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The health benefits of cycling are unquestionable, regardless of your gender or age. In fact, studies show that regular cycling can decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease by as much as 50 percent. Cycling is also good for cardiovascular fitness, can improve flexibility and joint mobility and help with any weight loss efforts. Additionally, cycling shares the same mental health benefits as many other exercises when it comes to releasing endorphins to improve mood and positive feelings.
Yes, while cycling is a healthy activity for everyone, it's an especially great exercise for senior citizens. Why? Because it's also a low impact exercise that's easy on aging joints. That's largely why the senior citizen population represents one of the largest growing demographics of bike riders.
But not all bikes are created equal, so if you're a senior citizen looking to get into bike riding or looking for a new bike, or if you're looking to purchase a friend or loved one a bike of their own, there are various considerations that you'll want to weigh before making your purchase. In this post, we'll take a closer look at what features to look for in a bike for senior citizens, some of the best bikes for seniors on the market today and more. Here's what you need to know:
Features to Look for in a Bike for Senior Citizens
Here's a look at some features to weigh when bike shopping for a senior citizen:
As we noted above, senior citizens are one of the fastest growing demographics of bike riders, for both the health and fitness benefits and because it's a low impact exercise compared to activities that have similar benefits (i.e., jogging). With that being said, before purchasing a new bike, it's important that you have an idea of what your riding purpose is. This is an important consideration for all riders, let alone senior citizens. Most seniors, however, are likely to search for a bike that helps them maintain a proper posture and ride in comfort. For this reason, the cruiser style bike is often a go-to option. Cruiser bikes tend to have wider, more comfortable seats, bigger tires to help with control and balance, and other key features ideal for senior citizens. Cruisers are also a good all-purpose type of bike, which can suit a senior's riding goals.
If your riding intentions differ, make sure that you're acting accordingly when purchasing a bike. There are beach cruisers, mountain bikes, fat tire bikes, commuter bikes and more.
Electric vs. Conventional Cycling
Electronic bikes might be an ideal option for senior citizens for a few reasons. One, you can still get a great workout on an electric bike and just use the pedal assist feature when you get tired or need some extra oomph to get uphill. And two, having that electric pedal assist fallback is an ideal feature for aging adults who might get tired and need the extra help. Activating pedal assist is a better option than having to pull over and rest for a while. Manufacturers even make foldable electric bikes these days, which are as convenient as they are lightweight and portable.
Of course, if you're confident that you don't need the electric assist and can handle a conventional bike just fine, then that's always an option as well.
Like we said earlier in this piece, senior citizens tend to have mobility issues due to aging joints. With that being said, one feature to look for in a new bike is the step-through design. Keep in mind that most bikes feature a high frame bar, or the part designed to connect the seat to the handlebars. The step-through design features a lower, often curved frame bar, which makes it easier when getting on or getting off. Generally speaking, bikes with the step-through design are considered a much safer option than the conventional frame bar, making it a desirable feature for many senior citizen riders.
We're not so much talking about the size of the wheels or the types of tires on the bike, but how many wheels. And while most adult bikes only have two wheels, there are a variety of three-wheel adult tricycles that can come in handy for the more inexperienced biker or an aging adult with balance issues. The trike-style bike is among the more popular of all models for senior citizens, and it's ideal for casual, mostly flat riding. Since the third wheel tends to add excess weight to the overall bike, they're not ideal for canvassing hills or uneven terrain. Some trikes even come in electric models to provide pedal assist.
Another three-wheel bike option is the recumbent model bike. These types of bikes are close to the ground and offer comfortable seats and better back support than traditional bikes. Some recumbent bikes even fold, making them easy to store and transport.
Weight and Portability
Bike riding is unlikely to be the only hobby of many senior citizens. Adults who have retired tend to like spending their time doing other things, such as traveling, golfing, fishing and more. Do you need a foldable bike that can tuck easily into the trunk of a car or the back section of an RV or camping trailer? What about a lightweight option to get to your second-floor apartment in the retirement community where you live? Factors such as weight and portability are two variables to consider if you expect to be handling or storing the bike beyond the garage and bike rack.
Finally, it's important to get fit tested before buying a bike. Again, this is an important consideration for anyone in the market for a new bike, let alone a senior citizen. Getting fit tested ensures that you're empowered to purchase a bike that is ideal for your body size and shape. And the good news is that it's easy to get fit tested. You can do this in person at your local bike shop or you can even do this online if you're able to provide some key metrics. We'd just suggest getting fit tested with a trusted source. If you do it in person, visit a specific bike shop, and not just a store that happens to sell bikes to ensure that any fit test performed is done correctly.
The bottom line is that you don't want to purchase a bike that isn't properly fitted - and getting that proper fit isn't quite as easy as just adjusting the seat. A bike that's either too big or too small can lead to discomfort while riding.
Men and Women's Bikes
Contrary to what you may think, there are differences than just color between men's and women's bikes. The biggest difference is size, as women tend to be shorter than men riders. Again, this is where it's important to get properly fit tested, so you can select the men's or women's bike that's right for you. It's worth noting that there are also unisex bike options as well.
Top Bikes on the Market Today for Seniors
Now that we've gone over some of the key considerations to weigh when shopping for a new bike for a senior citizen, let's take a closer look at some of the top bikes for this age group on the market today. As you'll come to see, many of them incorporate the features that we discussed above. Here's a look:
The EVRYjourney checks a lot of the boxes we discussed above. It's a cruiser type bike, meaning that it tends to be a more comfortable bike for general purpose riding. And it has a step-through frame bar, which makes it easier to mount and dismount. Featuring a strong, aluminum frame, seven speeds and an ergonomic riding position, the EVRYJouorney is an ideal choice for a senior citizen looking for a new bike. What's more is that it's an affordable option, with a starting price of well below $1,000.
Another hybrid style bike that's ideal for general purpose riding, the Discover from Schwinn is a popular choice for senior citizens. It features a step-through design to make it easy to get on and off, 21 speeds and a strong, 17-inch frame. It's best for riders ranging in height from 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10. Another nice feature of this bike is that it offers rear cargo space, a perfect value-added accessory to bring back groceries after a ride to the nearby market. The Schwinn Discover is another affordable option, with a price point of below $1,000.
This electric bike has a range of up to 155 miles, making it an ideal option for senior citizens that might need a little extra help during their rides. It also offers a top speed of 20 miles per hour and a battery recharge time of just over 3 hours. It makes for a good, comfortable ride and there's rear cargo space to help support the transport of any goods and products. There are a few downsides to this electric bike, however. For starters, it's very expensive - coming in at about $5,500. And secondly, it weighs about 70 pounds, which can make it more difficult to transport than other models. If you're looking for a high-end electric bike, however, the Tern GSD is a top pick.
This three-wheel recumbent model bike can fit riders ranging from 4-foot-6 to 6-foot-3, so it's incredibly versatile. And its seat can be adjusted in six different ways. It's a perfect option for a senior citizen that's maybe no longer able to ride a conventional bike and needs a little bit of extra lumbar support. With a steel frame, 20-inch wheels and full suspension, you can't go wrong with the Mobo Shift. Ideal for both men and women riders, the price is also right. This bike starts at less than $1,000.
Slsy Adult Tricycle
It's both comfortable and stylish, and offers seven speeds and different tire sizes. With a rear basket and a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds, you can rest assured that you're able to carry a multitude of products and goods as you're riding. Like we said in the above section, three-wheel bikes are ideal for senior citizen riders who might have balance issues, as the third wheel helps to add stability. That's another big benefit of the Slsy Adult Tricycle.
Our Pick: The EVRYJourney
You can't name a bike the "EVRYJourney" without it being versatile, flexible and, well, applicable for every and any journey. For this reason, we've tabbed the EVRYJourney from SixThreeZero as our top all-around bike for senior citizens. Thanks to a durable, reliable build, a cruiser type design that makes it comfortable to ride and an affordable price point, this option from SixThreeZero is a sure-fire win for both men and women senior citizen riders. You can learn more about its features and purchase this bike at your local bike shop or by visiting SixThreeZero.com.
Contact SixThreeZero Today
For more information on what makes the EVRYJourney such an ideal option for senior citizens, and to browse all of the other bikes in SixThreeZero's catalog, contact us today. In addition to Cruiser type bikes, we also offer fat tire bikes, electric and hybrid bikes, mountain bikes and more. Whether you're a senior citizen looking for enhanced comfort and ergonomics or an avid off-road enthusiast, we've got the bike for you. For more information, contact SixThreeZero today.
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