In fact, the step-through frame was originally designed, at the tail end of the 19th century, for riders with low-hanging skirts and dresses.
Riders were designed to enter their bikes easily (less area to sweep their leg over, Johnny), quickly (stepping through rather than over to prevent pulled muscles, or worse), and gracefully (so the underlying unmentionables wouldn't be on display to all).
As a result, step-throughs would forevermore be adorned with pink labels and sold to girls. A stigma is but a viewpoint, unfortunate though it may be -- and one that may require a new headset to understand what's actually important about bikes: utility, convenience, and joy.
Enough with the puns.
In the end, the step-through is one of the original utility designs. The frame has a short standover height due to a low or absent top tube. As a result of the frame geometry, the center of gravity is low, resulting in increased strength and durability. In addition to helping the bike balance on varied terrain, the frame body is closer to the ground. These features make step-through bikes a great choice for so many riders.
Still not convinced? You may need one if...
- You have a vertical challenge. Low-stepping frames are great for shorter riders. No more swinging your leg over a tall bike; just step through it (get it?!).
- Don't strain yourself. Similar to the above, this style is beneficial to those who have hip or joint pain, limited mobility, or reduced flexibility. We have heard from a number of riders that they thought they would never be able to mount a bike again if they overextended themselves.
- You want to ride relaxed. As a result of the frame's laid-back style of cruiser handlebars, this bike offers a more comfortable, upright riding position, and the 26-inch wheels offer superior stability when riding over obstacles on a road or bike path.
- You appreciate Euro flair: The style is popular with the Dutch, who lead the cycling world overall, so you can trust them!
- Your clothing style is formal. Absolutely! While it is easier to ride a step-through in a dress, it is also easier if you wear clothing in general. With the frame, clothes are less stressed and you can easily get on and off.