Keeping it simple is what the Townie Original 1 is all about! It features stable, smooth-riding tires, a comfy saddle and an upright seating position that makes you feel right at home on two wheels. Plus, Electra's Flat Foot Technology lets you comfortably get both feet on the ground and allows the Townie to fit most riders. And, the front linear-pull brake and rear coaster brake deliver solid control.
I bought my Townie 1 maybe the first year that the model came out. I've ridden it for years and years now with the only required part being a replacement chain for the original which I stretched while riding. This is normal maintenance for a bicycle and the peanuts I had to spend on letting the dealer replace the chain was a (very) few bucks well spent.
I added many accessories to my Townie - some useful, others not so. The best accessories that I bought were fenders, the quick-release front basket, and a thumb-bell. The bell is a polite way to let walkers on the University Lakes path know that you're coming up behind them. Even if they have earphones on, the bell sound seems to cut through and catch their attention. I've lately also added battery-powered head and tail lights.
The accessory that I don't use is the rear aluminum carrier rack. The basket is so strong that I've never needed to use the back rack.
I can easily change the seat height so that my wife can ride the same bike. The bike has never broken on me, and is a pleasure to ride. When I ride with my friends, who own conventional "hybrid" bikes, their narrower tires keep them constantly scanning the road for potholes & cracks. With my Townie's wider tires, I can just run over potholes, cracks, limbs, or debris in my way. It's as good as having a suspension mountain bike but with far less maintenance and trouble.
I've taken the Townie for rides up to 35 miles and not regretted having but one gear (Baton Rouge is FLAT! LOL). The riding position isn't as inflexible as you might think. I can lean forward over my handlebars and be comfortable doing so. It provides a variation on the upright seating position.
And finally, a word about Electra's "Flat Foot Technology." Having now owned a bike with the set-back seat, I'll never, ever buy a conventional bike again. Being able to put your feet on the ground without getting off the seat is not only a convenience, but also a HUGE safety advantage.
So to summarize, don't think that just because Electra's advertising is fluffy that their bikes aren't great. You'd be doing yourself a serious disservice if you don't ride the Townie before buying ANY other bike. If you're vain enough to consider yourself a bicycle racer (a foolish conceit that many fall for), then the Townie isn't for you. If you're an off-road zealot who lives to stomp up and down muddy hills, then the Townie probably isn't for you, either. But if you want a fun-to-ride bike that you'll WANT to ride frequently, then don't miss the Townie. It's that good.
Bottom LineYes, I would recommend this to a friend