Showing posts with label Electra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Electra. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Benno Ballooner




Benno Ballooner Men's and Women's 8. Courtesy: Clever Cycles
The Benno Ballooner is available with an 8-speed derailer or internal hub and comes with fenders and disc brakes. Clever Cycles in Portland, Oregon has it for $1,000. You can also find Benno bikes at Conte's in Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

Benno Baenziger co-founded Electra in 1993 (along with Jeano Erforth), which produced cruisers at a time when very few cruisers were available on the market.  In 2014, Electra was bought by Trek.  It's now apparent that Baenziger was not finished designing useful bikes for the rest of us.

The Ballooner, of course, gets its name due to its wide tires (26 x 2.35). Baenziger writes: "Personally, I am not a big fan of skinny tires. I believe that bigger tires provide for a better and more controlled ride."

You can read more about Benno bikes on the Clever Cycles Blog.

Benno offers the Ballooner in both derailer and internal hub versions. Here are the specs for the IGH version:

Frame6061 Aluminum Alloy Frame
ForkCRMO Fork with Investment Cast Lug Crown
Rims/wheelsDouble Wall Aluminum Rims
Tires26”x 2.35” Balloon Tires (60 TPI)
CranksetRetro Aluminum Crankset
Rear derailleurShimano Alfine Internal 8-Speed
BrakesShimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
PedalsRetro Aluminum


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Electra Townie Commute 8D

Electra Townie Commute 8D in "aubergine." Courtesy: electrabike.com
The Electra Townie Commute 8D is a steel 8-speed that goes for about $770 (available in the Washington, DC area at Spokes Etc., Revolution Cycles, The Bike Lane and other fine stores).

In its Townie Commute series, Electra offers 8-speed or 27-speed bikes that have all the essentials for commuting or utility cycling: 2-inch wide Schwalbe Frank tires, integrated front and rear racks, fenders, chainguard, and dynamo-powered lights. It even comes with a bell!

Specs


Frame: Townie Commute 6061-T6 Aluminum w/Patented Flat Foot Technology
 
Fork: Hi-Ten Steel Uni-Crown, Straight/Tapered Leg 
 
Headset: 1 1/8" Steel Threaded/Semi-Integrated 
 
Rims: Alloy 700c x 32h w/Machined Sidewall 
 
Spokes: 14 Gauge Stainless/Brass Nipples 
 
Front Hub: Shimano Nexus Dynamo 32h 
 
Rear Hub: Alloy Low Flange 32h w/QR 
 
Tires: Schwalbe Fat Frank 700 X 2.0" Balloon w/Puncture-Resistant Kevlar® Guard Casing, 67TPI 
 
Crankset: Forged Alloy 170mm 
 
Pedals: Alloy Platform w/Non-Slip Rubber Tread 
 
Shifter: Shimano Acera Rapid Fire Plus 
 
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tourney 8-Speed 
 
Cog: SRAM 8-Speed 11-32T 
 
Chain: KMC 1/2" x 3/32" Anti-Rust 
 
Brake Levers: Alloy Reach Adjustable
 
Saddle: Ergonomic w/Shock-Absorbing Elastomers 
 
Seat Post: Alloy 27.2mm X 300mm 
 
Handlebars: Alloy Custom Bend 24.8" Width/3.5" Rise 
 
Stem: Forged Alloy 25.4mm Quill 
 
Grips: Ergo-Shaped Hand-Stitched Leatherette 
 
Extras: F&R Spanninga Dynamo Led Lights, Internal Cable Rounting, Rust Resistant Hardware
 




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Electra Loft

Loft 7D, top, and Loft 7i, bottom, are nice-looking, affordable modes of transportation. Courtesy: electrabike.com
Electra, which calls Encinitas, California its homebase, describes the Loft series as "modern day classic."  The 7D, so named because it has a 7-speed derailer, goes for about $550.  The 7i, which has a 7-speed internal gear hub, is around $710.

We've already talked about Electra's Ticino series, its Amsterdam 8i and Fashion 3i which you can get with dynamo hub-powered lights, the Townie Balloon 8i, and of course the Amsterdam Classic. Needless to say, you can count on Electra to produce attractive and useful bikes for the rest of us.

The Loft series offers comfortable, upright rides with aluminum frames.  In fact, the 7i is brushed aluminum, a pretty cool look.  The 7D has a Shimano Acera rear derailer; the 7i has a Shimano Nexus IGH.  Both have caliper rim brakes. The rear racks, chainguards, and fenders (also on the 3i) complete the bikes.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lights For The Rest Of Us

On behalf of his sister-in-law, Edwin searched far and wide for bicycles in the U.S. market that come standard with dynamo lights.  We are grateful that he's chosen to share his research with us.

As a long time reader of Bikes for the Rest of Us, I like practical bikes. Bikes that are good for most people, most of the time. The kind that you can ride most places in most conditions. The kind where you can go shopping for a week’s worth of groceries, commute to work and head out at night. The kind of bike that, if you wanted, you could ride on a 30-mile charity ride. Or adventure ride with your friends. The kind of bike that works during the day and during the night, rain or shine, without modifications. Kind of like the cars we drive.

The key features to this kind of bike are comfort, so that you can ride it all day; fenders, so you don’t get wet; a rack or basket, so you can carry your goods; and most importantly, lights, so you can see and be seen.
After riding around cities for the first 30 years of my life without a permanent lighting system on my bikes, I was blown away when I finally made the investment in a dynamo hub a few years ago. It has not changed my bike style or bike practices, as I always biked most places most of the time; it just made it so much more dependable and safer. Now I ride with my front and rear lights on all the time. I think it is safer and I stand out whether biking alone or in a crowd. My front light is a Busch and Muller Lumotec IQ Premium Fly RT Senso Plus ( I hope this name is actually shorter in its native German!)

Lumotec front light. Credit: Peter White Cycles





The lower lights stay on all the time – day time running lights! And the top light turns on at night for a more traditional head light with a horizontal cutoff according to German lighting standards. (Yes, they exist, and you can read about them and other light-nerd stuff here.)
My rear light is a Busch and Muller Toplight Line Brake Plus.

Credit: Peter White Cycles.
 

It has a great, steady rear light that brightens when you brake!

I bought them both from the man who knows more about bicycle lighting than anyone else in the U.S., Peter White.

Enough about me. What inspired me to write this post was looking for a good production bike for a friend. Actually, for my sister-in-law, which is slightly more pressure than just for a friend. I was thinking the best bike for her would be the kind of bike I described above, that comes with fenders, racks, and dynamo lighting, so she could ride at night without worrying about whether her batteries were charged or her lights had been stolen off her bike last time she parked it for a few minutes outside.

So I started thinking about the options for a stock bike, sold in the U.S., that fit these criteria. And here is what I found, with a few notes on the specifications of each. I have ridden very few of these bikes and so this is not a review, but more of a gathering of what is out there. Let me know in the comments if there are others that you know about that are not listed.
Breezer

These bikes are fairly widely distributed and can even be found in two of our five bike shops here in Nashville. Models that come with a Dynamo hub are: 
All Breezer courtesy www.breezerbikes.com




o   Price: $1099

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: Shimano  DH 3N20-NT

§  Front Light: B&M Lumotec Lyt

§  Rear Light: B&M DToplight Plus with Standlight

o   Other: Comes in diamond frame and step through. The rear hub is a NuVinci 360 Continuously Variable Planetary gear system. In short: there are no gear “steps,” but a gradual change in ratios.
Uptown 8




Uptown 8 LS




o   Price: MSRP $849

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: Shimano  DH 3N20-NT

§  Front Light: B&M Lumotec Lyt

§  Rear Light: B&M DToplight Plus with Standlight

o   Other: Rear hub is a Shimano Nexus Revo-shift 8 speed internal hub. Comes in diamond frame and step through frame.
Uptown 5



Uptown 5 LS


o   Price: MSRP $789

o   Dynamo Notes:

§  Dynamo System: Shimano  DH 3N20-N

§  Front Light: Trelock Bike-I Uno LED

§  Rear Light: Trelock Trio Flat Standlight

o   Other: Rear hub is Shimano Nexus 5 speed. Comes in diamond frame and step through frame.
Beltway 11


o   Price: $2099

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: Shimano DH S501

§  Front Light: B&M Lumotec IQ Fly

§  Rear Light: B&M DToplight Plus with Standlight

o   Other: Rear hub is Shimano Alfine 11, a high quality internal gear hub with a wide range of gears.

Beltway 8



o   Price: MRP $1569

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: Shimano 3N30-QR

§  Front Light: B&M Lumotec Lyt

§  Rear Light: B&M DToplight Plus with Standlight

o   Other: Rear hub is Shimano Alfine 8, a high quality internal gear hub with a moderate range.

Finesse


o   Price: MSRP : $1649

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: WH-S501-V-3D (Complete Wheel)

§  Front Light: B&M Lumotec IQ Fly

§  Rear Light B&M DToplight Plus with Standlight

o   Other: Rear hub is Shimano Alfine 8 internal gear hub, disc brakes.

Greenway Elite

Greenway Elite ST




o   Price: $899

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: Shimano DH-3N30-QR

§  Front Light: Trelock Bike-I Uno LED

§  Rear Light: Trelock Trio Flat Standlight

o   Other: This is the one Breezer dynamo offering with a derailer: 2x10 speed.


Novara

As REI’s in house brand of bicycles, Novara has tried several different bicycles with dynamo hubs, including the Transfer, featured on this siteOther models included the Fusion, also featured hereSadly, they are both discontinued. The current line up seems to include one bike with dynamo powered lights, the Gotham.

Gotham

Photo courtesy of REI.





·        Price: MSRP $1399

·        Dynamo Notes

·        Dynamo System: Joytech Dynamo hub

·        Front Light: specifications unavailable (looks like a handlebar mounted spotlight)

·        Rear Light: specifications unavailable

·        Other: Nuvinci N360 continuously variable transmission like the Breezer Uptown Infinity, but driven with a Gates carbon drive.
Marin

This company has turned out a lot of practical city bikes, commonly called “hybrids.” Not many have had dynamo lighting, but they have one out now.
Fairfax SC6

Photo courtesy Marin.
 
·        Price: Roughly $2000, MSRP not listed on site

·        Dynamo Notes

·        Dynamo System: Shimano Alfine Dynamo

·        Front Light: Super Nova E3 Pro

·        Rear Light: unknown

·        Other: Shimano Alfine 11 rear hub.
Electra

Electra is famous for its comfort bikes, Cali-style and their Dutch style Amsterdam models, some of which have dynamo hubs.

Amsterdam 8i




Photos courtesy Electra Bikes.


o   Price: $1200

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: Shimano Nexus

§  Front Light: Spanninga, unknown model

§  Rear Light: Spanninga, unknown model

o   Other: Shimano Nexus 8 speed rear hub, wheel guards, cutesy colors.

Fashion 3i


o   Price: $899

o   Dynamo Notes

§  Dynamo System: Shimano Nexus Roller

§  Front Light: Spanninga, unknown model

§  Rear Light: Spanninga, unknown model
Other: Shimano Nexus 3 speed rear hub, wheel guards, cutesy colors.

Other Options




·        Dutch/Danish and other Euro bikes

These are the real deal European style bikes sold by bike shops like  Adeline Adeline and Rolling Orange in NY, Bicycle Belle in Boston, JC Lind in Chicago, Dutch Bike Co. in Seattle, Clever Cycles in Portland OR, and My Dutch Bike in SF. These shops all sell bikes with dynamo lighting or will adapt dynamo lighting to your bike. You can add your favorite shop with dynamo bikes in the comments.

These shops sell bikes from several makers who have models with dynamo lighting. The prices tend to range from $1000 to $3000 when you add a few accessories! Some of those brands include: Brompton (UK), Gazelle (NL) Pashley (UK), Paper (UK), Pilen (SE), Retrovelo (DE), Van Moof (NL), Velorbis (DK), Workcycles (NL)

·   The big guys:
They don’t offer anything here in the US, though they have tried in the past. I never know if they drop these attempts because the public won’t buy them, or if they do not know how to sell them!
Specialized: This big bike company had a few dynamo versions of the high end commuter bike called The Source over the last few years. They also used to make a dynamo powered version of one of their Globe bikesThey don’t anymore.  On their Dutch site they still have several Source models with dynamos.

Trek used to make a cute bike called the Belleville that came in diamond frame or mixte with dynamo lights, fenders, with front and rear racks. A true bike for the rest of us. And it was featured here.

On their Dutch site, Trek has several bikes with dynamo lighting like this one:

Courtesy Trek Bicycle Products

Cannondale



I don't think they ever had one in the US, but on their Dutch site, you can find:

The Tesoro 3!

Courtesy: Cannondale
 
 
Giant

Overseas, yes, here in the US, no.

On their Dutch site… you can find:


·        Aero RS 0

Courtesy: Giant.
 
Jamis

I have read about Jamis' prior offering here, but their 2014 Commuter line does not come with a dynamo option.




Edwin Williamson
Nashville, Tennessee