View Full Version : Debating between a Giant Simple and an Electra Townie

02-13-2012, 06:06 PM
Hi all, this will be the first time I've paid over $100 for a bike, my previous bikes being a 1960's Schwinn hand-me-down from my grandmother and a cheapo cruiser from Walmart (which was stolen last fall).

While I really like biking, my impetus for this purchase is that I have a new job 3/4 of a mile away from my condo (both located in Old Town Alex.). It's just a bit too far to walk in a timely manner and I feel terribly guilty every time I'm running late and hop in the car. A bike, however, would be perfect! I did some thinking and reading, and decided that I'd like a more relaxed, upright bike; a three-speed internal hub; and fenders and a rear rack or the ability to add them, and a price point of under $500.

I did some poking around and wasn't too happy with anything until I tried the Electra Townie. Which I loved! But it's a bit over my budget - especially when you figure in the cost of adding fenders and a rack.

I'd like to try a Giant Simple 3 since that seems to be what I like about the townie only considerably cheaper. However, out of the 4 stores I've visited, none had them in stock.

Anyone have experience with these bikes and can help me compare the two?


Tim Kelley
02-14-2012, 08:46 AM
Good for you for jumping into bike commuting--sounds like you're doing it for all the right reasons!

As for the bike recommendations, I don't know much about the Giant, but I know someone who has the Electra and loves it. Both bikes look pretty sharp and if I had a flatter commute I'd definitely be interesting in a setup like that!

02-15-2012, 01:40 PM
Are you a bit taller than average?

I have a commuter bike (2005ish Scott SUB 30 - this one I think: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2005&Brand=Scott&Model=Sub+30&Type=bike) that I'd be willing to part with for free if it's going to a new commuter who could use some help. A chance to help out local cyclists is worth just as much to me as donating it to Bikes for the World or something like that, which is what I'll probably end up doing.

Anyway, it is a large bike though. Most likely an "XL". I'm 6'5", but it is too small for me.... so maybe good for 6'? It needs a little bit of professional work and maybe a few new parts in the drive train. Otherwise, for a short commute like yours it would be great. It's fully compatible with a rack and I got it some fenders and have a spare tire for it as well.

Even though it is unlikely that you are indeed tall enough for this bike, if you're interested just let me know.

Otherwise - good luck making a purchase and I think you're making an excellent decision to bike to work. You may want to check craigslist or ebay for used racks and panniers to save some $$.

02-15-2012, 02:57 PM
You may quickly find yourself constrained by the two bikes you mention once you start venturing outside your regular commute. I'm sure you'll want to ride the Mt. Vernon Trail at some point.

I'm most familiar with the Trek brand. They have a couple of upright hybrids that retail under $500.



I'm assuming your a woman so I've linked the WSD versions. Please note that most local bike shops throw in a year of free service when you purchase a bike from them. It's also possible to get a significant discount on a bike if you take last year's model (obviously this is dependent on availability).

02-15-2012, 06:18 PM
Saw this on the local MTB board today:


02-15-2012, 09:33 PM
We got a new Biria Citibike (http://www.biria.com/series/citibike -- we got the step through model) from Bicycle Pro Shop (http://bicycleproshop.com/ -- there's one in Gtown and one in ALX) last summer to use with our super-awesome front baby seat. We love it. We fight over who gets to ride it, and who gets stuck on our other hybrid.

I think the retail is right at $500 and it comes with everything you need -- fenders, front and rear racks, good wheels, chain guard, kick stand.

And even though you didn't ask, we love our Lonely Peak Grocery Bag Panniers.

02-16-2012, 08:00 AM
You might want to visit Velo City coop (which is either in Old Town or Del Ray, they are moving to Del Ray) or Phoenix coop in Shirlington for a good deal on a used bike. Both generally have a wide selection that could be the move-up bike for you. Benefits to you include saving money and getting a good bike. Benefits to them is the revenue to help with their cycling programs.

Welcome to the community!

02-16-2012, 06:05 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions! Several of these were bikes that I had looked at and dismissed for various reasons - some of these are new. However, I did end up putting in an order for the Townie, mainly because it was the one I liked best of all that I'd ridden. Next on my purchasing list - good locks!

02-20-2012, 03:22 PM
Congrats on your purchase. Hopefully you will get it in time for the 68 degree day that is being predicted for later in the week.

With your bike you will be able to go home for lunch as well as restaurants further away :D

02-20-2012, 07:58 PM
Get a mini u lock and read up on how to use it properly