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  1. #1
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    Electra's New Townie

    I just noticed an ad in Bicycling on Electra's new "Townie" bikes with radical geometry. It seems like Electra cleaned up the entire line and is now banking it's future on this new Townie with low seat, roadster style frame that supposed to be more comfortable than anything out there.

    http://www.electrabike.com/townie/home_new.html

    It seems like Electra is promoting that cyclists should be riding "flat foot" on the peddle instead of simply using the top of the arch. I looked at the low riding position and it seems like you're sitting too low on the saddle even though the peddales are further away. Wouldn't this cause knee pain?

    How many people here think that Electra is simply pulling our leg?

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    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.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  3. #3
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    >>>>Personally, I wouldn't ride one. They look extremely uncomfortable to me.<<<<<

    I was wondering if anyone tested this bike because it seems like a marketing ploy to get people to buy these cruisers. What I would like to know is if there's some truth to riding this low and how efficient it would be.

    Looking at the bike's geometry, the leg does appear to be extended as the seat is set back, sort of like a recumbent.

    Probably the only thing I can say is if you're going to be sitting straight up, you should have a Brooks saddle.

  4. #4
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    I can't get my wife to ride much because she does not feel safe unless she can sit on the "seat" while placing her feet flat on the ground. I adjusted her bike this way and now when she is at the top of the cycle stroke her knee is almost in her face.

    I think that this bike is for neophytes like my wife. I don’t know if they did any testing after construction, but I’ll bet they did market testing to see what the non-riding adult wants in a bike.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  5. #5
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    Townie

    I think the Townie is a great idea, I got to ride one at the Interbike Demo Day and I have to say, these bikes ride nice. They are very comfortable and efficient and the best part - they don't look odd! I also think it will open up cycling to a whole new audience - and that is really what we need. I heard they will be out in multiple dealers in about a week or two - if you guys get to ride one, let me know what you think.

  6. #6
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    It seems like Electra is promoting that cyclists should be riding "flat foot" on the peddle instead of simply using the top of the arch. I looked at the low riding position and it seems like you're sitting too low on the saddle even though the peddales are further away. Wouldn't this cause knee pain?

    How many people here think that Electra is simply pulling our leg?
    What they're saying is that many people, inexperienced cyclists particularly, are uncomfortable unless they can put their feet flat on the ground when stopped. That's very true.

    So what they've done is to start with design principles borrowed from recumbents -- move the seat back and the bottom bracket forward so that you can get proper leg extension without being high off the ground -- and apply them to a more conventional-looking bike.

    There's no reason a bike like the Townie has to be any less efficient than a recumbent. As marketed, it's not a high-end bike (heavy, fat tires, low-end components) but that's not the fault of the geometry.

    Giant has a similar (but weirder-looking) design for 2004. I believe they and Electra are onto something, and have come up with the solution for the many very overweight, out-of-shape people who would like to ride but are just plain, flat-out afraid to.

    RichC
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  7. #7
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcbengie
    I think the Townie is a great idea, I got to ride one at the Interbike Demo Day and I have to say, these bikes ride nice. They are very comfortable and efficient and the best part - they don't look odd! I also think it will open up cycling to a whole new audience - and that is really what we need. I heard they will be out in multiple dealers in about a week or two - if you guys get to ride one, let me know what you think.
    Funny how you placed the "http://www.electrabike.com" URL in your profile. So are you the CEO? What is your position at electra?

  8. #8
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    I'd really like to ride one. They look like a great idea for a boardwalk/townie bike. Only issue would be standing to mash up a hill which I don't think you could pull off with that geometry. However, for people just looking to get out for a ride I think it's a darn good idea.
    Not everybody thinks then NEED to put a foot down flat, but there have been times when I've stoped to talk to someone that it would have been great to remain seated, feet down flat and just chat.

  9. #9
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    townie

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Gardner
    Funny how you placed the "http://www.electrabike.com" URL in your profile. So are you the CEO? What is your position at electra?
    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. And in many cases we have introduced people to cycling by making it fun and not scary - many of these people became serious cyclists after all. If you get a change try one yourself ... oh and yes unlike recumbents you can stand up while riding up hill.

  10. #10
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcbengie
    Good catch Joe, yes I am one of the founders of Electra.
    So next time you post about it maybe you should add a disclaimer, eh? Stealth posting in online forums is fraudulent, and does not dispose the reader to look kindly on the company that does it.

    RichC
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Clark
    So next time you post about it maybe you should add a disclaimer, eh? Stealth posting in online forums is fraudulent, and does not dispose the reader to look kindly on the company that does it.

    RichC
    Rich,
    I understand and apologize to all the members of this forum. Is there any way we can get the subject back to the Townie ... ?

  12. #12
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #13
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    I've been browsing thru the electrabike.com website. The more I look at the townie the more I like it. I want one of these bikes. Too bad I can't afford it ride now.

  14. #14
    Almost Immortal The Rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycletourist
    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...
    Ouch!
    "Ignorance begets confidence more frequently than does knowledge." -Charles Darwin


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  15. #15
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    I'm trying to think the last time I have even picked up a bike magazine? I would guess well over a year now.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    I think the design is a good concept. Just because it departs from the "norm" doesn't mean it's not good. If people will be more comfortable riding a bike like this, then it will be good for cycling.
    Who are we to say what a serious cyclist is? There are recumbent riders on Lowracer recumbents that ride as much as any other cyclist, and sit on trainers indoors in bad weather to keep in shape. I've seen them post their results for century rides that were under 4 hours.

  17. #17
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to get one of these for RAGBRAI next year.

  18. #18
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    I may get one of these for my wife. Maybe she will go riding with me then.

    She wants to be able to reach the ground with her foot while she is seated. This design would help her feel secure without having to pedal with her knees in her chest.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  19. #19
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycletourist
    I'm tempted to get one of these for RAGBRAI next year.
    Hehe. Don't forget the "drink" holder accessory.

  20. #20
    Senior Member shecky's Avatar
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    FWIW, Sheldon Brown had nice words to say about one he rode at Interbike:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/lasvegas/

    Still, at $720, I have trouble thinking of this as a low end bike.

  21. #21
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    Sheldon Brown seemed to like it.

    It's possible that a seat low enough to drag a foot or two on the road while still having good pedal extension might be useful in winter cycling.

    I'd like to ride it and see what I think.

    Paul

  22. #22
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    Hey! It looks O/k.

    Nothing wrong with a little inovation to cycle design,especially if it encourages more people to get out of their smelly poluting Autos.

    I`m sure if anyone test rides this bike and it appeals to those looking for comfort in cycling above anything else ,then good luck to the producers they seem to have a good formula here...

  23. #23
    Newbie cmuhlstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shecky
    Still, at $720, I have trouble thinking of this as a low end bike.
    I too was thinking about one for my wife. Helens Cycles in Santa Monica has a great selection and they average $350 to $500 less 10% off if you belong to a qualifying bike club. Ask for George.

  24. #24
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    electra townie 24

    My wife and I are life long bicyclists. Both about 50 yrs. old and have been looking throughly the last couple of weeks for new bikes. We are both are tried of our mountain bikes. Looking at hybrids and the like we discovered comfort bikes. We have ridden many new models(hybrids) and we believe Electra is onto something. We have a price quote of $409. each for the townie 24 model, a fork shocked 24 speed(derailer). The $750 (quoted @ $625) model 8 is a internal geared hub 8 speed and we feel over priced even with the better componets. Both of us are adding seat post shocks and a rear rack. Mountain climbing isn't our thing but I can say a little hill in our testing wasn't a problem. Try it and shop around for bottom line price. Bye

  25. #25
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    I do think for myself and have not regurgitated in the usual way in years. When i use material from a bicycle magazine it is from A to B.

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