Electric bikes for seniors
If you're searching for the best e-bike for seniors, you're spoiled for choice. But with a growing range of increasingly affordable bikes to choose from, picking a bike that suits your riding requirements isn't always easy.
In this guide, we'll show you the key specs and features you need to consider when comparing electric bikes for seniors.
What is an electric bike?
An electric bike features a battery-powered electric motor to help make cycling easier. Most e-bikes use a pedal assist (or pedelec) system, which means the motor only provides assistance when you start pedalling.
The main advantage of an electric bike is that it helps you cycle longer distances without using as much energy. They're very handy for seniors who aren't as fit or as mobile as they used to be, providing an easier way to get around while at the same time offering all the health benefits of cycling.
What to look for when comparing electric bikes for seniors
There are several factors to consider when comparing electric bikes. These include:
- Type of riding. The first thing you need to do is decide on the style of bike you want. Are you looking for a city cruiser, a speedy road bike or something to take off-road? Do you want a model you can fold up to take on public transport? Will you need to carry luggage on your bike? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choices.
- Design. Next, consider the frame style you want. If you're not as flexible as you used to be, a step-through frame will make it easier to hop on and off your bike.
- Battery. Battery capacity is typically measured in Watt hours (Wh) — the higher the number, the longer the range you can expect. However, remember that factors like your weight, the riding mode you choose and the terrain you're cycling on can all affect the distance you'll get from a single charge. You'll also need to check how long the battery will take to recharge.
- Motor. Many modern e-bikes feature a mid-drive motor at the bottom bracket, but there are still plenty of hub-mounted options available. Check the specs sheet for power and torque figures, as well as how many levels of assistance (riding modes) you can choose from.
- Components. Read the fine print to check what gearing system, brakes and tyres the bike comes with. Are they all from reputable manufacturers?
- Accessories. Does the bike come with any accessories, such as LED lights or a pannier rack for carrying cargo? There's also an extensive range of after-market accessories you may want to consider — a padded, comfortable seat for long days in the saddle is a good example.
- Weight. E-bikes are heavy, with many models weighing over 20kg. There may be situations where you need to push or carry your bike, such as when storing it away, so check the specs sheet closely.
- Warranty. Is there a warranty on the bike? How long is it and what does it cover? Do separate warranties apply to the frame and to the battery/motor?
- Price. Entry-level electric bikes are priced in the $1,000-$2,000 range. If you want high-spec components, you'll find a wide range of models priced between $2,000 and $10,000.