Biking is an Excellent Form of Exercise for Senior Citizens
So, here’s the scoop: any kind of physical activity is going to be key to maintaining strength and mobility in your golden years. Most exercises are safe for seniors who are in overall good health. This includes biking.
Before you start any kind of biking regimen, it’s important to have quality equipment that makes your experience safe and comfortable. Just like you wouldn’t start a walking exercise routine without proper walking shoes, you shouldn’t start biking with equipment that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsteady, or unsafe. With that in mind, how do you choose the best bicycles for senior citizens to ride for recreation?
At Nursing Home Reviews, we’ve created our Senior’s Guide to help you find things that make living life as a senior easier. From technology to exercise equipment, our goal is to introduce you to new resources that can vastly improve the quality of your golden years. Today, we’re going to help you find the best bike for the elderly, whether it be an electric bike, commuter bike, mountain bike, gravel bike, road bike, race bike, city bike, or whatever your heart desires!
Many Different Types of Bikes are Designed to Accommodate Older Adults
As seniors become more active, manufacturers of exercise and recreational equipment are pivoting attention to developing technology that makes exercise easier for them. This includes manufacturers of bicycles. Manufacturers such as Schwinn and Batch are making comfortable bikes for seniors that are:
- Easy to ride
- Composed of lighter materials for ease of carrying
- Easier to transport for road trips
They’ve also designed these bikes to fit any type of senior lifestyle. Whether you use an electric bike for commuting around town, or you’re just a casual cruiser who takes a little time to peddle around in the evenings, there’s a bike out there for you. There are numerous guides out there designed to help you find the best bike for older folks. Most of them either choose to list either the most comfortable bikes, or the most affordable bicycles. Rarely is there ever an in-between, which can lead you to find a bike that isn’t suitable for your activity level, your level of mobility, or your level of strength.
Our guide to finding the best bike is designed to help you compare bikes so that you can find the perfect balance between comfort and affordability. Let’s start taking a look at some factors that can help you find one that’s right for you.
Never Sacrifice Functionality for Affordability
Affordable bicycles make numerous lists of the best bikes for seniors. After all, finding nice, comfortable bikes that function well on a budget isn’t always an easy task. Using “best of” lists to find functional, comfortable bikes that won’t break the bank is a good way to find a bicycle that’ll work for you.
In some cases, though, “affordable” doesn’t always mean great, or even good. On the flip side, “expensive” doesn’t always mean “the best”. When you’re comparing bikes that are listed as being best for senior use, the best strategy you can use is to find bikes that meet in the middle of the road on costs, but boast all or most of the features you want or need.
One of the best ways to compare bicycles for seniors is to consider options that have features you need to ride safely and comfortably that are either within or slightly outside of your price range. For instance, a $1,100 electric bike provides the convenience of giving your legs a rest if you feel too overwhelmed. Plus, it looks cool and it’s great for commuting around the city.
On the other hand, a $575 cruiser can get you around just as well as the electric bike can – just remember to take breaks! Cruiser bikes boast stability features, such as wide tires and tall handlebars, that make them a little more comfortable to use than most electric bikes, especially if you have balance issues. They’re also much easier (and safer) to stop than an electric bike might be for you.
That’s not to say that the electric bike isn’t a good choice. Again, it all depends on your own personal level of fitness, endurance, and strength. Before you choose between that $1,100 electric bike or that $575 cruiser, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I have the reflexes to safely and quickly stop a motorized bike going 20-25 miles per hour?
- Which option will better allow me to maintain my balance?
- Is the bike too heavy for me to lift?
- Does the bike feature gears that will allow me to move up and down hills safely?
- Can I easily transport my bike with a vehicle if needed?
If the $1,100 electric bike meets those needs better than the cruiser, then the electric bike is the choice for you. Remember, never let the price of a bike trump the functionality it provides for you. Just as the least expensive bike may not be the best choice for you, high expense isn’t always an indicator of high quality. In any event, when in doubt, try one out for a test ride!
Which Type of Bike Will Work Best for Me?
Like cars, bicycles come in many different styles, shapes, and sizes. How easy a bike is for you to ride all depends on your own personal physical fitness.
If you want a bike that can help you get around town to run daily errands, but you’re worried about your endurance to pedal, an electric bike may be a good choice. While they still require you to pedal, an onboard electric motor can give you a boost to travel distances or hills while giving you a chance to rest your legs. These bikes work best for seniors who are still relatively fit and can react quickly to stop safely when the motor is engaged.
Why do we suggest them primarily for more fit seniors? For one, these bikes can be very heavy to lift if you need to pick it up to transport it. Because of its features, including the motor, an electric bike can weigh up to 50 pounds. They also reach relatively high speeds for a bike – up to 28 miles per hour – which requires decent physical strength and reaction time to stop without risk of injury.
For seniors who are looking for something lighter that can provide a nice workout on a casual ride, the cruiser may be your best option. Cruiser bikes offer wider features for comfort and ease of balance, and they’re rarely as heavy or as expensive as electric bikes tend to be. While there’s no motor to give you a chance to rest your legs on the go, they’re much easier to stop if you need to take a break!
While they’re lighter than electric bikes, cruiser bikes can also be somewhat heavy. In some cases, they can reach up to 30 pounds in weight due to their features. They’re also not good for traveling over hills or uneven terrain, and riding a cruiser through a tight turn can be tricky. As a result, you’ll need to have a good sense of balance to make a cruiser bike work for you.
If balance is an issue for you, but you still want to incorporate biking into your fitness routine, there’s an option. Recumbent bikes and adult trikes provide the convenience of cruiser bikes, but with added wheels and safety features to help you keep upright while riding. Recumbent bikes even give you the option to use hand cycles, so that you don’t have to worry about sore legs while you’re riding around.
Recumbent bikes allow you a little more leeway to ride hills and terrain than trikes will. However, both can be heavy, and boxy designs can make them tougher to transport. They can also be slightly more expensive than regular cruiser options.
When it Comes to Bikes, What’s Truly Best is Subjective
In the end, finding the best bike for you depends on your own needs and limitations. Are you wanting to find comfortable bikes that won’t break the bank? Looking for affordable bikes that can help you easily navigate city and country equally? Comparing bikes in your price range with your own personal needs in mind will help you find the best bike out there for you, whether it be an electric bike, commuter bike, mountain bike, gravel bike, road bike, race bike, or city bike!