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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.
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.
If ease of getting on and off the bike is high on your mind, Pedego’s Boomerang step-thru is arguably the easiest electric bike on the market to mount.
With a stepover height of just 9-inches (that’s lower than the bottom bracket height, the typical low point of a bike frame), stepping through the Boomerang’s ultra-low frame takes just slightly more effort than climbing over one single stair step. This is a key feature for anyone with limited hip mobility or who just might be worried about maintaining balance. The easy accessibility alone makes this a great option for senior riders, but that’s not only why it made our best e-bikes for seniors list.
Powered by a 500W motor and 48V, 10Ah (480Wh) battery, the Boomerang has more than enough oomph to flatten hills and make accelerating from a stop easy. It’s also thoughtfully spec’d with a twist throttle, a mixed 7-speed Shimano drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear. It’s also built like a cruiser bike with a very friendly upright geometry, broad seat and swept-back handlebar.
The Pedego Boomerang, like all of this brand’s bikes, is backed up by Pedego’s extensive network of brick-and-mortar shops for service and help with your bike. It’s also one of the few e-bikes specifically designed for older riders. The “Boomerang” name is meant to match more than the shape of the frame, Pedego says it’s also supposed to harken to the bike’s target rider: People in the Baby Boomer generation.
Pedego boasts a sizable network of dealers nationwide so service, troubleshooting help and test rides are typically not far away.
That Boomerang frame is wildly low. You’d be hard pressed to find a bike that’s easier to get on and off of.
The Boomerang is thoughtfully spec’d with a nice size hub motor, battery, hydraulic brakes and a full Shimano drivetrain.
We wouldn’t advise taking this bike on uneven terrain, but should you choose to, that ultra-low frame could catch or rub on small drops (curbs) or objects.
Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru 3
A capable commuter with upright geometry and a step-thru frame
An approachable and capable commuter, the Rad Power Bikes RadCity step-thru 3 is an easy-to-handle e-bike built with city dwellers in mind.
The RadCity certainly isn’t the lowest step-thru e-bike on this list, but it’s relatively low 17-inch stepover height is still easier to navigate than its high-step sibling the RadCity 4. Both of these bikes are great options for any e-biker (seniors included) but the team at Electric Bike Report have become big step-thru frame advocates due to their accessibility and ease of use.
The RadCity step-thru 3 comes with a 750W rear hub motor powered by a 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) battery. That battery is tucked low in the frame right above the bottom bracket, helping to keep the center of gravity close to the ground. It’s also spec’d with a 7-speed drivetrain, mechanical disk brakes and puncture resistant tires. It also boasts a stout integrated rear rack that’s welded to the frame for those heavier loads.
We like the RadCity step-thru 3’s accessibility, thoughtfully-spec’d component package and its integrated rack, making it an accessible, easy to handle and uniquely capable commuter e-bike. It checks enough boxes to be a worthy choice on anybody’s best electric bikes for seniors list.
The 750W motor and 672Wh battery are plenty powerful and have ample range.
The frame makes considerations for accessibility and ease of use without sacrificing performance.
Welded racks are always better than their bolt-on counterparts.
The bike features a twist throttle for easy riding.
Rad is known for great customer service and has been an industry leader for several years.
The Tektro mechanical disk brakes work well, but we’d really like to see this bike spec’d with hydraulic brakes.
Ride1UP Core 5 step-thru
An extremely affordable, extremely fun and extremely stable electric commuter
The high-step version of Ride1UP’s Core 5 is one of my favorite affordable commuters we’ve tested this year, so it’s slightly more upright low-step sibling was a natural addition to this list.
Not only did Ride1UP remove the top tube to make the bike easier to get on and off of, they added some slightly swept-back handlebars that reduce the reach and give the bike a more upright and comfort-oriented riding position. It’s a small touch that shows Ride1UP is thinking about riders with limited mobility or who may prefer a less athletic, less bent over riding position.
The Core 5 step-thru is spec’d with a peppy 500W rear hub motor and a nicely integrated 48V, 10.4Ah (499.2Wh) battery tucked into the downtube of the frame. It comes with a Shimano Altus drivetrain and Tektro mechanical disk brakes. Priced at just under $1,200, it’s a lot of value for what we consider an entry-level bike.
In addition to the value, the Core 5 is a spectacularly easy handling e-bike that’s predictable, sporty and very fun to ride.
It’s a fast-rolling bike with or without the motor.
Absolute stunner for a budget e-bike. XR and ST versions both look good and the battery is integrated beautifully.
The motor engages reliably and at a ramped up rate so it isn’t full steam instantly.
The Core-5 had really good handling, we had no problem leaning it into corners.
The Core-5 surprised us with its breaking capabilities. We think it’s due to the bike being lighter weight than some of its competitors.
The battery life doesn’t last particularly long.
We noticed the motor is a tad bit noisy at top speed. Not a big deal at this price point, but it’s there.
Evelo Galaxy 500
A mid-drive beach cruiser built with smaller people in mind
A bike that’s also featured on our list of best electric beach cruisers, the Evelo Galaxy 500 is a mid-drive electric beach cruiser built with smaller-stature people in mind.
The Galaxy 500 rolls on 24-inch wheels, has a relatively low step-thru design and is built for riders standing between 4-foot-10-inches and 5-foot-10-inches tall, making it one of the more compact bikes on the market. It’s a beach cruiser e-bike, so it’s inherently got an upright riding position and is made for relaxed riding.
It’s built around a 500W mid-drive motor and pulls power from a 36V, 13Ah (468Wh) battery mounted on a rack above the rear wheel. It also sports the super cool Enviolo AutomatIQ shifting system that changes gears for you as you ride, taking some of the guesswork out of cycling. Factor in the hydraulic disk brakes from Tektro, and you’ve got one well spec’d e-bike.
We tested the Galaxy 500 at the end of 2020 and loved its compact size and smart componentry. It’s a great buy for a senior looking for a smaller, more manageable e-bike.
Enviolo Automatic transmission system takes the guess-work out of shifting. The bike will shift for you as you ride.
The low-step frame is easy to get on and off.
The small frame size makes this a cinch to ride around town. It is very navigable and easy to maneuver around corners or alleyways.
Upright frame and swept back handlebars allow riders to sit up rather than hunch over.
Easy to manage the power; this is a great bike for older or smaller riders
The Evelo Galaxy 500 only comes in a small frame size, so it is best suited for riders under 5’10”. Evelo also offers the Aurora Limited which has the same transmission system with a larger frame and 750W motor for larger riders.
Aventon Aventure Step-Thru
An adventure ready step-thru with fat tires and ample power
One of our favorite new e-bikes released this year, the Aventon Aventure is an electric fat bike that’s stable, rides spectacularly well and is chock-full of little features that set it ahead of many of its competitors.
Powered by a 750W Bafang rear hub motor and a 48V, 15Ah (720Wh) battery that’s smartly integrated into the frame, the Aventure has more than enough power to flatten hills and maintain high speeds over long distances. We reviewed the high-step version of the Aventure back in May and were absolutely enamoured with Aventon’s attention to detail when outfitting the bike. Little things, like a full color LCD display and sturdy metal fenders, are what make this bike stand out.
We’re in the process of reviewing the step-thru model of the Aventure we’re recommending in this best e-bikes for seniors page, but our early results show it’s a carbon copy of it’s high-step sibling but with the added benefit of being easier to get on and off of. This is a Class 3 e-bike capable of 28 mph speeds and has a thumb throttle so you can move without pedaling.
Like its name suggests, the Aventure is an adventure-minded e-bike that feels stable and predictable on most any terrain. Add the benefit of a step-thru frame, and you’ve got a powerful e-bike that’s friendly to new or older riders.
Unlocked as a Class 3, this is an extremely quick e-bike. It’s torquey, powerful and delivers watts in a way that won’t overwhelm new or more gentle riders.
The full-color LCD display is awesome. It’s easy to read, has a very smart percentage-based battery readout and will even tell you how many trees you’ve saved by going electric.
The 720Wh battery is slightly larger than the 672Wh standard we often see in this category.
The included fenders are metal and use beefy mounts that keep them from rattling on rough roads
It’s got a unique styling for a fat e-bike that reminds us of another Aventon we really liked, the Level.
At 74.27lbs (we reviewed a medium with the optional front and rear racks), the Aventure is heavier than many of its peers. It’s tough to knock it for this, as the larger battery alone will add a few lbs, but the heft is something to keep in mind. Especially if you’re a smaller person or new rider.
You’d be hard pressed to find any bicycle (especially an electric bicycle) that’s 100 percent American made, but the beach cruisers built by Electric Bike Company are about as close as it gets.
Electric Bike Company sources parts from all over the world, but much of each one of their bicycles is built or assembled at their factory in Newport Beach, California. We’ve tested several of the Electric Bike Company e-bikes and their Model S, with its low-step design and comfortable riding position is a great option for senior riders.
The base model of the Model S comes with a one-speed drivetrain, a 500W geared rear hub motor and a 576Wh battery, but “standard” options are not what EBC is known for. All of EBC’s bikes are ultra customizable and riders can choose from different battery sizes, basket options and even the color of the spokes in their wheels. These are wonderfully comfortable and easy to ride e-bikes that are perfect for jaunts on the coast or around the neighborhood.
We’ve tested several bikes from EBC and any of them would realistically be great choices for older riders, their Model Y even earned a spot on our list of best electric beach cruisers.
Classic cruiser styling with limitless customization options.
Dual battery system allows for extended range.
Bikes are assembled and painted in Newport Beach, CA (not shipped directly from China).
Class 2 or Class 3 compatible.
Affordable starting price with many optional upgrades.
60Nm of torque.
Front basket comes standard.
Wide turn radius – a tradeoff that comes with any beach cruiser e-bike.
Battery is difficult to remove so best charged on the bike.
Lectric XP 2.0
An ultra-popular affordable fat folder that’s easy to handle and easy on the wallet
There’s few bikes we see in the wild more often than the Lectric XP and its recently-released predecessor the XP 2.0.
In Electric Bike Report’s home base of southwest Utah, it’s not uncommon for us to spot dozens of these bikes a weekend being carried on the back of motorhomes and SUVs bound for the nearby national parks and public land. These bikes are very popular, and for good reason: Not only are they incredibly affordable, but they fold down small and their 500W rear hub motor is peppy and capable on dirt.
These bikes are a great value buy for a person unsure if they’re going to fall in love with e-bikes (you will) and their small size and fat tires make them easier to handle and more stable on uneven terrain. We’ve spent loads of time on the original Lectric XP, and the new iteration of the bike has kept that same basic design but added improvements like a suspension fork and an increased carrying capacity.
Available in both a high-step and low-step option (though they’re both very low), the Lectric XP 2.0 is a great budget friendly option.
Great value in this bike. This is one of the most affordable folding ebikes on the market at under $1,000.
Powerful motor and quick acceleration.
We found the bike to collapse down to be pretty small, which is great for storage, and transporting it in your car.
Large LCD display is easy to see with digital numbers and good ride metrics
The XP comes with great features for the price point. You get quite a bit for what you pay.
The new version of the XP implemented a lot of upgrades, like a suspension fork, that we really love.
The bike is 63 pounds total, which may be heavy for some to lift.
Some of our previous complaints about a rough(ish) ride are likely answered by the new suspension fork, but a suspension seatpost may still be a worthy upgrade.
The three-wheeled Evelo Compass is a well-spec’d electric trike suited well for anyone who wants to take the balancing act out of bicycling.
E-trikes have been surging in popularity as more seniors gravitate towards e-bikes and the Compass is a particularly well outfitted example. With a powerful 500W mid-drive powered by a 48V, 10.5 Ah (504Wh) battery, the Compass comes stock with mechanical disk brakes, a Shimano Nexus internally geared hub and an on-demand throttle. The Compass we tested earlier this year had a lot of pep for such a large bike and we were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was.
Three-wheeled e-bikes have become incredibly popular among those looking to remove the balancing act from bicycling and are great options for people who have serious concerns about supporting a traditional two-wheel bicycle. One note, though: Electric trikes are incredibly stable up to a certain point. At higher speeds — especially around corners — they can be a little unwieldy. At lower speeds they work exactly as advertised, but their design doesn’t lend itself to fast cornering. Just something to keep in mind if you’re eyeing a trike.
As far as three-wheelers go, the Evelo Compass has proven one of our favorites. We’d recommend it to anyone looking for an ultra-stable e-bike that requires little to no balance.
The Evelo Compass was surprisingly powerful.
Very comfortable riding position.
Works for riders of all sizes.
Easy to get on and off.
Plenty of storage room.
The brake switches made parking much easier.
We recommend riders try the first ride at low power and get used to balancing on a trike – it’s different than a two-wheel bike.
Rear fenders are a bit flimsy.
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.