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If you're searching for the best e-bike for seniors, you're spoiled for choice. But with a growing range of increasingly affordable bikes to choose from, picking a bike that suits your riding requirements isn't always easy.
In this guide, we'll show you the key specs and features you need to consider when comparing electric bikes for seniors.
What is an electric bike?
An electric bike features a battery-powered electric motor to help make cycling easier. Most e-bikes use a pedal assist (or pedelec) system, which means the motor only provides assistance when you start pedalling.
The main advantage of an electric bike is that it helps you cycle longer distances without using as much energy. They're very handy for seniors who aren't as fit or as mobile as they used to be, providing an easier way to get around while at the same time offering all the health benefits of cycling.
5 popular electric bikes for seniors in Australia
NCM Munich. The NCM Munich sports a 468Wh battery, a rear-drive motor and an approximate maximum range of 65km.Buy this electric bike at Leon Cycle
SmartMotion E-20. Available with either a step-through or step-over frame, the SmartMotion E-20 is an ultra-portable bike available in red, blue or white.
Marin Sausalito E1 ST. The Sausalito features the Shimano STEPS E5000 system, a 418Wh battery and mounting points for mudguards, racks and other accessories.
NCM Venice Plus. With a 768Wh battery that offers a range of 50-130+ kilometres, the NCM Venice Plus is designed with long-distance cruising in mind.
Orbea Optima Comfort 30. Featuring a Bosch Active Line motor and a step-through frame, the Orbea Optima Comfort 30 also comes with a rear rack and integrated lighting.
What to look for when comparing electric bikes for seniors
There are several factors to consider when comparing electric bikes. These include:
- Type of riding. The first thing you need to do is decide on the style of bike you want. Are you looking for a city cruiser, a speedy road bike or something to take off-road? Do you want a model you can fold up to take on public transport? Will you need to carry luggage on your bike? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choices.
- Design. Next, consider the frame style you want. If you're not as flexible as you used to be, a step-through frame will make it easier to hop on and off your bike.
- Battery. Battery capacity is typically measured in Watt hours (Wh) — the higher the number, the longer the range you can expect. However, remember that factors like your weight, the riding mode you choose and the terrain you're cycling on can all affect the distance you'll get from a single charge. You'll also need to check how long the battery will take to recharge.
- Motor. Many modern e-bikes feature a mid-drive motor at the bottom bracket, but there are still plenty of hub-mounted options available. Check the specs sheet for power and torque figures, as well as how many levels of assistance (riding modes) you can choose from.
- Components. Read the fine print to check what gearing system, brakes and tyres the bike comes with. Are they all from reputable manufacturers?
- Accessories. Does the bike come with any accessories, such as LED lights or a pannier rack for carrying cargo? There's also an extensive range of after-market accessories you may want to consider — a padded, comfortable seat for long days in the saddle is a good example.
- Weight. E-bikes are heavy, with many models weighing over 20kg. There may be situations where you need to push or carry your bike, such as when storing it away, so check the specs sheet closely.
- Warranty. Is there a warranty on the bike? How long is it and what does it cover? Do separate warranties apply to the frame and to the battery/motor?
- Price. Entry-level electric bikes are priced in the $1,000-$2,000 range. If you want high-spec components, you'll find a wide range of models priced between $2,000 and $10,000.
Check out our electric bike buying guide for more information.
Where to buy electric bikes for seniors online
If you're ready to buy, visit one of the following sites.
1. Leon Cycle
Leon Cycle offer a wide range of NCM electric bikes, conversion kits and repairing tools.
- All electronic parts have a 1 year warranty
- Bike frames come with a 2 year warranty
- All bikes are delivered to you pre-assembled
With a huge range of e-bikes, you'll be sure to find your next commuting bike at Crooze.
- Free shipping on orders over $50
- Afterpay, Zip and Humm all available
- 30 day free returns (but conditions apply)
Pros and cons of electric bikes for seniors
- Get fit. Even with motorised assistance, e-bikes still allow you to enjoy all the benefits of staying active. Cycling is also a low-impact form of exercise that doesn't place too much strain on ageing joints.
- Go further. Cycling on an electric bike allows you to travel longer distances than would otherwise be possible on a conventional bike.
- Wide range of models to choose from. There's an ever-increasing range of electric bikes to choose from, and prices have also become more affordable in recent years. Find the best electric bikes costing under $2,000 in Australia right now.
- Expensive. Though prices have come down in recent years, e-bikes are still much more expensive than traditional bikes.
- Heavy. E-bikes are noticeably heavier than traditional bicycles, which can make it difficult when you need to push or carry them.
If you're a senior keen to get back into cycling or just stay active, there's a lot to like about electric bikes. E-bikes can help improve your fitness and cardiovascular health without putting your joints under too much strain, and they're also a whole lot of fun.
But an e-bike is an expensive purchase, with most entry-level bikes setting you back at least $1,000, so it pays to shop around. Test-riding several bikes will also help ensure that you find the right e-bike for your riding needs.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a licence or registration to ride an e-bike in Australia?
No. Provided that your electric bike meets all relevant requirements — pedelecs are limited to a 250W motor and a maximum speed of 25km/h — you don't need a licence or registration to ride it on roads or bike paths.
How far can I ride my electric bike on a single charge?
Check whether the e-bike manufacturer provides a range estimate for the electric bike you're thinking of buying. However, please note that there are many factors that can affect maximum range, including:
- Battery capacity
- The weight of the bike and your weight
- The riding mode you select (eco mode offers the longest range)
- The terrain
- Tyre pressures.
What sort of lifespan can I expect from my e-bike battery?
This varies depending on the battery, so check the manufacturer's specs for more information. To give you an idea of what to expect, Shimano guarantees that its STEPS batteries will have a remaining capacity of at least 60% after 1,000 charge cycles.
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