I am looking to get a basic simple cruiser and have narrowed it down to the Trek Classic or the Elecktra Coaster. Anyone have any experience with either out there? Is one better than the other? Any info is greatly appreciated!
I work in a bike shop and happen to build quite a few of both of these models. In my experience, the Trek cruisers tend to be a little better put together (Electras tend to need a bit of wheel truing out of the box, as well as needing a lot of lube on the cables) though both are essentially the same component rise and especially so if they're spec'd with internally geared hubs. That said, either can be made to work well for their purposes, and you could probably make an argument for a wheel trued by a mechanic being better than a machine built wheel that didn't need to be touched in the first place.
Either way, you should be fine. Pick whichever color you like better?
The only main difference i see in the two are the geometry and size. The Elecktra' crank is in front of the seat post and i would think that would tend to make you lean back a bit more. The Trek Cruiser Classic comes in a 21" where the Elecktra is 18.5". I'm tall (6'3"). Would that make that much difference?
I have an Electra Coaster 1 in matte black. I've had it for a year and a bit. I have had absolutely no issues with it. I will agree nothing is greased very well from the factory. Then again there aren't too many parts on it. It's pretty simple. It's light enough to bring in and out from my basement without breaking my back. Parts are pretty generic but for what it's intended for they are just fine. All Electra bikes have that RatFink/Bike Rod look to them so that explains the seating position. I find it to be one of the most comfortable bikes I've ridden straight out of the box. I have no complaints with it at all.