Riding a bike is an enjoyable recreational activity.
The cool breeze blowing through us as we ride gives us a feeling of freedom and the clean air is great for the lungs. However, as we grow older, it becomes difficult to find bikes that are suited to our physical capabilities.
In this article, I will go over different features offered by various bikes and which ones are the best suited for seniors.
Related: Cycling for Beginners Over 60 Guide
Types of bicycles for seniors
Cruiser bike allows the rider to be in an upright position while riding and not bent over the handlebars, which is a more comfortable riding position, especially for seniors.
This is why they are also known as comfort bikes. Cruiser bikes also have wider tires that let the rider have more control and balance while riding.
Simple to use, cruiser bikes usually have a single brake feature with some models having three or more gears, which makes it easier to ride uphill. The cruiser bike tires come in standard sizes of 26 inches for adults of average or larger size, and a 24-inch size for shorter riders.
A hybrid bike is one which can be used for a wide range of riding conditions and applications.
It has the benefits of both road bikes, touring bikes and mountain bikes so it can be used in all kinds of terrains. It is good for seniors as they tend to use bikes not only for tours and mountain trails but also for short rides around their neighborhood.
The hybrid bike is a versatile bike which allows them to ride it for all purposes.
Step through bikes
Step through bikes are typically cruiser bike, having a special step through design feature.
Traditionally bikes have a high frame bar which make it difficult for some seniors to swing his or her leg over to mount the bike. Step through bikes have a special feature that the frame bar is lower, and it is easier to get on the bike.
This is especially useful for older people who may have hip or lower back issues or do not have the flexibility to raise their leg high enough.
Recumbents also have a third wheel, like adult trikes. However, recumbents have a sleeker design with a lower riding position closer to the ground.
They are faster than adult trikes and can cruise at speeds similar to regular bikes.
They have a comfortable seat with good back and hip support. Some recumbents have a folding feature, making it useful and easier to transport to trails.
These bicycles have an added third wheel, which is why it is called a trike.
Many adults have never had the opportunity to ride a bike and may find it difficult to learn at an older age. Some even have balancing issues, this bike is for them.
The adult trike is popular among seniors for riding around their house or running short errands. These trikes are heavy due to the third wheel and are therefore, slower than regular bikes.
They are also not suited for riding up hills and it is preferable to be used on flat, smooth surfaces.
E-bikes are gaining a lot of popularity amongst the seniors.
They have an electric motor and battery and have either a ‘throttle operation’ or a ‘pedal assist’ or both. The rider still has to pedal with a pedal assist, but the electric motor gives the pedal a boost making it easier to pedal.
All the bikes can have an electric function, but it is more popular in the cruisers and recumbents.
Mountain bikes are very durable and designed for off-road cycling.
They are used more for riding on mountain trails, dirt trails and other unpaved surfaces. They are useful for those riders who want to buy a bike specifically for riding on these kinds of terrain.
Their wheels come in 26-29-inch options with raised lugs to be able to ride smoothly on such treks.
Folding bikes are bikes that can be folded into a compact form. They are useful for transport and storage.
When they are folded, they can be easily transported to the place where the rider wants to use it.
This is particularly useful for seniors who may want to take it to the park and would not want to ride till there as it would tire them out.
Our Top 10 Best Bicycle For Seniors
|1||Schwinn Discover Hybrid||Aluminum||21 speed||28-inch||Yes|
|2||Sixthreezero Around the Block Men Beach Cruiser||Aluminum||7 speed||26-inch||No|
|3||Schwinn GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike||Aluminum||21 speed||26-inch||No|
|4||Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike||Aluminum||21 speed||26-inch||No|
|5||Sixthreezero Around the Block Women Beach Cruiser||Aluminum||21 speed||26-inch||No|
|6||Sixthreezero Hybrid Bicycle Explore your Range||Aluminum||7 speed||700x 38C||No|
|7||Schwinn Suburban Sport Hybrid Bike||Steel||7 speed||Yes|
|8||Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike||Aluminum||7 speed||20-inch||Yes|
|9||Mongoose Impasse Men Mountain Bike||Aluminum||21 speed||29-inch||No|
|10||Kent Oakwood Women’s Cruiser Bike||Aluminum||7 speed||26-inch||Yes|
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women (BEST OVERALL)
The Schwinn discover is one of the best bicycles for seniors as the step-through feature suits people of all genders, heights and ages. It has an efficient suspension combined with 21 speed allowing the rider to have full control of the speed of the bike and can go smoothly on all kinds of terrain from smooth urban roads to rocky mountain trails.
The swept-up handlebar provides a comfortable grip and provide more control enabling the rider to exert less effort while riding. The built-in rack is great for senior to go shopping or to keep their bag in place and the fenders keep the mud off your clothes.
The Promax linear brakes are good and are efficient in maneuvering around urban traffic. However, it is better to get the brakes checked out by a mechanic as soon as you receive the bike and assemble it. This will give you the satisfaction that the brakes are in perfect working condition before you start riding.
- Alloy crank
- Upright handlebars
- Suspension fork
|Lightweight, sturdy and strong||Brakes could have mechanical issues|
|Suits all types of users||Installation instructions are not very clear.|
|Can be used in different terrains|
Sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s 7-Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle (BEST FOR HEAVIER RIDERS)
The Sixthreezero Around the block is a great choice for a men’s cruiser bike. It has shimano internal hub with easy-to-use nexus shifter ensuring that you can ride around without any hassles. The excellent combination of gears, shifter and brakes will provide for a smooth and efficient ride.
The seven-speed gear will offer high performance on both paved roads and uphill mountains. It has tough tires that will work as great shock absorbers to reduce the impact on a rough terrain.
The bicycle is ideal for elderly senior men as the sleek ergonomic frame allows them to sit in an upright position and the padded saddle provide comfort throughout the ride. The adjustable handlebars cater to all rider heights from 5 feet to 6.2 feet. It comes with a rear rack for storage. However, if you want you can buy the basket and accessories separately.
- 7-speed Shimano external hub
- Cushioned dual spring saddle seat
- Comfort curve handlebars
|Shock absorbent hybrid tires||Not intended for steep inclines or very rough terrain.|
|Comfortable dual-spring seat saddle||Heavier frame|
|Caters to riders of different heights|
|Synthetic leather slip resistant hand grip|
Schwinn GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike (BEST VALUE)
If you are looking for wide range of features at an optimal price, then the Schwinn GTX comfort hybrid bike is for you. It gives a lot of great features at a very good price. The 21-speed gear makes it ideal to ride on all kinds of terrain from paved paths to steep, rocky incline. The Schwinn suspension fork will ensure a smooth ride and the multi-use tires are designed to be used on both flat roads and terrains. The brakes are mechanical disc brakes and the bike halts instantly.
The great combination of gears, shocks and brakes makes in a perfect choice for people who want to use the bicycle regularly both on short trips and on long, strenuous mountain trips. The design will ensure that you can ride for long period without getting tired.
It is an ideal choice for senior who want to use the bicycle for more than just cruising around the town. The bicycle frame is perfectly designed to be able to mount easily and the cushioned saddle will ensure that you are comfortable on long rides. The saddle cannot be altered which may cause an issue if it is not aligned with your body structure.
- Aluminum dual sport frame
- Micro-shift 21 speed gear with derailleur
- Alloy crank
- Multiuse tires
|Great Price||Difficult to assemble|
|Lightweight frame||Saddle cannot be altered|
|Mechanical disk brakes|
|Comfortable cushioned saddle|
|Can be used in all terrain|
Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike (BEST DETAILS)
This is a great option if you are looking for a comfortable sturdy bike that can be used on mountain trails and treks. It is for the adventurous who want to use it to explore the outdoors, especially on the mountains. It comes with a 21-speed gear shift with a rear derailleur which makes it easy to ride up hills. The suspension fork gives a smooth ride enabling the rider to handle the bumps on the rocky mountain trek with ease.
The strong tires make it easier to ride the bike on dirt paths giving a sturdier feel to the bike. It is good for elderly due to the stability provided by the bike. The linear brake will help rider stop immediately, giving more control when riding downhill or accelerating at higher speeds.
The saddle is padded giving added comfort to the rider while going on long rides. It doesn’t have fender to protect gear when riding on dirt treks.
- Micro-shift 21 speed gear
- Shimano rear derailleur
- Alloy wheels
|Sturdy, light frame||Some people found it hard to assemble the bike.|
|21 speed gear gives more control||Seat is a bit hard|
|Can be used on rough terrain as well as smooth paths.|
|Padded saddle gives extra comfort|
|Instruction video provided|
Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s 21-Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle (MOST STYLISH)
The sixthreezero Around the Block is a good option for a relaxed, low-maintenance ride for women. It comes with a 21-speed gear that allows for a comfortable ride on both flat terrain and hilly areas. It has a durable light-weight steel frame that gives rider great control of the bike.
It is ideal for elderly and senior women as it has swept-back handlebars which allows them to have an upright position, keeping the back and shoulder comfortable. The dual-spring saddle provides enough cushioning to keep rider relaxed and comfy while riding.
The bike comes in a variety of attractive colors. The fact that it had plain colors, rather than prints and designs, was a plus for many people. The colors such as coral and black gave it a trendy look.
- Lightweight, durable steel frame
- Swept back handlebars
- 21-speed Shimano Tourney derailleur.
|Swept back handlebars allow for upright positioning.||Instructions not very clear.|
|Comfortable dual-spring seat||Seat may not be comfortable for some riders.|
|21-speed gear allows for riding in many terrains.|
|Great attractive colors.|
Sixthreezero Hybrid-Bicycles Explore Your Range (BEST DESIGN)
The Sixthreezero Hybrid Bicycle is a great investment for women who are looking for a comfortable, stylish bike at a great price. The 7-speed gear system along with Shimano external derailleur is perfect for running errands around the neighborhood and going for extensive rides. The lightweight aluminum frame gives the perfect balance between durability and control allowing riders to maneuver around long, lengthy rides.
The double walled narrow rims with anti-slip tires is perfect to go for long rides and maneuver in wet terrains. The powerful rear and front handbrakes allow the bike to stop immediately avoiding collisions. It is ideal for senior women as the geometry of the bike allows for upright positioning protecting back and shoulders during a long ride. Comfort level is further enhanced with the fully padded saddle.
It comes in a stylish design and color appealing to most women. It is ideal for riders between 5 feet to 6 feet 2 inches catering to a wide range of riders.
- Shimano 7-speed external derailleur
- 700 X 38C wheels with double-walled rims
- Lightweight aluminum frame.
|Lightweight aluminum frame||Lacks fenders|
|Stable and efficient brake system||Not great for off-road cycling.|
|Slim tires with Double-walled rims for speed and agility|
|Seat and handlebar allow for upright positioning.|
|High density, comfortable seat|
Schwinn Suburban Sport Comfort Hybrid Bike (BEST SADDLE)
The Schwinn Suburban Sport Hybrid Bike has a steel frame giving a sturdier and comfortable option as opposed to other titanium and carbon frames. The front suspension fork works well with the frame to give a smoother and more comfortable ride. It is ideal for riders who use it for commuting every day without brining any back pain.
The swept back, adjustable handlebar makes it a good option for elderly as well. You can position the handlebars to ensure a comfortable upright position. This will avoid any back pains or joint issues. The adjustable handlebar means that it can be used by riders of different heights. The linear pull brakes will ensure that you can stop the bike immediately and in any weather condition. It will perform efficiently in wet and muddy conditions as well.
The highlight of this bike is the comfortable back seat. It was reviewed as very comfortable even after long rides. It is supported and padded with quality cushion which does not leave your backside sore.
- 7-speed Micro shift gears
- Front and rear alloy breaks
- Schwinn quality comfort seat
- Durable steel frame
|Sturdy steel comfort frame and suspension fork provides comfortable ride.||Assembly is hard without clear instructions|
|7 speed gear allows riding freedom in different terrain||Welding was poor in some bikes.|
|Sleek design and stylish look|
|Comfortable, padded saddle|
|Swept back handlebars for comfortable upright positioning|
Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike (BEST FOLDING BIKE)
The Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike is a great option for travelers and those with small living spaces. The steel alloy frame and suspension fork are durable and provides a comfortable and sturdy ride and the 7-speed gear allows for rides in different terrains.
The folding of the bike was easy once practiced a few times and the bag is handy for storing the bike. However, the bag is a bit bulky and heavy and makes it difficult to put the bike in. The bike comes with pre-installed fenders and built-in rack which was very convenient for many users.
It is ideal for seniors due to the step-through function, making it easy to mount and dismount. Furthermore, it has a long seat post which can be adjusted to cater to tall people, even those over 6 feet. The bike is available at a competitive price making it a great value for your money.
- 7-speed Shimano gears and Shimano tourney rear derailleur
- Adjustable seat post
- Durable steel frame
|The alloy frame and fork are very sturdy.||Slightly on the heavy side.|
|Step through design allowed all kinds of users to mount the bike easily||The bag is heavy and bulky.|
|The long seat post allows adjustments for riders taller than 6 foot.||No fastening device to keep the bike folded.|
|Easy to fold and unfold.|
|Great value for the price.|
Mongoose Impasse Mens Mountain Bike (BEST FOR COMMUTING)
The Mongoose Impasse Men Mountain bike gives you good value for the price. It is a competent bike that can handle medium and light terrains effortlessly. The 29-inch wheel make it easier to ride on different kinds of terrain and the ride will be smooth and bump-free. The brakes on this bike are also very efficient and pulls very hard. The Shimano rear derailleur works quietly and efficiently to change through gears. However, the suspension can be a bit stiff once you start riding. This improves quite a bit just after a few hours of riding.
The saddle is very comfortable, and you will not need to replace it with another one. The bike comes with a kickstand. This is particularly useful for those who are using the bike for commuting or non-leisure activities. Overall, for the price you do get a good bargain with this bike.
- Aluminum suspension frame
- 21-speed Shimano twist shifters
- Alloy disc brakes with no-slip stopping power
- 29-inch wheels
|Efficient brakes||Assembly may be difficult|
|The Shimano derailleur makes it easier to ride in different terrains.||A bit on the heavier side|
|Comfortable and padded seat.|
|Comes with a kickstand|
|Great value for the price|
Kent Oakwood Women’s Cruiser Bike (MOST DURABLE)
Kent Oakwood Cruiser bike is ideal for those who are looking for a comfortable, elegant bike for frequent and long-term use. The lightweight aluminum frame and fork provides a sturdy and durable ride and it is light enough to carry heavy loads while still remaining strong and stable. The 7 speed features allow you to ride over different terrains and you will not tire easily while going up and down a hillside.
The enclosed chain cover protects the chain from different weather conditions and the fender keep your clothes safe. The bikes saddle is padded with extra spring providing extra comfort while riding over bumpy surfaces. The quick release clamp for the seat post allows you to adjust the seat and it can cater to riders of different heights.
- 7-speed bike
- Front and rear handbrake
- Enclosed chain cover
- Swept back handlebar
|Lightweight Aluminum frame gives a sturdy and durable ride.||Assembly may be difficult.|
|The enclosed chain cover protects the chain from wear and tear.||Bike makes squeaking noises sometimes.|
|The saddle has extra spring for added comfort.|
|7-speed allows for use on different terrains.|
|Caters to riders to different heights.|
Seniors Bicycle Buyer’s Guide – Factors to Consider Before Buying
Here are some factors that you should consider before buying a senior bicycle:
The frame is one of the first things you need to look at when buying a bicycle. The wrong frame can turn your ride into a nightmare. The most important factor for a frame is that it shouldn’t be too bulky and should be easy to move around.
Bikes made from lightweight material are best, but they should have the durability to support your weight in different kinds of terrain.
Most of the bikes are usually made of steel, aluminum or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber and aluminum are the lightest materials used and would be ideal, but they can be a bit pricey. If price is an issue, then the best frame are ones made of steel.
They tend to have more weight, but if you can handle a heavier bike, then it could be your best option.
Seniors can find it difficult to mount or dismount from a bicycle due to hip and knee issues. The risk of falling can end your cycling adventure before it even starts. It is recommended for those having such balancing issues to look for a bike that has a step-thru feature.
A step-thru frame is one in which the top tube, that connects the upper frame near the handlebar to the bar under the saddle, has been removed. Therefore, you can take a small step over the frame to mount your bike. This kind of frame is also called a low frame or an open frame
An upright position is the best for cyclists, especially seniors, as you are sitting in a natural upright position that keeps your body weight away from your joints. Plus, you are able to easily maneuver the bike without putting any extra stress on your neck and back.
Due to the way the weight of your body is distributed evenly from the pedals to the handlebars, these bikes offer more stability than traditional bikes.
This is particularly important for seniors as they do not need to put extra weight on any specific part of the body especially the joints and knee. This ensures that you will not damage your body while cycling.
If you ride in an upright position, you use muscles all over the body. This helps to uniformly strengthen all parts of your body and you are able to burn more calories.
The saddle or the seat should be comfortable while riding. The right saddle will help to keep pressure of your groin area, which will help prevent sores. The best saddle size should be one in which your sit bones fit comfortably.
You can watch this video below by Bicycle Lab, which shows you why choosing the right saddle is important and what the wrong saddle does to your body
The material of the saddle is also very important. A high-quality leather one is good as it prevents chaffing. A gel pad under the material is preferable as it cushions your backside and will ensure a comfortable side. Look for a saddle that has a good padding.
Also, make sure the saddle in the bike is adjustable. An adjustable saddle will allow you to adjust the seat height, making it easier for you to reach the handlebars and control your bike.
When you hold the handlebars, it should feel natural and comfortable. If it doesn’t, then you need to adjust the seat or look at other options.
The handlebars for seniors should be high with the stem 1 inch above the saddle. This will ensure that you do not have to hunch or overextend to hold the handlebars. If the handlebars are too low, then it can cause lower back and wrist pains.
The handlebars should be made of comfortable material with a textured grip. The best handlebars are one made of leather or high-tech material with a simple design. If the material is not comfortable, you may get sore wrists or blisters.
Cycling tips for seniors
As you get older, you do not have the same ability to perform exercise as when you were younger. Cycling is good as it can increase your heart rate but does not damage your body. However, there are still some tips you can use to keep your joints safe while you cycle.
Protect your knees
Keeping the right body form is very important when you pedal. Your knees should be stable and in a straight line from you shin to your thigh. If you knee rolls inwards or pushes outwards, then your kneecap will not glide smoothly causing problems with your knee joints.
It is better to keep your seat farther back if you are having problems cycling. Siting too close to the handlebars can change the angle of your knee causing discomfort.
Keep bike in good shape
If the bike you are using is old, then you should get an expert to assess it. If the bicycle is not working properly or if it is not the right size for you, then it can cause you pain and discomfort.
If your bike is too old, you can look into buying a new one. The newer models are lighter and easier to use than older ones. You may even change the seat. A wider saddle will be more comfortable and help improve your balance.
Try an electric bike
Electric bikes can give you a boost while you ride. The best option to use is to allow the electric bike to assist you while you pedal.
This way you can get the exercise you need while cycling and the added boost can take some of the load off making it easier for you. Electric bikes can also help you maneuver through steep hills and other obstacles on the way.
Ride with friends
Socialization is very important to help stay young. It can reduce the chances of getting anxiety and depression and can also boost your self-confidence.
To get the benefits of both cycling and socialization, you can plan bike rides with some friends. If your friends don’t have the same passion as you to ride, you can join a bike club. You can meet new people who love cycling as much as you do.
Take it easy
Took strain yourself a lot while you are cycling. You can take a route that is not very strenuous. If you feel any pain while cycling, stop immediately.
You can slowly build your endurance and stamina. Always check with a doctor if you are not sure whether cycling is good for you.
Take rest seriously
It is important to rest in between cycling rides. This means that if you are cycling a few days a week, make sure you take some days off in between. If you get too exhausted, it will affect your physical ability.
You are more likely to get an injury if you are too tired. Do the best you can and ensure that you are taking lots of rest in between.
Benefits of Bicycle Riding for Seniors
According to research conducted by Humboldt State University, “Adults over the age of 65 who ride at least 30 minutes, three times a week are less likely to experience age-related decline in walking efficiency, compared to adults who walk for exercise.”
Cycling is a low impact exercise. This means that the cycling motion does not put any extra stress on your body.
Cyclic moves are smooth and doesn’t damage the body as other high impact exercises such as jogging and running. You can cycle for year without harming your body in any way.
Many seniors are not as active as they used to be in their youth, leading to weight gain which further causes many health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Cycling is a great way to burn calories and keep the weight off.
Great for heart
Heart diseases, heart attack and stroke are very common amongst seniors. Your heart’s capacity increases as you cycle.
Your body needs more oxygen to keep you going, forcing your heart to pump harder to keep your cells oxygenated so they can release energy needed to keep you going. This strengthens your heart helping to protect it against heart-related illnesses.
Great for memory
Cycling works your body, sending more oxygen to your brain. This stimulates the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is the part of your brain that is responsible for memory. Thus, cycling helps in conditions associated with memory loss such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Enhances overall wellbeing
Cycling invokes feeling of happiness and pleasures and you tend to feel good throughout the day after a good bike ride.
Riding with family and friends also helps allows them to socialize with others. This prevents stress and anxiety, which are the leading factors towards depression.
Basic Bicycle Maintenance
There are some basic maintenance steps you can take regularly to ensure that your bike stays in tip top shape.
- Keep drivetrain lubricated to avoid the rattling and squeaking sounds coming from the chains. It will ensure that the chin will last longer and save you money in the long run. You can clean the chain, sprockets and chainwheel with the help of a used toothbrush. Then turn the cranks slowly and apply a drop of bike oil on your chain. Do it regularly to keep the chains working efficiently.
- Keep tires inflated with the help of a pump. If the tire pressure is too low, you have to work harder to ride your bike at the same speed. You should check the tire pressure at least once every two weeks. Even if you are not using your bike for a long period of time, you should still make sure that the tires are inflated as it will prevent cracks from appearing on the sides of the tires.
- Keep nuts and bolts tight by checking them regularly so that you do not lose them. If they are loose, they can fall off while you are riding and cause you unnecessary hassles to get replacements. However, make sure that you don’t overtighten them as it can affect your ride.
- You can learn how to fix a flat tube. You can check the internet for videos on how to fix a flat tube. Once you have mastered it, your rides will become safer and more enjoyable. However, if you don’t know how to fix a flat and don’t have time to learn, you can also take it to your local bike shop to get it fixed. The most important thing is to take care of your tire.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is it necessary to do maintenance for the bicycle?
When you use your bicycle regularly, it can get worn out and can get damaged over time. Riding a damaged bike can be dangerous for your health. It is good to do regular maintenance of your bike to protect it from damage and to extend the life of the bike.
Does the beach cruiser come in different sizes?
The beach cruiser comes in 3 different sizes. They are 20, 24- and 26-inch variation. The 20 and 24 is ideal for children whereas the 26 is designed for adults.
What parts of a bicycle are the most important?
A bicycle is made up of many different parts such as the frame, handlebar, saddle, wheels, rims, brakes, and transmission parts. Each part of the bike is important for the rider to ensure a safe and comfortable ride. The two most important part would be the chassis and the brakes.
Do bicycle products have warranty policies?
Yes, most bicycle products from renowned brands have warranty. Depending on the brand and distributor, bikes can have different warranties with an average from 1 to 2 years.
With the many benefits offered by cycling, it is no wonder that many seniors and elderly are opting for cycling as a part of their recreational activities.
I hope this article helped you in deciding the best bicycle that would best meet your needs. Start your cycling adventure soon. Stay happy, stay healthy, and keep cycling.