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shecky 07-23-04 06:34 PM

Actually, I think the townie looks more stylish. I think a lot of the hybrid/comfort bikes look a bit ungainly, though perfectly functional. The Townie looks more like a chopper. It's a bit difficult to tell from the picture, but is much more evident when you see them being ridden.

They do seem to be pretty popular around here. I've seen several around town, fitted with baskets, ridden by conscientious, helmet-wearing cyclists. The LBS seems to move them pretty well. They seem to be popular with folks who like to ride bikes, yet don't view themselves as "bicycle enthusiasts".

tacomee 07-24-04 09:07 PM

Yeah, I'm a little sorry about kicking around the Townie in an earily post... there's nothing wrong with bike and it does look cool. I'm not sorry about being mean to those %#@^&*(@ Electra employees who have hyped their product here. It's pretty lame folks-- I know you're trying to get business with bike newbies becuase anyone who knows anything about bikes to easily see though the crap-storm. It really makes your product look worse than it actually is.

To anyone buying a comfort bike-- most big manufactures make a good bike for under $500. Don't believe any of the hype and take a 30+ minute test ride. Try climing a hill. Talk to the guys or gals at your local bike shop. It doesn't take a *patent pending* or *revolutionary* bike to start riding.

valiumland 07-27-04 08:02 PM


Originally Posted by shecky
Actually, I think the townie looks more stylish. I think a lot of the hybrid/comfort bikes look a bit ungainly, though perfectly functional. The Townie looks more like a chopper. It's a bit difficult to tell from the picture, but is much more evident when you see them being ridden.

They do seem to be pretty popular around here. I've seen several around town, fitted with baskets, ridden by conscientious, helmet-wearing cyclists. The LBS seems to move them pretty well. They seem to be popular with folks who like to ride bikes, yet don't view themselves as "bicycle enthusiasts".

I couldn't agree more. I like the way you differentiate between so-called 'enthusiasts' and people who just like to ride. Apparently a lot of 'enthusiasts' are more 'enthused' about their own long-held preconceptions about what a proper bike is and how pretty much everything else is rubbish.

Oh, and my Townie 24 finally arrived last week--took almost a month all told. I am in love with it. I have never bicycled so effortlessly- I never seem to have to change gears. The linear-pull brakes feel like the ones on my Audi, they're so smooth. I almost feel guilty riding it, it's so conspicuously luxurious.

randya 07-28-04 12:06 AM

Rock on!!! :)

kurremkarm 07-28-04 11:10 AM

In Wichita the only dealer has to order one and he wants 450 bucks for it. I'm seeing these for 350 on this forum, wtf over?

angiebuettner 08-09-04 12:17 PM

I bought a Townie 21 a few weeks ago but looking to sell it after only 3 rides because it bothers my bad knees. It was a looker, though, and felt great for the first three miles. I paid 350 for mine. That's the going around Cincinnati.

Map tester 08-09-04 02:22 PM

I know this may seem obvious angiebuettner, but have your played around with the seat height and position? My wife got a Townie 21 a few weeks ago and she is still getting the seat adjustment dialed-in. The different saddle/crank arrangement takes some getting use to. Good luck!

BDK 08-09-04 03:12 PM

Angie - I also recommend tinkering with the seat height. I got a Townie 21 about a month ago and have tended to have a few problems with my knees in the past. I haven't had any with the Townie. It is very comfortable and I like the frame construction. The components are not top of the line but I paid $360 for it and don't really expect that. Also, if you want fenders, I'm told you have to get aftermarket fenders from another supplier since Electra doesn't have them to ship.


Electra Lover 08-09-04 04:13 PM


Originally Posted by Mcbengie
I am sorry to hear this and I apologize for your trouble to find a Townie. It has been quite a challenge to keep up with the demand. Most dealers will not give us a forecast on what they will order, they only order what they need today. Shimano has a 6-10 month delivery time on the Internal 8-Speed Hub ...!
It is quiet difficult to forecast the success of a new product. We are happy that the Townie is so well received but on the other hand it can be difficult to keep all customers happy. I am sorry.


I just picked up my beautiful Townie 21 this last weekend. I just want to say Thank you! Thanks so much Benno, I just love it! In addition to the my Townie 21, my husband has a Townie 8 he uses to ride to work on! Just a curious wonder, but even though we purchased our bikes separately we both received an Owners Manual for a an Electra Road Bike/Street Bike. We would both really love to have a owners manual for our Townies!! I also have to add that I also own a Creme Colored Twiggy and it's just adorible, speaking of adorible, I've seen your picture in the catalog and you are a cutie!

fredbillie 08-12-04 01:59 AM


Originally Posted by shecky
FWIW, Sheldon Brown had nice words to say about one he rode at Interbike:

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

But, that is the top of the line model with a 7 speed Shimano Hub transmission. You can get a three speed hub Townie for $370 which is all my wife would need riding on Houston's flat streets.

davefarb 08-18-04 11:53 AM

I think the best "real bike" is the one you ride a lot because it's fun and good for you. I think being a "bike snob" is unpleasant.

tomsanborn 08-29-04 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by davefarb
I think the best "real bike" is the one you ride a lot because it's fun and good for you. I think being a "bike snob" is unpleasant.

I could not agree more. I registered 5 minutes ago so I could comment on this thread. I saw a Townie for the first time this week. I currently own a Trek 7300 but want something more comfortable for the short rides I do most of the time. I have put plenty of miles on my Trek and have ridden in several club rides at the 30 mile distance. When I'm done, my hands, and "nether region" are always numb even though I use padded riding shorts. I'm excited about test riding a Townie. I will either buy a Townie or an Electra 7.

It's not how far or hard you ride, it's about getting out there and enjoying the sport. One of my best friends puts 3000+ miles a year on his bike but he is very encouraging to those of use who put in only a tenth of that mileage. I get disappointed when the Roadies think if youíre not doing a century every week you shouldn't be on the road.

I do not work for Electra, but wish I did so I could get a discount. One very popular LBS in my area does not carry the Townie because they think it is a gimmick. But they will order one is requested. I'm driving about 15 miles to take a test ride and see if the geometry suites me. I did notice that is looks like a cross between a cruiser and a recumbent. My 2 cents. If I buy one I'll report back.

dustys 08-29-04 07:47 PM

RichClark, and others, . . . My wife and I are what we call mature. I can't put the continuous pressure on my shoulders that is required on road bikes so our antique Peugeots are up for sale and my non-cyclist, non-athlete spouse is looking for a bike that has a sitting-up. head-up position, that has the features of the Revive and Elektra type of bike. I am inthe market for a hybrid. I think these features are important for a lot of people. When I look at the recumbent bikes I think the rider is too low to the ground and too difficult to see from inside SUV's and mini vans that have a lot of blind spots. Captain Dusty :)

phooey 09-04-04 07:24 AM

I recently have gotten back into biking. I have an older Motebecane mountain bike and after moving to Tulsa, OK from Phoenix, AZ.. I was upset to see that my bike seat and post was missing after the move. The only post that I could find to fit my bike was one with a shock absorber and a really nice padded seat. I took the bike on a couple of longer bike rides and my hands go numb and I find myself just wanting about a 4 inch lift in my handlebars. I went to my local bike shop to find out what it would take to get new handlebars. I knew that it would probably mean getting all new cables too as the shifter for my 18 speed bike is in the grip. When I was in the store, I saw the Townie by Electra. At first I was looking at the girls bike for my wife, because she is only 5ft tall and is very nervous on most bikes..but then I saw a nice black Townie and it reminded me of my days back in College when I road a single speed alloy framed crusier that I had painted flat black. I worked in a skate shop.. but hey that was back in the early 80s when punk wasn't really all that cool..

Anyway, I have been searching the net for comments about this bike. I mean, it is a little pricey, but only if you compare it to basic cruiser style bikes... which it obviously isnt'. Now, I could go and do the handlebars on my bike, but then I probably will be adding a suspension fork..down the road. My wife said.. "why don't you just get a new bike"

I want comfort and I love to go on long bike rides.. the area around my house is fairly flat.. I never have had to stand up on my bike to pedal up the hills.. gearing takes care of it.

The comments that I have read here have left me somewhere in the middle. I think the bike looks cool, but really want something that is going to give me a work out too. Not that I am going to racing around town, but I want to work up a sweat. I hear from some people in this forum that really sound like bike snobs..but I am not out to impress any bike enthusiasts either.

This is my first post, and I don't work for Electra, I bet that you see so many posts here because people like me do their research online before they buy.. or like many people, we want validation for making a good purchase so we search to see what other people are saying about what we buy. This morning, I am going to take my bike into the store and see what it is going to take to get new handlebars.. and I guess to see how much it would cost to make my bike as comfortable as the townie seems to be. I also am going to take a test ride on the Townie.

Thanks for the comments and I'll let you know how it works out.

tomsanborn 09-04-04 09:26 AM

I tired the Townie last week, but the geometry did not feel comfortable for me. It is a very good bike, and all of the LBS' I visited had most models marked "sold." I got the impression it is a better seller than most shops expected. As mentioned in another post, the steering seems shaky at slow speed probably because of the handle bar height and the front fork geometry, but it was not a problem for me. The Townie will appeal to people who are returning to bike riding and want a safe, comfortable bike that allows the feet to be easily placed on the ground when stopping the bike. In my area it also appeals to young (20ís 30ís) city riders.

I wound up buying a Sun brand 3 speed Retro :) . This bike has aluminum frame and components and is priced at $286 which was much less than the Electra for similar features. My wife and son like it so much I'm buying them Sun Retro bikes as well. Not sure if it okay to include like a link, but here it is:

phooey 09-07-04 07:27 AM

On this past Saturday, My wife and I purchased two Townies. My wife is 5 ft tall and this is the first bike that is 'adult sized' that she could ride comfortably. I guess you would call me an experienced bike rider and I feel that this bike fits my needs perfectly. My wife and I wanted to ride bikes together.. she hasn't ridden a bike since she was 11. We were looking for some exercise, not entering into a sport. Here is what I have found... It is difficult to stand up and pedal if you need to.. however during our rides we we went up and down several small hills with no problem. Actually, the laid back style assists you in going up hills because you are able to push forward and use the handle bars to help pull. the bike is very comfortable and while there is wind resistance, I feel that it is less than if I took my mountain bike and put taller handlebars on it because I would have been sitting much higher.. as it is.. I know can sit about 1 foot lower and have an upright position. We rode for about 20 miles on Saturday and 30 on Sunday... in Tulsa, there are some great bike paths along the river. I am happy because my wife loves bike riding now, something that we can do together. I kept my mountain bike and will use that for trail riding... which is what I am surprised nobody here really talks about. I mean, some people in this forum are comparing this bike to expensive mountain bikes.. when it really is a better version of a cruiser. My only complaint is the seat... I think they could have put on a better seat and I replaced mine after my first ride with a much more padded spring seat... remember you sit back upright so all of your weight is on your cheeks ;) So if you are still listening Benno.. think about putting a better seat on the bikes..

BDK 09-07-04 03:02 PM

I've had my Townie 21 for a couple of months and ride several times a week to lose weight. I really like the bike and the upright position is much better for my back and neck (after surgery a few years ago). I agree with phooey that the seat isn't very comfortable after 10-15 miles however. I'm thinking of putting a standard seat on it. For the money, it's a great bike for me since the forward position bikes are really hard on my back and neck.

tomsanborn 09-07-04 09:04 PM


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

The Electra Bike web site shows the suggested retail price of the 8 speed Townie (internal hub) as $720. That seems very expensive so I asked a couple LBS's if this was the correct price. They thought it was less, but I never got an actual price. That price seems awfully high compared to other Townie models and other comfort bikes. The Townie is the only comfort bike I saw with the 8 speed internal hub. I conjectured that the 8 speed Shimano internal hub must be a quality piece of equipment and is priced accordingly. If you donít want to mess with adjusting derailers and donít want to haul the bike to the bike shop, internal is a good option. But if you do the math you can get quite a few tune-ups for difference in price.

Iím under the impression that the internal hub is no maintenance. I hope so because that is why I bought a bike with a 3 speed internal hub! I can get away with a 3 speed because I live Californiaís central valley so that are few hills to conquer.

If you read the comments in this thread, it is clear that the Townie is getting folks ďback in the saddleĒ who might otherwise not be riding. Itís not how fast or how far you ride, the important thing is that you are out there.

shecky 09-08-04 12:32 AM

Way back when I wrote that, it seemed all that had been announced was the 8 speed version. The less expensive versions came out after.

I don't know why the 8 speed version is so expensive. While the 8 speed hub is new and more expensive than the three speed, it isn't that much more money.

Modern internal hub gears are practically no maintenance. This includes SRAM and Shimano. I haven't dealt with any Sturmey Archer hubs less than twenty years old. Back in the old days, they had oil ports where you would periodically put a few drops of oil to keep the gears working. The old Sturmey Archer AW hub has a reputation for being nearly indestructable. These days they're all greased. Presumably, one day it's possible to need regreasing (after LOTS of miles). More likely, new brake shoes (for coaster brakes, usually after LOTS of miles). For generally flat terrain, this means they'll last practically forever.

tomsanborn 09-11-04 08:59 AM

I was talking with a woman at work yesterday who is in her late 40s and wants to get back into bike riding. She had a toy store "mountain bike" but gave it away several years ago because it was too uncomfortable. She wants something comfortable so I started describing some brands and models of beach cruisers to her. She thought they sounded good, but she said that another problems was that the mountain bike was "too tall" so she could not put her feet on the ground when she stopped.

I described the Townie to her and the "flat foot technology" that allows the riderís feet to be placed flat on the ground when the bike is stopped. It was gratifying to see her face light up when I described the Townie. It would be the perfect bike for her. My employer uses internet filtering software so I was not able to access the Electra web site to show her pictures of the Townie.

I have fanaticized about owning a bike shop. Talking bikes and giving people ideas is probably the closest Iíll ever get, but it keeps the fantasy alive.

safetychic 09-11-04 01:55 PM

I just found this site through Google researching the Townie. I am VERY new at cycling and found a great deal on a recumbant yesterday. I also found a Townie I love. Just wondering from reading all the comments if avid cyclists think there is a prestige to cycling and not "just anyone" could join in. I am trying to find a good deal on a recumbent b/c my mother had foot surgery and wants to get back in shape but cannot go walking. I just hope that everyone we meet while cycling does not think we are less important than them b/c we aren't wearing a name brand on our backs.
Happy cycling.

Roger B 09-11-04 09:46 PM

I bought a Townie 3 a month ago. A real newbie, never rode a bicycle as a kid and now am 55 years old (did ride a motorcycle on and off for 30 years). Learned to pedal and ride immediately (am sure the balancing came from the motorcycle). Am out of shape and started with less than 2 miles a day. Now I am doing 3 to 5 miles daily and love the exercise. I am very happy with the Townie, but I live in South Florida, so no hills (beware we have hurricanes and hanging shads),

phurley 09-12-04 06:49 PM

What BS regarding peoples conjecturing that this isn't a real bicycle or a serious bicyclist's bicycle. I have been riding road bikes since I was a kid, and I am now 45. Now I have one cruiser and a road bike and am glad of it!!! Thanks Electra.

I bought a Townie because the kids have BMX bikes and they are too low, but I like to be able to jump on and off the bike quickly which is something I can't do with shoes in straps.

This is a great bike!!! I live in Sonoma, CA and it is hilly and mountainous. It is an extremely comfortable bike to ride and it can go fast! The only difference between this and other road bikes and why it can't compete with road bikes, in my opinion, is that they moved the pedals forward in somewhat of a recumbent position so you can't get leverage like to can with a bike that you lay down on which puts your feet somewhat behind you. But so far I haven't had a problem keeping up with the kids. ;)

I would comment that I did not appreciate the owner of the company making a comment as if he did not have a stake in the company when he does. That is a little unseemly. But as long as they stand by their bikes....

One last thing. The Nexus design has a coaster brake which I do not prefer to the Townie 21. I like being able to spin the pedals backward. Old habit. I haven't had a coaster brake since my Schwinn Typhoon paper delivery bicycle.

Best Wishes,


Bill peabody 09-12-04 07:57 PM

Ive road one for about 1 mile,at a local bike shop.SWEET ,FUN. I have over the years logged over12,000 miles.once,I have some spear coin its mine. A bike is a bike is a bike.I have ridden one wheeled,street, mt, now a eletra.whats next.DONT BE AFRAID OF BEING A TREAD SETTER,OR WORST A FOLLOWER.SEMPER FI TO ANY ONE WHO RIDES ANYTHING WHICH IS SELF PROPELLED,OR WHO WANTS TO EXPLORE THE ROAD,OR TRAIL.MAY YOU HAVE FAIR WINDS AND GOD BLESS.

RodT 09-14-04 03:11 PM

My wife and I just bought bikes after about a decade of not riding. She bought Electra's "Rosie" Beach Cruiser and I bought the Nirve "Switchblade". All we wanted to do is ride around the neighborhood. These are perfect for that. HOWEVER, I did try a Townie, and I am considering one. The bike was comfortable, easy to use, and looked like the quality was high. The 3 speeds star at $370. The dealer told me that the frame is the same as the "Chopper" that Electra makes...the "Jeremy". They do have a 21 speed derailer style for the same price. You might consider the seat position, as the handebars do place your hands in a high position relative to a mountain bike. Overall I really likied them and will probably try and get one soon.

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