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Step-Over Vs. Step-Thru Bicycle Frames
Many bike frames have a tube that stretches between the top of the seat post and the handlebar post. This high top tube can help stabilize the frame.
Sometimes, people may refer to this type of frame as a step-over frame because mounting or dismounting the bike requires raising one leg over the top bar or the seat.
In contrast, step-thru frames have lower tubes that make it possible to simply step through the frame to mount or dismount the bike. The additional stability offered by the top tube could matter for some cycling styles, like high-performance mountain biking or racing.
In particular, the difference between traditional men's and women's bikes primarily included the height of the top tube, with the men's bikes having higher ones than women's. Most people explained the difference by saying women wore skirts to cycle in the 1800s when bicycles first gained widespread use. Others observed that the bike designers of the time figured that men would ride more vigorously, so they would benefit from a more stable frame. In contrast, women's shorter average heights made accessibility more important.
Since fewer women wear skirts to ride bicycles these days, the distinction between men's and women's bikes seems somewhat archaic. Still, many women feel satisfied with the lower bar because it makes bicycles easier to mount and dismount. On the other hand, serious female racers or mountain bikers might choose a men's bike for the extra frame support. More casual riders probably won't notice the difference.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, some men also ride so-called women's bikes because they would rather not struggle to get their legs over the seat and top bar to mount and dismount.
After all, bicycling offers a great way to maintain fitness, but it should not require acrobatics.
Some manufacturers produce unisex bikes these days because bar height preferences don't depend on gender as much as they do on the type of riding and the cyclist's height and flexibility.
Others stick to the familiar convention of offering distinct bicycle models for men and women, but they provide step-thru frames with lower bars for both styles.
Bicycle designers have also adapted various techniques and materials to stabilize frames better without needing a high top tube. Thus, step-thru frames can make cycling safe and accessible without sacrificing the frame's durability or stability, except in the most extreme cases of vigorous cycling.
The top 5 Step-Thru Bicycles for 2022
Only high-performance cyclists who plan to race or tackle mountain paths will probably need the stability of a top tube. Otherwise, cyclists shouldn't let concerns over mounting and dismounting a bike provide an obstacle to all of the benefits of cycling. To learn more about comfortable, durable models from top bicycle manufacturers, compare these top 5 bicycles with step-thru frames in 2022.
SixThreeZero EVRYjourney Cruiser
SixThreeZero offers multiple versions of the popular EVRYjourney cruiser, all with step-thru frames for easy mounts and dismounts. These bikes include men's and women's models, but all of these bicycles feature relatively low top tubes or just one bottom bar that most riders should have no trouble stepping through the frame to mount.
Attention to comfort and accessibility for cyclists didn't stop with the step-thru frame design. Highlights of the EVRYjourney cruiser bicycles include:
The EVRYjourney should appeal to riders of various fitness levels who plan to ride at a leisurely or brisk pace. Current owners enjoy riding these cycles for exercise, touring, commuting, and relaxed excursions around town.
SixThreeZero doesn't make these bikes for competitive races or extreme mountain cycling, but otherwise, they're incredibly versatile.
Besides the choice of men's or women's bicycles, SixThreeZero offers this model in a lightweight alloy or a rugged steel frame. Customers can also choose between various shifting options, including one-, three-, seven- and 21-speed alternatives. The company even produces an e-bike version for power-assisted pedaling. Take a look at all of the EVRYjourney step-thru bicycle models here.
The Body Ease Comfort Bike
This SixThreeZero comfort bicycle stands out for its emphasis on maximizing riding comfort without sacrificing pedaling efficiency.
The extra-low step-thru frame makes this bike extremely accessible to all sorts of riders, and so does its wide, padded seat, plush grips, and ergonomically designed engineering.
For example, this bike positions the pedals directly below the seat to emphasize stability and balance. The alignment of the seat, handlebars, and pedals arranges the cyclist's body to maximize comfort and reduce strain. Medium-width tires offer an unbelievably smooth ride while optimizing control. Thus, this model should particularly appeal to cyclists with mobility issues, like stiff joints and sore backs.
This model's also great for people who want to cycle to get back in shape after neglecting cycling for years or decades.
SixThreeZero primarily intended this bicycle for casual cyclists on smooth surfaces, though it can handle an occasional trek off the road to explore a bike path or beach. Also, the seven-speed transmission will help riders navigate modest hills and inclines with relative ease. Check out the Body Ease comfort cycle here.
Schwinn Mikko & Huron Beach Cruiser
Many older folks remember Schwinn as an exceptional bicycle brand from their youths. The company's still blazing trails or at least, bike trails. Attractive features of this step-thru beach cruiser include stable, wide tires, a seven-speed gearing system with twist shifters, and an upright seated position.
Schwinn offers a choice of colors. Like some other beach cruisers, this cycle uses backpedal brakes, though it also has a seven-speed shifting system. Typically, pedal brakes come with one-speed bikes, and multi-gear cycles have handbrakes, so buyers should be aware of a bit different design choice.
Retrospec Beaumont Commuter Bicycle
This seven-speed commuter bike looks sporty and fashionably retro. The swooping, low frame and tube mean that women actually could pedal in a work skirt if they chose to. Front and rear brakes provide safe, prompt stopping power, and the durable steel frame should last for years. Multiple gears help cyclists power over uneven terrain, but it's not the best cycle for steep hills. Consider this cycle for enjoyable rides around the neighborhood or along city streets.
Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
The low, step-thru frame makes this bike easy to use. At the same time, the bicycle folds up to fit into a car trunk or smaller storage space. The cycle also only weighs 35 pounds, so it's easy to lift. That feature can offer a significant advantage to people who like to take their cycles along on road trips or don't have a garage to keep their bikes out of the rain.
This bike comes with seven-speed gearing for handling various inclines. Still, it only has 20-inch tires, so it's not a good choice for people who want to take long or rigorous treks on two wheels. The bike includes a rack with a detachable bag, which will come in handy for errands and commutes. It won't offer the perfect choice for cyclists who want to enjoy long cycling adventures, but its ability to fold up and lighter weight make it handy and versatile.
Pros and Cons of Step-Thru Bicycle Frames
High-quality step-thru frames also include other aspects to make cycling comfortable. These can consist of a natural, relaxed seated position, wider seats and tires, and cushioned grips. These features can absorb shocks, reduce vibrations, relieve body strain, and improve safety.
The design and materials of some step-thru cycles make them suitable for shorter rides through town. At the same time, some step-thru bikes, like the EVRYjourney from SixThreeZero, offer an ideal design to help cyclists glide over different surfaces, uneven terrain, and on relatively long trips. The overall design of this bicycle focuses on relieving body strain and maximizing efficiency. These comfortable cruisers should satisfy novices and proficient cyclists who want to take relaxed rides along the beach, commute to work, or run errands.
Of course, step-thru cycles may have some disadvantages for certain cyclists. For instance:
Which Cyclists Will Feel Satisfied With a Step-Thru Frame?
Many cyclists have grown accustomed to the traditional street or racing bike design. This design usually includes a higher top bar and might even have drop-down handlebars. Strong, agile cyclists can use these bikes to maximize performance, but even experienced athletes don't buy these bikes for comfort or accessibility. They buy them for speed and competition.
Some people dismiss the idea of cycling because they think these high-performance but tough-to-handle bikes will present too big of an obstacle to safely enjoying a pleasant ride. They haven't noticed the increasing popularity of step-thru frames for beach cruisers, hybrid bikes, comfort cycles, and various kinds of bicycles.
Thus, there's no wrong kind of bicycle to buy. However, many people have no intention of racing competitively or trying to pedal up and down the side of a mountain. These folks would enjoy cycling for fun and fitness if the bike's design made it easier and more comfortable to handle.
People who should consider a step-thru frame might include those who haven't cycled in decades but want to get back in shape, experienced cyclists with injuries or mobility issues, or anybody who considers a bike a source of fun, fitness, and transportation.
Some essential features to consider when shopping for a bicycle with a step-thru frame include:
Where to Buy a High-Quality Step-Thru Bicycle
Are you ready to enjoy a better bicycling experience? SixThreeZero offers a variety of ergonomically designed bicycles with step-thru frames, including cruisers and comfort bikes. Customers can shop online, use a handy fitting guide, and contact friendly and responsive customer service reps.
Shop with confidence because this bike company offers free nationwide shipping, a relaxed return policy, generous warranties, superior customer service, and the types of bikes that regular people love to ride. Start shopping for SixThreeZero step-thru bicycles. Then fall in love with cycling again.
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