How To Find The Best Bicycles For Seniors Buying Guide And Review
If you are admittedly not young anymore, you already know that cycling has tons of health benefits for you. However, you should also understand that not all bikes are suitable for aching bones and fragile bodies like yours.
This is why it is important to know how to choose the best bicycles for seniors that will be easy on the joints and protect your body from pain or injury. Learn more about the essential factors to consider in the sections that follow!
What Are The Benefits Of Biking For Seniors?
Regular or daily exercise is inarguably beneficial for everyone, regardless the age. But as we age, exercise becomes vital in staying healthy not just for fighting various diseases but also to minimize the symptoms and physical limitations that come with aging.
One of the best ways to get your daily dose of proper exercise is through riding a bike, which has been shown to provide both mental and physical health benefits.
As a matter of fact, The Center of Cognitive Ageing said that engaging in regular physical activity such as riding a bike will lead to less atrophy or cell wastage and fewer brain lesions. This means that you can reduce your risk of developing brain disorders like Alzheimer’s or other related conditions like poor cognitive abilities, multiple sclerosis, and vision loss.
Furthermore, the Harvard Medical School has reported that regular cycling is useful in assisting you to perform daily activities like climbing stairs, standing, and walking since it strengthens the bones and muscles.
Not only that, but cycling has also been found to stimulate the release of endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals in the body that help improve your overall mood.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Bicycles For Seniors
Before we get right into the product reviews, let us first discuss the different factors you should consider when choosing the best bike for seniors, the most important of which is comfort.
Hopefully, the following descriptions of comfort features will help you make a better-informed decision before making a purchase.
The Right Frame
The first thing you should consider is the type and material used for the bike’s frame. This could make or break your biking experience. Choose something lightweight enough to be easy to move around but heavy enough to be stable and steady as you ride.
Lightweight but durable materials are the way to go if you plan on cycling in various surfaces and terrains.
Most bikes either have carbon fiber, aluminum, or steel frames. Aluminum and carbon fiber are lighter but are more expensive. If you are confident in using a heavier bike, opt for the more affordable albeit heavier steel frames.
You should also pay attention to the frame’s design. A standard bike frame may not be your best bet if you have balancing problems or troubles lifting your leg. In this case, choose a step-through frame, a.k.a. an open or low frame design in which the main body of the frame is set lower to the ground without the top tube connecting the upper structure to the saddle’s underside. This will dramatically reduce your risk of falling while mounting and dismounting your bike.
The next thing you should consider is the height and design of the handlebars. The wrong one can cause damage, stress, and strain on your neck, back, and wrists.
For seniors, it is best to choose a bike with high handlebars with the stem stretching 1 inch above the saddle. This height keeps the rider from overextending or hunching. It also keeps the wrists and lower back comfortable and pain-free after long rides.
Look for sweep-back, cruiser, or upright handlebars. These are excellent for seniors especially those with back problems and cannot crouch over.
Textured grips on the handlebars are also great. Choose handlebars with comfortable yet grippy materials like leather to prevent your hands from slipping, blistering or getting sore and tired easily. Make sure the design is also simple so as not to interfere with proper hand placement.
Next, a comfortable saddle or bike seat does not only comprise of plush or soft cushioned seats. Senior riders should also consider having their “sitting bones” and perineum properly cradled and accommodated by the seat for the ultimate comfort.
This is because the sit bones are the bones that come in close contact with the seat. The perineum, which is located between the seat bones, act as the meeting point of various arteries and vital nerves for lower body function. If there is unnecessary pressure on this area, your legs and feet may become numb. It can also lead to prostate troubles and sexual dysfunction, not to mention how uncomfortable that would be.
Look for comfort saddles that are at least 8 to 12 inches wide. Extra padding is also preferable to protect the sitting bones. A saddle with a deep center trench, a noseless saddle, or a horse-shoe shaped saddle is ideal because these relieve pressure on the perineum.
Consider also the material used for the saddle cover. Make sure it is a high-tech fabric or leather to prevent chafing and wick sweat.
As you will notice in the product review section of this article as well as online stores and websites, some bikes come in a range of sizes. This helps you get the proper bike fit based on the user’s weight and height.
If possible, try mounting on the bike in the store, ensuring that the saddle does not put extra pressure on your groin or cause any discomfort. If you are buying online, refer to the product reviews or the size charts provided by the manufacturers.
Make sure you can sit comfortably upright on the bike. The saddle or the handlebars should also be able to allow you to bend your knees a little while full-on pedaling.
The riding position largely determines the comfort level of a rider on a bicycle. Different kinds of bikes have varying ideal riding positions. For example, a road bike’s design is made for speed rather than comfort.
In the case of bikes for seniors, however, you want to maintain a natural, ergonomic, and upright riding position. This is the safest and most comfortable position that reduces back pain, relieves pressure on the joints, and encourages proper posture.
The next thing to consider is the suspension or the shock-absorption feature of a bike.
Generally, the suspension on a bike can be found in two areas: the fork and the seat post. The first one, fork suspension, allows the bike frame to absorb vibrations and impacts from the road. This removes the impact of the bumps from your seat or body.
The second area, the seat post, is usually where suspension features are mounted or installed. A suspension seat basically makes the seat or saddle bounce or get cushioned in response to bumps on the roads to minimize the effect on your bum and body. This means that less impact reaches the rider and he or she can ride more comfortably.
To know how bike suspension works, please watch this video:
Value For Money
Of course, it goes without saying that when buying any product, you also have to consider the price. Is it within your budget? Have you even considered a budget limit?
I suggest that you give yourself a budget limit first, or decide how much you are able and willing to pay for a good quality bike. Once you have decided on that, narrow down your choices to units that are within your budget.
After that is the time to compare and explore your choices, this is also a great trick especially for those on a tight budget because it allows you to make the most value of your hard-earned money.
Also, think about which features are most important to you and prioritize these when choosing your favorite products. This will help you avoid spending extra money on a premium bike when its best features are not exactly the ones you need. Remember, it is not always the case that the more expensive product is the better pick.
Best Bicycles For Seniors Reviews
Now that you know why biking is essential and how you should choose the best bicycles for seniors, you are ready to look at the top products.
Listed down below are some of my most favorite bike models that are ideal for seniors. I also included their most prominent features, advantages, and disadvantages that can hopefully help move things along as you try to pick your own favorite.
Take your time reading each description, weighing the pros and cons, and comparing features to make sure you will end up buying a bike that you will be able to use and love.
Best Bicycles For Seniors Reviews
1. sixthreezero Body Ease Bicycle
Designed to offer maximum comfort as well as minimize strain and pain due to bike rides, the sixthreezero Body Ease Bike for women could be just what you’re looking for. It is not also stylish but also boasts of many features including three gearing options: 3-speed, 7-speed, and 21-speed.
The ergonomic design takes off stress and tension from the but and major joints such as the knees, shoulders, wrists, and back, making it ideal for biking on hard packed trails, paved streets, and sidewalks.
It is also constructed to absorb impact from bumps. The handlebar orientation and frame geometry also encourage an upright, tension-free riding position. A Vibrazorb front suspension fork also reduces shock and vibrations. The 2-inch Slick Kenda tires also enhance the comfort of your riding experience.
It can accommodate riders with heights ranging from 5’2” to 5’10”. A rear rack also provides space to store your gear, baskets, groceries, and accessories. You can get it in three different colors namely cream, navy blue, and teal.
2. Raleigh Bikes Venture 3.0 Comfort Bike
Next, we have another fantastic bike from Raleigh Bikes: the Venture 3.0 Comfort Bike! Featuring a classic diamond frame, this is another stylish and great choice for seniors who enjoy shorter rides around the neighborhood, on the boardwalk, along bike paths, and on the campground.
It is available in sizes ranging from small to extra large to accommodate users with heights of 5’3” to 6’4” . Thanks to the durable and lightweight True Comfort frame, your body is forced to ride with a more natural and upright position, so less strain is put on the lower back and neck.
The seatpost and suspension fork also absorbs shock from bumps to make each ride easier on the joints. The comfort saddle and grips are also great features.
The wide and durable 27.5” Kenda tires measure 1.95” across, allowing you to ride with confidence on various terrains.
The pedals also come with non-slip grips and easy-to-use, low-maintenance V-brakes elevate your sense of safety and control to a whole new level.