Interested in the new Electra Townie and Loft Go!

Marleen

New Member
Hi there I'm new to this, let me just say amazingly explanatory and well informed forum! Really brilliant! Hats off to Court and everyone involved!

My name is Marleen, I am from The Netherlands so you could say naturally an absolute bike junkie, but more importantly in this context, an avid Electra fan!

Because my still superfit and equally Electra loving 72 yrs young ;-) mum is currently looking for a new ebike I ended up here. Main reasons for her wanting a new ebike are more stability and more safety. This partly because of some minor and major incidents that happened in the past year that sadly ended up making her (and me about her) feel less secure on her bike.

Her current ebike is a Gazelle Innergy Chamonix frameheight 49cm and she has been really very satisfied with its flawless(!) performance over the passed 6 years. Used it daily and extensively for commuting, leisure, for longer and shorter rides at home in The Low Countries but also in more hilly conditions abroad.

The only downside turned out to be the fact that with this bike she is not able to reach the ground while remaining seated in her saddle at the same time. Something that, as we recently discovered, sadly is still not possible when she tried a Gazelle in their current smallest frame height 46cm. She is 163cm btw. I also should mention that a frame height of 46 and 49cm are considered fitting and appropriate for a person of 163cm. Luckily because she also owns an ELECTRA cruiser bike she knows that there is actually a bike that does offer the possibility of having your feet flat on the ground whilst being firmly seated! Also known as Electra's 'flat foot technology'.

Another very positive aspect of the ELECTRA cruiser are its fat frank tires! The relatively smaller tires on her Gazelle can pose quite a challenge, especially with all the tramrails we Dutch happen to have in all of our city centres. They can get stuck in there pretty easily and when it has been raining, not too uncommon here, you can imagine that can happen even quicker as goes for the risk of slipping. The fat frank balloon tires just give you an instant boost of confidence for they immediately enhance your stability, on and off road, plus they act as an extra cushion protecting you from experiencing every bump in the road yourself.

So after the most recent incident, where she ended up hurting herself after toppling over (because she simply wasn't able to reach the ground quickly enough while she was still seated) we decided it was time to look for a new ebike. Preferably one with all the aforementioned benefits of her ELECTRA.
Only then did we discover ELECTRA now actually have an ebike range! Now even combined with the top end Bosch motor system. Already familiar to us because it is also used on the Urban Arrow Family ebike we use. It really is just a super neat and frankly, in our opinion, one of the best motorsystems out there for an ebike. The combination of an Electra bike with its flat foot technology and the fat frank tires combined with the top end Bosch motor just has to be the best of both worlds!

So after we narrowed our search down to the ebike collection of ELECTRA, that are all called Go! btw, we now face 'the problem' of choosing just one of the three available models. There is the already slightly older ELECTRA Townie Go! (already reviewed by Court in another great video) but now you also have the ELECTRA Townie Commute Go! And there is the ELECTRA Loft Go! Online I could, up until now, only find a short introduction of the two latest additions by ELECTRA themselves, but this consisted of a mere summing up of some of the specs.

Now luckily Court (after some serious stalking on my part ;-) has promised to do his review on (one of) the new two Go! models in the nearby future. Depending on whether and how soon he can get his hands on (one of) these bikes ofcourse.
But this would be extra nice because right now there are still some questions about the pro's and cons between these three models.

The newly added models offer hydraulic disc brakes. On paper this looks like an upgrade, but is it also an upgrade in reality? Then there is the alteration to the steer; the new models sport the so called 'café bar steer' it is less straight than the one on the original Townie so what does this mean for your actual seating position? Then there is the difference in the used tires; while the original Townie Go! Sports the famous 26 inch Fat frank balloons the newly added models seem to have less fat tires and am I right to assume they are 28 inch? And what about the differences in total weight?
These are all technical differences apart from the obvious visual differences between the various models of course and the two frame options; step over (male) and the lower step thru (female)
Plus they all come in different colours.

And some questions about the Go! series as a whole.
Like do they also offer walk assist? It is not mentioned anywhere, but I know from our Urban Arrow Family bike, that all Bosch powered ebikes provide this rather handy feature. In The Netherlands f.e. we have quite a lot of underground bike cellars not only near train stations or other public buildings but also underneath quite a lot of appartment buildings in the city. So having to push your electric bike up a pretty steep hill on a daily base is not a very nice idea. Especially when you don't travel light in the first place, or when you're a bit older. Plus the average ebike is just always a bit on the heavy side compared to a regular bike, so a little walk assistance seems like a very good idea and would be a very neat feature on the Go! series indeed!

On a more general note I'd like to add that sadly ELECTRA is, up until now, not very present in my country The Netherlands. Meaning test riding one of their ebikes here has up until now just been impossible. They currently only have one flagship store in Europe which is located in Hamburg Germany. In The Netherlands their official dealers only sell the bikes online meaning they want you to buy the bike first for only then will they order it for you and then they even refuse to take it back because 'they ordered it especially for you'. Meaning there is, up until now, no possibility to check these bikes out first or take them for a test ride prior to deciding if and what kind of model you would like to purchase.

I find this especially sad because the whole checking, trying, comparing and buying process of a bike could and should be such a nice and awesome experience in itself. It could also be such a priceless opportunity for a brand to show and sell themselves to its potential customers and to keep its fanbase happy!
I remember buying each and every bike I own exactly and with my first ELECTRA I even considered sleeping over in the garage. Ok so maybe Im a bit crazy, but just referring people to an anonymous online shop experience while you are marketing and selling a so called lifestyle bike does seem a bit odd? Or at least contradictory.

But I am an optimistic person so let's hope for some progress here and the introduction of some properly equipped ELECTRA (e)bikestores here in The Netherlands soon! For seriously not a day goes by while I'm out and about with my bike that I don't get some positive remarks on my ELECTRA wheels and let me tell you there are quite a lot of bicycles here in The Nethetlands. Just saying! Plus the potential market for safe and stable yet funky looking ebikes is pretty amazing here!

For now I am very much looking forward to watching Court his, no doubt awesome, review video on the newly added member(s) of the ELECTRA Go! Family and on discussing his findings (and those of other people who have had the opportunity to (test) ride any of these bikes and are willing to share) here further. And on informing whoever else is interested here about the further developments in this whole process. Maybe you could help us with your experiences or maybe you find yourself in a similar situation and our story could end up helping you along the way of finding your new ELECTRA ebike!

Keep on rolling ;-)
Marleen
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Marleen, thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for cycling and complimenting our work here. I’d love to share a few thoughts and try to help :)

My own Mother has had a couple of bicycle tips over the past few years and I’ve seen her become sensitive to riding, especially in crowded environments and around faster cyclists. You mentioned stability and I feel that the Electra models (or any cruiser style ebike) could be a great fit because they tend to have wider tires and a more relaxed geometry. Sometimes, they even have smaller 26” wheels vs. the standard city/road 28” 700c. You touched on this in your post with the Fat Frank tires ;)

You really explained the Flat Foot technology from Electra well, it allows the saddle height to be lower so that riders can put their feet down while seated, but still get reasonable leg extension forward to pedal. They have a patent on this but you can see some competitors trying to imitate it by using back-angled seat tubes. Moustache does this with their Lundi 26 https://electricbikereview.com/moustache/lundi-26/ and Pedego does it with their 24” Cruiser which is unique because of the even smaller 24” wheels which bring the entire frame down closer to the ground https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/24-step-thru-interceptor/ The downside of both examples here is that they use rear-rack mounted batteries vs. the downtube design on Electra’s Townie model. This increases frame flex and makes the back rear heavy which can lead to crack-the-whip handling and easier frame tips. Pedego in particular, tends to be very rear heavy because they use a rack battery and hub motor system vs. the mid-motor on the Moustache and Townie. One upside is that the Pedego has a throttle while no Bosch systems offer that.

Bosch makes one of my favorite drive systems and it’s cool that you’re already familiar with it from the Urban Arrow. The reliability, responsiveness, and balance make it desirable but of course, it’s also a bit pricier.

So I have not seen the Commute Go! or Loft Go! in person but I have studied the official website and you did a great job narrowing down. I view these as more efficient “commute” type of bikes with lager 700c 28” tires that raise the bike slightly, hydraulic disc brakes that are going to be easier to pull and smoother to brake with, and swept-back handlebar designed to be comfortable (positioning you upright) but still narrow to fit through doors and between cars. Frankly, I’m suprised that the Townie Go! doesn’t have larger beach bars… but maybe the reach distance is already short enough? It’s an interesting design choice there compared to Pedego and others… perhaps they wanted to really raise the bar vs. raise and sweep back? I’m not sure. Anyway, my guess is that the Loft Go! will be the lightest model because it uses narrower tubing than the Commute Go! The look on the Loft Go! is more classy vs. beach cruiser but it shares a lot of similarities with the Commute Go! models and they all appear to use the Bosch Active Line motor which is slower to start and weaker overall (so it will extend battery range but also feel safer and more predictable to riders perhaps).

Based on what I have heard from Trek recently, none of the Trek or Electra models will have walk mode enabled and I’m not clear on why. In the past, some other large companies have been shy about any kind of throttle application because it changes the bike from Class 1 to Class 2. Now, a two-mph walk mode that requires two button presses to activate (and ongoing holding of the plus button) doesn’t seem like a big issue to me, and I love the idea that you could get help moving a 50 lb bike, that might have cargo loaded, up a hill or steep driveway. One concern however, is that the cranks turn when this mode is active and that can put your legs in the path of sharp pedals which could cause a scrape or surprise you enough that you actually drop the bike or something. I’m not really sure what drives the policy for them. Maybe someone will chime in with more info or perhaps this policy will change one day?

I’m sorry to hear that so far it has been difficult to locate a Trek dealer with ebikes to demo. Hopefully that will also change soon… or you can become one of the first to own the new models, it sounds like you are already a great ambassador for their brand of bikes :)

I’ll do my best to review the new models soon and appreciate your enthusiastic and well-researched comments Marleen. You seem very cool and your Mom must be very proud and happy to have you in her life riding bikes.
 

Marleen

New Member
Court thanks for your feedback, as always very much appreciated!
And for your kind words! You must know my mom is equally if not much cooler than I am ;-) and I am just as happy and proud for having her in my life and riding bikes.
I always say she is The Original I am 'just' The Remix ;-) She disagrees, of course ;-)
But ok I shall stop this shameless pouring of love now for this is after all a bike forum!

Although you are quite right to point out that I have a deep and rather strong love for Electra too, the feeling just hasn't been completely reciprocated yet ;-) but I remain optimistic!
I actually am in contact now with the freshly appointed manager for the Benelux area so that's a start ;-)
While he still has to set up shop here properly, as he only started this brandnew(!) job last monday, he seems like a nice guy and willing to help us.
Besides trying to answer the already mentioned questions / issues raised here, he actually promised to try and get one demo bike (most probably the Loft Go!) from Hamburg to the Third World Bicycle Country that is The Netherlands ;-) Hallelujah! ;-)
I am of course still trying, as hard as I can, with all my super powers, to persuade him to ship all three! For naturally I would still very much prefer for us to be able to check out and test ride all of the available models before actually buying one.

Especially because, while we are familiar with all the different cruiser models from Electra, neither of us have ever taken a ride on an actual Townie model! And the Townie is quite different compared with the classic cruiser. I mean with its much smaller and straight steer you just have to end up being in a very different seating position than on a cruiser while cycling? To me it seems you would be in a less laid back position? I am now actually trying to hunt down a regular Townie somewhere in the neighborhood asap so we could at least try the fit of this bike first. I mean it would help a lot were we to find out we could eliminate the Townie from the options. Or if it turned out to be the complete opposite of course.

Which leads me to another interesting question; why is there actually no electric version of the cruiser model? So an Electra Classic Cruiser Go! It seems pretty odd right, especially considering all of the different new ebike models Electra has now presented. And considering that, to me at least, the cruiser is still the ultimate embodiment of what Electra is.

So all in all chances are still pretty big we shall head to Hamburg in the near future to be able to check out and test the entire Go! family ourselves. So yes I guess that is how far (pun unintended sorry) our Electra love goes ;-) In which case btw we shall of course report on our findings extensively right here!

Weird story about leaving out the walk assistance option btw.
Now the rules on the European market are of course different to those in the US. Here in The Netherlands there are f.e. no such classifications or legal limitations to enabling a function like walk assist. But I was told that the first generation Bosch Go! bikes form Electra indeed also didn't have this feature in Europe. I am still waiting for a final answer from Electra Benelux about whether they have in the meantime altered this for the European market; meaning this function could now indeed be enabled in Europe. To be continued!

The point you made Court about the potential risk of the moving pedals with walk assist is indeed something to take into account. On the other hand most bikes here that actually have walk assist don't have their pedals moving when it is turned on. I think that depends on the type of gears you have on the bike? My guess is the only plausible explanation for it being disabled Stateside is out of fear for legal liability. In Europe we have completely different legislation when it comes to this. Then again chances are slim they will make an exception for Europe for all the bikes are imported from the US here if I am right? Much easier of course to make just one type per model bike for the whole market.

Quite an eyeopener btw to point out here that the Townie Loft actually sports a different, less powerful, model Bosch motor (the Active line) Whereas both the Townie Go and the Commute Go! actually sport the more powerful Bosch Performance line. I actually have printouts of the different specs on the Electra website so my mum and myself could visualize the differences better, but on these the difference between active and performance line motor is not mentioned. It is on the website but somehow just not on these? (These print-outs appear after you click on the small specs plus print icon top left on the picture of any choosen bike on the Electra website)

But I like your thoughts on why they might have opted for this less powerful motor on the Loft model. ("slower to start, weaker overall so it will expand battery range and feel safer and more predictable to riders maybe") Therefore it might even end up being a better option when more safety and stability are your absolute priorities!
But then again on paper the overall position just seems less relaxed, less laid back. It somehow reminds me of the citybikes the Italians ride. I don't know if anybody else knows what I am talking about here? Plus the saddle doesn't have the shock absorbing elastomers like the Townie and Commute, it does have a spring though. Curious what kind of an effect that has.

And then there are the 28 inch tires, not as fat as the 26 inch fat franks on the Townie Go! plus they do bring up the whole bike just that tad bit higher. When you look at the pictures of the different models next to each other, it even looks like the distance between the crank and the upper tube is a bit bigger with both the Commute and the Loft. This seems irrelevant but when you are older and/or smaller this could just turn out to be that tad bit annoying when mounting/ dismounting your bike.

Plus your conclusion that the less powerful motor must effect battery range must be apt too, for the accu still has the same power as on the bikes with the stronger more powerful motors. Then again this is not mentioned by Electra. The specs when it comes to distances are the same for all the different Go! types: "20-100 miles / 40-120 km depending on your mode and terrain"

On a side note; as much as I really enjoy and love the happy, colorful and flashy Electra website for it seems completely in sync with the whole brand/ 'cycling as a lifestyle' idea. When it comes to the tech specs they could maybe improve it a little. Moustache f.e. has this cool drawn model of each specific bike type with all the measurements mentioned. And no that wouldn't just be cool for so called 'geeky bike nerds' (nothing but love and respect there) but it could really help out anyone while trying to narrow down the exact type of bike of your preference. Especially since there sadly is not an Electra (e)bike shop or showroom on every street corner, which makes the online availability of relevant and correct information, be it technical, just practical or visual all the more important!

Ok enough said for now.
I shall return here as soon as I get some interesting new info thru the Benelux manager. And of course as soon as I have managed to get my hands on one, or even better, on all of the new Go! models myself.
In the meantime I shall be dreaming of the apparently impossible combination; an actual electric classic cruiser bike by Electra. Or as Court said quite rightly; why to his surprise they (just) haven't put larger beach bars on the Townie Go?
 

Marleen

New Member
A quick update!

So the best news first! For it actually looks like we are, after all, going to be able to test ride all three Go! models ourselves somewhere in, hopefully, fingers crossed, the near future.
And even in The Netherlands! Yippee!
So a big thank you to Bram @ Electra Benelux
My mum shall test the step thru Townie Go! and Loft Go! I shall test the step over Townie Commute Go!
Of course I shall, at the time, do a full and extensive review here!

- As for the mystery about the walk assist function: according to Electra Benelux walk assist is now enabled on all Go! bikes, at least in Europe, and otherwise you could apparently(?) always let your local mechanic enable it still. Only the very first Go! models didn't have any walk assist at least that is what I am told.

- Then about the difference between the Active and Performance line. I am told it is in effect almost not noticable for the rider. Albeit the performance line being a more powerful motor indeed, it mostly has to do with the way the power is distributed and not so much with how you actually experience it while cycling.

Gazelle uses the same Bosch system and they report only a small to a very small difference between the Active and Performance line when it comes to their reach.
Combined with a 400Wh accu the performance line allows you to go 20km further when you are using the Eco mode (which is the lowest support mode) but while using the most powerful Turbo mode the difference is reduced to only 1km?!

You can see it below: (and learn some Dutch while you are at it ;-)



- As for the weight of the bikes; apparently they all weigh somewhere between 25 and 26kg.
So no really big differences there.

That's it for now!
Still looking very much forward to Court his pro-review and findings and discussing the outcomes of his testing here!
And then of course to our very own testing that, fingers crossed, hopefully will take place soon and on which I shall report extensively here then.
 

Marleen

New Member
Another update!

Ok so today my mum actually got to take a little spin on a regular (so non-electric) step thru Townie just to be able to experience its fit in order to maybe eliminate it from the three available Electra ebike options beforehand. Or to instantly get hooked and just forget about the rest ;-)
We actually managed to find one(!) step thru Townie at some local bike rent company we've never paid any attention for they are of course for tourists only ;-)

The pro's first. She felt, like on any Electra bike, safe and stable and more importantly, the steer luckily turned out to be much less straight and narrow than expected! That was really the biggest surprise/ relief.
On the other hand, and even though her Electra cruiser also has 26inch wheels, she kept on saying she somehow felt like riding a kids bike?!
But I should add this probably also had to do with the fact that the bike was stripped of any fenders, racks whatsoever, which somehow made it look(!) a lot smaller. 'Look' because when we put it next to a 'fully dressed' mens/ step over Townie, that initially looked much taller, it turned out they actually were the exact same height! So quite the optical illusion there I guess.
After properly measuring the step thru height (I just made that up ;-) but I mean the crank and tube height combined) of the Townie, it indeed turned out to be even lower(!) (about 5cm/2 inch) than on her step thru Electra cruiser.

So while the Townie model is definitely not eliminated, she now also is really convinced the slightly bigger 28inch wheels on the Commute and Loft, with the matching slightly higher placed crank and step thru positions, should be much less of an issue. Plus as long as the model still has the flat foot technology, the mounting of the bike should automatically become less of an issue.

As for the difference between the Bosch Active and Performance line: I suddenly realised the Urban Arrow Family bike we presented as a gift to my brother and his family is actually equipped with the more powerful Performance line. (At the time the bike shop accidentally sold our ordered gift bike to someone else.... so as an apology they offered a free upgrade to the Performance line)
So I can now say, out of my own experience, being familiar with both, I really can't tell the difference! Then again I should emphasize, this is in The Low Countries; so only in non-hilly conditions.
But I think I can safely say that in our mostly flat Dutch landscape the difference between the Performance (Townie and Commute) and the Active (Loft) seems of no real importance when it comes to choosing one. Apart from the slight difference in their reach as I have mentioned before. +20km in lowest support mode (eco) +1km in the highest support mode (turbo)
Cool for by 'eliminating' as much of these 'complicating' extra's, my mum can just focus on what is really most important to her; her actual seating/cycling position.

But I guess most of all this proofs just how very important an actual test ride is!!
And of course, with that being said, how very valuable these awesome test ride video's Court does really are!
Im still convinced there is no such thing as too much information when it comes to the tech specs; I still want to know as much as detailed as possible, but eventually riding a bike yourself and/or watching someone else doing just that and telling about that is still the best tool for making a good choice!

Ok that's it for now
And needless to say if anybody has any experiences with any of the new Commute and or Loft Go! bikes please don't be shy!
To be continued!
 
Hi Marleen!
I realize this is an old thread, but I recently took possession of a Townie Commute Go. So, here is my mini-review.
First of all, this bike is heavy; perhaps a little heavier than the Townie Go. I live in West Texas which is mostly flat
terrain similar to where you live. I bought this bike sight unseen simply going by my experience on a regular Townie.
The first thing I noticed is that this bike is quite tall with the 700c tires. In fact, unless the seat was lowered almost all
the way, I could not sit "flat footed", (I'm 5ft. 10in. Tall). The bike itself seemed to be very well made with very clean
welds. On my first ride, I purposely left the assist off for the first mile which consisted of 1/2 mile flat road with a 20 mph
crosswind. Next half mile was slight incline with a 20 mph headwind. I had no trouble pedaling in first gear at 6 to 8
Mph. I was concerned about how difficult this would be to pedal with a dead battery. Not bad at all. The next 5 miles
was done on the eco setting (20 mph headwind and rolling terrain). At the 6 mile point, I turned around (time constraints) and pedaled back with the assist off doing between 15 and 23 mph. Two days later, I did a 10 mile circular
ride and then a 6 mile trip to the LBS for a gel seat cover (highly recommended) using mostly the tour setting. Altogether,
I've put almost 31 miles on the bike using 2 out of 5 "bars" battery power. So, here's my opinion so far. The bike is
taller than what I would have liked, however, traffic has no trouble seeing me. The drive system is quiet and seems to
give a boost that comes on subtly but increases as needed. Very nice. I don't think the weight will be a factor since your
terrain is flat. You will want to use the boost coming out of an intersection. I'm going to ride after dark tonight to see
how well the lights work. The ride is very comfortable with the gel pad on the seat, in fact, perhaps the most comfortable
bike I've ever owned. I'm in my early sixties and fit for my age; pedaling with the assist off is quite doable. My only two
complaints are the height and weight. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions!
 
Hello to Marleen and anyone else who may be interested in the Townie Commute Go,
Last night, my wife and I rode after dark on a road with no street lights. The light on the Townie
was bright enough to see the road easily. Today I rode just over 18 miles mostly in Eco mode, but sometimes with
the assist turned off. I accidentally stumbled on some 4x4 trails today along an area lake. The "siren call" of these
trails was too much to resist, so off I went. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well this bike did. I wouldn't
recommend doing this on a regular basis, but it did confirm that it can be used on mild trails. I plan on going back
to these trails again, but with my old Trek 6000. One other experiment my wife and I did had to do with
rolling resistance. My wife has an old Trek Navigator mountain bike with street tires. While going up a gradual
incline, we both stopped pedaling at the same time and just coasted. The Townie pulled ahead. The same thing
happened going down a small hill. Nothing scientific, but interesting results. So far, this bike has been a real joy
to ride. The only problem I'm currently having occurs in fifth gear with the assist on. The bike "acts" like the chain
briefly jumps ahead. It may do this several times, but only in fifth gear and with the assist on. Oh well, that's what
a warranty is for.
 

Brio

New Member
Hi, Marleen,

I'm wondering which bike your mother finally chose! I was also torn between the Commute and the Loft and have just ordered a Loft because of its smaller frame. I'm so excited! It's the cream coloured one.

One question I have for anyone: I'd like to remove the front rack, but is there somewhere else on the front where the light can be attached?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Hi, Marleen,

I'm wondering which bike your mother finally chose! I was also torn between the Commute and the Loft and have just ordered a Loft because of its smaller frame. I'm so excited! It's the cream coloured one.

One question I have for anyone: I'd like to remove the front rack, but is there somewhere else on the front where the light can be attached?
Nice color! You can attach the light to the fork crown (top of the fork), do it at the same time you remove the rack attachment so you only have to unscrew it once.
 

Brio

New Member
Nice color! You can attach the light to the fork crown (top of the fork), do it at the same time you remove the rack attachment so you only have to unscrew it once.
Thanks, Dewey, I'll ask the bike store to do this.