E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
One of the best things about cycling is that it's literally an activity that anyone can do. From the very young to senior citizens, cycling is for everyone - but it should go without saying that any bike you choose should be appropriate for the age of the individual you're purchasing it for. And this is arguably no more important than when you're shopping for a senior citizen cyclist. Cycling is a great low-impact exercise for senior citizens, but being that older Americans may have mobility issues and tender joints, it's important to get them a bike that they can easily mount and dismount. That's where step-through bikes come in - and in this post, we'll tell you why they're one of the best types of bike designs for older Americans.
Read on to learn more about what constitutes a step-through bike and some of the best step-through electric bikes for seniors on the market today. We'll also discuss some of the other key features you should be looking for in a bike for when shopping for a senior citizen. Here's a look at what you need to know:
What's a Step-Through Bike?
A step-through bike refers specifically to a bike frame design. Also commonly referred to as "diamond frames," step-through frames literally allow riders to step over the top of the bike frame with ease in the area between the seat and the handlebars. This is because there's no top horizontal-running tube spanning the area from the seat to the handlebars, thereby making it easier for riders to mount and dismount. It's an especially handy frame design for senior citizens and people with mobility issues, as it's easier to get to the bike seat and off of it with ease.
A step-over frame is the other main type of bike frame, but, fitting to the name, riders have to literally step over a higher horizontal-running frame bar. This can present a greater degree of difficulty for older riders with mobility challenges.
Why Electric Bikes are Ideal for Senior Citizens
Electric bikes are an ideal bike selection for anyone, but they can be an especially good choice for senior citizens who might need some extra help from time to time while pedaling. First, let us say that electric bikes don't replace conventional pedaling - instead, they work to complement it. Hence, riders can still get a great workout when riding an electric bike - they'll just be privy to assistance from the electric motor when they so choose.
Most electric bikes have two electric modes: pedal assist and full electric throttle. Pedal assist is exactly what it sounds like - when activated, the electric motor will complement conventional pedaling. Full electric throttle is also exactly what it sounds like - when activated, the bike will run on full electric power, so riders don't even need to pedal to advance on the bike. Both modes can come in handy when seniors get tired while riding or need to take a break without pulling over and dismounting.
Again, electric bikes are a viable option for any rider - but they can be particularly viable for senior citizens. We'll get into some of the best electric, step-through bike models later on in this piece, but some of the other things that you'll want to be mindful of when shopping for an electric bike include variables such as battery lifetime, how long battery recharge takes and bike weight, among others. We'll get more into some of these details in the next section.
Other Key Bicycle Considerations for Seniors
We've already discussed the value of step-through bikes and some of the electric bike basics - now let's take a look at some of the other key considerations you should be weighing when shopping for a new bike for an elderly friend or family member in your life:
While most of the bikes you'll find in stores and on the market have two wheels, they do make three-wheeled, or tricycle bikes, for adults as well. These types of bikes can come in especially handy if you have mobility or balance issues, as the third wheel can help keep the bike stable and on the ground without the fear of falling or tipping over. One other really nice feature about tricycle bikes is that they often offer an expanded cargo space for carrying groceries, packages and other supplies. If you're shopping for a senior citizen who lives in a walkable community, a tricycle bike could be the perfect addition to help them get some exercise and carry out any errands.
Because they contain a motor and a battery pack, electric bikes have a tendency to weigh a bit more than conventional bicycles. While this might not be a problem for some people, others may need to regularly carry their bike upstairs to an upper-level residential housing unit or have to regularly load it onto a bike rack or into their vehicle. If you're among the latter type of person or you're shopping for someone that meets the latter criteria, then it becomes important to consider the total weight of the bicycle. You'll probably want to opt for one that's light and easier to transport.
Make Sure to Get Fitted
You don't want to buy a bike unless you're able to get properly fitted for it. This will ensure that the bike is ideal for your body type and height, and you'll be able to ride comfortably. You should never just assume that bikes are "one-size-fits-all" and that you'll be able to simply adjust the seat height or the handlebar angle for the person who is riding it. Riding a bike that is not properly fitted for the individual could result in back strain and other musculoskeletal issues. The good news is that it's fairly easy to get properly fitted with the right bike. You can go into any specialty bike shop and have a professional do it or you can even enter some information online to generate the right type of fit to help with your shopping.
Know the End Riding Purpose
Finally, before you buy a bike, you should know what you - or the senior you're shopping for - want out of a bike. Are you just looking for a general, all-purpose bike to ride around the neighborhood and maybe into town? What about a beach cruiser to hit the boardwalk? Fat tire bikes or tricycle bikes offer enhanced stability while riding, which can be beneficial for seniors with mobility or balance issues. And, of course, there are commuter and hybrid bikes as well. Before you buy, make sure that the bike you're considering is going to be well-suited for whatever your riding intentions are.
Electric Bike Intangibles
Like we said earlier in this piece, pay attention to some of the electric bike intangibles while you're shopping. For instance, if you're planning on going on long-distance rides, you'll want a bike with a longer battery range. Also, pay attention to battery recharge times. While most electric bike batteries can be removed and recharged in 4 to 6 hours, recharge times still vary on some models. Not all electric bikes are created equal.
Top Step-Through Electric Bikes for Seniors
Now that we've gone over the basics of step-through bikes and some of the other features to look out for when shopping for an electric bicycle, let's take a look at some of the best step-through electric models currently on the market for senior citizens.
When it comes to easy mounting and dismounting, the Pedego Boomerang makes it really, really easy. With an extremely low step of just 9 inches off the ground, it's convenient for any senior citizen to get on and off. What's also nice about this bike is that it packs some punch in its electric motor. The Boomerang is driven by a 500-watt motor that gives it more than enough juice to complement pedaling and take over via full electric throttle when the terrain becomes too hilly or otherwise challenging.
RadCity Step-Thru (Rad Power)
With a powerful 750-watt motor and a frame that offers easy accessibility, especially for older populations, this model from Rad Power is ideal for the city-dwelling senior who wants to embark on longer rides. It's easy to activate the electric modes with just a simple twist of the handlebar and it's designed to keep the rider's back upright as they ride for enhanced ergonomics. Simply put, it's one of the best electric bike options out there for seniors, and it has a motor and battery that will contain enough juice to adequately power longer bike rides.
BodyEase 500W (SixThreeZero)
You don't give an electric bike the name "BodyEase" if it's not... well, really easy on the body. This seven-speed bike from SixThreeZero is designed with total comfort in mind. Featuring an ultra-low step-through frame, a seat post suspension for additional back support, hybrid tires for a smoother ride and a 500-watt motor to boot, it's the perfect bike for the casual rider who wants to stay as comfortable as possible while hitting the pavement. The electric battery, specifically, can take riders up to 20 miles in full electric mode and up to 40 miles in pedal-assist mode before a battery recharge is necessary.
Ride1Up Core 5
This step-through model features oversized tires for good handling and turning, and a 500-watt battery. Considered an entry-level electric bike, with a price point of $1,200, it's a great place to start and work your way up to a better model a few years down the line. A predictable bike, you know what you're going to get out of the Ride1 Core 5 - and that's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you know what to expect.
Aventon Aventure Step-Thru
We'll round out this list with a step-thru model that's designed to go faster and further than many of the others on this list. With speeds of up to 28 miles per hour and a thumb throttle on the handlebar for easy electric activation, the 750-watt motor can power you up over hills and over a long range. It's fast, powerful and yet not too overpowering for senior riders. One knock against it is its weight, which isn't helped by an oversized battery pack.
The Best Step-Through Electric for Seniors: SixThreeZero BodyEase
There are a lot of good step-through electric options out there for the senior citizen demographic, but when it comes to value, quality and ergonomics, you can't beat the BodyEase from SixThreeZero. With a design that is intended to enable vertical pedaling and keep the back upright and aligned, and an electric motor to help complement pedaling or take over when the legs get tired, BodyEase has a little bit of everything. That's why it made our list of the best step-through bikes on the market today and it's largely why we like it best for senior citizen riders. Contact SixThreeZero to learn more about this model today.
Contact SixThreeZero Today
For more information on step-through bikes and the best electric models for senior citizens, contact SixThreeZero today. We firmly believe that cycling is for everyone - and we have the bikes to prove it. To learn more about our step-through, electric bikes and to learn more about all of the other types of bikes that we design and manufacture, contact us today.
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