Electra Townie Commute Go! 8i Review

Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Electric Bike Review 1
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Color Matched Chain Cover
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Bosch Powerpack 400 Battery
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Custom Bend Handlebar Bosch Intuvia Display
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc Brakes And Front Rack
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Velo Shock Absorbing Saddle
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Integrated Spanninga Pixeo Backlight And Fenders
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Rear Rack And Cafe Lock
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Eight Speed Internally Geared Shimano Nexus Hub
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Electric Bike Review
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Stock Step Through Black
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Stock High Step Grey
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Electric Bike Review 1
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Color Matched Chain Cover
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Bosch Powerpack 400 Battery
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Custom Bend Handlebar Bosch Intuvia Display
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc Brakes And Front Rack
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Velo Shock Absorbing Saddle
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Integrated Spanninga Pixeo Backlight And Fenders
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Rear Rack And Cafe Lock
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Eight Speed Internally Geared Shimano Nexus Hub
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Electric Bike Review
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Stock Step Through Black
Electra Townie Commute Go 8i Stock High Step Grey


  • A feature-rich electric bike that blends commuting utility and efficiency with cruiser comfort and style, large swept-back handlebar and oversized saddle
  • Integrated LED lights, reflective Balloon tires, premium bell, and paint-matched fenders and chain cover keep you safe and clean in all types of conditions
  • Available in two frame styles (slightly different sizes) and three colorways: wavy step-thru in blue and black or rigid high-step in grey and black
  • The kickstand can get in the way of the left crank arm, the front rack turns with the bike so it's easier to spill (especially when parking), the steel chain protector could rust if scratched

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Video Review

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Townie Commute Go! 8i



Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes


2 Years Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame


United States

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

57.8 lbs (26.21 kg) (Step-Thru 58.5, High-Step 57.5)

Battery Weight:

5.6 lbs (2.54 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)20.5 in (52.07 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Men’s High-Step Measurements: 20.5" Seat Tube, 24.25" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 29.5" Width, 76.5" Length, Women’s Step-Thru Measurements: 19” Seat Tube, 24” Reach, 21” Stand Over Height, 29.5” Width, 76.5” Length

Frame Types:

High-Step, Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Satin Black, Stone Grey, Black, Mineral Blue

Frame Fork Details:

Hi-Ten Steel Unicrown, Straight Tapered Leg, 100 mm Hub Length, 10 mm Axle with Nuts

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm Hub Length, 10 mm Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Nexus Inter-8 Internally Geared Hub

Shifter Details:

Shimano Nexus 8-Speed Grip Twist


FSA Forged Alloy, 170 mm Length, 20 Tooth Chainring


VP Alloy Platform wtih Non-Slip Rubber Tread


1-1/8" Steel Threaded, Semi-Integrated


Forged Alloy, 25.4 mm Quill, 80 mm Extension


Alloy Custom Bend, 24.8" Width, 3.5" Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro Auriga Two-Finger Levers with Reach Adjust


Ergo-Shaped Hand-Stitched Leatherette


Electra Branded Velo, Ergonomic with Shock-Absorbing Elastomers

Seat Post:

Butted Alloy, Micro-Adjust

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


Alexrims ATE-2, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 622x19, 36 Hole, Silver


Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Adjustable Nipples, Silver

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Fat Frank Balloon, 28" x 2.0" (50 x 622)

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

30 to 65 PSI, 2.0 to 4.5 BAR, K-Guard 3 Puncture Protection, Reflective Sidewall Stripe

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve


Alloy Front Rack (9.1 kg / 20 lb Max Load), Alloy Rear Rack (25 kg / 55 lb Max Load), Steel Paint-Matched Chain Cover, ABUS ART Cafe Lock (Key Matched to Battery), Integrated Spanniga Kendo LED Headlight, Integrated Spanninga Pixeo LED Backlight, Massload Center-Mount Kickstand, Disconnected Shimano Dynamo Front Hub DH-3D37-NT


Locking Removable Downtube Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1 lb 2 Amp Compact Battery Charger, KMC X10e 1/2" x 3/32" Nickel Plated Chain, Maximum Load for Bike 136 kg / 299.8 lb

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Performance Line Cruise

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

63 Newton meters

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

396 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

65 miles (105 km)

Display Type:

Bosch Intuvia, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Grayscale, Backlit LCD, (Hold Reset and i for Settings Menu)


Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (5 Bars), Odometer, Trip Distance, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time, Shift Recommendation

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad with Tactile Feedback on Left, 5 Volt 500 mA Micro USB Port on Display

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 50% 40 Nm, Tour 120% 50 Nm, Sport 190% 55 Nm, Turbo 275% 63 Nm)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (25 km/h in Europe)

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Written Review

The original Townie Go! has become one of the most popular mainstream electric bikes to hit the market since it first launched in 2012. Since that time, Electra has upgraded the motor from Bosch Active Cruise to Bosch Performance Cruise (going from 50 Nm to ~60 Newton meters of torque), adding color options, and refining some of the touch points. With the introduction of a new Townie Commute Go! 8i model in 2017, many people have wondered what the differences are and why you’d choose the Commute over the original Townie Go! (which is still being sold). In short, the Commute offers a more upright body position and active ride experience for those who might be pedaling faster and riding further… commuting to work vs. relaxing in a park or neighborhood setting. It doesn’t completely shake the cruiser look, and is still one of the most relaxed and comfort oriented cruisers on the market, but the wider wheel diameter (28″ vs. 26″) and less-offset bottom bracket emphasize pedaling. Other technical differences include the use of powerful hydraulic disc brakes, a front rack in addition to the standard rear rack, reflective tires, a single side kickstand vs. a double-legged center stand, a premium paint-matched bell for signaling and a lighter overall footprint. There’s a lot to appreciate with this new model but a few things did confuse me… the front wheel has a dynamo hub built into it (or at least the demo models I tested did), and yet, this dynamo does not appear to be connected to anything. It’s creating drag on the front wheel but the electricity is going nowhere? It probably adds weight and expense, so there must be a reason for it. Perhaps this was included on European models and setup with some different sort of headlight and simply left on the American version to hit economies of scale and reduce manufacturing complexities and variations? The front rack is another area of mixed results for me, it turns as you steer which can change the handling feel or dump supplies off of either side depending on how tight the turns are. And if you park, because the bike uses a single-side kickstand, the front rack may tip to the left and shift contents. A more sturdy design would be to have the rack mounted to the steerer tube / head tube, but that may cost more and can be a little confusing visually as you steer the bike but see the rack staying straight. It’s all about trade off’s I guess, but one thing they really nailed is the two frame sizes and multiple colors. As an average sized male, standing 5’9″ tall, I would probably get the black step-thru because of how easy it is to mount. It doesn’t look as feminine as the light blue step-thru and handled very well (the frame felt stiff vs. flexy as a lot of other wave designs are). With the motor and battery mounted low and center on the frame, the bikes handled well and left plenty of room for cargo, especially on the rear rack which is not compromised by a rack-mounted battery.

Driving the bike is a standard Bosch Performance Line Cruise motor producing 250 to 500+ watts of power output and up to 63 Newton meters of torque. It’s incredibly capable and super responsive. This motor responds to rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque. It listens for these signals 1,000 times per second and spins a smaller 20 tooth sprocket to deliver maximum chain grab and start power. The world of electric bikes has grown a lot over the past five years and there are many cruiser options with throttles and super powerful motors but Bosch, with it’s smart pedal-assist only design, has remained one of my favorites. I have found that it responds quickly and powerfully enough (depending on the gear, and the level of assist you choose) to almost feel like a throttle. It isn’t difficult to start out on a hill from zero if you’re in a lower gear. And that’s easy to accomplish with the Townie Commute Go! 8i because you can shift gears at standstill. The 8i in the name stands for eight speed internally geared. Simply twist the half-grip shifter on the right side of the bar and it will click into the next gear. It works pretty well, but can take some getting used to for those who are more familiar with trigger shifters. For example, if you shift while applying a lot of pressure on the pedals and cranks, the Shimano Nexus hub may not shift immediately and you’ll hear a clicking sound. This will continue until you ease back just a bit and let the new gear engage. The Bosch mid-motor has a built in micro-gap to help shifting occur naturally, they call this shift detection, but the best thing to do as a rider is ease off slightly if you need the gear to change. The combination of a mid drive with an internally geared hub means there are only two chainrings in use and the chain itself can stay straight and tight. Electra did not opt for a horizontal dropout design here (used to tighten the chain for single sprocket setups like this) and instead is using a chain tensioner that looks a bit like a derailleur. Perhaps this means they will have a cassette version of the bike for less money in the future or maybe they just shared the dropout section of the frame with another model? Whatever the cases, it works fine and chain didn’t bounce or fall off during my tests. Most of the shifting mechanisms are protected near the hub and should require less maintenance than a standard derailleur. If the bike tips or gets bumped from the right side, the hub is more protected… and your pants or dress will also be protected thanks to a painted chain cover. I love how minimalist this cover is but noticed that it is made from Steel vs. Aluminum which means it could probably rust if scratched. Be careful not to step on the cover or graze it with your right shoe while pedaling. Note also, that internally geared hubs tend to weigh a bit more than derailleurs and sprockets, they also add to the cost.

Powering the bike is a standard Bosch Powerpack 400 that is mounted directly to the downtube. It’s not especially refined or integrated like some of the fancy new e-mountain bikes, many of which also use Bosch, but it doesn’t look that out of place here. It’s easy to get at for charging or removal and I would definitely recommend taking it off if you have to lift the bike or are storing it in an environment that experiences extreme heat or cold. The battery case has a nice loop at the top to make carrying easier and safer, it has an integrated 5-LED power readout so you can see how full it is without mounting to the bike, and it doesn’t require a special adapter to work with the charger as some other less refined systems sometimes do. The battery charger that you get with the Commute Go! is the more basic Compact version which puts out a standard 2 Amps vs. 4 Amps. But it’s smaller and lighter, it works fine for the Powerpack 400 here. Bosch now offers a larger Powerpack 500 which offers 25% more capacity, and the good news is that you can buy this pack separately and it will work with the same interface on the downtube. Both batteries use the same sort of Lithium-ion chemistry but the Powerpack 500 has a higher energy density makeup in its cells. It doesn’t weigh much more but will increase your range which can be nice. The stock Powerpack 400 should deliver between 20 to 60 miles depending on the level of assist chosen and I love how easy it is to gauge distance using the Bosch Intuvia display panel which has a range menu.

The Intuvia is one of my favorite display systems from any ebike manufacturer because it’s large and easy to read, has a Micro-USB port built into the side, can be navigated with a remote button pad so you don’t have to take your hands off the grips to make adjustments while riding, and it can be remove easily for safe storage. This display isn’t overly complicated, the basic interactions are on, up, and down. You could literally just turn it on and arrow up with + and down with – buttons to achieve the optimal support… or you could go further and press the i button to explore trip readouts such as distance, time, max speed, and that range menu I mentioned earlier. It all works together nicely, and the display is backlit with a faint blue glow for use at night. Since the Townie Commute Go! 8i has integrated LED lights, the display panel is also used to turn them on or off by pressing the lightbulb button at the lower right corner. My own experience with this system has been that it balances function with form but leans a bit more towards function. Bosch now has a Purion display that combines an LCD with buttons and is much smaller and not removable. For someone who actually commutes, and might leave their electric bike out in the rain, direct sunlight, or in a rougher bike rack, the removability factor is huge. You can often pay to have shops swap display models if you prefer the smaller, and I did notice that the button pad wire was stretched pretty far to reach all the way to the left grip. It seems like there’s a bit of room for refinement there, but overall the system works very well. I also like that the display mount can be swiveled forward and back (if not over-tightened) to help reduce glare.

At the end of the day, I think I could be happy on either the original Townie Go! or the new Commute model. The smaller diameter of the Townie Go! means that the frame is lower to the ground, and it has wider more stable tires… but it does weigh just a bit more and lacks the hydraulic disc brakes that the Commute offers. Both bikes will likely receive incremental design and accessory improvements over the years (we have already seen that with the Townie Go!) but one thing that remains great is the wide network of dealers who can help fit you and service the product long term. I want to thank Summit Bicycles in San Jose, California for letting me showcase the Townie Go! and Townie Commute Go! side by side. They also sell the non-electric Townie models which cost just $500. It’s a bit jarring to see basically the same bike for $2,500 more because it’s electrified… but the Bosch drive system is worth it if you’re struggling to keep up with a friend, trying to go further, or just don’t want to arrive to work all sweaty. If buying the Townie Go Commute or another electric bike means that you can forego an automobile and save on gas, insurance, and repairs, then the price can make sense. In the world of electric bikes, this would be considered a mid-level price for all of the accessories and dealer support that you get. There are competing products out there which may not last as long or perform as quickly, powerfully, or smoothly. Again, the frame and color options draw me in and I think this could be a great option for many purposes and types of riders.


  • Technically, the Townie Commute Go! comes in two styles and each one is a slightly different size (both are measured in the specs above) and this allows it to fit a wider range of riders with different body types, I also like how the quill stem can be raised or lowered but feels more solid than some of the adjustable angle stems
  • At ~57.4 lbs for the step-thru frame style and 57.8 lbs for the high-step, this is not the lightest weight electric bike on the market but it’s also not terrible considering that you get alloy fenders, chain protector, two racks, custom elongated bars, a large comfort saddle, and integrated lights… and the upgrade to hydraulic disc brakes here vs. band Brakes on the original Townie Go! means you can stop much faster and without exerting as much hand effort
  • By using a Steel fork, swept-back handlebar with padded ergonomic grips, a large bumper saddle, and larger Balloon tires from Schwalbe, Electra has improved the the comfort of this e-bike without using suspension which adds weight, cost and a feeling of bob… for those who want to further enhance comfort, consider upgrading the stock seat post with a 27.2 mm suspension seat post like the BodyFloat or less expensive Suntour NCX (just keep in mind, these suspension posts will raise the minimum saddle height by a few inches)
  • I’m a big safety nut and the integrated LED lights, standard reflectors, premium bell, and reflective sidewall stripes on the tires all combine to make this a bike that will be noticed and respected in different environments and lighting conditions
  • The rear rack is very functional, it’s positioned well behind the saddle so that you can lower the seating position without blocking usable rack space, I like that it’s also color-matched to the black and blue frame colors
  • With an internally geared hub system like the Shimano Nexus 8 here, you can shift gears at standstill to prepare for a climb (though it may take a moment of low-torque pedaling for the shift to occur), and I have been told by shops that internally geared hubs don’t get bent out of alignment as easily or require as much maintenance as traditional derailleurs… they do weigh a bit more however
  • The brake levers used on the Townie Commute Go! 8i are adjustable so you can bring them in if you have petite hands or are wearing gloves, the two-finger design stays out of the way and is a bit higher end as you might see on a mountain bike
  • Electra is now owned by Trek, one of the Big Three manufacturers to sell in the USA, and they have dealers all across the nation, that means you can find and test ride the Townie models much easier, get fit correctly, and receive help if there is ever a warranty issue or you need a tuneup
  • The bike comes stock with a built-in frame lock that uses the same key as the battery pack, this lock basically slides a rod through the rear spokes so nobody can grab your bike and ride away with it… but they could still lift it and try to run off, it’s a nice little extra that’s useful for quick stops at the coffee shop for example
  • Overall, the frame is very well balanced with motor and battery weight positioned low and center, this is important for handling while riding or if you have to lift the bike up a curb while walking it
  • Both the battery and display panel can be easily removed for safe keeping or reduced weight, this feature comes in handy if you have to park at a public rack and want to charge up inside, I love that the display panel also has a Micro-USB port on the right side for use with your own portable electronic devices while riding, I have used it to charge my phone on occasion
  • The Bosch drive system and controller are very advanced, they provide shift detection to protect your drivetrain and have a range-estimate menu to help inform your rides (it’s much more useful than a battery infographic because it responds to the level of assist you choose)


  • Be careful not to step on the chain protector or scratch it while pedaling because it’s made from Steel and can rust vs. the fenders which are Aluminum and will not, I like that it’s painted to match the frame and not super big or overdone which would just add weight, it’s quieter than a plastic chain cover
  • The kickstand is positioned towards the middle of the bicycle, just behind the bottom bracket where the motor is, and this is fine for balancing the bike but it does get in the way of the left crank arm (specifically, when you back the bike up if the stand is still deployed, they will collide)
  • It looks neat to have a front rack in addition to the more standard rear rack, but the way it’s mounted, the front rack turns as you steer and can more easily dump cargo, this even happens when you park the bike because there’s no deflopilator spring holding the front wheel straight and the kickstand is a side design vs. center mount
  • I noticed that the front wheel hub was a dynamo energy generator vs. a standard lighter, simpler, less-expensive normal hub, I’m guessing this even adds some resistance to your front wheel spinning and I have no idea why it was present on both of the bikes I saw considering that it’s not even connected? Both of the lights run off of the main battery pack, at least on the USA models I reviewed
  • Unfortunately, neither the Women’s step-thru or Men’s high-step have bottle cage bosses, consider using a handlebar drink holder or a trunk bag with a bottle holster for fluids
  • Minor gripe here but the Electra Townie models appear to come with the Compact Bosch Charger which only fills at 2 Amps vs. 4 Amps on their high-end charger, I haven’t compared directly but it might take 5+ hours to fill vs. 4 hours and in this case, the bike comes with the smaller Bosch Powerpack 400 battery vs. the new Powerpack 500, this reduces weight slightly and saves cost, the good news is that the Powerpack 500 is backwards compatible so you could upgrade to that or buy a second battery and it would still work with the interface on this bike
  • Minor gripe here but the button pad used to arrow up or down through the assist levels just barely reaches the mounting point near the left grip, you can see in the pictures that the cable is stretched to the max… and they want to put that control pad close so you don’t have to take your hand off while riding but at the same time, I feel that this cable is vulnerable and should just be longer… maybe Bosch needs to think about offering a longer cable for cruiser bars like this so the cable won’t be as vulnerable and tight as it was on the Electra Townie Commute Go! 8i models I tested
  • Depending on how you ride, and whether you live somewhere that has a lot of rain, the stock pedals might not be ideal, they aren’t super wide and the rubberized tread can become slippery, my favorite affordable replacement are Wellgo BMX pedals like this


More Electra Reviews

Electra Townie Go! Review

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The best Electra Townie Go! design I've tested to date, better weight distribution, increased efficiency and greater power thanks to the Bosch Performance Cruise drive system. Available in six different colors with matching aluminum fenders, chain guard, rims and carry rack,…...

2014 Electra Townie Go Review

  • MSRP: $2,200
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013, 2014

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…...

2013 Electra Townie Go Review

  • MSRP: $2,200
  • 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...

6 months ago

I got my Electra Townie Go Commute about 6 weeks ago. It does not have a front dynamo and the front wheel has quick releases. I love the ride and my only complaint is that they did not key the battery and the cafe lock together. I have to carry three keys, including my chain lock, with me when I ride.

Court Rye
6 months ago

Huh, that’s very interesting… Thanks for chiming in about the dynamo and quick release front wheel. I wonder if the bikes I saw were from a different batch or had different requirements or something? Would you mind sharing which state you bought yours in? I conducted this review in Santa Clara, California (near San Francisco).

John Kuecks
6 months ago

I bought mine at Santiago Cycling in Tustin, CA, Southern California. Mine is the Stone Grey/White model. I had wanted the Townie Go high step but Santiago Cycling stated their supplier, and they are a Trek shop, was all out of Townie e-bikes except for the Commute, so that’s what I bought. It sounded like they might have more in September.

Court Rye
6 months ago

Thanks for the update John! That’s interesting, I hope you enjoy the Commute :)


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1 month ago

Welcome! This electricbikereview.com website has reviews organised by category, price, also Court Rye's https://electricbikereview.com/best-electric-bikes/ by category - he has a https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcJGe_WM6xKnB_J8ynIYx2A and the videos are embedded in each bike review he posts here. The https://www.reddit.com/r/ebikes/ discussion forum has a list of helpful links on the right side of their webpage including an introductory https://www.reddit.com/r/ebikes/wiki/index#wiki_intro_to_e-bike_kits_ and links to the http://www.ebikeschool.com/discover/ website and http://endless-sphere.com/forums/index.php DIY discussion forum. Use the search box on these forums to find out if your questions have already been answered, and if not ask away. There appear to be dozens of bike shops in Sacramento and it's great to take test rides of several models before you commit to buy, equally important is a local bike shop's ability to provide services, diagnostics, and electrical/mechanical maintenance. There's a tempo to ebike sales that follows the changing seasons and if you time it right you can pick up a great deal on a previous year model. Or you might prefer to go with one of the bigger bicycle retailers who all have introduced Class 1 pedelec (20mph, no throttle) models in or just above your budget such as the Giant Explore E+3, Specialized Turbo Como 2.0, Trek Lift+, and Electra Townie Go! If you choose a direct-to-consumer brand like Sondors, or Voltbike, or discounter like https://crazylennysebikes.com/collections/demo, consider employing a local bike shop or mobile bike mechanic service like https://www.velofix.com/locations/sacramento/ to assemble a mail-order ebike out of the box as they will have the right tools and can check everything is tight, safe, and working on the bicycle side e.g. the brakes, chainline, gears, and accessories.

2 months ago

HELP: Would appreciate thoughts on buying my first e-bike. It MUST be from a local shop as I like to support local businesses, prefer to deal with a human in person, and I’m not handy.
So, from those carried locally what are your thoughts on the Electra Townie Go!, Magnum Peak and Mangum +, and the iZip E3 Dash.

2 months ago

I'm struggling to understand why so many want a bike that goes 28 MPH. If I wanted a motorcycle I'd buy a motorcycle, 20 MPH is plenty fast enough for me and I'm an older fellow too. I'm much more interested in torque and the ability to get up hills than going at a speed that could kill me. Am I missing something? Is the 28 MPH bike in demand for reasons other than top speed?


2 months ago


I am retiring soon (I’m 64) and would like to choose the right electric bike. It must come from a brick and mortar store because I’m not knowledgeable about e-bikes or handy. My favorites from my online research are the Electra Townie Go!, the Trek Lyft (test drove these two at stores) and the Raleigh Retroglide and Raleigh Redux, which I like because its top speed is 28 and the others are 20. My budget is $3000. I’m 5’10, 185 lbs.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

2 months ago

"The fastest-growing price point for e-bikes at the moment is $2,000-$2,499"
"Trek leads the electric bike market ahead of Electra, Specialized, Raleigh, and Giant – with 42 percent of sales focused on transit/fitness, ahead of lifestyle designs at 25 percent. Since independent bike shops often are moving the most electric bikes, it’s a welcome business opportunity for shops on tight budgets."

Ed P
2 months ago

I, too, have loved my non-electric, crank-forward, step-thru bike (RANS Fusion) for the past 10 years here in somewhat hilly Washington, DC; 10 months ago I brought it to the flat, Delaware shore and finally decided on a a step-thru e-bike (Kalkhoff Include 8) for use here and have been very pleased.

2 months ago

I am 72 and absolutely love my townie go

3 months ago

Yes Bionx motors are designed and assembled in Aurora, ON, the battery cells are Sony made in Japan but it's probably the highest domestic motor content. The companies I mentioned in my previous post do the R&D or assembly in Canada but the battery cells and bicycle components and frames will for the most part be manufactured in the Far East.

To answer the OP, all the companies you mention are resellers of Chinese ebikes and simply put their own decals on, Court has reviewed several models from Voltbike on this website and I like they give you a free DoT polo style helmet. Check the return policy if you go with a direct to consumer ebike, ideally you want free return shipping or a local retailer, I tried out 2 or 3 kit motors before I settled on my BBS01 and battery shipping is expensive.

If you go with a big 3 ebike they have the economies of scale to be able to offer their ebikes in several sizes, local in-person shop support, and they will stand behind their warranty. Some of this years Class 1 pedelecs like the Specialized Turbo Como, Giant Explore E+, and Electra Townie Go! from Trek, have lower starting prices than in previous years, all are nice ebikes.

Mike's E-Bikes
3 months ago

There are several brands with the crank forward geometry, often also referred to as 'flat foot' or 'touch down' geometry, which allows you to put your feet down flat while sitting.

The most prominent as mentioned is the Electra Townie, but there are a few others worth considering:

Tuesday cycles is known for their version of 'crank-forward' regular bikes, or what they call TDG for Touch down geometry, which they do also in an e-bike version:

Fuji has also gotten back into the e-bike business, and will be coming out with a number of e-bike models in 2018.

Right now they do offer a crank forward or what they call pedal forward ebike too...

Priced reasonably at $1399.

Fuji is owned by the same company that also owns Tuesday Cycles, Kestrel Bikes, SEBikes, Breezer Bikes, Oval Concepts, and Phat Cycles. Advanced Sports is the parent company of all of these. or ASI.

For Pedal Forward designs, consider Firmstrong bikes, and put conversion kits on them for clients.
Firmstrong CA520 with a Magnum 500 Watt motor, and 13 AH battery. Has nice wide tires, very comfortable seat, and pedal forward geometry.

3 months ago

I know that Magnum has a Cruiser that is crank forward, it looks pretty nice.


Keith Lee

Neil Shadle
3 months ago

I've been pedaling a non-electric, crank -forward Fuji for years, but age is catching up with me. The geometry that allows me to place my feet firmly on the ground when needed is even more important to me now in my early eighties. I need an electric version. What category do these bikes fall in? EBR doesn't seem to make it clear. Is it "cruiser" or "comfort" or something else?
And which electric bikes have this geometry? The only one I've found is the Electra Townie Go, which is actually higher adjusted for me than it should be - not really a "flat foot" in my opinion, and has fatter tires than I like for pedaling. Are there other electric bikes out there with the crank-forward geometry?
Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.

4 months ago

Piaggio wi-Bike listed for upcoming eBike Expo Costa Mesa , Dec 1-3 , 2017

"Brands such as Abus, BMW, Brose, Bulls, Cannondale, Easy Motion, Elby, GeoOrbital, Ohm, Piaggio/wi-Bike, Riese Muller, Schwinn, Smartmotion, Specialized, Stromer, Superpedestrian, and Urban Arrow will be on display. Additional brands available for test rides such as Haibike, Tern, and Electra will be available too."


Alexander T.
6 months ago

I purchased a Townie Commute Go! 8i less than a week ago and have ridden approximately 10 miles on it. It rides nicely. One of the features of the bike is a built in frame lock for quick stops in relatively secure areas. The frame lock has the Abus brand name on it. I found the frame lock difficult to use the first 3 times I used it. It was a little difficult to insert the key and it has a spring loaded lever which is used as part of the locking process. The key was sticky in the lock and I would have to fuss with it to get the key to come out after loading the spring lever. This frame lock requires that the key stay inserted when unlocked, which means that the key (and key ring) dangle at your side as you ride. And this pretty much forces one to use the frame lock when stopped, even if using an external lock. Otherwise someone could come along, see the key hanging out, lock the bike, and then steal the battery after removing the key. The third time I went to use the frame lock, it failed in the locked position. It looks like the tumbler fell into the lock. This was incredibly inconvenient, as I couldn't roll the bike away after removing my external lock. It had to be transported to a bike repair shop by vehicle.

Demented PoV
3 months ago

I'm betting WAY over 300lb limit. There is a video of a man who rides the non electric version of the Townie at 430lb full stock other than the seat.

6 months ago

By the way - are there any electric bikes for kids?

Silver Wolf
6 months ago

I just bought this bike. I have not picked it up yet as I just put a hitch on my suv. Here is the problem: With the fenders you can't ratchet down the tires? So does anyone have suggestions on a type of rack for these ebikes? You're video's are very good, It would be nice if you included transport vid's. A one stop shop for info so to speak. Cheers!

6 months ago

I'm digging this e Bike Might buy it!!! Love your channel!!!

Vin Chung
6 months ago

These are nice. But too pricey. I'll stick with gas powered bike.

Greg Palmer
6 months ago

Hey Court , I purchased a Electra Townie Go !  because of your review. My thoughts are high quality  great handling bike.  I only disagree on two points. 1) the brakes became one of my favorite parts of the bike. The were stronger than I expected and they were smoother than my wife's disc brakes. 2)I cant agree in calling this bike a commuter for one reason. The motor , although strong ad torque rich  , does not reach 20 mph. I grew to hate the 19.4 mph cutout where  it seemed like riding through wet cement. I ended up selling the bike since I started commuting  and the frustration of this was a total killjoy.I watch your reviews every day , keep it up !!!

6 months ago

Thanks for the insights Greg, maybe you'd like the new Vintage Electric Cafe? It offers a beautiful cruiser look, is lighter than the Townie Commute Go! and can hit ~28 mph https://electricbikereview.com/vintage-electric-bikes/cafe/

Allard Freichmann
6 months ago

The more people buying e-bikes the cheaper they become. The batteries will improve so the bikes. It's just a matter of time. Don't forget there is a world market.

6 months ago

That's true, they have already come down in price about 25% since I started reviewing five years ago! It's neat to see, and just have more choices of high quality products ;)

6 months ago

Townie GO! desperately needs class 1 or 2 throttle that has override and walk mode with reverse. I can't believe they didn't use disc brakes for regular Townie GO! They need to ditch steel completely: the massive weight is nowhere near worth the cushioning especially with fat tires (I own a classic non-electric Townie Balloon 3i that has the Fat Frank tires). The "Commute" is redundant and should just be a series of optional components keeping the classic Townie stance _exactly_ as in the original non-electric: racks (front that does _not_ turn with the wheel), more swept back handlebars, option to have both double kickstand in the center and single kickstand near the rear wheel. Integrate the lights. Nuvinci rather than Shimano rear hub would get rid of the obnoxious racket Shimano hubs make while idling. I see no real reason not to use a belt drive given the chain is fixed and Townie is all about bridging utility and fun like beach cruisers (I live by the coast so salt air is an issue). Electra/Trek have made so many frustrating, bizarre trade-offs in bringing electric assist to Townie.

6 months ago

ElectricBikeReview.com You're probably right about marketing and build-out, Court; the proliferation of different pieces for each model specifically is what I find baffling, though. Why mess with success? Townie's frame was perfect, but they keep scooting its cranks in, changing the handlebars, leaving off disc brakes for the one closest to the original design, etc.

Also, hopefully a Class 2 direct drive system with throttle, walk mode, and an option to use a belt will eclipse Intuvia, whether Bosch puts it out or someone else…

Thanks for your detailed reviews and I'm glad to see you recognized by someone in that recent video 😉

6 months ago

There's definitely room for improvement but I think the large companies avoid customizing in favor of different model types to keep building and selling simpler for their employees. Perhaps it also makes marketing more clear. I was surprised that Trek disabled walk mode for all of their ebikes but I'm not surprised that there is no throttle option, Bosch systems have never offered this (perhaps to reduce motor strain or comply with European law)

F r e e l e e
6 months ago

Good work Sir.

6 months ago

Well, thanks you :D

James Mason
6 months ago

can the front rack be removed

Allard Freichmann
6 months ago

Or use it.

6 months ago

James Mason Yeah, I believe it's a bolt-on design and can be easily removed, same with the rear rack

Martian Megafauna
6 months ago

I like the look of the Electra cruisers and the retro stuff they have done. For the price, I considered it good stuff.
However, with this bike they have combined that asia-cheap thing with quality electrics, and the price has soared.
Unless Trek has started supplying them with Alpha 7000 aluminum and relabeled Bontrager (say that 3x fast, Court. ;) ),
the price/value ratio seems to have tilted away from 'reasonable' toward 'really?'.

6 months ago

For a Bosch powered bike, I feel it's reasonable but not a great value. You can get a very similarly outfitted Bulls Cross E for a couple hundred less and it comes in more frame styles and size choices and has the larger Powerpack 500 https://electricbikereview.com/bulls/cross-e/ though it uses the weaker Bosch Active line motor vs. Performance here.

Jeff Ellermeyer
6 months ago

OK It took me at least a month of watching your videos before springing for an e bike. After looking for a off road trek powerfly my wife and I bought the townie go bikes for starters. We LOVE them. Unbelievable ease and stability around town and up and down hills. I would NEVER have thought an e.ectric cruiser would be so much fun. Smiles all around. BTW. I am 70 yrs young and wifey is younger. Great bike out the door price of $2K each 2017 models. I still am going to buy the 2018 powerfly 7 FS for a bit of off road fun. Thanks for the videos! I think Trek is a good product.

6 months ago

That's great Jeff! It sounds like you and your wife share a fun active lifestyle. Glad you found a deal and I hope the Powerfly works great for you, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that once you get some time in the saddle

6 months ago

very nice bikes. my only gripe would be a lack of colour choice for the high step model and I'd like to see colour matching of the motor. minor issues though :)

6 months ago

Perhaps. I've seen some bikes with colour matched covers over the motors, perhaps it's a cost thing too :)

6 months ago

Yeah, they could do more to integrate the battery but most of the Bosch casing I see is black, maybe their hands were tied on that?

6 months ago

Can a throttle be added to this or the Lyft?

6 months ago

ElectricBikeReview.com Thank you for the information. Are there other mid drives without a throttle?

6 months ago

277kne No, I don't think that any of the Bosch powered electric bikes can be outfitted with a throttle, same thing for Shimano STePs

Alfred lucky
6 months ago

You're the best when come to bike review. Like it

6 months ago

Alfred lucky Thanks for the compliment, doing my best ;)

Monstah Jones
6 months ago

I've always loved that frame, but always wished they'd make one with a fat tire option, even just 80mm rims would be great, and i'm pretty sure they'd sell like hot cakes..

6 months ago

That sounds cool, have you heard of E-Lux? They sell cruiser style ebikes that do come with fat tires and some nice fenders and cruiser bars: https://electricbikereview.com/brand/e-lux/ they use hub motors but have throttles vs. just pedal assist

6 months ago


6 months ago

GIANNIS LYMPEROPOYLOS Thanks for the compliment, I really work hard at this and am glad it makes a difference for people, thanks :D

6 months ago

hi, i just want to let you know, that the difference between me with and without a electric bike was you. tbh 3 nights of one great review follows the next :D i love your channel. i learned a lot about ebikes from you, and in a world full of ebikes i bought this one for my private commute some weeks before this review, because it is just the perfect one for me. thx! :)

6 months ago

Groucho Awesome! I hope it's working out well for you, glad that these videos and the site helped guide you :D

Steve Hyder
6 months ago

Please can you tell me what set up you use to film? Thanks

Steve Hyder
6 months ago

Thanks very much, keep up the good work!

6 months ago

Hi Steve, I use this setup:
- GoPro Hero 4 Silver: http://amzn.to/1U6HAJy
- Micover Sticker: http://amzn.to/1XClfYP
- Motorized Gimbal: http://amzn.to/1XCkHC8

This Isn't my real name Google.
6 months ago

New viewer here! Love your videos! You guys deserve so many more views.

6 months ago

Thanks! Appreciate your support :D