July 31

Step Through vs Step Over E-Bikes – Which is better

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When talking about the design, e-bikes can be classified into two categories - Step-Through and Step Over E-Bikes. The most obvious difference is the design of the bike frame. A step-over e-bike has a top tube, while a step-through e-bike doesn’t. 

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The design of an electrical bike isn’t just about its appearance. It also has to do with performance and functionality. 

As a newbie to e-bikes, you may not be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each type. It’s crucial to know the key features of step-through and step-over e-bikes before making the final decision. 

In this article, we’ll talk about step-through and step-over electric bikes. Moreover, we’ll also cover the pros and cons of each style to give you a clear insight into which one is better for you.  

So, without beating around the bush, let’s dive into the characteristics of step-through and step-over e-bikes.

Step Thru vs Step Over 1

Step Through E-Bikes

Step-through e-bikes are designed to have a lower frame and stepping pad. This design allows riders to mount easily without lifting their legs high up. Moreover, a step-through electric bike allows for riding in an upright position. 

You may have heard that step-through e-bikes are women bikes, and this has some truth to it. In the early 20th century, the step-through frame design was originally made to make bike rides easier for women. 

In those days, women mostly wore long dresses and skirts. This made it almost impossible for them to ride a step-over bike without tearing their clothes. So, the step-through bike design was invented. 

Today, however, things are pretty different. The dressing style of women and men has changed immensely since the early 20s, meaning the step-through design is for everyone.  

Most decide on the step-through design because they’re into casual riding around town. The easy mounting and upright position it allows the rider makes it highly comfortable for everyday rides, like going to work or the grocery store. Moreover, those who have mobility issues will hugely benefit from this design.

Some step through e-bikes models are made for riding in hilly terrain, but they aren’t so popular among mountain riders. The upright position isn’t ideal for fast rides through hills and woods.

Step-Thru-Radcity-5_1

Pros and Cons Of Step Through E-Bikes

Step through electric bikes have their advantages and disadvantages. So, let’s take a look on both of them.

PROS

  • Convenient - The low frame and stepping pad make it easy to handle the e-bike. You can easily get on and off, and the upright position allows for a comfortable ride. The convenient design of the step through electric bike makes it great for all riders. 
  • Ideal for casual riders - A step through e-bike is ideal for everyday rides. If you’re not looking for speed but just want an electric bike for casual beach rides, this is the design you’re looking for.
  • You can wear anything - A great thing about the step through design is that you can ride it while wearing a skirt, dress, formal attire, and sportswear. No matter what you wear, you’ll have an easy and comfortable ride.

Cons

  • Weight - Step through e-bikes have a weaker geometry of the design. To compensate, they’re usually manufactured with heavier and sturdier materials that ensure a safe ride.
  • Less speed - Comfort and stability usually come at the expense of speed. While not always the case, most step through e-bikes are made without paying much attention to speed.
  • Bad performance in hilly terrain - Bike frames are subjected to a lot of stress while in steep terrain. Because of the weaker geometry in step through e-bikes, the frame may bend while riding in hilly terrain, making it potentially dangerous.

Step Over E-Bikes

Step over e-bikes have a strong geometry thanks to their distinctive triangle frame design. They’re most popular among those who take biking more seriously. These bikes are designed to withstand a lot of stress while riding, making them ideal for rides in mountainous terrain

The step over design is also great for all those who want their e-bike to have speed and power without sacrificing balance. This is the main reason this design is so popular among sports riders.

riders-on-radcity-5-plus-e-bike-in-street

Pros and Cons Of Step Over E-Bikes

Let’s take a closer look at what step over electric bikes have to offer.

PROS

  • Durability - Because of the stronger frame geometry, step over e-bikes can endure much more than step through electric bikes.
  • Weight - Step over e-bikes are usually made from thin and lightweight materials. This allows for more speed, and pedaling is made easier.
  • Great performance in all terrains - The specific triangle frame design and lightweight material makes step over e-bikes ideal to ride in all terrains. The bent-over position while riding allows for greater maneuverability and speed.

Cons

  • Frame material - Since these e-bikes are usually made to be lightweight, the materials need to be weaker or thinner. However, the frame design greatly compensates for the materials. Moreover, you can find step over electric bikes made from quality sturdy materials, but they’re usually much more expensive.
  • Comfort - The better frame geometry comes at the expense of comfort. Because the top tube is so high, you must put much more effort into mounting the bike than on a step through e-bike. What’s more the bent-over position you need to take while riding may not be so comfortable for everyone.
  • Best for sports riders - While this isn’t exactly a con for sports riders, for casual riders, it is. With a step over e-bike, you’ll have to wear sportswear or at least pants. In other words, this design isn’t the best choice when going to a formal event.

Which One Is Better?

Having covered the advantages and disadvantages of step over and step through e-bikes, the only thing left to say is which one is better. 

The answer is that there’s no correct answer. Which one is better is a personal preference. You should choose the e-bike based on your riding style and your needs. 

If you need an electric bike for casual rides, a step through bike is what you need. On the other hand, if you’re more a sports type seeking the thrill while riding your e-bike in steep terrain, a step over e-bike is definitely the better choice.

Radcity 5 Group

About the author

Hi, I'm Nikola, your typical adrenaline junkie. Columnist and publisher by day, passionate mountain biker, and downhill skateboarder by night (or I guess weekends). I love electric bikes and own a Rad Power Rover 6 myself!


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