You are no doubt aware that some stereotypes exist about certain styles of bike being "men's" or "women's". Typically, a classic diamond frame with a high-top tube is seen by some people as a man's bike, and these same people would class a bike with a step-through frame as a woman's bike. However, when it comes to selecting a bike frame, the rider's gender isn't important – many other factors should be considered when making the best choice for you! From your daily cycling routine and route, to considerations around getting on and off your bike, there is lots to think about when making your choice. Today, we'll look at the characteristics of diamond and step-through frame e-bikes, so both newbies and experienced riders alike can feel better informed about choosing one to fit their needs.
Diamond and step-through frame difference, in a nutshell
A key difference between a step-through and diamond frame is the way riders can get on and off the bike. With a step-through frame, you can literally step through the bike, by lifting up your foot up and over the crankset. In contrast, a diamond frame (also known as a "step-over" frame) involves hoisting one foot up and over the back of the bike to get up onto the seat. This is because it has a high-top tube running from the handlebar headset to the seat post; together with the rear forks, it forms a diamond shape that gives it its name.
It's true that, in the early days of bicycle development in the late 19th century, bikes were initially primarily ridden by men, and that frames were adapted to a more step-through style to accommodate the long skirts typically worn by women. Over a hundred years later, however, it's fair to say that choice of frame comes down to personal preference and consideration of many factors!
Before we delve into the ins and the outs of these frames properly, our readers must bear in mind their answers to the following questions to decide the most suitable frame;
- The purpose of the bike. Will it be for casual, fun, or professional use?
- Where will the bike be stored? Is there much storage space for it?
- What kind of area do you live in? Does it have varied terrain?
Diamond frame: pros
The geometric design of these bikes makes them super sturdy. They are typically made with lightweight materials with extra frame tubing at the top of the bike that locks in extra robustness, balancing the frame weight well into a strong and durable package with a lightweight feel. Step-over also bikes tend to have better speed performance for longer rides, and incorporate gearing and tires that can handle varied terrain, along with effective brakes for hill stops.
Diamond frame: cons
Although this frame can cope well with different terrains, it is designed mostly for street riding, not off-road riding. A specialized set of tires may be needed for more rural conditions, or a track or mountain bike design may be more suitable for those looking for extreme riding conditions.
One of the most common drawbacks with a diamond frame is convenience; it can be challenging for cyclists to mount and dismount, and a less comfortable option for those with limited mobility, riders wearing non-sporty clothing like a suit, dress or skirt, those running multiple errands, or when riding in stop-and-start traffic.
TENWAYS' diamond champions: AGO X, CGO600, CGO600 Pro
Although diamond-framed bicycles can handle a range of terrains, it doesn't mean they are suitable for off-track adventures, but our AGO X is designed for outstanding performance on both flat and bumpy terrain. Its SR Suntour lockout fork & Shimano 10 speed gearing are a perfect match for going off the beaten track, whether it's in the city or countryside, while the Selle Royal saddle gives an extra element of comfort for both long and short distance rides.
The CGO600 & CGO600 Pro models live perfectly up to the sturdy yet speedy stereotype of diamond-framed bikes. Their high-quality, lightweight components add maximum performance to their robust frames with minimum baggage, with each weighing 15 and 16 kg respectively.
Step-through frame: pros
Typically this frame tends to be favored by those looking for a simple, easy, casual trip around the city, and who want cycling to adapt around their lifestyle preferences. Riders are more free to dress according to their ride destination, whether that's school, work or social occasions. It's also more comfortable for riders with health issues; the shape of the step-through design supports a comfortable upright riding position, meaning less strain on the back and shoulders, and it's easier for users with mobility issues to mount and dismount. They are seen as being perfect for leisurely rides around the city on smooth paved roads, without the need for speed and complex gearing for tackling inclines.
Step-through frame: cons
The frame design is generally thicker and less stable than the diamond frame, because it lacks the top tubing that secures the front and back of the frame together. For greater robustness, it tends to be made with heavier durable materials that can make it more difficult to maneuver around! As it's less lightweight with heavier components, it is not typically associated with having the best e-bike performance, so won't fly on the roads like its diamond counterpart and, with limited gearing, is less able to handle different environments such as hilly terrain. Its bulkier physique can also be more inconvenient to move around in different settings and store in your home.
TENWAYS' step-through superstars AGO T, and CGO800
A core philosophy of step-through bicycles is comfort, and our rides are no exception. CGO800 is our classic step-through model, which of course includes a relaxed upright geometry for premium convenience but also comes with a suspension front fork, a special feature not normally found in step-through bikes, that's perfect for those unpredictable bumps you may encounter cruising the city.
The pace of step-through models is normally designed for leisurely rides around the city, but at TENWAYS we understand circumstances can quickly change at a moment's notice in the urban jungle! So we've built our AGO T to give you total flexibility whether you need a two-wheeled partner for relaxing rides or a strong, speedy friend to help you cruise through varied terrains. With a lockout suspension fork, powerful Bafang M420 250W mid-drive motor and Enviolo stepless shifting hub, it's able to tackle hills with ease and offers serious carrying ability for your urban errands.
We hope this article has given you the full lowdown to help with your e-bike purchasing decisions! To summarize, the right frame for you depends on your personal lifestyle needs, what you want from an e-bike, and your home environment. The diamond frame is seen as robust and lightweight, with more adaptable, stealthy ride performance that's flexible for riding different terrains; the step-through frame is super flexible in a different way, able to accommodate a wider range of riders who are looking for an easy, urban ride that's totally comfortable as they go about their day. At TENWAYS we've packed our diamond and step-through frames into unique packages to give you as much flexibility as possible with your e-bike.