03 January 2010

Girlie Bikes for Postal Workers

Autumn Postman
Danish Broadcasting reported today that Post Denmark is replacing all their bicycles with step-through frames instead of frames with 'boy bars'. Johnny Fjellander, postmaster at Købmagergade post office says, "We seen the number of falls halved with the ladies frames."

Post Denmark's head office confirms the development and likes it. Less falls means less sick days.

A long-term study from Sweden has shown that step-through frames and upright bikes are much safer, not only for the elderly but all cyclists, as Ecoprofile.se reported [In Swedish.]
Copenhagen Post
I don't really get it since every photo I have of postal bicycles feature step-through frames but perhaps there are other modals out there. If you're ever in Estonia, check out the postal bicycles there. They are old Post Denmark bikes shipped across the Baltic.

We had a similar article over at Cycle Chic on this subject of safer bicycles.
Hamlet Model D Damecycle
Safety bicycle, indeed.

No one is suggesting that boy bar frames will or should disappear but goodness me we can't have people out there thinking that leaning over handlebars and a ball breaker bar is the definitive picture of bicycling when the majority of bicycles in the world are upright style.

By cracking the stereotype of cycling being an adrenaline-based activity and introducing a broader segment of the population to a safe and comfortable transport option we'll be selling cycling much better than we are now.

Anyway, back to postal workers on bicycles. In the UK there is a petition to keep postal workers on bicycles, instead of phasing them out. Bicycles have delivered the post in the UK since 1880.

Here's the petition:

Source: DR


Trolly said...

Stop promoting the idea that cycling is somehow "unsafe"! What's next, skirts for male motorists?

Frits B said...

Dutch TNT Post is also issuing step-through bikes; announcement by the supplier here: http://www.union.nl/over-union/nieuws/tnt-kiest-voor-union
Interestingly, most postmen use their own bikes. Of those I meet at my front door, one has what he calls a beer bike, i.e. an Oma with front rack, another uses a Gazelle e-bike (step-through). I asked them what they would do when the new bike was introduced. Put it away and continue using my private bike, they said.
Mail bikes usually carry a heavy load so when they keel over, a step-through frame may limit injury to the postman. Nothing girlie about that consideration.

townmouse said...

Thanks for the link - have signed the petition. It's a shame (and says a lot about our cycling culture) that the motorists' one got tens of thousands of signatures and this one has so few - will have to pass the word along

Anneke said...

I deliver the mail in the Netherlands. There are bicycles available, but I prefer my own. The hight is adjusted to me, plus the axis, the wheels, the spokes everything is reinforced. All this means that my own bike is (for me anyway) preferable. I also get a yearly sum for use of my own bike, to pay for repairs etc. if need be. The only bikes that are available (provided by TNT) are stepthroughs. These are way more easier to use than men's frames. If you have to get on and off a bike every house or so, it's much eassier to just step through.

Green Idea Factory said...

C'mon, Mikael was just jokin' about the "girlie" thing as some bike fetishists or dickheads etc. make that stupid/macho comment about step-throughs.

Aside from some better leaning possibilities I as a man love step-throughs - my next bike will be one.

Mikael raves about his Bullitt cargo bike - and I like the design, too - but it is not a step-through. How many of its buyers or riders are women?

Finally, do mail postal bike people in Denmark ride on the pavement from house to house or use the street for transitions? (Talking more about sub-30kph streets without SCI (Separated cycling infrastructure).

By the way, in Berlin the postal service seems to use bikes year round for express deliveries. These are step-throughs I think quite similar to the Danish bikes. I also think I saw one with a motor. There is also at least one private service which uses them, but I have not seem them around this winter.

tensaimon said...

oh what a wonderful country denmark must be. Even here in Japan (hypothetically a country with a good bicycle culture) the posties run round on motor scooters (Honda Cub, i think), seems pretty pointless to me when a bicycle would do the same job (and be a huge promotion of bicycling at the same time).

And I'd love a step-thru frame, who wouln't? (i ride a mundo)

Anonymous said...

For my part, what I like most about my 'boy bar' frame bike compared with my 'step through' is that I can keep a leg straddled on the frame with a foot on the pedal while (half-)standing at a red light. Hands free to catch a quick squeeze of water or whatever.

Peter said...

Thanks for the link to the petition. 82 signatures so far. I have signed it.
Hopefully it will get many more or it may just confirm the UK government's view that cycling is not something worth considering because there are no votes to be gained.

Mark said...

The idea that British postal worker's bicycles will be replaced with vans and cars is such a backwards step on so many levels - will the new vans be built in Britain like the current bicycles are? I doubt it. Will they relieve congestion, be faster in urban areas, help to fight our national obesity epidemic, free up parking spaces, be as cheap to run, not consume valuable fossil fuels and be run tax and duty free? No, no, no and no again. What a shot in the foot.

I've signed the petition, I'd recommend you all do the same.

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Daniel Sparing said...

what is the advantage of the "male" frame anyway (besides the mentioned red-light posture)?

i have a "female" frame myself at the moment (Omafiets) and am extremely happy with it.