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Old 02-15-08, 12:04 AM   #1
spitfire4
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Anybody own an Electra Townie or Coaster??

I'm looking for some advice on buying a new Beach/Comfort bike. Leaning toward the Electra 3 or Coaster 3. Gotta like the internal gears, don't have to worry about the derailer going out of whack. I plan on riding the rails to trails here in Mississippi, looking for a comfortable ride more than anything. Something us well experienced riders can appreciate. Any advice ?
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Old 02-15-08, 10:05 AM   #2
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Take a look at the RANS crank forward bikes.
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Old 02-15-08, 10:38 AM   #3
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I've never ridden one, but they look like good bikes for their purpose. There was a long thread about them at the Recreation & Family subforum a while back.
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Old 02-15-08, 11:20 AM   #4
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I've taken test drives on both, and several more. I like them for recreational rides. When I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago, I was wishing I had something like that with me. A 3-speed works pretty well on a trail. It can be nice to have a couple more gears, but the simplicity of the internal hub is attractive.

I would be looking at either a 3-speed internal, or a decent 7-speed. Several companies make nice ones. Trek offers Coasters, Cruisers, and Comfort bikes that would all fit the bill. Giant has a nice bike named the Suede which is comfy and offers several gearing options. Many people love the Electras. The RANS bikes mentioned above are of better quality, but can cost 2X-3X as much. You have to make your choice of how important that quality is for you.

You can see what Trek offers here:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2008/bike_path/

Their Pure Deluxe is their bike that combines the riding position of an Electra Townie with automatic shifting 3-speed Coaster system:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...re/puredeluxe/

The Giant Suedes are here, and they also offer a Coasting option:
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...le/1272/29315/

Their Suede GX is a nice bike, offering a manual 3-speed and fenders.
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Old 02-15-08, 01:49 PM   #5
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I still like my good old old-school mountain bike for that sort of application.
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Old 02-15-08, 02:59 PM   #6
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I have a Townie 21 speed and I really like it. I use the hand brake when I get on and off to give me stability. I rode a coaster earlier this week and did not like coaster brakes. My Townie was just right for me to start out biking again. I like the "Flat foot technology," it's easier for me to balance. I'd recommend the internal 3 or the internal 7.
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Old 02-15-08, 03:03 PM   #7
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I bought my wife a powder blue 24 spd. Electra Townie. She never rides it. I ride it from time to time, primarily to embarass my son.

I have mixed feeling about it. It's great for "toodeling" around. You can wear plain old slacks and drink coffee while riding it. It feels much sketchier than any other of my bikes, and it hurts my legs when I go more than a few miles on it. But it's been a reliable bike. I don't think I've done the slightest bit of maintanence on it other than clean the chain once or twice.

Add. -- my son can bunny-hop the thing and I've actually taken it out on a trail a couple of times and it survived. I don't think I'd make a habit of it, though.
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Old 02-15-08, 05:07 PM   #8
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My wife has a Giant Suede DX (21 speed ... not a coaster). She rides a lot and easily covers 50 miles a day on trips. Hers is the 2006 model http://archive.giant-bicycles.com/us...06&model=11403

This is what the suede looks like this year. http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...le/1272/29321/
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Old 07-16-10, 09:28 AM   #9
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I own a townie

Hi .. I live in DC and I just bought an Electra Townie 3i a few weeks ago. I love the bike, but in order to get it completely rideable I had to upgrade the seat and then change out the cranks to get a more useable gear ratio. Unfortunately, the bike comes with a 44 tooth non-removeable chainwheel that is attached to the low-end lasco cranks with a spline. I got a nice shimano set with replaceable chainrings online for $45, installed them, shortened the chain a couple links and now its absolutely fantastic! The 38 tooth chainring dropped all 3 gears down by about 20% and now I can handle all roads and trails in DC with ease and can easily cover 20 miles in about an hour with little fatigue. That being said, for the money this bike cost I shouldn't have had to do all this.
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Old 07-16-10, 11:23 AM   #10
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My wife and I had a couple of townies and really liked them, they were comfortable and fun to ride the only reason we sold them is because we needed the room in the garage to accommodate the rest of our collection.
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Old 07-16-10, 09:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by feltmance View Post
Unfortunately, the bike comes with a 44 tooth non-removeable chainwheel that is attached to the low-end lasco cranks with a spline. I got a nice shimano set with replaceable chainrings online for $45, installed them, shortened the chain a couple links...for the money this bike cost I shouldn't have had to do all this.
This same gearing reduction can be accomplished by swapping the 20T rear cog for a 23T one - under ten bucks.

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Old 07-16-10, 09:23 PM   #12
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We have two townies at a beach town vacation house. They are great cruisers and are good for a mild workout ride. Serious mileage and they get a little iffy. The seats aren't that comfortable after about 10 miles. bk
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Old 08-31-10, 01:07 AM   #13
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The seats aren't that comfortable after about 10 miles.
Seats/saddles are easy to change. I have a Brooks B67 on mine and I can ride for hours in comfort.
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Old 08-31-10, 05:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feltmance View Post
Hi .. I live in DC and I just bought an Electra Townie 3i a few weeks ago. I love the bike, but in order to get it completely rideable I had to upgrade the seat and then change out the cranks to get a more useable gear ratio. Unfortunately, the bike comes with a 44 tooth non-removeable chainwheel that is attached to the low-end lasco cranks with a spline. I got a nice shimano set with replaceable chainrings online for $45, installed them, shortened the chain a couple links and now its absolutely fantastic! The 38 tooth chainring dropped all 3 gears down by about 20% and now I can handle all roads and trails in DC with ease and can easily cover 20 miles in about an hour with little fatigue. That being said, for the money this bike cost I shouldn't have had to do all this.
Well, you took a production bike and customized it to suit your needs. I'm sure it still came out cheaper than a full custom build, and now it's what you need. I don't understand your complaint.
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Old 08-31-10, 07:02 AM   #15
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An easier way to relax the gearing is to replace the rear cog. The original cog is a 20t and there is a compatible Shimano 22t cog. That will get you most of the way there without dealing with the complications of changing out the crank.

As to changing out the saddle, note that nearly all crank forward saddles will have a raised lip around the back of them. That is there to give you something to push off of, to cradle you. This can be important when going up hills. It is why the RANS crank forwards have a very sophisticated, custom saddle. A flat saddle will rob you of this leverage.

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Old 08-31-10, 07:31 AM   #16
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Wow. A zombie thread if there ever was one.

Maybe a gratuitous political reference will decapitate it.

I'd tried to sell my wife's powder blue Electra Townie to President Obama.

As I never heard back from him, I leant it out two days ago to a over 50 lady who had sore knees and needed the exercise.

She called later in the day totally ecstatic over the experience of riding around the neighborhood.

Another soul brought over to the Dark Side.

My work there is done.
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Old 08-31-10, 07:32 AM   #17
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I have an Electra Coaster 7 and my wife has a Giant Suede. We've got them because we live in Chicago and roads are rough and we weren't going to go very far. I put some of those platform on one side / SPD on the other pedals on them. We've done several 50 mile club rides in the country, and hang out with the youngsters from Chicago Chain Link on their nocturnal shenanigans in the city. The Chainlinkers are always surprised that I'm usually at the front of the pack.

With the SPDs, the Coaster 7 is pretty fast. The tires that came on mine look like they belong on a motorcycle, but at 80 PSI they roll very well. If it's not too windy, I can go a steady 19 mph without too much effort. The bike is very comfortable for me. I've never ridden it more than 50 miles at a go but I bet I could do a century with no problem. I highly recommend this bike for a comfort / recreational cruiser.

The best part is that after I've ridden the Coaster on bombed out city streets or limestone railroad to trail paths, the BMC road bike feels soooooo good :-)
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Old 08-31-10, 10:22 AM   #18
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19 mph on an Electra Coaster 7??? Wow!

I wonder what you could do on a more performance-oriented crank forward bike? Or a sleek recumbent?
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Old 08-31-10, 11:44 AM   #19
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An easier way to relax the gearing is to replace the rear cog.
Post #11, six week prior. But that's cool, it just can't be said enough.
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Old 09-03-10, 04:17 PM   #20
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Tom,

Suffice it to say, I'm much quicker on the BMC SL01 Roadracer... :-)

Seriously, though, I'm not claiming to be a superman. The Electra's tires are wide, but the 'tread' profile is essentially slick at the contact patch and because the face of the tire is markedly rounded, and the tires run at 80psi the contact patch is quite small. In short, they roll remarkably well.

Also I live in flat Chicago so the massive weight of the thing is not too much of a burden if you're not too bothered by running the occasional stop sign. I never want to haul that thing up many hills when I can help it. For rough pavement, this thing is hard to beat.
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