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· $4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yeah...I want a pink one with tassles and internal gearing.

OK..maybe not. But my wife, a non-rider, thinks they are great looking bikes. I am willing to buy one for her ( a birthday this weekend) if she will ride it. Anyone have any experience good/bad?? Service??

I sat on one and they are very comfy for the non-riders. I would prefer to be hunched over, sitting on a narrow stone, riding for hours and endless hours on end....(my wife's view). Opinions on the single speed vs 21 speed vs 3 vs 8 internal speed??

Thanks
 

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My wife had knee replacement surgery last July and as soon as she recovered sufficiently, she bought one of the 7 spd models from our LBS. She hadn't been on a bike in years because of a problem with the knee relating back to an auto accident so the ability to sit on the seat and put her feet on the ground without having to stand was very important to her. She rides almost daily and enjoys the bike. The only thing I've done is add a Terry seat for her.

Our LBS sells a lot of Townies to people who want to ride, but aren't in the "sit hunched over on a stone for hours" group like you and me. For what you get, the townies aren't a bad buy.
 

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No experience with those, but

are those the semi-recumbent design that lets you put your feet down while still having proper saddle-to-pedal distance? Seems like a sound idea for the casual rider. I know one guy in my office who rides one and likes it a lot.

As for gearing, it depends on terrain and fitness. If she'll be riding only on absolutely flat terrain, SS is simplest. If there'll be any hills at all, it's nice to have some gear choices. How many depends on how steep the hills.

For the casual rider, internally-geared hubs are way simpler to understand, operate and maintain than derailleur gears. The Shimano Nexus hubs are bulletproof, I hear. 3 or 8, depends on the hills.
 

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The semi-recumbent design can be quite comfortable for a casual rider. The one issue is whether there are any steepish hills that need to be climbed. The semi-recumbent design doesn't really accommodate standing up to pedal up a steep or long hill. So long as the gearing is low enough to be able to climb any likely hills in the seated position, they are fine bikes.
 

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My wife has one w/ 3 speed internal. She rides it only on the local dead-flat MUT. She quite enjoys it and favors it over her hybrid because she finds it easier on her back. Seems well built and sturdy, if a bit heavy -- the BIKE, that is!
 

· duh...
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comfy, yes. gears, def yes if hilly, windy, not in top shape. kinda heavy, but most cruisers are.

"if she will ride it" is the question that needs to be answered... just because she thinks it looks great does not mean the answer is yes.
 

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My wife would disagree...

My wife currently rides a Trek Wasabi (the pink flowery cruiser) and gets a lot of comments riding it. When we bought it a few years ago she convinced me that she would be find on the single speed. She liked the "clean lines" of the bike without the wires. Now that we have moved and commute almost solely by bike her single speed cruiser is a frustration because I'm always waiting for her...both uphill...and down.

Long story short, we wanted to find a bike (with gears) that would be more practical for her to commute around town on. She loved the looks of the townies and the "idea" of being able to put her feet down at lights and sit in a very upright position but after test riding a few found that she absolutely hated them. After riding one myself I have to agree. We both feel they put your arms in an uncomfortably high position, and you sacrifice entirely too much power from the awkward position of your legs for comfort. Even watching others ride them around town they look terribly inefficient.

In the end we ordered a Shimano Nexus 7-speed internal hub and I rebuilt the rear wheel on her Trek cruiser with it and ran the cable through the frame. We saved a lot of cash with this combination and she still hasn't found a bike that she likes the "feel" of better.

All that aside I would highly recommend the internal nexus gearing. The main feature that I love, aside from the clean look, is the ability to shift while at a stand still. Maintenance free is a big bonus as well.
 

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I bought my wife a pink one. She rarely gets on it but I ride it with my kids to our club pool all the time. All I can say is, if I were a college aged guy and wanted to meet women I'd ride a pink bike.

My work is done here.
 

· Steaming piles of opinion
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My mother loves both of hers - both the three and 8 speeder. Depending on where your wife would like to ride, you might want to check the gearing. Obviously they're not climbing machines, and those N.Ky hills have steep bits.
 

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Somehow I failed to notice that you were from KY... I'm down in Lexington and to get around here 7/8 speeds is all one needs. I wouldn't suggest any fewer. My wife's cruiser that I mentioned is a 7 speed and my commuter is a converted 8 speed.
 

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I bought a couple of these Townies for my parents...can't remember how many gears. Anyway, all I can say is that when I test rode one of them I couldn't stop laughing about how fun they were to ride. The position is perfect for fun, casual rides around the neighborhood.
 

· Rock the Mullet!
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PaulCL said:
Yeah...I want a pink one with tassles and internal gearing.

OK..maybe not. But my wife, a non-rider, thinks they are great looking bikes. I am willing to buy one for her ( a birthday this weekend) if she will ride it. Anyone have any experience good/bad?? Service??

I sat on one and they are very comfy for the non-riders. I would prefer to be hunched over, sitting on a narrow stone, riding for hours and endless hours on end....(my wife's view). Opinions on the single speed vs 21 speed vs 3 vs 8 internal speed??

Thanks
Check out www.youtube.com/xtrtownies to see some friends of mine go up hogpen gap and Brasstown Bald on Townies. We sell more Townies than any other brand in our shop.
 

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Depends . . .

PaulCL said:
But my wife, a non-rider, thinks they are great looking bikes. I am willing to buy one for her ( a birthday this weekend) if she will ride it
Great specialty bike, my friend loves hers for what it is. But if your wife is interested in riding for more than just a couple of miles at more than single-digit average speeds, I'd look somewhere else. The Townie trades on the casual rider's fear of falling and unwillingness to become a competent bike rider. That in itself wouldn't be a problem, but it does so by putting the rider in just about the worst riding position imaginable for any kind of sustained bike riding. But as I said above, if you're talking "around the block," it's not a problem, and the Townie would suit her fine.
 

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I don't know much about Electra, but did recently buy a Nexus 8 bike (Masi Soulville FWIW) and love it for around town and my short commute, shifts perfectly and the range is good. If the Electra doesn't work out check out the Masi and the Bianchi Milano, (though the Masi needs a decent seat and a front brake added to be safe and comfortable)
 

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I have an Electra Townie 7 speed that I've been riding to work for the past couple of months. It is not a bike for "serious" bike riders, but my commute is 6 miles round trip with some pretty big hills and the 7 speed does fine. If you want to go really fast or get a really good workout, I would think you would want either a hybrid or road bike. The Electras are definitely distinctive and fun. The bike shop you buy yours from should be able to adjust the handle bars and seat to make for the most comfortable ride possible. I like being able to sit up on the bike (not hunched over) and the fact that my feet can rest flat on the ground while sitting on the bike. This is especially good for city riding where you have many stop lights.
 

· Seat's not level
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Buy two. My wife and I have had cruisers for about 10 years. We ride them quite often. It's okay if you both have the same gearing and are out for a casual ride. My wife has a basket on hers and will ride it to the store if she only needs a few things.

They are classic looking cruiser and are quite comfortable to ride around town. We get lots of comments about how cool they are and get a few requests to take them for a spin from the neighbors.

We also have our road bikes which get a log more miles.

Think of it this way. It's nice to have different options. You don't always need to go on a hammer ride, sometimes a ride down to the ice cream shoppe on the cruiser is just as fun.
 

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mikespug said:
The nexus hub is also made with a coaster brake. It's old school and my wife loves it! Pedal backwards and you stop...like the old bmx bikes I rode when I was a kid. Simple and nostalgic.
The coaster brake is a LOT of fun, have one on my Masi....but IMHO it is not enough for an 8sp bike that can go fairly fast so I added a front brake. I rode a Schwinn Heavy-Duti when I was a messenger waaay back in the '70's, reminds me of that bike
 

· $4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry it took so long to reply - my computer was having problems, child in hospital, etc...

I bought my wife the Townie. She loves it. It's a lot of fun to ride. We ended up buying the 21 speed in a light blue. I agree that if I was a single guy, I might buy one. Each time I've ridden it up the street, I get comments from the ladies. Hmmmm....maybe I need to skip the bright colored lycra, the $5000 bike, the sweat and go for a powder blue cruiser????
 
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