Step through MTB options?

PDoz

Well-Known Member
I'm looking to get my wife a step through bike with what I would call mild MTB capabilities . It doesn't NEED to be electric, although I'm struggling to find anything without a motor that has reasonable off road capabilities - does anyone have any suggestions? She is 6'2" which means an xl in most step through designs - even then she has to change bars/ headstems to get comfortable. So there is zero chance of walking into a local store and trying a bike for fit.

She is currently riding a norco scene - it's surprisingly capable but terrifying to watch - the low bottom bracket has her close to pedal strikes even on green runs, and when she tackles blue runs with drops / rocks my anxiety levels go through the roof. Having said that, I'm amazed at how much more comfortable she is on this bike compared to her old Merida hard tail MTB - the upright riding position, step through frame, and relaxed ergonomics allow her to wander through the tracks at a pace she is happy with. She will be keeping the norco as an urban bike

She doesn't really need the complexity of a motor - she can easily keep up with me on the levo sl for moderate gradients , we're just intending to wander through the bush rather than tackle gravity runs, and I'm a little afraid that a full power ebike will have her riding faster than she should. Having said that, most of the normal step through bikes I can find seem urban biased rather than off road capable , so if we need to go to an emtb then I'm ok with that.

I'm comfortable with the cost of upgrading forks/ brakes etc if there is something with a solid frame and decent geometry, and I'll definitely be fitting a dropper post (possibly a suspension dropper) . I'd prefer something with 27.5 wheels for a good balance between agility and robust construction (plus tyre choice suitable for mtb riding) .

I doubt she will accept a reise mueler - even though they make a lot of sense , the aesthetic doesn't match her idea of cycling.

The closest thing I can find is a merida espresso cc https://www.merida-bikes.com/en-au/bike/2172/espresso-cc-600-eq but that's going to need extensive modification - at the very least I'd convert it to an internal geared hub , replace the forks with something more robust and slightly longer travel, and those brakes would definitely need upgrading!

I wish it was possible to get a frey cc in Australia ! I suspect that after riding one she would accept the looks.
 

Brendon@OEB

Well-Known Member
I'm looking to get my wife a step through bike with what I would call mild MTB capabilities . It doesn't NEED to be electric, although I'm struggling to find anything without a motor that has reasonable off road capabilities - does anyone have any suggestions? She is 6'2" which means an xl in most step through designs - even then she has to change bars/ headstems to get comfortable. So there is zero chance of walking into a local store and trying a bike for fit.

She is currently riding a norco scene - it's surprisingly capable but terrifying to watch - the low bottom bracket has her close to pedal strikes even on green runs, and when she tackles blue runs with drops / rocks my anxiety levels go through the roof. Having said that, I'm amazed at how much more comfortable she is on this bike compared to her old Merida hard tail MTB - the upright riding position, step through frame, and relaxed ergonomics allow her to wander through the tracks at a pace she is happy with. She will be keeping the norco as an urban bike

She doesn't really need the complexity of a motor - she can easily keep up with me on the levo sl for moderate gradients , we're just intending to wander through the bush rather than tackle gravity runs, and I'm a little afraid that a full power ebike will have her riding faster than she should. Having said that, most of the normal step through bikes I can find seem urban biased rather than off road capable , so if we need to go to an emtb then I'm ok with that.

I'm comfortable with the cost of upgrading forks/ brakes etc if there is something with a solid frame and decent geometry, and I'll definitely be fitting a dropper post (possibly a suspension dropper) . I'd prefer something with 27.5 wheels for a good balance between agility and robust construction (plus tyre choice suitable for mtb riding) .

I doubt she will accept a reise mueler - even though they make a lot of sense , the aesthetic doesn't match her idea of cycling.

The closest thing I can find is a merida espresso cc https://www.merida-bikes.com/en-au/bike/2172/espresso-cc-600-eq but that's going to need extensive modification - at the very least I'd convert it to an internal geared hub , replace the forks with something more robust and slightly longer travel, and those brakes would definitely need upgrading!

I wish it was possible to get a frey cc in Australia ! I suspect that after riding one she would accept the looks.

Have you checked out the Bulls Copperhead Evo Wave HD? It's a hardtail w/dropper post, pretty capable bike with the Bosch CX motor. Currently they make it in a 48cm which might be on the small side. Later this year they'll release a version with the Bosch Smart System and offer it in the 54cm size which would work for her. Otherwise a R&M Homage with GX option is another full suspension bike that you can spec with the eMTB CX motor, different price point though.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
How did you go with the search? I remember emtb ran a light off road step through group test a few years ago: https://ebike-mtb.com/en/best-off-road-step-through-e-bike-review/

I only recognise a few brands that stock in Australia including the Bulls and R&M mentioned above, and not sure if they offer those models locally. I've been encouraging my partner to get an ebike - you'll ride more, further - she's not interested.

I gave up . Or more honestly - she had a few too many close calls on the norco and lost interest.

We head to Tasmania in a couple of weeks , based near ST Helens +/- Derby - hopefully she will join us on a few rides and get back some confidence. Theoretically she can go for a ride on my sons XL reign now, so hopefully she can at least experience what a decent mtb is capable of.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Shouldn't need step-through if bike as dropper post.

except she wants one - aesthetic +/- she often has panniers on the back so finds a step through easier.

We already have a fleet of mountain bikes with dropper posts
 

TrevorB

Well-Known Member
Moustache Open 2. Motor is at lower end for eMTB especially for uphill flow riding but is great for exploring given 11-46t cassette.
Probably want to invest in better fork and brakes.

We own the Xroads which are same bike kitted out for trekking and love them.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Moustache Open 2. Motor is at lower end for eMTB especially for uphill flow riding but is great for exploring given 11-46t cassette.
Probably want to invest in better fork and brakes.

We own the Xroads which are same bike kitted out for trekking and love them.

Thanks, but that wouldn't be any more capable than what she is currently riding. If anything, the flimsy forks with QR axles would be a step back - great for comfort on a rail trail, but her norco scene is perfectly adequate for that.

I'm looking for something more robust / mtb capable eg I'd prefer through axles , at least 34 mm forks with decent dampening , and idealy 4 pot brakes with rotors to match. I've toyed with slipping some of our spare forks into her norco, but unfortunately that'd put the seat way too far back ( it's already a bit too far back because at her height the seat post is way up)

It looks like the frey is now available in Australia (. https://cycleaddiction.com.au/product/frey-cc/ )

We have a holiday coming up at Derby / St Helens so I might see if I can get her out on a hire bike and see how much a capable bike improves her confidence. They have an XL trek fuel exe for hire, which would give ME a chance to see if I prefer them to my levo sl .....it might be an expensive exercise...