E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
One of the nice things about riding a bike is that it's a low-impact activity. This doesn't just make it an ideal way for senior citizens with joint pain or joint problems to exercise and stay active, but it makes for great exercise for anyone recovering from joint surgery. Specifically, a knee replacement operation.
Knee replacements are usually performed when the knee joint has been damaged beyond rehabilitation - and usually, the reasons for it stem from either an injury or severe arthritis. But the knee replacement surgery itself isn't as bad as the recovery from it. In fact, the average recovery time period from a knee replacement surgery tends to be about six months. However, for some adults - especially older adults - that recovery period can extend up to a year before physically demanding activities can resume. And that's where bike riding comes in handy, both as a way to stay fit and active and also as part of a rehabilitation routine for those in recovery from this major surgery. The good news about bike riding is that it's for everyone - regardless of their situation, medically, physically or otherwise.
In this post, we'll cover one of the hottest emerging bike styles - electric bikes - and how they can help someone in their recovery from knee replacement surgery. We'll also discuss some of the key features that riders should look for in an electric bike when riding in recovery and discuss some of the top models on the market today. Here's a look at everything you need to know about choosing the right electric bike for someone with a knee replacement:
Why Electric Bikes are Ideal
Before we get into some of the key features to look for, let's first spend a moment discussing why electric bikes are ideal for those who have undergone a knee replacement. Perhaps the biggest reason is that they offer electric assistance to either complement conventional pedaling or run on full electric mode for a period of time. Here's a look at the basics of each mode:
Bike Features to Look For if You Have a Knee Replacement
Now that we've gone over why e-bikes are ideal for those who may be recovering from major knee surgery or who just don't want to overdo it on their joints even after they've recovered, it's time to discuss some of the features to look out for in an ideal bike. Here's a look at some key considerations to weigh when browsing selections and then making your purchase:
Low Step-Through Frame
The frame of the bike is one important consideration when shopping for a bike when mobility issues may be a concern. A low step-through frame refers to the frame design between the bike seat and the handlebars. Specifically, it's a low connector bar from the seat to the front of the bike that makes it easy to step over and get up onto the seat. These types of frames put less strain on the joints and lower body when it comes to mounting and dismounting the bike. A high frame typically consists of an elevated bar connecting the seating area and the handlebar area, making it much more difficult to step over or step through. On these types of bikes, riders usually mount them from the side.
Battery Power (and Recharge Time)
When it comes to electric bikes, riders usually have two motors to choose from: the 250-watt motor and the 500-watt motor. The latter is typically the best when riders want to go faster and the former when riders are just looking for a slow and steady ride. Another consideration that you'll want to keep in mind when selecting any e-bike (let alone one for someone with mobility issues) is how long the battery lasts. Batteries usually last for more miles in pedal-assist mode than they do in full electric mode, but it's still something you're going to want to know before you make a purchase. Some batteries can power a rider for several dozen miles on a charge, others for potentially up to 100 miles or more.
We'll round out this consideration by mentioning battery recharge time. Most e-bike batteries can recharge in 4-6 hours. Some e-bikes also have the option for a second battery if the range on the initial battery is a concern.
Even with a low step-through frame, stability can still be a concern for those with knee replacements. On that note, there are a few options that you may want to consider. One is the tricycle bike. Yes, they make these in adult electric models. And yes, they are becoming more and more common. While tricycle bikes tend to offer more cargo space for carrying items, groceries, supplies and more, one of the big advantages of this type of bike is that they tend to ride lower to the ground and there isn't the issue of balance as there is with a conventional two-wheeler.
The other option is the fat tire bike. The larger tires make more contact with the ground and make it easier to balance while mounting and dismounting, and while riding.
It's also important to ask yourself what you intend your riding purpose to be before you purchase any type of bike, let alone an e-bike. Are you just looking for something that you can cruise around the neighborhood or on area bike trails with? Do you want something that you can ride to the store or run your errands on? Or are you looking for a little more adventure? It's important to select a bike that meets your riding intention. For example, if you plan to run errands on your bike, you'll want to select a model that has ample cargo space and a larger payload capacity.
Bike weight is also an important consideration. E-bikes tend to weigh a bit more than a conventional bike due to their electric drivetrain and battery pack that helps power the motor. Make sure you know what the total weight of the bike is so you can determine if it's adequate for you or not. Weight is an important consideration after knee replacement if you live in an upstairs housing unit or regularly load your bike onto a rack to take it elsewhere to ride. You don't want to purchase a bike that weighs too much for you to comfortably carry.
Best Bikes on the Market for Someone with a Knee Replacement
Like we said in the intro, one of the best things about riding a bike is that there's a bike for everyone. And electric bikes certainly lend themselves well to people that may be recovering from a knee replacement or who just don't want to strain their joints any longer. We've crunched some of the best bikes for people who fit this category below. Here's a look at some of the best e-bikes on the market today for these types of riders:
BodyEasy 500W (Sixthreezero)
You don't name a bike something like "BodyEase" if it's not, well... really easy on the body. Designed with an ultra-low step-through frame, hybrid tires for a smooth ride and a 500-watt motor that takes riders up to 20 miles on full electric and up to 40 miles on pedal-assist mode, the BodyEase is purpose-built for practicality and comfort. Every aspect of the bike all the way down to the grips is optimized for comfort - and at an affordable price point of under $2,000, you can't beat the mix of comfort, quality and value you can get in the BodyEase from Sixthreezero.
Slsy Adult Trike
As we said above, adult tricycle bikes are ideal due to their enhanced stability. The Slsy Adult Trike is just one of many viable options for adults that are looking for this type of stability, but on an electric drivetrain. With a frame that can support people weighing up to 350 pounds and a large basket in the rear that makes it easy to transport groceries, this is a reliable model that makes riding fun and convenient.
RadRunner 2 from Rad Power
The RadRunner 2 is defined by its flexibility. With more than 300 accessory combinations for users to tinker with, the bike is compatible with a variety of racks and platforms so riders can customize the bike however they see fit. It also comes with a 750-watt motor that can net up to 45 miles of riding before a recharge is necessary, a longer battery lifespan than many of the other bikes on this list. This moped-style bike is high on comfort and flexibility. It even comes with a built-in footrest for riders to rest their legs on when they have the bike in full electric mode.
Schwinn Meridian Trike
Another option for riders looking for enhanced stability, the Scwinn Meridian Trike offers a three-wheel frame to promote enhanced stability and a low step-through profile and swept-back handlebars for enhanced access and comfort. It comes equipped with a 350-watt motor to offer pedal assistance and full electric mode at top speeds of up to 16 miles per hour.
Nakto Spark Electric Bike
This budget-friendly e-bike is low on price, but high on function. Featuring a high-strength carbon steel frame, 6-speed transmission and LED headlamps to make riding in low light conditions possible, the bike is known for its enhanced stability and safety features.
Our Pick: The BodyEase 500W
Like we said in the initial bike description, you really can't beat the combination of comfort, quality and value that you get with the BodyEase 500W. But another thing to like about the BodyEase is that it looks like any other bike. In other words, it doesn't look so obviously different from some of the other options we mentioned on this list. If you're looking for a bike completely designed around comfort, you can't go wrong with the BodyEase.
Contact Sixthreezero Today to Learn More
Riding is for everyone, no matter an individual's situation. And at Sixthreezero, we have a bike model for everyone - including those who are recovering from or have undergone a knee replacement in the past. To learn more about the bike models that we carry at Sixthreezero - including the BodyEase 500W - contact us today. Whether you're looking for a model that's designed for comfort and is easy on the joints, a fat tire bike, a beach cruiser or a hybrid cycle, we have something for you. Contact us today to learn more.
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