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cinnamonbelle 08-14-05 09:24 PM

Hi all... looking at various bikes and hadn't heard much about the "modified" comfort bikes such as Electra's and Trek's Sole Ride - curious about your thoughts on these and any others.

The common characteristic is that the seat is not so high off the ground as most bikes (I like this idea a lot). The front pedals are 'forward' so that your legs are elongated rather than scrunched, to accommodate the seat position.

In other words, these things inch toward being recumbents but aren't quite.

Who's tried them? Do you like them? Which one - and any things to watch for?

Many thanks.


PS: Here's a couple pix:\Program

Waldo 08-15-05 07:02 AM

Some customers love them, others hate them. The ride is not for everyone. I would not pay extra for a Trek when Giant's making that bike for them anyway and offers their own series of models, the Suede. Electra came out with this style first, then Giant and later Trek copied the idea.

alanbikehouston 08-15-05 05:34 PM

I see the Electra rather often on the bike path that runs from west Houston into central Houston. Last week, I saw a thirty-something woman on an Electra. She told me she has ridden everyday since New Year's. That means she has been riding in the Houston July and August afternoon's, with a "heat index" of over 110 degrees. Yikes.

She was shorter than most women, but when she was pedaling, she had full leg extension. On traditional designs, many women ride with the seats too low for proper leg extension, in order to be able to easily get a foot flat on the ground when stopping.

These are not the lightest bikes in the world, so you get a good work-out in stop and go type riding. Although the lady I saw the other day was short, and rather heavy, her legs had the muscles of a serious cyclist, and she had no problem maintaining a healthy cruising speed.

This design is ideal for the stop and go (and go, stop, stop, stop) of inner-city cycling, where you spend a lot of time at stop signs and red lights. The wider, more stable tires add to the safety of the bike.

Although a heavier bike can provide a better work-out for fitness riders on short rides, the extra weight means these are not the ideal bike for someone riding thirty or forty miles a day. They may be the "best" design for a two or four mile ride in congested urban traffic.

galen_52657 08-15-05 07:52 PM

Like 'Choppers', I would have to call these bikes pieces 'o poo.....

Rev.Chuck 08-15-05 08:16 PM

Give the Giant Suede a try. They have been very popular at our shop. Comes in a singlespeed, seven speed, and 21. The seven and 21 have suspension forks.

sbeatonNJ 08-16-05 08:55 AM

The Giant Suedes are really nice, I think Giant may be out of them, I know we cleared out of them pretty quickly. The bikes are surprisingly light considering their build and their price.

Wurm 08-16-05 08:36 PM


Originally Posted by galen_52657
Like 'Choppers', I would have to call these bikes pieces 'o poo.....

Dude, if it works for some and gets them off from their dead asses, it's a good bike.

Platy 08-16-05 11:12 PM

The Electra is heavy, the wheelbase is just long enough so it doesn't quite fit all city bus racks, the steering is twitchy, and the front derailleur of the 24-speed model jams easily unless babied with ultimate care. I own one and I've gotten used to all that, but I'd recommend that you test ride some others as well.

lisitsa 08-17-05 01:09 AM

Its a step in the right direction I think. Better than dual suspension kmart bikes, and its SINGLESPEED !!

cinnamonbelle 08-19-05 10:04 PM

Thanks everybody for your answers. Here's my early assessment of the ones I looked at...

Tried the Electra - cushy but big, bulky, heavy

Tried the Giant Suede - in love; it feels very light and like 'hey this is a bike'; fits well; the way the pedals are in front of the seat is helpful, though I still can't quite get full extension and stand up too; but it's a *lot* better than other types of bikes for me for getting back to riding; it's something that feels easy to be in control of, because you can just tilt a little and stand up- doesn't feel 'precarious' (which I know veteran bikers don't feel but, hey); and it feels much more agile than the other 'flat foot technology' stuff I tried.

Tried the Raleigh Gruv 1 or 2 - wow, this is the one if you really have to have your feet flat on the ground; the pedals are substantially forward of both the Giant and Electra - so perfect in that regard; but it feels like a bigger, bulkier bike (not sure if it's any moreso than the Electra) and so because of that I'll probably go with the Giant Suede instead; need to do one more test ride as it's between this one and the Giant Suede.

None of these have that weird 'recumbent' feel.

Retro Grouch 08-20-05 07:10 AM

One of the fun things about bicycling is that there are so many different ways to do it. Lots of people have only one style of riding and don't understand the attraction that other people can have to different styles of bicycling. I think that's a shame.

I've got five different bikes that I ride now and I wouldn't mind having a recumbent and a fixed gear. I think that it'd be neat to build up a chopper style bike for myself. I don't think that I'd want a stock one though. I think that I'd maybe use a big fat rear wheel and maybe a real skinny front wheel but with a straight, flat handlebar, no front brake, internal hub and a fancy disc brake on the back maybe activated by a twist shifter for a cleaner handlebar look and a high tech light set with the rechargable battery hidden somewhere in the frame for riding after dark. Now that'd be neat!

My biggest problem is that, after building the thing, I have no idea where I'd ride it.

Wurm 08-20-05 04:44 PM


Originally Posted by Retro Grouch

My biggest problem is that, after building the thing, I have no idea where I'd ride it.


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