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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    If I were Electra, I'd be suing Giant for patent infringement.
    The geometry of the Townie was introduced by the Danish company Sofacykel in 1935. See Gunnar Fehlau's book The Recumbent Bicycle Out Your Backdoor Press, 2004.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by richking1953
    The geometry of the Townie was introduced by the Danish company Sofacykel in 1935. See Gunnar Fehlau's book The Recumbent Bicycle Out Your Backdoor Press, 2004.
    There are darned few "new" ideas with bikes. I have several books of bike history, and I see a suspension system KHS promoted in 2004 in a phot of a bike from around 1898. What Electra IS doing is promoting this concept of a "lower" bike as an alternative to standard bikes. Sometimes even the best idea needs a good promoter to become popular....by all reports, Electra is run by a good promoter.

    I have a number of older friends who resist riding bikes. They won't admit it, but I can tell from their behavior during rare bike rides that they are uncomfortable not being able to easily get their feet on the ground. These "flat foot" designs may not appeal to the folks who already ride four or five days a week, but may be "just right" for people who are riding only four or five times a year...a good way to get them riding more and then being more willing to ride a bike with traditional geometry.

    In the USA, with a population approaching 300 million people, there are about 100 million people who have been on a bike here and there, but only about 30 million or so folks who ride day after day, week after week.

    For some odd reason, most bike companies direct all of their promotional and marketing efforts at the 30 million regular riders ("time to upgrade...27 speeds are not enough..."), while ignoring the 70 million "sometimes" riders, and another 100 million people who never ride.

    The folks at Electra are trying to expand the number of people who are regular bike riders. It may be a losing battle, but God bless them for trying. If this thread gets two or three new people out on a bike, it is worth the bandwidth that has been consumed.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 02-21-05 at 10:05 PM.

  3. #203
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    With greatest respect alanbikehouston, and I know where you are coming from, the idea of comfort on any bike has much more to do with education. This means getting people to understand why certain things are done they way they are done, and why adjustment and size and fit are all so important to achieving the end point -- comfort. At least, that is my experience in training adults to become cyclists, ranging in age from mid-20s through to late 60s (predominantly 50+).

    And before randya and others get on my back about me posting and "bumping" this thread at the same time, it is impossible to bump a thread when it is at the top of the list.

    Incidentally, my beef is not necessarily with the product. Read my previous posts, and you will see it is in regard to the blatant commercialism of the thread. For a start, the Townie is no longer new. And a thread on Surlys in another forum was posted yesterday and rapidly moved to a more apprropiate forum.

    I repeat, maybe this one should be moved, too.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    There are darned few "new" ideas with bikes. I have several books of bike history, and I see a suspension system KHS promoted in 2004 in a phot of a bike from around 1898. What Electra IS doing is promoting this concept of a "lower" bike as an alternative to standard bikes. Sometimes even the best idea needs a good promoter to become popular....by all reports, Electra is run by a good promoter.

    I have a number of older friends who resist riding bikes. They won't admit it, but I can tell from their behavior during rare bike rides that they are uncomfortable not being able to easily get their feet on the ground. These "flat foot" designs may not appeal to the folks who already ride four or five days a week, but may be "just right" for people who are riding only four or five times a year...a good way to get them riding more and then being more willing to ride a bike with traditional geometry.

    In the USA, with a population approaching 300 million people, there are about 100 million people who have been on a bike here and there, but only about 30 million or so folks who ride day after day, week after week.

    For some odd reason, most bike companies direct all of their promotional and marketing efforts at the 30 million regular riders ("time to upgrade...27 speeds are not enough..."), while ignoring the 70 million "sometimes" riders, and another 100 million people who never ride.

    The folks at Electra are trying to expand the number of people who are regular bike riders. It may be a losing battle, but God bless them for trying. If this thread gets two or three new people out on a bike, it is worth the bandwidth that has been consumed.
    My comment about the Sofacykel only meant that perhaps Electra would not have grounds for suing the me-toos because there was "prior art" on this concept before the Townie.
    I think the Townie and it's clones are a good idea, especially for novice cyclists. When she was about 40 my Mom tried getting back into cycling after a many year hiatus, and had a bad fall when she needed to stop suddenly and didn't get her feet down in time, thus turning her away from biking. A "flat-footed" bike whould have prevented that.
    [For some odd reason, most bike companies direct all of their promotional and marketing efforts at the 30 million regular riders ("time to upgrade...27 speeds are not enough..."), while ignoring the 70 million "sometimes" riders, and another 100 million people who never ride.
    The folks at Electra are trying to expand the number of people who are regular bike riders...
    ]
    I agree

  5. #205
    mld
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    Just another Townie fan here. I discovered the Townie 24 last year and love it. Four years ago both of my feet were amputated, and though I could ride my road bike again, it was real scary because my feet were tied to the pedals to stay on -- BECAUSE typical cranksets are just straight down. The Townie crankset is forward, so I can keep my feet on the pedals with minimal continuous pressure. Yeah, it's not right for a 100 mile hill ride, but you know, I am pretty thrilled to go 10 miles from where I started with a LOT Less energy expenditure than walking AND a view. (And my 12 year old son is always trying to borrow it, maybe because it has a ladies frame -- why don't they make kids' bikes without that really high top tube?) Granted the seat looks dorky, it stears a bit wide. I put a different handlebar on with no rise, and I wish they made a rear rack. But it gets me riding safely and comfortably, with lots less hard bumps than with my road bike, and IN traffic. You know Rowan, no one plans to someday need or want a different style of bike to still ride, but when you find what works for you, you just go with it even though it's "different". Or would you just curl up in a ball, and not ride anymore because it's not as cool-looking as before?

  6. #206
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    I was in a bike shop yesterday. A lady was there with her eight year old daughter. The little girl was excited because her Mom was getting a bike, and now they can ride together.

    The lady was about forty. She told me she had not been on a bike for twenty years, but that her daughter had talked her into giving it another try. When I left the shop, she was out in the parking lot, giving her new Townie a "test drive". She looked like a kid on getting a birthday present.

    And, SHE is what this sort of bike is all about. Getting folks on a bike who might hesitate to get on most bikes. I suspect the Townie is going to get her riding. And, when here "riding confidence" is stronger, she may be back to get a road bike, or a mountain bike...you know what they say..."recreational stuff" leads you down the road to the "harder stuff".

  7. #207
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    I was in a bike shop yesterday. A lady was there with her eight year old daughter. The little girl was excited because her Mom was getting a bike, and now they can ride together.

    The lady was about forty. She told me she had not been on a bike for twenty years, but that her daughter had talked her into giving it another try. When I left the shop, she was out in the parking lot, giving her new Townie a "test drive". She looked like a kid on getting a birthday present.

    And, SHE is what this sort of bike is all about. Getting folks on a bike who might hesitate to get on most bikes. I suspect the Townie is going to get her riding. And, when here "riding confidence" is stronger, she may be back to get a road bike, or a mountain bike...you know what they say..."recreational stuff" leads you down the road to the "harder stuff".
    "Mom, can we ride our bikes to the store instead?"

    Don't forget the new "Suede", by Giant.
    Last edited by Dchiefransom; 03-06-05 at 12:19 PM.

  8. #208
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    Besides Electra Townie, who else makes flat footed bicycles
    Roger

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger B
    Besides Electra Townie, who else makes flat footed bicycles
    Roger
    Trek and Giant. Actually, any bike can be a "flat foot" bike if you put the saddle low enough. The problem is the rider won't be able to get full leg extension while pedaling.

    I bought a traditional style beach cruiser for a friend of mine. She insists on putting the saddle low enough to put both feet on the ground at stop signs. Putting the saddle low to the ground with a "traditional" bike makes it impossible for her to get full leg extension while she is riding with her feet on the pedals, but she feels "safer" sitting lower to the ground. As with many adults, she does not ride often enough to feel relaxed on a bike...but she won't ride more often until she has a bike that feels comfortable.

    If she traded her "traditional" cruiser for a cruiser with a "flat foot" design, my friend could have BOTH full leg extension with her feet on the pedals, and the ability to put both feet flat on the ground at stop signs.

    The best way to see how a bike works is to ride it. If you are interested in a bike of this type, find a dealer who will let you borrow one to see how you like it.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 03-16-05 at 02:14 PM.

  10. #210
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    QUOTE=alanbikehouston]... Actually, any bike can be a "flat foot" bike if you put the saddle low enough...[/QUOTE]
    I thought the idea of the Townie and other flat footers was to change the bike geometry by tilting the seat tube back and sliding the bottom bracket forward. This rotates the rider's position back compared to a typical cruiser or comfort bike, and allows the saddle to be low enough for the feet to touch the ground while still allowing full leg extension
    Rich
    Rans Rocket; Montague CX; Dahon Helios SL

  11. #211
    Ranzak
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    Wow a thread full of ... opinions. It is so obvious which of the posters have not ridden a Townie. I have ridden bikes all my life and all I can say is you have to be a pretty jaded ...person to not "get" the appeal of the Townie. I have tried and tried to get my wife to ride a "real" bike for 2 decades one spin around the LBS parking lot was all it took to convince her. I'm buying the 21 tomorrow. Now its not my choice but hey to get someone off their butt and outside it will work for many.

  12. #212
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    Thank you so much for this bicycle! I have some lower back problems and my neck gets beaten up on my hybrid.....I hopped on my Townie (got it for my birthday), and just smiled as I road up the street.
    It reminds me of the my first bike (a cruiser back in '60). Thanks again,,,It doesn't hurt to ride.

  13. #213
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    Well, you guys really got my curiousity going on the Electra Townie. Did a lot of research, but not a lot of info out there. Went to a dealer to see and check out one. Finally ordered one. Arrived yesterday. I am the proud owner of a Townie 8! Got about 4 miles on her yesterday afternoon. Snowed today so it sat in the garage. She is a real sweet heart. Fit and finish is great. Nice welds. Nicely geared. Rides nice, the little I have done so far. Been away from bikes since the very early '80s. Had a Peugeot 10 speed which I picked up at the PX in West Berlin, Germany. West Berlin was a very good place for riding. The cars looked out for you instead of aiming at you! Looks like I will be plowing the driveway tomorrow, so I will just have to wait to get her out again.

  14. #214
    Greetings Earthlings! bcspain's Avatar
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    If you don't ride this bike or that one you're not a real cyclist? I guess if you don't drive a 4wd Dodge you're not really driving either. If you don't buy groceries at the right store you're not really eating, and if the lable on your water bottle is wrong you're really still thirsty.

    HORSE-HOCKEY!

    I guess there's one in every group. Sheesh.

    I ride department store bikes 40 or 50 miles a week, and talk to people all over the area via ham radio while I'm doing it. And I have a great time too. Get lots of fresh air, sunshine and exercise. Am I a purist? Absolutely. I love riding, and being outdoors.

    For cryin out loud..."these are not real bikes...not real cyclists".....my ass.

    Sorry, that lit my fuse. Climbing down off soap box now.

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcbengie
    Good catch Joe, yes I am one of the founders of Electra. I am very glad to see an intrest for the Townie ... and I like to read eveybodies opinion, because it will help us to make better bikes and get more people to ride.
    We have been making bikes for the casual rider for 11 years, because we belive there is a ton of people who would love to make cycling part of their live without becoming a serious cyclist.
    I think its great a company exec. is interested in what people might say about thier product !
    A lot of the comments I see here are negative and people saying its not thier version of
    what a 'real' bike should be so obviously that stuff is best ignored. I have a basement full of bikes.
    I love them all. One of the greatest things about bicycling is the diversity of products and people
    from conservative to out-and-out wacky ! I have used a SoCal style chopper to commute on as
    well as hybrids and ancient 10 speeds....I loved them all. To sum up this bore 'd force, my
    wife and I saw for the first time last nite some of the Electra's at a Bike Line store far from our
    house. My wife instantly fell in love with a Pink Towny and after setting it up for her she was
    very comfortable on it and said she would have no problem riding it daily. I looked at the chopper
    stuff and was totally blown away at the anarchist, diversion from status-quo or 'real' bike
    engineering. All bikes have thier place. If some one is inspired to ride on a non 'real' bike, more
    power to them ! We will be getting our Towny next time we visit my Sons school where this
    Bike Line was.

  16. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalflash
    if he canīt bear to read dissenting opinions I would suggest that he stays away from internet forums

    I don't think the dissenting opinion is the problem. I think the attitude of "not real bikes and not real cyclists" is part of the problem - and when the opinions that called that an elitist attitude or the opinions of many who like the Townie increased - you asked to have the thread closed. Who doesn't like dissenting opinions?

    I am a newbie who has read this entire thread. I just discovered it and through it the Townie. I bought one yesterday and I LOVE IT. My 60 yr old mother is now buying one so we can pretend to be cyclists together. My husband is going to buy a bike a bit more masculine looking than the Townie (although still probably what you would consider not a real one) because my newfound joy is contagious.

    My credentials - overweight, middle age mother of a 1 year old. Haven't ridden a bike in 15 years (are the old 10 speeds considered "real"?) Now, I feel like a kid and can't get the smile off my face when I'm on the pretend bike. This was a birthday present for me and my daughter - I also got a bike trailer for her. We are both kids now. I love it. I love it. I love it. I feel 10 years old.

    I must say I should have stayed a lurker, I can gather the information I need that way but I was also taken aback by the negativity. I probably won't post as I don't feel that I have anything to add and that's my own judgement call BUT if you don't like to read posts that aren't adding anything new in your opinion (as you suggested when asking to close the thread), I suggest that you stay away from internet forums. Hm?
    Last edited by powellks; 04-02-05 at 04:02 PM.

  17. #217
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    I really want one. I think the idea of having a comfort bike to cruise around in is cool. Not like anyone is less of a cyclist to take on a Townie, but if that's what you like, who are we to look down on them? I like cycling most of all because it's environmentally friendly and healthy.

    Over 22 thousand hits and people are still harping on this bike. Electra must be over the moon at all this free advertisement!

    Koffee

  18. #218
    One Tough Cookie. Black Bud's Avatar
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    The "Townie" (and bikes like that) do not appeal TO ME!

    However, if I could ever get my mother on a bike...that would be the most likely candidate (the flat-foot cruiser, especially if it were a step-through) for her. I just cannot see her on anything else (except, maybe, a "Breezer" U-frame Town Bike) ...more than once-or-twice...she'd be too afraid, at "her age" (she's 68...and..I know, Denver...but that's her "problem"...I can't do anything about it!). She'd just fear that she'd get seriously hurt if she should fall down. (That's her excuse now.)

    THAT'S the "true" market for bikes like the "Townie": People who do not have the confidence to ride a more
    "normal" bike.

    Will some people start with a "Townie", and then graduate to a diamond-frame or recumbent bike? Sure they will. Why should we make fun of people who start on a bike we wouldn't use?

    People have to start somewhere ....!
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work!!

    My discussion board, another resource for the "utility" and commuter cyclist: "Two Wheeled Commuter: The Everyday Cyclist"

  19. #219
    Ranzak
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    Well today is three weeks since I bought my new road bike and asked my LBS to get in a certain Electra Townie model for my wife. Any one else's LBS having trouble getting Electra bikes in stock??

  20. #220
    Ranzak
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    Finally LBS has gotten the Lt. Blue Townie 21 in and built and I'm going to pick up for my wife as soon as they open this morning!! Too bad it will be raining when she gets off work. Well we can sit inside and look at it!
    Ok just got home with new bike and it is fantastic. Now I want one. Instant smile machine.

    And the rain is holding perhaps long enough for wife to get home to ride. Yea!
    Last edited by Ranzak; 04-12-05 at 10:44 AM.

  21. #221
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    I think they're cool, cool, COOL! And I am "itchin'" to ride one! I just wish Electra would make the prices known on their website!
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  22. #222
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    THe Townie 21 retails for $399 and the 24 for $499. Not sure of others because these were the only ones I considered. The 21 has a very nice range of gears perfect for the out of shape rider. A simply wonderful machine.
    My wife has ridden 4 out of 6 days truly a miracle.

  23. #223
    The new bee in town JenM's Avatar
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    I think your'e in the wrong forum. This is for recreational and family cyclists, who are real riders riding real bikes, even if you don't like them. The Townies look great and super-comfy, and will get a lot of people out of their cars and onto the bike paths. And that's what makes a real cyclist!

  24. #224
    The new bee in town JenM's Avatar
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    Your'e a good husband.

  25. #225
    ksk
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    I picked up a Townie 8 last week. After 27 years with my road bike (Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2) I needed a new bike due to arm discomfort when riding. I first looked at entry level comfort and hybrid bikes (to sit more upright). I found the quality of the components to be lacking, especially the front derailleurs. I almost purchased a Raleigh SC200 with the SRAM Dual Drive rear hub to eliminate the front derailleur. I happened upon info on the Nexus 8 hub. I liked the concept. While questioning the the guy at the LBS about which bikes had this hub, he asked if I had seen the Electra line. I had not. They had a Townie 7 built so I took it for a test ride. Love at first ride. The only thing I did not like about the Townie 7 was the rear coaster brake. They had a Townie 8 in stock but not built. I told him to build it and I would be back. I test drove this and bought the bike. I was not planning on spending that much, $679, but if I keep this bike for 27 years, it will only cost me $2.10 a month!!

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