Back in the thankfully far-past days when women were only allowed to wear dresses and skirts, step-thru bikes were created. These frames were crafted with low bars to allow women to climb on and off while maintaining their modesty. Now, all riders who need a bike that they can get on and off of easily enjoy riding with step-thru bikes.
So let's take a moment to appreciate the step-thru bike and how it is still helping riders today.
Step-thru vs. Step-Over
We can talk about the advantages of a step-thru bike, and we certainly will, but it will help a lot more if we tell you how a step-thru bike is different than a step over.
First off, a step-thru bike has a low or non-existent top tube, which means that the bike rider's legs can simply step through the bike instead of lifting over the bike to mount. This is great for quickly and easily mounting a bike, but in addition, step-thru bikes typically have a more upright seating position with more forward-mounted pedals and rear-facing handlebars.
This shape is naturally safer due to fewer areas for getting tangled in the frame in case of a wreck and requires far less agility to use. For these reasons, step-thru bikes have been the most popular bike frame for both genders in Europe for years.
Step-over bikes, on the other hand, have a high mounted top bar connecting the front and rear of the bike, forming a triangular frame. This shape is the reason for another popular name for this style of frame, "diamond frame." This shape of frame provides a strong, rigid structure optimal for rough terrain and long life.
Due to the greater strength of the frame on a step-over bike, it can be made of lighter materials, but this advantage is becoming less important as construction materials grow lighter.
For Older Riders
Step-thru bikes have several advantages, but the biggest advantage is the ease of getting on and off the bike. This is particularly important for older riders as people often lose some flexibility as they age, which can make lifting their leg up and over the bar of a step over bike difficult, if not impossible. But they can still benefit from the exercise riding a bike provides. So, a step-thru bike could be just the solution.
Riding a bike can help people stay fit and feel younger. It's also low impact, so it's pretty easy on the joints, especially on a step-thru bike. Step-thru bikes allow for a more relaxed sitting posture due to the easier placement of cruiser-style handlebars as well as the often more forward placement of the pedals. This more natural sitting posture puts a lot less strain on the joints, and this makes it a popular choice for senior riders.
Riding a bike is a low-impact exercise great for anyone's health, no matter their age. Plus, getting out in the fresh air can help anyone feel good.
Shorter people will also find these bikes appealing for several reasons. Besides the ease of getting on and off the bike, it's also easier to stop and start. Sometimes keeping a bicycle steady at a stop can be difficult for short people since they can't get both feet on the ground.
But with this bike style, it's easy to get both feet on the ground and keep the bike steady. This is a safety advantage for any rider since being able to get off the bike quickly or just get both feet on the ground fast can help prevent an injury or accident, in addition to being safer if one does happen.
Biking to Work
Commuters will also appreciate this bike, those who dress up and sometimes wear a dress to work. Trying to ride a step-over bike in a dress is never easy. It's really hard to keep the dress from riding up, which can be rather embarrassing. But a step-thru bike is easier on the clothes as they are less likely to tear while getting on and off the bike, no matter what you are wearing.
Another advantage of step-thru bikes is their upright seating position. This position is more comfortable, especially for long rides. The upright position tends to put less strain on the back and more pressure on the legs and hips. The position also makes it easier to look around, allowing you to respond quickly to any of the hazards a busy work commute can throw at you.
Plus, a lot of us want to pick up some groceries on the way home or have to carry things back and forth from work. Well, remember that the more upright seating position we keep mentioning puts a lot less strain on your body when you are carrying heavy loads. For this reason, as well as the ease of getting on and off, step-thru bikes are the most popular style for delivery drivers everywhere.
Now that you've read about all the advantages a step-thru bike has to offer, you may be interested in purchasing one. There are many different brands and styles, but two bikes in particular stand out. The Espin Nesta and Espin Flow are both excellent step-thru bikes.
The Espin Nesta is a folding electric bike with a pedal assist. Being a step-thru bike, it's easy for most anyone to get on and off of. But, since it's also small and foldable, you can bring it along with you almost anywhere. You can put it in the trunk of your car or carry it on the bus so you can easily unfold it when you get to your destination and you're ready to go.
This bike is quite small, so it's especially great for short people. But, don't let its size fool you. The bike is quite durable, and it has 8 speeds and can reach 25 mph. You can also ride it over any terrain, so you can enjoy this bike anywhere.
This step-thru bike was meant to work particularly well for urban commuters. It can easily maneuver city streets, and you can get on and off the bike quickly and easily to help keep you safe. Like the Nesta, it’s great for shorter riders with a low step-thru frame. Also, it has 8 gears, a max speed of 25 mph and will work well on any terrain. So, you can ride the bike outside of the city as well.
Step-thru bikes were made to be convenient and comfortable rides for women, and we believe they still are, albeit for different reasons. So, for this International Women's Day, consider choosing the style that started it all. It's still a great choice for many women, but now many men enjoy it as well. To celebrate this special day, go out and enjoy a ride!