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Limits of step through bikes?

Old 04-28-22, 04:43 PM
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rcd
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Limits of step through bikes?

At 70, my wife can no longer swing her leg over the seat when mounting or dismounting her Cannondale touring bike. She’s waiting for hip surgery, and we’re both hoping this limiting problem will disappear with surgery (ya gotta be an optimist past 60….). Over the decades, we’ve cycle toured many thousands of miles, and she intends to get back on her Cannondale. In the interim, however, she wants a step through. I’m thinking a step through (unless one goes super hi-end or custom) is NOT going to give her the stretched-out geometry of a road or touring bike. But she does NOT want an upright, large saddle, urban cruiser. Are there typically bike configurations — especially second—hand ones — to be had these days that allow step through dis/mounting but also more athletic and efficient cycling? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 04-28-22, 05:31 PM
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There are some pretty nice used mixte's out there. Takes a bit of searching and some patience, like with most used items. You seem to know what she is in need of, that is a good start. Maybe you have seen this thread, but here is a link: Good quality mixte frames?

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Old 04-29-22, 08:32 AM
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Step throughs will generally be heavy. If it's expected that the current bike will still be used after recovery, then isn't just leaning the bike way over towards her to put the saddle low enough and then pulling the bike more upright after straddling it a viable option?

Though I know you said she didn't want an upright geometry, most step throughs I've seen are more of a cruiser style upright geometry and there really shouldn't be any issue with that for somewhat short leisurely riding during recovery.

And if her current frame has a lot of seat post exposed, then take a look at dropper posts and see if that might be an option to use with the current bike.
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Old 04-29-22, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
There are some pretty nice used mixte's out there. Takes a bit of searching and some patience, like with most used items. You seem to know what she is in need of, that is a good start. Maybe you have seen this thread, but here is a link: Good quality mixte frames?
Thanks. I wasn't even familiar with the term "mixte," although as I look up examples of mixtes, I've seen plenty before -- just didn't know they had a name! I'll look more carefully now that know a good search term. And I'll also consult with my wife about whether she think they'd work. So thanks again for the tip.
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Old 04-29-22, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Step throughs will generally be heavy. If it's expected that the current bike will still be used after recovery, then isn't just leaning the bike way over towards her to put the saddle low enough and then pulling the bike more upright after straddling it a viable option?

Though I know you said she didn't want an upright geometry, most step throughs I've seen are more of a cruiser style upright geometry and there really shouldn't be any issue with that for somewhat short leisurely riding during recovery.

And if her current frame has a lot of seat post exposed, then take a look at dropper posts and see if that might be an option to use with the current bike.
Yes, I've tried (repeatedly) to get her to just lean the bike over, but -- thus far -- without success. . I'm unfamiliar with "dropper posts". Will Google! Thanks for the idea.
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Old 04-30-22, 06:26 AM
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Don't know that you'd have luck finding a used one, but Cannondale makes what may work--called their Quick Remixte: Cannondale
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Old 04-30-22, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rcd View Post
Thanks. I wasn't even familiar with the term "mixte," although as I look up examples of mixtes, I've seen plenty before -- just didn't know they had a name! I'll look more carefully now that know a good search term. And I'll also consult with my wife about whether she think they'd work. So thanks again for the tip.
Also, if you search "step through bikes" you will see bikes that do not show up in the "mixte" search.
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Old 04-30-22, 07:37 AM
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I just ordered a Handsome she devil for my wife. seem like it should fit the bill.
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Old 05-01-22, 10:56 AM
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The step through are going to be heavier as the true "ladies" bikes are not being sold in the states. One option to consider is adding a dropper seat post to the bike. This would make it easy to drop the seat to the height of the top tube to mount or dismount and quickly raise it back to the best height for riding. I had this done on my hardtail bike as a retrofit and it works very well. Dropper posts come in different diameters to fit any seat tube on a bike.

Something else to try is having the bike nearly on its side or about a 45 degree angle with the ground. This makes the bike much shorter for swinging a leg over the top tube which is a foot or more closer to the ground. My wife needed to use a curb before she started to lower the bike in this manner.
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Old 05-02-22, 08:43 AM
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I dislocated my left hip replacement mounting my motorcycle to ride to physical therapy. She may want a step-through as a permanent solution. Performance step-throughs are an underserved market. There are no inherent reasons for a step-through to be any different other than a small bit of frame weight added for reinforcement to make up for the missing top tube. Unless you run into a used bike that someone else has modified to suit themselves, you'll probably have to build or modify your own to get what you want.
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Old 05-02-22, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rcd View Post
In the interim, however, she wants a step through. I’m thinking a step through (unless one goes super hi-end or custom) is NOT going to give her the stretched-out geometry of a road or touring bike. But she does NOT want an upright, large saddle, urban cruiser.
If willing to go custom, R+E Cycles (Rodriguez) in Seattle can build you one. Can opt for custom fit/geometry. Can do flat bar, upright bar, drop bar. Can do a variety of gearing. And they have a step-through frame option. With a geometry that fits her well, either of their steel options (Reynolds 725 or Velospec HS) can feel quite "athletic."

https://www.rodbikes.com/catalog/adv...ture-main.html





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Old 05-02-22, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post
I dislocated my left hip replacement mounting my motorcycle to ride to physical therapy. She may want a step-through as a permanent solution. Performance step-throughs are an underserved market. There are no inherent reasons for a step-through to be any different other than a small bit of frame weight added for reinforcement to make up for the missing top tube. Unless you run into a used bike that someone else has modified to suit themselves, you'll probably have to build or modify your own to get what you want.
get the step thru and change the riser bars to flat bar, immediate more aggressive riding position.
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Old 05-02-22, 12:41 PM
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While it is true that a road cyclist will find it difficult to find a step-thru with a similar position, they do exist.

A Vent Noir mixte recently sold here on BF C&V sales. It was a deal, too.
Reynolds 531 tubing, drop bars, nice components, etc.
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Old 05-02-22, 12:49 PM
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At 70, I’m trying to anticipate future needs…..


This mixte was originally sold with drop bars, so I can convert back if this were to become the only style of bike I could mount/dismount safely.
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Old 05-02-22, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for all the posts and useful info/insights. This growing old ain't for sissies, that's for sure! I'm 76 this summer and can still ride my Cannondale T800 -- now more than 20 years old -- pretty comfortably, even with a fake knee. I'm missing my favourite riding partner, though, IN THE SHORT TERM! (caps on not by accident). We're still working on solutions....
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