Electric bikes are in general quite safe, depending on where you’re riding them or who is riding them. Wondering whether electric bikes are safe for seniors or not is a perfectly reasonable question if you were wondering whether to purchase an electric bike for a loved one or even for yourself. By 2030 there will be more than 73.1 million older adults, or seniors in the USA, so establishing whether electric bikes are safe for them is important.
While electric bikes are, in general, safe for seniors there are a few points to consider.
Are Electric Bikes Safe For Seniors: Yes
Electric bikes are safe for seniors because in general, they’re just as safe as normal electric bikes. The caveat is that seniors and indeed, anyone, whether kids or adults riding an electric bike needs to know how to properly control it.
You also have to take the senior in question into account. A senior who has limited mobility problems or is unable to use a normal bike might find an electric bike with adequate assist power fine to ride over shorter distances. Whereas a senior with serious mobility or healthcare problem might seriously struggle.
So, electric bikes are safe so long as precautions are taken.
Benefits Of Electric Bikes For Seniors
There are a multitude of benefits for seniors in riding an electric bike.
Help If A Senior Gets Tired
A senior might struggle riding a normal bike because of the effort involved. Cycling burns calories quickly and hurts the muscle if you’re not used to it. For seniors, this might be a little too much. Electric bikes with an assist mode can make up the slack. Using an assist mode on an electric bike means that a senior can put a lot less effort into the bike themselves. Now, you might need to pick the right bike here because some bikes put more power into the assist mode than others. It depends on how strong the senior in question is.
If a senior goes through periods of real struggle, it’s probably worth purchasing an ebike with Class 3 capabilities meaning it essentially has a throttle and the senior can rest a while as the bike does all the work. With a class 2, the senior would always need to peddle, but would utilize the assist mode to help them along.
Electric bikes are safe in terms of a senior’s energy output because the option will always be there to give them a helping hand and stop them from getting overtired. In this regard, electric bikes are probably far safer than normal bikes for seniors.
Enhanced Sense Of Freedom
Cycling grants a sense of freedom, whether on an ebike or normal bike. A sense of freedom for seniors is eminently important, especially if they struggle with feeling lonely or live away from friends and family. If a senior wouldn’t usually be able to cycle, but can with an ebike, then the purchase of one will surely be beneficial.
Ability To Persevere With Cycling
Cycling is a huge global hobby. In the USA 47.4m people count cycling as a hobby. As people age, they may feel like they can’t cycle anymore due to the effort involved. With an electric bike the hobby of cycling can be preserved for longer due to the assist the electric bike motor provides.
If you’ve always been a member of a bike or cycling club, but are finding your old age is holding you back from participating, an electric bike can be the answer. An ebike can help you keep up with the pack and continue to socialize with friends and family. Socialization is incredibly important for seniors and in this regard an electric bike can help cycling hobbyists continue to enjoy their pastime with other like minded people.
On the other hand, if they currently don’t socialize but enjoy biking, they can use their electric bike to visit people or to join a like minded cycling club.
Potential Dangers Of Electric Bikes For Seniors
Some electric bikes with full, all class capabilities are quite fast. If a senior purchases an electric bike that’s overly powerful and they’re not expecting it they can easily end up crashing or falling off their ebike and if they’re going at some speed, they can hurt themselves quite badly. To avoid a situation like this, you should:
- Check the power of the ebike in question before purchasing it
- Don’t purchase a full class spectrum electric bike if it isn’t needed, stick to assist
- Check the power level of the assist on the electric bike, just to be safe
- Make sure you or the senior in question knows how to use the electric bike before going onto a road
It isn’t too difficult, but it’s always worth making sure the potential dangers are scouted out and dealt with rather than facing a problem.
There is also a risk in bike maintenance. An electric bike needs to be properly maintained otherwise sensitive components like the battery or motor can be damaged and cause danger, a senior with an electric bike needs to bear this in mind and make sure the bike is in usable condition.
Normal dangers apply too, like cycling on busy roads, on dangerous mountain path or not paying attention to the laws of the road.
The biggest danger is in the lack of a helmet…as for all riders of electric and traditional bikes alike. The electric bike will certainly not be safe if they don’t wear a helmet, especially if the bike is multi-class and has its own throttle.
Can Seniors Get Good Exercise On An Electric Bike
Of course. Electric bikes can be just as good for you as a normal bike, depending on the assist modes. Seniors who use electric bikes for exercise, in our experience, like to start without using an assist mode but gradually ramp up the assist as their session continues. This allows them to continue exercising whereas on a normal bike they’d stop. Remember, cycling helps balance and coordination as well as increasing cardiovascular health. In our opinion, ebikes make for one of the best exercise methods for seniors because at any moment they can press a button and make things a lot easier for themselves.
We hope you enjoyed our article on electric bike safety for seniors. You can find more over on our blog or if you’re looking for an ebike to purchase, check out our ebike reviews.