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Best Step-Through Bikes for City Commutes and Fitness Rides

By Rebecca Bland   /  Last updated - May 19, 2022   /  Hybrid Bikes, Reviews

bicycle frame types

If you’re in the market for a new city bike, then an overview of the best step-through bikes is a great place to start.

Both practical and stylish, step-through bikes are a classic frame design that has stood the test of time. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best men’s step-through bikes and best bikes for women in this category, as well as unisex frames. They provide a great upright riding position which makes them popular with commuters and urban riders alike.

Read on to discover what makes these bikes unique and some of the best bikes you should be looking for in your search.

What is a step-through bike?

man with a blue shirt is riding with a step through bike

A step-through bike is essentially what it says on the tin – the frame is designed for you to step through to get onto the saddle.

This makes it easy to mount and dismount, which is why they were so popular with women and those who wear dresses, particularly when cycling was first introduced. Nowadays, you can still ride in whatever clothes you want thanks to the ease of getting on and off these types of bikes.

The upright riding position is also of benefit to many, particularly those who have injuries or don’t want an aggressive riding position that a road bike typically offers, such as:

  • Men
  • Women
  • Seniors
  • Youth
  • People with previous injuries
  • People with low flexibility

The top tube is low enough for you to step through the frame, hence the name. Another alternative to this frame style is the low-step frame. Essentially, the top tube is even lower (if the bike has one), making it even easier to get on and off the bicycle without over stretching or ripping clothes for example.


Best Step-Through Bikes of 2022

1. Schwinn – Discover
2. State Bicycle Co – The Azure – $499
3. Co-op Cycles – CTY 1.1 – $599
4. Norco – Scene 1 – $879
5. Priority – Turi – $899
6. Cannondale – Quick Disc 3 – $1,050
7. Electra – Cruiser 1 – $380
8. Marin – Larkspur – $919
9. Batch – Comfort ST – $460
10. Marin – Stinson – $569
11. Public – M7 – $700


1. Schwinn – Discover 2 700C

schinn discover hybrid bike

MSRP: $520

  • Aluminum frame
  • Wheel size: 700c
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Promax alloy linear-pull brakes
  • Bike weight: 36 lbs

This Schwinn step-through bike is a budget-friendly casual bicycle, perfect for getting around town and beyond.

It’s manufactured from aluminum so it’s lightweight yet strong, and unlike many others on the list, includes front suspension. An SR Suntour fork is up front with an SR Suntour alloy crank. A mixed groupset of SRAM and Shimano parts offers great value for money, and the bike even comes with fenders attached and included so you don’t need to worry about mud or rain while riding.

The only place the bike appears to cut the costs is with the brakes. Linear pull brakes are slowly going out of fashion and with other bikes at this price point opting for disc brakes, it’s a shame Schwinn hasn’t used them on this bike. Nonetheless, it’s a great runaround bike that will get you comfortably from A to B, and even take in some off-road trails.

One size frame (17″) fits riders 5’5″ – 6’0″

Buy from Schwinn


2. State Bicycle Co – The Azure (3-speed)

City Bike - The Azure (3 Speed)

MSRP: $500

  • Steel frame
  • Mustache type handlebar
  • Coaster brake
  • 700x35c tires
  • Chainguard
  • 3-speed internal gearing (single-speed available as well)

This unisex step-through bike from State Bicycle Co. is a great example of a classic frame with modern styling.

It’s manufactured using steel for its longevity and hardwearing properties and helps to keep the costs down. One of State Bicycle Co’s biggest selling points is their affordability, as they aim to increase the accessibility of cycling to more people no matter their income or background.

They have thought carefully about each point on the Azure, for example including a chainguard to protect your clothes from getting trapped in the drivetrain and splashing oil or dirt on you or the bike. The handlebars are ‘mustache‘ bars, which makes them ergonomically designed for upright riding positions.

This bike is extremely affordable, at $500, and can be used with additional luggage carriers and lights, making it a useful urban cycle for those that prioritize style and comfort.

Buy from State Bicycle


3. Co-op Cycles – CTY 1.1 Step-Through Bike

Score: 4.5 / 5 out of 100+ reviews

rei womens bikes

MSRP: $599

  • Aluminum frame
  • 700c wheels
  • 3×8 Shimano Tourney/Acera drivetrain
  • Tektro mechanical disc brakes
  • Bike weight: 27 lbs
  • Weight limit: 300 lbs

The Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 Step-Through Bike is a smooth-riding urban bike, perfect for commutes and running errands.

It features a low-slung top tube making it easy to mount and dismount the bike, while the aluminum frame provides durability. Details have been carefully thought about on this bike, with trigger shifters complementing the 24-speed drivetrain (3×8 gears). Wide tires of 40c are great for comfort and carrying loads, of which the maximum on this bike is 300lbs.

You can purchase (separately) racks and fenders to make this into a utility machine, and the disc brakes can provide reliable stopping power even in the wet. A Selle Royal saddle provides a comfortable perch point, and there are three sizes to suit a wide range of rider heights.

A cheap and basic bike, but with plenty of features to suit urban riders, it’s hard to look past the CTY 1.1.

Buy from REI


4. Norco – Scene 1

step through bikes for seniors with extra low step frame

MSRP: $879

  • Aluminum frame with steel fork
  • Kenda Kwick Seven5 tires
  • Shimano Alivio 9-speed gearing
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes

The striking Norco Scene 1 bike is ideal for urban riding or cruising to the beach.

It comes with a Shimano Alivio 9-speed drivetrain, a simple yet understated groupset that is cheap to replace when parts wear out. Norco has included hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro which is impressive at this price point, as they provide superior stopping power and serviceability to mechanical disc brake options.

The bike comes in two frame color options, Black, or Red/Blue, and it is available in four sizes, from Small to Extra Large to suit a wide range of rider heights. The comfortable upright position on the Scene 1 is ideal for city or casual riding.

You don’t need any special clothing to ride this bike comfortably, it’s simply a much faster and more fun way of getting from A to B than walking, and at $879 it’s affordable too.

Buy on Jenson USA


5. Priority Bicycles – Turi

Maintenance-free Gates Carbon Belt Drive

priority turi step through bike

MSRP: $899

  • Aluminum frame
  • Puncture-resistant 700×35 tires
  • Internal gearing
  • Tektro/Promax hydraulic disc brakes

If you’re after a low-maintenance urban bicycle with a bit of a twist, the Priority Turi is the one for you.

It features a durable yet lightweight aluminum frame that comes in three sizes to suit a variety of heights. It’s only available in one colorway, Gloss Blue with Reflective Decals but paired with the brown retro-style saddle, it’s an impressive bike to look at.

However, the main feature of this bike is internal gearing. Priority has used the Infinity Shifting enviolo City CVT Rear Hub and a Rust-Free Gates Carbon Belt Drive. Combined, these parts offer a simplistic yet incredibly reliable drivetrain with virtually no maintenance required.

Color-matched fenders are included and the upright riding style makes for a comfortable and fashionable ride, wherever you choose to go!

 

Buy from Priority Bicycles


6. Cannondale – Quick Disc 3

One of the best step-through hybrid bikes

cannondale quick disc 3

MSRP: $1,050

  • Aluminum frame, Carbon fork
  • 700x35c tires
  • Shimano Acera/Alivio 2×9-speed drivetrain
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Bike weight: 25lbs

Quick Disc 3 is a versatile step-through bike from Cannondale that is great for getting about town with an easy to dismount geometry.

The price is rather affordable for such a popular brand too, at just $1,050. You get an aluminum frame and a carbon fork, which helps to soften any road buzz while riding. The Schwalbe Spicer 35c tires offer comfort and puncture protection while riding, and the Shimano 9-speed drivetrain offers plenty of gearing for you and thus opening up more riding possibilities.

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Hydraulic disc brakes are a nice touch at this low price point and will help to provide reliable stopping power in all weather. Finally, the Quick Disc 3 also utilizes Cannondale’s SAVE micro-suspension and an upright geometry design for added comfort.

Buy from REI.com


7. Electra – Cruiser 1 Step-Through Bike

One of the cheapest step-through cruiser bikes online by a known brand – Score: 5 / 5 out of 14+ reviews

electra cruiser 1

MSRP $380

  • Steel frame
  • Wheel size: 26″
  • Single-speed drivetrain
  • Coaster brake
  • Bike weight: 35 lbs

This Electra step-through bike is another demonstration of the sleek style we’re all used to from the brand.

Available in a choice of five colors, the Electra Cruiser 1 Step-Through Bike is a simple and elegant cruiser-styled bike. It’s simple to mount and dismount and comes with a coaster brake. It’s also host to a single-speed drivetrain, which means less maintenance for you – which is always a win in our book!

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It’s manufactured from steel which hosts powerful anti-corrosion properties as well as durability, so you’ll be able to keep riding this bike for many years to come.

This is a well-thought-out and stylish bike, fit for any casual ride, and at an extremely attractive price.

Buy on REI


8. Marin – Larkspur 650b

A low-step bike with excellent versatility 

marin larkspur

MSRP $919

  • Series 2 Butted CrMo frame
  • Wheel size: 650b
  • MicroSHIFT 10-speed drivetrain
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Marin Adventure Plush saddle

The Larkspur 650b is a fantastic Marin step-through bike. It works well as a bike for getting back into cycling, as many people often fear being able to put their foot down at traffic lights or junctions. With the geometry of this frame, it’s incredibly easy to do so without having to tilt the bike very much. This, along with the easy-to-use drivetrain and shifters makes it ideal for beginners.

The price is affordable too, at just under $1,000. The MicroSHIFT 10-Speed drivetrain is complemented with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, which allow you to stop on a dime no matter the weather.

Buy from JensonUSA


9. Batch Bicycles – Comfort ST

One of the best step-through bikes for seniors due to its extra-low entry

batch bicycles comfort st

MSRP $460

  • Aluminum frame, hi-tens steel fork
  • Shimano 7-speed drivetrain
  • Aluminum V-brakes
  • 700 x 40mm tires

The Batch Bicycles Comfort ST is an innovatively designed super low step bike, perfect for those new to cycling.

The frame design not only boosts confidence with setting off and stopping, but it’s also incredibly comfortable. This Batch step-through bike boasts wide but fast 40mm tires which provide cushioning and pair well with the suspension seatpost. 

The bike comes with 700c wheels as standard and a Shimano 7-speed drivetrain. V-brakes are somewhat disappointing but at this price point, it’s unrealistic to expect anything more advanced. The Comfort ST also features mounts for fenders and a rear rack. At $460 it’s an affordable and comfortable ride, perfect for urban dwellers and leisure riders alike.

Buy from JensonUSA


10. Marin – Stinson

Classic cruiser step-through bike

marin stinson

MSRP: $569

  • Aluminum frame, CroMo steel fork
  • Wheel size: 27.5″
  • Shimano Tourney 7-speed drivetrain
  • Power CX7 mechanical disc brakes

This Marin step-through bike is another super-comfortable option, making it a versatile and approachable ride for beginners and experienced riders alike.

The Stinson is a cruiser-inspired bike with the addition of huge 2.25″ tires, which provide excellent comfort, puncture protection, and traction. This is perfect for adding a bit of versatility to your ride and means you aren’t as limited by terrain.

It also comes with agile 27.5″ wheels and Comfort Control geometry that allows you to put a foot on the ground while sitting. Mechanical disc brakes are a great addition at this price range and are used in conjunction with the Shimano Tourney 7-speed drivetrain with RapidFire shifting.

Finally, this drivetrain uses one chainring so you may be limited in gearing options but this helps keep the weight down. 

Buy from JensonUSA


11. Public – M7

mixte bike public M7

MSRP: $700

  • Chromoly hi-tensile blend frame with steel fork
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Shimano Acera 7-speed derailleur
  • Alloy caliper brakes
  • Bike weight: 32 lbs

The Public M7 mixte bike is engineered to be gender-neutral with a premium step-thru design.

The mixte frame just means ‘mixed‘ and is another way of saying unisex. It’s available in four classy different colorways, Cream, Slate Blue, Red, and Black. It’s evident that Public has spent a lot of time designing this bike to be striking from far away.

Each Public bike includes color-coordinated cable housings, rims that are painted to match, cream tires, and the option of matching rear racks.

Customization is key at Public as they aim to create stylish city bikes that are individual to each rider. Thus, you can further customize your bikes with other accessories too.

In terms of components, the M7 comes with a 7-speed Shimano drivetrain and twist shifters for ease of use. Caliper brakes are also used but at the price point ($700) this can be expected. Overall, it’s a great example of a city bike.

Buy from Public Bikes

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