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  1. #1
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    opinions wanted: Electra bikes? (townie? amsterdam?)

    I would like a new bike. I tested some of the Electra Townies- so fun and seem good for the kind of riding I will be doing- usually 4-8 not too hilly miles max, often with my 2.5 yr old in a trailer. I have searched the forum and have found a few different opinions, but I thought I would start a thread and see if anyone could give me advice. Thank you.

    re: Amsterdam. They are just so great looking (in my dorky aesthetic.) Again I have read reviews- people love or hate. Again any opinions would be appreciated. One question in particular, is it crazy to tow a kid in a trailer with a coaster brake?

  2. #2
    One Hep Cat Joe Dog's Avatar
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    My wife bought one this year. It's fine for 4-8 miles and flat. It's not good for hills and it's not good if you want to go fast, but for a fun, casual cruiser it's quite nice. I am a fan because it got her back on a bike, but she is starting to look at a ride she could take on longer distances. My wifes bike is an internal hub three speed with a coaster brake and one (front wheel) hand brake. I wouldl tow a trailer with that only on relatively flat roads IMHO. It's a fun bike, though, so if you are so moved, go for it!

  3. #3
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I Electras !!
    A real quality product !

    Who in Brrrrrrrlington carries them ??

    Ski Rack ?
    Old Spokes ??

  4. #4
    Senior Member Eddie Loves You's Avatar
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    My friend's got a Townie, and I think they're one of the best cruiser-type (if they're classified as such) bikes out there. The forward pedalling is pretty comfortable. If it's gonna get you excited about riding, get it!
    The Hunger Site needs your help in fighting world hunger. Help fund hunger relief every day with a simple click, at no cost to you. Visit http://www.TheHungerSite.com today!

  5. #5
    Conservative Hippie
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    Of the bikes I have at my disposal; a road bike, a roadish hybrid, an MTBish comfort hybrid, and an MTB, my Townie3 is the most stable and versatile. It's my SUV.





    That ramp is about 11 miles from my house. 20 isn't unrealistic.

    The only beef I have with it is the 3 spd IGH gears are kind of far apart, but that is to be expected with a 3. To be honest, I didn't think I would be covering the miles that I am and what I'm using it for when I bought this bike, but due to circumstances beyond my control (thanks to Hurricane Dennis), the house I had planned on living in is no longer there. This bike, even with a trailer in tow, laughs at the sand roads that are so prevalent in this area and are unnavigable on the road bike or roady hybrid.

    If I ever replace this bike, it will very likely be with a Townie8 or a Townie8 700C.
    Last edited by CommuterRun; 06-09-07 at 06:13 AM.

  6. #6
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    ^^^ Ive seen this pic before in other threads and never
    cease to be amazed ! Wow !
    Its like something you would see in an old Arnold or stalone movie from the 80's !

  7. #7
    Conservative Hippie
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    The '80s are old? OMG, that means I'm...I'm...

    But that's okay. My Dad's in his 70s and still riding his Townie3. He says it really changes the handling of a bike when you throw a 50 lb. sack of dog food on the rear rack.

  8. #8
    lewisb
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    I bought a Townie 21 a few weeks ago. I have nearly 400 miles on it and love it. My wife had a Wal-Mart bike and with another couple, we biked 20 miles on the Katy Trail in MO a couple weks ago. At the end of the ride she was beat! She bought a Townie 7 this week. We road a little over 40 miles on the Katy yesterday and she handled it well. It may not win any races but that is fine with me. It's comfortable and we enjoy riding them. If you buy a Townie, I don't think you'll be sorry

  9. #9
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    I have an Electra Townie 8 700c that I bought about 2 months ago. I'm very happy with it. I hadn't ridden much in the last 10 years, and when I started riding again using my old non-suspension mountain bike, I was getting wrist and hand pain, and a some back pain from the riding position. I'm pretty much pain-free on the Townie (occasional back twinges after I've been riding a while, but I think that's more me than the bike). The 8 speed internal hub does fine in my hilly neighborhood, though I do spend a fair amount of time chugging along in first gear when going up any real hill. Going down hill is lots of fun though, and the 700c tires roll a lot faster than my old mountain bike tires. I'm in no hurry to get anywhere so the upright riding postion really works well for me. There's some great bike paths around here and on the Townie I really enjoy watching for wildlife and admiring the view.

    Laura

  10. #10
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    Thank you, thank you. Very helpful and specific info. And CommuterRun, amazing photos (which by the way "sold" my husband on it. He used to drag his sport boat on a ridiculous trailer contraption by foot- your impressive rig would be the way to go.)
    Anyway can't wait to get out there on one. Happy riding.

  11. #11
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    Read about the Townie about 2 years ago when it debuted(?). Stopped by a bike store today and saw them. Cool. I almost bought a 3spd, reminding me of my Raleigh 3spd I got back in..hmm maybe '78. 3spd's rule, but was thinking of maybe the 7 or 8 Nexus might be nice too...

    THEN I saw online the Amsterdam. AWESOME, but it looks like it has more traditional positioning.

    Decisions, decisions...

    Townie8 700c looks tempting except I don't care for the color (green), British Racing Green would have been perfect though...

    Maybe Townie3 700C in black...

    I don't know, but I will get one soon. I am in love...

  12. #12
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The Amsterdam's stylish design kinda disguises that it is a crank forward that has a geometry very close to that of the Townie. I didn't believe it until a store person proved it to me in a side-by-side comparison.

    As to hill climbing, I find crank forwards to be slow up hills, but very easy to pedal up them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Do any of you have the Townie in 21 or 24 speed?

  14. #14
    Newbie - Clydesdale
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    Townie 21

    I bought a Townie 21 a few weeks ago.. It was exactly what I needed and I love it. I'm 354 lbs and have no problems with it. I do wish I'd have gotten the 700c tire option. The bike rides great and all of the componants work well. The riding position is comfortable but as some folks have mentioned it is not fast and steep hills can be tough as you have to remain seated - the low gearing helps. If it gets you started then just get it - you won't be dissappointed and if you you decide to move to a different style later the Townie still served a great purpose in getting you to that point!

    BTW I am already thinking about moving up to another style hybrid but I never would have gotten started without the security you get with the Townie flat foot position.

    - Kwhman

  15. #15
    Conservative Hippie
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    I very rarely stand on any bike, but I can stand and pedal my Townie. Although the design does put me kind of close to the handlebars, it's not a problem.

  16. #16
    Bike Nut
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    I love my Townie 7D for many good reasons.

    The first two reasons are my wife and daughter. I bought my Townie because I bought Townies for them, and I thought it would be fun to have a bike to ride at their leisurely pace. It has been great! They ride theirs every day, which is what I was hoping would happen. We ride together to go to Starbucks, the grocery store, the pool, or the gym. It's so much fun for us to ride together. They also ride theirs to school and work. It feels great, too, when they each tell me (as they frequently do) how much they LOVE their bikes. This is a big deal for me, because they both had bikes before that they wouldn't ride...I was gambling on the Townies, and I feel like I won.

    Even if I didn't have a wife and kid to ride with, I think I'd still love riding the Townie. It is relaxed and easy going. A big, and pleasant, change of pace from my "serious" bikes. Sometimes I ride my Townie the 5 miles to the train station; that makes a lot more sense to me than riding my Merckx or Trek 400T.

    Some say the townie is not good on hills. Maybe the single or 3 speed versions would be sort of bad in the hilly neighborhood where we live, but the 44/34 on our 7Ds is a low enough gear that the girls get up the steepest of the local roads...eventually :-)...and without having to walk the bikes up.

    OK, you can call me shallow if you like, but as far as I am concerned, looks are important. The Townie looks strangely cool. With fenders, racks, and bells, they have a quirky charm that reminds me of the bikes I rode when I was a little kid. They have the retro update thing working for them...like the new generation of VW Beetles. Old style, new tech. My daughter customized hers with leopard print saddle and grips; hilarious and definitely cool (you'd have to see it.)

    On first seeing the Townie, I thought they'd weigh a ton. Nope. I can easily lift one overhead and hold it steady in one hand to put it onto the roof rack of my car...it's one of those tall boxy cars from Honda.

    The "Flat Foot Technology" idea (you can put both feet flat on the ground while remaining seated on the saddle) is a great safety feature. My daughter was riding "hell for leather" on a twisty paved path (I think she was sort of racing with my wife) through the woods. She wasn't paying close enough attention and rode off the path, just as it curved close to a ditch. I thought she'd fall, but she just put her feet on the ground and applied the brakes. Nice, controlled, safe stop in a situation that would have given her a real fright on any other bike.

  17. #17
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    I bought a Townie 21 a few months ago and I absolutely love it. I have bad arthritic knees and I call this bike "my new legs". The Giant Revive looks interesting too, but quite a bit more expensive. A couple of my friends have also bought Townies after riding mine. I feel like a kid again when I am on that bike....weeeeeee.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Fibber's Avatar
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    Similar style bikes (pedal crank forward) are available from Giant (Suede) and Trek (Pure). We couldn't find a Trek dealer with one, so it came down to the Suede DX-W and Townie 21. The dealers were separated by 50 miles, so we couldn't see them back to back. In the end, the deciding factor was the perception of overall frame size. At 5' 2", my wife is at the very low end of the recommendations for the Townie. I believe the Suede is several inches shorter overall, and seemed to fit her better. It gives her the pedal forward, flat foot advantage she wanted, with a little less stretching. It should be in and built by Friday, so I'll let you know how it works out.

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