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Electra Townie 7spd

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Electra Townie 7spd

Old 02-12-13, 02:08 PM
  #1  
LDB
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Electra Townie 7spd

Anyone riding one of these? Thoughts/comments/opinions? Thanks.
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Old 02-12-13, 02:32 PM
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My wife has one. I ride it from time to time.

It's a nice spin around the block bike. Lots of fun. I once took one off road but that is not recommended

It's not a great go for long distances bike. All your weight is on your fanny, so you'll get some low back ache more than likely. It's also heavy.

But they are cute.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-12-13, 02:40 PM
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Dudelsack pretty much nailed it. They are nice bikes with decent components, but they are solidly in the 'comfort bike' class. Too heavy for long days in the saddle, and the 'flat foot technology' which is intended to keep the rider more upright, also diminishes pedaling efficiency a little. It puts your center of gravity behind the pedals instead of directly over them, so you really can't use as much of your weight.

I bought my wife a 21-speed Townie last year. She rode it maybe 3 times, and I rode it a couple times around the block. We just sold it on Craigslist for about half of what we paid for it. I priced it low to get rid of it, and probably could have sold a dozen of them.
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Old 02-12-13, 06:34 PM
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We have had a couple come through the shop and they seem to be very well designed and built examples of the comfort type bike. If you want that kind of bike, they are good ones.
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Old 02-12-13, 06:58 PM
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My idea of a comfort bike is my Schwinn mountain bike (see signature). I just can't see using a comfort bike for more than a few miles at a time.
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Old 02-12-13, 07:04 PM
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The Electra Townie 7 is an excellent bike for its purpose. A long wheel-base and low centre of gravity makes it a very steady and stable ride. The seating position and forward orientated pedals mean most people are easily able to put their feet squarely on the ground. If you are especially petite there is a 24" wheel version. The aluminium frame, whilst no feather, is quite light compared to other steel-framed cruiser-type bikes.

It is excellent for cruising around the shore or your local retirement community, but if you have any further ambition; ie. riding up hills, cycling more than 5 miles, using it than anything other than a convalescent exercise device, then you really need to look at another genre of bike.

The lbs where I help out sells loads, and my wife has one which she loves. They are pretty much the best of what they are. But if you're looking for a machine which will reward exercise and expand horizons, then look for a different type of bicycle.
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Old 02-12-13, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
It's not a great go for long distances bike. All your weight is on your fanny, so you'll get some low back ache more than likely. It's also heavy.
Sounds like my rainy day hybrid.

Funny thing about "comfort" bikes. For all the reasons above and the pedaling inefficiency noted elsewhere, they are anything but when you're going very far at all. Add to that the crappy aerodynamics of the upright seated position and ... well ... you get the idea. My 17 mile commute feels more like 30 on that thing.

But if you wanna look cool cruising on the beach for 5 miles or so, I'm sure they're fab for that.
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Old 02-13-13, 08:05 AM
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They are fine bikes for their intended purpose. If you have arm and shoulder or neck problems, this is the bike to ride. Plain comfy. It is good for riding around town or in the city. It makes a fine commuter provided the trip is less than 10 miles. Not to say it won't go further but it is fairly slow and it would take considerable time to do a work commute. I wouldn't employ it for racing. LOL. I have one and love it, but don't have much use for it. It's my spare.
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Old 02-13-13, 08:16 AM
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Electra has tried to take the 'crank forward' concept in a more upscale and sporting direction several times over the years with Townie Sport, Amsterdam Sport and Ticino models, but the US bike market has not cooperated. They've most recently pared down their crank forward models and debuted the 'Verse' line which does not feature crank forward geometry.

For interested parties, here's the Electra Crank Forward patent.

Crank forward "flat foot" design seems to me to make a lot of sense for young riders (who in all probability will not be tackling a metric century). I'm watching the local Craig's List in an attempt to pick up a 20" Townie cheap to keep at the house for grandchildren.

Last edited by tcs; 02-13-13 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-13-13, 08:49 AM
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We have two of them in a family vacation house. They're great for some coast side cruising or a run to Safeway. But after ten miles, my butt is really tired of the seat. Other family members report the same problem. bk
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Old 02-13-13, 06:10 PM
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From all reports from friends and neighbors, they do what they are designed to do.
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Old 02-15-13, 09:39 PM
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Bought one for my teenaged daughter, and rode it the 3.5 miles home from the shop. Going up hill really sucked. Down hill was fun. She rides it around the neighborhood, but did ask me for a bike she could ride farther on.

You should also look at the Giant Suede or Giant Simple. I knew a woman in her 70's that rode 80 miles on her Suede per day, two days straight. I think she was doing one of the MS 150 rides. She loved it, admitted she finished later than anyone else, but was ready to do it the following year. Not as crank forward as a Townie, but still a comfort bike in the best sense of the definition.

Honestly, I love the Simple. A true cruiser, but it is not crank forward design. Goes up hill a lot better.
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Old 02-16-13, 08:21 AM
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If anybody is really getting off on the crank forward thing, Rans offers models with even more radically crank forward geometry.
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Old 08-13-13, 03:50 AM
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I rode mine today for the first time in a long time. I have been really loving my salsa mukluk in the woods and nothing, not the road bike or the townie compare to it.The townie felt slow and cumbersome but of course my arm didn't go numb as it usually does. The townie was my gateway bike and got me started. I will not part with it.
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