Here's something a bit out of the ordinary for a weekend ride. What with the sun shining like it's summer we thought we'd introduce you to the office cruiser. It may look like it's raining in those pics but actually we just gave the beast a hose down to wash off the dust from the ride home, and we thought it looked, well, a bit arty. Say hello to the Electra Townie 7D.
The first thing you'll notice, of course, is that this is one long bike. There's at least a foot of space between the bottom bracket and the rear wheel that you won't find on your road bike, and the head tube is a lengthy affair too. All this is part of what Electra call Flat Foot Technology.
Flat Foot Technology? Well it's nothing to do with policeman, although this would be a cool way to do your beat. Instead it's all to do with the riding position. Electra have taken a standard road bike geometry and rotated the contact points (saddle, pedals and handlebars) by 23° about an axis in the middle of the bike. That means a lower saddle, pedals very much in front of your bottom and big high bars.
They've done this so that you can have an upright town position and also put your feet flat on the floor even when your saddle is at the right height for the pedal reach. It's somewhere between standard and recumbent in feel, very much a sitting down affair: when you're climbing on the bike it's difficult to know whether you should go for the elbows-bent hunch over the front like you would on a standard bike, or lock your arms and push against the saddle like you would on a recumbent. Both seem to work...
Anyway it's an interesting position and the bike's interesting too: a big, long town hack with seven gears courtesy of a Shimano Revo twist shift and Tourney derailleur. The double wall rims are shod with big 26x2" slicks for soaking up road buzz and any that makes it past the wheels will be mopped up by the huge elastomer-sprung saddle. You get V-brakes front and rear to do the stopping, not that you'll be going very fast.
We'll be interested to see how the Townie performs: unlike other cruisers we've ridden this is designed to be a very useable all-round town bike. At 28lb it isn't over-heavy and the sensible spec means there's a good range of gears. You can fit mudguards and a rack too if you want full utility. Stay tuned for a full review soon...
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.