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  1. #1
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Anyone here ride an Electra?

    Martha and I have been doing a bit more riding lately, and it's become apparent that she needs a new bike. Her mongoose hardtail MTB fits her terribly.

    We were on vacation in Key West, and had a blast on rented singlespeed cruisers. It became apparent to me that it's far easier to go slowly when I'm on a bike that's not built for speed. Psychologically as well as physically.

    So, in the pursuit of riding-more-with-the-wife, we went to the shop today, and she's considering getting a Navigator. I know the Navigator is a solid bike, so no worries there.

    I tried a few bikes myself, and I'm thinking about getting an Electra Townie 3-speed. The point would be for me to ride in a more relaxed position than I do on any of my other bikes.

    Has anyone ridden one of these? Are they well made? Any problems I should be aware of?

    (And why is it only the ladies' bikes that come in cool colors?)
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    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  2. #2
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    Martha and I have been doing a bit more riding lately, and it's become apparent that she needs a new bike. Her mongoose hardtail MTB fits her terribly.

    We were on vacation in Key West, and had a blast on rented singlespeed cruisers. It became apparent to me that it's far easier to go slowly when I'm on a bike that's not built for speed. Psychologically as well as physically.

    So, in the pursuit of riding-more-with-the-wife, we went to the shop today, and she's considering getting a Navigator. I know the Navigator is a solid bike, so no worries there.

    I tried a few bikes myself, and I'm thinking about getting an Electra Townie 3-speed. The point would be for me to ride in a more relaxed position than I do on any of my other bikes.

    Has anyone ridden one of these? Are they well made? Any problems I should be aware of?

    (And why is it only the ladies' bikes that come in cool colors?)
    I've not ridden one, but I've met a fellow who does. A teacher at the local Waldorf school rides his Electra 14 miles round trip from near my home to the school - it's next to the Kennedy covered bridge if that helps you place it. He's an older fellow, and in OK but not 'great' shape. He loves his bike and has absolutely no complaints with it. You may recall the local hills; they don't prove too great a challenge for him. (BTW, he has a generator hooked up to the front hub to power lights. Very Neil-ish, if I may say so.)

    Martha wants a Navigator? It's a great bike, but very heavy and tank-like. I thought for sure she'd go for the lighter Electra. Or a Trek Lime with its coaster brake.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    We got a Townie 21 yesterday for Mrs. Zoxe. We don't ride huge miles and don't go very fast, but did want something that was lighter and had more gears than her Giant Revive. I ride a Giant Cypress, and think that the Townie will be a good match for it.

    Due to the weather here, she hasn't ridden it for more than a few laps around the store (but I can't control when her birthday is. ). She also looked at a Specialized Carmel 700 and the Day 6 semi-recumbent. The Day 6 bikes are HEAVY though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    I recently purchased an Electra Cruiser 1 (Steel frame, single-speed, coaster brake, Matte Black paint and an accessory basket) as a "market bike" for $249. I ride out each morning - about a mile and a half - to get a newspaper and sometimes more.

    Compared to my Bike Friday NWT, It's a BIG, slow ride. However, it's great here at the beach where it really blends in, especially when cabled to a railing at the local Von's Market. My GG Green NWT sticks out like a sore thumb.

    The bike rides decently - I did lube the very dry chain, and checked the tires - the the metal & plastic pedals will likely be the first thing replaced and the crank, with it's slight squeak, the second sometime down the road.

    At 6'3", 200 lbs, and 66 yrs old, I like the"feet forward" configuration. It makes the approx. 18.5" frame workable for someone my size. I've still got the seat a bit up in the air, though.

    If you are looking at Chinese-made bikes, and at $500 and under you definitely are, I would guess frame quality is hard to judge, while components quality is more easily determined.

    The weight limit on my Electra is something like 300 lbs rider weight, plus 50 lbs of "luggage".

    I also test rode a Trek Cruiseliner (3-speed w/coaster brake), but it's higher price tag and gold and white color scheme, $319 price and wasn't really compelling, even though it had some better components. The bike rode very nice though. The Electra's feet forward riding position and "stealth" won out.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gordo Grande's Avatar
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    I've never ridden one, but I've read a lot of reviews. The biggest complaint seems to be with the coaster brake. You might want to consider adding at least a front hand brake to improve the stopping power.

    BTW, I passed one today on the L.A. Beach Bike Path. They are certainly handsome bicycles.

    I have ridden a Flying Pigeon, although only briefly. A lot of fun, and very slow, but quality is probably lacking. It's really a $50 bike selling for about $300.
    Rip Van Winkle went to sleep for twenty years, and when he woke up, all the bicycles had changed!

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  6. #6
    SWorker
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    My wife has one with a triple crank in the front and 7 speeds in the back. It is heavy as hell but VERY stable and she loves it. If your not in hurry and just cruising these are cool bikes. I'd get the one with gears as it is heavy and she needs the speeds with a few smaller hills and lots of wind where I live.

    I recommend them but if you ride with people that are riding hard-tail mountain bikes with smooth tires you'll slow them down a bit, people with road bikes will not ride with you for long. But very well built and nice for what they are.

  7. #7
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I may check out the Trek Cruiseliner, actually. Thanks, Foldable Two.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Trek has several bikes that might fit the bill. The Drift 3, Cruiser Classic, and the Cruiseliner all have similar geometry and are available in versions with 3-speed internal hubs with coaster brakes. Looks like I have some more test-riding to do. Luckily, my LBS is a Trek dealer.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I go to the shop today, meaning to ask to try out a Cruiseliner or a Drift. I ask the shop guys about it, also asking how they compare to the Townie. They both look at a guy standing in front of the counter, and ask him, "Do you want to take this?"

    I know most of the people there at least by sight, and two of them by name, so had taken this guy for a customer. He turned out to be their Trek rep, and he walked me through bikes that could apply.

    After I explained what I was looking for - relaxed rising position to remind me to go slowly - he suggested I try out the Pure. They didn't have one in stock, but they're getting one in for me. I figure if I don't like it, I can try the Cruiseliner or get the Townie.

    I put down a small deposit, but the shop owner says I can apply that towards whatever bike I end up with.

    Here's the bike:

    [IMG1]http://www.trekbikes.com/images/bikes/2009/xl/puredeluxe_britishgreen.jpg[/IMG1]
    * Neil, I changed the image tag as it was just a massively large pic. jaxgtr.



    It's more expensive than the Electra, but not by all that much. (Still within budget.) And if the catalog picture is representative, that's one gorgeous bike.
    Last edited by jaxgtr; 01-27-09 at 06:49 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    Very pretty. I wish I'd seen them before we went Electra shopping, just to be able to compare. The Sport version looks very close to the Electra Townie 21.

  11. #11
    Senior Mumbler steve2k's Avatar
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    How usable are these things on hills? I love the idea of a cruiser, but on my commute I have a couple of hills that require low gears on my hybrid so I've always thought would be too much for a 3 gear cruiser.

  12. #12
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Probably not all that good. I do fine on hills on my 3-speed Dahon (~26 pounds), but this bike is heavier (maybe 35?) so we'll see.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    ...and Martha ordered a Navigator 3.0. We've been clearing out space in the garage for the two new bikes.
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  14. #14
    Member Symr00's Avatar
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    My wife bought a Townie 7 speed last spring. It's her first bike since she was a child. It's a nice bike, very comfortable to ride, except she complains that the seat is too wide. Anything smaller would look awkward IMO. We just do paved bike paths that are fairly flat and it's great for that. As mentioned, they are kind of heavy. Especially when you add the fenders and handlebar basket.

  15. #15
    Senior Member airbrake's Avatar
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    I have a Townie 21 I got 7/06, have about 5500 miles on it. It is a heavy beast, 40 some pounds with accessories. More than twice the weight of my Cannondale. I changed the cassette to a 11-34 and put 100 psi tires on it so it moves along pretty good. It's the bike that got me into serious riding. They sell a lot of townies around here.
    I've been to your village, I've met your idiot.

  16. #16
    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    Neil --

    So, do you and Martha want to explore the Pike2Bike one weekend?

    Judy

  17. #17
    Robert
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    Electra Coaster 3i

    Hi all,

    Having purchased and ridden, throughout the years, a variety of different types of bikes, road, mountain and hybrid I was looking to make a change to a more comfortable, easy going type of bike.

    I always had a tendency to buy far more of a bike than I would actually need and consequently never really enjoyed riding them as much as I should have. This time I took a long hard look at the actual type of riding I was going to be doing, leisurely rides with my wife and son, beach cruising, that type of thing, in other words going nowhere and not being in a hurry to get there.

    I looked at a few bikes and finally decided on the Electra Coaster 3i, my LBS allowed me to take one for test ride, and it seemed to offer everything I was looking for. It looks good, got mine in the satin black finish, for me the bike is very comfortable and it certainly isnít complicated. I canít speak to the quality of the bike as it will be here on Thursday but if anything does go wrong my LBS is a mile away and will stand behind the product.

    This type of bike is certainly a big departure from the type of cycling Iíve done in the past but the truth be told Iím looking forward to slowing down a bit.

  18. #18
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jagraham View Post
    Neil --

    So, do you and Martha want to explore the Pike2Bike one weekend?

    Judy
    Yep! Check your email.
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  19. #19
    Rider
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    Fiancee was with me looking at bikes yesterday; we looked at some Electra Townies, but in the end we went with an equivalent, a Giant Suede Women's crankforward. In our case a 7 speed This year's 21 speed DX model with a front derailleur is PURPLE; that, or pink, is a complete deal-breaker. We weren't impressed with the tires or price on the Electra, and the fit just wasn't as good. Also, no 21 speeds were in stock because the shop claims they have too many problems with the long chainline.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  20. #20
    SWorker
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    the Townie's are rock solid, my wife's is now 2 years old and not even an adjustment is needed. If your climbing any hills on these heavy bikes you NEED speeds

  21. #21
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    It's not all that hilly in my area, so I can mostly get by with 3 speeds. I have walked a couple of hills that would have been easy on my touring bike. I'm getting a good workout on this bike!
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  22. #22
    Rider
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    Maybe, but i'm going to guess that the fact that the bike store thoughtfully equipped the 7 speed with an oversized inner ring should help with hills.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

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