For anyone whose morning commute entails biking up a steep hill in a sweat-filled suit, this is the bike for you. For anyone who finds themselves biking over the extremely steep ramp of the Triboro Bridge, this is the bike. For anyone who genuinely enjoys the strenuous effort that goes into biking in the rain while constantly breaking to avoid oncoming traffic, teach me your ways.
Seriously, this is the bike for you. The Electra Bicycle Company, which started in San Diego in 1993, has just released two new electronic bikes that will “bring a smile to your face,” as Electra president Kevin Cox said. Electra has recently released two new ebikes in addition to its already sprawling collection of over 200 models. The two bikes, aptly called the Townie Commute Go! and the Loft Go!, complete the trifecta Electra started with the Townie Go!, the best-selling ebike in the United States.
But what makes Electra’s ebikes better than the competition? “We’re making bikes to fit into people’s lifestyles. We’re not trying to make those lifestyles fit into our bikes,” Cox said of the bicycles. Electra takes the classic cruiser experience one finds in Southern California and brings it to the big city. Cox said the idea came since “people live in cities all over the world and while we’re a small San Diego-based, beach cruiser-DNA bike company, we sell globally, everywhere in the world.”
A cruiser bike in an urban jungle? Electra is known for its cruiser bikes and the bright, vibrant colors they come in, and there’s nothing like bringing the beach feel to the city traffic rush—albeit, with that electronic twist. And that’s exactly why Cox says people are drawn to Electra bikes. People want to be comfortable most of all, show their flare, and get somewhere in a timely but fashionable way.
Cox said the company takes away the objections of riding a bike. “Some of those objections end up being, ‘I don’t like to go to work sweaty.’ Oh guess what, with a pedal assist bike, it’s easy. You don’t have to be sweaty. Or they say ‘right before my office, there’s a big hill and I don’t like having to pedal up that hill.’ Well guess what, with an e-bike, that hill is super easy. Or they say ‘I can’t carry the things I want to carry because I’d have to wear a backpack’ or something like that. Well with a front carrier and a rear rack, it becomes super simple. I think taking away all those reasons for grabbing your car keys as opposed to your bike keys is something near and dear to our hearts.”
After test-riding both the Loft Go! and the Townie Commute Go!, I can attest Cox was right in saying there was a smile on my face. It was so simple and easy to use, and truly made biking around somehow more fun than what it already is. As a biker who commutes across bridges and up hills, to a person who likes biking around the neighborhood, I immediately felt the different riding experience the Electra bike offers over other bikes—electronic or otherwise. The cushioned seating with large tires provided a smooth ride, but it was the upright sitting position with its patented Flat Foot Technology® (allowing you to wait at stoplights with both feet on the ground) that truly blew me away. These bikes essentially put everything one would want in a bike together: the speed of a road bike with the comfort and ease of a cruiser—all with the extra help of an electronic motor.
Let’s talk some specs. The Townie Commute Go! goes for $2999.99 and features Electra’s patented Flat Foot Technology® as well as swept-back handlebars for that upright position seating. The Loft Go! is going for $2799.99 and features front and rear heavy duty racks with hydraulic disc brakes. Both have 700c Schwalbe puncture-resistant tires and are Bosch motor-powered, with the Townie Commute Go! powered with its Bosch Performance System and the Loft Go! powered with the Bosch Active System. Both systems feature a 250 watt mid-frame motor with a battery that lasts anywhere from 20-100 miles, depending on the mode (each mode adds extra pedal assist) you’re riding in. Conveniently, both bikes also feature automatic LED lights with internal cabling and an ABUS lock that surrounds the rear tire for those quick five-minute coffee runs.
In addition to its wide range of bikes, Electra also features an eclectic mix of whimsically designed helmets, bells, and other bicycle accessories as well as clothing. Check out the bikes and their inventory at electrabike.com