Your PERFECT BIKE Starts Here

E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You

Take Upto 30% Off All Bikes For a Limited Time

Complete Your Bike, Shop Matching Accessories Here

Take Your Rides to the Next Level. Download Our App Here

Step Thru Electric Bike: Empowering Seniors on Two Wheels

Seniors who enjoy cycling may be most familiar with a kind of bike called a "step-over" bicycle. This kind of bicycle requires you to step over its frame, which can become difficult as people age and become less balanced and flexible.

Rather than stopping cycling completely, there is another option called a step-through bike. Step-through bicycles are also known as low-step cycles or step-through frames and are a type of inclusive bicycle for cyclists of all ages. In particular, seniors can benefit from this design because it allows them to easily mount their bicycles without the risk of tripping over the frame.

What Is a Step-Thru Bike?

A step-thru bike is also known as a step-through bike, step-through frame, open-frame, drop-frame, or low-step-frame bike, is a type of bicycle with a low (or absent) tube top or cross-bar frame piece. The frame's design is such that it doesn't require someone to take a large step to step over the frame and mount the bicycle.

Step-thru bikes were originally created for those who had to work quickly. For instance, a newspaper boy or girl could quickly mount and dismount their delivery bicycle if the top bar was not present.

Additionally, traditional women's bike frames tended to have step-thru frames. The reason for this was to allow for skirts and dresses to hang without getting caught up on the upper tube that was commonly found on men's bicycles.

Other kinds of bicycles, such as those with the top tube in place, are called diamond-frame bicycles and were, in the past, only meant to be used by boys and men. Once women started to wear bloomers or pants, they also began to sometimes use the diamond-framed bikes.

Today, people don't usually refer to bicycles as "men's" or "women's" bicycles, but those looking for bikes should consider looking for "women's" bicycles if they can't find anything referring to the frame-type in store or online. However, most businesses have swapped out "men's" or "women's" for the actual frame names. That means that seniors or their family members should be able to find "step-thru" bikes or "low-step" bicycles relatively easily online or in person in a store.

What Are the Advantages of Step-Thru Bikes?

There are many advantages of step-thru bikes that makes them popular for people of all ages. Some of the common advantages that seniors may appreciate include:

  • A lower risk of catching clothing on the bike's frame when mounting the saddle
  • Easier mounting for those with disabilities or limited mobility
  • Better safety in the case of losing balance or falling. The rider only has to step off and is less likely to get caught up in the bars
  • A more compact size that is easier to travel with
  • The ability to wear anything without worrying about the top tube being uncomfortable or in the way

For seniors, one of the perks of choosing a step-thru bike is safety, but it is also the convenience of the frame. Those who choose a step-thru frame are less likely to hit their legs on the frame, meaning there is a lower chance of bruising. Additionally, with the restructured frame, a rider's posture can look straighter on a step-thru bike, which is beneficial for the elderly in particular.

Are There Disadvantages to Riding Step-Thru Bikes?

There can be disadvantages to using a step-thru bike. One of the main disadvantages is that step-through designs can potentially be heavier than a diamond-frame bicycle because it has to have a stronger structure throughout the remaining piping. That can include additional gussets or thicker-gauge tubing.

Another main disadvantage is that the structural design might be more prone to lower pedaling efficiency (although this is completely irrelevant for those choosing eBikes, since eBikes offer some pedal assistance or full electrical motion).

Step-thru bikes may have fewer locations for accessories or the need for specialized accessories, and they can be more difficult to carry since the bikes have a more off-center point of gravity.

Seniors who are considering step-thru bikes need to be cautious and make sure the bike is light enough for them. Ebikes can weigh several pounds more than typical bikes due to the weight of their batteries, which is a consideration to keep in mind.

Are There Different Kinds of Step-Thru Bicycles?

The interesting thing about bike frames is that they're not all the same even within the step-thru category. Step-through frames fall into different shapes. Two common variations are mixte and cross frames.

Mixte frames

Mixte frames are unique step-thru frames because the top tube of the diamond frame is removed. Instead, there are two smaller tubes that drop down and connect to the rear axle instead. They are set lower on the seat tube, allowing for easier step-overs. Interestingly, this kind of frame still has a diamond-frame geometry despite the slight difference in the angle.

Cross frames

Cross frames are another kind of step-thru frame. The two tubes that make up the frame create a cross (thus the name), and each bicycle connects only at the seat tube and head tube (the tube where the handlebars are mounted).

Why Are Step-Thru Bikes Good for Seniors?

Step-thru bikes can be used by anyone at any age, but they are particularly good for seniors. They're the right choice to consider for reasons such as:

  • Simpler mounting or dismounting. As people age, they are often less balanced. They may struggle to be as flexible as they were in their youth, as well. As a result, it is important to find a bicycle that is easy to get on and off, preventing the risk of injuries from falls. The design of a step-through bike makes it simpler for seniors to continue riding since they can be used with reduced mobility or balance issues.
  • Better stability. When seniors use a step-thru bike, they get the benefit of better stability while riding. These kinds of bikes have a lower center of gravity, which means it's easier to stay stable during a ride. Accidents are less likely when mounting or dismounting, too. And, with helpful tools like start-support on eBikes, the likelihood of a fall during a wobbly start is more or less eliminated, as well.
  • Excellent accessibility. One of the great things about step-thru bikes is how accessible they are. As people get older (namely 60 and up), they begin to age more significantly. They may have more restricted movement or joint issues that make it hard to use a traditional bicycle. Fortunately, a step-thru bike can resolve that problem by making it simpler to step over the central tubes and mount the bicycle. Combined with a straight posture and comfort-style handlebars, these can be a great choice for those who need to be in specific, stable, and relaxed positions while riding.
  • Better comfort. One additional reason seniors should consider step-thru bikes is because they are so comfortable. Step-thru bicycles often have cushier seats and pedals at different distances, making it possible to bike from a relaxed, comfortable position. Since the center of gravity is different on a step-thru bike (and the weight may be heavier) they are often more stable, as well. Seniors can feel more secure and relaxed as they ride, which helps them remain more active despite aging.

Every senior is in a different position health-wise, so it's important for them to take a look at several different step-thru bikes before buying one. It can also be helpful to look into step-thru bikes they can rent, so they can have an opportunity to test them before they make a purchase.

With the right bicycle, it's easier for seniors to stay active and fit, so they improve their mobility and can continue to enjoy outdoor activities.

What to Look for When Buying Step-Thru Bikes

Seniors who are looking to buy a step-thru bike should first get to know a few of the terms that they'll come across. Here are some common eBike glossary terms and definitions to help.

  • eBikes: eBikes are electric bicycles. They have battery power and can often be used without power, with full power, or with assistive power. eBikes are controlled by throttles rather than by pedaling.
  • Hybrid eBikes: Hybrid eBikes are exactly what they sound like—hybrids between traditional bicycles and eBikes. Human-electric hybrid eBikes allow for human or electric power, helping stretch the distance the bikes can go on a single charge.
  • Watt Hour: A watt hour is the measurement used to describe the battery capacity of an electric bike's battery. To get the watt hours, multiply volts times AH (amp hours).
  • Stand-over height: The stand-over height is the height of the top tube as measured from the ground. For instance, a standard bicycle might have a stand-over height of 24 inches, but a step-over or step-thru bike might have one at 15 or 16 inches. The lower the step-through height is, the easier it is to mount or dismount the bicycle.

These are the most common terms seniors will come across that they should know about.

When they shop for eBikes, they should look for the following:

  1. A step-over height that is appropriate for their flexibility. If a senior can easily step over something 17-inches tall, then getting a step-thru bike with a step-over height of 17 inches or less is the right choice. If a senior cannot step above 16 inches, then they should find a bicycle with an even lower step-thru height.
  2. An eBike that is light enough to pick up if it falls over. While heavier eBikes tend to have stronger batteries and tougher frames, they can also get very heavy. Depending on a senior's health and ability to lift heavy objects, they may want to find an eBike that weighs more or less. For example, a woman who can pick up 35 pounds but struggles with 45 might be unable to pick up an eBike that weighs 50. It's also a good idea to consider the weight of the battery in the calculation (as well as any accessories to be added on later).
  3. An eBike that is very stable. Seniors need to get an eBike that has a low center of gravity and wider tires whenever possible. Wider tires, combined with heavier weights, will keep the bike firmly on the ground and prevent wobbling and sliding. Additionally, the lower the step-thru frame is, the easier it will be to get on and off the bike, so that can add additional comfort and stability to a ride as well.
  4. An eBike that supports their weight. Smaller individuals might be able to purchase a foldable eBike, for example, but heavier people may need to invest in bikes with stronger frames and wider seats. Always look at the total load capacity to make sure the eBike is designed to be used for the amount of weight the senior expects to carry (including their own weight and all accessories or passengers).
  5. Comfort. As people age, it can be difficult to ride on slim seats or on bicycles without good ergonomics. Finding a bike that is the right size for the senior's height, the right structure for their weight, and outfitted with accessories to boost comfort is a must. Seniors can look for seats with pads or foam cushioning. They can also look for different kinds of handlebars with good ergonomic designs or other elements that help reduce vibration or shock during a ride.
  6. Good safety features. Not all eBikes are made the same. Some have great safety features that others lack. For example, one positive safety feature helps give riders a boost when they start, which eliminates the risk of a "wobbly" start when most people are at the greatest risk of a fall. Other safety features, like lights, reflectors, horns, bells, or special kickstands can all be helpful to seniors looking to stay safe and avoid falls.

Overall, it's important to make sure that the bicycle a senior is considering is one that is comfortable and easy to use. They should always test the bicycle before they buy it, or, if the bicycle can be returned, test it at home for a period of time before deciding to keep it. The best step-thru bicycle for one person may not be the right fit for another, so a good test period is a must.

5 eBikes for Seniors of All Ages

There are all kinds of eBikes on the market, so it can be hard to determine which one is the right one to buy. To make it a little easier, check out these five popular models that are at various price points. These have different colors, styles, and features, but all offer battery support when riding. That battery support can help seniors if they start to feel too tired after pedaling themselves or if they just want to get from one place to another without getting too exhausted on the ride.

Electra Cruiser Go! Women's Step-Thru Electric Bike: $1,600

The Electra Cruiser Go! Women's Step-Thru Electric Bike is available in three colors, Bora Bora Blue, Coral Sunset, and Galactic Black. This eBike comes in one size and is suitable for women between 5'2" and 6'1".

As an eBike, this one falls into Class I with pedal assist up to 20 mph. It has a Hyena 250-watt motor and a battery capacity of 250 watt hours. Additionally, the bike itself weighs between 44 and 49 pounds.

To keep riders comfortable, the bicycle has an ergonomic saddle with shock-absorbing elastomers. It has 26 x 2.35-inch tires and patented flat-foot technology that ensures rides have a relaxed pedaling position. When coming to a stop, riders should be able to place both feet flat on the ground.

The battery is fully integrated for balance, and it can be charged completely in four hours. It powers the 250-watt Hyena rear-hub motor that has three levels of support. It's possible to get to assisted speeds of 20 mph for up to 40 miles at a time.

For seniors looking for a lower frame, this one is a little taller than other step-thru bikes at a standover height of 55.1 inches.

  • Weight: Up to 300lbs
  • Height: 5'2" to 6'1"
  • Ride Frequency: Daily, Once a week
  • Main Use: Recreation, Commuting
  • Distance: 20 to 40 Miles
  • Designed For: Comfort, Recreational Riding

XP Step-Thru 3.0 eBike: $999

The XP Step-Thru 3.0 eBike is a good choice for those who would like to fold up an eBike and take it on trips. It also has a passenger package, so two people can ride together (with a limit of 150 lbs on the passenger support).

The bicycle has a 1,000-watt peak rear-hub motor and a 48V lithium-ion battery that has both standard and long-range options. Hydraulic disc brakes and 180mm rotors keep stops smooth.

The XP is set apart with its Lectric Pedal-Assist Wattage Regulation, also called Lectric PWR™. This helps boost the bike's range and efficiency.

The eBike's tires are 20" x 3" and have slime installed to prevent flat tires. A custom saddle and ergonomic grips, combined with a suspension fork and freewheel, keep the ride smooth and comfortable. Interchangeable batteries are available, or riders can charge the battery without removing it.

Seniors who want a lighter eBike may find this bike to be heavy at an estimated 64 lbs plus 7 lbs of battery weight.

  • Weight Range: Up to 150lbs on rear rack, 330 lbs. payload capacity
  • Ride Frequency: Daily, Once a week
  • Primary Use: Recreation / Commuting
  • Distance: 17 to 65, depending on the pedal-assist type
  • For: Comfort, Recreational Riding
  • Stand-Over Height: 18.5 inches

Velotric Discover 1 Bike: Step-Thru: $1,249

For a comfortable ride, seniors may enjoy using the Velotric Discover 1 Bike. It comes in multiple colors such as Sky Blue, Cyan, Indigo Gray, Silver, and Mango. This commuter's eBike is designed for use on city streets, concrete and bike paths. It can top 20 mph (up to 25 mph when unlocked). It can also reach a distance of 65 miles when on pedal assist or 55 miles on throttle.

Using the Velopower H50, it has consistent performance and is a part of the Class II eBike class with both pedal assist and throttle controls. It weighs between 63 and 65 pounds with its battery and is considered an "all-rounder" for commuting, exercise, and recreational rides.

Seniors will appreciate that the reinforced aluminum step-thru bike is easy to get on and off. It has an ergonomic design with a focus on a straight-back design for better posture during a ride. It has double hydraulic-disc brakes and comes with a walk mode for hills.

Weight Range: Up to 440 lbs. payload capacity, 33 lbs. front rack capacity, 55 lbs. rear rack capacity.

  • Ride Frequency: Daily, Once a week
  • Primary Use: Recreation, Commuting
  • Distance: 65 miles on pedal assist, 58 miles with throttle range
  • For: Comfort, Commuting
  • Uphill Features: Includes walkable feature for hills
  • Stand-Over Height: 15.35 inches
  • Rider Height: 5'1" to 6'4"

Beaumont Rev Electric City Bike - Step Through: $799

The Beaumont Rev. eBike is designed for city use and for daily cruises. It has start-assist technology to prevent wobbly starts, and seniors can expect to go up to 37 miles on one charge. A pedal-assist function provides a boost when on hills. The bike can reach speeds of up to 20 mph.Available in Blush and Eggshell colors, the eBike has a powerful 36V, 350W motor and battery to help riders get from place to place while looking great.

This best-selling vintage-styled bicycle has a step-through frame that is designed for accessibility. It has an integrated battery and swept-back handlebars for an upright seated position. An LED control panel is conveniently located on the front handlebars, allowing seniors (or other riders) to monitor the bike's charge, choose a pedal-assist level, or select "Start Aid" to get a boost during the first few pedal strokes. A thumb throttle places all power at an easy-to-reach location.

The Beaumont eBike can suit individuals between 5' and 5'10". it has a slightly higher standover height of 19.35 inches, which could be difficult for some individuals. The bike is slightly lighter than some others at 57.5 lbs including the battery weight.

  • Weight: Up to 250 lbs.
  • Ride Frequency: Daily, Once a week
  • Use: Recreation and Commuting
  • Distance: 28 miles on 250W, 37 miles on 500W
  • Ground Type: Pavement, City Commuting
  • Uphill Frequency: Often, includes pedal-assist for hills as well
  • Stand-Over Height: 19.35 inches
  • Rider Height: 5' to 5'10"

The Right eBike Helps Seniors Stay Active

Seniors have many options when it comes to purchasing an eBike. eBikes come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and styles. While step-thru eBikes are the best for those with limited mobility or issues with flexibility, they can also be great for those who want to mount and dismount quickly or who like the idea of having a bicycle that won't catch on their clothing or be too difficult to pedal back after a shopping trip.

EBikes are a great choice for seniors thanks to powerful batteries and pedal-assist features. They don't have to worry about biking too far away to get back home comfortably, letting them exercise without fear of getting stuck. With relatively low speeds of between 20 mph and 25 mph for most eBikes, they're speedy but not so fast that they put people at a great risk of injury—that's just one more benefit of these fantastic bicycles.

For those interested in eBikes (and particularly step-thru eBikes), it's important to test them out before making a purchase. Finding the right eBike means choosing one with the correct weight and step-through height, comfort features, and cost. Fortunately, there are many options, so seniors can find the bikes they like and get moving again.


BikesElectric BikesAccessoriesGift Cards


Bike AdviceGet FittedJourney ClubOur StoryRider StylesAffialiate ProgramBecome a Brand Ambassador

© 2024 sixthreezero

Designed in Los Angeles, California