I assume the author means the Rans Fusion. I think many of you would say Electra built the first mass produced Crank Forward, with the Townie. Unfortunately, there was no place to leave a reply at the end of this article. And of course, there have been many home-built Crank Forwards.
"A bicycle built for those 'of a certain age'
OTTAWA CITIZEN MAY 7, 2011
Two problems that prevent citizens "of a certain age" from becoming cycle commuters or even recreational cyclists are: postural problems and damage due to the shape and riding position of most bicycles; and complexity and maintenance problems.
Those problems definitely apply to touring and racing bicycles, with their hunched-over posture, which are also hard on the neck, hard on the wrists and palms, and hard on the nether-bits (skinny saddle crammed where sun doesn't shine). They equally apply to mountain and hybrid bikes that have slightly less severe versions of those same enjoyment deficits.
A second common thread is the derailleur gear shifting, with its fussy setup and its maintenance issues. I've found the solutions that have me enjoying being back on the road on two pedal-powered wheels.
A company called RANS appears to have started the trend and other manufacturers have copied (with more or less success) the crank-forward design, which lies the seatpost back and allows the rider to sit on a wide, supportive seat,..."
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/bicycle...#ixzz1Lm7BE5bD