Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Light-weight step-through bike

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Light-weight step-through bike

Old 12-07-09, 11:45 PM
  #1  
mwshook
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 10

Bikes: 1973 Nishiki Road Bike, Specialized Globe, Burley Duet Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Light-weight step-through bike

My wife's in the market for a new bike. She's had a large beach cruiser that she loved, but was way too heavy for her to lift on to bus and train racks.

Her big requirements are a step-through frame, an internal geared hub (features of the old cruiser), but light enough to pick up easily.

We've looked at some stuff online, like the Breezer Town bikes, the Fisher Simple City, and the Trek Belleville WSD.

Does anyone know if one of these would be lighter than the others? Are there other models we should look at?
mwshook is offline  
Old 12-10-09, 08:57 PM
  #2  
chucky
It's got electrolytes!
 
chucky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,388

Bikes: Self-designed carbon fiber highracer, BikesDirect Kilo WT5, Pacific Cycles Carryme, Dahon Boardwalk with custom Sturmey Archer wheelset

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try a folding bike. They mostly have low frames (although maybe not quite "step through"), many have internal hubs, and they're generally not too heavy (some are, but I think most are closer in weight to regular bikes than cruisers).

Oh and for a bike with these features a folder will probably cheaper too due to economies of scale (ie most people looking for a bike like this also appreciate the ability to fold it).

Last edited by chucky; 12-10-09 at 09:01 PM.
chucky is offline  
Old 12-10-09, 10:04 PM
  #3  
nwmtnbkr
Senior Member
 
nwmtnbkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mwshook View Post
My wife's in the market for a new bike. She's had a large beach cruiser that she loved, but was way too heavy for her to lift on to bus and train racks.

Her big requirements are a step-through frame, an internal geared hub (features of the old cruiser), but light enough to pick up easily.

We've looked at some stuff online, like the Breezer Town bikes, the Fisher Simple City, and the Trek Belleville WSD.

Does anyone know if one of these would be lighter than the others? Are there other models we should look at?

I may get a second bike next year and it will be a step-through model. I currently have a 21-speed mountain bike that I love and that handles the unimproved forest roads that I ride in good weather well, however, I wouldn't try to wear a skirt when riding it because I'd almost have to lay it down to get on it--it has a mid-level bar, not a straight top bar, but it's by no means a step-through. (Men who work in marketing departments have no idea how ludicrous it is to call a bike with a mid-level bar a "woman's bike" or a "step through bike;" they should be made to wear a kilt and try to gracefully get on one, there's no way.)

Currently, the top models on my list are as follows:

Specialized's Women's Globe Carmel 3 26" (this is a nice 24-speed) and they have it in black (it's beautiful)


Schwinn 700C Women's Connection GSL Hybrid Bike (another 24-speed)


Citizen Barcelona folding bike (this has a 3-speed IGH)


I'm thinking of doing some traveling by train next year and the appeal of a folding bike is increasing. Although I love the looks of the Dahon folding step-through models, I don't want to carry a bike that heavy and, given the higher price tag, I'd be worried about theft when leaving it in a hotel room, even if it's locked.

Hopefully, you live in a area where you can visit some stores and your wife can get a feel for a bike in person. That's not a luxury I have where I currently live. Good luck. Give her some options, but let her pick.
nwmtnbkr is offline  
Old 12-10-09, 10:31 PM
  #4  
alr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 379

Bikes: Nishiki Olympic 12 Mixte, Raleigh DL-1 lady

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
You could also go with a 80s japanese mixte frame bicycle. I have a chromoly early 80s Nishiki Olympic 12 speed mixte. I think it was 25 pounds or so before I put a really heavy rack and rubber pedals on it. I think my bike looks pretty classy, but it is lacking IGH. THis is not a deal breaker though in my opinion-- I managed to get a hebie chain guard over the double front chain rings.
alr is offline  
Old 12-10-09, 10:53 PM
  #5  
irclean
Born Again Pagan
 
irclean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 2,241

Bikes: Schwinn hybrid, Raleigh MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That's a tall order. I think the 3 bikes you mentioned would all be close in weight to one another and none of them would be considered light. Bikes that are built for comfort and not for speed are heavier by necessity. Of the 3 picks the Belleville may be the heaviest with its steel frame, but it's hard to say - I've heard that mixte frames are inherently lighter. Some other choices you may want to consider are the Swobo Dixon; a solid bike with a good reputation (and not too far removed from a beach cruiser.) But if lightness is an issue, and a folder is out of the question, I think the Soma Buena Vista frameset would make a great basis for a nice bike. Of course, at $500 for the frameset alone you could easily spend more than you're budgeting for, but you sure would end up with a nice bike. Here's a picture of a single-speed setup, but a 3-speed build would be almost as easy and only a bit heavier:

Good luck and happy hunting!
irclean is offline  
Old 12-10-09, 10:58 PM
  #6  
teamontherun
Senior Member
 
teamontherun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Diego County, CA
Posts: 196

Bikes: 2009 SE Draft (I know, I know)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dont know if something like this is what your looking for. I have picked it up and its very light.
https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00_20000_66003
teamontherun is offline  
Old 12-10-09, 11:02 PM
  #7  
nwmtnbkr
Senior Member
 
nwmtnbkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by alr View Post
You could also go with a 80s japanese mixte frame bicycle. I have a chromoly early 80s Nishiki Olympic 12 speed mixte. I think it was 25 pounds or so before I put a really heavy rack and rubber pedals on it. I think my bike looks pretty classy, but it is lacking IGH. THis is not a deal breaker though in my opinion-- I managed to get a hebie chain guard over the double front chain rings.
Although I like the look of mixte's, they aren't that different from the bike I currently have. In fact, I'd say the middle bar on a mixte is about the same height as the bar on my bike. I find that I can't get on my bike in a skirt without almost laying it down. Do you ever ride in a skirt or dress? Do you have to tilt your bike much to get on gracefully when dressed in a skirt or dress? I really am limiting my next bike to a true step through because I'd like more flexibility with my riding wardrobe.
nwmtnbkr is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 03:59 AM
  #8  
tiendunn732
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
thats really a folding bike ...n tht too which is very light...but i always had a doubt if it wud be enuf to reduce my weight....hope it does....is it possible to buy that bike or even get it shipped to sinagapore?
tiendunn732 is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 07:57 AM
  #9  
TheLifeOfBryan
down in the drops
 
TheLifeOfBryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 216

Bikes: Miele Doral, Bianchi Boardwalk, Cannondale R300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think the lightest bike in our house right now is my girlfriend's Peugeot P18 mixte. It's a conventional drivetrain, but that can be converted. They're not hard to find, either; even in this fairly small town our larger LBS had two out front last week. It rides beautifully, too. Very quick for something that's not thought of well by high-end roadies.
TheLifeOfBryan is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 09:27 AM
  #10  
chucky
It's got electrolytes!
 
chucky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,388

Bikes: Self-designed carbon fiber highracer, BikesDirect Kilo WT5, Pacific Cycles Carryme, Dahon Boardwalk with custom Sturmey Archer wheelset

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
Although I like the look of mixte's, they aren't that different from the bike I currently have. In fact, I'd say the middle bar on a mixte is about the same height as the bar on my bike.
You should try a folding bike that's not advertised as "step-through". Most will have top tubes which are as low as or lower than the 26" step-through frames you posted above. Remember when looking at pictures that the 20" wheel is smaller, so look at the bottom bracket height for reference.

For example, these two bikes look to have roughly the same step over height:

chucky is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 06:40 PM
  #11  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 6,223

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM, 2008 BikeFriday tikit T-11, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i5, 2019 Surly ˝DT14

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 696 Post(s)
Liked 182 Times in 126 Posts
Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
... I wouldn't try to wear a skirt when riding it because I'd almost have to lay it down to get on it...
Dahon Ciao 8-speed.

Sun Streamway (in 1, 3, 7 and 24 gear models).

tcs
tcs is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 06:41 PM
  #12  
PlatyPius
Arsehole
 
PlatyPius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Breezer.
PlatyPius is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 06:57 PM
  #13  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 6,223

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM, 2008 BikeFriday tikit T-11, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i5, 2019 Surly ˝DT14

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 696 Post(s)
Liked 182 Times in 126 Posts
There's the db chromoly Masi Soulville mixte and the aluminum framed Electra Amsterdam Sport Custom.

HTH,
tcs
tcs is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 07:20 PM
  #14  
nwmtnbkr
Senior Member
 
nwmtnbkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
To all the males responding to this thread, I would remind you that the bike is being chosen by a woman who will use it commuting and may be dressed in a skirt and pumps. What you perceive as an acceptable step over height may not be acceptable to her. Mwshook, if your wife can test ride any of the bikes she's interested in, I would encourage her to dress as she normally does when commuting. I know that I'd not ride a mixte in a skirt or dress. My existing bike's middle bar is the same height as a mixte's two middle bars and it's just too high for me to get on in a skirt without almost laying it down. Whether any of the folders are really as low as a step-through, well I'd have to see in person. I don't trust photo comparisons.
nwmtnbkr is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 07:37 PM
  #15  
old and new
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm seeing some really nice choices here. nwmtnbkr that's a nice but rather aggressive looking bike. It looks like IT and YOU meen bussiness !!!!
The Soma's beautifull, very elegant and tasty especially considering that it's modern. My wife has both a Giant Hybrid, an old one and a Dahon too. The Giant gets all the use. Both are light. The Dahon's barely over 25lbs., an AL. Helios, discontinued now. The Giant's about 27.
I'm not one to throw used into the mix when new is considered. Since it's been mentioned, there are a few mixte & other stepthoughs that may be of interest, I don't see a fit. Besides, old bikes didn't have the hub you require so to rattle off those options isn't meeningfull. I stated my wife's bikes to answer the wt. aspect. Only racey Road Bikes or fast FlatBar bikes weigh anywhere near 25lbs. or less.
Raleigh has the Circa 2.0; a true step through, 8 sp. internal hub and a good one, I test road the men's equilvalent upon the insistance of my LBS as he wanted my oppinion, I liked it and I'm not big on comfort bikes. It's not an aggressive design as the one bike of our fellow member's I'd pointed to. a relaxed profile is what your wife ought to want. I figure it weighs about 30 to 32 lbs. Steel cruisers weigh 40 or so and AL. ones weigh 36 or so. She'll have to heft it or you'll have to obtain the exact wt. to be sure. Sub 30lb. bikes aren't associated with internal hub, relaxed fit bikes.
REI outfitters, ads. here and is favored by many BF members. They don't have a store me, perhaps not you either. You ought to call them anyway. They'll answer questions is nothing else. Most towns have Raleigh dealers otherwise but maynot stock it or be able to answer questions. The Raleigh site is confusing... www.rei.com click on Raleigh, they've prices listed.
old and new is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 08:43 PM
  #16  
travelmama
Senior Member
 
travelmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Long Beach,CA
Posts: 1,410

Bikes: Kona Ute, Nishiki 4130, Trek 7000, K2 Mach 1.0, Novara Randonee, Schwinn Loop, K2 Zed 1.0, Schwinn Cream, Torker Boardwalk

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I bought a Schwinn Cream (single speed/step through) from Performance for about $200. It is not that heavy but heavy as compared to my road bike. I also have a Schwinn Loop (folder) that weights at least 30lbs. The folder seems to be heavier than the cruiser but I have yet to weigh it. I think you should try either one of the Schwinns or Breezer. KHS makes a step through called Green that is cute and has that dutch look everyone seems to be crazy about these days however, it has coaster brakes that need to go.
travelmama is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 09:27 PM
  #17  
PlatyPius
Arsehole
 
PlatyPius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by old and new View Post
Raleigh has the Circa 2.0; a true step through, 8 sp. internal hub and a good one, I test road the men's equilvalent upon the insistance of my LBS as he wanted my oppinion, I liked it and I'm not big on comfort bikes. It's not an aggressive design as the one bike of our fellow member's I'd pointed to. a relaxed profile is what your wife ought to want. I figure it weighs about 30 to 32 lbs. Steel cruisers weigh 40 or so and AL. ones weigh 36 or so. She'll have to heft it or you'll have to obtain the exact wt. to be sure. Sub 30lb. bikes aren't associated with internal hub, relaxed fit bikes.
For 2010 the Circa 2.0 has become the Circa i8. The Circas are amazing bikes. They are just so comfortable! Not speedy bikes really, but the ride is wonderful. They are pretty light for what they are, too. They have Raleigh's version of "pedal-forward", which is about half of Electras. So, you can still stand flat-footed while on the saddle, but you can also climb hills (which you can't really do on the Townie). Of course, I sell Raleighs, so keep that in mind. lol.

The Breezers are pretty nice, too. I think they may be a little lighter. The Uptown8 has an 8 speed internal hub, a ring lock on the rear wheel, a full chain case, and a dynamo hub with B&M LED lights front and rear. A lot more expensive than the Raleigh, obviously. (I don't sell Breezer/Fuji).
PlatyPius is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 10:08 PM
  #18  
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Posts: 6,521

Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The Avenir folder weighs about 29 lb in steel and 24.5 lb in the al model. The folding pedals on folders also make them eadier to carry onto busses and trains.
AndrewP is offline  
Old 12-11-09, 11:09 PM
  #19  
irclean
Born Again Pagan
 
irclean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 2,241

Bikes: Schwinn hybrid, Raleigh MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
There's the db chromoly Masi Soulville mixte and the aluminum framed Electra Amsterdam Sport Custom.

HTH,
tcs
That Masi is one sexy machine:



Then again so are all of their bikes. The designers at Masi deserve a raise! Since this one has top tubes that bend downward it may even meet nwmtnbkr's criteria of skirt-wearing step-over height (or maybe not - after all I am male ) Nevertheless it meets the OP's criteria of a step-through frame, an internal geared hub (features of the old cruiser), but light enough to pick up easily. The Masi website lists the bike as weighing 28.3 lbs which IMO is light for a non-race specific bike and is comparably priced to the choices considered by the OP.

Last edited by irclean; 12-11-09 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Added link
irclean is offline  
Old 12-12-09, 09:32 AM
  #20  
chucky
It's got electrolytes!
 
chucky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,388

Bikes: Self-designed carbon fiber highracer, BikesDirect Kilo WT5, Pacific Cycles Carryme, Dahon Boardwalk with custom Sturmey Archer wheelset

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
Whether any of the folders are really as low as a step-through, well I'd have to see in person. I don't trust photo comparisons.
It's not a matter of trusting the photos, but simply a matter of standard dimensions.

Even among the most extreme upright bicycle designs bottom bracket heights don't vary by more than a couple inches and crank arm lengths don't vary by more than an inch. So no matter which bike we're discussing (no matter which manufacturer, model, or type) the crank arm in the 12 o'clock position will always be the same height plus or minus an inch or two at most.

So we're not talking about trying to eyeball minor differences from the photo or compare sizes between photos, but rather simply making the blatantly obvious observation of whether the frame tube is close to the pedal in the 12 o'clock position or not. This requires no more trust in the photo than trusting whether the saddle is of roughly equal height with the handlebars. The answer unquestionable and unmistakable.

Last edited by chucky; 12-12-09 at 10:28 AM.
chucky is offline  
Old 12-12-09, 10:07 AM
  #21  
DVC45
Senior Member
 
DVC45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,875
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Check out the Downtube Nova. https://www.downtube.com/product541.html
I like mine.
DVC45 is offline  
Old 12-12-09, 02:33 PM
  #22  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 6,223

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM, 2008 BikeFriday tikit T-11, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i5, 2019 Surly ˝DT14

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 696 Post(s)
Liked 182 Times in 126 Posts
Originally Posted by irclean View Post
That Masi is one sexy machine...Then again so are all of their bikes. The designers at Masi deserve a raise!
Yep, but my knock on these Masis is paying ~$800 for a bike with only a coaster brake. I understand Masi's official explanation is that since the rider would always have a latte in one hand, they couldn't operate a hand brake anyway.

tcs
tcs is offline  
Old 12-12-09, 02:47 PM
  #23  
irclean
Born Again Pagan
 
irclean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 2,241

Bikes: Schwinn hybrid, Raleigh MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Yep, but my knock on these Masis is paying ~$800 for a bike with only a coaster brake. I understand Masi's official explanation is that since the rider would always have a latte in one hand, they couldn't operate a hand brake anyway.

tcs
I think the Masi that I posted the link for, the Soulville 3 Mixte, uses a roller brake which is essentially a hand-operated drum brake. Hence the right-hand brake lever on the handlebars. I agree that it should have a front brake as well. I also agree that they may be overpriced, but I still covet them.
irclean is offline  
Old 12-12-09, 02:55 PM
  #24  
Mos6502
Elitest Murray Owner
 
Mos6502's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,660

Bikes: 1972 Columbia Tourist Expert III, Columbia Roadster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I would say the obvious and best choice would be to find an old Raleigh. Considering the ladies step through ones are very common, it shouldn't be hard to find one in good shape for south of $100.
Mos6502 is offline  
Old 12-13-09, 02:04 AM
  #25  
K6-III
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Another vote for the Electra Amsterdam. It's amazing how little it weighs for what it is.
K6-III is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.