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Good modern steel step-through frame?

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Good modern steel step-through frame?

Old 04-27-09, 10:27 AM
  #1  
mackstann
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Good modern steel step-through frame?

I'm planning on building my girlfriend an around town bike, but I'm not sure what frame to use. Most big-name women's bikes seem to be gaudy looking and/or made of aluminum. Something simple and relatively inexpensive like a Surly would be ideal (but they don't make this type of frame). I live in Portland and while there are some custom builders here that would make the perfect frame, it's just too expensive to justify, not to mention the wait. An older used frame isn't out of the question, but I'm trying to plan this out ahead of time and there's just too much randomness in what shows up on craigslist at any time. It would also be nice to use modern parts and not worry about them fitting.

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Old 04-27-09, 10:41 AM
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- https://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/hybr...erbe-roadster/
- https://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/hybrid/roadster/
- Electra Amsterdam

I don't think you'll find a new steel step-through frame without going custom.

Plenty of old mixte frames are being rebuilt for this purpose.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:47 AM
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mackstann
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Wow, that Superbe is really nice actually. I might not have to build it custom after all.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:49 AM
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I tried to convince my wife that she needs/wants one of these because I think it looks nice and I want to build one up (but bike purchases for myself have been capped due to legitimate space concerns). My wife, however, remains annoyingly satisfied with her current ride.

For that reason, I really can't speak to any ride qualities of this frame, only that it's pretty, steel, step-through-ish, and brand new, so compatibility with modern parts should not be an issue.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:48 AM
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Biria makes them.
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Old 04-27-09, 11:59 AM
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Interesting. Hadn't noticed that Soma released the Buena Vista. I usually don't care that much, but for some reason I really think it's a shame to have a threadless headset on this bike.

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Old 06-09-21, 10:29 PM
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An elegant frame but max tire size is 27,5 x 42mm, narrower for 29" wheels.
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Old 06-10-21, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Kessler View Post
An elegant frame but max tire size is 27,5 x 42mm, narrower for 29" wheels.
Keep in mind this thread is from 2009 quite a long time ago When positing on a forum it is bad practice to post in old threads. If there hasn't been action in the thread for a couple months it is probably a good idea to leave the thread lie.
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Old 06-11-21, 11:45 AM
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Cool

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Keep in mind this thread is from 2009 quite a long time ago When positing on a forum it is bad practice to post in old threads. If there hasn't been action in the thread for a couple months it is probably a good idea to leave the thread lie.
I've often heard this advice, but I must say I don't get it. As long as we recognize that the OP has probably long since chosen a frame for his/her girlfriend, I don't see any reason not to keep discussing steel-framed step-through bikes.

mackstann , do you still have the girlfriend, and what did you end up building for her?

Jack Kessler , why would anyone want to put tires wider than 42mm on a Soma mixte? That's nutty. Esp. in Portland (but everywhere, really), you need fenders. I'd recommend 32 or even 28mm.
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Old 06-12-21, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
I've often heard this advice, but I must say I don't get it. As long as we recognize that the OP has probably long since chosen a frame for his/her girlfriend, I don't see any reason not to keep discussing steel-framed step-through bikes.
The whole idea is the thread has been completely dormant since 2009 which is 12 years ago. It is one thing to comment in an active thread but one that people are no longer posting in especially from that long ago is kind of odd and doesn't quite make sense. Nothing wrong with discussing anything bike related here but posting in really old threads and responding to people who may not have posted in a long time is kind of wrong. You can create a new thread if you really need to discuss something relevant but when the thread is dead let it lie.
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Old 06-12-21, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
..it looks nice and I want to build one up...
The Mixte is a proven design, and it is not a girls bike. It is made for incredible strength and allows for the rider to step into the bike when it is fully loaded. I have seen these bikes so loaded with produce the rider was only able to push it along the street side. I to want to build one up and I have a Peugeot Mixte frame just waiting for my parts bin to get loaded enough I can start the creation and make it ALIVE!

Another Franken-Mixte... Ohhh Yeahhh...
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Old 06-12-21, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The whole idea is the thread has been completely dormant since 2009 which is 12 years ago. It is one thing to comment in an active thread but one that people are no longer posting in especially from that long ago is kind of odd and doesn't quite make sense. Nothing wrong with discussing anything bike related here but posting in really old threads and responding to people who may not have posted in a long time is kind of wrong. You can create a new thread if you really need to discuss something relevant but when the thread is dead let it lie.
Disagree. Threads don't die; they just get more historically interesting. This one, for instance, is interesting in light both of the continuities to 2009 (Soma is still making the Buena Vista) and the differences (Raleigh is no longer making that version of the Superbe, but on the other hand the choices in today's market for that general type of bike have increased greatly). I for one would much rather see somebody add to an old thread, keeping the historical context going, than start a redundant new thread.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
Disagree. Threads don't die; they just get more historically interesting. This one, for instance, is interesting in light both of the continuities to 2009 (Soma is still making the Buena Vista) and the differences (Raleigh is no longer making that version of the Superbe, but on the other hand the choices in today's market for that general type of bike have increased greatly). I for one would much rather see somebody add to an old thread, keeping the historical context going, than start a redundant new thread.
I mean if nobody posts in them for 12 years, they aren't active, so one could consider them dead or at least in a vegetative state if they aren't actually closed. I wouldn't want to be a vegetable and then be turned into a zombie.

It is one thing if it is your own thread and you are posting say updates on the bike you were building or had some really useful but hard to find information that people really need to know desperately or something like that but beyond that let a sleeping dog lie. Especially after that long probably most people have long moved on either from the forum or from that specific post.

Heck old me and now me would not get along in terms of cranks and bottom brackets and tire width. Square taper and skinny is no longer my jam, jelly or marmalade. I wouldn't want to revive a discussion I had that long ago.
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Old 06-13-21, 07:32 AM
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Since this has been revived......

Azor makes a steel step-through frame although I'm not sure how you would go about getting just the frame in the states. I went with a total build from them but opted for an aluminum frame. Still should be super strong, and last forever.


8 speed IGH, roller brakes, heavy duty racks, hub dynamo, front stabiliser, dual leg kickstand, etc. A lot in the states will call it a women's bike but I don't care. Step-trough just makes sense.


So, they offer this same design in steel also as mentioned above.
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Old 06-25-21, 04:12 AM
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https://velo-orange.com/collections/...lyvalent-mk5-1 looks like a pretty nice mixte utility / tourer / commuter
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Old 06-29-21, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
Disagree. Threads don't die; they just get more historically interesting. This one, for instance, is interesting in light both of the continuities to 2009 (Soma is still making the Buena Vista) and the differences (Raleigh is no longer making that version of the Superbe, but on the other hand the choices in today's market for that general type of bike have increased greatly). I for one would much rather see somebody add to an old thread, keeping the historical context going, than start a redundant new thread.
Can we agree that if, for whatever contrarian reasoning makes a person need to do so, that if you do find a long dormant thread to revive, is it asking to much to at least mention the fact?! Guaranteed, most add on posters will not realize the thread is (was) dormant. They will be understandably aghast, angered, annoyed or even ashamed when the truth is revealed. Don't be that guy (anymore). Give the heads up that the thread is (was) dormant when you revive it. Grazie.

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Old 07-01-21, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Can we agree that if, for whatever contrarian reasoning makes a person need to do so, that if you do find a long dormant thread to revive, is it asking to much to at least mention the fact?! Guaranteed, most add on posters will not realize the thread is (was) dormant. They will be understandably aghast, angered, annoyed or even ashamed when the truth is revealed. Don't be that guy (anymore). Give the heads up that the thread is (was) dormant when you revive it. Grazie.
No offense but that's some funny stuff. I've stumbled on many a "revived thread" over the years and was never "aghast, angered, annoyed, or ashamed". Information on a subject still has value over time in a lot of cases. Seems like this is more just a pet peeve for some vs any real logical issue.
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Old 07-01-21, 07:47 AM
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To add onto this subject. My Azor has arrived. Now in all honesty again, this one is aluminum framed. But you can get the exact same configuration in steel from them.

The bike arrived very well packed and about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. The even went so far as to have the tires wrapped in saran wrap to keep them clean. It took around 8 weeks from when the bike was ordered to when it was delivered. It took me maybe 20 minutes to assemble it. The bike came just needed the front wheel, front fender, front light, front rack reinstalled and then the Handlebar/stem combo installed with the saddle/seatpost. Oh and the pedals. Everything was well greased that I checked. I did open the headset and front hub to check those. There was no real tuning to be done as it was quite apparent that the bike had been fully built and tuned before being partially taken back down for shipment. One nice surprise was a zippered pouch that had all the tools necessary to complete the build of the bike as well as perform routine maintenance.

These come with a 3 stage powder coating that I'm betting will be very durable. It also has quite a sheen to it that my pictures don't capture well. Pretty much all the hardware and shiny bits are stainless steel, this thing is built to last for decades. The bike is heavy and I'm sure the steel version would add on even a few more pounds. That said you don't really feel the heft on the roads and the 8 speed IGH seems to be working flawlessly. I went for the upgraded roller brakes with better heat dissipation and don't foresee any problems with them. Out of the box they are working just fine. The Brooks Saddle and grips are more than just about the look. Very comfortable under my butt and under my hand.

Obviously with most of my time spent on road bikes this position on this feels a bit odd and I'm sure I'll play with my fit awhile on it before I get it all sorted out. Once I get some longer rides in on it I'll do a full review. But initial impressions say this is a very good option for those looking for a step-through utility town bike.


A whole lot of goodness going on here by my standards. Enclosed chain, 8 speed IGH, roller brakes, fat and comfy tires, sprung saddle, dynamo front hub powering both lights, heavy duty two legged kickstand and more.

Super strong rear rack, with built in wheel lock, nice bungee straps, and protection to keep your clothes out of the rear wheel

Front rack attaches to the frame vs the front wheel so it doesn't effect handling even when loaded. It's also easily removable.

The rack is not quite as wide as the large milk crate I've now got mounted on it.
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Old 07-01-21, 10:53 AM
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Just saying ... for sheer bang for the buck, that Azor has got to be a better placement of bling budget than a pair of Paul centerpulls that would be a real PITA to install on a Giant Via. Come on o.p. really make your old lady smile and get her a proper Dutch City Bike to head out on. And ... also just saying ... get over the steel thing. There is a reason steel was supplanted by aluminum and aluminum will eventually be supplanted by carbon fiber. Progress. It's why we no longer ride Horses for transportation. Sometimes something is good only because it was all we knew how to do at the time. In 2021 there is no good reason to be ahankerin' for the sturdiness of steel.

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Old 07-06-21, 06:41 AM
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More detailed write-up on the Azor posted in the General forum:

https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c.../#post22129408
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Old 07-06-21, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by eggnoggbubble View Post
https://velo-orange.com/collections/...lyvalent-mk5-1 looks like a pretty nice mixte utility / tourer / commuter
That looks very nice. Hadn't known that V-O had put out a step-through version of the Polyvalent.

Love the "'80s MTB" frame geometries, more or less, except most of the top tubes are far too long for me if I get it small enough for decent stand-over height. Have considered the Rodriguez Adventure step-through, the Rivendell Clem Jr. L. Aren't a lot of such bikes out there.

Looks like they're expecting a September delivery of size=SM frames. Hmmmm ...
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Old 07-11-21, 07:30 PM
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It is the summer of 2021 as I write, just as the bicycle shortage caused by the pandemic supply chain disruption is beginning to ease. Built bikes are becoming available again. One of them is Marinbikes' versions of the steel mixte / stepthrough frame, the Larkspur 1 and 2. Unlike the Soma and similar mixte frames, it accepts mountain bike tires. It comes with 584 / 27.5 / 650b wheels and 2.35 inch / 60mm tires.

At first I was annoyed that there are no 29er MTB mixte models, but it occurred to me that the large tires raise the bike about an inch higher than my 35mm touring tires. So the height comes out about the same. 622 / 2 = 311mm rim radius + 35mm tire height = 346mm wheel radius. 584 / 2 = 292mm rim radius + 60mm tire height = 352mm wheel radius. 352 - 346 = 6mm. So the wheel radius of the 27.5" wheels is 6mm larger than the 29" wheels. 6mm ~ 1/4" = not enough to worry about.

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