E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
December 4, 2022
If you plan to start shopping for a new bike, you have several decisions to make.
How will you use your bicycle? What type of frame would you like? What colors suit your style? Would you like an e-bike?
But a crucial decision for many people is buying a step-through or step-over bicycle. Have you considered the difference between these two e-bike mounting and dismounting options?
If you have previously bought a bicycle or bicycles, you might not have had any reason to consider this. However, suppose you have experienced an injury or have some physical limitations or suffer some balance issues due to aging or another reason. In that case, it's essential to consider this aspect of owning and safely getting on and off your bicycle.
Let's explore the step-through bicycle and e-bicycle to learn everything you need to know about buying, owning, and riding one for peak bicycling enjoyment.
A step through bicycle is considered a perfect compromise between a step-over frame, often selected by taller male riders, and a low-step frame and a lower step through e-bike frame. Step-thru e-bikes, whether very low or moderately low, offer riders a more upright position and allow for easy mounting and dismounting since you can simply step through the diagonal and curved frame, as the name indicates. You don't need to swing your leg up and behind the seat and find your way into the saddle.
Step-through e-bikes are such fun and easy bikes to ride, taking away the stress and keeping each ride casual and carefree. Whether you want to ride for fun, commuting, or exercise, step-through e-bikes offer the best in casual comfort and still make it easy for you to get in good exercise and arrive at your destination on time and safely.
Sometimes called an open frame or ladies frame, the step through model has become adopted by anyone, male or female, seeking a more relaxed and comfortable e-bicycle riding experience.
This particular bicycle geometry or frame style is another option for cyclists to tailor their rides to their bodies and needs. Bicycle geometry is math and science, focused and reliant on the specific measurements of every part of the e- bike. It takes into account the curvature or angle points within the bike frame.
Take road bicycles, having various styles such as endurance, aerodynamic, and triathlon frame styles with unique purposes for each one. These varied frames allow riders to tailor their experience to prepare for and succeed in a race or event. If riders use a frame not intended for the respective event, they might easily become tired, uncomfortable or even injured. Such problems can arise over time or in an instant.
Similarly, you'll find fine-tuned geometrical differences between mountain bikes and other styles like cross-country, downhill, and trail bikes. As you might imagine, each bike is ridden on different terrains, and riders benefit from such considerations. It's crucial to consider different angles at which riders will go down a hill and how they need to correct for things like dirt, tree roots, and debris.
And it is just as important to select the right frame, if not more so, for anyone searching for comfort, beach cruiser, hybrid, and 3-wheeled bicycles. You might think that they are already more comfort-based, which is fantastic, but there is so much more that top bicycle manufacturers and sellers do to make your experience even better.
The bicycle industry has undergone amazing changes over the past several years, welcoming electric bikes and new designs to ensure comfort and safety. The cycling industry and bicycle riders dub these bicycle frames with various names, such as “open frame,” low-step frame,” “drop frame,” and the most commonly known step-through frame.
Once you understand the design of the frame, all of these names make sense since it is an open type of frame with no horizontal top tube or cross-bar between the seat post and handlebars. It was designed specifically to make it easier for riders, particularly women wearing long dresses, to mount and dismount.
Consider the evolution, availability, and adoption of electric bikes over the years. As in many other areas of life, technology has a fascinating impact on the cycling industry. However, the changes can be more subtle, such as in the designs of frames and how riders enjoy the entire process of riding, from mounting and dismounting to how they manage e-bikes at stop signs and traffic lights.
Step through bikes go back a long way in the history of bicycling, but they came into vogue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They became a vital part of women stepping into the bicycling world. The reason women needed the lower step thru models is that they wore long, heavy skirts and dresses that would have made it difficult to mount a step over bike of any kind.
These cleverly designed bikes were easily compatible with the modest dress style and attitudes of the time, allowing women to participate in the joy of bicycling without compromise, discomfort, or tearing of their clothing. It was a win for everyone.
While the original design for the step through bike was to appeal to female bicycle riders, it was never solely intended for that purpose. Perhaps male riders have adopted the thinking that step-over bikes were designed for them, there is no reason men can’t select this comfortable style.
There are many reasons bicycle enthusiasts might buy and ride a step through ebike.
Let’s explore some reasons to see if they might apply to your life, riding style, and ultimate selection.
Ensures Comfort and Modesty While Riding in Certain Clothing
Female riders commuting to work or social engagements might need the ability to step through the bicycle frame while wearing a dress or skirt.
As one of the original reasons for design, along with reducing the risk of injury, it is a sensible reason to choose this frame, especially for someone who enjoys bicycling and wearing skirts or other clothing items that don’t allow as much freedom of movement or require some assistance in maintaining modesty.
Avoids the Risk of Ripping or Tearing Clothing
Anyone can easily rip a pair of pants or shorts using a step-over bicycle. It’s difficult to imagine how anyone ever mounted and dismounted early bicycles with massive front wheels.
Fortunately, the open frame bicycle helps everyone protect their clothing when riding. Women, men, older riders, children, and people with physical injuries or limitations can keep their clothing intact while riding a drop-frame bicycle or e-bike.
As a bonus, it helps riders stay mindful about the bicycle chain, gear shift, and e-bicycle motors to avoid getting a pant leg or skirt hem caught in any of these vital bicycle parts and mechanisms.
Enables Speedy Mounts and Dismounts
The step through frame is ideal for anyone who needs to make a quick mount or dismount, such as a late arrival to work, or for those making package or food deliveries.
Think about how much couriers have to think about when out for deliveries, such as keeping the item, whether food or a boxed parcel, safe and at the proper temperature. They often work on a tight deadline, so they need to have as few logistical and fashion worries as possible and be able to hop off and on their step through as quickly as possible.
Allows Older Riders and Others with Compromised Mobility the Perfect Option
Anyone who struggles with balance or mobility issues can benefit from owning and riding a step through e-bike.
The fact is that it can be risky for anyone to use a step-over bike without optimal flexibility and health. Without a good stretch, anyone can end up with sore hip flexor muscles. Without correction, such an injury can last indefinitely until addressed with physical therapy and weight training.
And elderly riders or people with physical challenges don’t need to take on any extra risk that could prevent them from enjoying their bicycles. A step through frame makes it easy for senior riders who have problems with balance, flexibility, arthritis, or even early stages of osteoporosis can keep riding comfortably and without undue pain when choosing a step thru e-bike.
Anyone with an injury or physical disability will also appreciate the ease of riding a step-thru e-bike, making mounting and dismounting easier, as well as allowing them to stop and rest their legs on the ground with ease.
With so many benefits listed for buying a step-through bike, it might help you to see a listing of the pros and cons for them.
While there are some cons to these bike frame styles, we feel that the pros win out. The design technology improves to make these e-bikes lighter, faster, safer, and more enjoyable to ride than ever. Unless you want the speed of a road bike or the durability and adventures of a mountain bike, step through frames should be a great way for you to enjoy bicycling.
Above, we touched on some different types of step thru bicycles, but we want to dig a little deeper to ensure you know everything possible with today's e-bicycles.
Here are some popular step thru e-bikes:
If you are completely new to cycling or returning to the activity after a long time, there's no harm in finding the easiest path to comfort, success, and enjoyment. For many people, it is intimidating and a little frightening. No one wants to get injured or experience ongoing discomfort when trying to get some exercise.
If you're a Baby Boomer, Generation X, or Millennial generation, you might remember the days of downtube shifters and 8-speed steel frames. Those bikes were cumbersome and not designed for ease and comfort. Instead, they were designed and built with the technology available and for the minimum functionality required at the time.
Today, bicycles and e-bicycles are typically made of a much lighter material, such as aluminum alloy or carbon fiber. They offer 11-speed and 12-speed gearing as the standard—and can go significantly higher to 18-and-21-speeds—offering much easier rides when tackling elevations and other challenges. On some bicycles, you'll even find electronic shifting available, but they are quite expensive and feature more mechanical shifting and complex parts.
E-bikes are specially designed for riders who want to toggle the use of their bicycles for fitness, functionality, and fun. They might ride their e-bike to work to keep their clothes, hair, and shower fresh for a day of work before riding home for fitness and working up a sweat.
They are motorized bicycles relying on a rechargeable battery as the primary power source. You will find these bikes under two categories:
Electric bikes have become popular over the years because they have such a broad appeal to multiple demographics. Not every 20-40 year old wants to go full-throttle on their own physical power all the time when riding a bicycle. Everyone enjoys a nice leisurely ride, and for some, it is essential to have some support.
Think of senior citizens who want to go out for exercise and get bored walking in their community. With an e-bike, they can go beyond a few blocks and not worry about having enough energy to get back. They can simply kick into pedal-assist mode and cruise back without having to sacrifice a long ride with friends.
Similarly, a fitness aficionado or athlete might have a recent injury and they are trying to actively recover. However, they can't turn every ride into a warrior training session. That's where the motor comes in so perfectly. This rider can head out for the tougher part of their workout early and head back in easy mode.
Finally, you don't need to have an injury or issues with flexibility and balance to enjoy an e-bike. They have become a fantastic alternative mode of transportation for workers of all ages. As people continue to seek alternative methods of transportation to beat high fuel costs and reduce their carbon footprints, these electric bikes take care of everything, allowing riders to enjoy a quick trip to the store or work without breaking a sweat. Plus, they have plenty of storage space for supermarket goods or work gear.
Buying a step through e-bike, only enhances all the benefits of buying a standard or step-over bike. Not only does the ride itself become easier, but so do the entry and exit.
Like any other large purchase—and your e-bike is a huge purchase you'll love and ride for years—there is a lot you need to consider to ensure you find the best brand, model, size, and frame for your comfort and enjoyment.
We have come up with a guide to help you decide which step through is perfect for you. And we know we're giving you a lot of information, but you need it, so you never wonder whether you made the right choice. The goal is to ensure you receive your e-bike, do any necessary assembly, then ride like the wind.
Let's get started finding your new step thru e-bike.
There is no question that the point of entry for buying an electric bike is greater than a manual bike. Despite the greater initial investment, you will love the benefits of riding an e-bike so much that you'll never regret your decision to buy one. This is especially true if you plan to use your e-bike as a partial or full replacement for your car for daily commutes and errands.
The savings over time and the lack of wear and tear on your car, which you can use for vacations and special occasions, will make up for the entry cost. With an e-bike warranty, you'll get the care you need from the manufacturer, along with regular tips about e-bike maintenance.
The prices for e-bikes with a step through frame vary, depending on the brand, style, and materials used. You will find a range of prices for all budgets, so focus on your budget first, then try to sync that up with your ideal electric bike.
The average cost of an average e-bike comes to around $600-1,000. If you are looking for a long-term investment that will last you for rides for several years, you might be willing to pay a higher cost. Once you understand the value of paying more, such as the parts and expertise of the building, you will probably want to pay the higher cost. While you might want to make upgrades to your e-bike over time and as technology allows, you don't want to replace it every few years.
Many of our step through style e-bikes fall into the $800 to $2,000 range, and the reasons for the significant range depend on a few factors:
Similar to the reasons for choosing an e-bike in different price ranges, you also need to consider the step through e-bike style you want. And on the surface, many bike styles might look the same or similar.
Besides road bikes, many of the bikes we discuss can do roughly the same things.
Even mountain bikes can accommodate people with a limited range of motion, even if those riders would never get all the benefits of owning such an e-bike. So, even though a certain e-bike might seem appealing to you visually doesn't mean it's the right e-bike for your body, abilities, and lifestyle.
With a step-through e-bike, you might have some styles in mind, such as a beach cruiser, commuter, tricycle, hybrid, or a simple step-thru e-bike. These are the most commonly selected e-bikes in this category since they all facilitate an easier, gentler ride that people tend to want with step-through models.
Let's look at each e-bike style to see which one might suit you.
Beach Cruiser Step-Through E-Bike
Designed for beaches and boardwalks, it isn't surprising that beach cruisers bring to mind riding along the oceanfront on a sunny, breezy afternoon. But you don't have to live near the beach to own one of these beautiful, stylish e-bikes. They are intended to give you a joyful bike riding experience, regardless of where you are.
They also aren't meant for you to go all out for exercise. Sure, you can get in some good basic cardio, but don't expect this to be your triathlon training ride. Enjoy it for relaxing rides with friends in the neighborhood or on a paved bike path. The motor gives you the extra power you need when you run into a steeper hill, or you want to avoid heavy exertion generally.
Many beach cruiser e-bikes can reach speeds of 20 MPH, making them a fantastic option for errands and work commutes. You can get things done in a snap, then have time to go on a leisurely ride later.
Commuter Step-Through E-Bike
Commuter e-bikes offer college students and workers and easy way to get to and from their destinations without stress. Think about so many college campuses that have limited parking. With a commuter e-bike, parking won't be a problem. Similar to workers in a congested business zone, which is usually littered with parking meters and expensive lots and garages.
With a commuter step-through e-bike, you can park in a bicycle area with no problem. You can keep your transportation close by to zip home when you have tended to your responsibilities.
Commuter e-bikes are especially great for destination-oriented transportation because of their design, which accommodates a rear pannier rack and bags and a front basket. And none of this will make your commute cumbersome, especially with a motor on board. It's safe, fun, and speedy, and when you invest in a step thru model, it's even easier and more stabilizing.
The SixThreeZero Paven Trail takes things to another level in commuter e-biking, giving you the option to take your commuting off the beaten path here and there. This fun model features a lower step thru frame that will make mounting and dismounting a cinch in any environment.
Hybrid Step-Through E-Bike
Hybrid e-bikes are great for cyclists who do enjoy throwing a little extra effort into workouts while still offering comfort and enjoyment. And with the battery switch, you can ease back and enjoy the ride during your recovery phases.
Similar to traditional hybrid bicycles, hybrid e-bikes are perfect for people who don't want to narrowly define the reason for owning their bicycle. It offers more than just transportation, workouts, and leisure. It offers some of everything, and many riders want that. Rather than buying a road bike and a commuter bike, they can enjoy a hybrid model that can do it all.
While it doesn't do everything a road bike can, it is still a fantastic alternative, especially for rest days and leisurely rides. Even the best athletes take easy days and ride around the neighborhood.
Adult Step-Through E-Trike
The ultimate comfort cycling model is the adult e-tricycle. Adult trikes are uniformly step-throughs, so you don't have to worry about searching for this option. Stability is the foundation of e-trikes. Every inch of these 3-wheelers is intended to keep you, your belongings, and any passengers on board safe and sound.
When you think of an e-trike, you probably think of stability because of the two rear wheels, which are essential to the safety factor. However, the step-through function makes things even safer, and it is the reason many older bicycle riders choose them.
Some newer models even include a rear passenger seat, so you can load up your little ones to enjoy a safe e-trike ride with you and the rest of your family.
Other E-Bike Step Thru Options
There are other step thru bikes. We previously mentioned that some mountain bikes have a step thru build, but you can also find fat tire e-bikes that offer stability and comfort too, especially in snowy and icy weather.
Going through the sizing process is crucial to buying an e-bike that you will feel comfortable riding daily. We recommend taking your measurements and then visiting our sizing chart, which walks you through every step of the sizing process to get an e-bike that fits you perfectly.
There are several other considerations to make regarding your e-bike to ensure it fits your body and preferences. A few other things to keep in mind when shopping include
Now that you have an idea of how to shop for your new step-thru e-bike, let's explore the options available in 2023.
You now have some ideas and decision-making tools and strategies available to you, but you also need a frame of reference, so to speak. We gathered some favorite step through e-bikes that you might consider buying in 2023 and want to share them with you to help you get started.
More akin to a moped in appearance, the RadRunner Plus is a fun ride and perfect for daily transportation and errands. It is a utility bike that features accessories that enhance and elevate your daily excursions. One of the best features on this e-bike is the standard headlight that comes with it, offering you premier visibility and safety for night rides. And who doesn't love night rides?
Starting at $1,899, this low step thru e-bike is on the expensive side, but if you want a great sidekick that even features a passenger seat, it might be right up your alley.
We love both SixThreeZero adult e-trikes so much that we couldn't decide between the two. Of course, there is an immediate differential between the power for each, but depending on your needs, that might not matter. They both feature an easy step thru frame and fantastic stability, but they have their charms that we couldn't let pass.
Our team at SixThreeZero developed this guide to give you a good head start in finding your ideal step-through e-bike, but we understand you might have more questions to ensure you won't experience any surprises upon arrival.
We are delighted to discuss everything from the perfect step thru frame, motor, and accessories to the best size for your height and physical abilities.
Contact our SixThreeZero team to learn more about step through e-bikes today!
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