Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Commuter - the Electra Ticino 20D

This is my new bike. The 2013 Electra Ticino 20D is a handmade beauty and rides like being on a cloud. Do you see the front fork? Instead of going straight down to the front wheel hub like my road bike, it curves forward which softens the jarring kick back from the road for a smoother ride.

Even with the handcrafted, butted aluminum frame it still weighs in at 29 pounds. Hefty compared to my 17-pound Felt Z5 road bike. Still, a few reasons below for why I chose this bike over other commuter/touring bicycles and why I "needed" another bike ;-):

  • Purpose: For commuting and running errands as opposed to flying fast on weekend rides
  • Style: I love the way it looks. The style is more relaxed as opposed to my racy road bike.
  • Attire: I can wear nearly anything such as semi-professional attire and ride it instead of needing to get into a cycling kit and then change upon arriving at the office.
  • Comfort: I can sit in a more upright and comfortable position on the relaxed touring geometry frame instead of being hunched over on my road bike.
  • Utilitarian: It has a lightweight polished alloy rear rack on which I can hang panniers. I no longer need to carry a backpack and the weight of it on my back because my road bike doesn't have a rear rack. It also has fenders over the front and rear wheel to keep mud, water and road debris from splashing off my wheels onto me.
  • Tires: The 700c are faster-rolling road tires just like those on my road bike.
  • Gears: The Shimano 20-speed gearing can handle most of the hills in Reno-Sparks. It is rare to find a flat stretch of road for any length of distance around this town.

That said, it does not come with a kickstand or have a chainguard to protect the legs of my pants from getting snagged by the chain rings or getting grease on them. Since this bike has a derailer for shifting gears, the chainguard would interfere with the derailer when it shifts the chain between chain rings. Therefore, I will need to wear tights, boots, a skirt or anything that wouldn't snag or drag...or I can wear a strap around the bottom of my slacks to keep my pant legs from flopping around.

Also, I stuck with the platform pedals which means I am free from clipless pedals and needing to wear special cycling shoes to ride this bike. There are pros and cons which I can discuss in another post.

Bottom line. I love this Electra Ticino and it works great for me!!

Here it is, pretty much stock except for a brass bell gifted from my husband for my new bike. I took these photos BEFORE he wiped the bike down so that it was all shiny and bright.

Electra Ticino 20D

Electra Ticino 20D

Electra logo

Brass bell gift from my husband.




Hand-stiched leather saddle

Platform pedal
Hammered fender has leather spacers between the rack support to cushion potential rattling.

Hammered Alloy Fenders

Rear rack with one of my panniers hung on it.

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