Electra Ticino

In 2008, Electra introduced the lower end of the market to Dutch-style roadsters with their “Amsterdam” series of bikes that borrowed heavily (stylistically anyway) from that genre. Now, for 2010, they’re introducing a new bike called the “Ticino” that looks to again borrow stylistically from another genre; this time it’s the French “constructeurs” of the mid 20th century.

Electra’s new line: TICINO, a vintage style bike, re-engineered with modern technics and mechanics.

Ticino pays homage to the handbuilt bicycles of the 50’s and 60’s, but does so with the design precision and integrity of today’s materials and manufacturing processes. Period-piece components, not produced in decades – were re-examined: retro-style hubs, cranksets, chainrings, tourist handlebars, brake levers, forks, pedals and rims – Ticino’s retooled parts retain the aesthetics of the originals, but apply highest performance.

View detailed photos here.

[via Eurobike]

20 Responses to “Electra Ticino”

  • bongobike says:

    Looks like a Dutch-style frame (very relaxed angles) with French constructeur accessories. The French frames didn’t look like that, although the fork bend may be right.

  • Alan says:

    All of the Electra bikes have slack seat angles; it’s what they call “flat-foot technology”. It’s the crank-forward concept: full leg extension combined with the ability to touch your feet to the ground while seated. This bike, like the Amsterdams, appears to borrow more in style and looks from these other bikes than frame geometry.

  • dukiebiddle says:

    I do love that “flat-foot technology.” Heh. I remember exploiting that technology, pre-patent, on my old banana seat bike. That technology used to give me backaches when I was 7 years old. Not that I don’t respect what Electra’s trying to bring to the lower end market, being low market myself, but their flat-foot technology is a loser.

  • ken_sturrock says:

    Electra actually brought out the Amsterdam a number of years ago, it isn’t that new. If this thing is like any other Electra bicycle, it’ll be a decent quality, cute, bicycle that is perhaps more fashion than function. However, I welcome it to the market – cute bicycles do tend to attract riders. Sometimes even cute riders.

    As for the compact frame: yuck.
    As for the flat-foot technology: yuck.

    However, this bicycle doesn’t look very “flat foot” because that would mean that the bottom bracket is significantly forward of the seat tube in order to extend your leg (and at the same time make you feel like you’re about to fall off the back). If Electra didn’t make it a flat foot frame, that’s surprising since it’s kind of their shtick and a whole lot of people, other than me, love the “flat foot” design.

    Best of luck to them.

  • Alan says:

    @ken

    You’re right Ken; I was thinking they came out at the end of 2008, for the 2009 season, but it was actually the latter part of 2007 for the 2008 season. I’ll make the correction.

    Alan

  • dweendaddy says:

    I like the addition to the city bikes market: ok looking, fairly functional.
    What will it cost?
    Why toe clips?

  • bongobike says:

    Why toeclips? It’s all about looks. The same reason it has a TA copy crank

  • the other Adam says:

    It may not have porteur geometry but that’s not a porteur rack anyway. It’s the kind of mini rack you use to help support a handlebar bag low down, and in a pinch it might hold a 6 pack. I’m not too sure about that rear rack for carrying groceries, either (it would be a little tricky to mount the Wald folding baskets far enough back to clear my heels). To me the bike looks more like a foppish semi-practical cafe bike… randonneur style with comfort bike geometry and a little cargo capacity, but not a lot.

    Why not toe clips? Some people like them, and some of us in big cities actually ride our city bikes some pretty long distances. I suppose they are out of place with the 2-mile-bike geometry, though.

  • Elaine says:

    I think of my Electra Townie (an early one: 2004) as the gateway drug for cycling, at least for me! For a combination of reasons, I’d never learned how to ride a bike as a child. The “flat-foot technology” gave me the confidence to learn without freaking out about tipping over, and thus to become an avid cyclist. (10 mi a day most days on my Xtracycle.) I don’t ride my Townie very often, but I still love it. Don’t underestimate the power of a cute bike that’s easy to ride!

  • Helton says:

    Love those much cuved forks, wish I will have one someday: must be VERY comfortable for the hands. Otherwise, the bike seems allright (is it my poor vision or the brake levers are inverted?). Another cute bike, with a great paintwork (it shines!)

    @ Elaine
    Congratulations! Not every mistress would ride 10 mi a day, even less on an Xtracycle!

    @dweendady
    toeclips helps one not to fall on the rear wheel with that “flat foot” thing: then it’s possible to “pull yourself back” on the seat with the feet! ;o)

    @ken_sturrock
    that “cute riders” parte makes absolutely perfect sense!!

    @Alan
    Thanks for the explanation of the reasons to have a crank forward / flat foot: put your feet on the floor while getting full leg length pedal stroke. But would it be right saying that flat-foot AND crank-forward are EXACTELY the same things? Is there any difference?

  • bongobike says:

    other adam,

    You are right, that is not a “porteur” (delivery) rack. Porteur racks are much bigger and built to handle a heavy load. But no one said this bike was trying to emulate a “porteur”. We used the word “constructeurs” (builders), as in Rene Herse and Alex Singer, who made both porteur and randonneur bikes.

    The Wald folding baskets may give you enough heel clearance with that rack since they are not very deep–I don’t know, you’d have to try it out.

  • Jon says:

    I like the almost direct copies of the VO racks. I wonder if they’re paying royalties for that one.

  • 2whls3spds says:

    @ Helton…you passed the vision screening, those are inverted levers. The aesthetics of the compact frame geometry bother me, ditto straight blade forks on a bike intended for general use. I have a couple of bikes with it and am not at all impressed. I grew up on the classics from the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    Aaron

  • Alan says:

    @Jon

    “I like the almost direct copies of the VO racks. I wonder if they’re paying royalties for that one.”

    VO didn’t originate the designs; they just helped bring them back from obscurity. Those are old rack designs from the French builders of the mid-20th century.

  • Alan says:

    @Helton

    “Thanks for the explanation of the reasons to have a crank forward / flat foot: put your feet on the floor while getting full leg length pedal stroke. But would it be right saying that flat-foot AND crank-forward are EXACTELY the same things? Is there any difference?”

    It’s a matter of degrees and definitions. “Crank Forward” is a term used by the recumbent crowd (most notably RANS) that has yet to catch on in the mainstream bike industry. For the most part, crank forward designs have more radically laid-back seat tubes and they use CF-specific “seats” as opposed to more conventional “saddles”. So the concepts are generally the same, but the specific details of how they’re executed differ.

  • Dottie says:

    The looks exactly like the Amsterdam Sport 9D that I recently test rode here. The only difference I can see are the accessories. Looks like a way to rebrand these bikes and get them out of the Amsterdam’s shadow, unless I’m missing something. The ladies’ frame is also a mixte. Either way, I liked the ride for an aluminum frame and appreciate their fine taste in hammered fenders. The main factor for whether I’ll be impressed is the price point. The Amsterdam Sport 9D is $750.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » New Electra Models says:

    […] recently added the full Ticino line-up to their […]

  • Rick says:

    I had one of those 2007 Amsterdams, and in the three months that I owned it, the seat post bent, I broke a spoke (no abuse–just riding on streets), the headlight failed–at night–and when I went to put a Brooks B67 saddle on it, I discovered the clamp wasn’t a standard size! Most importantly, it never felt “right” for my 6’4″ frame (I was told the reason the seat post bent is because I had to move the saddle back so much!) because of the slack angles. I then sold it to a friend who continued having quality issues with the bike (hubs, more spokes breaking, headset): honestly, they may look nice, but I really couldn’t recommend an Electra to anyone.

  • Edward Lark says:

    My wife loves her Electra 3-speed. We bought it about 2 years ago, used from the major bike rental place in town at their post-season bike clearance (they have since gone all Trek, all the time). She put a pair of the Wald folding baskets on it and the uses it for grocery errands, short trips to the gym and such, and has gone on a few longer rides with me, including doing Chicago’s Bike the Drive ride for the last two years (almost 40 miles with the commute to and from the ride start).

    For someone like her who is not a bike-crazy person, like myself, it is a great bike – cute, comfortable, and (so far) mostly maintenance free. I have taken to calling it her gateway bike, as she has lately been mentioning how lovely the Civia Lorings are . . .

  • adrianmander says:

    Awesome to see Velo Orange components on a production bike! They’ve done a lot to develop all that stuff and it’s cool to see a bigger company partnering up with them.

    j/k lol

 
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