What is a step-through E-bike?

What is a step-through E-bike?


Choosing the right electric bike relies on knowing precisely what’s available, along with an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each style and model. 


As part of our mission to educate our customers on the various types of E-bikes on the market, we’re going to take a closer look at the unique construction of step-through bikes and why they remain a popular choice for men and women of all ages and abilities. 


In this article, we’ll talk you through the benefits of purchasing one of these products over the other cycles in our range. 


What’s the difference between step-through bikes and step-over bikes?


The biggest clue is in the name! To mount a step-over bike, you will need to lift your leg over the frame to get yourself into position. The unique geometry of step-through bikes enables you to bypass this process and easily step into the frame. Step-through bikes do not contain the same horizontal top tube as traditional bicycles, which creates lots more space at the top of the frame and forces the rider into a more upright riding position. 


Other than that, step-through bikes offer the same functionality as the other E-bikes in our collection. Generally speaking, they are easy to control and comfortable to ride. They’re a much eco-friendlier option for customers keen to reduce their carbon footprint by exploring more sustainable forms of travel. 


Depending on who you talk to and where you shop, you might hear step-through styles referred to as step-thru, open-frame or low-step bikes. 


Were step-over bikes designed for women?


It’s true that step-through bikes were originally developed to better meet the needs of female riders. The step-through frame style enables women to mount and dismount more comfortably and discreetly in dresses and skirts – a big consideration back when bicycles were originally invented in the early 1800s


At the time, it wasn’t societally acceptable for ladies to wear trousers (although many brave individuals championed this look well before it became the norm!). As bicycles grew in popularity, so made the demand for a more women-friendly solution – the step-through bike was born. 


Who benefits the most from step-through designs?

As we’ve seen, step-through bikes are often better suited for women who don’t want their preferred mode of transport to limit their wardrobe choices. But they’re certainly not purchased exclusively by women. These products are a fantastic option for people of all genders who value comfort and practicality above all else. 


  • Riders without a full range of motion

Getting onto any bike via a diamond-shaped step-over frame can be tricky if you’re a little older, have a disability, or have a limited range of motion in your hips and knees. 

Step-through bikes remove common physical barriers that might prevent keen cyclists from enjoying a comfortable, stress-free journey – and they provide a welcome alternative for riders who might be hesitant about getting back on a bike due to their age or their health.  


  • Commuters

Electric bikes can take a lot of the hard work out of your daily commute. Your bike’s motor will help you reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour – sometimes more – without the need to break a sweat on either side of your working day. 


However, if you’re heading into the offices, chances are you’ll need to dress smartly for the occasion – and formalwear isn’t the most flexible type of clothing. Step-through bikes enable you to keep your suits and dresses clean, uncreased, and free from rips and tears. 


They will also provide you with more freedom of movement while you’re in the saddle, making your ride a lot more enjoyable when travelling long distances. Plus, you won’t need to change when you arrive at your destination; you’ll be ready to hit the ground running as soon as you get to work.  


  • City bikers

Navigating busy city streets is totally different to traversing quieter, more rural routes. If you use your e-bike to get around more built-up areas, you’ll often find yourself in stop-start traffic, which means you’ll need to hop on and off a traditional frame many times, even during shorter trips. Jumping over the top tube can really take its toll on your body – but take it out of the equation, and you’re guaranteed a much more pleasant experience. 


  • Cargo carriers and delivery riders

If you regularly carry bags, parcels, or takeaway boxes on your bike, you’ll know just how inconvenient a crossbar can be. Step-through bikes are often a more stable and accessible choice for customers who regularly carry heavy goods or luggage. 


What are the disadvantages of step-through models?


Step-through electric bikes are a sound choice for riders who want a hassle-free ride. But they’re not for everyone. 


To make up for the support offered by the missing top tube, these bikes often contain thicker, heavier frames. This extra weight, and the way it’s unevenly distributed throughout the frame, will inevitably affect the handling of the bike, particularly by giving it a lower centre of gravity. Some of our customers prefer to opt for lighter models, as they find them easier to manoeuvre.

Lastly, step-through bikes are more difficult to accessorise. They’re not designed for attachments like water bottle holders and mini-backpacks, and you can’t always use straps or bags to secure your everyday essentials to the frame. If you use your bike for longer journeys, you may need to consider using bar bags or saddle packs instead.  


Are step-through bikes easy to maintain? 


Like all the electric bikes supplied by the Eco Bike Co, our step-through models are incredibly easy to look after. 

To keep your step-through bike in excellent condition, you will need to:

  • Keep the bike clean to stop dirt from interfering with your bike’s components
  • Make sure your tyres are inflated to an appropriate level
  • Keep your drivetrain well lubricated
  • Ride with a fully charged battery wherever possible 

You should arrange for your e-bike to be serviced at least once a year (more frequently if you are a regular rider). 


 

How do I choose the right step-through bike for my needs?


From classic styles to more contemporary designs, step-through electric bikes are here to suit everyone’s tastes and preferences. We supply products from many world-renowned manufacturers, including Ampere, Emu, EZEGO, MBM, Neomouv, Westhill, and Wisper.


Aside from the look of your new e-bike, you’ll also need to consider things like how easy the product is to handle, whether it’s best suited to on- or off-road environments, and whether it offers a range that meets your requirements.


If you need help deciding on the right electric bike for you – whether it’s a step-through bicycle or otherwise – contact the Eco Bike Co. via phone or email here

July 05, 2022 — Sasha Daley