How big a market for step through?

pushkar

Well-Known Member
Everyone - I have been getting a LOT of requests lately for step-through frames. Literally 30-40% right now. When we started, we were doing may be 5% step throughs.

Are there any pointers / data for demand for step-through versus regular frame ?

Any pointers will be appreciated.
 

jaizon

Active Member
Our population is growing older. Bodies break down and can no longer do many of the things that they could before, i.e., swing their leg over a bike seat. Step-through frames allow a much broader section of people to enjoy biking again, especially e-bikes. You can add in all sorts of physical limitations into this category, e.g., knee surgery, overweight people, etc. This is more than a trend, it is a fact of life now. Companies that cater to this segment will do well.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
This is just speculation, but it maybe that due to the pandemic more people are exploring bikes for leisure and exercise. With that, people who already ride (my guess is that it’s more men vs women) wanting to get their partners to ride, is looking for step thrus.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Our population is growing older. Bodies break down and can no longer do many of the things that they could before, i.e., swing their leg over a bike seat. Step-through frames allow a much broader section of people to enjoy biking again, especially e-bikes. You can add in all sorts of physical limitations into this category, e.g., knee surgery, overweight people, etc. This is more than a trend, it is a fact of life now. Companies that cater to this segment will do well.
That’s also a good point.
 

pushkar

Well-Known Member
Our population is growing older. Bodies break down and can no longer do many of the things that they could before, i.e., swing their leg over a bike seat. Step-through frames allow a much broader section of people to enjoy biking again, especially e-bikes. You can add in all sorts of physical limitations into this category, e.g., knee surgery, overweight people, etc. This is more than a trend, it is a fact of life now. Companies that cater to this segment will do well.
Great point. We are actively expanding the stepthrough offering on all our bikes. Titanium will still be mixte (low step) style, but all new bikes will have a step through as standard.

What are some things that can be done to improve stepthrough riding? I have adjustable stem as standard on the new bikes now, but wondering if there is something that we can improve on ?
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
The most concerns I've heard is the external battery potentially getting in the way of the step thru wondering whether it defeats the purpose. You may want to explore designing a step thru frame that can house a bigger integrated battery to alleviate the range issue.
 

jaizon

Active Member
Great point. We are actively expanding the stepthrough offering on all our bikes. Titanium will still be mixte (low step) style, but all new bikes will have a step through as standard.

What are some things that can be done to improve stepthrough riding? I have adjustable stem as standard on the new bikes now, but wondering if there is something that we can improve on ?
Battery placement on step-throughs can be problematic. I look at the Ultimate Commuter Pro and that battery effectively takes that bike out of the step-through category for me, not for dismounting, but for getting on.

Suspension is also quite important. Many folks have lower back issues, e.g., which when hitting a bump/pothole in the road, can be jarring and cause pain. So, at 73 I look for a bike that will address that potential problem (larger tires notwithstanding).

And, of course, a more upright riding position will more often go together with a step-through, as well as a sweep back on the handlebars.
 

pushkar

Well-Known Member
Hmm.. true.
1. Battery placement behind the seat tube is an option but it takes away the peppiness feel of the bike.
2. Battery placement on the rear rack is not ideal if its the only battery on the bike.
3. Having a better integrated battery upfront appears to be the best option.
4. In terms of integrted batteries, I saw the new Sondors design through.. it is 1100wh but ... umm... isnt it too bulky ?
 

Gordon71

Member
Mines a rad rover step through and battery placement on it has not been any problem for me. I also fall into the older rider looking for a little work out and fresh air category. No real physical problems yet but that can change. I also doubt bigger batteries are a big concern for us older riders. I admit we might rely on power more than younger riders but I also doubt we ride as far on average.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Everyone - I have been getting a LOT of requests lately for step-through frames. Literally 30-40% right now. When we started, we were doing may be 5% step throughs.

Are there any pointers / data for demand for step-through versus regular frame ?

Any pointers will be appreciated.
I think it is a combination of all of the points made so far... new riders are entering the market due to the pandemic and want an easy step frame.

Always good to have choices, however, be careful not to over-compensate or you may be stuck with excess inventory after the pandemic subsides.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
The most concerns I've heard is the external battery potentially getting in the way of the step thru wondering whether it defeats the purpose. You may want to explore designing a step thru frame that can house a bigger integrated battery to alleviate the range issue.
And frankly, it does.

I lost a fight with a picnic table in the dark last summer and banged up my knee pretty badly. I still had a while to go, and I really noticed that downtube PowerPack when the bad knee tapped against it. Impossible to avoid! I will likely never consider this design again.

The Nevo3 appears to be more of a step-through but with the rack-style PowerPack. Not sold on this. First, there we go again with a wholesale change requiring a new path. I own several frame a PowerPacks. Bearing in mind that this is only a problem for Bosch owners, I will say that I’m raising an eyebrow about :) rack height (already an RM issue), weight distribution (your rack is already preoccupied) and the quality of RM racks in general.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I did a search on the subreddit of dataisbeautiful, but nothing really stuck out regarding step thru or bicycle frames in general. However there "might" be a source somewhere in there that might be of use to further your determination.
In RM world, the Nevos are quite popular, and I noticed it’s the only model listed as “sold out” at the main site. Part of the reason is the transition to Gen4 for the line, but still, somebody’s been buying them.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
What about a 17 amp hour battery integrated into the down tube and then for people that want more range they can buy a second battery or maybe make it where you can add another 14 amp onto the rear rack, I would rather have the second battery on the rear rack than in the middle of the step through area
 

pushkar

Well-Known Member
What about a 17 amp hour battery integrated into the down tube and then for people that want more range they can buy a second battery or maybe make it where you can add another 14 amp onto the rear rack, I would rather have the second battery on the rear rack than in the middle of the step through area
Great suggestion. We actually have the 17ah on the new UC Pro step through.
 

Edrummer

Member
My take on this........whenever a review of a step thru was posted on this sight, there seemed to me an over hyped attention to frame flex. This probably turned a lot of people off right from the get go. I was one of those people. Now when a step thru is mentioned, it’s kind of just glossed over likes it no big thing. Better materials, new designs, are probably helping the step thru cause.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I have ridden some step thrus that had frame flex but my bagibike- which is very heavy - doesn’t seem to have any

will pay more attention next time I ride it and see if there is any at all, haven’t been on it much since I got the WW

Maybe it is true that there is less of a problem with that now
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
It may be better to do a mixte frame to address flex and ease of getting on/off rather than a full step thru.