of them. Hopefully it won't go the way of the Sawyer.
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Old 12-22-16, 08:03 AM   #4
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I just checked -- the white model is currently on close-out, but it is being replaced with a new paint scheme, which appears to be a matte bronze finish. So if you really like the white paint scheme and anodized red parts, get on one now, otherwise, new models should be showing up in shops and available for order in the next few months.
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Old 12-25-16, 07:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the honest review. I had a feeling as much as I liked the look and feel of it I think it would have come up short. The size and fit look good as I ride a M/17.5 but as I read your review I get the feeling by the time I upgraded a few components I would have spent as much as a DS3 and far more than a DS2 and not been as happy. While the look goes a long way the quality and feel need to be there as well.

My gut tells me I wouldn't be happy spending $550 plus a few upgrades. If it was closer to $300-$350 it might make a fun 2nd bike.

So I think I'll just put a little extra aside and go for the DS3. I'd rather have more than I need than be left wanting.
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Old 01-06-17, 05:01 PM   #6
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I saw the price dropped to $449 and now thats 1/2 the price of a DS3 so Im pretty tempted. I called the local Trek store and they ordered one in for me to check out. They called me today that its in and ready so Im going to look at it on Monday.
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Old 01-14-17, 03:07 PM   #7
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Got it.



So I went to the bike shop to go for a ride and ended up bringing it home. After Tax, Slime in the tires and a water bottle cage it went out the door at $500. This includes 2 minor check ups and a tuneup ant 30/60/and 90 days out.

Ive had a chance to ride it over the past week and put a few miles on it and since I couldn't find a real world review on this bike hopefully this can help the next guy.

First off I would almost consider this more of a hybrid than a cruiser bike due to the standover height and riding position. Its very much a fitness position and the seat shows it. My Cruise is like 98% weight on the seat and this is closer to 70%.

Im 5/10 and it fits me perfectly some minor adjustments on the seat and honestly that was it. Standover is a little snug but thats the drawback of the 29's vs 26's on a standard cruiser.

Overall its a big bike, but it doesn't feel heavy at 32 lbs its very easy to ride and its very maneuverable. Its tight and seems well put together. That may be due to the bike shop - (Trek Superstore in Albuquerque) and the quality of the bike. The components fit the bike and look really nice. Its the details and thats what Electra is good at in my opinion.

The wheels and tires are a nice combo, they seem hefty enough to take the abuse and the red spoke nipples highlight them nicely. The tires are a good cross between rolling and comfort. I have the pressure up but thats me.

I originally thought I wanted to upgrade the brakes right out of the box and go hydro but they seem to be doing well. With the larger 180mm disc up front it stops really well and in a nice styling touch they ran the rear cable in the top tube and it looks nice but would make running a hydo cable something the bike shop would have to do. Most of my riding will be around town at lunch so its probably not needed.

The Bike has a Sram I3 shifter and while Im not a fan of grip shift these work awesome. Instant and super smooth shifts. I haven't ridden a 3spd since my brother had an old Sturmey Archer Raleigh back in the 70's. What a world of difference. For me the gearing is ok 1st really isn't low enough to climb anything but for my ride works and 3rd is seems high but once you're moving you would want a little more. A 5 speed would have been perfect.

It also came with a chain guard thats not pictured in any of the literature. Its a smoked plastic and its held on with some rubber mounted clamps with an Electra script. Nicely done and easy to remove if you want.

If I had any criticisms...

Its a little harsh. with the aluminum frame and higher pressure in the tires I miss my suspension fork on my old DS.
I wish it had a few more gears. Maybe just 2 more. 1st could be lower and then 5th could be higher and 3 in the middle. I love the internal hub so it would have to internal. Since Im not going to change that stuff I just need to be less fat.

Bottom line its a nice bike. Not the Trek DS3 that I really wanted but at 1/2 the price hard to pass up. Ive gotten quite a few compliments on it and after talking to the Bike shop its the only one in the city as other than one kids model they haven't sold one, so at least for me I have a unique bike.

Hope that helps
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Old 02-02-17, 05:18 PM   #8
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I'd swap out those ugly flat bars for upswept cruiser bars.... its a cruiser, right?

What the hell was Trek thinking outfitting it like an MTB?
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Old 02-02-17, 10:16 PM   #9
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I'd swap out those ugly flat bars for upswept cruiser bars.... its a cruiser, right?

What the hell was Trek thinking outfitting it like an MTB?
Its not a cruiser. Electra outfitted it like a MTB because thats kind of what it is. The idea imho was more fullsize bmx
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Old 02-03-17, 06:01 AM   #10
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I guess this isn't a cruiser even though MTBs weren't even invented yet.

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Old 02-03-17, 07:30 AM   #11
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The fathers of mountain biking actually rode Schwinn cruisers down the mountain - coaster brake hub and all...

After modifying the frame, they knew they were onto something big and the rest is history.
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Old 02-03-17, 10:53 AM   #12
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OK, so then your previous comment was sarcastic.
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Old 06-17-17, 11:25 AM   #13
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I've owned my Moto since October 2015, it's got 2200 miles on it. The only thing original from the factory is the fork, stem and frame. It went from street bike to road bike to now being my back bike to my 2016 Trek Fuel EX 8 doing mtb duties. If anyone is interested I can post a list of parts I have replaced on it. I've put this bike through the ringer.20170529_080930_1496089097739_0.jpg

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Old 06-17-17, 11:39 AM   #14
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Old 06-17-17, 12:11 PM   #15
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Old 06-17-17, 04:19 PM   #16
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Sorry, but what do people mean when they say a bike is "pedal forward" and why is that bad?
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Old 06-18-17, 06:55 PM   #17
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Sorry, but what do people mean when they say a bike is "pedal forward" and why is that bad?
Pedal forward or flat footing is more a cruiser style bike where you can sit on the seat and have both feet "flat" on the ground so the crank is a lot further forward than the seat. It's super comfortable to ride. My issue was braking and it hurts my knees.
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Old 06-18-17, 07:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by da_yo View Post
I've owned my Moto since October 2015, it's got 2200 miles on it. The only thing original from the factory is the fork, stem and frame. It went from street bike to road bike to now being my back bike to my 2016 Trek Fuel EX 8 doing mtb duties. If anyone is interested I can post a list of parts I have replaced on it. I've put this bike through the ringer.Attachment 567925
That would be nice if you could. Also the what and when wore out
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Old 06-18-17, 08:25 PM   #19
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The rear hub lasted me 2k miles until it locked up on me as I was riding, I wasn't even shifting at the time, I wasn't able to pedal anymore after it locked up. It was probably from doing steep climbs when I was using the Moto as a road bike. When I pulled the hub apart, the pawls and Springs for the middle gear broke. So it was either get a another 3 spees hub or get new wheels with a hub for a cassette. So I went with new wheels and made it a 2x10 with no front derailleur. When as a MTB I only use my 26t oval black chainring and as a road bike it only stays on my 42t chainring from AmberBikes.
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Old 06-18-17, 09:00 PM   #20
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List of parts:
These are leftover from my 2016 Trek Fuel EX8:
Bontrager aluminum 765mm bars to replace the 700mm that came with the Moto.
Shimano BR-M447 F&R complete hydraulic brakes
Rear Shimano shadow plus XT derailleur w/ clutch
10 speed cassette 11-36
10 speed XT shifter.
Parts I bought:
42T chainring by Amber-Bikes
26T oval chainring by Absolute Black
11 speed KMC DLC black/red chain
Chris King headset (cheap factory ones wore out)
Velocity Blunt 35mm wheels w/ Novatec hubs
Shimano ICE Rotors
TruckerCo metallic brake pads
Race Face 30.9 seat post
Serfas RX-921V seat
Ergon wide grips
Seat clamp by Box Helix
Red Halo porker quick release skewers
Problem Solvers Chain Tensioner with Derailleur Hanger
Race Face ride 175mm crank w/ bottom bracket
Race Face Atlas pedals
Bontrager chainstay protector
A pair for the back -->Surly Tuggnut/Hurdy QR Adaptor Washers
Stan's No Tubes 30mm tape
Bontrager tubeless sealant
These wheels only work with tubeless only tires, would not seal with non tubeless tires like my Stans no tube rims that I have on my Fuel, they seal with any tire.
I hope I didn't leave anything out.

Last edited by da_yo; 06-22-17 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 06-18-17, 10:22 PM   #21
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Oh yeah,
I had to notch the right side of the horizontal drop out to make the Problem Solvers Chain Tensioner with Derailleur Hanger fit the frame. On the opposite side I had to have a bushing machined and file a groove into a circle on the left side of the drop out to prevent the wheel from moving when braking.

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Old 06-18-17, 10:27 PM   #22
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Moto in action last Friday at Marshall Cyn in La Verne,CA. I can't post YouTube links cause I'm still a newbie and I'm under 10 posts still. Go to user Slaggerhead video titled -->>
Marshall Canyon mtb
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Old 06-18-17, 10:29 PM   #23
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Another under Jake Maximus titled -->>
Marshall 6/12/17 Miller Crew
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Old 06-19-17, 10:01 PM   #24
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Thanks for the update. I like the bike for around town and its simplicity. I would like a few more gears though.
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Old 06-20-17, 05:33 PM   #25
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What about using an Alfine hub? The bike already has the cable routing for IGH from the factory.
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