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Cyclelicious » Weekend link love
I’ve always felt that the ultra-low step through is a strange feature to add on a bike, pushed on to consumers who don’t know what they really want by designers who are just looking for something on the frame to play with.
Indeed, having an 280mm step-through is somewhat illogical. Unless the crank arms on the bike are 140mm long (pretty unlikely, considering the terrible, egg-beater-clown-bike ride that would produce), the rider of the bike is going to have to bend their knee more when simply going through a full crank rotation than when stepping over the bike frame. Guessing that the crank arms are instead 165mm, this means that you’d be raising your leg a full 50mm (2″) more when pedaling than when getting on the bike. If you are so inflexible (due to physiology or attire) that you need a bike with a 280mm step-through to get on board, you’re going to ruin something once in the saddle.
Granted, there’s a slight benefit when dismounting, but having ridden some ultra-low step through frames, I feel like the step-through-swoop is frequently too small to properly fit a shoe through reliably, and you end up raising your leg higher than the chainring anyway.
Having a step-through on a frame is a fantastic way to improve the ride experience, especially in the city. It just doesn’t need to be so low.