Electra Townie Go Review

Electra Townie Go 2014 Electric Bike Review
Electra Townie Go 2014 Electric Bike Review
Electra Townie Go 2014
Electra Townie Go 2014 Battery Pack
Electra Townie Go 2014 Hub Motor
Electra Townie Go 2014 Wheel Lock
Electra Townie Go 2014 Fenders
Electra Townie Go 2014 Front Hub
Electra Townie Go 2014 Electric Bike Review

Summary

  • Comfortable, simple to use and affordable cruiser style electric bike built on the proven Electra Townie platform
  • The SRAM EMATIC system has no computer to mess with, no extra cables or settings to choose, just an on/off button
  • Solid 30 mile range but lower top speed (15mph electronically limited), two-speed geared hub auto-shifts

Video Review

Introduction Edit

Make:

Electra

Model:

Townie Go

Price:

$ 2200.00

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 1 Year Components

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20132014

Rating:

Electronic Details Edit

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Brand:

SRAM E-Matic

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

288 wh

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles ( 32 km )

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles ( 48 km )

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

15 mph ( 24 kph )

Bicycle Details Edit

Total Weight:

52 lbs ( 23.58 kg )

Frame Types:

High-Step, Step-Thru

Frame Material:

6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Colors:

Black or Gold High-Step, Black or Light Blue Step-Thru

Frame Fork Details:

Hi-Tensile Steel Unicrown with Straight Tapered Legs

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

2 Speed 1x2 Internally Geared Auto-Switch at 11 mph, 17T Cog

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

1.125

Stem:

Forged Alloy 25.4 mm Quill, 100 mm Extension

Handlebar:

6061 Aluminum Alloy High Rise

Brake Details:

Front and Rear V-Brakes, Alloy 4-Finger Reach Adjustable Levers

Grips:

Ergonomic

Saddle:

Ergonomic with Shock-Absorbing Elastomer

Seat Post:

Forged Alloy with Micro Adjust

Rims:

Double-Wall Alloy with Eyelets, 26

Spokes:

14G Stainless, Brass Nipples

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Fat Frank Balloon, 26

Wheel Sizes:

26 in ( 66.04 cm )

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall, Puncture-Resistant Kevlar Guard Casing

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

SRAM D3 Dynamo (3 Watt Output) Powered LED Lights, Matching Aluminum Alloy Fenders and Chain Guard, Rear Carry Rack, Double Leg Scissoring Kickstand, Deflopilator Stabilizing Spring, ABUS Cafe Frame Lock on Rear Wheel

Written Review

The Electra Townie Go! is based on the popular Electra Townie frame set and was introduced in 2013 with several updates for the 2014 model. It offers two pedal speeds that automatically shift based on pedal cadence. The gears are built right into the rear hub motor which offers 250 watts of power and the battery pack is average at 36 volts of power and 8 amp hours of capacity. It’s a bike that’s fun looking, easy to use and fairly durable. The cruiser style seating position keeps your head up and back and neck relaxed. The tires smooth out the ride and the fenders, chain guard and lights make it safe and functional.

250 watts isn’t much in the world of American ebikes. It’s more standard in Europe where they have stricter regulations. Still, this geared hub offers decent support and because it’s torque-activated the rider must always contribute by pedaling along to make it go. The downside here is that there’s no throttle mode but you do get more exercise. For much larger riders or those who prefer a scooter-like ride I suggest checking out the Pedego City Commuter which offers both pedal assist and throttle along with 7 speeds instead of just two. It’s a more complicated bike, and it’s more expensive, but it offers a stronger motor and battery pack.

Powering the Townie Go is a 36 volt, 8 amp hour Lithium-ion battery pack that’s mounted on the rear rack. The entire drive system here was built by SRAM and works seamlessly. In many ways, this bike is similar to the OHM XU 450 E2 that also runs on the SRAM EMATIC system but costs a bit more and features a front shock. As for the Townie Go, I’d say it has an average power and battery capacity offering, it works well for urban cruising but wouldn’t be ideal for off road or steep climbing applications. The battery pack itself is lockable and can be removed for charging on or off the bike. The same key that secures the battery also activates the rear-wheel lock. It’s a pretty neat system, one that will keep the bike a little bit safer but ideally you should still lock it to a rail or bike rack.

The beauty of the Townie Go is its simplicity. While it still offers mounts for a bottle cage and comes with fenders, lights and a rear rack this bike feels minimalist. It’s easy to forget there’s a motor and battery helping you along because you don’t have to choose an assistance level, look at an LCD computer or even shift gears. It’s like riding a single-speed kids bike, you just pedal along and the bike does the rest… and in this case, the bike reduces the strain on your knees, lets you keep up with friends and go further than a regular bike would.

I’m a big fan of the oversized tires and plush seat which absorb bumps and cracks. The chain guard is beautiful and keeps your pants clean and the high step and low step options are perfect for a his and her setup. The bikes come in black and gold for highstep and black and light blue for lowstep. A deflopiliator spring has been added on the front wheel to help stabilize the bike if you add a basket (for flowers or kittens) and the pedals are stiff, though a little less grippy in wet riding conditions due to a rubber grip pad. The rear rack is perfect for a saddle bag or panniers and uses standard gauge tubing that’s compatible with most after-market packs and the kickstand works well, keeping the bike very balanced, even with baskets or packs attached.

Pros:

  • Incredibly simple, beautiful and durable. Based on Electra’s proven Townie design
  • Well priced at just $2,200 compared with other ebikes
  • Relatively light weight at just 52 pounds
  • Cables are integrated into the frame keeping the bike stylish and less vulnerable to snags
  • The rear rack uses standard gauge tubing that works with most packs and panniers
  • Simple electronic system only has one switch on/off so you won’t be confused or distracted
  • Includes front and rear lights powered through the front dynamo hub
  • Comes in black and gold for high step and black and light blue for low step
  • Comfortable, ergonomic seating position combined with soft tires and plush sprung seat
  • High end Lithium-ion battery will get lots of charge cycles, recharge quickly and weigh less than Lead acid alternatives
  • Battery locks to bike and is hidden by a swivel reflector in the rear
  • Slide-through lock secures rear wheel making bike less easy to steal
  • Sturdy kickstand and deflopilator keeps bike from tipping even if it has packs mounted to it
  • Built in fenders look great and keep you clean and dry
  • Chain guard protects pants and dresses from getting oil on them
  • Automatic two-speed geared hub is quiet, stays clean and changes itself automatically based on pedal cadence

Cons:

  • Lower top speed than many other US electric bikes, just 16mph
  • Only offers pedal assist mode so you have to keep pedaling to go vs. using a throttle
  • No computer to tell you how far you’ve gone or how fast you’re riding etc.
  • Since the battery and motor are built into the rear end, this bike is back-heavy
  • Curvy frames look nice but are harder to mount onto some car and bike racks, especially the step-through version

Resources:

More Electra Reviews

2013 Electra Townie Go Review

  • MSRP: $ 2200.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2012, 2013

Proven platform, Electra's Townie is comfortable, durable and stylish. Incredibly simple and clean, no computer to mess with, no extra cables or settings...

20 Comments

Walt Barnes
October 25, 2013
The concept is great, price is a bit high. Most folks would be put off by that, I think it would be better around $1,000
    Court Rye
    October 25, 2013
    I hear you Walt, I think we are still in the early adopter phase of ebikes somewhat and as the technology catches on more the prices will come down. I think electric bikes are actually much more affordable in Europe and Asia where a lot of people ride them. I've created a list of more affordable ebikes you can check out at http://electricbikereview.com/tag/affordable/
      Susan Stearns
      December 15, 2013
      I am very curious as to what the updates are between the 2013 to 2014 models. Could you please give specifics?
        Joann
        April 12, 2014
        I have been waiting for Electra go bike. I just tested the new go ladies bike. I cannot believe that Electra put that bike out with a very serious design flaw. I am a women 5'4" and I was not able to sit on that bike at the lowest level it would go. The seat will not go all the way down. It hits the battery rack. The salesman called Electra to see if it could be adjusted and they said no. They knew there was a problem. That sure makes them look bad. They should have held back release of the bike, so they could fix the problem. I have purchase 3 townie bikes and have always consided them a quality bike. They should not even offer the ladies bike electric bike. I think a women 5'6" or shorter will not be able to get on that bike. Maybe someone can check it out. It is the 2014 model. That was one of the updates.
          Court Rye
          April 18, 2014
          Hi Joann, sorry to hear about the issues you experienced with the seat. Thanks for the heads up here! When I shot this review my time was a bit limited and I didn't experiment with seat height. Your thoughts here will help others to be aware so thank you!
            Ann
            June 9, 2014
            Darn. The Go sounded great, but I am only 5" even. There is no way. Thank you.
              Court Rye
              June 11, 2014
              Hi Ann, consider the Pedego 24" Cruiser which uses smaller wheels to make getting on and off easier. You could also try the iGo Metro which is a bit less expensive and has an adjustable seat (review for that coming soon).
                Björn
                June 27, 2014
                I am really interested in that bike. But I have some concerns about the general handling with the E-mode. Maybe you have an answer on that: The SRAM E-Matic seems to change between the 2 gears by itself. But does it also change the gears if the electric assistance is shut off? Can you also use the bike without the electric assistance? How comfortable is it to ride without it? Thanks in advance, Björn
                  Court Rye
                  June 28, 2014
                  Hi Björn! Yes, I believe the SRAM E-Matic gearing will work even when the bike is turned off. I think it uses wheel speed to mechanically trigger a shift from one gear to another and SRAM even sells non-electric internally geared hubs. Here's a page that shows their different products. I reviewed this bike quite a while back but if memory serves I think it rides just like a normal bike with the motor is turned off and that includes auto-shifting :)
                    Marie
                    July 2, 2014
                    I'm interested in the women's Townie Go but I can't seem to get a straight answer as to whether it will fit me since I am a 6'1" tall woman. All of the bike stores in the Denver Metro area appear to be out of stock. Do you know if it will work for a person as tall as I am or do I have to go with the men's bike?
                      Court Rye
                      July 3, 2014
                      I hear bike companies say stuff like "this bike will fit anyone if you adjust the seat and handlebars" but truthfully it may feel a bit small. Have you considered the Easy Motion Neo City which comes in Medium and Large frame but still has the step-thru design? I realize it looks different than the Townie Go but it's a wonderful bike with a similar easy to use interface offering pedal assist and throttle mode. The Townie Go is a decent bike but I think Electra was purchased by Trek recently and they may be updating the design or focused on other things for the short term. I didn't like how loud it was or expensive considering it's more simple than other ebikes (fewer gears to choose from, weaker motor).
                        Marie
                        July 3, 2014
                        Thank you for the help--I appreciate knowing the back story! I'll check out the Easy Motion Neo City. But before I save up for that I will probably just get a much cheaper townie with some gears (mine has none and I am suffering on the hills west of Denver). Thanks again!
                          Court Rye
                          July 7, 2014
                          Sure thing Marie, you can also add a kit to your regular Townie later (this is what Pedego did before they made their own electric bikes... and they used Electra Townies in fact). Here are some different ebike kit choices to explore, I like the ones from E-BikeKit because they have a solid warranty and offer more power but don't cost a lot. The downside is no pedal assist. For fancier stuff check out BionX which offers regenerative braking and four levels of pedal assist as well as trigger throttle.
                            LAURYN
                            December 6, 2014
                            Who makes that double kickstand? Copenhagen?
                            • Court Rye
                              December 6, 2014
                              Hi Lauryn, I cannot confirm for certain but I believe you are correct! It looks like the Copenhagen Dual Leg Kickstand which retails for ~$35 online. Were you thinking about adding this to a bicycle you already own?
                            LAURYN
                            December 7, 2014
                            Thanks! You did help. I'll update once I add one to my bike :)
                              LAURYN
                              December 7, 2014
                              Thank you, Court! I currently have an Electra Townie 21D with a Yepp Maxie Easyfit and the Easyfit Carrier XL like this and I am looking for a double kickstand that'll work with my setup. I'm thinking the Copenhagen or this one by Crow but asked here because I was curious what one was used on this Townie.
                              • Court Rye
                                December 7, 2014
                                Cool! Sounds like a nice setup Lauryn, I hope I helped and am excited for you. Ride safe out there :)
                              chris
                              February 25, 2015
                              my wife is 5'3 and has the light blue woman's Townie Go. She is short legged but has no problem and loves it. I have the man's Townie Go in black and i love it. We have owned them for 15 months ride them at the beach almost every weekend and they have been trouble free.
                              • Court Rye
                                February 28, 2015
                                That's awesome Chris! Thanks for sharing your story. Electra has a great reputation for fun cruisers and while I felt the Townie Go! was a bit loud and under-powered it was still a quality build and fun to ride :)

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