Step through electric bikes are a great choice for urban riders, seniors and commuters due to their quick access frame geometry and relaxed upright riding style.
Here we explain what to look out for when buying step through electric bikes, which models are popular right now and why they may be the perfect option you.
What is a Step Through Electric Bike?
If you bought a Step through bike 20 years ago it would have been classed as a ‘Ladies Bike’ as the crossbar seemed to be the distinction between the male and female buyers market. Usually frame designs and colors tended to lean more on the feminine side as a result.
Thankfully nowadays Stepthrough Electric Bikes are classed as ‘unisex’ and color choices are the same whichever frame style you choose which has provided buyers with much more choice based on their own personal preferences.
As you can see from the diagram below, the step through frame geometry does not have the top ‘Cross Bar’ making it much easier to get on and off the bike. Most Manufacturers offer both options nowadays to cater for a wider audience as everything else on the bikes, regardless of frame geometry are exactly the same.
What Are The Benefits of Step Through Electric Bikes?
If you suffer from mobility issues, getting on and off a bike can be tricky so a Step through option would be a great choice if this is the case, especially if you need to drop down off the seat or dismount quickly.
Step through frames tend to have a more upright relaxed riding style which is a popular option for delivery drivers who are dismounting the bike multiple times a day, or is stopping often in city traffic.
Are There Any Downsides to Step Through Electric Bikes?
There are a few. Firstly Step Through Electric Bikes are usually heavier due to the frame material is usually thicker to help strengthen the frame due to not having the crossbar and in most cases the frame is wider for additional support/ strength.
This type of Frame is designed for a comfortable upright riding style which is perfect for commuters or city riding, however they are not recommended for serious heavy off-road use or jumping due to the lack of frame support so there is a compromise to be had depending on what you want to use the bike for, but most are absolutely fine for average daily use on the lighter trails.
Things To Look Out For
Some key pointers to look out for when buying a step through electric bike would be models that have the battery integrated into the frame as these not just more pleasing to the eye, but are less obstructive than some models that have non – integrated batteries which are simply attached to the frame
On many Step Through Electric bikes where the battery is not integrated into the frame, some manufacturers locate them behind the down tube or in some cases just underneath the pannier rack on some models – Either is fine, just make sure batteries can be removed as this can be useful if you need to change the battery off the bike and if the bike is stored outside, very hot or cold temperature exposure will deplete battery life quicker over time.
Ideally the battery should be lockable with a key for extra security while on the bike ( this is one of the most expensive components).
Top 3 Step Through Electric Bikes 2021
1. Raleigh Centros Tour 2021 ( Our Favorite)
In my opinion the Raleigh Centros Tour Derailleur is one of the best value for money step through ebikes out there and comes with quality components, excellent range and includes a rear rack, mudguards and lights. Yes, I know its not cheap and we are over the $2000 range, however this bike is built to last and with its high end powerful Bosch Active Line mid-drive motor the Raleigh Centros will have you climbing hills with ease.
Model: Centros Tour Derailleur Lowstep 2021
Motor: Mid-Drive / Bosch Active Line Plus
Range: 50 – 70 Miles on a single charge
Price: £2000 +
—> Read Our Full Review of the Raleigh Centros Tour Here <—
2. Wisper Wayfarer H7 ( Great Value)
The Wayfarer is a competent Hybrid bike that comes with a 50NM rear hub motor, but can be accessorized to include pannier racks, lights and mudguards making it a solid commuter bike. It also comes with Hydraulic disc brakes and a shimano gearset which are quality components at this price point. It has 2 battery options available, a 450WH which should give you between 20 – 40 miles of range on a single charge, or up to 65 miles with the 750WH battery pack.
The Wayfarer also comes with either ‘City’ or ‘Adventure’ Options which are basically on or off-road versions.
Model: Wayfarer H7 Step Through Hybrid Electric Bike, 27.5″ Wheel
Motor: Hub Drive
Range: 40 – 65 miles ( depending on Battery option) on a single charge
Price Range: £1500 – £2000
3. VIVI Electric Cruiser Bike
As a budget option this Vivi Electric Cruiser bike is good value for money and online reviews look good. It comes equipped with mudguards, front and rear, lights and a rack so would make a solid commuter bike – All for under $800!
Model: Electric Cruiser Bike
Motor: Hub – 350W high-speed brush less gear motor
Range: 40 – 65 miles ( depending on Battery option) on a single charge
Price: Under $1000
- Maximum Speed: 32km/h 20mph
- Mileage: 40km/25miles(throttle mode)-80km/50miles(pedal assist mode)
- Frame Material: Carbon Steel
- Brake: Front and rear disc brakes
- Fork: High strength aluminum fork
- Derailleur: Shimano 7 speed gears
- Rims: Aluminum double-walled rims
- Wheels: 26’’X1.95 mountain professional wheels
- Load Capacity: 330lbs
- Vehicle Weight: About 70 lbs
- Charging Time: 4-6 hours
- Fender: Yes
- Rear Rack Height: 72cm/30inch
- Full Length: 185cm/73inch
- Whole Height(from handlebars): 110cm/43inch
- Handlebars Length: 65cm/25 inch
Step Through Electric Bikes are a great choice for city riders, seniors or anyone who may have limitations getting onto a regular bike as they are extremely easy to get on or off. They also promote confidence when riding due to their upright riding position making the rider feel much more in control overall.
There are some fantastic options out there on the market in addition to the above recommendations however we believe the Raleigh Centros is the best value for money overall –
—> See the full review here <—
In the meantime if you have a Step Through Electric Bike I would live to hear what your experiences have been so please drop me a message below. Alternatively if you have any questions or need advice then I would be happy to help.
8 thoughts on “Step Through Electric Bikes – Explained”
Glad I found your guide on Electric Bikes, as have been searching for days for more information concerning what to look out for. My daughter is thinking about buying an electric bike to commute back and forth to work. Now that I found your guide, can share it with her on social media to ade her in choosing the best bike to fit her needs.
Hey Janette, glad you found the post helpful! We have also put together a ‘Buyer Guide’ which you can view here that may provide you with some other useful pointers before makiing a decision. Best of luck.Dan
Today I learned a new term “Step Through Electric Bike”, for what I use to call growing up a girl’s bike. I love how we change our vocabulary to support changes in our society, it shows compassion and today it is much needed. I believe the step through electric bike is a better product for cities and suburban areas. Definitely lowers the stress of getting on and off the bike. And for those doing deliveries it lowers the risk of falls and accidents. I had no idea electric bikes were so expensive, but after reading your great article, I started researching some of the electric bike manufactures and discovered these bikes are made very well with excellent parts and top of the line batteries. It’s never a good idea to be too frugal when purchasing an electric bike, remember it’s your electric bike; and it’s your life cycling on those 2 wheels with an engine capable of going 20mph. So, dive into Dan’s excellent article and select the bike and price that works best for you.
Hi, I completely agree – By using the term ‘Unisex’ it opens up a far bigger market for these types of Electric bike, especially for those with mobility issues. If you are looking for more guidance then check out our ‘buyers guide’ Here
Hi, I was intrigued by your article as I am an active biker myself, however I have never owned an electric bike as i always felt it took away from the whole point of riding a bike. This being said I am very open to the idea as a step through bike would make life a lot easier fo myself.
So I will be looking to get my self a step through bike in the future i think and I will definetly be following this website from now on.
Thanks Tom – Glad you found this post helpful
This is just what I need. Years ago I could hop on and off a bike in no time. But those years have gone by. And I still need a to do quite a few errands daily. So through electric bike would really help. The Vivi Electric Cruiser Bike seems to be my best choice. Thank you very much for this review.
Thanks Abel, Yes the Vivi is a solid machine for the price and is good value for money