Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
angelescrest
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by angelescrest » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:56 pm

I’m looking quite seriously at buying a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike, for simple casual riding in my neighborhood with the little kids who are just starting out. Maybe the occasional 10-20 mile ride on the roads or dirt paths. I have a nice road bike, but in my area the roads are awful, with tons of potholes, dirt, and pebbles, and I just don’t find the riding position comfortable when biking casually and inconsistently.

Anybody have experience with sixthreezero’s In The Barrel or EVRY Journey? I’m considering those two, in a seven speed. Range is $340-$400. I like the upright riding position, and have essentially written off a mountain bike (more than what I need), and am also thinking something slightly more upright and comfortable than a hybrid.

I like old classical European style bikes, but it’s hard to find something. What has me looking at those two sixthreezero models is the fact that you are lower seated and have forward pedal positioning which means you can just rest your feet on the ground when not pedaling, and you get proper leg extension with relaxed positioning. Helps for comfort, and when I need to help the kids out. Fatter tires help with the crappy roads, and I don’t need to go all that fast (skinnier tires). I learned recently that the Electra line made by Trek is the best selling bike in the country, the Townie, which essentially has the same design but they call it flat feet technology (lol). Can anybody comment on that style of bike, and how it works out for them? The Townie bike costs like $200 more, so I don’t feel like it’s worth the brand name.

Iliketoridemybike
Posts: 572
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:03 am

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:22 pm

Any upright bike will put most of the weight on your butt, so keep that in mind. That will greatly diminish the distance you can ride without numb butt. Wider saddles actually make the problem worse because you have more contact area. Have you looked at gravel bikes or cross bikes? They will give you a more balanced riding position similar to a road bike, but built for varying surfaces.

angelescrest
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by angelescrest » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Iliketoridemybike wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:22 pm
Any upright bike will put most of the weight on your butt, so keep that in mind. That will greatly diminish the distance you can ride without numb butt. Wider saddles actually make the problem worse because you have more contact area. Have you looked at gravel bikes or cross bikes? They will give you a more balanced riding position similar to a road bike, but built for varying surfaces.
It’s a valid point, though I haven’t heard too many complaints from folks riding casually for up to an hour or two. The road bike positioning is just too aggressive for my back and neck, it’s not just the lack of absorption. And with much of the weight there one can get numb hands and arms depending on the positioning and each individual’s unique nerve and muscle physiology/health.

Funny you mentioned gravel bikes, I just came across Trek’s new offerings, and I don’t understand how there are so many minor marketing categories for bikes. Gravel, really? There’s dirt, mtn, all mtn, adventure, touring, cyclocross, the list keeps growing. Some of the distinctions make sense to me, like touring (handles more weight and storage), but others seem minute. I guess it feeds the addiction. Bike lovers can have 6+ bikes of varying kinds.

I actually was considering a 29” wheel BMX, too, which are tough and comfortable as well, but only single speed.

greenwaves
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by greenwaves » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:23 pm

I own an Electra Townie 8i with Balloon tires and enjoy the upright ride on flat ground or moderate hills. Up and down steep hills, the weight of the bike and upright position remove some of the joy. I purchased the bike to relieve wrist and lower back pain accumulated from riding a mountain bike for 30 years. It did the trick and I ride for 10 – 20 miles at a time without pain. The balloon tires and and a Brooks saddle smooth most of the bumps. Aside from a comfortable riding position, I truly enjoy being able to take in the full view as I leisurely pedal along.

I have no experience with SixThreeZero bikes so recommend riding both before you buy. From my understanding, the Electra patent on their version of “pedal forward design” is rigorously defended so while copies may be close --- the ride may not!

User avatar
WallyBird
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:17 pm

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by WallyBird » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:48 am

angelescrest wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Funny you mentioned gravel bikes, I just came across Trek’s new offerings, and I don’t understand how there are so many minor marketing categories for bikes. Gravel, really? There’s dirt, mtn, all mtn, adventure, touring, cyclocross, the list keeps growing.
Aspirational marketing. Kind of like how the sneaker that I wear for everyday walking/ shopping/ whatever is described as a shoe for "cross-training." Whatever that is.
"Look, sir, we can't just do nothing." | "Why not? It's usually best."

Iliketoridemybike
Posts: 572
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:03 am

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:16 am

angelescrest wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:20 pm
Iliketoridemybike wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:22 pm
Any upright bike will put most of the weight on your butt, so keep that in mind. That will greatly diminish the distance you can ride without numb butt. Wider saddles actually make the problem worse because you have more contact area. Have you looked at gravel bikes or cross bikes? They will give you a more balanced riding position similar to a road bike, but built for varying surfaces.
It’s a valid point, though I haven’t heard too many complaints from folks riding casually for up to an hour or two. The road bike positioning is just too aggressive for my back and neck, it’s not just the lack of absorption. And with much of the weight there one can get numb hands and arms depending on the positioning and each individual’s unique nerve and muscle physiology/health.

Funny you mentioned gravel bikes, I just came across Trek’s new offerings, and I don’t understand how there are so many minor marketing categories for bikes. Gravel, really? There’s dirt, mtn, all mtn, adventure, touring, cyclocross, the list keeps growing. Some of the distinctions make sense to me, like touring (handles more weight and storage), but others seem minute. I guess it feeds the addiction. Bike lovers can have 6+ bikes of varying kinds.

I actually was considering a 29” wheel BMX, too, which are tough and comfortable as well, but only single speed.
If your hands go numb, it could be a sizing issue, too much weight leaning forward. Were you ever properly sized for a bike? A good bike shop can help with that. As to the categories of bikes the differences may not jump out right away, like bottom bracket height. Can you put your foot on the ground while still sitted? That’s a function of the height of the bottom bracket. Touring bikes are fitted with braze ons so you can attach packs and are made to carry more weight. So they all have differences which I won’t go into here, but it’s more than just marketing as someone mentioned.

User avatar
Bengineer
Posts: 467
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:25 pm
Location: NC

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by Bengineer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:24 am

I own a Breezer Uptown 8. Upright, lights, fenders, rack. 8 speed Shimano Nexus internal hub, 1.5" wide tires, front shock. Great for city/relaxed riding. We own a Specialized Haul as well. The key is the Shimano Nexus or Alfine internal hub.

angelescrest
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

Post by angelescrest » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:57 pm

greenwaves wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:23 pm
I own an Electra Townie 8i with Balloon tires and enjoy the upright ride on flat ground or moderate hills. Up and down steep hills, the weight of the bike and upright position remove some of the joy. I purchased the bike to relieve wrist and lower back pain accumulated from riding a mountain bike for 30 years. It did the trick and I ride for 10 – 20 miles at a time without pain. The balloon tires and and a Brooks saddle smooth most of the bumps. Aside from a comfortable riding position, I truly enjoy being able to take in the full view as I leisurely pedal along.

I have no experience with SixThreeZero bikes so recommend riding both before you buy. From my understanding, the Electra patent on their version of “pedal forward design” is rigorously defended so while copies may be close --- the ride may not!
Thank you, it seems like your use of the bike is exactly what I have in mind. I wouldn’t ever use this kind of bike more than 20 miles, and I am mostly just wanting to do neighborhood and local paved rides. I really do want to take in the view if only for psychological reasons. Were you a pretty serious mountain biker? Curious if you had a sense for how the back pain came in, and if you think it was from the riding.

I think the sixthreezero bikes are very similar to the Townie, without maybe some of the Trek factory’s perks, if there are any. I don’t think anyone can patent a specific riding position, which is largely what the Townie’s “innovation” is.

Post Reply