Electra bikes or the Electra Bicycle Company was founded in Leucadia, California in 1993 by two German friends Benno Baenziger and Jeano Erforth. Both Baensiger and Erforth grew up in Germany but were attracted to California by the sunshine and proximity to the beach.
Baenziger was a graphic designer formerly working with Adidas and other sports brands before deciding to turn his talent to bicycles. Erforth was a salesman, and together they decided to launch the Electra Bicycle Company.
Uninspired by the cycling scene at the time in the US, they wanted to bring back the fun of owning a bike and re-launched the ‘cruiser’ to the American market. The Electra Cruiser gave the American people a more casual riding option in a market saturated by mountain and road bikes, making going to the grocery store or making short trips a more laid-back affair.
Baensiger’s designs combined classic and contemporary, with the Electra Cruiser (the Electra DeLuxe Cruiser) featuring the now-famous two-tone paint scheme and the tag-line, “Modern cruisers, with modern components, for modern people”.
As the years went by, further bike models were added to the range including the Townie, the Loft, and a range of kids bikes. Despite their humble beginnings, the Electra Bicycle Company is now owned by Trek after being bought by the American cycling giants in 2014, but their philosophy remains the same, to have fun on a bicycle and to make bikes that look and ride great.
Quick Facts About Electra Bikes
In 2003 Electra Bikes introduced their new bike model, the Electra Townie bike, which combined Electra Bicycles’ modern and contemporary stylistic vision with brand new technology, which they would patent and call Flat Foot Technology®.
This innovative bike design technology allowed riders to sit upright on their bikes, maintaining a relaxed riding position but with the added benefit of proper leg extension allowing riders to develop their full range of motion.
Additionally, the crank-forward design meant that riders could drop their feet flat to the ground at any point without having to dismount from the saddle; eliminating the tiptoe motion normally required. This innovative technology meant that new riders young or old didn’t have to fear falling over when stopping, as they no longer needed to balance precariously in the same way as a road bike or mountain bike riders do.
Electra Bicycle Co. has a history of developing innovative and stylish bikes. In 2003 they established the iconic Straight 8 and Rat Fink bikes, both part of the attitude collection. In tribute to rat rod car culture, Electra Bikes partnered with the legendary hot rodder Ed Roth’s estate, to design the Rat Fink bike, opening up Electra Bicycles to more than just regular cyclists.
Electra Bicycles Model Range
Electra Bicycle Co. offers a wide range of bikes, falling into the following categories: electric/E-bikes, comfort, cruiser, urban & commuter (hybrid), and kids. In addition to bicycles, Electra also produces a range of accessories including helmets, baskets, bells, bikes, and other components making them a bike brand with products for the whole family!
Electra bicycles are competitively priced, with prices ranging from $329 for the cheapest adult bike, to $4,499 for the most expensive e-bike. An Electra bicycle is built with quality and style in mind, and therefore uses mid-range workhorse components on most of its builds.
The cheaper Electra bikes tend to use cantilever brakes, versus the more expensive models using disc brakes. The use of gears also varies as the cheaper models are designed to be single speed, thereby reducing maintenance requirements, whereas some of the more expensive models run up to 8-speed drive trains.
The bottom line is no matter whether you want a comfortable, stylish, or fast ride, there is an Electra bicycle for you.
1. Electra Cruiser Bikes
Single-speed – 1 / 3i / 7D / 8i
The Electra Cruiser is the bike that started it all and is key to Electra’s heritage as a bike company. Many of the models have now been updated to include their patented Flat Foot Technology® to make the ride even more comfortable and accessible to riders. Electra has expanded their range of cruisers to encompass more than the traditional men’s Electra beach Cruiser and women’s Electra beach Cruiser; there are fashion designs, and attitude designs that reflect society and popular culture in their frames and paint jobs. The Cruisers are competitively priced and offer great value for money for those who need a bike to get around town or the beach.
Electra Classic Cruiser
The Classic Electra Cruiser bike is the one that started it all for Electra, back in the 1990s. They’ve kept the spirit and ingenuity of the original design but have updated it with more modern components as the years go on. There are two main options, the Classic Cruiser and the Luxe. The Classic Cruise comes either as a single speed or an Electra 7 speed Cruiser option. The Luxe offers a lightweight alloy frame and comes in single, Electra 3 speed Cruiser or Electra 7 speed Cruiser options. The classic Cruiser is available as the Electra Cruiser 7D, 1, or 1 24″ (24″ wheels). The Electra Cruiser 7D is available as an Electra Cruiser 7D step-thru model or step-over, as are the other models, both Classic and Luxe.
The Attitude Cruisers are the Electra Cruiser bikes for those that want to stand out. Whether you need a women’s Electra beach Cruiser or a men’s Electra beach Cruiser, the Attitude collection will have something to your taste. They are often inspired by car and plane culture while maintaining the Electra Cruiser style and finesse. They are all reasonably priced so you don’t need to spend a fortune to stand out on your bike. The range includes the EBC ‘93 3i, the Straight 8 8i, the Delivery 3i Step-Over, and the Modern DLX 7i models. The numbers in the name dictate how many gears the bike has, so an example of an Electra 3 speed Cruiser could be the Delivery 3i step-over.
The Electra Fashion Cruisers aim to stand out from the rest, and they do so by focusing on trends and styles that are popular and transferring them to their bikes. Each bike is completely different, to suit a variety of people’s styles. They are all 3-speed bikes and come with their personalized accessories. The Honeycomb 3i is styled with sunflowers and bees for a summery look. The Andi 3i pays homage to famous artist Andy Warhol and features a blend of some outstanding designs. The Zelda 3i embodies the Roaring 20s with sparkles and Art Deco-inspired themes. Finally, the Koa 3i is enriched with wood tones and nature themes on a white base.
Much like the Electra Cruiser 7D step-thru, the Tandem Cruiser is a 7-speed bike, but with a twist – it’s made for two people. The Electra Tandem Super Deluxe 7i features Electra’s patented Flat Foot Technology® to make it far easier to handle than traditional and heavier tandem bikes. It is supplied with an internal 7-speed Shimano gear system which allows riders to change gear even when they’re not pedaling. The Modern DLX 7i tandem bike also comes with an internal 7-speed Shimano gear system but is available in a matte cream color with black accents, compared to the bright blue of the Super Deluxe 7i.
2. Comfort bikes by Electra
3i / 7D / 8D / 9D
Described as the perfect bike to get around town on, the Electra Townie bikes, or ‘comfort’ bikes, were originally launched in 2003 and is one of Electra’s best-known collections. This is the bike that started the Flat Foot Technology® and allowed Electra to create a bike with an upright riding style that promotes comfort and full leg extension when riding. The Townie bike is an ideal way to travel short distances whether you’re in a city or traveling to the beach and need a competitively priced bicycle to get you there.
Electra – Townie Path
The Townie Path bikes come with larger 27.5” wheels to tackle a wider variety of terrain. Combined with wide 2.4” tires, you can be confident the Townie Path will support you on your next adventure. There are two main options with the Townie Path bikes, the 9D EQ which comes equipped with fenders and lights, or the 9D, the original. Both models come in a choice of step-thru or step-over frames and a variety of color options. Both options are also fitted with Shimano Alivio 9-speed drivetrains and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.
Electra – Townie Original
The Townie Original was launched in 2003 and the first of the Electra bikes to have their patented Flat Foot Technology®. Although they have seen a few updates since then, the Townie Original stays true to its iconic style and comes in a variety of original paint colors. Similar to the Townie Path, the Townie Original has two main models; the 7D, and the 7D EQ. The EQ comes equipped with lights and fenders so you don’t have to worry about adding accessories. The Townie Original comes with alloy linear brakes, 26” wheels, (unless you buy the 24” option), and a 7-speed Shimano drivetrain. They also come in both step-thru and step-over versions.
3. Electric Bikes by Electra
7D / 8i / 8D / 9D
Vale Go! / Townie Go! / Cafe Moto Go! / Navigator Go! Ace of Spades Go!
In 2013 the Electra Bicycle Co. launched their first pedal-assisted bike or e-bike; the Townie Go!, winning several awards for their ingenuity. After a few years of development and growth, the company decided to develop their range of e-bikes and three more Electra bicycle e-bikes were launched, all fitted with Bosch motors, a well-renowned and respected e-bike motor manufacturer.
Today they offer a full range of e-bikes including electric versions of the original Electra Cruisers. These bikes are perfect if you don’t want to arrive at your destination sweaty, or need a little extra assistance on your ride.
Electra Townie Path GO!
The Electra bikes Townie Path Go! Is the next evolution in e-bikes from the Townie Go! Range. These bikes maintain the familiar frame shape with Electra’s patented Flat Foot Technology® but come equipped with upgraded motors from the Bosch Performance Line. The performance line batteries or PowerTube batteries are 500W and have a claimed range of up to 65 miles on one charge. They can also assist with speeds up to 20mph/25kph. These motors and batteries are integrated into the down tube for a more sleek aesthetic and come with a Bosch Smartphone Hub display so your phone can connect to your bike and control the bike from there. Electra has also upgraded the drive train and use Shimano Deore 10-speed components with hydraulic brakes. The Townie Path Go! Also comes with 27.5″ wheels compared to the 26″ wheels on the Townie Go!
Electra Townie GO! 8D
The Electra Townie Go! Bikes are an updated and electrified version of the Electra Townie bike. Electra keeps the shape of the original frame, and the batteries are placed on the down tube of the bike in all models except the Townie Go! 7D (step-thru and step-over).
The Townie Go! 5i is the most expensive, retailing at $2,599 but comes equipped with a Bosch Active Line Plus motor which can assist speeds up to 20mph/25kph and a Bosch PowerPack 400 premium battery, and a 5-speed Shimano drivetrain. The Townie Go! 8D bikes come equipped with the same motor and battery as the 7D but have an 8-speed Shimano drivetrain. The Townie Go! 7D bikes have their motor/battery attached to the rear of the bike under the racks. They come with a Hydrive 309Wh motor which is not as powerful as the 7D or 5i. The 7D is equipped with a 7-speed Shimano drivetrain. Each model comes as either a Step-Thru or Step-Over frame.
Electra Vale Go! 9D
The Electra Vale Go! Is an e-bike for any occasion. Keeping with the Electra classic comfort and style, the Vale Go! Brings performance and all-terrain capabilities to a previously known city bike. The Vale Go! 9D EQ is fitted with the Bosch Active Line Plus motor which assists with speed up to 20mph, whereas the 9D EQ S comes with the Bosch Performance Line Sport motor which can assist with a top speed of 28mph. The Vale Go! Is equipped with 27.5″ wheels making it capable of tackling more than city obstacles. It also comes equipped with an alloy suspension post with 40mm of travel to smooth tout the ride of the bike whether you’re in the city or on the beach, this bike will help you to enjoy your journey.
Electra Attitude Go!
Combined with Bosch motor and battery technology and the style and creativity expected of Electra, the Attitude Go! Bikes are designed to be looked at as well as provide a comfortable and powerful ride. The Ghostrider™ Go! Takes inspiration from motorcycle aesthetics and comes with a 250W mid-frame motor and a 5-speed drivetrain. The Navigator Go! Features a gorgeous compass and travel themed paint job and comes with the same components as the Ghostrider™ Go! The Ace of Spades Go! Features a subtle card themed paint job and comes equipped with a high-end Bosch Performance Line System motor and battery and 5-speed internal hub gears. The most expensive bicycle Electra make is the Café Moto Go! Men’s bike. Inspired by motorcycles in the 1960’s Café Racer era, no expense is spared on the set up of this bike. Electra has equipped this model with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive system for silent pedaling.
4. Urban / Commuter bikes by Electra
7i / 7D / 9D
In 2014, Electra unveiled their latest development into Urban & Commuter bikes; the Loft. Designed as a commuter bike but while embodying minimalism, the Loft bikes were awarded a spot on one of Oprah’s favorite thing lists. It is the closest offering to a road bike from Electra, with 700c wheels but maintaining an upright riding position for ultimate comfort as well as speed. There are a couple of frame options with the Urban & Commuter bikes so depending on what style suits you, there’s a new commuter bike waiting.
There are four offerings within the Loft branch of Electra bikes; the Loft 7i Step-Over, Loft 7i Step-Thru, Loft 7D Step-Thru, and the Loft 7D Step-Over. They’re all compatible with the many accessories that Electra produces so you can make your bike your own. They are all equipped with 7-speed drivetrains, with the 7i featuring internal gears, and the 7D using a derailleur system. There are plenty of options with this workhorse of a bike, with the different frames meaning you can choose a step-thru or step-over frame to suit your style of riding, without losing out on the Flat Foot Technology®.
5. Kids’ bikes by Electra
The first Electra kids’ bikes were launched in 2001, with the company’s goal to be to create mini-sized Cruisers. The design was crucial to these bikes, and Electra now has a wide range to suit all styles and size of children. They are all single speed and come in wheel sizes 20″ and 16″ to accommodate kids at all stages of their growth. The price range of these Kids’ bikes are very reasonable and they look tough enough to withstand a regular childhood. Each bike comes with a coaster brake and a front calliper brake to get kids used to ride.
The frame geometry of these wheels allows for proper leg extension even for kids – this is important for them to get the whole range of motion in their legs. These bikes are also equipped with Flat Foot Technology® so they won’t have to worry about falling over and losing their balance.
The 20″ bikes come with 20″ wheels so they’re for bigger kids but come in several designs to suit every individual. The Enchanted Jungle 1 20″ presents a lush jungle scene with tropical trees, and jungle animals to spark the imagination. The Firetail 1 20″ has an intricate dragon scene on the bike on deep red background. The Sprocket 1 20″ comes in either black, pink, or white with funky accents.
The 16” wheel designed kids bikes are suitable to be used with training wheels, which you can buy from Electra. They have Flat Foot Technology® so kids don’t have to worry about losing their balance if they don’t have training wheels. The 16” wheel bikes are suitable for kids from 96-116cm tall.
There are three main designs of the 16” bikes. The Graffiti Drip 1 16” comes in a radioactive red color and has graffiti style accents. The Sun Shimmer 1 16” bike summons bright sunshine and rainbows on a white background. The Sprocket 1 16” comes in either pale green, white, or black with colorful accents.
The Electra bicycles are sold by wheel size, and are usually fixed to the model – so if you are 5’4 or 6’0 you will ride the same frame size. If the wheel size is not listed, it tends to default to the frame size M or Medium. Each bike has a different geometry so please check on the individual listing for specific frame measurements.
What to think of Electra bikes?
After being conceived in Germany, the Californian connection with Electra bikes is hard to deny. They embody the soul of the beach cruisers and have brought a classic frame back to life but with a modern twist. They are reasonably priced and constructed well, using mid to high-range components to ensure their bikes last a long time. If you’re after a casual or comfort style bike, they are well worth looking at.
Where are Electra bikes made?
Electra bikes are manufactured in Taiwan, which is where the majority of bicycles are manufactured nowadays. USA-based companies have been shifting their production to Asia for a few decades in order to reduce costs and offer more competitive pricing points.
Are Electra bikes good?
Electra makes excellent cruiser and lifestyle bikes. The brand has a strong following for being competitively priced and easy to use/maintain. They are constructed using aluminum so they are strong and relatively lightweight bikes. We recommend shortlisting their bikes if you want comfort and reliability.
How much do Electra bikes cost?
Electra bikes are available in different price ranges, from $300 to $4,500 USD. Therefore, as you can see, there are entry-level models for absolute beginners, as well as mid-range and high-end models for more experienced riders with higher demands. Anyone can find something they will enjoy riding.