Townie host bike rethought.

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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MikeSSS   100 W

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Townie host bike rethought.

Post by MikeSSS » Dec 08 2019 1:16am

Saddle height that gives proper leg extension on my bikes also prevents more than left toe contact with the ground when stopped. The right ankle got Kawasaki’d a long time ago and has little flex up or down. This becomes more of a problem when following the 2 year old grandson who stops and starts a lot on his Strider, or when stopping or starting on a steep incline when waiting for a traffic light. I’ve fallen over a few times which is not a good thing at my advanced age. Seat height can’t be reduced on my ebike, the Trek 920 I have has easily adjustable seat height but I have to choose between knee risk or fall risk, or change the seat height for various purposes.

Enter the Electra Townie, its crank is farther forward of the seat and the seat lower than conventional bikes. I can adjust the seatpost to get proper leg extension for pedaling and still touch the ground with both feet when stopped. Several times I’ve tried standing over bumps and that is easy to do when riding a Townie, not as easy as on a conventional bike but very doable. I like to unweight over speed whales or bumps, so this is important to me.

Seatpost is 27.2mm, so my suspension seatposts will fit. I might be able to fit a Thudbuster Long Travel, but that needs almost 6” space. I’ll try 6” post extension before buying a Thudbuster LT.

Because the cranks are farther forward and higher with respect to the seat, a wider seat can be used with less problem than on my normal bikes.

Frame is aluminum but the townie fork is steel. A front hub motor would be mounted in steel dropouts, but Townies carry less weight on the front than normal, front wheelspin is some problem on my wife’s Townie. My direct drive hub has less starting torque, so front wheel spin should be less problem. The aluminum rear dropouts are pretty thick, with a torque arm(s) a rear hub motor should work but would put more unsprung weight just behind the seat. A very light geared rear hubmotor would probably be best.

I’m looking for a Townie 21D or even 7D in or near San Antonio, it will be the host bike for a hub motor. If anybody knows of one, please give me a heads up.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by dogman dan » Dec 08 2019 8:35am

Yeah, kind of hard to find people selling their favorite bike. And a bit pricy new.

There is a very similar pedal forward bike that is cheaper. The Schwinn Candis. When my garage burned it took my wifes beloved townie. But with the insurance money we were putting a lot of the extra cash into upgrades to the house itself, and decided against buying a new townie.

She is very happy with her candis. Same pedal forward makes it easier for her when she stops. Less gear range, but 7 speeds is suiting her fine. You could add a triple ring to it easy if you wanted more range.

A few years ago, the Candis was there at Walmart. BTW, a ladies bike, if you don't like a low step through, you wont like it. apparently not sold at Walmart any more.

markz   100 GW

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by markz » Dec 08 2019 9:26pm

Norco Santiago is a 1x7 which I purchased used last year, I bought a Leaf 1500W rear hub for it, just deciding what controller to use on it. That is my summer/spring/fall ebike, while currently I am riding a Northrock Fat bike from costco for winter riding, though the back tire is a 4" wide, I had purchased a 9C clone generic from yescomusa's canadian division for $180 delivered, came as a fat hub motor, meant for a 150mm, while my Northrock is a 130mm, but I spread the rigid forks and grabbed some steel for one torque arm.

TBH its a wimpy ass motor, 36V 26A front, so might be narrow like all other fronts. It gets me around, no problems with the front. I am 375lbs and I can ride 90% of everything, its just the hilly sections. Plus my gearing is a little messed up, it has a r.d. but its not hooked up, with the spring action it always brings it to 11T rear gear. The front i put on a 3x crank, but stock is 1x. It gets even better, I have a cyclone 4kw, I got the bb for that, and mounting plates on it, but I forgot to order the freewheel crank removal tool.

I would suggest when building an ebike, that you always go with a rear hub motor. I have changed 50 flat tires and its no big deal. The problem is as you mention, no weight on the front.

I would look for a used 21D which is 3 crank gears and 7 rear gears, because the 21D has an extra tube for the fd mount. But I guess it really doesnt matter, I think I just have a fixation on wanting 3x crank gears.

PRW   10 kW

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by PRW » Dec 08 2019 9:50pm

unless I am misreading something, in which case I apologize - what about a dropper seatpost for the Trek 920? I have recently fitted these to 2 of my ebikes (and one non-powered), they are such a pleasure to use - save my knees, while still allowing to drop whenever I need

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by dogman dan » Dec 09 2019 8:15am

I got the impression he had the seat at the bottom on the trek.

The other solution, often expensive, is just get a bent.

MikeSSS   100 W

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by MikeSSS » Dec 09 2019 6:39pm

The 920 has plenty of seat post extension, but I have to choose: set for good pedaling or lower for toe touch on both sides. When I ride Townies and when the seat is set for good pedaling, I can still get some toe touch on both sides when stopped. That's the reason for considering a Townie or clone. Same toe touch deal with my present ebike, road bike and full suspension bike.

There are a few intersections I stop at where having the seat height for good leg extension pedaling gets me close to falling. I have fallen a couple other times, fortunately on grass. I'm too lazy to change seat height before and after an intersection. I'm 73 so the possibility of breaking a hip or something else is very real. I

A dropper seatpost would fix the problem but I use suspension seatposts, don't know if there is a dropper post with suspension. When you get too old, shock to the spine is a significant risk.

Sixthreezero has the EVRYjourney 21sp, with a rack and with handlebars having a shorter reach. I'll have to buy a rack from Electra for a Townie and find shorter reach bars. Looks like the 630 has steel forks, aluminum frame, QR front and nutted rear hub. Tires are 26 x 2.0 and it has fenders. Townie has Trek and bike shops behind it. Besides that, one local bike shop has over a hundred rental Townies and has very little problems with them, so they are known to be trouble free and long lasting.

A 21D Townie would be ideal, most of my ebike shifting is between the middle and big rings.

Well, ebike planning is part of the fun.

Thanks for the help.

PRW   10 kW

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by PRW » Dec 10 2019 4:17pm

MikeSSS wrote:
Dec 09 2019 6:39pm
A dropper seatpost would fix the problem but I use suspension seatposts, don't know if there is a dropper post with suspension. When you get too old, shock to the spine is a significant risk.

Well, ebike planning is part of the fun.
I found this dropper post with suspension https://www.pnwcomponents.com/products/ ... t-external
- didn't know they existed!

yip, I seem to spend more time planning and waiting for stuff to arrive than riding, sometimes...

MikeSSS   100 W

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by MikeSSS » Dec 10 2019 11:22pm

That is a pretty interesting post. Lots of drop and 40mm of air suspension.

I have a White Brothers air post in the garage, never can get enough air in it for it to work. Schrader valve with spring intact is the problem, along with the low internal volume of the post. If it had a Presta valve it might work. That or remove the spring and depress end from a Schrader valve and use that.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Townie host bike rethought.

Post by dogman dan » Dec 11 2019 6:30am

Might also keep an eye on craigslist for a bent.
6-1-2015 Re bike with dd hub..JPG
6-1-2015 Re bike with dd hub..JPG (270.03 KiB) Viewed 751 times

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