Electra Townie Go! Review

2016 Electra Townie Go Electric Bike Review
2016 Electra Townie Go Azure Step Thru
2016 Electra Townie Go Bosch Performance Cruise Motor
2016 Electra Townie Go Powerpack 400 Battery
2016 Electra Townie Go Stitched Leatherette Grips
2016 Electra Townie Go Color Matched Fenders Chain Guard
2016 Electra Townie Go Shimano Nexus Internally Geared Hub
2016 Electra Townie Go
2016 Electra Townie Go Spanninga Integrated Headlight
2016 Electra Townie Go Twist Shifter
2016 Electra Townie Go Frame Types
2016 Electra Townie Go Comparison
2016 Electra Townie Go Electric Bike Review
2016 Electra Townie Go Azure Step Thru
2016 Electra Townie Go Bosch Performance Cruise Motor
2016 Electra Townie Go Powerpack 400 Battery
2016 Electra Townie Go Stitched Leatherette Grips
2016 Electra Townie Go Color Matched Fenders Chain Guard
2016 Electra Townie Go Shimano Nexus Internally Geared Hub
2016 Electra Townie Go
2016 Electra Townie Go Spanninga Integrated Headlight
2016 Electra Townie Go Twist Shifter
2016 Electra Townie Go Frame Types
2016 Electra Townie Go Comparison

Summary

  • 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, integrated LED lights front and rear, comfortable leather saddle with matching stitched grips
  • Available in two frame styles, high-step and step-thru, but only one size for each, no bottle cage mounting points but the rear rack is completely open and uses standard sized tubing for full compatibility clip-on panniers
  • Weaker roller style "band activated" brakes require more strength to use and seem to stop the bike slower, this is a heavier electric bike at ~58 lbs and neither wheel has quick release

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Electra

Model:

Townie Go!

Price:

$2,729

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Years Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

58 lbs (26.3 kg) (Step-Thru 58.5, High-Step 57.5)

Battery Weight:

5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

15 in (38.1 cm)17 in (43.18 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Step-Thru (19" Stand Over Height, 25" Reach, 72" Length), High-Step (31" Stand Over Height, 25.5" Reach, 72" Length)

Frame Types:

High-Step, Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Azure, Lime, Polished Silver, Army Green, Ebony, Graphite

Frame Fork Details:

Hi-Ten Steel Unicrown, Straight Tapered Leg

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

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

Shifter Details:

Shimano Nexus 8-Speed Grip Twist

Cranks:

Forged FSA Alloy, 170 mm, Shimano 20T Cog

Pedals:

Alloy Platform wtih Non-Slip Rubber Tread

Headset:

1 1/8" Steel Threaded Semi-Integrated

Stem:

Forged Alloy, 22.2 mm Quill

Handlebar:

Townie 6061-T6 Alloy, Swept-Back

Brake Details:

Shimano Inter-M Roller Brakes with Shimano Nexus Alloy 4-Finger Levers (Reach Adjustable)

Grips:

Electra Semi-Ergonomic, Saddle-Matched Stitchd Leatherette

Saddle:

Velo Ergonomic with Shock-Absorbing Elastomers

Seat Post:

Alloy Double Bolt Micro Adjust

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Electra Custom Alloy Painted 36H

Spokes:

14G Stainless, Brass Nipples

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Fat Frank Balloon, 26" x 2.35"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Active Line K-Guard Puncture-Resistant Kevlar Casing, 67TPI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Alloy Rear Rack, Spanniga LED Front (Kendo) and Rear (Pixeo) Lighting Set, ABUS Frame Lock, Painted Aluminum Fenders, Painted Rims, Massload Alloy Double-Prong Kickstand, Stainless Steel and Anti-Rust Hardware

Other:

Micro USB Charging Port on Display, Hold Reset and Information Button to Enter Settings (Navigate with Information Button, Select with Lighting Button), KMC X10e Chain 1/2' x 3/32"

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Performance Cruise, Gen 2

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

60 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

396 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

110 miles (177 km)

Display Type:

Intuvia, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Grayscale, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time, Shift Assist Recommendation

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad with Tactile Feedback on Left

Drive Mode:

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

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (25 km/h in Europe)

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Written Review

The 2016 Electra Townie Go! switched from using a SRAM hub motor and rear mounted battery pack to the Bosch Centerdrive which is better in pretty much every way. Now, it is more expensive than the 2014 and 2015 models at $2,727 and it does weigh more at ~58 lbs but you get an eight speed internally geared drivetrain and a lot more power that produces less noise when running! With a top speed of ~20 mph and an integrated rear rack the Townie Go! would make a decent commuter but it’s really best suited to relaxed neighborhood riding. There are four levels of pedal assist to work with here and the lowest, Eco mode, will move the bike at a slower speed for people who want to take it easy. The oversized Schwalbe balloon tires function almost like a basic suspension in that they absorb cracks and bumps as you ride, they do weigh a bit more but the contact patch is enlarged and they feel pretty stable. At 26″ in diameter they don’t lift the frame as high as more traditional 700c (28″) wheels and tires but you still get reflective sidewall stripes and Kevlar lining for safety and durability.

Driving this bike is a 350 watt Bosch Performance Cruise motor that measures bike speed, pedal speed and pedal torque (up to 1,000 per second) for instantaneous starts and stops. The motor spins your chainring that’s about half the size of most traditional rings and this higher RPM delivers a wider range of pedaling speeds in my experience. When you shift, the motor responds and eases off so as not to mash gears or put strain on the chain. Powering the motor and integrated Spanninga lights is a 36 volt 11 amp hour battery running on Samsung Lithium-ion cells. It’s the same Bosch PowerPack 400 I’ve seen for the past year and a half on other models here in the US and it works just as well. You can charge it on or off the frame and it locks securely but make sure you push hard when re-attaching it to the frame so that you hear a click and know that it’s fully connected. Just like the 2015 model this latest Townie Go! features a cafe lock that disables the rear wheel for quick stops around town – saving the hassle and discomfort of carrying a u-lock or chain.

The biggest takeaway from this review should be that the Electra Townie Go! with Bosch drive system is more expensive but it’s way better and quite worth the price in my opinion. Range is more than doubled, the frame is stiffer and better balanced, you get more gears to pedal with and while there still isn’t any sort of suspension on the bike it rides very comfortably with balloon tires, padded grips, oversized saddle, swept back bars and the signature “Flat Foot” seating position that brings pedals forward vs. straight down. The two frames are very similar in weight, come in a wide range of colors and are warrantied for two years by Trek (which acquired Electra in 2014). If you enjoy riding but are struggling to keep up with a friend, scale hills or fight the wind the electric Townie Go! will become your best friend, I am not exaggerating. The motor and battery are overkill but not in a bad way, they operate quietly but can climb almost anything, the display panel is large and easy to read with an intuitive button pad (easy to reach and use even without looking down). This is my favorite cruiser style electric bike to date.

Pros:

  • All Electra bicycles have to be shipped to a local Trek retailer but this is free of charge and from there some retailers will deliver to your house
  • Awesome two year comprehensive warranty, they recommend storing the battery in a dry room at 60° to 70° Fahrenheit and keeping it fully charged, expect a 5% degrade each year
  • Patented Flat Foot frame design positions the cranks and pedals forward for a more relaxed “legs out” ride style, kind of like sitting on a couch vs. a bar stool, this is enhanced with swept back handlebars and an oversized comfort saddle
  • The Bosch motor is extremely responsive and powerful delivering 60 Newton meters of torque, it keeps weight low and centered on the frame for improved handling
  • The Bosch battery pack can be charged on or off the frame, has a cool integrated loop for easier carrying and the way it’s mounted on the bike is much better than the older rack style batteries used by Electra Townie Go! models, the frame is less flexy, the display panel is also removable
  • Schwalbe Fat Frank Balloon tires look great and come in different colors to compliment the frames, they have integrated reflective sidewalls for safety, Kevlar lining for greater protection against flats and soften the ride by being squishy (absorbing cracks and bumps like suspension)
  • Integrated front and rear LED lights by Spanninga run off the main battery and are controlled through the Bosch Intuvia display panel! You need not worry about replacing batteries separately or turning each light off after a ride… it’s all one system and even the display panel is backlit
  • The fenders, rims and chain guard are all custom painted, sometimes the same color as the frame and other times to compliment the tires but it looks great in both cases
  • Most of the wires for shifting, braking and running the electric drive system are either run through the frame downtube or fastened in such a way that they are hidden and well protected
  • This ebike comes with an integrated cafe lock from ABUS that allows you to disable the rear wheel, perfect for deterring theft for quick stops without having to carry a large cable or u-lock
  • The internally geared hub offers eight speeds which is perfect for slower riding, climbing or hitting the top speed of ~20 mph but being internal it stays cleaner, can be shifted at standstill and allows the chain to be shorter and tighter, it probably requires less maintenance and is definitely less vulnerable than a traditional derailleur
  • The double-leg kickstand is very stable, it keeps the bike upright and makes loading the rear rack much easier than if you only had a single side stand, note that the stand is also adjustable on both sides for use on slanted terrain
  • The LCD display panel is backlit, removable for safer storage and even has a built in micro USB port that can be used for charging portable electronics like a cell phone for music or GPS applications, you’ll need a cable like this for most Samsung phones and an adapter like this for newer iOS devices

Cons:

  • There are no water bottle cage mounting points on either frame style, it seems like the high-step would have had room on the seat tube but they didn’t add them, consider a bar cup holder or a trunk bag with bottle slot like this
  • In my experience the Shimano Roller band brakes don’t stop as quickly as v-brakes or disc brakes, they look nice and even have heat sink fins that sort of look like disc brakes but they use a band inside and require a bit more pulling effort to stop
  • As with most cruiser style electric bikes, the Townie Go! weighs a bit more than a standard city bike, the frame is larger, the saddle and handle bar are larger and the internally geared hub adds a bit of weight as well, thankfully the battery is removable for reducing weight during transport but it only weighs ~5.5 lbs so the bike will still be heavy
  • Mid-drive electric bikes tend to be easier for bike shops to work on because the wheels and drivetrains are mostly unchanged, this also means that they work well with quick release systems but the Townie Go! does not offer this, it uses standard threaded axles with nuts that require tools to work on
  • The battery requires a stronger push to fully click onto the frame, make sure you hear the click or it could get knocked off and fall to the ground (scraping or even cracking the plastic cover)
  • Walk assist appears to be de-activated on the Bosch system, this would be a nice feature given the heavier weight of the Townie Go! and I’m not sure why Bosch hasn’t allowed it (possibly to strictly adhere to the Class 1 category of ebikes in the USA? I hope they enable it on future versions)

Resources:

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Klatuu
2 years ago

That is the most beautiful e-bike I’ve seen! But what I want to know is what helmet are you wearing in the video?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hey Klatuu, cool name :D I agree with you, the Townie Go! is one of the most beautiful bikes I’ve tested and the different colors are awesome… To answer your question though, I’m wearing a helmet from Specialized called the Echelon II size Medium 54-60 cm (here’s a product page for the standard Echelon, not sure of the differences but you can search Google for the Echelon II for sale). I like this helmet because it’s bright white with reflectors built on and has an adjustable plastic slider at the back (with a little plastic wheel you twist). I’m able to wear it with my glasses and have owned it for over five years at this point and it’s doing well. I visited Specialized HQ in Morgan Hill California last year and got to see some of their new equipment (including helmets) they explained that as the foam and plastic becomes brittle or if you hit your head moderately hard even once it’s good to get a replacement so I may be due, I’ve enjoyed it a lot though and hope this feedback helps you find one yourself!

Reply
Justin
2 years ago

In the review this bike is referred to as a great neighborhood bike, but perhaps not the best for longer commutes. I was just wondering your opinion on why? If this were a non-electric bike, the weight and inefficiency of it would certainly disqualify it. However, as an electric bike I would think that these would not be an issue when looking for the perfect commuter. What are the criteria that would make up an excellent electric commuter bike? I’m looking to purchase a bike for my wife who commutes 10 miles each way (80% bike path).

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Justin! Sorry for the confusion… the Bosch powered Townie Go! would make an excellent commuter because it’s capable of traveling further per charge, is relatively comfortable and has the rear rack for cargo. There are ways it could be further improved for trekking or touring (suspension fork, suspension seat post, more active seating). I guess my comment in the video was more about ride style. The “Flat Foot” pedal position doesn’t always feel right to me for spinning quickly and offers less leverage for the legs… The trade off is a more upright body position and comfort. Since this is a Class 1 ebike you have to pedal and sometimes the wider saddle (which is often mounted lower by riders) creates a scrunched leg situation that can strain knees. I would consider the Kalkhoff Tasman Classic a more active long range commuter but the Townie is similarly capable if you set it up right. An ideal long-range commuter would be the Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse with the suspension fork and post (and like the Tasman Classic the pedals are more directly below vs. forward). I realize these are subtle differences, sorry to throw you off with the comment in-video. The Townie Go! Rocks and would probably be just fine, I see so many electric bikes that I can get a bit more critical at times and really zero in on the differences ;)

Odette
2 years ago

Hi I’m interested to buy that bike but I am just wondering if there is a maximum weigh for riding this bike ?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Great question Odette, I am not completely sure but most ebikes I see out there limit weight at 250 or 300 lbs. My guess is that the Electra Townie Go! is similar but you could contact your local Trek dealer and ask them to be sure :) if you find out please comment here again to help others and I will add the information in the review!

Reply
Mark
2 years ago

I’m looking at the Townie Go for cruising the neighborhood which includes some fairly steep hills. The Bosch system is 350 watts with a 36 v 11ah battery. I’ve been comparing it to the Bafang bbsd at 1000 w and 48 v 15-29 ah battery. Is it that more efficient? It seems underpowered for a guy like me who weighs over 200 lbs, yet in the review you stated it is overkill. Thanks for your reply!

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Mark! If you do get a Bafang mid drive I recommend the 750 watt or even 500 watt BBS02 models vs. the BBSHD because it is illegal at 1,000 watts unless used on private property or off-road. The US limit is 750 watts or less and 20 mph or less with a throttle and both of those requirements are satisfied by the Bosch mid-drive (and other consumer ebikes). In my experience, it’s enough power and way more responsive and refined than the BBS02 but it is weaker and you don’t get a throttle… I don’t use the throttle as much now that I’m fully accustomed to riding electric bicycles. I like to pedal and feel the zoom of the motor helping, it feels natural and comfortable but there are advantages to power on demand, especially if your legs get tired or the street is wet or you need help getting going. E-Rad makes my favorite version of the BBS02 because it has shift sensing and can be made to fit a wide range of models. They also sell completely built electric bikes (the bike, the battery and the motor all combined just like the Electra Townie Go!) I hope these suggestions help you. If you live near a Trek dealer and can try the Townie Go! I would highly recommend it, you’d get excellent support and warranty by working with a local ebike shop but if you live near Las Vegas you could do the same thing with E-Rad because that’s where their headquarters is now :D

Reply
Mark
2 years ago

Thanks Court! Townie Go’s are very hard to find and there aren’t any dealers locally that have one in stock to test ride. My wife and I plan on riding together. Our rides will be casual and certainly nothing over 20 mph so we liked the idea of a Townie Go. It also fits our other requirements such as fenders, comfort, upright riding position and wide tires. One downside is the cost to replace the battery. At $800 or more it is about twice the cost of a battery for a Bafang kit. It would be great if someone would produce an aftermarket battery for the Bosch mid drive at a substantial savings.

We may have to buy one sight unseen if we decide on the Townie, a little on the risky side. One other question, when you test rode the Townie with the Bosch motor, was there any resistance from the motor itself when you pedaled without electric assist? Your reviews and posts have been invaluable in this process of selecting the right ebike! Thank you so much! Mark

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Mark, I cannot say for sure whether the motor creates resistance to pedaling… certainly the gear system that spins the sprocket at 2:1 will reduce efficiency but in my experience it’s hardly noticeable. When you coast, the rear wheel freewheels just like any ordinary bicycle so there’s no drag like you might find on a gearless direct drive hub motor (many of which offer regenerative braking to offset that cogging drag). I’m being very objective here, yes there will be some resistance. In practice, it’s not something I’ve ever noticed and while the battery packs for Bosch tend to cost more that’s in part due to the extremely high quality. Also, since they use the same pack for all of their designs 2013-2016 and possibly beyond… you have a large pool to draw from vs. something more custom. My Uncle has had and used a Haibike with the Bosch drive system for over a year and a half now riding every single day to work and back… sometimes for fun in the mountains or around town too, and he hasn’t noticed much degredation (and this is in Colorado where the temperature can range from below freezing to over 100 degrees). I think Bosch makes one of the best systems around and would actually see the Townie Go! as a lower risk “sight unseen” purchase. This is the third generation of the bike, they are now owned by Trek (one of the largest manufacturers worldwide) and Bosch is a clear leader. You and your wife will likely have a wonderful experience with the bikes. Here’s a video I shot with my Uncle discussing his Bosch powered ebike :)

Reply
Mark
2 years ago

Thanks again Court. Your research is invaluable to those of us shopping for ebikes. Btw we are not going into this totally blind. We have test ridden Pedego Interceptors and I have test ridden a Pedego Ridge Rider to get a feel for the difference between pedal assist and torque assist. We also rented Pedego bikes that were throttle only. We went to a local Trek store that had non-motorized Townies and rode several of them. I’m reasonably certain that a Townie Go will work just fine for my wife who is petite and in great shape. I plan to buy her a Townie Go that she can enjoy and then see if it will handle my larger size especially up the hills in our area. If it does then I’ll buy a second one for me. If not, then I’ll be back with more questions. Thanks for helping.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Sounds good Mark, hope everything works out! I bet your wife will love the bike :)

Reply
Denise
2 years ago

Can this bike successfully pull a standard large dog trailer? I have a 110 lb pitbull that had surgery on both knees. He misses our long walks so I figured I could tow him around instead. This prompted my research into electric bikes. I’m petite and nearly 50 so it would be impossible without the electronic assistance.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Denise! My opinion on this is yes, a strong yes :) I don’t want you to be disappointed and suppose there are many factors to consider here like the trailer you get, how heavy you are, the terrain, even wind but the Bosch mid-drive is very powerful in my experience. Here’s another review with a video of me climbing a very steep mountain with nearly the same motor from Bosch doing just fine.

Reply
Denise
2 years ago

Thanks for the quick reply. I’m running into a problem with the attachment of the trailer to the back fork of the Townie Go! because of it’s single chain setup. But I really love the Townie Go!. Can you recommend a similar bike. I can then research that. Your reviews are the best I’ve ever seen regardless of the product. You have made this decision much easier for me.

Leslie
1 year ago

I just purchased 3 days ago from my favorite local bike dealer the azure colored Townie Go! 8i. They didn’t expect to get it in until December 2016 and one came in so I was the lucky one who got it. I want to thank you for the excellent review video you did on this electric-assist bike. Your video was so thorough in explaining everything regarding the Townie Go!. You helped me learn very quickly all the features and how to use them. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to create this video. I hope it stays on this website so that I can refer back to it whenever needed. I like your very clear style of explaining things and providing your opinion on what you really like about the bike and what could be better. This is one of the best review videos I’ve seen. THANK YOU!

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Wow, thank you SO much for all of the compliments and feedback Leslie! I really enjoy helping people, especially with technology that I view as healthy and positive but it’s a lot of work and can be exhausting to travel, shoot, edit, write etc. comments like yours make it all worth while. I too hope that this site can continue to offer honest, objective information (and comments!) for years to come. Enjoy your bike, I think you chose very well with the Townie Go! :)

Reply
Leslie
1 year ago

Hi Court, thanks very much for your reply back to my comment. I forgot to add that, not only do I absolutely love riding my Townie Go and love how it looks, but I actually chose to buy this specific bike based on your review. I originally rode my very first electric bike in Kauai last October and enjoyed riding it so much that I knew my next bike would be electric. Last month, there was an electric bike Expo in our area and I had the opportunity to ride many different brands of electric bikes. I actually never saw the Townie Go while there (although my bike dealer said they had them at the Expo) but there were so many bikes to test ride I just never saw it. (On a side note, I did learn from the bike dealer that the bike I rode in Kauai was a true electric bike with a throttle and I didn’t have to pedal, whereas the bikes at the Expo were all electric-assist where you do have to pedal.) Anyway, I digress…of all the bikes I rode at the Expo I thought I liked the Trek the best so as I was doing some research online I came across your review of the Townie Go. I liked your review so much that I went to my bike dealer and asked to ride one. He didn’t have any of the step through bikes but he had the high step like the one you have in your video that I rode. The rest is history but I credit you and your video for my choice of the Townie Go. I was even willing to wait until December 2016 to get it but, as luck would have it, one azure step through came in to the dealer and since I was on the waiting list they called me first.

A question I have for you is that I don’t like not being able to see traffic behind me while riding. Is there a mirror that will fit on the Townie Go that you would recommend? I prefer not to use the mirror that you can attach to your glasses.

Again, I thank you for an awesome video. I have watched it 5 times now as I try to learn everything about my new bike.

Rob
1 year ago

Court: Thanks for all the reviews. I must have watched nearly all of them before settling on the Electra Townie Go 8i, Army Grey with the spectacular red tires. It will arrive in just 2 days at my local Trek shop. Your reviews are an incredible service. Thank you. Rob Price

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Great choice Rob, Electra really nailed it with their latest models (love that they come in multiple colors and the high-step/low-step configuration. I’m sure you’ll have a great time, hopefully the Trek dealer treats you right, it’s nice having a larger company for the support and fit services. Appreciate your kind words :)

Reply
scott t
1 year ago

will the power pack 500 work on this bike…would it offer more range than the 400 that comes with the ebike?

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Hey Scott, great question… Yes, I believe the Electra Townie Go! and other ebikes that use the 2014/2015/2016 Bosch Centerdrive system with the PowerPack 400 are all forward compatible to work with the new 500 battery. It fits into the same interface and indeed, would offer more range. The really cool thing is that I believe it only weighs like 1/2 lb more so it’s a sweet upgrade!

Reply
scott
1 year ago

I have a 2016 TOWNIE GO. It is a great bike. I have about 250 miles on mine so far (a few weeks of ownership). It is extremely comfortable courtesy of the riding position, plush saddle and fat frank tires. I have put some collapsible metal baskets and nylon trunk bag on the rack and this expands functionality. I will say the only drawback is the brakes and range. I’m a two hundred pound rider (in northern Nevada) and the band brakes are under powered or whatever the term for weak brakes is….and on a few occasions I have come close to meeting range max. Granted though, that is something an an extra battery on days that I know I will be riding longer on.

Many of the city styled bikes to me still have a bent over riding position that beats my shoulder up but not this one. The townie is great platform for an ebike. If you ride alot, go ahead and get an extra battery and then enjoy it till it falls apart.

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Hey Scott! Thanks for sharing your experience, glad to hear the Townie Go! is comfortable and mostly covers your riding habits (in terms of range). Have fun and be safe out there! Good accessory advice too, I like baskets and stuff, way better than wearing a heavy backpack – especially on a hot day in Nevada ;)

Reply
Jeff
9 months ago

Hi Court, Let me begin by saying you’re the best. Whenever I look at your videos or read your write-ups I know I’m going to get as detailed and smart a review as is possible anywhere. You provide a most needed service and I credit you more than anyone else with making e-bikes more and more popular.

I’m an overweight senior and need all the exercise I can get. I bought a Townie 21 speed last June and found it great. It must be the upright position that’s best for me. I rode 650 miles between June and November (Chicago suburbs) and if felt so much better than a Giant Cypress (700c) bought in 2012. I average about 7 miles each outing at 12 mph but feel it’s getting more and more tiring. And what I really want to do is go faster and further. I’m thinking an e-bike is my solution and with my Townie success it seems like a “no brainer” that I should get the Townie Go.
Your review for the Townie Go is clear indicating the Bosch motor is 350 watts with 60 nm of torque. **So why does everyone else (including Electra) indicate the motor is 250 watts?**

And I’m a little bummed that it has roller brakes rather than disc brakes. I even read where roller brakes have grease packed in that provides a little resistance. Am I being too picky? **Are roller brakes fine for just touring paths and mostly level roads?** This is a big investment for my wife and I who also wants a Townie Go. Just thought I’d check these questions with the best source there is. Thanks much for all you do.

Reply
Court Rye
9 months ago

Great question Jeff, I’m excited for you and your wife! Getting into ebikes has changed my life, allowing me to commute comfortably and enjoy riding like I was a young guy again ;)

I really love the Electra Townie Go! and think it will work for you, despite the less exciting roller brake and possibly downgraded 250 watt Bosch Active Line motor. The model shown here is from 2016 and it says Bosch Performance Line which I believe is 350 watts and a bit more zippy. They also have an Active Line motor that’s 250 with 50 Newton meters of torque vs. 60 and it’s designed to feel smoother… for neighborhood riding. My guess is that for 2017 they’ve switched motors and that’s not a bad thing. You can see the Active Line motor in action on the Tern Vektron here and even hear the company representative talk about why they chose it. If you live near a Trek dealer and can test this bike out, that would be my advice.

If it were completely up to me, I’d love to see hydraulic disc brakes on this bike vs. roller but the motor difference is less of an issue. Each company makes choices based on cost, durability and user experience. While I can’t speak for Trek/Electra, they are a leader in the space with great warranty support and Bosch only partners with the best brands. I wouldn’t hesitate too much though there are lots of other cruiser style ebikes out there… got another set of reviews on the way right now in fact. Feel free to share your thoughts or follow-on questions and keep an eye out :)

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hank
8 months ago

Court, Love your reviews. On the townie there seems to be confusion on the websites on the mid drive, I’ve seen 250 watts and also 350 watts listed. I live in Canada where the limit is 500 watts on motors. Could it be they are unloading European models here (250 watts ) and have a more powerful setup in the States?

Also on the throttle issue, is it true you can order it with throttle only setting in addition to the pedal assist modes if you specify that in the factory order, and they can set it there? How different is the forward style pedal setup, does it bear getting used to? Thanks

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Court Rye
8 months ago

Hi Hank, my understanding is that the hardware on Bosch motors is pretty similar but the software can be tuned for efficiency (Bosch Active), regular city riding (Bosch Performance) or high-torque mountain (Bosch CX) and even though the European models say 250 watts, that is more of a legal thing and the torque is still rated the same. I wouldn’t stress too much about the label… it bothered and confused me a bit when I started to realize there were different labels but I’ve tested a bunch of them and had great experiences all around. As for the flat foot design, some people really like it… There are lots of cruiser style ebikes with angled seat tubes that simulate flat foot but Electra / Trek has the patent for separating the bottom bracket from the seat tube connection point. The best way to make a decision about body positioning and ride preference is to go for a test ride if you can. I hope this helps!

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Mark Benson
8 months ago

Purchased 2016 Townie and absolutely love it. I have over a thousand miles in 5 months on the bike and enjoy the longer distances without painful knees. I am 68 years old and 220 pounds and this bike has great pick up and enough assistance for fairly steep hills. If I take it to the store where folks pass by they tend to stop and ask about the bike, and some have asked for a test ride and came back with a wow smile. The stopping power of the bike is no problem at all – no worries about the braking system for sure. A great buy for a quality bike!

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Court Rye
8 months ago

Hey Mark! I enjoyed your testimonial, thanks for taking the time to share about your experience! It’s great that you’re also sharing the bike and exposing new people to electric ;)

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Monica Stevenson
8 months ago

I purchased the Townie Go in April of 2016. I now have over 1100 miles on my bike. I had originally “pre-ordered” the Copenhagen Wheel planning to use it on my Townie — but after waiting 2 1/2 years for it to be shipped, I gave up and ordered the Townie Go. I understand that they are now shipping the Copenhagen Wheel — but if I had waited, I would have missed out on over 1,000 miles of riding! The bike is super comfortable and allows me to ride most anywhere — plus long distances. I’m 64 years old and am constantly telling anyone who listens — “you gotta buy one of these.” I’ve never had an issue with the brakes and the battery seems to hold well for at least 45 miles — sometimes over 50. I bought mine at REI and the service on it has been excellent. My biggest complaint is that there aren’t more people who have e-bikes to ride with! The Cafe lock is also a super plus — anyone who tries to steal my bike is going to have to carry out — and it’s pretty heavy for that!

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Court Rye
8 months ago

Hi Monica! I enjoyed your comment, sounds like you’ve had a blast with the Townie Go! Good for you, recognizing the wait of the Copenhagen Wheel and finding something else. I’m with you… good to get out there and enjoy riding, regardless of the bike. I’m just so happy that the Townie Go! has been working so well for you :)

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Dewey
8 months ago

It’s interesting to see how Electra are expanding the Townie Go! line with two new urban-oriented models that address one of your criticisms – tektro hydraulic brakes are now fitted to the Townie Commute Go! and Loft Go! Both new models are equipped with larger more efficient 700C tires, more swept back handlebars, and rear and front cargo racks with the front light relocated to right of the front rack to not obstruct the light when riding with a load.

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Court Rye
8 months ago

Cool! I haven’t seen those in person yet but appreciate your feedback here Dewey. Will keep an eye out and hopefully, this comment helps people who might have similar questions or concerns.

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Randy
7 months ago

I would like to see a review of the Loft Go! 8i. I’ve been shopping for my wife for 3 months and this bike looks like the perfect e-bike for her.

Pete
7 months ago

Court, I have just purchased a 2018 Townie Commute Go and it has been updated from the 2016/2017 that you have reviewed here. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are standard now along with front and rear fender racks. The handle bars are curved back and allows a straight up natural sitting position. The pedals are pushed forward and makes the ride much more comfortable. I have had three hip replacements and a knee scope. I have only a 78 degree hip bend and found most other bikes impossible to peddle. I simply could not get my leg to raise high enough to peddle a bike. This one I can and with very little problems.

You need to review this version and let your readers know of the benefits for older riders. Comes with the Bosch 250W drive system and tops out at 20 mph. The walk mode is not enabled on this bike and the kick stand is mounted forward, but those are the only things I find that I wish where changed. This will become your new favorite cruiser. We also have on order a Loft Go for my wife. The frame is lighter and overall the bike is about 5 pounds less than the Commute go coming in around 45 pounds. The Bosch 250w system has been tuned down also on this bike due to the lighter weight of the bike. Wheel base is also about 2.5 inches shorter and the angle of the seat tube is 2 degrees less. It has all the features of the Commute go in a slightly smaller package that fit my wife better. She is 5′ 2″. Keep up the great reviews. They made our decision on which bike to purchase much easier.

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Court Rye
7 months ago

Hi Pete, thanks for your thorough update! I’m looking forward to reviewing the new Townie models and appreciate your insights about the handlebar and pedal position. I hope the bike works great for you and will keep my eye out for a review soon :)

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Marleen
5 months ago

Hi Pete,

As someone who is also looking into buying one of the new Electra Go! bikes may I ask you if the Loft Go! you ordered for your wife has already been delivered and put to the test? And if so, if your considerations on the bike being better suited for her, being a bit smaller, compared to the Commute Go! indeed turned out to be true? Since these bikes are very hard to find and test ride (at least here in Europe) your wife’s experiences could be very helpful! Not only to me ( I am looking for a safe, stable cruiser style e-bike for my still very fit, but not too tall 5ft4 mum who’s 72 ) but to a lot of other interested more senior ;-) riders. Thank you in advance Pete!

And thank you also for describing the differences you noticed between the Commute and Loft Go! in the first place for that already helped a lot! I was actually searching all over while you already mentioned some of the most relevant differences (the weight, the step thru height) right here! I guess I really am still a rookie here on this forum…. ;-) Hope to hear from you!

Kind regards from The Netherlands! Marleen

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Jeff Lieber
6 months ago

Court, I wanted to follow-up after my 3-6-17 note to you with Townie Go questions. And to let you know that my wife and I did get new Townies-Gos. We test rode the bike at a nearby dealer and were really happy with the ride. Your reviews already “sold” us on the Bosch mid-drive motor so with great pricing the Townie-Go seemed like a winner. Our biggest problem though was the bright “funky” colors Electra had. We preferred the black (Ebony) color but those white tires… Ugh… they were just not to our liking. So to help make a double sale our bike shop agreed to swap the white tires for the same exact black Schwalbes but with reflective strips (another of your suggestions). The bikes now became perfect for us.

I got the last black “D-Frame” available from California on 3-22-17. Unfortunately my wife wasn’t so lucky and her 1 month wait for the black step-through turned into 2.5 months. We were told that the current demand for these bikes in black would be 6 months today. Wow. Here’s what I learned from my first 200 miles on the bike.

Some of the Pros:

  • The rear internal 8-gear hub is just the best. It’s easy and smooth and so quiet. I never hated my derailleur bikes before but this was just a great improvement. And I was even able to easily adjust the gear cable when it became stretched early on (normal I’m told).
  • The instantaneous start and stop of the Bosch motor is fantastic. I can’t imagine what it would be like with any sensor delay.
  • The wider tires (3.35 Fat Frank) add a lot more comfort and stability.
  • No suspension but we do eliminate any front tire movement and hopefully get maximum efficiency.
  • The Intuvia display is great. Easy to use and the left hand extra remote is perfect.
  • Front and rear lights tied into the system (with a switch on the display) make it really complete.
  • Your term “purposeful built” began to mean a lot to us. Other than the cables in the front, the rest seem either all internal or completely hidden. So nice.
  • And no need for brake-lever motor cut-offs since the motor cuts out as you stop peddling. Simple and perfect.
  • I never thought this was important but now we agree with you it’s so nice to not have the kickstand interfere with the pedals. And the scissor kickstand adds a lot of stability.

And very few Cons:

  • Like you say “it would have been nice to at least have one set of bottle cage bosses?” But we have a lot of storage between my rear rack bag and my wife’s added front basket. So we’ll be fine for our long trips.
  • Getting picky, I just didn’t like the hand grips. They maybe stylish but I wanted some rubber gel types. I bought some inexpensive ones and they’re locking too. Nice.
  • The newer 500 battery would have been nice but I am getting 50-55 miles of range on our 400 and with me being a heavy guy that seems great.

What I left out are the roller brakes. I just couldn’t decide if it was Pro or Con. We’ve never had any type of disk brakes to compare it with so maybe we’re not the best judge. But we found these brakes work just fine for us in our mostly flat midwest terrain (50 miles NW of Chicago). No major hills or big descents like other areas of the country. And these brakes seem to give us no noise and make the bike look simpler and cleaner.

Overall we’re very satisfied with our Townie e-bikes. We feel lucky to have the high quality Bosch Performance Line (with 63 NM of torque) which gets more than enough power. Any more power would just be over-kill for our riding. And lastly, your reviews taught us so much about e-bikes. We feel we owe you a lot for all your help.

Thank you, Thank you, Jeff Lieber

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Court Rye
6 months ago

Wonderful writeup Jeff, thanks for taking the time to prepare this and reflect on the experience. I’m sure others here will find it useful! The Townie Go! is one of my favorite recreational electric bicycles and it sounds like they are selling pretty well. Maybe Electra / Trek reps will see your points about colors and grips for future iterations. In the mean time, it’s great that you found some upgrades that work well for you. Enjoy the ride!

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Steven Shepard
4 months ago

Hi Court, There are just so many variables when choosing an e-bike, and you seem to be “the guy” when it comes to e-bike knowledge, so here’s my want list:

  1. Mid Drive
  2. Pedal assist
  3. internal gearing (would really like a Nuvinci CVT)
  4. Relaxed Riding Position
  5. Fat Tire and/or Cruiser style
  6. High capacity battery
  7. down tube mounted battery
  8. Front suspension
  9. Hydraulic brakes

My “deal Killers”:

  1. Front Wheel motors
  2. No pedal assist
  3. High price (over $4,000.00)

My current short list (this seems to change daily):

  1. RadRover
  2. E-Lux Tahoe
  3. Evelo Aries
  4. Electra Townie Commute Go i8
  5. iZip Sumo/Raleigh Magnus IE (these seem to be the same bike with different names)
  6. Ohm Sport
  7. iZip E3 Dash

My emotional favorite is the E-lux Tahoe, it’s a beautiful bike. The Radrover seems like great fun at a great price and is my wallets favorite, I just added the E3 Dash as it would be fast and fun, I haven’t researched it yet but there is likely a Raleigh branded version of the E3 dash that may have some slightly different colors or other options.

Anyway, based on my short list, what do you think, which would you choose and why?

Thanks, Steve

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Court Rye
4 months ago

Hi Steven, I’d consider the Magnum Metro for its power, low price, tire style, and accessories… even though it doesn’t have a mid-motor. I love E-Lux and their Tahoe model is indeed a wonderful powerful bike (more powerful feeling than the Metro in my experience). For mid-drive powered ebikes, the best value right now seems to be the Bulls Cross E which uses Bosch. For under $3k you get an amazing bike but it doesn’t have the fatter tires or internal gearing (none of these do). You might need to explore Riese & Müller for NuVinci systems and they cost a lot more… and weigh a bit more as well. I hope this helps! Another consideration at the most affordable end could be the Surface 604 Rook. I’ll be reviewing the Electra Comute Go! very soon as well, it’s a great e-bike.

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Jack
4 months ago

In my search for a relaxed bike I have come to the Townie and unable to find anything that resembles it, so far so good. Thing is that i am close to 6’2″ and, well, that may be too tall for this bike, I am not all about looks but I do not want to look like I am on a kids bike and is it even comfortable at that size?

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Court Rye
4 months ago

Hi Jack, have you tried the Townie Commute Go? It uses a larger 28″ wheelset which elevates the bike and might fit your taller body better. I think with a bit of handlebar adjustment, either bike could work, there isn’t a huge difference between most frame sizes (just an inch or two in length of top tube). Here’s a review I did of the Townie Commute for you to check out.

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Jack
4 months ago

Thanks for the quick reply, Electras are getting harder and harder to get here, maybe i should stick to something that is made here, its not like bikes are not getting made in the Netherlands. I liked the Gazelle you reviewed, maybe a Batavus or a Giant.

Jack
4 months ago

I have settled on a Pegasus 2017 Tecaro Nu E Belt, so not really Dutch but close :)

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Court Rye
4 months ago

Oh, cool! I have never seen or tested Pegasus models (maybe we don’t have them here in the USA yet?) I hope it works great for you Jack, thanks for the updates ;)

SM
3 months ago

DO NOT BUY. I could not be more angry at a company if they put a representative on a plane, he flew to my house, knocked on my door at 3 am and spit in my face. I paid nearly $3000 for a Townie GO only two years ago. My battery is dead and there is no source for another. NONE.

The company that made the proprietary design no longer makes them (I called Chicago), they have no backstock, and Electra didn’t bother to stockpile any for their customers in the future — the ones who, I must again state, shelled out 2-3 k for their product. The same for the charger, were that to be stolen, or fail. There are none to be had, none in production, none set aside for consumers in the future.

I don’t think this bodes well for anything this company puts forth and I will never do business with them again. Should I ever be able to afford to.

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Court Rye
3 months ago

Hi SM, I’m so sorry to hear that your bike stopped and that you have not been able to get a replacement battery. Does the version of the Townie Go! that you own have a rear rack battery like this and use the SRAM hub motor? If yours is newer and uses the Bosch mid-drive and Bosch Powerpack 400 I may be able to help you find a replacement… but unfortunately, I have not seen the older SRAM designs around. I could still reach out to some shops or perhaps you could post a wanted ad in the EBR forums wanted section here.

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Penny Lilly
2 months ago

I just bought an electra townie go… I love the smooth power and easy acceleration and deceleration with the assist! I can go anywhere without worrying about the hills… I am struggling to know how to transport my bike. I have a bike carrier that has two arms with feet to sit on the back bumper and one arm for on the trunk with 6 straps… purchased several years ago from a bike store. I have a Toyota Camry. The other choice is an older pickup which will get less gas mileage and I don’t know how I would lift it into the truck bed.

I looked at adaptor bars… and would have to use the truck if I use a hitch rack which looked expensive… The other question is will a water bottle fit in the cup holder? Another question… on my Trek bike I carried a CO2 cartridge for flats, tube etc. What should I carry for this bike?? I hope the wheels don’t go flat as easy as some people have reported because I take country roads.I couldn’t find a mirror for the electra on the main site either.

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Court Rye
2 months ago

Hi Penny! I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying your Electra Townie Go! Finding a bike rack that can fit some of these electric models can be difficult because they are heavy and indeed, may require a crossbar adapter like this if you have a hanging style rack. I suggest removing the battery pack when transporting to reduce the overall weight.

I personally opted for a hitch rack and installed a 1.25″ hitch on my Toyota Prius so I could use it… and yes, it did cost a lot of money. There are some cheap ones that can work, like this, but they don’t have locks or offer as much stability. I purchased and tested one of these racks a while back and it did work okay, but not as well as something like this, which even has a ramp so you don’t have to lift the bike!

As for pumps, I always carry one like this which has a pressure gauge built in and can work with Presta or Schrader type valves. I am not a big fan of the CO2 air cartridges because they expire more quickly when using and just seem wasteful. The hand pump will last a long time.

I Hope some of these tips help you! Also, here’s a short article I wrote about other accessories that can be good to use if you are new to ebikes or bicycling in general, it might give you some ideas or stimulate alternatives to what I wrote above.

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Ed P
2 days 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.
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.

Baron
2 days ago

I RV. I carry two townie go bikes in bed of pickup.
I RV. I carry two townie go bikes in bed of pickup. I use the Inno rack system. Absolutely love the bikes and the racks for hauling.

Baron
3 days ago

I RV. I carry two townie go bikes in bed of pickup. I use the Inno rack system. Absolutely love the bikes and the racks for hauling.

Baron
3 days 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.
I am 72 and absolutely love my townie go

Baron
3 days ago

What is widest tire I can put on ? I think stock is 2.30? Anyone tried fatter tires?
I’ve been off roading a lot in desert. Need sand tires.

Dewey
1 week ago

Do any of those companies manufacture in Canada? If so, give them preference. But, if all of them have the bikes made in China, it's a toss up.

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 weeks 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.
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:
http://www.tuesdaycycles.com/bikes/cruisers/august/august-live-mens

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...
http://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/cruiser-comfort/beach-cruiser/sanibel

http://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/cruiser-comfort/beach-cruiser/sanibel/sanibel
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.

Kysos
3 weeks 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.

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

https://electricbikereview.com/magnum/cruiser/#/

Keith Lee

Neil Shadle
4 weeks 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.

Solarbuddy
2 months ago

I'm wondering what is the best way to affix a Boomerang alarm/GPS-tracker to a Electra since they don't come with built in bottle-holder bosses. Although I live in one of the best towns in California for cycling (Redlands), none of the staff in the local shops (I've visited 3 and spoken to six in all) seems to have any idea how to solve this seemingly trivial problem.

harryS
3 months ago

I'm always dubious of the electricals on an ebike that is transported at highway speeds in a pouring rain. You'll want some kind of sturdy cover for the display and controls that won't fray away in the wind. Battery too, although I take the batteries off to save the load on my hitch mounted racks when I transport with my car.

You'll also want some good protection for loose batteries. They are fire risks and probably shouldn't be left charging while away from the RV. I would charge them outside the RV, just in case. However, I'm sure a lot of RV stuff runs off lithium power, so you probably know better than me.

As for theft. I think good insurance is best. Even if you had a video camera monitoring the bikes, my opinion is that police in far away towns don't have time for tourists unless they're issuing a ticket for revenue. More likely for the bikes to get stolen if you rode somewhere for shopping.

Electra Townie Commute look fine to me. I'd buy one if money didn't matter.

Paul H
3 months ago

We are looking to purchase our first pedal assisted e-bikes. We are an active retired couple each about 70 years old, about 5 ft 7 in, and normal weight. We travel roughly 10,000 miles per year in our motorhome and will carry the bikes on a rack on the back of the motorhome. The cost of the e-bikes is not a major concern. The e-bikes will be primarily used on paved bike trails. The e-bike we are leaning to at the moment is the Electra Townie Commute Go because: Electra is the only brand of e-bike sold by the bicycle shops in our local area, we think the front and back racks on the Commute would help us lift the e-bikes onto the bike rack, and we are thinking the internal gear hub would be preferable given the e-bikes will be carried many miles on a rack. The bike rack we are leaning to is the Hollywood Sport Rider for electric bikes. Our current bicycles are the Day 6 Journey which we bought about 6 years ago. We welcome any suggestions/advice on choosing an e-bike and rack that would be suitable for us. Thanks.

BernieS
3 months ago

I am in the market for an urban/hybrid style, flat bar e-bike. I live in Southern California and will be using it mostly to ride to my local downtown area (3.5 miles one way) and occasionally to work (10 miles one way). There is a slight incline one both routes for a portion of the ride but nothing drastic. I am trying to stay in the budget of $3500 range if possible and find a unit that gives assistance up to 28mph. I have zero experience with ebikes but have countless hours on bikes in general (raced competitively teens/early 20s BMX and put approx. 15 miles a week on a Townie 3)

The units that have caught my attention so far are the Giant Quick E+ and the Trek XM700+. I am by no means locked into one of these two units but they seem to match up to my criteria pretty well. Can anyone comment on either of these two for my purpose or recommend a unit that might fits my needs better?

I recently got a 2018 Giant Quick E+ and am very happy with it. I find it very responsive and as fast I would want. It's a stiff bike though so I've added a Body Float suspension seat post and that has greatly increased comfort especially riding over rough, patched streets. I prefer its 2" tires over the narrower tires on the Trek XM700+. Right now I'm just working on getting a suitable rear rack for it.

Shaker
3 months ago

I am in the market for an urban/hybrid style, flat bar e-bike. I live in Southern California and will be using it mostly to ride to my local downtown area (3.5 miles one way) and occasionally to work (10 miles one way). There is a slight incline one both routes for a portion of the ride but nothing drastic. I am trying to stay in the budget of $3500 range if possible and find a unit that gives assistance up to 28mph. I have zero experience with ebikes but have countless hours on bikes in general (raced competitively teens/early 20s BMX and put approx. 15 miles a week on a Townie 3)

The units that have caught my attention so far are the Giant Quick E+ and the Trek XM700+. I am by no means locked into one of these two units but they seem to match up to my criteria pretty well. Can anyone comment on either of these two for my purpose or recommend a unit that might fits my needs better?

ForlornMTL
4 months ago

I have a new bike (under warranty) with an odd "glitch." I just need an idea what I'm dealing with.
Whenever I've shifted into 5th gear with the assist on, after a quarter to a half mile the crank acts like it
has jumped a chain link. It may happen several times while riding. Now for the odd part. I rode over a mile
in fifth gear with the assist off, and nothing happened. In fact, with the assist off it behaves completely normal. This problem only seems to happen in fifth gear with the assist on. All the other gears are fine. Any ideas? Thanks!

I had the same issue with my Townie Commute Go. Got it less than a week ago.
Found a video that explains it clearly. It's something that happens on a brand new bicycle. Cables get "stretched" or settled into place.
It's an easy fix that does not need any tools at all. I would call it an adjustment.
Also, all bolts need to be checked after the first week or two of use. As vibrations could loosen things up.

DavidP
4 months ago

So, after riding a couple more e-bikes today, I think the question is this:

Benno Boost or Townie Go? I was able to ride the Townie and loved it. So will I also love the Benno Boost?

Alexander T.
4 months ago

My wife and I bought Pedego City Commuter Classic bikes in early 2014; they are 2013 models rated at 48V, 15AH. They have been fun to ride but we have had issues. I had to have my handlebars replaced within the first year because they wouldn't stay firmly in place. This was done under warranty. We have found that the bikes sometimes derail when hitting potholes. One time my sensor got knocked out of position when I hit a pothole, disabling the pedal assist feature; it had to go to a dealer to be repaired, at my cost. My wife's computer failed when the bike was about 2 and half years old and had to be changed out at her cost. My entire power system failed a few weeks ago and now it is in the shop being diagnosed. The batteries have lost some of their power. Pedego says on their website that the batteries are supposed to last 2-4 years. I got a quote from a Pedego dealer for a replacement battery at $1,095. I have been checking on battery replacement costs for other brands and after 4 quotes from other brands I saw a range of $499 (Emazing) to $780 (Kalkhoff). So $1,095 for a new battery is high. Also, an Electra rep stated to me in an e-mail that the Bosch battery their Townie Go! uses will work at optimum capacity for 5,000 charges, which Bosch states is typically 8-9 years. The Electra/Bosch replacement battery is $750. While Pedego offered a good bang for the buck in early 2014, they would not be my first choice for a new bike in 2017.

Alexander T.
4 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.

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Mark23
4 months ago

Thanks for your reply. I have an existing bike that I like - if I were going to go the kit route, I would add it to that. Same for my wife. It just seemed that for the price of the kit, I might as well get a bike designed to be an electric bike. But if I don't find what I'm looking for, maybe I should revisit the kit approach. If you added a kit to this bike, I would like to hear more about your experience and whether the kit gives you the typical benefits of e-bikes - peddle assist, throttle, display, adequate power, etc. Thanks, Mark.

I'm wondering if you've ever ridden an Electra Townie? This would be a great cruiser to put an Ebike kit on (in
my opinion). The first one I rode, I was hooked. The Townie has 2 inch tires which I really like. A very comfortable
bike.

Katman4532
4 months ago

I'm wondering if you've ever ridden an Electra Townie? This would be a great cruiser to put an Ebike kit on (in
my opinion). The first one I rode, I was hooked. The Townie has 2 inch tires which I really like. A very comfortable
bike.

Katman4532
4 months ago

@Over50, the TownieGo does come in a low step version, still 26" wheels. If you think that's still a little large for her take a look at the Pedego Step-Thru Interceptor with 24" wheels; the overall sizing is scaled down but the same size motor & power.

Court has a Guide with suggestions for bikes for smaller people; it's a good starting point. There are also newer reviews, too.

@Katman4532, glad to hear that you're out & about in our Texas summers; happy trails!
I think you're right about the low step version being great for shorter people. I would love to get my wife on an Ebike.
I have to keep turning off the assist to let her catch up!

Ann M.
4 months ago

@Over50, the TownieGo does come in a low step version, still 26" wheels. If you think that's still a little large for her take a look at the Pedego Step-Thru Interceptor with 24" wheels; the overall sizing is scaled down but the same size motor & power.

Court has a Guide with suggestions for bikes for smaller people; it's a good starting point. There are also newer reviews, too.

@Katman4532, glad to hear that you're out & about in our Texas summers; happy trails!

Katman4532
4 months ago

The Townie is a bit big with those 700c tires. The ride is very nice, it's suitable for mild trail riding such as the
Wetherford to Mineral Wells trail. Are you familiar with that one? My wife and I are considering a trip up to
Palo Duro canyon this fall. I did a mini review on the Townie for "Marleen" under the Electra brand thread. Hopefully,
that will give you additional useful information. I'm considering trading in my old Trek 6000 for a Trek lift+ next
year. Depends on how much I get back into trail riding again.

Samuel Townsend
4 months ago

If you are in the So Cal area on Saturday Aug 26th be sure to stop by and say hi. Some added attractions will be clinics on how to clean and maintain your bike, battery maintenance and flat tire repair. Fullerton Bikes will be attending and will have demos from Giant and Townie. With over 12 manufacturers on hand to help educate you on your next EBike purchase. Mark it on your Calendar this is the event you've been waiting for. We look forward to seeing you here.

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Glenn Watson
2 weeks ago

How long would you say is 'long-term' storage re: battery pack? I'm storing mine for the coming winter and I'm sure its full.

Mike S
4 months ago

Townie with a cyclone would be my choice.

lee53597
4 months ago

I've noticed that many of the e-bikes have exposed contacts for the batteries when removed. Has anyone tested to see if they are weather-proof? I ride my regular bike in all weather, including snow, and it's parked outside for part of the day when I arrive at my destination. Am I going to have to cover those contacts if I remove the battery, i.e. taking it inside to charge?

Glenda S. McKinney
5 months ago

I've been riding my beautiful blue Townie Go for a month now. People ask me about it everywhere I lock up--fun to be an unpaid ambassador. Some 'cyclist' friends have sneered about me getting an ebike, but I'm down 10 pounds over 33 days, so I'm certainly working at it while enjoying the ride. I use it 4-5 days a week for all my trips within 6 miles despite the Austin.
I've added a Surly front rack, Abus U lock, Hiplok chain, a couple of panniers for grocery shopping, some reflectors and lights for night rides, an adapter for a water bottle holder, and an extra bar off of the handle for more accessories (phone, lights, basket, etc). I tried a couple of under-seat bags, but couldn't find one to fit well. Now I'm shopping for a trunk bag that won't interfere with clipping on the panniers. Why so many bags and racks and so forth? Distributing weight is super important: my one fall was while coming to a stop because I'd only put on one pannier carrying 10-15 pounds.
Oh, and the bell! Get a nice bright sounding bike bell to warn pedestrians!
To answer the height question posed below, I'm 5'4" and could lower the seat a few more inches. I've had the shop adjust the angle of handle bar to get it to the right distance for comfort, which took a couple of tries to get it just right, but well worth the bother.

D H
5 months ago

Questions! Do we need to be coasting (but not pedaling) to change the speed or can the speed be changed at a dead stop? And...does it have a USB port for charging our cell phone on the side of the 'computer' screen that has the "info' button/boost modes? I have heard that it does...does it come stock with only back rack? Or front as well? thanks.

Glenda S. McKinney
5 months ago

Speed can be changed at a dead stop. It needs a bit of a pause to shift, so if you are pedaling, you need to coast until you feel it come into gear. I haven't used the charging port for my phone yet, as I haven't found the right cord, but there's def a port. There's only a back rack, and it's great for panniers or a trunk, but not both. After looking at several options, I went with a Surly front rack, because I was more interested in the possibility of front panniers for my locks than in the width afforded by some of the porteur racks. That turned out to be a good choice, because it's much more stable with weight mounted low and just under the stem.

Brenda Cooke
7 months ago

I have been finding the steering to be very loose on most ebikes. Is that normal and is there any way to tighten it up?

Frances Hanna
9 months ago

does this bike low step fit someone 4ft. 11?

Glenda S. McKinney
5 months ago

I'm 5'4" and think it could work for someone a bit shorter than me with no problem. The top bar is curved way down to make it as small an obstacle as possible, and I don't have the seat set as low as it could be.

Gary H
1 year ago

Electric bikes are the poor mans Tesla. Sign me up! :)

whydidyouresign
1 year ago

Drum brakes? Really?? Wonder if they can be changed out to a 21st century option....

jeromep
5 months ago

whydidyouresign For this application and target market roller brakes work just fine. I've ridden this bike a bit and the braking is very effective. Drum brakes on a car are really no longer effective, but on a bike they are super effective and, more importantly require little to no maintenance or adjustment.

JaxBicycleCenter
1 year ago

Great review.

MikeZ32TT
1 year ago

Thanks for all your reviews. Your channel is a great source of info. I appreciate it. I'm in search of a nice cruiser/comfortable style electric bike.

כרמל גור
2 years ago

You should review the bolt m1 its a really cool motorbike style e bike :)

GrimFaceHunter
2 years ago

+כרמל גור It will probably be on his other channel. 
They avoided saying how much power Bolt's motor can output, but it is probably well above the legal limits for bicycles, unless it is over sized just for the looks.
The thing looks like it can easily handle 5KW.

כרמל גור
2 years ago

+GrimFaceHunter really? their site says that it doesnt need a licence. and doesnt he has a moped licence because he did reviews on electric mopeds already

GrimFaceHunter
2 years ago

+‫כרמל גור‬‎ Bolt is a moped. No matter what their website says, you will need to register it and have a moped license for it. With that look, and especially that huge motor you cannot get away with claims that it is really a bicycle.

MotorheadRedo
2 years ago

I thought it would be convenient to own a cafe lock with the accessory cable for making quick stops at places like convenience stores, but they are very hard to find in the USA. The locks security rating is very low, but a very convenient lock to use. The more common name is frame lock, and their made by a company called AXA. I think the popular model is AXA Defender. They make accessory cables and chains that plug into the lock. Very popular in Europe but hard to find in the USA. It wouldn't surprise me if the AXA company phased them out, because they are so easily defeated, but very convenient to use for quick stops when the bicycle never leaves your line of site.

Glenda S. McKinney
5 months ago

This is an Abus cafe lock, and I haven't used it often because you have to insert the key to activate it. If I'm going to put on a u-lock and a chain, the cafe lock isn't very useful unless I were actually sitting next to the bike at a sunny sidewalk cafe. (I'm in a college town, so I am very careful to be sure that my bike is not the low-hanging fruit on any bike rack!)

philodygmn
2 years ago

This _almost_ edges out an eRad conversion of a regular Townie, for me, now, but no throttle, a weaker motor, questionable brake choice, no suspension, no walk mode, and a battery pack and electronics I'm not as confident in since they're less transparent than eRad about their supply chain plus eRad can convert one of the Townie balloon tire models still keep this from winning out, even despite having a slick integrated, removable display and lighting system with the nifty break-out control box on the handle (the battery-pack's carry handle is also nice).

I only have eyes for mid-drives, at this point, though, for sure. Thank goodness Townie's no longer exclusively under Electra's quixotic direction, though I'd be disappointed if the Flat Foot design remains Electra exclusive, and I hope to see balloon -style models...

Glenda S. McKinney
5 months ago

I haven't missed the walk mode at all. Maybe if I was walking it uphill it might be an issue?

Al M
2 years ago

+philodygmn
Flat Foot design is not unique. There are other models with bottom bracket forward of seat tube. Biktrix Stunner comes to mind, and few by Giant in non-electric realm.

Agreed, no throttle and proprietary (= $$$ and less available) Bosch system is a minus for many US consumers. Smallish battery. Make it 15 AH and add a throttle, for God's sake.

Handlebar is not swept back - wasn't it supposed to be cruis-ish model?

On the esthetic side, battery blends in but the paint pattern of bottom bracket makes motor stand out a bit.

Mark Elford
2 years ago

Good review, user friendly ebike. im a bosch fan.

gojo bojo
2 years ago

its expensive

Alc Anon
2 years ago

hey man is there a chance you doing e bike greyp review please

Alc Anon
2 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com
You are correct .
Maybe you can borrow from some fan or someone who has it. Because it is pretty expensive and custom made.
Thank you for reply. Keep it rocking.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Alc Anon Oh, I would love to! From what I can tell they're based in Europe right? I'll keep an eye out but I have never seen one in a shop so doing a review is difficult, I have so many ebikes to check out here in the USA right now, maybe I'll make it to Europe later this year! This is the bike you're talking about correct: http://www.greyp.com/

Monstah Jones
2 years ago

if there was one bike that had the potential to be an awesome cruiser it's the townie.. there's only two things I wish they'd do to this frame and that's shorten the head tube to allow for some other fork options ( it'd look beautiful with a monark springer in there ),  and open up the rear of the frame for some wider rim sizes..  if they ever put these out with a fat rear ( 80 or 100mm ) I'd be down for one asap..

Monstah Jones
2 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com hey bloke, if you're ever considering a monark fork, consider getting a sunlite from amazon like this http://www.amazon.com/FORK-SPRINGER-SUNLT-300xTDLSx28-6x30-225mmSTACK/dp/B010TSRO7E/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1457402676&sr=8-6&keywords=sunlite+springer+fork  .. they really are built tough and well worth the money.. 

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Monstah Jones Oh wow, you're totally right! I love the look of that Monarch Springer custom fork http://www.monarkforks.com/ hadn't thought about the head tube length as a limiter for suspension... I like the idea of fat tires as well but might explore the mid-sized 6-fatty that has popped up on some of the Specialized ebikes and the OHM I reviewed late last year: https://electricbikereview.com/ohm/sport-xs750-plus-16/

Douglas Kmiotek
2 years ago

OMG!!! I so want this bike. Arrghhh!!!

Douglas Kmiotek
2 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com I agree. This is a wonderful looking, and performing, ebike. I hope I can get one by late summer. I'm in luv here,... 😍

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Douglas Kmiotek Yeah, they really nailed it with the Bosch system, the Electra Townie has long been a popular bicycle and one of the first conversions (Pedego used to convert Townie's into ebikes using kits before building their own brand) and now I feel like they finally nailed it ;)

Ex13m1
2 years ago

bingo

Ex13m1
2 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com but i have Sduro Fullnine rx 2016 )

Ex13m1
2 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com I'm a fan of motor Bosh and Yamaha. I think that the chopper with this engine is cool.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Ex13m1 Oh yeah, I feel like they nailed it with this model and the price is decent considering you get the Bosch drive system... Most bikes with this motor were $4k+ in 2014 and 2015