Step Through or Crossbar

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
I use a Brompton folder which is, of course a step through frame and a Kalkhoff Tasman with crossbar.

The crossbar is a pain in the town conditions in which I mostly ride, highlighted for me by the ease of getting on and off the Brompton.

Since I am no longer concerned with looking 'manly' on my bike, what is the disadvantage of a step through frame?
 

indalo

Banned
Sep 13, 2009
1,380
1
Herts & Spain
I have both frame types Lemmy and I can't see any downside to the step-through variety. There are occasions where I come to a stop and on the crossbar type, I can put two feet on the ground and lean the bike against an inner thigh, hands free. I can't do that with the step-through and need to use at least one hand but it's no big deal.

In terms of handling, I can't discern any difference but the Gazelle step-through frame is a pretty substantial piece of kit. Just as an aside, I find I still mount and ride off when on the step-through as I do on my crossbar bikes, ie. leg over. I always start off unpowered.

Regards,
Indalo
 

dmcgoldrick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 17, 2010
446
-1
I use a Brompton folder which is, of course a step through frame and a Kalkhoff Tasman with crossbar.

The crossbar is a pain in the town conditions in which I mostly ride, highlighted for me by the ease of getting on and off the Brompton.

Since I am no longer concerned with looking 'manly' on my bike, what is the disadvantage of a step through frame?
cant think of any disadvantage of a step through.....you may need a false crossbar to attach to a car bike carrier, but some mountain bikes also need that. there may be some structural stress and strain differences so maybe the engineers may have some comments on that.
i prefer step through for town and leisure riding , greatly influenced by living in belgium through the 80's..........
regards
 
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tangent

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 7, 2010
299
0
I use a step-thru, have done for years. Much more convenient for commuting as quite often it is convenient to get off and push. For instance in busy "shared use" areas when it is just too dangerous to cycle and to legally jump red lights by getting off and pushing the bike round the corner. I was in Amsterdam a month ago and the Dutch clearly have no hang-ups about riding step through bikes. These seem to be the norm over there, along with single speed to 3 speed hub gears, a rack/mudguards on every bike and no brakes (it took me a while to work out that many bikes just relied on a roller brake attached to the hub).

The only minor downside I have found is that it is sometimes slightly awkward to get my D lock on compared with a crossbar bike.
 

Scottyf

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 2, 2011
1,403
-1
Strength and weight would really be the two main differences. A triangle is one of the strongest build shapes. If you remove that crossbar the bike would have to compensate a larger frame to achieve the same strength. Hence more weight usually or a frame thats not as solid.
 

donnoirf

Pedelecer
Oct 19, 2010
101
0
KINGS NORTON BIRMINGHAM
I use a step-thru, have done for years. Much more convenient for commuting as quite often it is convenient to get off and push. For instance in busy "shared use" areas when it is just too dangerous to cycle and to legally jump red lights by getting off and pushing the bike round the corner. I was in Amsterdam a month ago and the Dutch clearly have no hang-ups about riding step through bikes. These seem to be the norm over there, along with single speed to 3 speed hub gears, a rack/mudguards on every bike and no brakes (it took me a while to work out that many bikes just relied on a roller brake attached to the hub).

The only minor downside I have found is that it is sometimes slightly awkward to get my D lock on compared with a crossbar bike.

I have to step through frames:

1 tradtional dutch with rear coaster breaks, & one more modern step through. although I like both bikes

they are both:

poor at taking short corners, poor at hill climbing & not ideal for fixing on a car rack as no cross bar, & some of the down tubes can be a little too thick to fix a false cross bar


the great things for me are:

high riding position & comfort
high visability, (being able to see over cars)

I also get the impression that I am seen more easily by others as I am so upright & high up. (but this may just be my feeling!!)

Donna
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Interesting observations. I think that when I do change bikes I'll get a step through purely on the basis of getting off at lights etc more conveniently.

But I do use the crossbar for locking the bike to posts and for hanging my Abus lock off so I'll have to thibk about that too.

Sounds like it may be down to the toss of a coin.
 

RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
706
177
Ride Comfort

I have two conventional bicycles and neither has suspension .The ride comfort on the open frame folder is better than the GT Mountain bike .The frame has some `give` .This is illustrated in GP racing motorcycle engineering , where a too rigid frame causes all sorts of handling problems , admittedly with huge horsepower being transmitted .
My Batribike Quartz Folder has nice suspension , but greater strength to the open frame is given by a nice deep oval section frame . I remember doing calculations concerning Inertia many years ago and the greater the depth in relation to the width gives more strength and resistance to twisting .
 

stevebills

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 14, 2010
443
4
It would make sense to get a step through if u cant cock your leg over a cross bar and I am sure the older folk will struggle.
streching is the best before any exercise it makes you supple and will warm you up and hopefully stop muscle craps. :)
 

donnoirf

Pedelecer
Oct 19, 2010
101
0
KINGS NORTON BIRMINGHAM
hopefully if you do get a electric step though dutch style frame, it will not have rear coaster brakes.

when I fitted an ebike kit to my dutch frame with rear coaster brakes, it became a little dangerous as when repositioning the pedals at a start off. as you cant back pedal, the bike would sometimes start with the pedal assist before you were positioned properly :eek:
 

stevebills

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 14, 2010
443
4
Gosh, I do hope so ...
Most people dont do stretching and thats why they are stiff
and it only takes 2 minutes

Kneeling Upper Hip & Quad Stretch: Kneel on one foot and the other knee.
If needed, hold on to something to keep your balance and then push your hips forward. :D
 
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Barry Heaven

Pedelecer
Sep 19, 2009
162
0
Strength and weight would really be the two main differences. A triangle is one of the strongest build shapes. If you remove that crossbar the bike would have to compensate a larger frame to achieve the same strength. Hence more weight usually or a frame thats not as solid.
I also believe that is the case and any other design generally requires compromise either in the name of utility or fashion.