Re: Any Lightweight Step-Through Bikes?
On Aug 11, 7:38 pm, caseydo...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Aug 11, 4:47 pm, Chalo <chalo.col...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Aug 11, 6:08 pm, caseydo...@gmail.com wrote:
> > > Because of arthritis and other problems, my wife needs a bike with a
> > > low, step-through frame and a fairly upright seating posture, but not
> > > so loaded up with "comfort" features and heavy low-end parts that she
> > > can't pedal it up the hills of Seattle. I've looked, and the only step-
> > > through bikes I've found are pretty heavy and clunky. We'd be willing
> > > to spend the money for the right bike if it exists. Here's an example
> > > of the right bike, except it's custom made:http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/betty.htm
> > > Can anyone recommend a make and model that comes close? It has to be
> > > one she can test ride.
> > Here's the closest thing I know of:
> > For a test ride, you might have to take a trip to Holland.
> > Perhaps your wife could benefit from electric assist? I bet the good
> > fellows at Electric Vehicles Northwest in Fremont could set you up
> > with a test ride on something like a step-through Estelle bike or an
> > eZee Sprint:
> > Chalo
> Thanks. That bike is over 33 pounds. It looks and weighs the same as a
> number of "comfort bikes" on the market in the U.S. today. I was
> hoping to find something in the 20-25 pound range.
It's equipped with fenders, full chaincase, skirt guard, luggage rack,
lighting, and even a water bottle and cage. That stuff is in the
picture because it comes with the bike. With the convenience features
removed, you'll find that it's a lot lighter than a bike of comparable
weight that doesn't come equipped with all those things.
Because of the unbraced nature of a step-through frame, it takes a lot
more material to provide the necessary level of rigidity. This will
vary according to the material's strength and adaptability to
different shapes, of course, but all else equal I bet the ratio of the
weight of a step-through frame to an equivalently built diamond frame
is about 2:1.
I think you may also be underestimating the degree to which a 5-10
pound difference will give your wife the ability to tackle any terrain
or conditions that she wouldn't be able to take on anyway. Of course
a lighter bike is incrementally easier to climb hills with, but the
main benefit of a lightweight bike might not be how much easier it is
for your wife to ride, but just in how much it makes her want to ride
It's probably not a bad idea to simply find an aluminum step-through
frame, of any pedigree, and build it up with racing MTB and road bike
parts. You could even consider getting a value-priced or secondhand
racy bike, and swap all the relevant parts over to a step-through
frame. That might be your best opportunity to get into the weight
bracket of interest without tracking down Damon Rinard to make you a
> She may need an electric assist, but I'd never get her to agree to
> it. :>)
Tell her all the cool kids are doing it. It's incredibly fun, and a
great way to reduce car trips and get some exercise even when you're
insufficiently motivated for a ride.