Electric Bikes and older riders
Electric bikes are very popular among older people. Around 40% of our customers at E-bikes Direct are over 50 years old. You won’t find such a large number of people from that group buying traditional bikes.
What’s the draw to e-bikes by older folk?
Published: Wednesday 02 May 2018
Get back in the saddle! Electric Bikes and older riders
Electric Bikes are very popular among older people. Around 40% of our customers at E-bikes Direct are over 50 years old. You won’t find such a large number of people from that group buying traditional bikes.
What’s the draw to e-bikes by older folk? There are a range of answers to this that we will look at in this article:
- Using your bike for shorter journeys instead of cars
- Keeping up with your younger riding friends
Let’s look at each of these in detail below.
Using your e-bike instead of a car
Research from all over the world shows e-bike users use their cars less, no matter the age group. Your writer’s father is 77 and is a country mile fitter than I am in my mid-40’s. Most of his journeys are up to two miles radius and except in particularly foul weather, he’s always on his e-bike.
You can often travel such distances including parking your bike and being ready to go at the other end quicker by bike than car. Few bikes are ever slowed down by heavy traffic, especially in towns and cities with good cycling infrastructure. You’re not cruising car parks searching for a parking space / paying the meter at the other end while it takes just seconds to get on your bike at home instead of searching for keys and getting to the car.
E-bikes take much of the strain of cycling from you. The motor will give up to four times the energy you put into the pedals which means you’re hardly breaking a sweat even over a few miles.
Hills? There are few hills in the UK that will bother you much on an electric bike! Consider a machine with a crank motor such as the Raleigh Motus series, which for around £2000 can flatten even the beastliest of hills!
You do not need to spend as much on an e-bike as you would on a good second hand Honda Jazz either. You can spend as little as £614.99 on an e-bike that will serve most of your needs dashing around town – how about the Byocycles City Speed 20?
Keeping up with your mates
I was told a story the other day of a cycling club that had just climbed a 200 metre high escarpment and the back marker panted up to the waiting ride leader who’d been sat around for five minutes. “Sorry I’m so slow,” he said, ”I’m 75 years old!” The leader responded, “You’ll get fitter mate – I’m 86…”
There are large numbers of people who used to ride as youngsters who want to get back on their bikes today. E-bikes are the answer. Very many fun riders who find themselves falling behind the younger people in their group find they can keep up on leisure rides using an e-bike. The US ageing and communities website AARP told the story of a woman in her 60’s who now rides big mountains in the Rockies on her e-bike with her younger pals: "I found myself becoming isolated, biking alone rather than with my friends," she says. "But with the e-bike, I feel like a kid again. I can keep up with friends who are younger."
You may ride a hybrid bike for fun but there are machines that chew up singletrack trails like the Haibike SDURO HardSeven – watch the young’uns sweat to keep up with you as your blast back up the hill for more high speed fun… There are a wealth of road bikes too such as the Wisper 905se Electric Bike that will keep you up with your friends even on a very long jolly.
Health is a biggie. E-bikes can really help with that. First of all, riding is a low impact sport where your joints aren’t pounded as they might running or walking. That means your joints won’t be damaged so much and you can push that bit harder.
Getting a prolonged spell of exercise is without doubt good for your heart. Having a healthy heart means lower (but not too low) blood pressure and gives you the strength to get out and about even as you slow down. Research has shown it reduces heart disease rates by 50%. Doing this on an electric bike means that you can enjoy a longer ride while raising your heart rate but again, not pushing so hard so much.
Hitting VO2 Max, where you are breathing very hard and you feel as if you can’t give an ounce more of energy, perhaps as you’re climbing a big hill in Bristol in short bursts of intense exercise can really help your body as a whole. Professor Janet Lord of Birmingham University in the UK published a study that looked at older cyclists recently. She told the Electric Bike Report, ““The study looked at muscle mass, blood cholesterol, their VO2 Max, lung function, and in many of those measures we found they didn’t age! No loss of muscle, their bones were a little thin (but nothing like the general population), their blood pressure didn’t go up. Males didn’t go through the menopause either.”” Yes, that’s right – cycling is a natural Viagra!
Her research also looked at the Thymus gland on the heart which produces immune cells for the body. Prof Lord said to EBR, ““With the older cyclists they had the same number of new immune cells as a 20 year old!”” This means you will fight off infections better in a cycle of a healthy lifestyle improving your health.
So there you have it – electric bikes are often better for getting around town than by car, can help you keep up with your mates on a decent ride, and could ensure you have a good load of later years. Given the cost of electric bikes today it is well worth spending a few quid to get back in the saddle again – far cheaper to run than even a Honda Jazz!