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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 10-07-13, 10:33 PM   #1
GeraldF
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Step-thru frame for someone 6'-3"

I'm looking to acquire a utility bicycle - something like a Breezer or Public Bike - that has a step-thru frame for someone 6'-3". Any recommendations? Thanks.
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Old 10-08-13, 04:38 AM   #2
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Not a whole lot out there, period, for someone that height. My only suggestion is to look for something made for the Dutch market. They are taller than average. Gazelle, Azor, Biria and Batavus are a few that come to mind. FWIW I am a inch or so shorter than you and can ride down to a 19" step through but I have to have an extra long seat post.

The picture is of a German trekking bike that I picked up locally here in NC. It has a 20" frame, but you can also see how much seat post I have sticking out.

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Old 10-08-13, 05:56 PM   #3
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Tall Oma frames of that type are used in NL , but not coming from Asian contract companies ..

Import , or have one made , custom.

then again Bike Friday made to order in many sizes, many gearing options.

20" wheels so low step over main frame , tall masts for seat and bars..

easy to park inside because of the 20" wheels , folds some . Suitcase travel case.

workcycles, below, is an NL import.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-26-13 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 10-10-13, 02:16 PM   #4
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Look at Workcycles. The Oma, Secret Service "Ladies" bike and Kruisframe Step Through bike all come in a 61 cm, which should be tall enough to accommodate your height:

http://www.workcycles.com/home-produ...ce-ladies-bike

http://www.workcycles.com/home-produ...e-step-through

If those aren't big enough, the "Pastoorfiets" has a slightly lower standover height and comes in a 65 cm frame.

http://www.workcycles.com/home-produ...-pastoorsfiets

AdelineAdeline in New York is the closest Workcycles dealer to DC, but it looks like they only stock the "OMA" frame and the 61 cm is out of stock. I wish you luck. I'm only 5'8" and hard a hard time finding a step-through frame bike that was big enough for me.
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Old 10-10-13, 02:53 PM   #5
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Also, this web-site purports to have a XL Civia Loring:
http://www.the-house.com/qcilb321bp1...ser-bikes.html

Civia doesn't list the XL on its bike archive page (http://civiacycles.com/bikes/loring_version_1/), but if it is indeed an XL, that might be a far less expensive option than a dutch bike. It's not really a true step-through though, more like a low standover height.
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Old 10-10-13, 02:57 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. In case anyone's wondering, one of the reasons I'd prefer a step-thru frame is so I can put a milk crate on the rear rack and not have to take up tae-bo as a prerequisite for swinging my leg over the crate.

I've thought about getting a front rack, but this would be less than ideal for heavy loads, in terms of steering stability. I'm also contemplating getting a wald folding rack to put on the rear rack, but I've stumbled upon a couple reviews complaining that the bottoms of the Wald racks break under heavy loads. There will be times when I'll have 20-30 pounds of weight in my book bag. Combine that with riding 15-20 mph and I imagine it'll only be a matter of time before a pot hole and a folding Wald rack don't agree with one another. Hence a step-thru frame combined with a rear milk crate would be ideal.
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Old 10-10-13, 03:40 PM   #7
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Hmm, with that additional information, I'm not sure you necessarily need a step-through frame bike. I think that really limits your choice of bikes and you might find another bike is a better fit for riding (dutch step-through frame bikes are not known for their speed and tend to have a very upright seating position--you'd have a hard time going 15-20 mph on a Workcycles Oma bike). There are plenty of panniers available that will hold 20-30lbs easily. I have these grocery panniers that I love that I regularly pack with 40lbs each at time:
http://www.jaxmercantile.com/product...FbCDQgodRnYAXQ
They're bowing slightly at the front but show no signs of failure.

Ortlieb backroller panniers would probably also work just fine.

I would tend to agree that front racks affect the stability and handling. I wouldn't go that route.

If you can find a closeout 20" Kona Minute, that might be another option--it has a slightly lower standover height and you could put the milk crate on the far back of the rack to limit interference with mounting and dismounting, though the 20" frame might be too small.
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Old 10-10-13, 09:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for the detailed advice mel2012. The 15-20 mph would only be while going downhill. I know I've gotten above 20 mph on the 50 pound Capital Bikeshare bikes when the hill is steep enough. I generally ride closer to 10-12 mph. I'm pretty much set on having some sort of basket for a backpack, as opposed to panniers. I often combine short trips and would be too paranoid of theft to leave easily removable panniers on my bike. Today, for example I biked from home to a retail store. From there I biked to another retail store. From there I biked to a grocery store. And finally I biked home. Some of my in between trips are only half a mile. I see a backpack worn on my back to be ideal for this. If the backpack fills up I can put it in a basket while riding. I just don't think I'm a pannier kind of guy.
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Old 10-25-13, 05:23 PM   #9
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Knowing road bikes were no longer suitable for me I went looking for an upright with a rack. I made a bad choice buying a hybrid that never fit me well. This summer I ordered a Workcycles Kruisframe 61 cm step-thu. It was a 3 month wait to get it and there were problems with shipping damage and sloppy assembly. With all that behind me I am enjoying the bike now and use it pretty regularly to haul stuff in a milk crate on the rear rack.

LIke you, I wanted the step-thru specifically to avoid the athletics needed to get on the bike with a loaded milk crate on the rack. With the 8-speed IGH it is not to hard to maintain a decent pace but I would never call it fast. It is also the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden, by far. It is a jump on and go bike, wardrobe be damned, through dirt, sand, gravel and water.

If you go this route, buy from a good dealer and don't let them ship it in a cardboard box. Pick it up at the dealer if possible. I have had several bicycles shipped to me and all were damaged because of poor packing.
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Old 10-25-13, 06:20 PM   #10
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http://www.icargobike.com/ProductDet...ctCode=YUBA-V4
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Old 10-25-13, 06:43 PM   #11
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The Workcycles Kruisframe 61 cm looks awesome. Not sure I can pull the trigger due to the price … close to $2,000.
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Old 10-26-13, 04:57 AM   #12
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Yep, stupid expensive for a bicycle. And for that money it should have been flawless when I received it, not bent, scratched and carelessly assembled. Still, I like it.
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Old 10-26-13, 11:57 AM   #13
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Yea now you know why Asia dominates bike manufacturing for the West ..

European wages are Higher, so the stuff they make costs more.
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Old 10-26-13, 03:53 PM   #14
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So I read all this, and keep coming back to 'milk crate', which tells me you got a frugal streak. And I've been seeing alot about mini velo bikes recently, so... maybe you could use the lower step thru frame with taller seat post and stem. I know my daughter's 24" with the seat up high feels alot 'handier' and quicker handling than my 27" mixte, and easier step thru. If appearances aren't all that important. Just wondering...?
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Old 10-26-13, 05:40 PM   #15
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I'm no expert on bike fit, so I could be wrong, but I've been assuming that even with a long seat-post it would be quite difficult to make a small frame "fit" me. Yes, I could get the leg extension I want, but wouldn't the handlebars be too close to my body, as well as too low to the ground? I'm thinking I'd really have to customize the heck out of a small step-thru frame to make it comfortable.

BTW, wanting a milk crate is not merely due to me being frugal. I truly feel they are very practical, especially for someone who tends to walk around with a backpack or messenger bag often. On days when I'm not carrying a backpack, the crate is still there in case I decide to purchase something unexpectedly.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
I'm no expert on bike fit, so I could be wrong, but I've been assuming that even with a long seat-post it would be quite difficult to make a small frame "fit" me. Yes, I could get the leg extension I want, but wouldn't the handlebars be too close to my body, as well as too low to the ground? I'm thinking I'd really have to customize the heck out of a small step-thru frame to make it comfortable.

BTW, wanting a milk crate is not merely due to me being frugal. I truly feel they are very practical, especially for someone who tends to walk around with a backpack or messenger bag often. On days when I'm not carrying a backpack, the crate is still there in case I decide to purchase something unexpectedly.
The bike I posted a picture of above has an adjustable stem, as well being extra tall. Finding bikes to fit people over 6' and under 5'-4" can be a challenge. I don't mind a snug cockpit on my city bikes, on touring or road bikes I prefer to stretch out. I haven't used a milk crate, but have used baskets on many of my city bikes and they serve the same purpose as a milk crate.

Aaron
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Old 10-26-13, 08:28 PM   #17
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Duuuuuude, don't get a girls bike. Geez Loueeez.
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Old 10-27-13, 10:53 AM   #18
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Steel does not have a Gender .. In places where Cycling is a century old method to get around, there,
utility takes Precedence over Fashion..

And an Oma with a Baby-seat occupied, gets used by Both Parents.
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Old 10-27-13, 04:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
I'm no expert on bike fit, so I could be wrong, but I've been assuming that even with a long seat-post it would be quite difficult to make a small frame "fit" me. Yes, I could get the leg extension I want, but wouldn't the handlebars be too close to my body, as well as too low to the ground? I'm thinking I'd really have to customize the heck out of a small step-thru frame to make it comfortable.
A few years back I bought a KHS hybrid from our LBS in the biggest frame they offered, 21". I am 6' and even after adding the tallest stem extension I could find and modifying the adjustable stem that bike never fit me right, not to mention it looking like a stupid clown bike with that flagpole seat post. Lesson learned.

When I built myself a fast, light upright I used the biggest frame I could possibly straddle, a 25" Schwinn. With a tall stem that had little reach and Northroad bars it worked out very well. If I were the OP's height I would use a 27" frame.

In looking for a real upright that could carry stuff I called contacted several dealers who did not have a big frame but assured me a 58cm would be just fine. Forget that, I had been down that road, so I had to special order the Kruisframe step-thru in 61cm.

So my point is, and I do have one, you should get a big frame, at least 25" but a 27" would be better.
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Old 10-27-13, 05:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Steel does not have a Gender .. In places where Cycling is a century old method to get around, there,
utility takes Precedence over Fashion..

And an Oma with a Baby-seat occupied, gets used by Both Parents.
Punct,uation .. is important;

tHOSE PLAces have a total popu ! lation approximating that... of NY, state.

So: NY out..votes those
places.. And (&) decrees that' "Those, are gIRL bike's
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Old 10-27-13, 06:55 PM   #21
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Google "mixte bike frame". The first hit for me was Soma Buena Vista and now I begin myself longing for one.
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Old 10-27-13, 07:55 PM   #22
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Google "mixte bike frame". The first hit for me was Soma Buena Vista and now I begin myself longing for one.
Thanks for the tip on googling "mixte bike frame."
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Old 10-27-13, 08:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Thanks for the tip on googling "mixte bike frame."
Mixte is a classic design, see the Sheldon's glossary. Often lesser designs try to steal the glory by adopting the name. There was a period when there were hardly any new mixtes on the market, but I am glad to see that this is changing. In spite of what Sheldon is saying, the basic premise of the design was a unisex utility.
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Old 10-30-13, 05:49 PM   #24
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Yo, dude, throw your leg over this:





Furnace filters, they aren't heavy.
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Old 11-01-13, 10:02 PM   #25
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I give up. I'm going to take up tae-bo.
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