There’s something timeless about beach cruisers. I just love the pedal-forward design, upright riding style and care-free fun that has me feeling like I’m riding through a soda commercial. But as timeless as the good, old-fashioned beach cruiser is, a little added technology never hurt. The Electra Townie Go! 7D benefits from an electric pedal assist system that retains the feel of a Townie beach cruiser but makes the ride much easier – and more fun!
It was only last month that Electra announced the new Townie Go! 7D electric bicycle.
The pedal-powered Townie 7D has been the best selling bicycle in the US for the past 4 years, according to Electra. So it makes sense that the company would want to integrate it into its electric bicycle portfolio as well.
I’ve always been a fan of Townie e-bikes, but they were previously fairly expensive. The higher priced models come with Bosch mid-drive motors that make for a nice riding experience but don’t do the price any favors.
The Townie Go! 7D, on the other hand, opts for a rear hub motor instead. Between that and the rack-mounted battery, Electra was able to get the price down to just $1,499. That puts it in line with some of the best low-cost electric bicycles on the market.
And sure, you don’t get fancy features like hydraulic brakes or multiple front chainrings, but what you do get is a solid e-bike that is an absolute blast to ride.
Townie Go! 7D video review
Check out my video review of the Townie Go! 7D electric bicycle below, then read on for my entire review.
Townie Go! 7D tech specs
- Motor: 250 W geared rear hub motor
- Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph) with pedal assist
- Range: 32-80 km (20-50 mi)
- Battery: 36 V 309 Wh
- Frame: Aluminum
- Suspension: None
- Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- Shifter: 7-speed Shimano Tourney derailleur
- Extras: Shock-absorbing elastomer cruiser saddle, rear rack, LED display for battery gauge and PAS level indicator
Cruising on an electric beach cruiser
The first thing to note about the Townie Go! 7D is that it is a pedal-assist only electric bike. That means there’s no throttle to “cheat” with, so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to pedal when necessary. But I’ve been spoiled by e-bikes with convenient throttles to blast around like a motorbike. So when I got on the Townie Go! 7D, I had to remember how to pedal.
Fortunately, it was like riding a bicycle.
But seriously, the pedaling experience on the Townie Go! 7D was a lot of fun. You only get 7 speeds, but that’s perfectly fine by me. I’m not worried about optimizing my cadence for Tour de France cycling here – I’m just having a blast riding around on a pretty e-bike.
The 250 W motor doesn’t sound like much, but it gave me plenty of boost on the highest assist level and still did its part on the lowest assist level. I could get up to around 19 mph (31 km/h) quite quickly, though getting past 20 mph (32 km/h) took significantly more pedal power once the electric assist cut away.
The rack-mounted battery is just about the only part of the bike doesn’t agree with me, aesthetically. It’s an otherwise beautiful bike. But hey, the good thing about rack mounted batteries is that the bike comes with a rack, which can be quite useful for hauling your picnic basket down to the beach.
And speaking of that battery, it isn’t massive at 309 Wh. But since this is a pedal assist bike, I found that the range was still quite good. If I kept it in the highest pedal assist mode (meaning I was doing the least amount of work) I could get just over 20 miles (32 km) of range. That jives exactly with the company’s rating, which is a refreshing thing to see. So many companies overrate their range that it has become nearly impossible to trust range figures anymore.
I didn’t actually do a full range test on the lowest pedal assist setting, but if the company is honest about 20 miles (32 km) of range on the highest setting, then I’d guess that the 50 mi (80 km) estimate for the lowest pedal assist setting is also accurate, especially considering that you’re doing the lion’s share of the work in the lowest pedal assist setting.
The wide handlebars and cruiser seat make the bike comfortable to ride and easy to steer. Add in the fairly balloon-ish 2.35″ tires, and you’ve got enough bounce that they make up for the lack of suspension on smooth paths, which is mostly what I rode. I wouldn’t expect the Townie Go! 7D to be the best option for cratered city streets with potholes so big they swallow up cabs, but on smooth beach paths, you’ll never even notice the lack of suspension thanks to those big tires.
And when I tested the bike more extensively by riding over boardwalks, train tracks, and other less-than-ideal surfaces, the bike rode quite nicely. So when it comes to ride quality, I have absolutely zero complaints there. It’s simply a smooth, comfortable, and fun ride.
The only area where I have some criticism is on the lack of nicer features. Perhaps I’m spoiled by the higher-end models in Electra’s Townie e-bike line, but the mechanical disc brakes mean that you’ll eventually have to start playing with brake tuning as the cables stretch over time. There’s also no lights or fenders included – two components that many people consider to be necessities. And there’s no LCD screen to display speed or range info – just an LED display that gives you basic pedal assist and battery capacity readouts.
At the same time though, I have to remind myself that the Townie Go! 7D saves me over a thousand dollars compared to the higher-end models in the Townie e-bike lineup. So for those kinds of savings, I can afford to add my own inexpensive lights and fenders to the bike.
So is the Townie Go! 7D perfect? No, not quite. It doesn’t have the nicest components or extra features, but it is a solid e-bike with a beautiful design and a comfortable ride. Plus you get the benefit of having dealers just about everywhere, meaning you shouldn’t be out of luck if you ever need service or support.
What do you think of the Townie Go! 7D electric bike? Let us know in the comments below!
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