Interbike 2009: Electra Bikes, the Ticino

Interview with Chris Holmes Electra Bikes, the Ticino

By Jen Moore,

ElectraBicycle Company is a San Diego County, California-basedcompany, founded in 1993 by Benno Bänziger and Jeano Erforth. ChrisHolmes gave me a history lesson on Electra before I went out for aride. Electra had its beginnings in “cruiser wear” for the bicyclecruiser crowd and has evolved into the number one provider ofrecreational bikes. With their unique design and quality componentsand at a price point people desire this bike company is one towatch. Benno and Jeano make the perfect partnership in that Bennois a designer/idea man and Jeano is the businessman. Electra noteda gap in the American market when it came to recreational/cruisertype bikes, that is, bikes to be ridden to the market, cafes, andfor fun. Electra is the affordable, stylish, and obtainable optionto dull hybrid bikes.

As an avid road cyclist I’m always excited to see something newand different, however, Electra’s Townie is a bike I see quiteoften. Living in L.A. many people are interested in leaving the carat home and riding to the market, park, or café. Today I took theopportunity to take the ride the newest addition to the Electraquill of bikes the Ticino. Taking inspiration from the Ticinoregion that borders both Switzerland and Italy this is onesophisticated ride. Combine a smooth weld aluminum frame, steelfork and alloy head set and crank with Shimano 105 components andceramic bearings in the rear hub. From a style standpoint theTicino is like an artisan poured cappuccino. Stylized in theclassic 40s era of hand built bikes the look is pulled together bythe leather saddle, chrome accents, hammered fenders and leatheraccented toe clips.

Why wait for that custom build when you can ride this beautifulbike right off of the shelf. Hitting stores in November 2009 thisbike is now on my short list. The Ticino is not only verycomfortable to ride but is also very fun! I cruised around theOutdoor Demo at Interbike on the Ticino and felt like I could rideall day. Easy shifting makes any trip around town doable.Conveniently placed hand brakes make it safe. Pure fun and fashion,classic styling and quality components, this bike turned headsamidst all the carbon road and mountain bikes. I am also pleased tonote that Electra holds a large market share when it comes to womenriders and with the attention to detail women will be riding theTicino in their winter tweed on the way to their favorite coffeeshop or loading the bike up and heading to the office this winter.Gratefully the bike comes in a lovely choice of Pearl Rose, Oysterand Winter Mint, a woman can have a bike that looks assophisticated as it feels.