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Thread: Electra Bikes

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    Electra Bikes

    Hi,
    Am looking for some advice. I have a full suspension mountian bike but am now looking for a lighter bike for more chilled out rides. I have fallen in love with the look of the Electra bikes. Does any one have any advice or knowledge about them?

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    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claire_84 View Post
    Hi,
    Am looking for some advice. I have a full suspension mountian bike but am now looking for a lighter bike for more chilled out rides. I have fallen in love with the look of the Electra bikes. Does any one have any advice or knowledge about them?
    There is a lot of knowledge about Electra bikes here, what exactly do you wish to know? They are a fairly good company and build pretty good bikes. They are going more for a fashion statement kind of thing, and from your comments, seem to be doing well with that. Make sure you get whichever model suits what you will be doing with it, that way you won't waste your money.

    e.g. If you are going to be climbing hills, don't get the single speed.

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    Thanks I'm thinking about the townie.Do you know if they are quite an easy ride? I'm looking for a nice bike to go long distances. Generally quite flat routes. i.e. canal paths etc.

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    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claire_84 View Post
    Thanks I'm thinking about the townie.Do you know if they are quite an easy ride? I'm looking for a nice bike to go long distances. Generally quite flat routes. i.e. canal paths etc.
    Well, there are several models in the Townie line up. The main thing they have in common, is that upright, laid back, kind of style. No doubt what attracted you in the first place. They are supposedly easy to ride, but not very conducive to speed. You can go fast, it just isn't as easy as a road bike, or even a hybrid. Depending on what you define as a "Long Ride" it may not suit. If you don't mind taking a long, leisurely, ramble down the canal path, well fine.

    You will also find the saddle feels different, you're going to sitting more on the back, using the sit bones area. A wider Brooks may be more suitable for that, rather than a common MTB saddle. Have you test ridden an Electra yet?

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    Yes I have, but I tested a cruiser, it had a steel frame. It felt ok, but it was a short test. Because I'm looking for a lighter bike so I'd rather an aluminuim frame.

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    If you're looking for a lighter bike for long distances...you can do a lot better than an aluminum cruiser.

    I have an Electra Ghostrider, and the pedal forward position doesn't allow you to get over the cranks to use your body weight.



    This is especially apparent on hills, as even the 3-speed IGH isn't adequate for the smallest hills you'll encounter. I'll be converting mine to an 8-speed IGH at some point. The Townies and cruisers are fine for short distances and folks that may have trouble balancing a standard bike...but they're not going anywhere fast.

    I'd suggest looking into a fatter-tired singlespeed or fixed gear, or better yet, find an old frame and convert it yourself. If you're going to be riding it around town, it may be wise to stick with something less flashy and desirable, and cheap in case it's stolen.
    Last edited by Wordbiker; 09-20-09 at 12:14 PM.
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    So you'd advise no to any Electra model? I don't need to worry about it being stolen because I have a bike shed for my block of flats.

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    I have an aluminum 7sp Electra cruiser (Maybe Coaster 7D) I got about 7 years ago. I bought the bike because of the frame design and it was on sale. I use it a lot in casual riding in San Francisco, Monterey, and Santa Cruz.

    The Townie looks like it has mainly aluminum alloy parts that can be obtained easily if need be.

    My cruiser has some steel parts which may not be widely available except from the company. For example, my steel handlebars and other small steel parts are rusting. I crashed and want to replace my handlebars and some other parts with aluminum or stainless steel. Also if I needed to change out the crank or front sprocket on mine I may have to get it directly from Electra.

    I am also seriously looking into the new Ticino.

    Note: I use the 7sp Aluminum Electra Cruiser in the hills of San Francisco.
    Last edited by cmburch; 09-20-09 at 12:36 PM.

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claire_84 View Post
    So you'd advise no to any Electra model? I don't need to worry about it being stolen because I have a bike shed for my block of flats.
    If your concern is style over function, then yeah, buy an Electra. That's why I bought my Ghostrider, just wanted you to be aware that none of them are truly performance-oriented. Have you checked out the Amsterdams? They strike a nice balance between utility and style.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
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    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claire_84 View Post
    Thanks I'm thinking about the townie.Do you know if they are quite an easy ride? I'm looking for a nice bike to go long distances. Generally quite flat routes. i.e. canal paths etc.
    I like my Electra Townie 3 700c. Very good, easy ride. And I can stand up on the pedals, no problem.

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    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    If your concern is style over function, then yeah, buy an Electra. That's why I bought my Ghostrider, just wanted you to be aware that none of them are truly performance-oriented. Have you checked out the Amsterdams? They strike a nice balance between utility and style.
    That's basically what I was saying as well. It's not intended as a long distance ride, or to be fast. It sounds as if it might suit your purpose,

    "looking for a lighter bike for more chilled out rides."

    Just don't get it if you're intending to use to get somewhere far in a hurry. As Wordbiker says, the Amsterdams are a little less "cruisy" (is that a word?) Still no speed demon, but make a great 'round town bike.

    The theft problem rears it's head while you are out, stop at the store etc. (mostly)

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    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    I put ape hanger bars on my Townie 3 and I use for grocery hauling as well as general cruising. It's a very friendly bike. It's especially nice on days I'm not feeling well, because it has a sort of low-key feel. On days where I feel like going fast, especially uphill, it tends to feel a little constraining, but I live in a big city, so that honestly doesn't come up much.
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    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    I got to try out a friend's Townie. He's a big guy, and it was way too big for me, but it was a hoot. That particular version had 7 speed rear derailer with twist shifters. I tried it on a moderate hill, on a reasonably maintained unpaved road. It was smooth as silk with those enormous tires, and much easier to pedal than I expected. The crank being somewhat forward meant that the seat was easier to get a leg over. The seat was comfortable, but I was uncomfortable perched on top of it, if you get my drift. The handlebars were way to wide, as this area has post to pass through. No problem with conventional bars, but I'm not sure this particular Townie would make it. The owner says you can stand up to pedal, but I didn't try it.

    I assume the seat and handlebars could be changed with off the shelf parts, but haven't checked. Also, I wouldn't be able to comment on suitability for long distance, and don't know how it stands up to use.

    The one I tried had a tendency to ghost shift. The LBS we deal with is a sweetie, fixed it, gratis.

    If something happened to my current MUP ride, that would probably be the replacement, in my size. If I could only have one bike, it would be a much harder decision.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    If you want light weight, just about all cruisers fail. Check out the RANS line-up. Pricier, but you get what you pay for.

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    We have two Townies at a family vacation house in a beach town. We chose them because they are easily adjustable to fit the many different people who use the house. They are fairly comfortable rides that fit our needs well. Easy cruining bikes that are easy to use and maintain. Serious workout bike? nah. bk

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    Thanks everyone. I have decided to go for a townie art.

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    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    I assume the seat and handlebars could be changed with off the shelf parts, but haven't checked.
    Yes, that's true. For example, I replaced the cruiser saddle on mine with a Brooks B67 and the bike shop replaced the handlebars. I have also replaced the pedals.

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    One thing I caution people about with buying any of the cruiser bikes is that they usually don't come in different frame sizes, and that makes a big difference in how comfortable they are to ride over anything but very short distances or anything other than perfectly flat terrain.

    Most people I see who picked a "cheap" bike, end up on a frame that's way too small. They want to ride sitting fairly upright (which isn't so bad in itself, for short casual riding) but instead of getting a frame the proper size and putting riser handlebars on it, they get a bike that's too small but that lets them ride sitting upright with using the OEM low-rise handlebars, but puts the handlebars in their lap.

    -----

    I have one of the RANS crank-forwards, a Fusion. It's not a racing bike IMO, but it is very nice for casual riding, even on fairly-long rides. The seat used in particular is much nicer, but it will not attach to a regular bicycle.
    ~

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    Spandex free since 1963! HauntedMyst's Avatar
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    You'll love the townie art! It's a great bike. I ridden mine on our 25 mile midnight ride and it was very comfortable. It won't get you long distances fast but it will get you there. Its a great bike.

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    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
    One thing I caution people about with buying any of the cruiser bikes is that they usually don't come in different frame sizes, and that makes a big difference in how comfortable they are to ride over anything but very short distances or anything other than perfectly flat terrain.
    Not true. The performance of a bicycle doesn't depend on how many sizes are available. If a bicycle fits, it fits, and it will be comfortable to to ride for a long time and over variable terrain. The important thing is to make sure that when you buy a bicycle (even a cruiser), you get one that fits.

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    The Schwinn Beach Cruiser was very popular in California. It was a single speed bike with a coaster brake. Later some added a front brake to their bikes. California has coastal hills and mountains. These bikes are still around and are still being ridden.

    Electra went aluminum frame, front and rear hand brakes, and gears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgePaul View Post
    Not true. The performance of a bicycle doesn't depend on how many sizes are available. If a bicycle fits, it fits, and it will be comfortable to to ride for a long time and over variable terrain. The important thing is to make sure that when you buy a bicycle (even a cruiser), you get one that fits.
    Yea, but, , , , -no.

    My point is that a lot of cruiser bicycles only come in one frame size, and so uneducated buyers assume that it is the only size of all bicycles there is, regardless of what size they are. As long as they think they can reach the seat, pedals and handgrips all at the same time somehow, they're good to go--and that's not hardly true.

    Most cruiser bikes I've seen seem to be sized for someone around 4'6" to 5' tall--what are (in my family) basically teen-agers.

    -----

    I am generally one of those annoying recumbent zealots; I don't have any "normal" bikes anymore--but even so, I remember that having the correct frame size makes a huge difference in the riding comfort of an upright bike. The RANS crank-forward bikes are probably the best relaxed-position bikes around right now, and even they (now) come in three different sizes, because RANS found out that in spite of the bikes having a very relaxed riding position, one size simply does not fit all.
    ~

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    Average size american males have been riding cruisers for over 40 years.

    Under 5' elementry school age children may have needed blocks on the pedals or rode the bar.

    I guess Electra must have some smaller size cruisers available now for children or smaller less than 5' adults. I have not noticed them.

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    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmburch View Post
    I guess Electra must have some smaller size cruisers available now for children or smaller less than 5' adults. I have not noticed them.
    Yes, they do. They have Townies and cruisers with 20" wheels for boys and and girls. I've seen them in several bike shops in Southern California.

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    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    Hey, just wanted to do a quick +1 on pedal replacement. That ended up being a good thing for me, too.
    I see unexamined people. All the time. I don't think they know they're unexamined.

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