E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
The electric bike market is growing and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. For example, in 2019, the market was estimated at about $15.4 billion. But at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 7.5 percent from 2020 through 2025, it's a bike segment that continues to grow - and grow rapidly. By 2023, it's estimated that some 40 million e-bikes will be sold and somewhere around 300 million electric bikes will be in use around the world.
Electric bikes are an ideal option for every rider, and this includes the senior citizen demographic. The electric assist and full electric throttle modes help seniors complement their own pedaling or take over pedaling completely, which can provide a necessary reprieve on long rides or during uphill portions of rides. And other features, such as a low step-through frame, and fat tire and three-wheel models can offer enhanced safety for seniors that have mobility or balance issues.
Cycling is for everyone, from children to senior citizens, but it can take a little bit of homework to find a bike model that fits your lifestyle, comfort and riding preferences. And safety is certainly a big factor when it comes to riding as well, especially for an older demographic. Read on to learn more about the safest electric bike models for senior citizens on the market today and what safety features you should be looking for when selecting a bike for a senior citizen.
What We're Looking For
Low Step-Through Frame
The first thing you should look for when it comes to shopping for a safe bike for a senior citizen is a model with a low step-through frame or no step-through frame at all. We're talking specifically about the frame bar that connects from the seating area to the handlebar area of the bike. Those with a high step-through frame aren't always the best option for senior citizens, as they can make the bike more difficult to mount and dismount. Low step-through frames, conversely, allow a rider to more easily swing their legs around the bike frame and position themselves on the bike seat. Some electric models take things a step further and don't have any sort of step-through frame. That's not to say that seniors can't ride a bike with a higher step-through, but generally speaking, the low step-through models are more all-around convenient for older riders.
As we mentioned above, there are two electric riding modes: pedal assist and full electric throttle. Pedal assist complements pedaling, so riders would be getting an electric boost as they're pedaling in a conventional fashion. Full electric throttle is a complete electric takeover of the bike, ideal for when riders need to rest their legs or are on uphill parts of a ride. In full electric throttle mode, riders don't need to pedal the bike for it to continue onward. For senior citizens, you don't need an electric motor that's overwhelmingly powerful, just one that can offer plenty of battery life while transporting riders at moderate speeds. For these reasons, bikes with 250-watt electric motors tend to be the safest bet. While there are 500-watt and 750-watt motor options available, the 250-watt motor will provide steady, reliable electric power without being too overpowering. A 250-watt motor will tend to power riders at speeds of about 15 miles per hour in full throttle mode (or 20-25 miles per hour on pedal assist), a speed that's ideal for older people.
Riding ergonomics are key for any rider, but they're perhaps most important for the senior citizen rider. Senior citizens have aging bones and muscles and tend to be a bit more frail, so it doesn't take quite as much for them to feel the aches and pains of certain activities. That's why riding ergonomics are so important - so seniors can ride without any fear of having to rest or recover afterward. Look for a bike that keeps the body relaxed and the back upright. Many bikes today also have value-added comfort features, which include a design to facilitate vertical or forward pedaling, comfort grips and seats that help support the back and hips. As we said, ergonomics is important for any bike rider, but it's perhaps all the more important for senior citizen riders who may be more prone to mobility issues that could stem from an uncomfortable ride.
Proper fit is also critical when it comes to selecting any bike. Make sure you get in for a professional fit test or have one performed by entering some metrics online so you can get a bike that's optimized for your body. Many riders incorrectly assume that bikes are one-size-fits-all and just require a seat adjustment. Purchasing a bike under this assumption could lead to uncomfortable riding.
Electric bikes tend to cost a bit more than a conventional bike, largely because you're incorporating an electric drivetrain into the frame. But quality doesn't always translate to a high price tag - and a high price tag doesn't always translate to quality. It's why it makes sense to start your search by working with a reputable manufacturer to find that perfect blend of quality and affordability. It's also important to select a bike based on what your riding intentions are. For example, riders who are looking to ride more aggressively are going to select a different type of bike than those who are just looking for a leisurely ride.
Finally, another consideration when bike shopping is functionality. Many electric bikes have storage capacity for riders to store groceries, items picked up on errands, and - in some cases - even other riders. Many bikes designed and manufactured today are far more functional than the bikes of yesterday - which can serve as an additional benefit for senior citizens and really all riders. In some cases, bikes may be able to completely replace a motor vehicle in a household. Make sure you take the time to understand some of the value-added functionality that a bike model you're considering can offer. And on a similar note, be sure to be aware of the bike's weight capacity so you know how much weight it can adequately carry in addition to the rider.
Contact SixThreeZero Today
For more information on what to look for in an electric bike for a senior citizen, and to browse our selection of e-bikes, contact SixThreeZero today. There's a bike for everyone, and we have no shortage of electric models to offer, including the five that we've mentioned in this post. For more information and browse our selection, contact us today.
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