If you’ve ever struggled to get your leg up and over your bike, then you understand the reason for step through bikes. More and more manufacturers are coming to realize that there is huge market potential for easy to board bikes. Typically, even the best step through bikes suffered from weight bearing limitations, but with recent design breakthrough, they can make cycling more accessible to a lot of people.
What Are Step Through Bikes?
Step through bikes are pretty self explanatory. They are bikes with no top tube, making them easy to “step through” to mount. They often use a pedal forward design, with the pedals slightly forward of the seat tube. This makes it easier to maintain the proper seat to pedal distance, while also being able to put their feet flat on the ground while remain seated. The wheelbase will be a bit longer, which can effect handling, but it enhances the overall comfort.
Pro and Cons of Step Through Bikes
Historically, step through bikes have been regarded as women’s bikes as they allow the rider to wear a dress or skirt. However, more and more seniors, commuters, and heavier riders are opting for the easy to mount option. If you’re not quite as flexible and limber as you once were, then it’s a great option to keep you riding.
The biggest disadvantage of a step through frame is the weight, strength and stiffness. The regular diamond shaped design of most bikes is so widely used because it is the better design. The top tube gives the frame strength and stability, while allowing for the use of lightweight materials. To achieve the same strength, step through bikes have had to use heavier materials.
For city cruisers and commuters, the step through design can actually make the most sense. Stopping at stop lights and being able to remain seated while placing you feet on the ground can be plus for a lot of riders. Much more common in Europe, finding a step through bike can be a little tough depending on where you live. However, a lot of manufacturers will ship, so here are some of the best step through bikes.
The Best Step Through Bikes
If you live in a relatively flat area, the single speed Public C1 can be a great affordable option. Under $400, it has the iconic European style perfect for comfortable cruising.
Bike ID Step Through
The Bike ID Step Through is made of Hi-Ten steel tubing, weighing in at 15.5kg or 34 lbs. It’s equipped with both a hand brake and a foot brake. Both brake and lever is made of aluminum, and due to a smart quick-release you can remove and replace the wheel without having to change the break settings. It is strong and durable, and will last through years of city cruising!
The Bixby is offered in both a classic men’s and women’s frame design, with thoughtful touches like gender-specific saddle design and proportional geometry. The Bixby riffs off the fun look of the curved top tube, but improves on the fit and function with nimble frame geometry, a Shimano 3-speed internal hub and disc brakes. The Bixby is more of a hybrid between the step through and diamond design, giving the rider the best of both worlds.
Electra Amsterdam Royal 8i
The Royal 8i is a lightweight aluminum premium-edition Dutch bike: well-bred for stylish luxury and yet practical everyday cycling. Top-of-the-line Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal hub, smooth and powerful front and rear roller brakes and durable tires with Kevlar puncture-resistant casing are a few of the special upgraded features that make the Royal 8i worth every penny.