Step-Through vs. Step-Over Bikes: Which Is Better for You?

AUG 22, 2022

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When you make your next bike purchase, will you go with the step-through or the step-over model?

The step-through and step-over bikes are different types of bicycles, distinguished by how the rider mounts and dismounts the bike. 

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A step-through bike, sometimes called an upright bicycle, features a design that allows the rider to straddle the frame and mount or dismount without having to swing one leg over the crossbar. But, that's the case with a step-over bike.


Many people mistakenly believe one is better than the other, but it all comes down to personal preference.


So, whether you're an experienced cyclist looking to upgrade your bike or a beginner who isn't sure what you're looking for, this article will help you decide which type of bike would be best for you.

What Is a Step-Through Bike?

Step-through bikes date back to the early twentieth century when they were still being developed. These ingenious bikes aided women, which is how they rose to prominence.


Women's apparel in the late nineteenth century was drastically different; instead of pants, women wore dresses. Those gowns were odd with the bikes available then, which produced some issues.


With the introduction of Step-Through bikes, ladies could ride them without ever elevating their legs, which acquired widespread popularity.


These bikes demonstrated that women were appreciated back then and that their requirements were treated very seriously.


Step-through bikes have a lower top tube, making it easier to mount and dismount. This type of bike is often preferred by riders who are new to cycling or prefer a more relaxed riding position.


Step-through bikes are also good for riders who need to get on and off their bike quickly, such as commuters who have to dismount at busy intersections.

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STROLLER
$899.00$899.00
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CAMEL Step-Thru Black
$739.00
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FOLDING OX
$1,099.00

Advantages of Step-Through Bikes

Step-through bikes offer a handful of advantages that will probably make you want to consider them as an option. So let's have a look at these pros, shall we?


1.Easier To Mount and Dismount

A step-through bike has a lower standover height, which makes it easier to mount and dismount. This can be beneficial if you have limited mobility or flexibility.


Additionally, a step-through frame can provide a more comfortable ride by evenly distributing your weight.


If you frequently ride in skirts or dresses, a step-through bike can also be more convenient since you won't have to worry about your clothing getting caught on the frame.


2.Excellent for Those With Limited Hip Mobility

For those with limited hip mobility, a step-through bike can be preferable to a step-over or an upright bike because it allows you to place both feet on the ground while sitting in a relatively upright position.


It also gives your legs more room to move around since they aren't locked into place due to pressure from handlebars like other types of bikes.


In addition, people who experience back pain when cycling may find relief when using a step-through bike because there is less stress on the spine when mounting and dismounting.


3.More Ideal for Casual Riders

A step-through bike is more comfortable and easy to use than other types of bikes, making it a good choice for casual riders who are just beginning to explore their local bike trails or commute to work on two-wheels.


If you plan on mainly riding in flat terrain, then a step-through bike may also be ideal because it allows you to place both feet on the ground while sitting upright.


4.It’s More Safe

The most important reason to choose a step-through bike is safety. It's hard to do anything on a bike while sitting on the saddle, but with a step-through frame, you can easily get off your bike while it is still moving or stop and talk to someone without putting your feet down.


And, because pregnancy can make mounting a bike more complex, the ability to step through to mount the bicycle allows women to continue riding during their pregnancy.


Riding is also more accessible for the elderly, who no longer have to struggle with lifting their legs over a standard bike frame.

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CAMEL MEN
$739.00
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RANGER
$949.00
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SANTA MONICA
$1,099.00

Disadvantages of a Step-Through Bike

1.Weight

A step-through bike has a frame design that typically features a sloping top tube rather than one that runs parallel to the ground.


This makes it effortless to mount and dismount, but it also means that they tend to be heavier than step-over bikes—not ideal if you're someone who commutes by bike regularly and doesn't have a lot of storage space.


2.Less speed

With a step-through bike, your legs have to move in a wider arc to propel the bike forward than with a step-over bike. If you're on flat ground and pedaling at the same rate, it will take more time to cover the same distance with a step-through bike than with a step-over bike.


3.Bad Performance in Hilly Terrain

Now, because a step-through bike requires that your legs move in a broader arc than a step-over bike to go faster, it will be less efficient if there are lots of hills on your commute route or regular riding circuit.


If there are flat parts in between where you climb, it's not such an issue—but if they're interspersed with lots of hills, you might have to get off and walk more often than with a step-over bike.

NAKTO Step-thru Bike 

The NAKTO e-bike is a type of step-through bicycle, meaning the rider does not have to step over the frame to mount it.


These bikes have a small step on one side of the frame that assists in mounting. The design was created for riders with difficulty mounting bicycles with a conventional diamond frame.


It's also a more stable option for riders who experience balance issues.


Some excellent step-thru model from NAKTO are the Camel step-thru bike, Classic, Fashion, Skylark, Folding OX, Elegance, Stroller, and Pony designed with a comfortable seat and a space-saving rear carrier. 


With its powerful 350-watt brushless hub motor capable of speeds up to 20 mph (32 km/h) - even uphill - you'll enjoy an exhilarating yet relaxing ride.


The quality construction from the brand will ensure your satisfaction for years to come.

What Is a Step-Over Bike?

A step-over bike is a type of bicycle where the rider mounts and dismounts the bike by stepping over the frame.


Because of their distinctive triangle frame form, step-over e-bikes feature a powerful geometry.


As a result, they're particularly popular with folks who take their biking seriously. In addition, these bikes are built to withstand a lot of stress when riding, making them excellent for mountain rides.


The step-over design is also ideal for individuals who want their e-bike to be fast and robust without compromising balance. This is why this style is so popular among sports riders.

Advantages of Step-Over Bikes

1.Durability

Both the step-through and step-over bikes are made of durable materials, but because a step-over bike has an additional crossbar in the front, it is stronger and more durable than a step-through bike.


The step-over bike also has a lower center of gravity, which makes it more stable. It does not have as many gears as a step-through bike, but this can be advantageous because it has fewer things that can go wrong.


2.Makes Pedaling Easier and Allows for More Speed

A step-over bike places your feet under your body, so there is no wasted motion or energy. In addition, with every pedal stroke, your weight transfers from one leg to the other.


On a step-through bike, your feet are placed forward on the pedals, and extra energy is expended by pushing off with one foot while trying to pedal with the other foot.


3.Great Performance in All Terrains

Due to its design, a step-over bike is perfect for riding on uneven terrains like gravel roads or sidewalks.


It does not require any adaptations for various types of surfaces. In contrast, a step-over bike requires a flat surface to ride smoothly.


For this reason, a step-through bike would work better if you live on hilly terrain where some streets are flat and others are uphill or downhill.


If you're looking for versatility and prefer to stay out of the way of puddles when commuting to work, then choose the step-over model.


4.Lightweight Design

Traditional step-over bikes are frequently constructed with lightweight components to ensure frame durability, allowing you to ride faster while using less energy.

What Are the Disadvantages of Step-Over Bikes

1.Better for Street Riding, Not Off-Road Riding

Due to the lack of a top tube, step-over bikes are better suited for street riding than off-road or mountain biking. They offer more stability because the rider can lean in one direction when turning or stopping and are less likely to tip over when going downhill.


2.They Are Expensive

A step-over bike will depend on the manufacturer, but they are generally around $100-$300 more than a comparable quality step-through model. If you don't plan on taking your bike anywhere, it could get dirty or muddy, which won't matter much.


However, if you're looking for a rugged bicycle that can handle anything thrown at it (mud, sand, snow), you'll want to buy a step-through frame.


3.There’s Less Storage Space for Things on the Bike

With a step-over frame, there's usually no place to put anything other than what you've got in your backpack.


If you've got something bulky or heavy like groceries or suitcases, this isn't the best option.

With a step-through frame, there's ample storage space under the seat--so it doesn't matter how long your commute is--you'll always have enough room to bring home everything you need.

NAKTO Step-Over Bike

The NAKTO step-over bicycle is best for riders who feel more comfortable with the traditional model requiring them to step over a frame.


This style is known as a low rider, flat top, or cruiser. With their traditional frame shape, most bikes feature large seats, swept-back handlebars, and balloon tires.


The design offers increased visibility while keeping weight down by eliminating unnecessary components such as electric components or suspension systems.


Some great step-over models from NAKTO include Super Cruiser, Santa Monica, Discovery, Rangers, Cruiser 26”, Mini cruiser, and Camel men.


But what we love most about these bikes are their lightweight aluminum alloy frame, making it easy to fold down when traveling or commuting on public transport.

Final Thoughts

A step-through bike is an excellent option if you're looking for a leisurely ride around the neighborhood or an easy way to get from point A to point B.


On the other hand, a step-over bike might be the better choice if you're looking for a bike that's more versatile and can be used for commuting, exercising, or even racing.


Ultimately, the best bike depends on your riding style and what you'll be using the bike for most often. It also matters if you need space for large feet (or want a dress guard).


The good news is there are plenty of options available in both styles, so take some time to try out as many as possible before making your decision.