11 Best Step-Through Bikes for City Commutes and Fitness Rides
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?
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:
- 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.
1. Schwinn Discover 2 700C
MSRP: Check on Amazon
- Aluminum frame
- Wheel size: 700c
- 21-speed drivetrain
- Promax alloy linear-pull brakes
- Bike weight: 36 lbs
- One size frame (17″) fits riders 5’5″ – 6’0″
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.
2. State Bicycle Co The Azure (3-speed)
- Steel frame
- Mustache type handlebar
- Coaster brake
- 700x35c tires
- 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.
3. Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 Step-Through Bike
- 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.
4. Breezer Midtown 1.7
- Aluminum frame and fork
- Kenda Kwick Seven5 27.5″ x 2.4″ tires
- Shimano Altus 8-speed gearing
- Tektro mechanical disc brakes
The striking Breezer Midtown 1.7 bike is ideal for urban riding or cruising to the beach.
It comes with a Shimano Altus 8-speed drivetrain, a simple yet understated groupset that is cheap to replace when parts wear out. Breezer has included mechanical disc brakes from Tektro, which is adequate for this price point, as they provide solid stopping power in urban environments.
The bike comes in a stylish Glacier Blue paint finish, and it is available in three sizes, from Small to Large, suiting rider heights from 5’1″ to 5’11”. The comfortable upright position of the Midtown 1.7 is ideal for city or casual riding.
You don’t need anything extra to ride this bike comfortably, but it’s compatible with a rear rack and fenders if needed.
5. Priority Bicycles Turi
Maintenance-free Gates Carbon Belt Drive
- 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!
6. Cannondale Treadwell 2 Remixte
One of the best step-through hybrid bikes
- Aluminum frame
- 650b x 47c tires
- microSHIFT Advent, 9-speed drivetrain
- Tekro HD-R280 hydraulic disc brakes
- Bike weight: 25lbs
Cannondale Treadwell 2 Remixte 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 $950. You get an aluminum frame and fork, which keeps it lightweight and responsive. The Maxxis DTR-1 47mm tires offer comfort and grip, and the microSHIFT 9-speed drivetrain offers plenty of gearing for you and thus opening up more riding possibilities.
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 Treadwell 2 Remixte also utilizes Cannondale’s Easy-Ride Geometry which makes it easy to put a foot down when stopped and reach the handlebars.
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
- 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!
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.
8. Marin Larkspur 650b
A low-step bike with excellent versatility
- 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.
9. Ghost Square Cross 1.8
One of the best step-through hybrids
- Aluminum frame, hi-tens steel fork
- Shimano 7-speed drivetrain
- Aluminum V-brakes
- 700 x 40mm tires
The Ghost Square Cross 1.8 is a unique step-through bike with some off-road DNA built in.
The frame design boosts confidence with setting off and stopping and is very comfortable. This Ghost step-through hybrid boasts wide 42mm tires on fast-rolling 700c wheels, providing a balance of cushioning and speed.
The bike comes with a Shimano Altus 3×9-speed drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. This pairing gives you plenty of gearing options and stopping power for mixed-terrain riding. Unfortunately, the Square Cross 1.8 doesn’t include mounts for fenders and a rear rack.
At $800, the Ghost Square Cross 1.8 is an affordable and comfortable ride, perfect for urban dwellers and leisure riders alike.
10. Cannondale Adventure Neo 4
Classic cruiser step-through e-bike
- SmartForm C3 Aluminum frame
- Wheel size: 27.5″
- Shimano Altus 9-speed drivetrain
- Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes
This Cannondale step-through bike is another super-comfortable option, making it a versatile and approachable ride for beginners and experienced riders alike.
The Adventure Neo 4 is a cruiser-inspired bike with the addition of huge 2.2″ tires, which provide excellent comfort 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 geometry that allows you to put a foot on the ground easily. Hydraulic disc brakes are an important addition and are used in conjunction with the Shimano Altus 9-speed drivetrain.
Finally, this drivetrain uses one chainring, so you may be limited in gearing options, but this helps keep the weight down.
11. Public M7
- 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.