We live in a consumer's market, with a myriad of choice for anyone's needs, it can be a dream to find your perfect electric bike. For others, too many options can be a nightmare!

I've received so many testimonials from excited but exhausted customers who have spent years (literally) researching the market and waiting for the best electric bike to come along. I'm happy to say that many of them have ended their laborious journey with us and one of our products! One of they key selling points is having an option between frame styles. This leads me to the topic of our conversation today.

Frame Geometry

Hey, is it still called a "ladies" frame?

                            

Even wearing pants at that time was taboo! Today, the advent of the bicycle is considered a critical factor in the rise of the suffrage movement

 

Well, ladies and germs, the short answer is NO. Gendered terminology for bike frame geometry has changed over the years. Frames with a dropped or missing top tube (designed originally for use with skirts and dresses, thus termed the ladies frame) are now more commonly referred to as step through or open frames. Boy's or Men's frames as they were once called, are now commonly referred to as  diamond frames or cross-over frames.

 

Our brand specific terminology is Step Through (ST) or Cross Over (XR)

As you can see below, there are notable physical and aesthetic differences in the frame, but you might ask yourself, how does this affect me? There are benefits and practical differences to each, read more to find out :)

 




The Core-5, 500 Series, 700 Series and Prodigy ST models as pictured above

  • Also known as "step through", "ST" or "open", these frames have some distinct advantages

    • Easier to mount and dismount
    • Best suited for riders with restricted mobility i.e. chronic knee, back or hip pain.
    • Better design for carrying baggage/loaded rack as you do not need to lean the bike over to mount and ride
    • You could wear dresses or skirts while riding and reduce risk of injury while crossing your leg over a top tube :)
  • These frames also have some disadvantages to consider

    • XR frame is theoretically stronger than the ST (note that this is is only applicable with aggressive riding on intense terrain)
    • Ride may feel marginally "stiffer" due to the lower weight distribution of this frame style
    • The lack of top tube requires thicker framing near the base of the downtube (more metal means slightly heavier >2lbs)
    • Difficult to mount on a traditional bike rack (this frame requires racks that support from the wheel base instead of the top tube)

 

The Core-5, 500 Series, 700 Series, and Prodigy XR MTB models as pictured above

  • Also referred to as "Cross Over", "XR" or "Diamond" - these frames have some distinct advantages

    • This frame is structurally stronger, though this is not as applicable of a metric when most riding is done on smooth surfaces
    • Some consider this frame to be "traditional" and more aesthetically pleasing
    • Ride may feel more responsive due to the higher center of gravity of the XR frame
    • This frame is usually slightly lighter than a ST frame of the same design (<2 lbs)
    • Easiest and most loadable frame for a variety of bike rack designs
  • These frames also have some disadvantages to consider

    • This frame style is more difficult to mount and dismount due to the top tube
    • Rider's with knee, back or hip pain may find this frame style difficult or impossible to mount and dismount
    • The increased standover height of the XR frame may make this design less accessible for those of shorter stature.
    • You may have difficulty mounting this frame if you have luggage or a rear rack with panniers

 

If you are still wondering which frame style is best for you, please reach out to our friendly support staff at support@ride1up.com, helping find your dream bike is what we do!