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6 Things Seniors Must Know Before Buying an Electric Bike | Ebike Tips for Senior Riders

Hey, everyone, I'm Dustin. I have nearly 20 years of experience in the bike and e-bike industry. And today, I'm going to tell you six things all seniors must know about e-bikes before purchasing.

So today, I'm going to tell you six things all seniors must know about e-bikes before purchasing. But before I do, hit that subscribe button below, stay in touch with us here at Sixthreezero and be the first to know about all the new content we're putting out, new products we release, and of course, giveaways we're doing for bikes, e-bikes, and accessories.

So let's say you're a senior and you want to get into e-bike riding and you're just curious to do a little research. You have some reservations. Well, I'm going to tell you six things you must know before you get into e-biking if you're a senior.

When I talk about the senior category, I'd say I'm referencing 60-ish and over. Obviously, I am not a senior, but at Sixthreezero we've done a lot of test rides and other rides that you can see on our YouTube channel, with riders in ages from 60 to 85 on e-bikes, on trikes, people that haven't ridden an e-bike in their life, people that haven't ridden a bike in 20, 30 years, taking out an e-bike for the first time. So I've witnessed firsthand a lot of observations and things that I think other riders, senior riders should know before they get into e-biking.

So, here we go. Now, this list is not necessarily ranked one to six. I'm just going to list all six things that you must know if you're a senior getting into e-biking.

Now, number one, e-bikes do carry innate dangers. Now, we are obviously an e-bike company here at Sixthreezero. I love electric bikes. I love bicycles. We make bicycles too. Bicycles are dangerous. E-bikes are also dangerous. Just like guns are dangerous, certain animals are dangerous, you just have to use them with caution and be prepared. And if you're a senior getting into e-biking for the first time, I just suggest, doing some short rides practice in a parking lot, getting familiar with the assistance that the motor gives when you pedal, the jolt that it gives, the assistance that the throttle gives. You want to get acclimated to these types of things. Don't go out to cold Turkey, go on a long ride, start competing with cars, things like that, in bike lanes, until you're comfortable with an e-bike.

Once you're comfortable with it and you can go longer distances, then of course they become less dangerous because you become more trained. So time in the saddle, practicing, that's going to get you more comfortable. Just do it in a space where you're not out on the street or sidewalks, where there are a lot of pedestrians around. I really, really recommend it.

I've done a couple of rides with some riders. Again, they hadn't been on a bike in a long time. They get on an e-bike, we take them on a long-distance ride, and they get really confident really quickly. And then, all of a sudden something goes wrong.

So, you just want to make sure you learn everything about the e-bike, how to use the throttle, and how to get on and off properly, and we have tons of these videos on our YouTube channel you can also check out in advance, or you can also look on YouTube for other videos. There are going to be tons of resources out there where you can watch other people, how they ride, how they prepped. It's just important that safety is really the number one, and that e-bikes can be dangerous. E-bike accidents do happen. Just make sure that you're prepared for it. In conjunction with that, you just want to make sure also you're always wearing a helmet.

Now, moving into number two, know your limitations. Now, the physical ability of any human on this planet varies drastically. One person can only lift their leg this much. Another person can lift their leg this much. If you haven't been on a bicycle in years and years and years and you're thinking about getting into e-biking, be honest with yourself about physical limitations. And what I mean by that is; can you still get your leg over the back here? How high can you lift your leg to mount and dismount? What type of riding position do you need? Do you ever have numbness in your hands? Do you need to sit upright? Things like that.

I've seen other riders, where we've brought them out here to test ride some e-bikes, and all of a sudden they came into it thinking they could do it and they were confident, and then they couldn't end up doing it. And there are various reasons. And then, maybe they had to choose a tricycle instead of a two-wheel bike, which is a great option, and that is fine. But I see a lot of very determined riders who don't want to accept the fact that their physical abilities are different today than they maybe were 20, or 30 years ago.

And I just say, know your limitations because there's a product out there in the e-bike space that can match your physical ability. If you can't balance, you can choose an electric tricycle. If you need a low step-over, like this bike right here, you have an option where you step over to get on the bike. So it's not about not participating in e-bike riding, it's about knowing your limitations, and being honest with your body and yourself, so you can choose the correct e-bike that will be safest and easiest for you to ride.

Because like I said, I've had riders come here, they want to believe that they can ride a certain e-bike, they get on it, we try to go for a five, 10-mile ride, and then they have issues as we get into the ride. So again, be honest with your physical abilities. A couple of things to pay attention to. You decide to choose an e-bike, couple of things you want to think about. How high can you realistically lift your leg to mount and dismount? Can you still swing a leg like this, backward, to get on? Are you comfortable leaning forward at all? Do you want to lean forward or do you want something ergonomic and upright? Do you have any numbness in your hips? Things like that. Do you want to be lower to the ground, so that when you stop, you can have your feet flat on the ground? Whatever is most important to you. Again, there's a product out there that can accommodate you. It's just about being honest with your physical abilities.

Now, segueing from that into more of a product size, when you're looking and shopping for e-bikes, the number three thing you should know is that wheel size doesn't necessarily dictate how easy or hard an e-bike's going to be to mount, and dismount. There are two points that are going to make an e-bike easier or hard to mount or dismount. One's going to be the step-over height here. Two is obviously going to be the lowest position of the seat, right here. So you can see here, we can move this seat even lower.

And so, the reason I say the wheel size doesn't matter is that even though, as an example, this bike is 26 inches, this has the lowest step-over height that I've seen on the market of any e-bike, and it's only 10 and a half inches. So getting on and off and mounting and dismounting, this bike is quite simple because you can just step through, slide onto the seat, and you're off and running.

So if you're thinking, as an example, that mounting and dismounting is something that you're looking for, then you need to consider, look for that measurement, don't just look at the wheel size. Because, again, a 20-inch wheel doesn't mean anything in terms of how easy or hard it's going to be to mount and dismount. And of a lot of the rides that I've done with riders over the age of 60, the mounting and dismounting element is very important. How high you have to lift your leg to get on is very important. So if that's important to you, just remember wheel size is not going to necessarily dictate how easy or hard it is to mount or dismount.

Number four is about the power of e-bikes. Different motor sizes exist. There are 750 watts, there are 500 watts, there are 350 watts, there are 250 watts. I've done a lot of test rides with riders over the age of 60. We have 500-watt e-bikes and they have five levels of pedal assist. One gives you the least amount of assistance, five gives you the most. All of our e-bikes also have a throttle option, which means if you push the throttle, the bike will go without pedaling.

Now, the number four thing you must know, 500 watts is a lot of power. So, I've done all these test rides. Not one senior rider over 60 has left saying that they would want more power. Now, that is a blanket statement. There are certain riders who may be over the weight of 300 pounds that may do better with 750 watts. If you're doing a lot of very big hills, and I mean very big hills, 750 watts may be an option. But all the riders we've done on 500 watts have always commented like, "Wow, that's powerful enough." And most of them opt to have it in levels one, two, or three. Most of them don't even opt for level five because they don't feel they need that much power.

So you have to think about where you're going to be riding if you're going to do majority flat ground riding, how far you're going to go, things of that nature. But generally, I believe that 500 watts are more than enough power for most riders over the age of 60. Now, again, I'm generalizing, but this just comes from my observations with lots of test rides and lots of different riders doing lots of rides.

And by the way, check out our YouTube channel. You can see these rides. We've done seniors over 60 ride e-bikes for the first time. We've done seniors over 60 ride bicycles for the first time. We've done seniors over 60 ride tricycles for the first time. Lots of videos with firsthand reactions from seniors over 60. So you don't have to hear it from me, you can also hear it from them.

Number five is to think about... What you must know is not all e-bikes are good for all activities. So you have to really think about where you're going to be riding, how far you're going to be riding, and what is going to be the purpose of the e-bike that you're buying.

And the reason I say that is because the price can vary greatly with e-bikes right now, and you may or you could end up overspending on an e-bike if you buy specs that are far and above what you actually need for your use case. And obviously, it's going to be in the best interest of most e-bike companies to get people to buy the most expensive item possible or get someone the right product that they want. But of course, any company will be happy the more money you spend with them.

So it's really on the consumer to do their research and know what's best for them. But you have to start with knowing how are you going to ride. Are you going to do short rides or long rides? Are you going to go off-road, or just stay on the pavement? Things like that. That's going to help you align the specs with your purchase.

As an example, if you're going to go on mostly pavement flat ground, you could look at 250 watts, 500 watts max. If you're going to do a lot of hills, really extreme hills all the time, and you're over 250 pounds, you may want 750 watts. If you want to pedal a lot and not use the motor a lot, maybe just use a little little bit of assistance, I'd recommend a 26-inch wheel, not a 16-inch or a 20-inch. If you're going to use the motor a lot and not rely on pedaling, maybe you could opt for a smaller wheel. The reason I say that is if you're going to pedal a lot, having the bigger wheel is actually going to be easier to turn the wheel or to turn the tire, versus smaller wheels, you're going to have to pedal more often to get the bike moving. So it'll be much easier to pedal with a 26-inch wheel. But again, this all starts with you knowing how you're going to pedal or use your bike.

Number six, and last thing to know in advance of purchasing an electric bike, not all electric bikes come with throttles and pedal assist. This is another feature that I've seen a lot of seniors over 60 love, which is the throttle. And the benefit of the throttle is if you're starting from a complete stop, makes it a lot easier to get going by using the throttle, gets the momentum of the bike going, and the wheels start turning. Then, you can get up to speed and start pedaling a little bit easier. I think that's a great feature for riders over 60. And again, not all e-bikes come with that feature. There are a lot out there that have it, but I think it can be a huge benefit. And like I said, when we do a lot of our rides for senior riders over 60, they all seem to really love that feature, because it helps them get going.

And then, it also allows riders to take a break. So let's say you do a five, 10-mile ride and your legs get tired and you want to take a quick break, you can just use the throttle for a little bit and let your legs rest. This is a benefit for all riders, but in particular, if you're out pushing yourself for longer distances, you've never gone so far and you're like, "Well, I just want to keep getting home, but I need to rest my legs," boom, use the throttle, and it's good to go. I think that is a phenomenal feature for our over 60 riders because I've seen, it again... I've said this before, but I'll say it again, you can watch our videos on YouTube, a lot of those riders strategically utilize the throttle when they're using their e-bike.

So, that sums up my six things all senior riders must know before purchasing an e-bike. If you have any other questions at all, please comment below or email us, at Or you can call us, at (310) 982-2877. In addition to that, if you're interested in e-bike, check out our website, and take our proprietary body fit quiz. You can just answer a few questions about your body and your life, and in under two minutes, we'll recommend the perfect e-bike for you.

Also, we have a 30-day test ride on your e-bike policy. If you don't love it in 30 days, you can send it back, no questions asked, with no money out of your pocket.

In addition to that, be a part of our community. You can download our app and join our Facebook peddlers group in advance of purchasing. This is a great place to connect with existing Sixthreezero riders. Ask them questions in the peddlers' group. Also, see how many miles people are logging on to the app on their bike, so you can get familiar with the bikes in advance of purchasing them. After you have your bike, download the app, track your rides, compete on the leaderboard, and of course, make new friends.

So, thank you for sticking around. And don't forget, it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.


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