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  1. #326
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    They are real bicycles and due to the semi-recumbent position, its quite fast for the rider. That can seem disconcerting to someone familiar with a DF bike. The CF's have all the advantages of recumbents with none of their disadvantages. There is no hand-holding and no learning curve because the ride is familiar. My Rans Dynamik is where the industry has to come to with these bicycles. They are popular and not only with casual weekend pootlers.

  2. #327
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    Vision's model was uncomfortable and didn't get it right. Electra and Rans have been very successful with their CF line. They're perfect for folks who don't want a recumbent but can't ride a DF bike. The industry learned from Vision's failure and perfected the concept.

  3. #328
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    Just reading over this very old thread and I have to say that I really like the set up of the Townie's, I am wondering why people that don't want to live in spandex and ride for speed, aren't considered "real" cyclists. I ride a comfort bike, I guess that makes me a "fake" cyclist. :-)

  4. #329
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
    I know the classic Italian lines of of the Milano will be way cooler in 5 years-- after the flash in the pan of the Townie has burnt out.
    I note last month marked the 5th anniversary of that post.

    Anyway, I guess Electra is doing OK with these bikes, since every year they have expanded their CF offerings. In answer to some of the comments from 5 years ago: For more of a classic style, they've added the line of Amsterdam bikes. For more focused urban/commuting duties they have the Townie Euro line, some of which have factory generator lights. For the posters from five years ago who liked the Townie concept but wanted a ride better suited to longer, faster outings, Electra has added the Townie Sports.

    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  5. #330
    Spandex free since 1963! HauntedMyst's Avatar
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    5 years on and long live the Townie! Funnest bike I've ever ridden.

  6. #331
    Senior Member trestlehed's Avatar
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    Santa Cruz Heckler (mtb), EZ Sport LE (recumbent), (2) Townie 24 speed bikes w/beach cruiser bars "The Holy Grail of Beach Cruisers"
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    I've had my Townie 24 for about 5 years now and it gets ridden more than my full suspension Santa Cruz Heckler (MTB). I guestimate I have about 2500 miles on my Townie! I haven't even ridden my recumbent (SUN EZ Sport LE) in over a year.
    For those of you looking for a comfortable seat, I've been riding the Hobson Easy Seat II (version 1) and it's the best seat for these "crank forward" bikes. No pain or numbness whatsoever. Hobson came out with a newer version (Easy Seat II version 2) which is shorter than the original. It still works fine but I prefer the version 1 since I'm 6 ft and 230 lbs. I spoke with Hobson's owner recently over the phone and he said they are coming out with an entirely new seat soon. http://www.hobsonseats.com/

    I see that Electra has suspended the 24 speed in favor of the 21 speed. I guess they are aiming at the market segment of novice riders who get intimidated by too many gear choices/combinations.

    Anyhow, I think I'm gonna pimp-out my Townie soon: new wheels with disc brakes, new bottom bracket and maybe even a Thudbuster seat post. I'll post pics when/if I do the upgrades.

    Keep riding & smiling all!
    Last edited by trestlehed; 10-17-09 at 10:51 PM.

  7. #332
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    By Spring 2010 I plan to purchase the Electra Indy 3i. They don't call it a Townie but a Cruiser. I love that bike. Got to get one just as soon as possible. I also ride a Zootr Swift folder, fastest bike I have ever ridden. Also a Gary Fisher Advance, modified with street tires and upright seating position. I guess when I buy the Cruiser I will become a non-biker. I will no longer be a real biker. The truth is maybe I've never been a real biker, after all I just ride for fun and better health at 63+ and my usual ride limit is 24 mi. weekly total. Riding this lowly limit keeps me at my good fighting weight and for some odd reason I don't snore when I ride every week. This is awful scary to realize I will no longer be considered a real biker by Spring. I'll keep riding but my health might go to pot. Well, at least I will die looking good on that beautiful cruiser. What a beautiful bicycle. www.electrabike.com

  8. #333
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Part of the problem with cycling in North America is that the manufacturers have been catering to sporting enthusiasts for too long since that segment of potential customers seems more willing to buy what's touted as high-end products that can be sold for a premium. The normal person who wants a bike to ride for fun and transportation, either occasional or daily, has had very few products available. As a woman, I want to see 21-24 geared, step-through frames because I'd like to be able to mount and dismount easily when wearing a skirt. (Gee, yes there are those of us who don't want to ride in Lycra or race bikes all the time. We want to use bicycles for the purpose they were developed for--transportation. And manufacturers, please quit marketing women's bikes in pinks and pastel colors--I want classic black. ) Bike companies are behind auto manufacturers in the learning curve but are finally realizing they need to start considering the potential customer market presented by women. I may purchase a second bike next year and if I do, it's going to be a step-through frame.

  9. #334
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    I like that, "normal person who wants a bike to ride for fun and transportation, either occasional or daily". Including myself, I have a lot of friends who ride every week at least a few miles. They all ride Comfort and Cruiser bikes, single speeds, 3 & 7 speeds. One of my best friends, age 75 this month, still rides at a min. of 7 miles a day, most days 14 miles, on a very old heavy single speed. It was given to him by a widow of a friend. No name on the bike, on the writing "heavy duty".

    Step thru bikes? Take a look at Biria.com. These bikes get great reviews. I'm thinking of getting my wife one somewhere down the road.

  10. #335
    Junior Member TommyBoy1's Avatar
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    I personally would like to thank Electra for the Towny without it my wife would never have got back into riding. Being diagnosed with MS 10 years ago I had to do something to maintain her confidence and will. The Towny has provided a bike that she can ride easily and at slow speeds when her balance is an issue all she has to do is put her feet down. The first year we started back into biking she put over 500 miles on her bike. I am extremely proud of her for keeping going even when the MS tries to keep her down, and I am grateful for the Towny for having a bike she is comfortable enough to ride on.

  11. #336
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycletourist View Post
    mcbengie,

    you won't learn anything useful reading on this forum. Few people here actually think for themselves- they just regurgitate what they read in bicycling magazine. And they will all be happy to make up opinions about your bike without actually seeing or riding one. The only way you can find out how to improve your bike is to listen to the customers who actually buy them and ride them.
    Exactly>>>>>>>>>>>... right on the MARK. So much parroted fluff as with any "interest" forum.... boring.
    Last edited by SortaGrey; 12-14-09 at 01:38 PM.

  12. #337
    Senior Member trestlehed's Avatar
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    Just bought a 2nd Townie 24 speed I found on Craigslist for $225 (score!). Had it pimped it out with Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes. I had to buy a rear disc brake adapter kit from Brake Therapy (2bgoods.com). My 2nd Townie also has the Hobson Easy Seat 2 (version 1) ergonomic bike seat and Electra's bullhorn beach cruiser bars.
    The bike is very comfortable and looks fantastic as set up. See attached pics.

    The pic #4 shows 2 Hobson Easy Seats.
    The one on the left is the new Easy Seat 2 (version 2). The one on the right is the Easy Seat 2 (version 1). I prefer the latter (version 1) as it has longer seat pads compared to the newer version.
    Pic #5 shows a dumped out box of a whole lotta seats I went thru over the years until I found the Hobson Easy seats.

    Attention Electra Townie reps; Last year (2009) I talked on the phone with the Hobson seat creator and told him he needs to get with you guys. In my opinion the Easy Seat 2 is perfectly paired with the Townie for ultimate comfort. Your stock Townie seat is just another cheap, uncomfortable nutcracker and you guys could probably sell more Townies if the Easy Seat 2 was sold with your bike (or at least as an option).
    My 2 cents.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by trestlehed; 04-24-10 at 08:10 PM. Reason: add photos
    "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid"...

    1998 Santa Cruz Heckler (MTB)
    2002 Sun Easy Sport LE (Bent)
    Pimped out Electra Townie 24D

  13. #338
    Junior Member DownTownie's Avatar
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    Just bought myself a new 2010 Electra Townie 21D. Only ridden it around the block a few times.
    So far, so good.

    Hope to spend some time on the forum here.

    Jim

  14. #339
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    I just bought a townie 7d and it's a lovely ride. For now it suits my purpose which is to get out and enjoy cycling again. Love the retro look, I like the flat foot design although for me it isn't super necessary. At this point it's far more gentler on my back for getting back into cycling. I like the fact that I could hop on my bike in a skirt and zip around without a problem. I love bike riding and I'm falling in love with it all over again.

  15. #340
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    Bringing this thread back up from a few months past... I didn't want to start a new thread when there is so much good info in this one.

    I just picked up a Townie Sport 2200 with the 700c wheels today. The bike was on sale, and had a few tiny nicks on the crank so the manager of the store discounted it another 20%. I love the bike, and couldn't pass it up at $400. I have test ridden all the variations I could get my hands on - the single speed, 3i, 7d, 8i, 21d, sport tiagra, and this sport 2200 (16 speed). The 2200's 700c wheels and different saddle compared to the Townies with 26" tires did it for me. The tiagra was quite nice too but more than double the price of the discounted sport 2200. Compared to my single speed Bianchi Pista, this is a much more comfortable ride, and perfect for when I'm doing a casual ride with my GF while she's on her cruiser or just heading out for an easy ride around town. Can't wait to put some more miles on it tomorrow.

    The only drawbacks I've found in this short time I've had it is that the "lowest" (hill climbing) gear is not all that low. It seems other people have seen this issue as well and change the rear cassette. Additionally, the handlebars don't feel quite right to me. The height is quite high for my liking, and I feel that I would prefer them to angle in towards me a little... Kind of like cruiser handlebars. I will likely change the handlebars and/or to something with less rise and angles in towards the rider. Has anyone felt the same way and changed the handle bars? I'm thinking of something like the Velo Orange Tourist bar:

    http://www.velo-orange.com/touristbar.html


  16. #341
    calm down its just a bike kandyredcoi's Avatar
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    like most of you here being thankful of the Townie, I am also quite thankful!

    i got 55yo mother back on the saddle because of this bike...we spent a good few hours in a few bike shops trying out numerous types of bikes from cruisers to hybrids...but to her the flat foot technology is the end all be all...i am slowly getting her to do at least 15 miles per week and looking to get her around the 30miles per week mark by the end of the summer!!!

    2010 Electra Townie 7D

    almost everyone that tried it and rode it loved it

    Few people here actually think for themselves- they just regurgitate what they read in bicycling magazine. And they will all be happy to make up opinions about your bike without actually seeing or riding one.
    AMEN to this!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by cycletourist
    Few people here actually think for themselves- they just regurgitate what they read in bicycling magazine. And they will all be happy to make up opinions about your bike without actually seeing or riding one.
    Bicycles

  17. #342
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    Reading this thread reminds me that everyone has different thoughts on different bikes based on what they prefer and what they would not be seen on. My wife rides an Electra Townie and LOVES the upright posture that the bike gives. She likes the flatfoot design mostly because it is easy for stops at lights, etc. If it were not for this bike, she would not have gotten into riding as much as she has. I have also seen many of the men's versions that look pretty cool. I would not like one because I am more into a trek 7.2 FX for the fitness aspect. I also have a drop bar road bike. I guess what I'm saying is "Different strokes for different folks" If you are happy with your bike and it fits you, more power to you. Keep the TV off and get out and ride!

  18. #343
    tcs
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    Electra's flat foot frame design recently received a patent, nearly 7 years after they applied for one.

    US Patent 7740262.

    tcs

    PS - Patents are where engineering meets law, so if you're not used to reading them the specialized language and purpose-driven text will seem pretty strange.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  19. #344
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    I use a folder for commuting, a trike to haul groceries and I've test ridden and plan to get a crank forward bike (a Trek Pure) for leisure rides next.

    And even though the wheelbase is a little longer than I'd like, the ride on the crank-forward was relaxing compared to my folder

    It definitely promotes proper leg extension, which means that you don't have to put your seat way up to heaven, to get good pedaling efficiency. However, I'm 5 ft. 1 1/2 inches tall, and even with the seat all the way down, my feet weren't exactly flat on the ground. I think it left me on the balls of my feet.

    It does take some use to since you're initially pushing the pedal forward as oppose to pushing it down from the three o'clock position but that wasn't a biggie for me. since my trike is essentially a crank forward.

    Also since I'm on the short side, I found that I was more upright and leaning slightly forward in the saddle as oppose to seating back. However, I think that has more to do with my riding style than anything else. I have the same position on my trike even though I have high riser handlebars with a long back sweep.

    That being said, I can see why cyclist riding longer distances and times would not find these bikes relaxing. Being in an upright/semi reclining position can be uncomfortable after a while.

    BTW, the big advantage of a crank-forward bike is that you're able to stay on the saddle at stops rather than have to dismount and then power start to mount again.
    Last edited by SunnyFlorida; 09-16-10 at 08:43 PM.

  20. #345
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    My Townie. I ride this bike almost every day. I ride to work, to the grocery store, and to the laundromat.


  21. #346
    Senior Member wiredfoxterror's Avatar
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    That's the same color as mine - I like the red seat. I need new tires and I was thinking about red ones, now I need that seat.
    Foxye, the Floribbean

    2006 Trek Rail
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  22. #347
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiredfoxterror View Post
    That's the same color as mine - I like the red seat. I need new tires and I was thinking about red ones, now I need that seat.
    Mine's a 2006, too.

  23. #348
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    And I sold it! It is a good bike, but ultimately, I did not like the crank-forward design. Bought an old Raleigh and a new Trek Belleville mixte.

  24. #349
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilynne View Post
    And I sold it! It is a good bike, but ultimately, I did not like the crank-forward design. Bought an old Raleigh and a new Trek Belleville mixte.
    I'm curious. You said above that you rode your townie pratically every day. But in the end, you ultimately did not like the crank-forward design?

    Why? Curious minds want to know before slapping down some serious greens on a Trek Pure CF.

  25. #350
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    You should try it.... it takes awhile to get used to the ride.

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