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

Any drawbacks with a women-style "step-through" frame?

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.

Any drawbacks with a women-style "step-through" frame?

Reply

Old 01-12-10, 04:19 PM
  #76  
gna
Count Orlok Member
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,553

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe Frankenbike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
If you've ever mounted a bike with a rear mounted child seat you would appreciate a step through frame.

I don't buy the argument that any top tube will do anything for bottom bracket flex. Lateral flex is different from lineal
+1. Pulled a muscle in my back trying to get my leg over the top bar without kicking my kid. That's why I'd like a mixte. Can't find a 23" one, though.
gna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-10, 04:22 PM
  #77  
ScottCarney
Senior Member
 
ScottCarney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 56

Bikes: 2010 Davinci JointVenture, 1994 Specialized Epic Comp, 2007 Steelhead custom road bike, Surly CrossCheck, 1999 Kona MuniMula MtB, Wife:Civia commuter, Steelhead custom road, 1993 Marin Mtb Extracycle , Kids:Trek tag-along, Jet20, Trek830

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Rhodabike View Post
Okay, I am definitely not letting my husband see this post.
I thought he was the king of bike acquisition, but he's not even in the running
Well, that includes a couple of bikes that are pretty much hers and have been accumulated over a coupe of decades. And I have only ever let two bikes that were once mine go to other homes. And I do a lot of housework as penance.

ScottCarney is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-10, 06:10 PM
  #78  
Rhodabike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Potashville
Posts: 1,079

Bikes: Reynolds 531P road bike, Rocky Mountain Metropolis, Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10, Look 566

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gna View Post
+1. Pulled a muscle in my back trying to get my leg over the top bar without kicking my kid. That's why I'd like a mixte. Can't find a 23" one, though.
The Soma mixte comes in sizes up to 58cm/22.83".
http://www.somafab.com/geometry03.html
Rhodabike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-10, 06:55 PM
  #79  
doglhunt
barkin' at the moon
 
doglhunt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: cornfields NW Ohio
Posts: 152

Bikes: bianchi MTB,several old schwinns

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used an old women's frame middleweight cruiser as a paper route bike.It was easy just to lay it down and put the paper where the customer wanted it them just step over it,grab it and go.Alot easier than a"boy's" bike when you had to repeat the drill 30 times a day.Beat it hard and never had a problem.sold it to the kid who took over the route.I think he rode it for a few more years.
doglhunt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-10, 09:25 PM
  #80  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,619
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 226 Post(s)
Originally Posted by coolio View Post
Your're Wrong. You've obviously never ridden with a kid (not cargo!) in the back like in pix 3-4 above. You'd appreciate the ability to load him/her up and quickly straddling the bike via the step through. Gotto go with Mr Danw on this one.
Did you read the part that I said that the inherent loss of stiffness in a step-through frame was unimportant? I've said three separate times in this thread that there's nothing wrong with step-through bikes and that I think that riding them is a fantastic idea. But, while the ability to mount a bike without kicking your child in the head makes a step-through the best choice for most people carry children in child seats, you are fooling yourself if you think it's not going to have a greater negative effect on the handling than it would on a similarly built full-diamond frame. What I said you were wrong about was the claim that step-through frames are not inherently less stiff than full-diamond frames. They absolutely are. And stiffer bikes handle better with heavy loads (and yes, children count as "heavy loads"), full stop. The question is whether you should care. The answer, under most circumstances is "probably not." This is a matter that can be compensated with by overbuilding anyway, so chances are that your ladies' bike is comparable in stiffness to similarly-designed mens' bikes.

Last edited by grolby; 01-12-10 at 09:30 PM.
grolby is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-10, 09:56 PM
  #81  
fuzz2050
Real Men Ride Ordinaries
 
fuzz2050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
how is this thread still going with such vitriol? For a given stiffness, a step through frame will be slightly heavier. That's it.

The main thing I dislike about mixtes (only mixtes, other step throughs don't have this problem) is you have two choices of brakes (if you want to do it right) you can either mount a pair of Mafac centerpulls, or spring for a pair of Pauls. A mixte doesn't look right without the rear brake cable coming down between the two top tubes, attached to the straddle wire of a nice centerpull brake mounted on the middle stay. V-O almost has it

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
2496213156_28c3c6fe7c.jpg (81.4 KB, 248 views)
fuzz2050 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-10, 10:43 AM
  #82  
gna
Count Orlok Member
 
gna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,553

Bikes: Raleigh Sports, Raleigh Twenty, Raleigh Wyoming, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe Frankenbike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
The new V-O Mixte is supposed to come in larger size, too.

What I meant to say is I can't find a 23" mixte on my local Craigslist (I'm on a budget).
gna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-18, 08:20 PM
  #83  
anon29836425
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Back Wheel Carries More Weight

I entered this thread looking for the answer to this. No one seems to have mentioned it. Step-throughs put massively more weight on the back wheel, its not even close. Its like 3 to 1. I kept breaking spokes on my back wheel but never my front so I got curious and weighed each wheel with me sitting on the bike. I tried posting a picture of each wheel but I guess this forum wont let me unless I make 10 posts. Its 183 pounds on the back wheel and 65 pounds on the front.

I did not measure a triangular frame but I would assume that front bar would help it spread out more evenly. As such, a triangular frame would likely have better weight distribution and reliability as far as spoke breakage goes.
anon29836425 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-18, 09:10 AM
  #84  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 35,546

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 368 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4510 Post(s)
Originally Posted by anon29836425 View Post
I entered this thread looking for the answer to this. No one seems to have mentioned it. Step-throughs put massively more weight on the back wheel, its not even close. Its like 3 to 1. I kept breaking spokes on my back wheel but never my front so I got curious and weighed each wheel with me sitting on the bike. I tried posting a picture of each wheel but I guess this forum wont let me unless I make 10 posts. Its 183 pounds on the back wheel and 65 pounds on the front.

I did not measure a triangular frame but I would assume that front bar would help it spread out more evenly. As such, a triangular frame would likely have better weight distribution and reliability as far as spoke breakage goes.
This is the result of high handlebars with a short reach (distance between saddle and handlebar), not the ladies' style frame.
__________________
Tom Reingold, [email protected]
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-18, 07:21 PM
  #85  
Day6
Junior Member
 
Day6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
This is the result of high handlebars with a short reach (distance between saddle and handlebar), not the ladies' style frame.
Exactly. I skipped a couple of pages on this thread cause of its age, so this may have been mentioned...the measurements on a mixte or "woman's" bicycle are slightly different. The seat tube angle is different to accommodate women's pelvic bone structure, and, for any given height, women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos proportionately than men. So the distance between the seat and the stem is shorter on a woman's bike, while the seat height tends to be a little higher on average.
I'm a guy. I like my saddle high for good leg extension, and I sit more upright for comfort. I usually have to buy aftermarket seat posts for my men's bikes, and the handlebars are good. On the few women's bikes I've had, the stock seat post raised high enough but I had to change handlebars cause the stock ones felt like they were in my lap, even rotated forward.

Last edited by Day6; 07-30-18 at 07:28 PM.
Day6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-18, 07:26 PM
  #86  
Day6
Junior Member
 
Day6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Oh, and all the comments in here about women's frames being inherently cheaper and of poorer quality than men's bikes is patently nonsense .The one I have now is a Trek hybrid, and it is a SWEET ride.
​​​​



Day6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-18, 07:41 PM
  #87  
wphamilton
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 13,900

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2194 Post(s)
Originally Posted by anon29836425 View Post
I entered this thread looking for the answer to this. No one seems to have mentioned it. Step-throughs put massively more weight on the back wheel, its not even close. Its like 3 to 1. I kept breaking spokes on my back wheel but never my front so I got curious and weighed each wheel with me sitting on the bike. I tried posting a picture of each wheel but I guess this forum wont let me unless I make 10 posts. Its 183 pounds on the back wheel and 65 pounds on the front.

I did not measure a triangular frame but I would assume that front bar would help it spread out more evenly. As such, a triangular frame would likely have better weight distribution and reliability as far as spoke breakage goes.
No, but the longer distance to the head tube (on the men's frame) would put more weight to the front. It's also a matter of how much you're leaning, maybe more so than just the difference in "effective top tube".
wphamilton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-18, 01:09 AM
  #88  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Orangevale CA
Posts: 8,547

Bikes: '76 Paramount, '98 C'Dale XR800, '04 Burley Samba, '17 DB Clutch

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1079 Post(s)
A lot of Trek FX models are available as step-through, up through the FX 3. The women's diamond models are distinctly different geometry than the men's but the step-through are the same as the men's. Or at least they were a few years ago when I was shopping for a tug and kid seat rig.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-18, 09:20 AM
  #89  
mtb_addict
Senior Member
 
mtb_addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,047
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2210 Post(s)
I have had a few "step-thru". There were two that I would constant bang my knee into the frame while stepping-thru.
My knee got really bruised up after a while.

I find stepping-thru to be very awekward way to get on a bike.
I find it much efficient and graceful, to swing a leg over the saddle instead.

Unless there's some medical reason why you cannot swing a leg that high...I would avoid "step-thru".

Or I guess if you wear skirts frequently...but I don't see women rider wear skirt .

Last edited by mtb_addict; 08-03-18 at 09:23 AM.
mtb_addict is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-18, 10:40 AM
  #90  
Joe Bikerider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 195

Bikes: 1969 Peugeot PX10, 1992 Della Santa, Schwinn Spitfire 1960, Biria Easy Boarding 8

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
No top tube = you can't straddle the bike between your legs when stopped and waiting for the lights to turn green or texting/reading email or holding a camera.
It is a pretty minimal drawback but real. The first day I rode my new Biria Easy Boarding 8 bike I stopped and the thing flopped right over. I was so used to the top tube hitting the inside of my thigh that I didn’t even think about it. Since my feet were in toe clips I think it made for a pretty comical scene. But I really like that bike. Just hop on and go, no excuses. And I even saw another one yesterday! He said he’d bought it in Florida.
Joe Bikerider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-18, 06:44 PM
  #91  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Orangevale CA
Posts: 8,547

Bikes: '76 Paramount, '98 C'Dale XR800, '04 Burley Samba, '17 DB Clutch

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1079 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I find stepping-thru to be very awekward way to get on a bike.
I find it much efficient and graceful, to swing a leg over the saddle instead.
With a kid seat (or stoker handlebars, or a big tail bag) it becomes less John Wayne and more Walker, Texas Ranger
Darth Lefty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-18, 08:03 PM
  #92  
kassit215
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've only found them to be more comfortable and easier to ride. I always usta end up with men's bikes for some reason and since I switched I could never go back!
kassit215 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-18, 12:25 AM
  #93  
Happy Feet
Senior Member
 
Happy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,550
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I have had a few "step-thru". There were two that I would constant bang my knee into the frame while stepping-thru.
My knee got really bruised up after a while.

I find stepping-thru to be very awekward way to get on a bike.
I find it much efficient and graceful, to swing a leg over the saddle instead.

Unless there's some medical reason why you cannot swing a leg that high...I would avoid "step-thru".

Or I guess if you wear skirts frequently...but I don't see women rider wear skirt .
I have to say that's the first I've ever heard someone say that. Secret hint-you can swing your leg over a step thru too

This is my daily summer/winter commuter. 91 or 92 Trek Multi Track. Hi-Ten but surprisingly light. The low geared triple is great for hills and there's wheel clearance for fat gravel grinding tires if wanted. Shown are 38's. Also cheap enough not to worry unduly in regards to theft, sand or salt.






Happy Feet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 11:53 AM
  #94  
Harhir
Senior Member
 
Harhir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 342

Bikes: ‘94 Fahrradmanufaktur Trekking Bike, ‘88 Gazelle Primeur, ‘00 Lightning Phantom, ‘99 and ‘01 bikeE, ‘9x Mongoose MTB and more to come.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
I have an 80s Women's Gazelle. This bike has a 60 cm frame which works great for my size. I like the step through when running grocery trips with loaded baskets at the back or when pulling a trailer hauling groceries. This way I don't have to swing my legs over and don't have to watch my feet/legs hitting any of the groceries sticking out at the top. But when fully loaded the step through bikes flex a lot more than bikes with a top tube frame.
But last year I moved to an upright recumbent which has become my daily commuting bike.
Harhir is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service