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Need a comfortable step through for grocery / around town riding

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Need a comfortable step through for grocery / around town riding

Old 04-01-23, 06:17 PM
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Need a comfortable step through for grocery / around town riding

I have been a bike enthusiast for over sixty years… I’m now 70. I have 4 custom road bikes… touring oriented… and a couple more… I still ride around 3,000 miles a year. I am seventy years old and my neck is not as flexible as it used to be. I ride a Specialized Global to the store two or three times a week. 5 - 10 miles. It has an integrated lock and lights. But when my pannier baskets are full, it is increasingly hard to throw my leg over the bike. It is also not upright enough and not a step through. I want a high quality step through bike that I can equip with baskets… high performance and wide range gearing. I am used to top of the line derailures. I do not want an electric bike. I’d like to wait another ten years for that. I’m thinking $3K - $4K

I only find really inexpensive stuff or e-bikes.
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Old 04-01-23, 06:26 PM
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I recently scored a used Public 8i as part of an annual benefit from a Co-Op. It's the only Dutch styled bike that I have found to be "magic" in terms of fit speed & utility in all of my various attempts at such a bike.

https://publicbikes.com/
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Old 04-01-23, 07:41 PM
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Thanks base2. I appreciate the link.

I have worked in Holland, Belgium, Germany… and seen how great a society can be without the emphasis on automobiles can be.
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Old 04-03-23, 11:54 AM
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This one is for sale in my area. Maybe the seller is willing to ship:
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...f-35df537b7809
The Surly Big Dummy is kind of between a step through and a high step.
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Old 04-16-23, 10:22 PM
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First, a question: How tall are you? If you're about 5'9" or under, there are lots of options. If you're taller, it gets a little more difficult.

Honestly, since you're in Vancouver, WA, I'd say you should just go straight to Clever Cycles in Portland and see what they can get you. I've found them really helpful with parts for my Douze V2 cargo bike (which is a step-through, btw). But here are my thoughts:

The Biria Easy Boarding takes the step-through concept further than anybody else has: https://biria.com/series/easy-boarding . They have a larger size, though the site says it's out of stock. Looks like there are two dealers in Portland. A co-worker of mine has one of these and likes it. I haven't tried it myself.

I absolutely love my Priority Continuum, with a belt drive and NuVinci hub. It's not available in step-through, but the Priority Classic, with a belt drive and 3-speed hub, is. I did try one, before finding my Continuum; I'm 5'10" and found the larger of the two step-through sizes usable, though the seatpost was extended to its maximum safe height. Not sure if a 3-speed would do what you want, though. https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/thegotham

Curbside Cycles, in Toronto, has a very nice range of European city bikes that are unusual in North America; they've got some good choices, and the shipping from Canada actually isn't much more than US domestic: https://curbsidecycle.co/collections/all/city-bikes .

My choices there would be:
VSF T-50 Low Step, from Germany: https://curbsidecycle.co/collections...-nexus-8-hs-11
Pelago Airisto, from Finland: https://curbsidecycle.co/collections...mmuter-8-speed
Achielle, from Belgium: https://curbsidecycle.com/collections/brand-achielle

Pashley step-throughs are classic; looks like the only US dealer at this point is in, of all places, Phoenix: https://www.britishbicycle.com/

For the price you say you're willing to pay, you could probably get a bike imported from the Netherlands or Germany, where larger step-through bikes (like the VSF, above) are more common. Gazelle USA is only distributing e-bikes over here, but you might ask Clever Cycles (or another US dealer) whether they can special-order you a non-electric bike like this: https://www.gazelle.nl/chamonix-t27#...lack&frame=low

This Batavus is available in frame sizes up to 61cm https://www.batavus.nl/damesfietsen/finez#BC102203

Finally, if what you're interested in is carrying stuff, and you're willing to spend up to $4000, maybe you're ready for a step-through cargo bike? Unfortunately, Douze no longer sells bikes in North America, but the Yuba Supercargo is available for $2999. https://yubabikes.com/cargobikestore...RoCAK4QAvD_BwE

Good luck!

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Old 04-18-23, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JDFLood
I have been a bike enthusiast for over sixty years… I’m now 70. I have 4 custom road bikes… touring oriented… and a couple more… I still ride around 3,000 miles a year. I am seventy years old and my neck is not as flexible as it used to be. I ride a Specialized Global to the store two or three times a week. 5 - 10 miles. It has an integrated lock and lights. But when my pannier baskets are full, it is increasingly hard to throw my leg over the bike. It is also not upright enough and not a step through. I want a high quality step through bike that I can equip with baskets… high performance and wide range gearing. I am used to top of the line derailures. I do not want an electric bike. I’d like to wait another ten years for that. I’m thinking $3K - $4K

I only find really inexpensive stuff or e-bikes.
Rivindell ClemSmith. High performance doesn’t exactly coincide with a grocery getter but knock youself out with a Rohloff rear wheel for another $2000 to meet your budget needs.

Marin Larkspur was my first thought but the super long chainstays on the Clem make it an excellent rear pannier carrier. I’ve had one for three years. I haven’t ridden the Larkspur but it looks like it would work

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Old 04-20-23, 07:39 AM
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This looks good!

https://www.rivbike.com/products/cle...41072338436207
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Old 04-23-23, 06:51 PM
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Thanks guys.

It is funny, the first place I had gone when I started thinking about through was Rivendell. I had checked these out. Very interested. I bought a contemporary Linn LP12 Turntable… I think in part because of nostalgia (and performance… today’s Linn gives both). Good to hear my gut reaction was good. This is a direction I may go.

Anyone… know of a higher end bike? Titanium maybe?
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Old 04-24-23, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JDFLood
Thanks guys.


It is funny, the first place I had gone when I started thinking about through was Rivendell. I had checked these out. Very interested. I bought a contemporary Linn LP12 Turntable… I think in part because of nostalgia (and performance… today’s Linn gives both). Good to hear my gut reaction was good. This is a direction I may go.

Anyone… know of a higher end bike? Titanium maybe?
Go for a custom frame with rare coins soldered on or paintjob that looks like organic growth and rust from a distance but up close has details like the children’s books about Findus and Pettson or whatever fits your aesthetic desires.
The frame material really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. I don’t know of any long chainstay low bb bikes w step through frames that aren’t cruiser bikes w super slack seat tubes, other than the ClemSmith which has normal angles. The application doesn’t really benefit from lightweight/high end materials.
I’d be more inclined to go for aluminum orsteel just to get the geometry and stiffness for the money and while titanium can make a light and stiff frame the light weight disapears with one bike rack and empty pannier. Sometime in the 70’s I visited Roger Durham (Bullseye) at his home biz with machine shop in the garage, in Hollywood I think, and he had a custom aluminum upright touring bike that was a long wheelbase long chainstay bike.
My 2009 LHT w 26” wheels is the best handling bike I’ve ever had for carrying heavy loads. My Clem Smith Jr has a regular high top tube and I’m looking for the equivalent in step through. The Gus Boots is the closest but ideally I’d like a lower bb.

Might consider a belt drive and igh.

Last edited by LeeG; 04-24-23 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 04-24-23, 01:37 PM
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https://www.rodbikes.com/catalog/mak...te-alfine1.jpg

maybe?
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Old 04-26-23, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG
The frame material really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. I don’t know of any long chainstay low bb bikes w step through frames that aren’t cruiser bikes w super slack seat tubes, other than the ClemSmith which has normal angles. The application doesn’t really benefit from lightweight/high end materials.
I’d be more inclined to go for aluminum or steel just to get the geometry and stiffness for the money and while titanium can make a light and stiff frame the light weight disappears with one bike rack and empty pannier.
I was gonna say exactly this, but I guess the OP's heart wants what it wants. So, if you're determined to spend more money on a Ti frame, even though the weight savings over steel will be immediately canceled out by the groceries you're buying it to get, you might ask Seven Cycles in Boston about a custom job. They've got a good reputation for custom Ti frames.
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Old 05-16-23, 05:33 PM
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Important to stay active and flexible with age. Even if it means giving up that diamond frame. Mixtes have a lower top tube, are easier to mount and dismount, which means you can go larger size for a more stable and compliant ride. And they make great commuter, cruiser, tourer bikes. The Windsor Kensington (8s IGH) has a nice ride quality and is a great value at < $600 but may not be built for heavy duty touring. Rivendell Bicycle Works is a good option if price is not of concern. Priority bikes are mostly aluminum and extremely poorly built. In other words, they are throw-away aluminum bikes. In more direct language, they are s**t bikes.

Steel rusts. Aluminum corrodes, especially in moist, salty environments. Steel has a defined minimum fatigue limit. Aluminum does not have a specific fatigue or endurance limit. Steel does not weaken from repeated loads below the defined fatigue limits. Aluminum fatigues over time from small, repeated stresses. Aluminum can and does fail catastrophically from small, repeated stresses as the inquest into the death of Richard Roger John Stanton concluded: "The fork has a finite structural life and, upon reaching that finite structural life, can fail catastrophically without warning".". An aluminum beach cruiser exposed to a moist salty environment every second of every minute of every hour of every day is a sudden-catastrophic-failure-waiting-to-happen s**t bike.

There are many forms of aluminum corrosion. Steel bolts and components on an aluminum frame facilitate galvanic corrosion. All aluminum bolts and components, back to square one, and even more poorly built. In other words, it's a sudden-catastrophic-failure-waiting-to-happen throw away aluminum bike no matter what. Not just their beach cruiser, the commuter bikes too, especially in cold climates where heavily salted roads are the norm in winter.

Priority customer service is atrocious. They engage in shady practices. You don't see one negative review on their website for a reason – they use underhanded tactics to manipulate social media to remove negative posts and to get forum members banned. All part of the snow job. When a bike model is so poorly built and customers start questioning on social media, company and shills promptly get on social media and promise to make everything right, then change model name, or stop making that model. If you manage to post on R****t, Trust Pilot and some other sites, affiliated moderators and forum members report you. Even question your mental health just to get those negative reviews scrubbed. Reminds me of a high school classmate whose entire family was involved in underworld activities. The whole family changed their legal names to whitewash their history, and then proceeded to continue with crooked businesses. Priority uses the same playbook. Poorly built s**t by different names from a s**t bike company.

This encapsulates the experience with s**t bike company. If your bike company needs a lbs to check your new bike, it's probably very poorly built. If your new sudden-catastrophic-failure-waiting-to-happen-aluminum-frame bike comes with loose spokes and spoke tensions all over the map, it's most definitely extremely poorly built, and not safe to ride. Get rid of the bike. If your bike company blames shipping and tells you to take it to your lbs and offers to pay, it's probably a s**t bike and they are hiding more s**t from you. Don't take the offer. Get rid of the bike. If your bike company sends you dirty, used replacement parts for a new, poorly built sudden-catastrophic-failure-waiting-to-happen-aluminum-frame bike under warranty, it's a s**t bike from a s**t company. Get rid of the bike. It's a threat to you and your family's safety and health. The s**t bike company cares about taking your money, but it doesn't give a s**t about you or your family.

Buy a well made steel bike. You'll have a more durable bike with a more compliant ride quality than the sudden-catastrophic-failure-waiting-to-happen aluminum bike from s**t bike company. At the very least, your wrists, hands and ass won't be numb from the road buzz and bumps transmitted through an aluminum frame.

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Old 05-17-23, 09:03 AM
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Sorry you had a bad experience. Me, I'd disagree about Priority. It's true that their wheelbuilding is s**t -- every new Priority will need both wheels completely retensioned from the jump. But otherwise, the quality is good. The Priority Coninuum Onyx is the best value you can get for a fully-equipped commuter bike -- in fact, it's hard to get the full range of features you get on the Continuum Onyx (carbon belt, NuVinci hub, generator hub and lights) on any other factory-spec bike for any amount of money. I've never had to deal with their customer service (I bought mine used), so I can't speak to that. But if you're mad at aluminum frames, you're mad at the dominant share of bikes now on the market, not just Priority. I'd agree that steel is better overall, but for an around-town utility bike, the ride quality isn't as crucial as it would be for a road bike that you'll pedal for hours at a time.
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Old 05-17-23, 11:55 AM
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You might as well make the trip down to EUGENE.

Bike Friday has a unique selection of bikes with 20" wheels, from their Pocket Rocket "road bike" to their Haul-a-Day cargo bike.

They have started electrifying some of their bikes. I wonder if you could get an electric frame with a mechanical drivetrain, then upgrade later.



Co-Motion is also a local company. I'm not seeing any step-through bikes on their site, but there is the Ochoco with a sloping top tube (maybe). Nonetheless, you might be able to give them your specs and they might come up with something.

Originally Posted by JDFLood
Anyone… know of a higher end bike? Titanium maybe?
tiCycles is a Portland company. A small one person shop, up in the woods near Forest Park, I think. Anyway, they would be worth contacting.

https://www.ticycles.com/

Anyway, even if they don't show a bike quite like what you want, talk to them and see if it is a project they're interested in.
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Old 05-17-23, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville
Sorry you had a bad experience. Me, I'd disagree about Priority. It's true that their wheelbuilding is s**t -- every new Priority will need both wheels completely retensioned from the jump. But otherwise, the quality is good. The Priority Coninuum Onyx is the best value you can get for a fully-equipped commuter bike -- in fact, it's hard to get the full range of features you get on the Continuum Onyx (carbon belt, NuVinci hub, generator hub and lights) on any other factory-spec bike for any amount of money. I've never had to deal with their customer service (I bought mine used), so I can't speak to that. But if you're mad at aluminum frames, you're mad at the dominant share of bikes now on the market, not just Priority. I'd agree that steel is better overall, but for an around-town utility bike, the ride quality isn't as crucial as it would be for a road bike that you'll pedal for hours at a time.
Great that you have a positive experience.

Look up hiattzhao's R****t post re his Apollo. Five spokes. Lucky he didn't end up under a truck.

Precisely because Priority is fully aware of the cheap components and poor build quality of its bikes, blames shipping for build / quality problems, engages in underhanded tactics including hiding negative reviews and silencing posters, among other questionable conduct, that Priority's entire business model is predatory, deceptive and shows utter contempt for customers.

Maybe for a factory bike. And perhaps not for much longer. Either scenario, whether your choice is an unbranded cromo to a more expensive Columbus, Reynolds, Tange, other…, you might be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised by how much a custom crmo frame and fork bike with a CDX drivetrain and IGH cost.

Not all aluminum bikes are s**t bikes. Not all steel bikes are good bikes. Just happens all Priority bikes, aluminum or steel, have cheap components and poor build quality, so yes, Priority bikes are s**t bikes.

Actually like the UX 3S. And have far more confidence in Momentum's engineering, build quality, and lifetime warranty than Priority's claims of bikes designed by "some of the best engineers" in the industry, self awarded "best in class" status, and breached five year warranty. What is even more pathetic is a relatively inexpensive Kent from Walmart will get you a more durable, compliant and fun riding steel bike without the broken spokes and potential for being tossed under a truck. I rode the Kent Ridgeland, in fact, a few Kent bikes. They all have lifetime warranties. They all ride better than Priority's twitchy, hand and ass numbing, neck, shoulder and back aching bikes and without exception, all had well built wheels out of the box. Buy a few Kents or, when the time comes to replace components, upgrade to heart's content with dollars to spare for the price of one overpriced sudden-catastrophic-failure-waiting-to-happen aluminum bike from s**t bike company, who doesn't honor warranties. That's probably why Priority offers to cover the lbs on a new bike. They know the bikes are s**t. By paying for the lbs from the reserve built into the overpricing, Priority minimizes probability of bike being returned. Check out Bruce Chastain's rides across FL on his $99 Kent Ridgeland.

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Old 05-18-23, 12:11 AM
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As you've noticed, high-end stepthroughs not electric are very hard to find, so niche that the ones that do it can charge what they want. The only one I found is from Falkenjagd, but that's a boutique brand that is not available outside Germany (and it is well above the budget you mentioned - 9k€).
https://www.falkenjagd-bikes.de/de/p...reiserad-wave/




But otherwise, how much of a step-through you need? Asking because an alternative could be a folding 20" bikes. Tern has some folding bikes that fit the "range requirements", like Verge S8i
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Old 05-19-23, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville
I was gonna say exactly this, but I guess the OP's heart wants what it wants. So, if you're determined to spend more money...
If the OP is sure he wants to spend top dollar for a high end bike with high end components to do his shopping, my bike and suggestion would not meet his needs. My step through Calvin, a Biria made bike was bought for my daughter in 2000 while we were living in Germany, cost new about 500€ and does not meet the requirements for high end components, exotic materials, or high price, though it did come with fenders, basket, rear rack, frame lock and other components useful for grocery shopping.

This bicycle has served me well for grocery shopping/utility ridding for the last 20 years or so after my daughter left it in my house, especially in the winter when quick and easy mounting/dismounting is important on slippery streets. The 622-47mm tires make for comfortable ride. I am 76YO and currently ride about 3000 miles a year strictly around town, mostly for shopping, and other utility riding not over 10-15 miles R/T. The 622-47mm tires (and Wrights W66 saddle added by me) make for comfortable ride. I also prefer to use this bicycle when I ride in the rain since the coaster brake reliably works in all weather and road conditions and never needs adjustment. It is a steel frame with aluminum rims, been ridden in the snow for 20 years and shows little signs of rust and has never needed any wheel or spoke adjustment. 3 speeds are sufficient for me since I am not racing nor tackling any steep hills.

Just a suggestion, but a bicyclist interested in a step though for grocery shopping and around town riding could probably travel to Europe, take a short vacation and buy and bring back a bike similar to mine and pocket some change and be happy as long as his heart is not set on spending top dollar for top of the line bicycle with top of the line components to go grocery shopping.


Calvin bike in 2001 in Germany


Calvin in U.S. after many years of use.


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Old 05-22-23, 05:08 PM
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Someone mentioned Tern. But the Verge isn't the model I would spend on with the o.p.'s budget. Its the new one I can't think of the name but it's a 451 (vs 406) and has a triple fold that gets it a bit smaller. But it doesn't seem like a small fold would interest the o.p. but I think the larger size (451) 22" wheels might. So I'd say any of the Tern's with 451 wheels (I think a couple are 2x drivetrains!) warrant a look. That Bike Friday 'Haul a day' is sick. I have a Two'sday (folding tandem) and that's crazy enough. That thing may be just the biscuit actually.
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Old 05-26-23, 02:32 PM
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For something different, have you considered a good folding bike?

I haven't ridden one, but a Moulton might be up your alley.
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Old 05-26-23, 06:59 PM
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Not sure this step-through step is low enough. Velo Orange Polyvalent.

https://velo-orange.com/collections/...lyvalent-mk5-1
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Old 05-30-23, 01:04 PM
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Not sure if this is low enough, but I'm personally looking into buying an Origami Swift.
https://www.origamibicycles.com/shop/p/origami-swift

I had the Xootr Swift, and sorely miss it (gave it away to my wife's friend).
The Origami Swift seems to solve the only complaints I had with the original: hard to find a good rack, want to have the Brompton front bag system, slightly better gearing
It's sorta a high step through, but can fold pretty nicely.
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Old 07-22-23, 04:15 AM
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I've built two Soma Buena Vista mixte's, one totally tricked out with dyno lights, folding baskets and front rack. After it was stolen, I bought a Burley Travoy trailer for shopping, when I replaced the stolen bike, I built it a lot leaner. The frame works either way but I like the cafe racer build better.

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Old 07-22-23, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by JDFLood
I want a high quality step through bike that I can equip with baskets… high performance and wide range gearing. I am used to top of the line derailures. I do not want an electric bike ... I’m thinking $3K - $4K
Originally Posted by JDFLood
It is funny, the first place I had gone when I started thinking about through was Rivendell. I had checked these out. Very interested.

Anyone… know of a higher end bike? Titanium maybe?
R&E Cycles (Rodriguez) in Seattle can probably help. They have a few models, they do step-through formats, and they can do custom design and geometry. They do frames with the Pinion or Rohloff transmissions, as well as derailleurs. It'll be north of your $3-4K range, though.

https://rodbikes.com/index.html
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Old 08-30-23, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
Not sure this step-through step is low enough. Velo Orange Polyvalent.

https://velo-orange.com/collections/...lyvalent-mk5-1
Or a well specced Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo.


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Old 09-02-23, 08:17 PM
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I built these tilting trikes for grocery shopping & touring, with full floating front suspension,quite soft in rugged terrain





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