Step Through Frame Stability

ROCebike

Member
Hi Court

Thanks for all your reviews. I’m a long time member and enjoy keeping up with new reviews and reading forum comments by other users/experts.

im shopping for a Class 3 for trekking for myself and a Class 2 folding ebike for my daughter’s commuting needs. In both cases it’s a step through frame. Granted these are not as stiff as triangle frames and there is a difference in OEM designs for stiffness improvement, latches, etc. With faster speeds and portability trends, I think frame flex is very important.

is there any way that you could better comment on frame stability or flex on step throughs.? thanks.
 

ROCebike

Member
I can only say the Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 Step-Through (Class 3) is pleasantly rigid but Specialized are experts in bike construction.

Thanks Stefan. I appreciate your comment. Unfortunately my local Specialized dealers have very limited ebike stock and poor sales knowledge. So I need better online assessments and a way to normalize observations to my height and weight. A slight wobble to a 140 lb reviewer would be a major concern to my 230 lbs at speed.

its frustrating to rely solely on comments. When the price gets north of say $3k, then a plane ticket for a demo ride of the right size is just part of the cost.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I'm sorry! Accidentally deleted my own post... I weigh 236 lbs and can only say Vado 5 (so called WMN model back in 2017) is nicely rigid. I understand your concerns very well. I do not say it has to be Specialized. If money is not a concern, think Riese & Muller, these are splendid e-bikes only I cannot afford them.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I don't mean to butt in here but for what it's worth, this has been my experience:

When switching from my Trek triangle frame MTB's to my Pedego Interceptor step thru, I did notice a bit more frame flex. Since I don't do downhill or single track anymore and ride mostly groomed and semi groomed trails, IMO, the slight flex does not adversely affect bike performance. Unfortunately, for many of us, age eventually forces the step thru switch if we want to keep riding.

I test rode dozens of ebikes when shopping, all of which were step thru's. I'm 260# and noticed no speed wobble on any I tested. Some handled better than others but none performed badly enough where I wouldn't consider buying one for the type of riding I do now. Sure step thru bikes flex more than triangle frames but I don't see many rider complaints here or on the other forums I frequent.

My advice is to test ride a bike before you buy even if it means travelling to do so. If you notice the flex and it bothers you, move on to another brand.
 

ROCebike

Member
I don't mean to butt in here but for what it's worth, this has been my experience:

When switching from my Trek triangle frame MTB's to my Pedego Interceptor step thru, I did notice a bit more frame flex. Since I don't do downhill or single track anymore and ride mostly groomed and semi groomed trails, IMO, the slight flex does not adversely affect bike performance. Unfortunately, for many of us, age eventually forces the step thru switch if we want to keep riding.

I test rode dozens of ebikes when shopping, all of which were step thru's. I'm 260# and noticed no speed wobble on any I tested. Some handled better than others but none performed badly enough where I wouldn't consider buying one for the type of riding I do now. Sure step thru bikes flex more than triangle frames but I don't see many rider complaints here or on the other forums I frequent.

My advice is to test ride a bike before you buy even if it means travelling to do so. If you notice the flex and it bothers you, move on to another brand.
I welcome the feedback. Pedego’s are pretty solid. I own the Ridge Rider and my wife has the City step thru. Both are Class 2 aka 20 mph. The Interceptor is nice, especially if you got the torque controller model.
Step through are much better when a bike is loaded for touring. You can avoid swinging a leg over panniers. But on a long trip stuff happens and most regular trekking bike are not step through for more strength assurance. Add ebike weight to the gear and strength matters more.
Similarly when commuting with a lot of stop lights a step through is just easier for putting feet down.
It’s too bad they’re still looked at as a ladies bike.
My MINO bike would be the R&M Supercharger or Delight with belt drive and Rohloff. At $10k I’d have lots of splaining to do with the wife 😉
 

trainman

Active Member
I'm 230 lbs. and my Rad Mini step thru shows no sign of flexing when riding, nor is there any signs of welds becoming faulty at the weld joints. I don't know of any other folding ebikes having this problem, but by looking at some of the 20" folding ebikes I can see where the lighter weight models of some of the manufactures of these ebikes could have some problems when ridden by heaver riders over a period of time.