Whether you’re looking to get back on a bicycle for the first time in years or you’re just looking for a forgiving way to get back in shape, the number of seniors getting into e-bikes has exploded over the past several years.
The team at Electric Bike Report is often asked for our opinion on the best electric bikes for seniors, enough so that we put our heads together and came up with this list of our favorites.
Electric fat bikes have fast emerged as one of the most low-impact and most senior-friendly modes of exercise. While the small motor helps take the edge off obstacles — like hills — that may have kept some seniors off traditional pedal bikes in the past, they still require enough physical effort to make for a great workout.
They’ve also been proven to help maintain cognitive and mental health among older riders — the light assist from an e-bike, according to one study, can inspire confidence and improve self-esteem in older people who may feel limited by mobility issues.
Thanks to the assist of a motor and battery, there’s a laundry list of e-bikes that work well for seniors. This list is a selection of our favorites.
Our Best Electric Bikes for Seniors 2022
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
How we picked the best e-bikes for seniors
There are undoubtedly many seniors who read the above list and scoff because the bikes we chose are too laid back or aren’t fast enough.
That’s fine, we’ve got recommendations for other e-bikes (like electric fat bikes and high-speed commuters) that might suit your tastes better. But while what makes someone a “senior” is nothing more than their age, there are certain considerations that often come up when we get asked for our opinion on the best e-bikes for older riders. Those considerations often involve mobility constraints, concerns over balance and flexibility and whether a bike’s riding position is too aggressive. Oftentimes, on top of any one of those considerations, this is that person’s first time back on a bicycle in a long, long time.
This list was made with those seniors in mind.
We used a few key criteria to compile this list, mainly:
- Stability and comfort: Comfort and how stable they feel on the bike is often high on the mind of older riders. Bikes that earn a spot on this list shouldn’t just be supportive, they should invoke a feeling of confidence in corners and over varying terrain.
- Quality and components: We evaluate each bike’s spec sheet to make sure manufacturers are making good component choices; a good bike is much more than its frame.
- Value: What are you getting for your money? Are the components better than average and is the craftsmanship on par? We also account for things more intangible than parts bolted to the bike, such as quality customer support, brand reputation and the availability of good in-person service.
- Power and range: How fast does the bike go and how far can I ride on a single charge? These questions are often the first on the mind of someone shopping for a new e-bike so they’re at the top of our mind, too.
- Was it built specifically with seniors in mind?: This may seem like an obvious one, but we tried to find e-bikes built specifically for older generations of riders. Do these design characteristics make sense and are they executed well?
This list does not cover every single bike on the market today that would be a good option for seniors and older riders. In fact, I think most of the EBR staff would argue that almost any e-bike would be a good option for seniors.
But, based on a plethora of reader questions (we get TONS of questions about e-bikes for seniors), we compiled this list of our recommendations that we feel are suited best for the fast-growing demographic of older e-bike enthusiasts.
Bottom line: Electric bikes help keep seniors riding, no matter your age
I’ve spent most of my life riding bicycles, and I like knowing that electric bikes are there to keep me riding no matter my age.
E-bikes are sometimes called the great equalizer of cycling. Cycling, as a sport and a mode of transportation, was formerly reserved for the (relatively) young and fit; those unfazed by hills and long durations of physical exertion. But e-bikes, thanks to their small motor and battery, make it so that anyone — no matter their age, fitness level or ability — can enjoy going for a bike ride. E-bikes make hills feel flatter, accelerations easier and give riders the power to choose exactly how much they want to ask of their bodies when riding a bike.
I like to think of it as the democratization of bikes.
Few demographics have been more impacted by e-bikes than the older generations of riders. Not only do they give existing cyclists the power to continue riding at any age, it’s helping people who haven’t ridden a bike in years rediscover the sport. They’re less intimidating, more forgiving and can give you the sensation of turning back the clock to a version of you that used to do laps around the neighborhood on a one-speed bicycle.
We’ve spent hours testing with many of the bikes on this list, testing their braking, handling and acceleration to demonstrate how they handle in the real world. So if you’re a senior on the hunt for an e-bike, you’ve come to the right place.