How can one carry a bike with a step-through/mixte frame effectively?-- In comparison, any diamond-frame bike is a breeze for me to shoulder regardless of weight (okay, carrying a 25+-kg roadster is not exactly enjoyable, but it can be done): I've tried carrying a "true" step-through frame (but never a mixte) and it seems that, no matter how I hold the thing, I feel like an idiot and become exhausted after only a couple of minutes.

Online, I haven't been able to find much actual info on how to do it despite loads of discussion about how diamond-frames are so much easier to carry. On Lovely Bicycle!, however, there is an explanation of doing this for different models of step-through bike, but unless the girl pictured in that post is a deadlift champion, I don't see how it's possible to hold those bikes for very long.

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    Some thoughts (never done it), upside down and sholuder it. If regularly doing carries, especially longish ones, have a shoulder strap that can clip to the frame for taking the weight on you shoulder.
    – mattnz
    Feb 3, 2016 at 23:13
  • The top picture in your link is how I'd do it, at least for moderate distances. It's rather harder/messier with the e-bike that has no top tube at all and is back heavy but it still works.
    – Chris H
    Feb 4, 2016 at 7:40
  • @mattnz +1 (FWIW) for the strap - just don't forget to take it off before riding in case it snags. I reckon a long cable lock could be used for this.
    – Chris H
    Feb 4, 2016 at 7:42

2 Answers 2


Find the centre of mass of your bike, which is usually just above the BB+downtube.

There are two strategies for carrying the bike, assuming that the bike does not have any heavy accessories such as pannier rack+bag, which would otherwise alter the centre of mass of the bike:

  • flat/downstairs: one hand go over the top tube, grab the down tube so that the bike naturally leaning forward. The seat should rest on to your shoulder. Your shoulder carry most of the bike's weight.

  • upstairs: reverse the bike, one hand on down tube (or chainstay for a very tight stairs) with the (back of the) seat resting on shoulder. Again, your shoulder should carry most of the weight of the bike.


Going downstairs/Flat

Upstairs: as Criggie has suggested, carrying on your left (non-drive side to your body) would be cleaner (although my pants are usually black and my bike has a chain guard so I have no problem). I would like to note that if you choose this option, take care not to dirty your sleeve. Holding the seat tube is a little bit awkward, you could try to hold the crank and see if it fits your style. You can also use the other hand, holding the chainstay, to guide/stabilize the bike

Going upstairs

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    Your upstairs shot - how many shirts have you got chain oil on from doing it that way? Carry it from the left side which is cleaner.
    – Criggie
    Feb 4, 2016 at 1:34
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    Ah i have a chain guard on my bike, so I prefer to carry it with my dominant hand. People can improvise, like holding the bike left handed.
    – Nhân Lê
    Feb 4, 2016 at 1:38
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    Now I see that you insist on (what I call) the flat/downstairs style. Since you have to get your bike angled with the gradient of the stairs, there are two problems: 1) It is difficult to let the seat rest on your shoulder, 2) the fork/handlebar naturally rotates with direction in reverse, so you need extra hand to hold the handlebar; too much fiddling around I guess
    – Nhân Lê
    Feb 4, 2016 at 3:46
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    If the geometry allows it this would be quite nice - but as you say it's mainly in the asence of panniers.
    – Chris H
    Feb 4, 2016 at 8:49
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    I believe carrying up has no problem, one hand on pedal/crank, another hand on chain stay. Carrying down is a bit difficult: one hand behind the seat, shoulder in front of the seat, one hand on down tube/top tube/handlebar to guide the front downward
    – Nhân Lê
    Feb 4, 2016 at 12:47

I have a crook shoulder so can't put a lot of weight on it. But our office bike room is on the first floor (second floor) and there's a stairwell to get up there.

So I stand on the left, non drive-side where its cleaner, put my arm over the top tube and grasp the seat tube between the bottom bracket and the seat tube drink cage. On standing, the nose of the saddle ends up above my right shoulder and the seat post presses against the back of my shoulder.

I use my left hand on the left handlebar drop, so its easy to pivot the wheel for going around corners in the stairwell.

Also the bike is well balanced, so there's not a lot of front/back heaviness.

I used to do this with the 30 kg ebike too, so weight isn't a big issue. Road cleats on tiles are slippy, so I always de-shoe and carry them in the left hand. Everything goes in one trip unless I've brought the trailer as well - that's a second trip.

Do you want photos ?

  • Photos would be awesome: I'm having a hard time visualizing this. Feb 3, 2016 at 22:46
  • You must have quite good grip strength to have done this with an e-bike. How was the balance on that? Because the ones I'm familiar with are quite back-heavy.
    – Chris H
    Feb 4, 2016 at 7:35
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    @chrish it was okay - my batteries were inside the main frame triangle, in a home-made rack that used the bottlemounts and one strut to the seat post. Batteries in that thing were about 12 kg, and the bike was 17 kg, and the motor was another 1.5 kg. I still ride the bike now, but stripped of all the weight its a lot more fun.
    – Criggie
    Feb 4, 2016 at 8:11
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    OK, that's a lighter motor than (the rear hub motor) I'm used to and better battery placement for lifting. Though in some commercial e-bikes the battery could be removed and carried in the other hand.
    – Chris H
    Feb 4, 2016 at 8:16

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