As you may have read in our last blog post, May is National Bike Month, and we're putting together our first-ever series of National Bike Month events to get folks talking about riding bikes and, ultimately, actually riding!  We're going to start things off with some myth-busting--because there's nothing worse than letting a misconception stop you from experiencing the benefits of riding a bike--and there's no better organization to help us bust those big bad bike myths than Transportation Alternatives.

What IS Transportation Alternatives?

Transportation Alternatives (also known as TA) is more than just the headliner for the first of our events.  The organization is on a mission to "reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile and to promote bicycling, walking, public transit."  Given that most New Yorkers do at least one of these things daily, that's a mission we can all relate to--and support.

What does TA do, other than bust bike myths?

In their own words, "T.A. fights for the installation of infrastructure improvements that reduce speeding and traffic crashes, save lives and improve everyday transportation for all New Yorkers."  That means fighting for Select Bus Service to decrease commuter travel times; pushing for bike and pedestrian paths on the Verrazano and on Queens Boulevard to save lives and open up new commuting options; championing the pedestrian right-of-way to protect walking New Yorkers from aggressive driving; and much more.

You may also have heard of Vision Zero, the idea that "no New Yorker should be killed or injured in traffic."  Many cities across the US have begun committing to Vision Zero programs of their own, and TA is a part of the movement here in New York demanding that the city take meaningful action to realize this vision.


TA was also instrumental in establishing New York's now-successful bike share program, Citi Bike, and still works with New Yorkers across all boroughs to win Citi Bike stations for their neighborhoods. This, together with all the other bike infrastructure TA pushes for, makes the organization's Executive Director, Paul Steely White, the perfect man to set to rest, at our first National Bike Month event, those pesky bike myths that keep people from taking advantage of a healthy and affordable mode of transportation.

How can you get involved?

TA is only as strong as its many supporters in neighborhoods throughout the city.  Are you passionate about something--like why there's no crosswalk at the end of your block and getting home is like playing Frogger?  Or why the "bike lane" you attempt to take to work is one giant pothole that has wrecked your tires one too many times?  TA encourages you to go and complain about it to the people who have the power to change it!  Check out their projects by neighborhood and get involved at a local level, then sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on all the ways you can actually help change New York for the better.

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What Are the Differences Between the Franklin and Willow Step-through Models?

Looking at the Franklin and Willow, but not quite sure how the models compare? No worries – we get this question a lot, so we’ve put together a quick rundown on what sets these models apart!


#TLDR (AKA Too Long Didn't Read)? Here's a Quick Summary:





This is probably the most notable difference between our step-through models. With the Willow featuring our Swept-Back Handlebars. This means a much more upright (European-style) riding position (think sitting in a chair) that is well suited for leisurely riding.

The Franklin models feature our Relaxed Ride Handlebars, which are slightly more aggressive and ideal for both commuting and leisurely weekend rides.



The Willow comes with cream tires, whereas the Franklin sports black tires. Do note that regardless of color, all our tires offer an added layer of puncture resistance.



The Willow is our premium model and includes a rear carrier, as well as an upgraded sprung saddle and grip set from Selle Royal’s Royalgel™ line.

The Franklin features Selle Royal Vegan Leather saddle and grips. Please note that this bike does not come with a rear carrier. If you would like to purchase a rear carrier for this model, you will need a 26” carrier for the S/M Franklin and a 700C carrier for the Large Franklin model.

Both models come with color matched fenders and chainguard, as well as a kickstand.



As our signature model, the Willow has a few additional premium features including a rust-prohibitive coating on the chain and internal gearing resulting in less maintenance and more riding.

The Franklin 3 model includes internal gearing (just like the Willow), whereas the Franklin 7 has an external 7-Speed derailleur.



On a more technical note – the geometry on both frames is identical, however the Franklin and Willow models are made from different materials. Are you currently thinking “WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?! I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BIKES!!”? Do not fret – we totally get it! Take a breath and read on…

The Willow frame is made with double-butted 4130 Chromoly Steel. We use a stronger grade of steel, which allows us to use thinner tubing resulting in a lighter frame.

The Franklin frame is crafted with specially engineered high-tensile steel. What does this mean? We are able to offer a similar bike of a more moderate price point. Our Franklin model is the most economical step-through model in our portfolio of bikes (as well as a team favorite)!

Still have questions on sizing (or anything else)? Email us or schedule a concierge call with our team. We’d love to help!


Don’t forget: All of our bikes include Free Shipping & Professional Assembly.