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Old 02-02-07, 12:50 AM   #1
recorded syntax
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Electra Townie vs. DIY

I'm toying with the idea of buying an Electra Townie 21 (which comes with front suspension). I don't know a lot about these bikes so can anybody advise as to whether the componentry, brakes, frame etc. are any good? Alternatively, i'm considering buying a similarly-priced front suspension MTB (a low-end Giant or something), putting cruiser bars on and lowering the seat. I guess i'm thinking this because, being unfamiliar with the brand, i'm a little afraid that after a couple of years the Electra will fall to bits beneath me. Any advice before i part with my cash?

Thanks.
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Old 02-02-07, 05:07 AM   #2
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What are you trying to accomplish?

There is a genre of bikes, and I think the Townie is one, that have the pedals farther forward than conventional bikes. This makes it possible to lower the seat so that you can put your foot flat on the ground and still get proper leg extension while pedaling.

If you try to lower the seat to that much on a conventional bike your leg will be bent too much at the bottom of the pedal stroke to be efficient.
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Old 02-02-07, 08:57 AM   #3
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What are you trying to accomplish?

There is a genre of bikes, and I think the Townie is one, that have the pedals farther forward than conventional bikes. This makes it possible to lower the seat so that you can put your foot flat on the ground and still get proper leg extension while pedaling.

If you try to lower the seat to that much on a conventional bike your leg will be bent too much at the bottom of the pedal stroke to be efficient.
you mean the crank forward bikes?
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Old 02-03-07, 09:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Philatio
you mean the crank forward bikes?
I believe they call it "Flat Foot Technology" in their marketish dialect.

Though somehow the bike you have pictured there manages to not look nearly as good as a Townie or Amsterdam...
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Old 02-03-07, 09:14 AM   #5
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Townies indeed have the pedals positioned farther forward. I know Raleigh has a similar line called the Gruv.

Either one should be sufficient quality. I know Raleigh backs their aluminum frames with a limited lifetime warranty against defects, and I bet electra does the same.

That said, The Raleigh Gruv 2 should be able to be had for a price pretty close to the townie 21, and does have better components on it. They are last years model but there should be plenty of them still out there.

Option 3 would be the Del-sol lowboy. They tend to be priced closer to the townie, but include fenders.
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Old 02-03-07, 09:17 AM   #6
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Oh, here's a link to the Gruv:
http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=6&itemid=271

It's a 2006, but I bet your raleigh dealer can still order one.
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Old 02-03-07, 11:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dj_flx
I believe they call it "Flat Foot Technology" in their marketish dialect.

Though somehow the bike you have pictured there manages to not look nearly as good as a Townie or Amsterdam...
lol yea I'm not a big fan. The bike I linked is supposed to be sort of a hybrid between a comfort bike and a recumbent.
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Old 02-03-07, 11:21 AM   #8
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We went the DIY route, and came up with this, back in 1991:

The seat is so far back, I always rode it with something in the fairing/cargo box to hold the front end down. A bike that want's to wheelie.
I could've told you that crank-forward bikes were going to be popular. I sold the bike in the picture for twelve hundred dollars.
Crank-Forward is a great way to go. You have the seat low enough to put your heels on the ground at a light, and still have enough leg-extension.
I replaced this bike with another DIY, but I'm a liscenced Aircraft Structural Engineer, most people cannot master the DIY technique for fiberglass.
I think it's great that the Townie is available. I could not handle all the requests from people wanting a custom crank forward.
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Old 02-03-07, 11:21 AM   #9
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Looks like an awesome wheely machine, tho' !!
Can the 'laid back' bikes be pedaled up a moderate hill
without standing ? I mean, gears aside, is the geometry
really condusive to sit down riding under all conditions ?
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Old 02-03-07, 11:22 AM   #10
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Avatar, thumb nail , and message board...
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Old 02-03-07, 11:24 AM   #11
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^^^ Wow !
Too cool !!
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Old 02-03-07, 12:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
Looks like an awesome wheely machine, tho' !!
Can the 'laid back' bikes be pedaled up a moderate hill
without standing ? I mean, gears aside, is the geometry
really condusive to sit down riding under all conditions ?

I'd say it depends on the manufacturer and the overall geometry.... the Raleighs are pretty decent as far as this goes, The Del sols less so, Primarily because of gearing (The Del Sols come either 3speed internal, 7 speed Derailleur. They used to have a 7 speed internal but I don't think they make it anymore.) The Gruv 2 21 speed can handle hills no problem though, and I'd bet the townie can do the same.
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Old 02-04-07, 11:19 AM   #13
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Having worked at a shop that sold Electra they are one of the better cruiser companys out there for producing a quality product and standing behind their products. They are like most bikes that you buy in a LBS in that if they are built right from the start and are takin care of properly they will have a long life.
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