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Old 08-03-06, 08:28 PM   #1
dbmcclus
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Townie by Electra

My wife has been looking at the Townie by Electra. Does anyone have this bike? Also, I noticed that the pedals seems to be forward a little, rather than directly below the seat. This may be what she is looking for as she wants to be able to touch the ground when she stops while still sitting on the seat, yet have her legs corrected extended when pedaling.

Thanks,
Dennis
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Old 08-03-06, 08:31 PM   #2
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I keep looking at a black electra my LBS has on the sales floor. Just something to knock around the neighborhood.... great bikes. I won't get one, but I keep looking. (The wife said 5 was my limit, so I'd have to sell one first.... )
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Old 08-03-06, 08:34 PM   #3
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I keep looking at a black electra my LBS has on the sales floor. Just something to knock around the neighborhood.... great bikes. I won't get one, but I keep looking. (The wife said 5 was my limit, so I'd have to sell one first.... )
One what -- bike? or wife???
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Old 08-03-06, 08:37 PM   #4
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Hi Dennis!

I bought a Townie at the beginning of 2005. I liked the bike well. It was "friendly," fun to ride, and well built. I tried the 3-speed first, but the gears were way too far apart for my part of the country, so I went back & got a 24 speed with a derailleur instead. The Townie is GREAT for being able to put your feet on the ground when stopped. I recommend the bike to you and think your wife will really like it.
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Old 08-03-06, 08:52 PM   #5
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It would be a great bike fors omeone who wants to be 'safe' and be able to touch feet to the ground, without dismounting or having a toptube hitting in the nether regions. A little different geometry but 'user-friendly', set up.
Yes, have ridden one, and fun to ride.
However, personally prefer what I've got . . .
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Old 08-03-06, 09:00 PM   #6
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Bought one for my wife, but customized. Wanted Nexus 8-sp internal hub, but NOT suspension fork (don't need it on the street or bike trail with those tires, and don't want the maintenance hassle of a cheap susp fork). Bought a Townie-7 derailleur model & Nexus red-band hub, built my own wheel; had to add a spring chain-tensioner & also, special-order anti-torque washers, as T-7 has vertical drops. Couldn't modify T-3 because of OLN dimension.

Net is she loves it, rides lots now. I take it to the store occasionally, too, 'cause I like that hub.
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Old 08-03-06, 09:03 PM   #7
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One what -- bike? or wife???
Now DG.....why would you want Grampy™ to get rid of lil' ol me? Hmmmmmmm?
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Old 08-03-06, 09:14 PM   #8
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I have never tried one, but it looks like an interesting compromise between a conventional upright and a recumbent. The positives have been listed already; I would expect the negatives to include slow steering and slow climbing, but I could be wrong.
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Old 08-03-06, 09:22 PM   #9
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Am I correct in thinking that if I purchased my wife the correct fit bike, she would be able to sit in the seat and touch the ground, yet legs would be almost fully extended for correct pedaling? I am not sure about this feature, but I hope this is correct before I consider getting rid of the bike she now rides. Thanks.

Dennis
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Old 08-03-06, 11:27 PM   #10
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I have a Trek Sole Ride which is the same style as a Townie. Mine has the Nexus 7 speed hub. It is difficult (but not impossible) to stand on the pedals for the extra power. The bike is good for cruising but probably not for very long rides. If you live in a hilly area or want to go long a 21 or 24 speed might be a good idea.
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Old 08-04-06, 10:00 AM   #11
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Another vote in favor: I've only gone around the block on one, but a friend who rides about 4000 miles a year, mostly on recumbents, bought a Townie last year and loves it. He's in his early 50s and has owned a lot of serious bikes, and he got it pretty much on a whim. Says he likes it a lot, and his wife, who never has enjoyed riding very much, is comfortable on it, too.
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Old 08-04-06, 10:17 AM   #12
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The Townie is one of the new generation crank forward bikes which include the Giant Revive, a couple models from Rans, and several others.
They call it "flat foot technology" which means you can sit on the seat at a stopsigne or red light, and put both feet on the ground.
They are very comfortable to ride, and gearing and features vary widely. Some even have short but comfortable seatbacks, and the seats, though not as comfortable as recumbents, are a lot more comfortable than the best upright bike seats. They tend to be a bit heavier than uprights but less than LWB bents. Entry level prices are less than bents and a bit more than the usual department store starter bikes. But quality is better, too. They are short and light enough to transport on regular bike carriers.
Although I don't have one, (I ride a LWB bent) I personally recommend them to older riders who have not ridden for years, and are doing it for fitness and health and fun. Not for the speedster or long distance rider, but with the coming baby boomers about to retire with their health, back and overweight problems, I think they will sell millions of them. Whenever older people ride my LWB recumbent, I usually point out to them that would probably be even better off with one of the newer crank forward bikes for the quantity and type of riding that they do.
For 95% of "mountain bike" owners who never leave the pavement or at worse gravel roads, and most "hybrid" or "comfort" bike owners, these crank forward bikes are much more comfortable, and make way more sense.
I'd probably buy one if someone produced a folding model.
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Old 08-04-06, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbmcclus
Am I correct in thinking that if I purchased my wife the correct fit bike, she would be able to sit in the seat and touch the ground, yet legs would be almost fully extended for correct pedaling? I am not sure about this feature, but I hope this is correct before I consider getting rid of the bike she now rides. Thanks. Dennis
You are exactly correct, Dennis. Electra makes one and only one "size" bike. The seat post is of generous diameter and impressive length, and it will accommodate almost every peron within two standard deviations of American means. Let your wife test sit and ride the bike. I'd bet y'all buy! Happy pedaling to you both!
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Old 08-04-06, 08:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbmcclus
Am I correct in thinking that if I purchased my wife the correct fit bike, she would be able to sit in the seat and touch the ground, yet legs would be almost fully extended for correct pedaling? I am not sure about this feature, but I hope this is correct before I consider getting rid of the bike she now rides. Thanks.

Dennis
I think you are almost correct, exception for the part where the legs are fully extended. My wife has one, which she likes a lot, but she can't get her legs fully extended and it is almost impossible to get the power she needs to climb even moderate hills. She unfortunately like long rides, but finds the upright position a little difficult on the derriere. It is, however, a nice bike for short, flatland rides.
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Old 08-04-06, 08:09 PM   #15
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Purchased my R300 from a gentleman that replaced it with a black three speed Townie. His health made riding a drop bar bike uncomfortable for him.
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Old 08-06-06, 09:52 AM   #16
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I have a Townie 21 speed. I'm a woman and I'm close to 5'10" (32" inseam)and I can extend my legs fully and still am able to put my feet flat on the ground when I stop. I bought it at REI and have been pleased with their service. The LBS I frequent in High Springs, FL will do lifetime tuneups on the bikes he sells. He has a hard time keeping the Townie in stock. I hadn't really done any biking since my childhood and I felt shaky on something too tall. I really like the Townie, but my butt still gets sore after 12-15 miles. I think that's the downside of sitting up straight.
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Old 08-06-06, 09:41 PM   #17
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Here's a nice long discussion about the Townie with over 300 entries:
Electra's New Townie
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Old 08-06-06, 10:17 PM   #18
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My wife loves hers. And, she actually rides it. We replaced her Giant Sedona with a Townie. I wouldn't ride one, but she thinks it's great.
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Old 08-06-06, 10:48 PM   #19
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I also had a townie thread a couple months back, here:
Electra Townie?

I love the way the townie rides, and the way it looks. I did not get one however, because I have a two bike limit right now, from the wife... Also $400 would be a little steep for that type of bike to me. (Besides I want the nexus internal 8 anyway, thats like double!)

I admire the townie, I would get it if my destinations were normally less than five or so miles away or I just cruised the town alot. For now that is not my style of riding, in the future their will be room in my stable.
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Old 08-07-06, 11:11 AM   #20
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How well do they climb hills? My Sun EZ Sport (crank way froward) climbs well because you can push your back into the seat back and push off. The townie doesn't have that feature.
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Old 08-07-06, 11:15 AM   #21
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How well do they climb hills?...
About the same as any other DF bike of the same weight. Mind you, I climbed only one short hill with mine (about a hundred yards or two at a fairly mild slope), but I found no difference between the Townie and my other bikes. You're correct in that there is no "back" to push against as there is with a recumbent.
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