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Electra Townie vs Cruiser: Which Trek Bike Will Suit Your Personality?

Electra Townie vs Cruiser
Written by Joshua Fernand
Last Update: August 16, 2023

No matter which local bike shop you visit in the USA, you will find Electra bikes for sure. They are much better than those found in big box stores.

Both the Electra Townie and Cruiser are very popular that’re often used for casual and recreational riding.

The hybrid Townie combines features of a traditional road bike with those of a cruiser. Designed for a comfortable, upright sitting position, it features a step-through frame that makes it easy to mount and dismount.

The Townie also has a flat foot technology that allows you to put your feet flat on the ground while seated, which you’ll appreciate if you’re not comfortable with a high saddle height. This versatile bike is great for commuting, running errands, or leisurely rides.

On the other hand, the Cruiser is a classic, retro-style bike designed for comfort and ease of use. It features a wide, padded seat and wide tires, making it a comfortable ride on smooth, flat surfaces.

Electra Cruisers are often used for leisurely rides along the beach or around town, and you won’t find them suited for commuting or for longer rides.

Electra Townie Vs Cruiser: How Do They Differ?

Comparing factors Electra Townie bikes Electra Cruiser bikes
No of models 10 17
Frame material Aluminum Steel, aluminum
Weight Lighter Not so light comparatively
Available colors 15 13
Handlebars wideness Less wide More wide
Handlebars Alloy custom bend Electra café
Forks Alloy, High-tensile steel unicrown High-tensile steel unicrown
Wheel sizes 24″, 26″, 27.5″ 24″, 26″
Tires Kenda Kwick Seven, Bontrager Electra Retrorunner
Tires width Medium Fat
Front hubs Alloy low flange, Shimano Nexus Dynamo, 32h Alloy low-flange, Steel, 36h
Rear hubs Alloy low flange, 32h Shimano Nexus, Steel, Alloy, 36h
Rims Alloy double walled 32h, Electra Custom anodized aluminum, alloy 36h
Saddles Selle Royal Electra gel comfort saddle, Ergonomic Electra comfort
Seatposts Alloy micro-adjust Classic alloy pillar
Grips Electra Townie custom, Electra hand-stitched Electra custom, Comfort Kraton
Stems Forged alloy Forged alloy, Alloy classic
Headsets 1 1/8″ steel threaded 1″ steel threaded
Brakesets Tektro hydraulic disc brake, cold-forged alloy linear-pull Alloy linear pull, Shimano coaster
Shifters Shimano Acera Rapid Fire Plus, Shimano Revo 7-speed twist Shimano Nexus Revo 3 speed twist, Shimano Tourney Revo 7-speed twist
Rear derailleur Shimano Alivio 9-speed, Shimano Tourney TX-35 7-speed Shimano Tourney TY300
Gears 7, 9 1, 7
Cranks Forged alloy Electra custom alloy 3-piece, Classic steel one piece
Bottom brackets Sealed cartridge Sealed cartridge, Square taper, loose ball
Cassettes Shimano 9-speed 11-36t, 7-speed 14-34t 14-34t 7-speed freewheel, 22t
Chains KMC X9, KMC Z7 KMC S1, KMC Z7
Price range $630 – $930 $400 – $1600


Currently owned by Trek, Electra has a lot of models in each line to make it easy for you to choose from. In their Townie line, there are 10 different models while the Cruiser has 17 with different specs.

That’s not all. In the coming years, the Townie will have 7 new models while the Cruiser will have 8.

Frame material

All Townie frames are made of aluminum and are lighter in comparison. Cruisers have both aluminum-and steel-made models.


The possibility of finding your preferred color is really high as both lines come with a lot of color options. Till now there are 13 different colors available for Cruisers and 15 for Townies.


The overall weight of Townies is relatively less than the Cruisers. One of the reasons is the use of lightweight aluminum frames in all the models of Townie.


With wider handlebars, the Cruisers help you sit comfortably and straight on the comfy seat and ride the bike in a relaxed mood.

The handlebars of Townies are a little bit high like a car. But your sitting position will not be 100% upright as you may need to lean a little bit to ride them.

To be specific, Townies use Alloy custom bend handlebars and Cruisers have Electra café bars.


Townies come with two different types of forks – one is alloy made and another is high-tensile steel.

On the contrary, all the Cruiser forks have the same material – high-tensile steel.

Wheel size

Where Cruisers have only 24″ and 26″ wheels the Townie bikes are also available in 27.5″ aside from the standard 24″ and 26″ wheel sizes.


Electra’s Cruiser tires are wide enough to give you a comfortable ride. Although Townie tires are not as wide as Cruisers, they still provide enough comfort.

Townies have Kenda Kwick Seven or Bontrager tires while Cruisers have only Electra Retrorunner tires.


You’ll find alloy low flanges or Shimano Nexus Dynamo in the Townie’s front hub and only Alloy low flange in the rear hub.

On the contrary, Cruisers have Alloy low-flange or steel hubs in the front and Shimano Nexus, Steel or Alloy hubs in the rear.

The numbers of spoke holes are 32 and 36 respectively.


In order to match with the hubs, the rims come with 32 holes for Townies and 36 holes for Cruisers.

Townie rims are Alloy made with a double wall while Cruiser rims are made of Electra Custom anodized aluminum. However, Cruisers also have models with alloy-made rims like Townies.


Some Townie bikes use Selle Royal Electra gel comfort saddles while others use Ergonomic saddles. On the other hand, Cruiser models only have Electra Comfort saddles.


You will get to enjoy Alloy micro-adjust Seatposts from all Townie bikes and Classic alloy pillar Seatpost from Cruisers.


Townies have Electra Townie custom or Electra hand-stitched grips. But for Cruisers, they offer Electra custom or Comfort Kraton grips.


All the Townie models use only Forged alloy stems while Cruisers also have Alloy classic stems.


Townie bikes headsets are 1 1/8″ steel threaded and Cruisers have 1″ steel threaded headsets.


You will find Tektro hydraulic disc brakes or cold-forged alloy linear-pull brakes in Townie bikes.

But the Cruiser line mostly has Shimano coaster brakes although they also have models with Alloy linear-pull brakes.


Townies come with Shimano Acera Rapid Fire Plus or Shimano Revo 7-speed twist shifters. But for Cruiser models, they have Shimano Nexus Revo 3-speed twist or Shimano Tourney Revo 7-speed twist.


Both Townie and Cruiser bikes don’t have front derailleurs. As for rear derailleur, Townie models have Shimano Alivio 9-speed or Shimano Tourney TX-35 7-speed while some Cruiser models come with Shimano Tourney TY300.


According to the official website of Electra, the Townie line has 7 or 9 gears bikes and Cruisers offer 1 or 7 gears.


All the Townie models have Forged Alloy cranks but Cruiser models use 2 types of cranks; Electra custom alloy 3-piece and Classic steel one piece.

Bottom bracket

Both bike lines offer Sealed cartridge bottom brackets while Cruisers also have Square taper or loose ball bottom brackets.


Some bikes of both lines use 7-speed 14-34t cassettes while others from Townies have Shimano 9-speed 11-36t and Cruisers use 22t.


Townies have KMC X9 or KMC Z7 chains while you will get KMC S1 or KMC Z7 chains with Cruiser models.


Both bike lines have a wide price range that fits with many customers’ budgets. You can get a Townie bike for $630 – $930 while Cruisers range from $400 to $1600.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Electra Townie


  • Lighter
  • More color options
  • Aluminum frame
  • Powerful brakes options (disk brake)
  • More options for wheel size
  • 9 gear bikes
  • Electric models available


  • Fewer models
  • Less wide handlebars
  • Lower-end bikes cost more
  • No single gear bike available
  • No tandem bike available

Advantages and Disadvantages of Electra Cruiser


  • More models
  • Wider handlebars
  • Lower end bikes are easily available
  • Single gear bikes available
  • Tandem bikes available
  • Electric bikes available


  • Fewer color options
  • Less light
  • Some models are steel-made
  • Less wheel size options
  • Does Not have 9 gear bikes
  • Less effective brakes option (coaster)


1. Is Electra Townie made by Trek?

Ans: Since 2014, Electra has been a subsidiary of Trek Bicycle Company. So, yes, Townie bikes are now made by Trek.

2. Can you ride a Townie on the beach?

Ans: Although these bikes are for riding on roads in town (as the name suggests), you can comfortably ride a townie bike on the beach if you want.

3. What is the weight limit on a Townie bike?

Ans: Townie bikes can carry up to 300 pounds or 136 kg of weight. This number indicates the overall weight, including the bike itself, the rider, and the cargo.

4. Can cruiser bikes go long distances?

Ans: Yes, they can. But they won’t perform like mountain bikes or have speeds like city bikes and this will also depend on the trail types and conditions. You can still go on a long ride on Cruiser bikes if your timeline allows you.

5. Should my feet touch the ground on a cruiser bike?

Ans: Yes, and it’s really important to have a perfect saddle height and position for a comfortable and safe ride. Not only should your toes touch the ground but also the ball of your feet should do the same when seated on the saddle.

About the author

Joshua Fernand

I’m a 38-year-old father of two and an avid adventurer with a history of road bike racing in the mountains. I’m also a member of the Mountain Top Cycling Club, Colorado. I took part in several cross country rides across the states with my cruiser bike.

Tell you what, each tour was over a thousand miles long and it wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t studied bike mechanics. Most of the fixes required during my travel had to be fixed by myself. Cruiser became my favorite category since then.

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