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Old 10-06-10, 10:18 AM   #351
ilynne
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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.
It was harder to stand up on the bike. Some of my roads are very rough and I have to get out of the saddle. More difficult to start from a stop uphill -- you kind of had to push off as though it was a scooter. Very large bicycle, more difficult to maneuver up stairs.

I did ride it almost every day and did a lot of errands on it. It's a good bike, but I decided that I was happier with more traditional geometry. Sold it to a member of my bike club and she is happy as a clam.

Lots of people love them. Make sure you test ride that Pure.
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Old 10-06-10, 08:01 PM   #352
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Norman F & llynne - Thanks for the responses.

I've already test rode the Trek Pure and like it alot. It doesn't seem as big as the other CF's I've tried. Tomorrow I'm test riding a Fuji.

This is the second time I've heard about the CF's not doing well with hills. I guess they have the same problem as some recumbent models. Luckily for me I live in Florida, which is mainly flat country. .
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Old 10-07-10, 04:05 AM   #353
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CF's do well with hills... you just have use a different set of muscles to get up since you can't power over them by standing up.

In FL, it shouldn't be a problem with the flat terrain.
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Old 10-25-10, 12:02 PM   #354
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Norman F & llynne - Thanks for the responses.

I've already test rode the Trek Pure and like it alot. It doesn't seem as big as the other CF's I've tried. Tomorrow I'm test riding a Fuji.

This is the second time I've heard about the CF's not doing well with hills. I guess they have the same problem as some recumbent models. Luckily for me I live in Florida, which is mainly flat country. .
My wife and I have Trek Pure Sports, though I'm also a few weeks away from getting a FX. We got the Pure's primarily because at the time (August), my wife really wanted to get into riding, but did not know how, and had some fears. I think even when I get my FX, I'll keep the Pure. It's a fun casual ride. I have taken it up some long hills in Cincinnati, but you'll be fine with how flat it'll be.
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Old 10-25-10, 03:47 PM   #355
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Look at the thread title: recreational and family
It is not "REAL CYCLIST", no, it is for people like me who ride casually. My normal ride is 10 miles and I really don't time it, pace it, or cadence it.
You are the type that give REAL CYCLIST a bad rap. No one has asked you to ride one and I don't think they will so just CHILL brother...

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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
These "bikes" are for folks who ride for a few miles at a slow, casual pace on Saturday and Sunday only.
They are not REAL cyclists and these "bikes" are not REAL bicycles.


Personally, I wouldn't ride one. They look extremely uncomfortable to me.
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Old 10-31-10, 02:45 AM   #356
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You've never tried a CF.

They're very comfortable. It takes awhile to get up to speed on one.
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Old 11-08-10, 03:43 PM   #357
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I just wanted to say .... I recently bought an Electra Townie and I really really like it. I don't think I have actually ridden a bike more than a few blocks since I got my driver's license - almost 40 years ago So, I am almost 56 and I have had the bike for about six weeks and I have put 200 miles on it. Since I have a job that is 50 miles from my house, across two large bodies of water and the corresponding bridges, commuting is not really an option. So, yes, my cycling is pretty slow (just broke 10MPH average yesterday), casual and confined to the weekends.

I wouldn't presume to consider myself a REAL cyclist, nor the townie a REAL bicycle.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. I wonder if that second poster ever feels, um, that he may have been prematurely judgemental?

Nah.
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Old 06-26-11, 05:44 PM   #358
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I've not ridden an Electra specifically, but I have a bit of experience with the basic riding position from similar bikes. My wife can't ride an Electra; the curved top bar doesn't leave enough clearance for her. They generally work fine, with two caveats.
First, hill climbing. You HAVE to have granny gears on such a bike, because you can't just stand up in the pedals for any reason. If you can't spin, you walk. This is a problem with steep hills and with intersections.
Second, the angle. Standard seats are less than optimal for these bikes, but that's all they tend to have. You NEED to have some sort of back to the seat. It doesn't need to be much. When you add power on a standard bike, the force on the pedals lifts you more or less vertically out of the saddle. On the crank forward designs, the force is not perpendicular, so it pushes you backward. This is a bit awkward with a standard saddle, and results in a practical lower power output cap. In practical terms, I ended up having to pull myself forward by the handlebars, which was a bit annoying.
If I wanted to keep it looking classic, i'd use something like a banana seat with a back, to give an inch or four to push against.
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Old 07-08-11, 06:43 AM   #359
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I've not ridden an Electra specifically, but I have a bit of experience with the basic riding position from similar bikes. My wife can't ride an Electra; the curved top bar doesn't leave enough clearance for her. They generally work fine, with two caveats.
First, hill climbing. You HAVE to have granny gears on such a bike, because you can't just stand up in the pedals for any reason. If you can't spin, you walk. This is a problem with steep hills and with intersections.
Second, the angle. Standard seats are less than optimal for these bikes, but that's all they tend to have. You NEED to have some sort of back to the seat. It doesn't need to be much. When you add power on a standard bike, the force on the pedals lifts you more or less vertically out of the saddle. On the crank forward designs, the force is not perpendicular, so it pushes you backward. This is a bit awkward with a standard saddle, and results in a practical lower power output cap. In practical terms, I ended up having to pull myself forward by the handlebars, which was a bit annoying.
If I wanted to keep it looking classic, i'd use something like a banana seat with a back, to give an inch or four to push against.
This "pulling yourself forward by the handlebars" is exactly how Randy Schlitter of Rans bikes describes the method of accelerating up hills on a CF. You do get used to it, but some people hate it and want to stand up.

There is a "trade off" in everything in life, IMHO! Go with what works for you!

And I almost bought a Townie 7D, except I liked the Fuji just a bit more in the area of "fit"-a personal thing.

As for "real cyclists", a cyclist is one who rides a bicycle. I am sick and tired of all the snobbery among people who ride a bicycle or tricycle.

Just mind your own "Ps and Qs" and get out there and ride!

Last edited by ChiliDog; 07-08-11 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 07-09-11, 02:51 AM   #360
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Must really be something to this Townie, since this thread has persisted for 7.5 years.

Wife has talked about a bike, and I doubt she'd get back on her old racer.

Might have to use deception to get her into the LBS this weekend to at least look at Townies.
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Old 07-09-11, 07:04 PM   #361
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Must really be something to this Townie, since this thread has persisted for 7.5 years.

Wife has talked about a bike, and I doubt she'd get back on her old racer.

Might have to use deception to get her into the LBS this weekend to at least look at Townies.
Even with my current choice of a Fuji, I still think I might own a Townie too at some point. I did not like the color selections that I was able to see. Perhaps a used, older one at some point...love those pastels!

I hope you get her in to ride one...I think she would love it!
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Old 03-20-12, 07:00 PM   #362
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Just Bought One!

First the background. Ridden all my life and owned more bikes than I can remember. Current inventory: Bike Friday NWT, Specialized Roubaix, Original Stumpjumper, and now an Electra Townie Euro 8d. Went to the bike shop last Saturday to talk to my friends, owners, and staff about a new bike for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal later this year. We looked at everything, but they finally talked me into hopping on a Townie. 2 miles later, I was hooked! The gearing seems about right for the fairly flat C&O, and I was stunned at the fairly light weight. Head up, hands out, and feet in the right place-great geometry for the trail I think. I will probably be needing to always scope out the trail ahead. Rack seems substantial as I will be self contained within my panniers. Overall, I was absolutely shocked at what a great bike it is, especially the weight. Fit and finish seem pretty good, and although the components aren't ultegra or 105, they seem sturdy and competent enough. Looks like FUN ahead.
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Old 03-21-12, 05:11 PM   #363
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nm88325 wrote:
Quote:
and although the components aren't ultegra or 105, they seem sturdy and competent enough.
My Townie has well over 2500 miles on it now (this is a guesstimate as I went a few months between bike computers). All drive-train components still work flawlessly. I'm impressed because most of my other bikes have Shimano XT components, so I thought the Townie was gonna need to be upgraded to better stuff fairly quickly... I was wrong.

The only parts I had to change-out were the cheap pedals (one of them seized up after 1 month), and the stock seat as it was horribly uncomfortable.
I read on here that the bottom bracket on these Townies don't last long, but so far I've had no problem with that either.

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Old 07-20-12, 05:20 AM   #364
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I'm going to checkout a Townie today. I wish they made a Townie with 700c wheels. The townie might be the perfect bicycle for me due to injuries.
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Old 07-23-12, 07:20 AM   #365
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Just wanted to say I rode my BIL's Townie Balloon 8d this past weekend and it is the coolest bike I have ever ridden. So chill, the position is ubber comfortable. I typically ride for fitness at around 15mph, so this was just a very different experience.

Unfortunately where I live I'm not sure how much use it would get if I bought one right now. We have a nice culdisack, but just out of our neighborhood is a busy street that would not lend it self to this in any way. At some point I would love to grab one, maybe when my kids are little older and I can think about carting us all off to someplace to ride.
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Old 08-09-12, 05:55 AM   #366
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Been searching for where my third bike belongs? First one is Bob the foldie, second one is a Bianchi Racer, and third one is my gorgeous (rather self indulgent) Electra Townie 7D - which i utterly adore. The ride is a nice break from my other two bikes and i've never had so many comments about a bike. I warn you - it's ridiculously girlie! Oh and for anyone who was saying they aren't for real cyclists, I'm a firm believer in there being a bike for anyone, and anyone who rides is a cyclist in my mind. Personally i know a few people with Cruisers and we all have other bikes - each for a different purpose. My townie is absolutely awesome when my back is playing up, for anyone who has injuries stopping them cycling.

Behold - Bobarella!

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Old 10-13-12, 09:25 PM   #367
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I bought a Townie 7d last week. I'm badly out of shape, I'm old and I have a broken back and an easy dozen other back ailments (scoliosis, arthritis, bad knees, etc) and riding other types of bikes is painful for me.
The Townie allows me to sit perfectly upright and I have no pain riding it! And I have no desire to do any crazy distance or competition riding. I just want to ride 4 to 6 miles a day, every day to try and lose weight.
I'm in no hurry, I just putt-putt around all casual like and enjoy the scenery. This was just exactly what I needed.. I did discover the disadvantage when I tried to ride up an incline at a store, I found it rather tough going but the incline was only like 10 feet long so no big deal. Where I live everything is 100% dead flat for 300 miles in every direction so I'm not worried about the occasional convenience store incline.

If you have a complete screwed up back, this is a GREAT bike and I suggest you give it serious consideration.

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Old 11-10-12, 05:51 PM   #368
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I ordered a Townie 21D Tall (recommended for 6'3" or taller) in late-April and received it in mid-June. I'm 6'3" and have two fused cervical vertebrae so I needed a bike where my neck would be in a more neutral position as opposed to being in extension most of the ride as it is while riding my MTB.

Electra just started making the Townie in the Tall version this year (2012) and it fits me perfectly. I have to say, I have never enjoyed riding a bike more in my life (I'm 43). I still love MTB riding but this Townie has really opened my eyes to how fun it can be to ride streets/paths/boardwalks, etc.

Some say the forward peddling bothers their knees. My experience has been the opposite. I have frequent knee pain and the forward peddling does not bother them any more than not riding. I made a few alterations to the bike (seat, pedals, grips, etc.) and the components are certainly not anywhere near my MTB as far as quality goes but the Townie only cost a third of what my MTB cost. In my mind, this bike was certainly worth every penny of the $530 it cost.

So, if your situation is similar to mine, definitely put the Townie on your list of bikes to try out!
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Old 02-04-14, 06:35 AM   #369
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If you can't beat 'em - buy 'em!
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Old 02-28-14, 07:07 AM   #370
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Wow the townie sure is controversial. I bought one for my daughter a couple years ago, when we brought it home, I rode it around the driveway and went and bought myself a 7D. It is a great bike to take camping, flat foot when stopped means less drama with the start and stop of a campground ride. Very fun bike. I have taken it out on my "fitness" ride a few times also, slower but still gets it done. I am a Fan.
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Old 03-08-14, 08:20 PM   #371
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I'm hoping to get to my LBS to try a Townie this year. I started cycling again last year after several decades away from it. I currently have a Schwinn cruiser which I love except for one thing - I just do not feel comfortable when I can't have my feet flat on the ground. Maybe this feeling will eventually pass, but for now, I'd like to have a bike that I can feel completely comfortable with. The Townie sounds as if it will fill the bill.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:05 PM   #372
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I love my Townie. My typical ride on it is about 10 miles, but I have done a lot of 20 mile rides and even a 25 mile ride with lots of hills. I always get looks when I pass people, but that thing is so comfortable and pretty quick for a cruiser. On my 10 miles rides I average 16 mph. Not bad for a fat guy on a cruiser.
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Old 04-04-14, 01:45 PM   #373
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I am a 40 something who is just going back to cycling. I am short (4'11") and though I loved the handling of the electra townie, it was a bit too big (given that I want to reach the ground sitting on the seat). I tried the Townie 24" wheel and was incredibly dissapointed. The handling was completely different. Of course I could reach the ground perfectly but the bicycle felt less stable, a bit on the wobbly side. I tried them back to back several times and all the times I felt the same difference. If the one with 24" wheels had felt as stable as the 26", I would have bought it right that second (despite that it only comes in a boring vanilla color). Maybe MR McBengie can explain why they feel so different and if there is a chance they will start making the 26" in a smaller size, or fix the issue.

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Old 04-16-14, 08:55 PM   #374
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Is there a down side to the 7d balloon? I've ridden it a few times now after stopping in my local Trek store for various things, and I am about to pull the trigger on it.
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Old 04-17-14, 06:18 AM   #375
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Is there a down side to the 7d balloon? I've ridden it a few times now after stopping in my local Trek store for various things, and I am about to pull the trigger on it.
It's a fine bike. The most important thing is: does it work for you? (it sounds like it does if you're about to buy it.)

1) Buy it.
2) Ride it.
3) Repeat step 2.

Cheers,
Charles
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