Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Townie

wiblick has made a request:

"I'm thinking of buying an electra townie 700C 8 speed and NO ONE can tell me anything about it, especially regarding seat height. I'm 5ft 2 as well and would be really interested in hearing your thoughts.Could you mail me? Let me know what model you bought etc. Can you really sit comfortably and have your feet flat to the ground? Do you have a pannier thingy?

or maybe just do an post to your blog about it?"

I have been ASKED to blog! *overwhelmed*

My Townie is a 7D, but I have no idea about the tires. The D refers to the rear derailleur, meaning it has an extra fancy doohickey instead of regular gears. I'm not sure what the advantages of that are, but the 8 doesn't seem to have it. My seat is adjusted so that I can stand flat on the ground while on the saddle if I'm wearing a slightly chunky heel, but there's plenty of room to adjust down if I wanted to be more comfortable in flats. I've seen people on regular bikes, straining to get their tippy-toes on the ground while sitting, and how awkward that is. Also, I love the wide saddle that comes with my Townie.

May be a concern for you: I don't see a step-through version of the 8 speed on the Electra website. Step-through and flat-foot are what makes it so comfortable IMHO, and I don't see it being as good without both. Then again, I'm clumsy. *shrug*

I had the rear rack installed, but make sure you have them use a longer screw, because one that come with the rack popped loose on my first long ride. It wasn't a safety issue, but you obviously don't want that. My other accessories include front and rear blinkey LEDs and a CatEye mirror. Very important since I drive on roads like a car, and its getting darker in the mornings. I'm currently lusting after some fenders, because I'm tired of ringing out my socks and because Texas lied to me about being a semi-desert.

I have a Basil Blossom pannier, which sadly I cannot recommend. They're deadly cute on my bike, but they aren't easily/reasonably removable or collapsible, and don't keep their form (makes them look frumpy). They connect to the rack with buckles, but the frame weirdly with velcro that always come loose, and they shift back into my spokes on an uphill when loaded. They do, however, hold lots of stuff for the price, so I'm not replacing them anytime soon.

It really is a comfortable ride. The sitting position is great for seeing everything around, and not hunched over the handlebars, no strain on my hands, and comfortable starts and stops. Seven speeds seem like enough for me, so I never have to stand to pedal or get off and push up a hill .The best is coasting downhill, such a pleasant rush!

Townie with Basil Blossom Panniers


  1. Thanks!

    I'm looking at a Ladies Townie Commuter 8 with pannier rack already built on, comes in Misty Moss only but does come step through and with fenders and lights and stuff!

    I'm certainly more confident now about being able to reach the ground with my short legs. Just wish someone from Electra or the 3 suppliers I contacted would get back to me. Will be following your blog for biking stories! Thanks.

  2. I just looked up the "misty moss" paint job, and ohh thats pretty and now I'm jealous. I just added a few new pictures to my flickr, of my bright orange bike. Its cute, yes, but not exactly versatile. I can either totally clash with it, dress down and frumpy on a flashy bike, or coordinate with my bike like kinda a bright orange dork. I'm really wishing I had gotten something a little more neutral.

    If you are looking at online suppliers, maybe you can get a better response from your local bike shop guys?

  3. Hey

    unfortunately in Ireland all we have is one online supplier and their warehouse was recently flooded... I'm now looking at misty blue, which is all the same as misty moss but with 26" rather than 700C (29") wheels. Edging ever closer to the purchase of the bike. (if I can ever find out just how high the seat is from the ground when at its lowest - I have short legs)

    I shall always be splendid in t-shirt and leggings as I will be commuting to work in Ireland where it always rains.


  4. wiblick, did you ever buy the bike, how dod you find it? I'm also thinking of getting one....who supplies them online in ireland? thanks!