Are eBikes Good for Older Riders and Seniors?

Older woman wearing a helmet, riding an EB10 Step-Through Cruiser eBike.We all know that physical activity is beneficial to anyone, no matter their age. But it’s no truer than for people of advanced age. Along with walking, stretching, dancing and swimming, cycling is another low-impact exercise that’s recommended for able seniors. Stationary bikes are great, but electric bikes have become a revelation to people 50 and better, whether they’re seasoned cyclists or had stopped biking after childhood or the 1970s bike boom.

If you’re young at heart but feel that pedaling might have become too challenging, perhaps the motorized assistance of an ebike might entice you to get back in the saddle. SWAGTRON® has senior-friendly eBikes that offer a comfortable, secure and enjoyable experience. But don’t take our word for it. Let these research-backed findings convince the free spirit in you that it’s never too late to ride a two-wheeler again.

Older couple outside riding electric bikes on a dirt trail.

Riding a bicycle – electric or otherwise – is good for continued health of senior riders.

eBiking Strengthens Your Heart and Muscles

Seniors might be hindered from eCycling by physical concerns such as bad knees, joint pains, aging-related fatigue, limited mobility and previous injuries. But because cycling is gentler on the knees, feet and hips than running, riding an electric bike offers a practical solution. An eBike’s pedal-assist and throttle features can give your legs a break during uphill rides and when you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery and fresh air.

For people who have used stationary bikes for cardiovascular rehabilitation, transitioning to an electric bike after therapy helps maintain a healthy heart, good balance and muscle strength. In fact, eBiking is seen as a promising solution for telerehabilitation programs. Just like the flexible resistance level of an indoor cycling machine, an electric bike lets you ride with less effort and strain so you can take it easy outdoors while maintaining proper posture and feeling young, wild and free.

Aside from the fact that eBiking helps lower risks of obesity and heart disease, did you know it’s also thought to alleviate arthritis and Parkinson’s symptoms? A Journal of Rheumatology publication reports improved function and reduced pain in osteoarthritis patients. Similarly, Pedaling For Parkinson’s founder, Dr. Jay Alberts, discovered the wonders of cycling after tandem biking with a patient. Davis Phinney, a retired road bike racer diagnosed with Parkinson’s, said that eBiking brought his life back, and he now enjoys uphill biking with his family.

Still not convinced? The Arthritis Foundation and Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s have their respective fundraiser rides involving diagnosed participants on eBikes!

eBiking Helps Boost Brain Function and Well-Being

So much for the physical benefits. But did you know, cruising on an eBike also has a positive impact on the cognitive and psychological well-being of older adults? A research study by the University of Reading and Oxford Brookes University compared the effects of traditional and electric biking to senior non-cyclists aged 50 to 83. It turns out that the eBike group demonstrated the same improvement in executive function and mental health as the manual pedal group did.

Do you know what makes it even better? The eBike participants spent more time cycling than the pedal riders did! During the study, each rider kept a daily diary to record their cycle times, and the eBikers added valuable comments on how eCycling made them feel good. This study points out that because eBikes require less physical exertion, they let people cover greater distances in less time. This encouraged the participants to increase their cycling time, and they felt more confident and independent on their eBikes.

This incredible discovery makes eBiking an awesome way for seniors to get around and de-stress, helping reduce the risk of depression and serious memory loss. If you think you’re becoming forgetful and might have forgotten how to ride a bike, chances are you didn’t. Thanks to our procedural type of memory, even someone with amnesia can still ride a bicycle!

eBiking Can Rejuvenate Your Immune System

The risk of getting different infections and diseases increases naturally through aging, and this kind of gradual decline in the immune system is called immunosenescence. A study published by the Anatomical Society saw the antiaging effects of cycling in amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79. They appeared to be generating higher amounts of certain immune cells than inactive elders, and these amounts are surprisingly the same with younger adults aged 20 to 36!

These senior cyclists may have pedaled their way to the fountain of youth, but it’s not too late for non-cyclists to follow suit. For beginners, electric bicycles are the way to go. Start slowly on pedal-assist mode to get yourself warmed up and comfy until you’re ready to roll on pedal-only mode. If you’re a retired cyclist and believes that cycling is a lifelong sport, a mountain eBike can be your new best friend.

eBiking Is Practical, Accessible and Fun

Close up of the low step-through frame of the EB10 electric bike.

The low step-through frame of eBikes like the EB10 makes getting on and off less strenuous.

Now, here’s the exciting part! In a recent survey on North American electric bicycle owners, a significant majority of respondents aged 55+ and those with physical limitations feel safer on eBikes than on standard bicycles. The top reasons that motivated the 55+ adults to purchase an eBike are:

  • For recreational purposes (36.9%)
  • To ride with less effort (32.5%)
  • To increase fitness (31.6)
  • Because I live or work in a hilly area (25%)

The respondents with physical limitations share the same reasons with the 55+ respondents. Still, nearly half of them (48.4%) ticked the box for “a medical condition that reduced my ability” as their motivation for purchasing an eBike.

Almost all respondents (96%) answered that they enjoy their overall riding experience with electric bikes. For them, eBikes are more fun and let them go farther than with standard bicycles. But with all the health benefits seniors can reap from eBiking, the fun factor is just icing on the cake.

Step-Through eBikes Are Great for Older Adults

Can’t wait to get your hands on an eBike? Our SWAGTRON® step-through bikes don’t just impress with vintage-style charm. You’ll love their comfort features even more!

The EB9 electric city bikes and EB10 electric cruiser bikes both have 250W motors and Shimano® gear speed systems, so you can breeze through steep inclines. Their low step-through frames and adjustable seats not only make it convenient for those with limited mobility, but also for ladies in skirts and gentlemen in trousers. Whether you’re in your comfy casuals or Sunday best, getting fitter and feeling younger is as stress-free as a relaxing eBike ride.

Last Update: July 14, 2020  

July 14, 2020    EB10, EB11, EB5, EB7, EB7 Plus, EB9, EBIKES    
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