No monetary compensation was received for this Rave Review. I just love my bike *that much*
Four years ago no one would have ever believed that I would ever write a love letter to my bicycle. Sure, I had a bike, but I hadn’t ridden it for years. Whenever hubby would suggest a bike ride, I would find some excuse for us to postpone it. I mean, why ride when I could just drive there? I hated the hassles, I hated the sore tailbone, and most of all I hated the Spandex. But, then against all odds, the Electra Bike Company made a biker out of me.
“Biking… hold the Spandex”
Whoa, whoa… not that kind of biker. I still hate Spandex, I don’t understand how anyone puts up with a sore tailbone, and really, does anyone like hassles? Electra Bicycles understands that biking for pleasure should be pleasurable and biking for function shouldn’t just be about functionality. A cross between a hard-working street bike and a lazy Sunday cruiser, the Electra Townie 700c completely understands that beauty sometimes needs a little brawn and vice versa.
When I had finally convinced myself that I did, indeed, need a new bike, I had a list of attributes my new bike had to possess. I was fairly certain I was going to have to compromise on at least half of it, as I was pretty much looking for a couch on wheels, but I didn’t care. My list included gems such as “flip flop friendly” and “like my grandma used to ride” along with other slightly more technical requirements such as handlebar brakes, and uber padded gel saddle seat, and a sporty set of rims.
But I did it – I found a bicycle that involved no compromises at all, in fact it even included features I didn’t even know I wanted, like Flat Foot Technology. One of my biggest requirements was one that everyone tried to talk me out of: the ability to ride while wearing a skirt. Since I wear dresses and skirts all summer, it really seemed silly to have to change my clothes into bike able clothing before I could ride anywhere, which is what ended up happening when I rode a bike with a high frame you had to swing your leg over to mount. Imagine how little you would drive your car if every time you drove it, you had to change into a “car outfit”. A simple task like running to the store would be an ordeal, and you would probably do a lot more walking. The Electra’s extra tall step-through frame allows us ladies to dress as such while cruising around town and running errands, all without compromising on style.
So, what is Flat Foot Technology? Think of it as a slightly recumbent bicycle, where the pedals are forward of the seatpost. So instead of leaning forward you sit more upright, if not a little laid back – as in super relaxed. And best of all, when you come to a stop you don’t need to teeter on your toes, you can actually stay on the seat and have your feet flat on the ground, hence making it flip flop friendly. Check out the awesome graphics on Electra’s website that shows what Flat Foot Technology is all about, in a technical sense http://www.electrabike.com/home.php
And for those who prefer facts, here are the stats on the Electra Townie 24D (my bike’s newer and extra-speed touting cousin that has, sadly, replaced my bike for good):
Hi-Ten Steel Unicrown
Forged Alloy, 48/38/28
Shimano Rapidfire Plus
Shimano HG-40 11-34, 8-speed
Shimano EF-50 Alloy
Shimano Dynamo Generator, 32h
City Tires 700 x 38
Alloy Micro Adjust pillar
Ergonomic with elastomer bumpers
1-1/8” threaded steel
- The beach cruiser good looks.
- Supreme comfort for long rides and serious errands.
- Flat-Foot Technology makes any shoe a biking shoe.
- An upright ride allows you to sit tall without leaning forward over the handlebars, making it very low impact on your back, shoulders, arms and wrists.
- Riding position feels more stable and secure than traditional street bikes and mountain bikes, even when fully loaded down with Electra accessories.
Which leads me to my next rave – as if their bikes aren’t cool enough, Electra makes a whole slew of accessories for their bikes so you can customize your ride – not that there’s any fear of mistaking it for someone else’s. A note of caution: the vast majority of the accessories are for a specific body frame, so the bike rack you fall in love with may not be compatible with your bike. The 700c tires prevented me from customizing exactly the way that I would like, but mine’s still a work in progress.
What I am dismayed about:
- Electra no longer makes this bike. I’m sure the newer one is just fine – but it’s just not my bike.
- The accessories I covet are not made for my specific bike, leaving me drooling all over accessories I don’t end up buying. My apologies to anyone shopping after me.
Clearly, I am under the Electra spell. Having my Electra has been the fuse that lit my entire family’s interest in biking and made me agree to things I would have considered crazy before, like entire days spent in its saddle and long rides just for the sake of riding. We are now officially a biking family and you will see us all over the Seattle Metro area testing our tread along the bike paths as well as hauling our groceries home from the store. Crazy? Possibly. But at least we are all crazy as a family.
Price: $500 – $700. Find them on sale at REI.com for a limited time
Looks: California cruising – even if it’s only to the store and back.
Overall: Most bikes are basic forms of transportation, but Electra Townies are bicycles; beautiful works of art that are fun to ride and have a personality all their own. They get you where you’re going, but the difference is that while getting there, you’re rolling in style.
Rave Reactions – Are you an avid biker, a comfort cruiser, or have you not sat on a bike saddle in years? What features on a bicycle would get you to ride more?