What Are the Benefits of Ebikes for Older People?
Older people can gain a huge amount of benefits from riding an electric bike.
The Benefits of Ebikes for Older People are considerable! Riding an e bike when you are older might be the only way that you continue riding a bike. Relying on pedal power alone might just be too much for you! Having a battery to assist you makes cycling easier and more enjoyable as you get older.
The type of electric bike you require will depend on how you intend to use it and the number of miles you are likely to cover per outing. There is a wide range of electric bikes to choose from including electric mountain bikes. Some of the e-bikes designed for commuters are also suitable for seniors to ride.
Many older people have limited financial resources available to them. This need not necessarily be a problem as e-bike prices start at just a few hundred dollars. For those that are able to spend a little more there is a huge choice of electric bikes for under 1500 dollars .
There will however almost certainly be an electric bike that will meet the needs of the majority of older people regardless of what they are.
- What Are the Benefits of Ebikes for Older People?
- Physical Benefits of E Bikes for Older People
- Mental Benefits of E Bikes for Older People
- Social Benefits of E Bikes for Older People
- What do Electric Bikes Look Like?
- What Type of E Bike is Best for Older People?
- Do You Need a Driving Licence to Ride an Ebike?
- What Size Motor will I need in my Electric Bike ?
- How Fast does an Electric Bike Travel?
- How Much Do Electric Bikes for Older People Cost?
- E Bikes that are Suitable for Older People
- Are There Really any Benefits of riding e bikes for older people? – Conclusion
Physical Benefits of E Bikes for Older People
It is a fact that as you get older most people have the tendency to take less exercise. This is a huge mistake. As you get older you should take as much physical exercise as you can. Obviously most older people are not as agile as they were when they were younger. Many of the types of exercise that they may have enjoyed when they were younger are simply no longer possible.
Cycling is an excellent form of exercise for older people. Unfortunately pedalling a bike for long distances can be quite tiring.
“One of the main benefits of riding an e bike when you are older is that they require far less physical effort than a conventional cycle”.
Cycling has a vast amount of health benefits. It not only helps significantly with joint movement. It also improves cardiovascular health. This in turn helps to prevent conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Cycling is also good for your lungs. As you pedal your cycle your lung capacity increases and pumps more oxygen into the blood stream.
Older people who ride e bikes are not exerting quite as much energy as they would on a normal bicycle. They are none the less still exercising their leg muscles, albeit at a slightly slower rate.
Mental Benefits of E Bikes for Older People
There are undoubtedly a number of mental benefits for older people who ride electric bikes.
Simply being able to get out into the fresh air to exercise can provide older people with a huge mental boost. Psychologically simply knowing that you are going out to exercise gives you a feeling of purpose and achievement.
Anxiety and depression are also conditions that tend to affect people more when they get older. Regular exercise, such as riding an ebike for example, can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Exercising helps the brain to release what are known as ‘feel good endorphins’ (endogenous cannabinoids) and other chemicals which are known to enhance the general feeling of well-being.
Social Benefits of E Bikes for Older People
Many older people feel isolated and lonely. This is often simply because they do not have a great deal of contact with other people. Doing any group activity is a great way to enhance your social life.
Cycling with a group of friends is a great way to combine exercise and social contact. There may be clubs in your area that have been formed by other older people who enjoy riding e bikes.
If there are not cycling clubs that are specifically for older electric bike riders do not despair. There is still a strong possibility that you could join a local cycle club and be allowed to ride your ebike.
If there are not any cycling clubs in your area speak to friends and ask if they would also like to take up cycling. It may be that they are simply not aware that older people can ride electric bikes and have dismissed the idea of cycling because they think it would be physically too challenging.
If you like the idea of riding an electric bike but feel that doing any pedaling would be too much for you there are full throttle electric bikes that you can buy. Alternatively you could even consider a sit on electric scooter for adults. Obviously these options would not provide any exercise benefits but the social aspect would still be there.
If you are physically unable to pedal a bike at all you would still have the option to buy a full throttle e-bike or even a sit down electric scooter. Obviously there would be no benfits with regard to physical exercise but you could still benefit from the social aspects of being out with your friends.
What do Electric Bikes Look Like?
In general terms most ebikes resemble normal cycles in appearance. Electric bikes come in a wide variety of styles, just like conventional bikes, that are designed to meet the various requirements of the rider.
There are electric bikes suitable for seniors that are designed to be ridden on the roads. There are also electric mountain bikes that are designed to be used in more rugged terrain. In fact there are e bike equivalents to almost all types of normal pedal cycles.
In most cases the only thing that really differentiates an electric bike from a normal pedal bike is the inclusion of a battery pack. This applies if you are considering buying an electric bike for commuting or simply want an ebike for recreational use.
The battery for an ebike is usually positioned in one of two positions. Some bikes have the battery attached to, or within, the bike frame. Other manufacturers will place the batteries on a rack above the rear wheel.
Having the battery positioned within the frame (or down tube) of the bike is possibly the better option. It is visually more attractive and the overall weight distribution is considerably better. Older e-bike riders would, in most cases, feel more stable on this style of bike.
Just like conventional cycles it is also important to make sure that you get the correct size of frame to suit your height and build. If you buy a bike that is not the correct size it will certainly reduce your riding enjoyment and can, in some cases, actually result in injury.
INCLUDE FRAME SIZE CHART
What Type of E Bike is Best for Older People?
In most cases older e bike riders may have slightly different requirements with regard to the type of ebike they choose.
In general there are certain characteristics that make an ebike suitable for older riders.
The first main consideration is the ease with which you can mount, and dismount, the bike.
The easiest style of ebike for older riders are those that have a more sweeping style of frame. These are often referred to as ‘ step through e-bikes ’. The easier it is to get on and off the machine the more confident you will tend to feel when you ride it. Some bikes also have the pedals mounted a little further forward. This helps slightly when you want to put your feet down on the floor.
There are also two distinct option types available to consider when you are trying to decide on the right ebike for you. You have a choice between bikes that are described as being ‘pedal assist’ and others that are described as ‘full throttle’.
An ebike that is described as ‘pedal assist’ is exactly what you might expect it to be. When you are pedalling the machine you have the option to allow the electric motor to assist you. Thereby reducing the amount of physical effort required to keep the bike in motion. A lot of pedal assist ebikes allow you to choose the amount of assistance that you want to get from the motor. The main point is that you do actually need to pedal the machine to make it move forward. It is not a self propelled machine
An ebike equipped with full throttle will propel you forward, with or without the need for you to pedal.
You will get more range from an ebike that has pedal assist than you will from an e-bike model that is full throttle.
If you are a senior buying an ebike for exercise purposes there is very little point in buying a full throttle ebike. If you are simply wanting the bike as a means of transport then a full throttle e-bike would fit the bill.
Do You Need a Driving Licence to Ride an Ebike?
Rules and regulations regarding ebikes vary considerably depending on the region in which you live.
In the UK for example you can ride an ‘electrically assisted pedal cycle’ (EAPC) at the age of 14 providing it does not have a motor that exceeds 250w.
(Rules Relating to Riding an Ebike in the UK)
It is also a requirement that the motor should not be able to propel the bike once it exceeds 15.5 miles per hour. Regulations in the UK state that when motor assistance is provided the pedals must be in motion. There is no requirement for motor tax or insurance for an EAPC machines in the UK.
Ebikes that have an electric motor of more than 250w or simply has a motor that will assist you when you are travelling above 15.5 mph are classed as motor cycles in the UK. To ride one of these machines you do need to have the relevant driving licence and the vehicle has to be registered, taxed and insured.
The majority of Full Throttle Electric Bikes tend to be equipped with motors with an output above 250w. These, at least in the UK, will almost certainly be classed as motorcycles and will be subject to all of the legislation relating motorcycles.
In the UK, at the time of writing, you do not need to wear a crash helmet to ride an electrically assisted pedal cycle. It is worth checking the current legal regulations before you purchase your ebike. Regulations may be different in other regions of the world
In the USA rules regarding ebikes tend to vary from state to state. It is therefore imperative that you familiarize yourself with the laws in your particular region before purchasing, or even riding an electric bike.
What Size Motor will I need in my Electric Bike ?
Electric bikes for older adults are available with a wide range of power options.
It does not necessarily follow that an e bike with a larger motor will be the best choice for you. The way you intend to use the bike and the mileage you intend to cover will have a big bearing on your choice.
It is essential that you purchase a bike that will be adequate for your needs but there is no point buying a model that has a far higher specification than you actually need.
In general terms the minimum motor size that you should consider for every day use is 250w. If your weight is more than around 200 pounds then you are probably far better to purchase a bike with a motor of 350w. This will help to ensure that the motor is not forced to work excessively hard.
A word of warning! E bikes with motors of 350w and above may not qualify as an ‘electrically assisted pedal cycle’ so please make sure you understand the regulations in your region before buying one.
How Fast does an Electric Bike Travel?
An electric bike with a 250w motor will be able to reach speeds of between 15 and 20 miles per hour (25-32 kph) under normal conditions. This is more than sufficient for most older people that ride electric bikes.
Some ebikes with larger motors are capable of speeds of around about 35mph. This is however far faster than the average older electric bike rider is likely to want to travel.
How Much Do Electric Bikes for Older People Cost?
The specification of the bike will have a large bearing on the price you pay. Electric bikes with more powerful motors will cost substantially more than those with less powerful ‘entry level’ motors.
Entry level electrically assisted pedal cycles start at around about £400 in the UK or $400 in the USA. Prices then rise steadily to virtually any price you want to pay. There are for example specialist e bikes that retail for in excess of $25,000. Obviously anyone paying these kinds of prices take their e biking extremely seriously indeed.
In most cases the average older person looking for an electric bike should be able to find something to suit them for around about the £1000 – £1500 / $1000 – $1500 price mark without too much difficulty.
E Bikes that are Suitable for Older People
Here are three examples of electric bikes suitable for older people. The first of these is a step through ebike which makes mounting and dismounting easier. All of the examples are priced below £1200 / $1200 at the time of writing.
Click on the images to find out more about each of the models and to see a selection of other similar models that are currently available.
Are There Really any Benefits of riding e bikes for older people? – Conclusion
An e bike is certainly worth considering when you are getting older. There are numerous ways in which riding an ebike can benefit older people.
If you would like to be able to cycle but feel that riding a normal bike would be too demanding physically then an e bike is an ideal alternative. The fact that you have an electric motor to assist you, should you need it, will make you more confident.
There are mental benefits for older people who ride ebikes. Knowing that you can still get out and about on your bike will give you a huge mental boost!
There are social benefits to be gained from riding an ebike. Taking bike rides with your friends is a great way to socialise.
Providing you are able to mount and dismount an ebike then there is very little to prevent you from enjoying riding an ebike when you are older. Simply ensure that you choose a bike that suits your needs and ability and there is no reason why you cannot continue to enjoy your cycling for many years to come.