Choose Between Two Options $25 for a full-day Hybrid bike rental for one ($45 value) $45 for a full-day Hybrid bike rental for two ($90 value) Male or Female Bike Frame? It’s Not a Battle of the Sexes Although many bikes are marketed as being for men or women, your choice of frame may not be so clear-cut. Frame the debate clearly with the help of Jabo’s comparison of the two most basic styles. Anxiety about choosing the right bike can go all the way back to the playground, where a little boy might well have been teased for riding a “girl’s bike.” So it may help to know that modern bike frames aren’t so neatly divided along gender lines—rather than men’s and women’s frames, more accurate descriptions would be diamond-frame and step-through frame, respectively. A diamond frame has a horizontal top tube (the metal bar that runs between the seat and the handlebars). On step-through frames, the top tube slopes down at an angle or is even nonexistent, allowing for easier mounting and dismounting. This type of frame was originally designed with women of the late 19th century in mind, as it easily accommodated their long skirts and the children who clung to them. As time has passed and pants have become nearly universal, women are often seen riding diamond frames, and men can frequently be found on step-through frames. (This may also be due to the evolution of frames from a unified road-bike model into a wider marketplace that offers many mountain-bike-based styles, which often have a slanting or even curved top tube.) Each style has its advantages. For example, the quick mount and dismount of a step-through frame can be a perfect fit for seniors, new riders, or anyone with restricted mobility. It also caters to those who have to make many stops on their bike, making a step-through bike a pleasant around-town ride. On the other hand, the lowered or absent top tube does mean less room to mount accessories and water guns, and since the diamond frame is built to facilitate a forward-leaning, racer-like posture, it may be a better choice if speed is a priority. A final consideration comes once you dismount: if you frequently tote your bike up or down stairs, a diamond-frame bike is a breeze to toss over one shoulder.
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