Larry lives in a retirement community in my town. He had hip replacement surgery a while back and likes this old Dahon because he can step right into the frame without swinging a leg over a top tube. “And it doesn’t look like a girl’s bike,” he tells me.
The German Redhead at my office tried the Urbana Bike I’m evaluating for Commute By Bike. She told me this bike looks very feminine to her, not because of the color, but because of the U frame design. “Of course this is a women’s bike, Richard. It’s obvious!” she said with her European accent, emphatically pointing into the open frame.
I personally don’t think of step through frames like these as “women’s” or “girl’s” bikes these days. They’re obviously advantageous for those wearing longer dresses and skirts, but they’re also fantastically practical machines that my stiffening joints can easily handle. Sun Bicycles, for example, markets this ultra low step through cruiser specifically to aging boomers of either sex.
Alan @ Ecovelo recently posted a survey showing his readers mostly think step through frames are gender neutral. I’m curious in what you think as well — when you see a step through bike frame (exclusive of other elements like flowers or feminine colors), do you think of it as a Ladies’ bike, or not? Let me know!