The bicycle was invented in 1817 by a German man called Karl von Drais and has since become a staple of both urban and rural life, being an easy method of transportation that is both fun and easy to use. Called a “dandy horse” back then, the bicycle has since gone through hundreds of innovations that have firmly earned it a place in our current, modern timeline.
Not all bikes are the same, however. We’re not just talking about shapes and sizes, as very unique designs have cropped up as of the past hundred years. For example, the original bicycle wasn’t even cyclable in the first place, as you had to push it forward by touching the ground with your feet.
The inventor of the modern bicycle, then, can be considered to be a Scottish blacksmith called Kirkpatrick MacMillan, who added pedals to what was then a new and certainly more than a little bit strange of a contraption. Take this information with a grain of salt, as the subject is a matter of dispute.
How Did Bicycles Get so Popular?
Bicycles went through two golden ages: the first one began roughly around 1868 when a pair of innovative brothers from France partnered up with a local blacksmith to produce models that had rotary cranks. The second bicycle craze - and the biggest of them all - began during the 1890s, when the chain-drive transmission was introduced together with the pneumatic tire.
Since bicycles became popular with almost all social classes during that time, everyone took to using them. That includes women, who, back then, used to wear skirts so long they swept the ground they walked on. This brought several difficulties, as their clothes often snagged in the bicycle or were even torn by them, leading to an inordinate amount of accidents and embarrassing scenarios.
The solution to this problem, then, was the invention of the step-through frame. The removal of the uppermost bar, called the top tube or the cross-bar, allowed most women to ride their bicycles with ease and comfort, as they no longer had to worry about their clothes getting in the way. What are now called step-through bikes used to be called ladies’ bikes or women’s bikes back then on account of their popularity with the fairer sex.
Modern Surge in Step-Through Bike Popularity
Coming back to the 21st century, an estimated 1 billion bikes are currently in use. It’s not hard to see why, as they’re affordable, user-friendly, and a whole lot of fun. Many people, in fact, ride bicycles not because of necessity, but because they enjoy it. That’s even without taking into consideration the healthy aspect of riding a bike, which is sure to do wonders for your overall health and fitness.
Step-through bikes are now not only popular with women, but with the elderly as well. Older people or those who are injured or impaired who might have mobility issues count step-through bikes as a blessing, as they no longer have to put in so much effort when getting off.
Couriers and messengers from around the world are also overjoyed with them. When you have to deliver packages as quickly as possible, then the added benefit of not having to swing your leg over the top bar to get off is huge. Dropping a parcel several stories up an apartment block is much quicker and easier when you don’t waste precious energy by mounting and dismounting your bike.
3 Solid Step-Through Bike Models for Everyone
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an expert, a step-through bike could make your riding experience significantly more pleasant. Pedaling all day can get exhausting, so why tire yourself even further by having to struggle with a top bar? Step-through bikes are usually much heavier when compared to step-over (traditional) bikes, although they offer their own advantages.
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike ($533.99)
This cute and cozy bicycle isn’t all flowers, instead being prepared to bear both men and women of varying height and weight. Schwinn is a manufacturer that has been around for a long time and is known for being a great producer of step-through bikes, offering a lot of quality at an affordable price.
The model features a high-quality suspension fork patented by Schwinn, as well as a 21-speed SRAM grip shifter, which makes going uphill a breeze. The frame is made from aviation-grade aluminum and is thus easy to lift and carry around, as well as being thoroughly durable.
Electra Loft 7D ($579.99)
A classic design from the 1800s adapted to modern times, the Electra Loft 7D is an extraordinary choice for those who want to look chic while riding. Pregnant women claim this bike is perfect for them, being easy to use and relatively cheap when compared to other models.
The minimalist design of the bike, made from lightweight aluminum, makes it pleasing to the eye as well as a breeze to carry. With a 7-speed drivetrain and alloy dual pivot caliper brakes, this bicycle is just the thing you need to go from A to Z in boundless joy. Show up to work on your new, cheery yellow Electra bike and impress everyone with how much you’re glowing!
Sweetpea A-Line ($1944.99)
Most step-through bicycles have very heavy frames. This is so that they don’t lose balance and keel over during the worst of times. The Sweetpea A-Line, however, is not only 22 pounds, but also as sturdy as a heavier model, featuring a stylish steel frame.
An attempt at innovation, this unique model has everything you would expect from a modern bike, being perfect for both slow and frantic rides. Rushing to work during your morning commute is much easier when the bike you’re carrying around is extremely lightweight. A set of slick, high-quality tires completes the experience.
Leg Up, Swing Over
Step-through bikes are a superb choice for people who need extra added mobility. Whether that consists of quickly delivering a package or being able to dismount your bike with your integrity intact when wearing a skirt, we suggest taking a look at the models we’ve presented to serve as the foundation for your shopping experience.
Whatever bike you purchase, just make sure that you have fun. Life is too short not to!
Want to read more about bikes? Check out our article on e-bikes here!