Friday, January 13, 2012

Flat Foot Technology

Felt Cafe 3

Bikes with relaxed geometry  seem to be especially popular with “mature” riders as they allow you to put your feet flat on the ground when stopped. This concept appealed to me as I was just beginning to ride again and the consequences of falling off a bike and breaking a bone when you are 65 are so much more dire than when you are 25.  The Felt Cafe 3 brochure indicated that not only did it have relaxed geometry but that it could also climb hills. I loved the look of the bike and was especially drawn to the cup holder which really I would be unlikely to ever use. I took it for a test ride and the difference in the ease of riding between the Felt and the Huffy was amazing to me. I was really convinced at that point that I needed to buy a better bike.  I was to return to riding this bike after having tested several others and at that time it felt rather flimsy to me. I learned that I really prefer steel. 
Electra Townie

I wanted to try the Electra Townie, the pioneer of the flat foot technology bike. I love the look of these bikes, they come in really cool colors and just seem fun to ride. According to the Electra website the Townie provides:

"An efficient, upright riding position that lets you pedal with full power and ease. You're more in control. You have a lower center of gravity. Your back, neck and arms don't get as tired. And you can plant your feet on the ground whenever you want."

 I enjoyed this ride.  I approached a Townie owner at the local bike trail who was riding a Townie 8 and he said loves his  bike but wishes he had purchased the 21 speed as he was having trouble climbing hills with just 8.  He was a pretty big guy a lot younger than me and he reported having to frequently push this bike up hills. I live in a fairly hilly neighborhood and realized that the relaxed  geometry of these bikes  is  probably not for me.   I love the look of these Townies though.


  1. Thanks for adding me to your blog list!

    My first bike as an adult was an Electra townie, but the weight really did get to me too. Not because it couldn't take the hills, but rather, because I couldn't carry it up and down the stairs, onto a bus rack, etc.

  2. You are welcome, love your blog and I love Atlanta. Re the Townie: I think that its not so much the weight but the crank forward geometry that makes the hills difficult.