E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
If you thought your age or hip or knee replacement surgery was going to stop your bike-riding days, think again. A recent survey of adults between the ages of 50 to 86 from the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University¹ revealed strong enthusiasm for biking among seniors. In fact, almost 40 percent of the respondents reported learning how to ride a bike in adulthood, not during childhood. At least 10 percent of those adults got on a bike for the first time after they turned 50. And additional federal data shows that adults over 60 are actually key drivers of the cycling boom.
Enthusiasm aside, the same studies also showed that seniors over 60 and other adults with mobility issues have concerns about health challenges that could prevent them from biking on a regular basis. The good news is that there are safe, stable, and enjoyable cycling options in the world of electric step-through bikes that can help seniors stay active, in spite of various mobility or stability issues. In this article, we will discuss various bike features that can help, as well as a list of the best electric step-thru bikes and trikes for seniors today.
What is an Electric Step-Through Bike?
The term “electric step through bike” refers to two specific design elements that make it easy for riders with mobility issues. First, there is an electric power option that gives you the choice of either pedaling on your own power or using the bike’s built-in electric battery to provide the forward momentum. This empowers seniors at any fitness level to start biking at the level they feel comfortable with. Even if you haven’t been biking for long, or it’s been a while, or you’ve had a recent knee replacement and need to rest your joints, the bike can do the work. On the other hand, if you’re trying to increase your fitness level, you can pedal until you’re tired, then let the bike take over, increasing the distance you pedal over time, at a comfortable pace for you.
The “step thru” part of the electric step thru bike model points to the frame design of the bike. Also called a “diamond frame”, it has no horizontal tube at the top that you have to climb over to mount the bike. The low-slung frame enables riders to simply “step through” to get on and go. When it’s time to stop and get off, it’s just as easy to step off gracefully. These two criteria make electric step-thru bikes a safe option for seniors with mobility issues who still want to ride a bike for commuting or for fun.
What Should I Look for in an Electric Step-Thru Bike?
If you’re in the market for an electric step thru bike, there are several things you’ll want to consider to get the best fit for your needs. In addition to the electric motor option and the low step-thru frame, consider the following five criteria as well:
1. How Will I Use My E-Bike?
This is where the decision-making process starts. Do you want to get into better shape by riding a bike more often? Do you need a commuter bike to get to work or to visit family? How often will you ride the bike: several times a week, or just on the weekends? Will you mostly use it to ride for recreation—heading to the beach or through the park for fun? Do you need carrying capacity because you plan to go grocery shopping with your bike? It’s important to consider what your day-to-day biking patterns will be, where you’ll ride, and what you’ll want to take with you before purchasing an electric step through bike because the bike will need to be well configured for your activity requirements.
2. How Long Will the Bike’s Battery Last Between Charges?
This is an important consideration if you are planning on using the battery a lot, or want to go on longer rides where you might get tired and need to use the motor to get home. Investigate the battery range and make sure it will be sufficient for your needs. You’ll also want to understand what the typical battery recharge times are, as different models vary here. The average electric bike can recharge in about four to six hours, but this isn’t the case with all of the electric step thru bikes.
3. Is the E-Bike Lightweight Yet Durable?
Electric bikes tend to be a little heavier than traditional bikes because of their battery-powered motors. This is something to consider if you know you will have to lift the bike out of a vehicle or up onto a bike rack or up any stairs. When shopping for an electric bike, pay attention to the overall weight and make sure that the one you pick is light enough for you to lift if you’ll need to do that. Naturally, the frame should also be durable and parts should be easy to replace or fix, if necessary.
4. Is the Bike Ergonomic and Adjustable?
It should be easy to adjust your bike to fit your height and comfort level so that pedaling is easy and the least amount of stress is placed on your joints. The bike should also be ergonomically designed so that you aren’t hunching over to reach the handlebars or struggling to pedal, even on a flat surface, because the pedals are awkwardly positioned. This is particularly important for adults over 60, as joint pain and other mobility and stability issues can be compounded by poor ergonomic design.
5. Should I Try an Electric Tricycle?
If you have significant balance or mobility issues, you can also consider an electric three-wheeler or tricycle. The third wheel, far from being “extra”, enhances stability, very nearly eliminating the chances of tipping over or falling. Electric trikes can also carry more cargo and generally have larger baskets in the back that make it easier to haul groceries, beach supplies, camping gear, etc. Some electric trikes even have passenger seats in the back that can make it fun to bring friends along on rides through the neighborhood.
With these criteria in mind, we’ve selected 10 great electric step-thru bikes that might best fit your unique biking needs.
5. The Electric Volt Elegant Senior Bike
The Volt is a solid electric step-through bike for adults over 60 because it checks off those important pieces of being easy to mount, and provides a power source that can help you out with the pedaling if you’re tired. The motor has a 500-watt battery on the central tube, and though it’s not in the back it does not create a great barrier to climbing on and off for seniors with mobility issues. What we really liked is that it comes fully assembled when it’s shipped and comes with a free, matching bike helmet (absolutely essential for safety). It is built for more aggressive riding with the pedals positioned lower, but you can still sit comfortably in the saddle. It will go about 20 miles per hour with the battery and will go about 40 miles between charges in pedal-assist mode. The backlit display lets you know how far you’ve gone and when you should recharge.
6. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Step-Through Bike
The “hybrid” in the title does not refer to full-electric or full-pedal modes, but the fact that this step-thru frame has been designed as a combination road bike and mountain bike. In other words, it’s pretty flexible as to how you want to use it. The low-slung frame makes stepping through to sit down a breeze, and it can handle pretty bumpy mountain trails or commutes to work, depending on what you have on the schedule. It’s a classic bike, it’s fully pedal-powered, but it’s very popular for seniors over 60 who may have some mobility issues, but who are generally experienced with bike riding and are looking for a versatile, affordable, simple solution to getting around in relative comfort with less strain on the joints.
7. E-Joe Anggun 3.0 Electric Senior Bike
We really like the low electric step thru frame of this bike. It’s very low, which makes it easy to mount and dismount. The battery pack is situated on the back of the center bar, just under your seat, so you don’t have to climb over it when you get on the bike. In addition, it has 5 levels of pedal assist from which to choose. Its saddle is made with comfort gel that conforms easily and smoothly to your posterior for a nicely-cushioned ride. The average range between charges for this bike is also impressive at 50 miles (depending on the terrain and level of pedal assist you’re using). It’s fairly ergonomic too, with the wide-swept handlebars and low seat, so you won’t have to hunch over. The only thing to really be aware of here is that it is a heavier bike at 55 pounds, so lifting it upstairs or mounting it on your vehicle might require some help and effort. The company recommends taking it to a bike shop for assembly so that it’s completely road worthy, but once it’s assembled, it’s a fantastic option as an electric step through bike.
8. The Pedego Boomerang Step-Thru
As a low-slung electric step-thru, the Pedego Boomerang hits the high notes. The step-through frame is only 9 inches high, which is even lower than the lowest frames on this list. It’s very easy to mount and dismount because of this. If you have balance issues or mobility issues, that makes this a strong contender on the list.
It’s designed like a classic beach cruiser bike, which means it’s built for comfort. The seat is easy to adjust and sit in, with wide, swept-back handlebars that are easy to grip, removing strain from the back, neck, arms, and wrists. It also has a battery-powered motor that gives you the option of letting the bike do all the work. You also have the option of going under full pedal power with a 7-speed drive train and responsive, hydraulic disc breaks, all controllable from the easy-to-reach handlebars. It’s got several color options and is very easy to ride. One thing to watch out for, however, is that the crank for the pedals is a little bit low, so it can scrape on the pavement as you’re taking turns. It’s just something to be aware of.
9. Rad Power Bikes Radcity Step-Thru 3
If you’re an adult over 60 and you live in the city, this is an electric step thru bike catering directly to you. It’s got a very low step thru frame, with a 672Wh battery and a 750-watt motor that has a strong range for commuting and recreation in town and around the neighborhood. The location of the motor is on the central tube, so that makes the step-thru a little higher than some of the other bikes on the list, but it’s still very approachable and easy to handle. In fact, the central battery location does help with balancing the center of gravity for the bike, keeping it stable and in contact with the ground to prevent flip-over accidents. Instead of hydraulic disc brakes, it does have the mechanical dis brakes that you may have been more familiar with in your youth: these are the ones where you pedal backward to stop the bike instead of using controls on the handlebars. We really like the tough, puncture-resistant tires and the fact that you can add cargo space on the rear of the bike. It’s easy to handle and pedal.
10. Evelo Galaxy 500
This is a beach cruiser designed with a nice step-thru frame, and it’s also a smaller, lighter bike. The lighter, compact design is great for people with minimal storage space and those who plan to lift the bike onto a vehicle bike rack. It’s not as adjustable for taller, larger people, however. It’s the “compact car” of the electric step-through bike world if you will. It’s got great ergonomics with a low step-through frame and power options with a battery-powered motor on the rear storage rack. The handlebars swing back, and you can sit up straight in the saddle and pedal easily with minimal effort, whether you pedal on your own power, or decide to let the motor handle the day for you. It’s really an excellent commuter or beach bike, with wheels that can handle packed trails and pavement easily. Its automatic shift system, controllable from the handlebars, makes it easy to handle at different elevations and on hills.
Choosing an Electric Step Through Bike for Adults Over 60
Of course, there are many things to consider when you are choosing an electric step through bike when you’re over the age of 60. Experience level, health conditions, how often you plan to use the bike, how it will fit your frame, how adjustable it is, and how you will use the bike… the list goes on. You may need a smaller bike if you live in cramped quarters or want to travel with the bike, but for many seniors, a bike that accommodates a larger frame is necessary. The Simple Step-Thru electric bike is one of the best bikes for seniors with mobility issues because of its very low frame and pedal position that prevents scraping on the pavement during sharp turns. It’s also got a wonderfully low center of gravity that keeps the bike level, upright, and safe, while also providing ample power options with a generous riding range on all of them. Of course, an electric trike can also be an excellent option for seniors who worry about balance issues. The great thing about the EVRYjourney electric tricycle is that it’s not only incredibly stable and ergonomic, but it really increases your cargo-carrying capacity while looking sleek and stylish at the same time.
More Benefits of Electric Bikes for Seniors Over 60
If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing an electric step-thru bike, it’s important to understand all of the benefits you can enjoy:
Improved health: This goes for both mental and physical health. Seniors who get regular exercise, with biking being one of the best options for mobility and balance issues, can reduce the risks and impacts of type II diabetes and improve their cardiovascular health. Furthermore, biking is a good, low-impact exercise that goes easy on sore, tender joints and muscles, so it’s good for seniors with arthritis, knee replacement surgery, etc. It’s also great for mental health as it gets seniors outside in the fresh air and prevents boredom.
It’s also a great option because of environmental concerns. Every e-bike takes another car off of the road, which reduces CO2 emissions and helps reduce pollution. And since you won’t need to buy as much expensive gas, investing in an electric step-thru bike can also help seniors save on parking fees, car insurance, gas, and car maintenance costs.
How to Get the Right Electric Step-Thru for You
After considering your needs, make sure to go to the FIT panel on the right of this page and enter your details. We can then make e-bike recommendations based on your specific needs and wishes. Don’t forget to consider things like what terrain you’ll mostly be riding on, whether you have to go over hills (some bikes are better than others for that), and what kind of cargo capacity you want. Do you want a bike that’s mostly for recreation, or will you use the bike every day for practical as well as playful purposes?
Trusting Sixthreezero for Electric Step-Thru Bike Options
At Sixthreezero, we are passionate about engineering bikes that make biking amazing for as many people as possible - from the young to the senior citizens who want to keep biking. We are constantly designing for ergonomics, ease of use, safety, stability, and style. Our goal is to get everyone to enjoy biking as much as we do, regardless of balance and mobility issues, etc. We believe biking is for everyone. If you have any questions or want to know more about our process and our bikes, please email us at theteam@sixthreezero and we will get back to you as soon as we can!
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