We’re Looking for a Non-Pricey Step-through Bike

Mr. Ding and I are on a quest to buy a steel frame, step-through bike for a tall rider (5′ 10). In this case it’s for a new rider who’s not going to ride it everyday and everywhere – she’s going to ride around the residential area of Oak Park on short family rides.  Having said that, an expensive new Dutch bike like a WorkCycles, Batavus, or Gazelle is out. Same with Pashleys. And based on my experience even a used Pashley might not fit right for this rider as I’ve found them a bit too small (Though I am 6ft tall). Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Steel frame
  • step-through
  • internal hub or derailleur
  • anything but coaster brakes (or at least 1 hand brake)
  • Tall enough for a long-legged 5′ 10 rider
  • 3 or more gears
  • priced $300-$600


Our first favorite was the Manhattan Green bike – an amazingly nice steel-frame Dutch-style bike that I’ve heard only good things from folks who have them.  Unfortunately the step-through version does not come in a very tall frame and one tall woman I know who rides one, rides the men’s version for just that reason.

Our big favorite right now is PUBLIC Bike’s C3 in the large frame size.  It’s on the high-end of our price range, but since you can now buy them locally from Copenhagen Cyclery in Wicker Park, we can avoid the shipping charges. The manager says he gets them about 4-5 days after an order is placed.

  • Today I just came across a mention of the Biria CityBike – going to have to go check one out. I’m familiar with the super-low step-through Biria bikes for adaptive riders, and those frames do not come very tall at all. No idea how this one runs.
  • I’m also wondering if we should venture down the big-box store route  (….shudder…) and consider one of those Hollandia bikes  (designed in NL, made in China) that Wal-Mart sells.  I just thought of this option so no research done yet. I”m not sure how tall the frames are. The post on Bike Portland and all the comments over the summer about these bikes was interesting but I still don’t know anyone who has purchased one. I’m curious about these bikes, but not sure I want to buy one to assuage my own curiosity.
  • Obviously an old Schwinn would be great, but I’ve never come across any step-through Schwinns that are very tall.  Am I wrong here?

If you’ve got any suggestions that meet our criteria listed above,  for a used or new bike, please let me know.

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