Have you ever wondered about the influence of one’s perspective? Or pondered about how the way you look at something has the potential to change your entire outlook? As American novelist Siri Hustvedt once noted, “Each person does see the world in a different way. There is not a single, unifying, objective truth. We're all limited by our perspective.”
Perspective is integral to decision-making—no matter how small or big that decision is. Since the beginning of time, people have questioned what choices are best for their own circumstances. We believe this to be just as self-evident in our current era of consumerism. You never know what changes and innovations will influence the array of products available on the modern market.
In today’s electric bicycle industry, a slew of options can be yours if so desired. Over the last few decades, the designs and configurations of these bikes have significantly changed due to their popularity growth and continual development. Riders can choose between two different frames: step-over or step-through. Curious about the unique selling points of these model styles? Let’s zoom in now on the debate between step-through vs. step-over e-bikes: which is better?
Step-Over Bicycle Frames: The Traditional Standard
Since the invention of the conventional safety bicycle in the 1880s, step-over models have been the traditional standard around the world. This higher-cross-bar design offers superior structural integrity for sportier performance. You can find them anywhere and everywhere, including the electric bike market.
Designed with a diamond-shaped frame, this type of bike has a set of configured tubes—top, bottom, head, and seat—that run through the middle of the structure, joining the seat and the chain together. This arrangement creates a highly-durable form, recognizable by its iconic triangular structure. Modern cyclists use step-over e-bikes for city, road, racing, and trail riding thanks to the frame's true strength and pedal power.
The Main Advantages
Step-over models have several key advantages and disadvantages to note. Here are the top considerations to keep in mind.
E-bikes are an investment in the quality of the design. With the time-tested geometry of their crossbar structure, these models are definitely built to last. You can get more bang—and overall mileage—for your buck.
Due to its design, manufacturers can use fewer assembly materials. The result? A lighter bike. With this boosted agility and resilience, cyclists are able to easily pick speed without expending a greater amount of energy.
The stability of the crossbar structure also allows for improved riding in ascending environments, such as hills and mountains. This design framework is ideal for longer-distance trips and all types of terrains.
The Core Disadvantages: Lack of Customizations
While built to handle all kinds of terrain, not all step-over frames are appropriate for harsh conditions or off-road adventures. Ergo, you may need to invest in further specialization to meet your one-of-a-kind needs.
Step-Through Bicycle Frames: The Innovative Alternative
Alas, traditional step-over bicycles have a market competitor: the step-through model. Before the growth of the electric bicycle market, traditional bicycles in the 20th century were utilized by men and women. Keep in mind that the step-through model was a design exclusively popular with women.
Thanks to the accommodating drop bar, ladies could mount the bike without needing to lift their legs while in formal attire, such as a skirt or a dress. Ever since, the alternative design has evolved a long way to the e-bikes models available today.
Ideal Riders for Step-Through Models
These days, step-through frames are commonplace for safety and rideability. Still fairly popular with female riders, this bike also works well in a wider range of situations. Ideal for delivery workers, riders can frequently hop on and off the bike with relative ease. Aside from these gender and society-based connotations, step-through bikes are also perfect for those with smaller ranges of motion. Not to mention they are perfect for older generations who need a bit of extra security and comfort.
You've likely already guessed why: the difference is in the geometry. These e-bike models do not have a top horizontal tube. Instead of a horizontal configuration, you will find a curved or lower-angled tube extending towards the bike’s bottom bracket. You may also see them called open-frame or low-step bikes.
The Main Advantages
Step-through models have several key advantages and disadvantages to note. Here are the top considerations to keep in mind.
Easy To Mount
Nobody can deny the practicality of being able to slip on and off of a bicycle without mounting or dismounting. Just hop in and hop out.
Comfortable Riding Position
Riders with a reduced range of motion appreciate the comfort and stability of the mobility option, as they can maintain an upright position with ease.
Bike in Any Outfit
Desire to bike in free-flowing or nicer attire? You can wear clothing options that would not otherwise be practical in bikes with top tube configurations.
The Core Disadvantages: Weight and Weakness
Riders who prefer speed should not opt for this style of bike frame. While safer to ride, step-through bikes are slightly thicker and heavier. The alternative design can also create uneven pressure distribution and potentially weaken the frame.
How To Decide: The Best Frame for Your Needs
So, still curious about the deliberation of step-through vs. step-over e-bikes: which is better? Essentially, the truth is that no one is ultimately better than the other. You will only find each style to be independent of the other. As you read above, each type of bicycle frame has its own pros and cons to consider. All things considered, step-over or step-through is the “better” option for diverse riding purposes. The best bicycle model will have the structure and components that are the right fit for your body type, comfort levels, and chosen riding terrain.
Choose Voltaire’s Cycling Solutions
Voltaire Cycles is a specialty bicycle shop that offers an assortment of mobility solutions. Specializing in diverse cycling options, we carry only the finest brands in the industry, including Bintelli electric bicycles. Our customers appreciate the additional utility and functionality features available on their models, including wire baskets and step-through frames.
Designed for user-friendliness and ultimate stability, you can’t go wrong with the comfort and ease of this ride at your very fingertips. Check out the technical specifications and details available on our website today. Feel free to reach out to our expert team with any questions you have. Voltaire is here to help outfit you with the perfect e-bike design for your individual needs and preferences.