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Old 08-12-04, 05:37 PM   #1
lobo
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Some 'Electra' bike questions for you..

I have some questions I hope some of you can help me with.

1. Someone once told me that because of an upright seating position that it is very difficult for a comfort bike such as these to go very fast. If so, why offer such a bike with 21 or 24 speeds? Wouldn't anything over the 8 speed nexus be pretty overkill for this type of bike?

2. Is this something you can ride a century on? My wifes Trek Navigator 400 (8 speed nexus) equipped bike is VERY comfortable. However I can't stand to even ride it for more than 5 miles. The fat seat just puts my ass to sleep. If the answer is no, what if you swapped the seat for a springer brooks?

3. I've noticed that a larger number of purchasers purchased the Townie 21 over the 24 and the price difference is a bit minimal. Why would anyone purchase a Townie 21 over a Townie 24?

4. About how much do a Townie 21/24 weigh? I'm going to assume the Nexus equipped models are tanks.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-12-04, 07:17 PM   #2
shecky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobo
1. Someone once told me that because of an upright seating position that it is very difficult for a comfort bike such as these to go very fast. If so, why offer such a bike with 21 or 24 speeds? Wouldn't anything over the 8 speed nexus be pretty overkill for this type of bike?
The number of gears a bike boasts has no relation to how "fast" it is.



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Originally Posted by lobo
2. Is this something you can ride a century on? My wifes Trek Navigator 400 (8 speed nexus) equipped bike is VERY comfortable. However I can't stand to even ride it for more than 5 miles. The fat seat just puts my ass to sleep. If the answer is no, what if you swapped the seat for a springer brooks?
It's likely a skinny seat would do your ass no favors, either. Is it possible to ride a century on it? Sure, if you're man enough. It's possible to ride a century on a high wheeler, too. Thing is, though, seems the Townie was never intended to do centuries. I suspect the Townie was meant for riding "around town". If you want to do long journeys on the thing, you'll probably want a saddle that you could sit in comfortably, in your living room, for hours. Unlike a conventional bike, the saddle will bear almost all the weight of the rider.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lobo
3. I've noticed that a larger number of purchasers purchased the Townie 21 over the 24 and the price difference is a bit minimal. Why would anyone purchase a Townie 21 over a Townie 24?
According to the website, the retail price difference is $100 USD. Considering 24 speed probably won't get you where you're going any faster or with less effort than 21, I'd probably consider the 21 first.



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Originally Posted by lobo
4. About how much do a Townie 21/24 weigh? I'm going to assume the Nexus equipped models are tanks.
I've no idea how much they weigh. Even if you ran it as a brakeless fixed gear, I suspect they're heavier than a comparably priced conventional bike.
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Old 08-13-04, 08:08 AM   #3
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For longer rides (other than a few 'round town rides) your
weight need to be spread over your tush, your hands & arms,
and your legs which is where the road riders bent over
position comes from. That said it's unlikely any seat will
make an upright "townie" rider comfortable on a long ride.
Almost all of your weight is on your tush thus restricting
blood flow and .....then your tush goes numb. The bike frame
makes some difference as steel will spring a bit and be
smoother where aluminum will be lighter but give a harsher
ride.

As to bike weight.....
This feature is way more important to long distance riders
than "townie" riders that only have to propel the bikes
weight a short distance. Longer ride equals less bike weight
for the engine (you) to propel over the distance before it
(again,you) runs out of gas(or gets real tired).

The number and kind of gearing depend on where you ride and
how often you ride. So price here would make a bigger
difference.
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Old 08-13-04, 02:40 PM   #4
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Lobo,

I have the Townie 21 and have been riding it for about 6 weeks. The seat is very comfortable for at least 15-20 miles (the farthest I have ridden so far). The weight of the bike is slightly over 30 lbs. as equipped when you buy it. I haven't found the frame to be particularly harsh. I bought it to lose weight and it is working fine for me.
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Old 08-15-04, 10:43 PM   #5
Roger B
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At 55 I am a new to ridding a bicycle. I do ride a motorcycle but
never have ridden a bicycle. I bought a Townie 3 and had no problem
getting started. At 8 miles an hour the bike starts to coast in third
gear (I can not feel any resistance on the peddles). The bike only
has 3 gears. Is this normal? Do I wait until it drops in speed and
peddle again? Only been riding three days.
Thanks for the help.
Roger
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Old 08-16-04, 11:36 AM   #6
Nightshade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger B
At 55 I am a new to ridding a bicycle. I bought a Townie 3 and had no problem
getting started. At 8 miles an hour the bike starts to coast in third
gear (I can not feel any resistance on the peddles). The bike only
has 3 gears. Is this normal? Do I wait until it drops in speed and
peddle again? .
Roger
Your bike has gearing that operates kinda like this.....

High gear is considred a "road" gear for flat ground and
will give the most distance per pedal stroke. This gear also
will the hardest to pedal.

Middle gear is mostly used for 'around town' pedaling being
neither hard to pedal or to easy.

Low gear is the gear intended to pull hills and inclines with
as it will allow you to pedal more pedal strokes to overcome
the hill. This gear will have you padaling like mad on the
flat without gaining much travel.

The proper way to pedal is called "cadence". Best discribed
as a regular sustainable rythum that you (the engine) can
do without giving yourself a heart attack. Gears on a bike
are there to help keep the cadence steady.....and easy.
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Old 08-22-04, 08:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I learned a little more and am doing about 2.5 miles a day, hope to up to 5 by the end of the month and after I lose some more weight (need to take off 50 lbs, put on slowly in ten years) I hope to be doing 10 miles a day. I found myself doing mostly first and second gear to keep a 60 rpm (cadence). Very happy with the bike, but since it is my first bike I have nothing to comapre it with. Are there any other bikes which I can put both feet on the ground? For the price, the Townie 3 is made in the USA and appears to be inexpensive yet well made. Happy with my bike, just wish I had bought one 10 years ago before I started to gain weight.
Roger
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Old 08-23-04, 08:10 AM   #8
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Mate, I'm 58 and doing pretty much the same as you are by
getting back into biking after a long illness. I've found that
one good bike that you enjoy can really help both your body
and your sprirts by riding daily.

One suggestion for you is that sould you decide to buy
another bike look for a internal hub 7 or 8 speed shimano
nexus equiped bike. I don't have an internal hub bike and
wish I did due the extra maintance that derailler gears
require. Some day soon I plan to convert one of my bikes
(all bought used) to a 7 speed hub to add more ride time.

One thing I just did was to add some inexpensive small
speakers to my bike to plug my am/fm cassette deck into
for some tunes while I ride. Worked out better than I had
hoped and the miles just fly by while the tunes roll on.
Try adding a handle bar bag to carry a deck or gloves or
?? and you'll wonder why it took so long to buy one.
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Old 08-24-04, 10:31 AM   #9
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I have a slightly different take than Shecky on a couple of your questions, mostly based on the assumption that you're pretty new to cycling.
1. An upright position is usually a little slower than a full lay-out, but for a new cyclist, it's mainly a theoretical disadvantage. How fast are you going to go anyway, and it is worth giving up a mile per hour or less for greater comfort? I raised the handlebars on my main road bike a couple of years ago, and as a result, I can ride at least 50 percent longer without being uncomfortable.
Eight speeds is plenty for most riding if you're just concerned about getting there. On steep hills or long rides, it's sometimes handy to have more intermediate steps between the extreme high and low gears. If I were to buy a Townie, I'd probably get an eight.

2. I've seen people do centuries on single-speed cruisers, and once on a unicycle. Depends on the rider, the terrain and the desire. Seats are easily changeable, and those big soft Townie seats are designed to feel good on short rides. That would be the first thing I'd swap (for a Brooks B-17) if I were going to use the thing for more than half an hour at a time.

3. Re 21 vs. 24: As I implied above about the eight-speed, both are probably overkill for most riders on most rides. I'm guessing (but don't know for sure) that many Townie buyers aren't particularly knowledgeable about the sport, and they're wowed by the numbers: If 10 was better than five, and 15 was better than 10, then 24 must be better than 21. There are theoretical advantages and disadvantages to both, but I'm not sure they matter much in real life.

4. Weight should be on the website, which I think is electra.com. Don't let a pound or two scare you off, though--weight isn't as important for most riders as we all think it is. Two pounds on the bike is only about 1.5 percent of the bike-rider total, for most people. A full water bottle and a sandwich in your seatbag weigh more than that, and you don't worry about carrying those.
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