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Best Bikes For Seniors

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As another Lycra-clad cyclist rushes past in a multi-colored blur it is easy to forget that cycling is one of the most utilitarian forms of transport and should be open to everyone, young and old.

Whilst not everywhere has the best cycling infrastructure, it is heartening to see that more and more bikes are being made aimed squarely at getting seniors back in the saddle.

Age is only a number after all, and you never forget how to ride a bike

If you want to experience the freedom of cycling again then read on for the best bikes for seniors and what to look out for in a suitable bike.

Top Picks:

Top 9 Best Bikes For Seniors Reviewed

1. Co-op Cycles CTY 2.1 Step-Through Bike (Best Overall)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Acera (24-speed)
  • Weight: 30lbs 15oz.
  • Electric: No

The Co-op Cycles CTY 2.1 Step-Through Bike has all the advantages of the standard CTY 2.1 but with a step-through frame to make it easier to get in the saddle.

The CTY 2.1 has been designed with maximum comfort in mind and nowhere is this more obvious than the great suspension fork. With 63mm of travel available, even the roughest roads feel smooth.

The position on the bike is upright and relaxed and the position of the handlebars reduces any strain on the wrists.

The components work great, from the drivetrain to the brakes, and are reliable. That means less maintenance and more time cycling.

Features:

  • Suspension – 63mm front suspension forks even out trails and makes for a comfortable ride. The suspension can be locked if you prefer a more responsive ride on roads.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes – great stopping power even in wet conditions and require only the lightest touch.
  • Reflectivity – the reflective decals and the sidewalls of the tires plus the saddle light help you stay visible when the sun goes down.

2. Schwinn Meridian Tricycle (Best For Comfort)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Schwinn Single Speed
  • Weight: 73lbs
  • Electric: No

If worries about balance are stopping you from getting back in the saddle, there is still a way you can enjoy the benefits of cycling and fresh air with an adult trike.

The Schwinn Meridian is one of the most comfortable bikes around and the three wheels keep the rider upright and stable. Mounting and dismounting are easy using the step-through frame and you don’t need to worry about balancing the bike at low speeds.

The wide, ergonomic saddle comes with dual spring shock absorbers that do a good job of keeping the ride smooth.

The bike rides well but we love the rear basket! It folds away when not needed but it is just a really useful feature for carrying groceries.

Features:

  • Low maintenance – the trike comes with a single, fixed gear which helps to keep maintenance down to a minimum.
  • Handlebars – the swept-back handlebars help to maintain an upright position and they can be easily adjusted on the go thanks to the quick-release.
  • Basket – the rear basket is an infinitely useful addition to this trike.

3. Mobo Triton Pro Tricycle (Best Recumbent Bike)

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  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Single gear hub
  • Weight: 44lbs
  • Electric: No

The Mobo Triton Pro is a recumbent three-wheel cruiser that is great for riders that want maximum comfort and stability.

Apart from the fact that you sit only a few inches above the ground as you cycle, the big difference here is the steering. Instead of a normal handlebar, riders here use two bars on either side of the seat to steer.

It does take some getting used to but overall, it is intuitive, and you will get the hang of it in no time. The brakes are also close at hand on the sidebars.

The low riding position improves the overall stability of the bike and combined with the comfortable, reclined seat you should feel secure in this machine.

Features:

  • Low maintenance – the Mobo Triton Pro only has one gear. This can make hills challenging but the flipside is that it requires very little maintenance.
  • Stable – if you are worried about balance, even on a regular trike, the low center of gravity here is your friend.
  • Comfort – great saddle and relaxed riding position. The side handlebars take away any stretching.

Read more: Guide to recumbent bikes for commuting

4. Ghost Hybride Square Trekking B1.8 AL Electric Bike (Best Electric Senior’s Bike)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Altus (9-speed)
  • Weight: 53lbs.
  • Electric: Yes

With improved battery life and lighter frames, the popularity of E-bikes continues to soar. They are a great way to enjoy cycling without having to worry about having enough watts in your legs.

The Ghost Hybride Square Trekking B1.8 AL Electric Bike is a Class 1 pedal-assist electric bike meaning there is no throttle and the maximum assisted speed is 20mph. In most states, this puts it in the same category as a normal bike with the same rights.

The brilliant Bosch electric motor aside, the bike comes loaded with useful extra features. Practicality is enhanced by the fenders and the rear rack already fitted.

Features:

  • Powerful motor – the 50Nm Bosch motor does more than take the sting out of hills. It will eat up the miles (legally) with a pedal-assist range of between 20 and 30 miles. Once you are finished your ride, a full charge only takes five hours.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes – with a powerful motor under you, you also need powerful brakes.
  • Front suspension – it might be a heavy bike, but the front suspension does a good job at keeping the ride smooth.

5. Brompton M6R Folding Bike (Best Folding Bike For Older Riders)

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  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Groupset(s): Brompton (6-speed)
  • Weight: 27lbs.
  • Electric: No

A folding bike could be a great option for older cyclists who live in busy cities but want to be able to cycle somewhere quieter. You can jump on public transport with a folding bike and avoid battling with cars.

Brompton has become synonymous with great quality folding bikes and the Brompton M6R is packed with features that could make it the ideal option for some older riders.

It folds down in seconds, literally. With a bit of practice, you can get it ready for jumping on a bus in around 6 seconds.

If you are worried about having to carry it then don’t. the small roller wheels allow you to push the bike along just like you would a suitcase at the airport.

An unusual choice for older riders but a folding bike removes those very real first and last-mile worries.

Features:

  • Foldable – it’s a Brompton so of course, its main selling point is the fact that it folds down to be amazingly compact.
  • Easy to carry – light enough to carry but for longer walks the small roller wheels are brilliant.
  • Fenders – the fenders and mudguards keep you clean and dry.

6. sixthreezero Comfort (Best Budget Bike For Older Cyclists)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Tourney (7-speed)
  • Weight: 34lbs.
  • Electric: No

Shamefully, women have historically been a bit of an afterthought to bike manufacturers. Thankfully that is changing and there is now a great selection of brilliant women-specific frames.

The sixthreezero Comfort is a great option for senior female riders. The step-through frame makes it easy to hop-on and hop-off as you explore the city and stop for a coffee break.

Where this bike excels is in the shock absorption. The front suspension irons out the worst of rough roads and the seat post suspension keep the ride smooth.

The saddle is comfortable and the raised handlebars not only keep the rider in an upright position but relieve pressure on the wrists.

Features:

  • Lightweight – despite being a step-through frame, it is remarkably light making it nimble around town.
  • Comfort – the bike is equipped with not just front suspension but also suspension on the seat post for an extremely comfortable ride.
  • Chainguard – we wish more cruising bikes came with chainguards to keep denim free of grease and oil.

7. Biria Easy Boarding

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Revoshift (7-speed)
  • Weight: 33lbs.
  • Electric: No

The Biria Easy Boarding more than lives up to its name. For senior riders, worried about having the flexibility to swing a leg over a normal bike, this bike is a great option.

It is hard to see how a lower, step-through frame could be made without being dangerously close to scraping the road.

The pedal position is slightly forward of the saddle which allows you to set the height for efficient pedaling and to make it easier to reach the ground when you come to a stop.

It bike comes complete with a strong rear pannier style rack, a kickstand, and fenders making this an extremely practical bike for cruising around town.

Features:

  • Easy boarding – the step-through frame makes sit extremely easy to hop on and hop off.
  • Town-ready – the integrated rear rack is great for carrying groceries and the front and rear fenders keep you dry on wet roads. The kickstand is also a great addition.
  • Comfort – great saddle and position on the bike with the pedals slightly forward of the saddle.

8. RadCity Step-Thru 3

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): Shimano Altus (7-speed)
  • Weight: 65lbs.
  • Electric: Yes

The RadCity Step-Thru 3 is an electric bike that has been built with comfort in mind.

The step-through frame makes it easy to get in the saddle and hit the road and the frame design provides a comfortable, upright riding position.

Living-up to its commuter bike credentials is the rear rack that has been welded into the string aluminum frame.

The bike can support a total weight of 275lbs (rider plus any cargo) which is respectable for a step-through frame, aided by discrete frame reinforcements.

Features:

  • Low-Step frame – the step-through frame provides a 17-inch standover height.
  • Integrated brake light – this is a great feature on e-bikes and should be a standard component. It is powered from the main battery pack and activated whenever the brakes are used.
  • Puncture resistance – the puncture-resistant tires provide extra protection from punctures. Less time fixing punctures equals more time enjoying the bike.

9. Cannondale Treadwell 2 Remixte

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Groupset(s): microSHIFT Advent (9-speed)
  • Weight: 25lbs.
  • Electric: No

The Cannondale Treadwell 2 Remixte Bike is a fun, retro-looking bike with a modern twist and plenty of comforts baked-in.

The bike is built for cruising around the city streets with ease. Fender and rack mounts lend practicality to the bike.

Although the rider position is slightly more aggressive than some of the other bikes on the list, it does straddle the line between comfort and speed to provide an all-around great ride.

 Features:

  • Wheel sensor – the integrated Garmin wheel sensor records speed and distance among other great riding data as soon as you turn the pedals. More bikes should come with this great feature to track how your riding is going. There is a phone mount built in to display data from the sensor.
  • Step-Through Frame – the rider position might be a little more aggressive, but this is offset considerably by the easy mounting and dismounting.
  • Cruise Control Handlebars – BMX style handlebars keep things comfortable especially combined with a nicely cushioned saddle.

Types Of Bikes Suited To Older Adults

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes might be designed for riding off-road but that doesn’t mean they should be discounted as a great option for older riders.

They have an upright riding position and the suspension is more than a match for bumps in the road making them a comfortable option.

For older riders, the main issue is the challenges of mounting and dismounting due to the top tube position and they can require regular maintenance. 

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid bikes attempt to split the difference between a mountain bike and a road bike.

For older riders, the upright riding position and padded seats make them great for casual riding around town or even on some trails.

Cruiser Bikes

Moving away from more sport-oriented bikes to something much more comfortable, cruiser bikes are designed for casual riding. They have an upright riding position with swept-back handlebars that are usually higher than the saddle.

Gearing is usually minimal to keep maintenance low but this does make them more suitable for flat terrain.

Integrated fenders and chain guards are great for staying clean on the bike, especially if you prefer to wear regular street clothes.  

Step-Through Comfort Bikes

Built with the same philosophy as cruiser bikes, the main difference is that the step-through frame makes it extremely easy to hop-on and hop-off. If you don’t have the flexibility to swing your leg over the top tube then these are a great option.

The pedal position is also typically slightly forward of the saddle meaning that you can get your feet flat on the ground when you stop but also maintain full leg extension when pedaling which is the most efficient way to go.

They tend to be slightly heavier due to the thicker tubes or extra reinforcement required when the top tube is no longer there.

Recumbent Bikes

More like a go-cart, recumbent bikes have a low design with the rider sitting barely above the ground as they ride.

In terms of comfort, the full-size seat is a million miles away from a standard bike saddle.

Three-wheel options are available for extra stability.

Because of the riding position, they can be difficult when the road starts to go uphill as you cannot place any bodyweight on the pedals.

The low position can also make them difficult for drivers to see out on the road so extra care has to be taken to remain visible.

Video: Pros and Cons Of Recumbent Trikes

Adult Tricycles

If you are worried about balancing on a two-wheeled bike but still want the health benefits then a tricycle, or trike, could be a great option.

Having that extra third wheel makes falling off the bike much less likely and is stable even at slow speeds.

An indirect result of having three wheels is that the rider position is much more comfortable compared to standard bikes since the saddle is much more like a standard seat with a backrest.

The extra space between the two rear wheels usually has a basket that is great for carrying groceries.

Read more: Best adult tricycles for adults

Folding bikes

Folding bikes are extremely popular among commuters in busy cities who like to mix different modes of transport.

For older riders, they are a great option if you would love to cycle somewhere quieter than the busy city streets around your home. Simply fold-up and take it on public transport.

The rider position tends to be upright and they are designed with minimal maintenance in mind.

Features To Look Out For When Choosing A Bike For Seniors

Comfort

Studies have shown that some 65% to 85% of older adults suffer musculoskeletal pain, with a further 36% to 70% suffering back pain.

With this stat in mind, bike comfort should be the number one priority for older adults, especially if you are returning to the sport after an extended absence.

In simple terms, you want a bike that is the exact opposite of an aggressive road bike.

This means the bike should have a frame that puts you in an upright and relaxed position.

Step-Through Frame

Step-through frames are great for two reasons. First, they typically allow for an upright position on the bike which helps to take the strain off the back. Second, they make mounting and dismounting a piece of cake.

If you are worried about the flexibility required to mount a conventional bike then a step-through frame removes this barrier.

Step-through frames are typically heavier than standard frames as the tubes tend to be thicker to compensate for the lack of top tube. For that reason, it is common to find them on e-bikes where the motor power more than makes up for the extra weight.

Saddle

close-up of a road bike saddle, with a Pin
A Road Bike Saddle

As the main contact point between man and machine, getting the right saddle is essential.

This is very much a personal choice and counterintuitively more padding doesn’t necessarily translate as the most comfortable for some riders. Road cyclists swear by saddles with very minimal padding and instead rely on good quality padded cycling shorts.

In the real world, padded saddles can deform on long rides and become increasingly uncomfortable. The result is more pressure on the soft-tissue between the sit-bones.

By far the best criteria for getting a comfortable saddle is the shape. Cut-outs and relief channels may help to ease pressure on the sensitive perineum that can cause discomfort and numbness.

Fit

A proper bike fit is essential for riders of all ages to avoid discomfort, but this is doubly so for older riders.

The best advice is to try before you buy. Check that you are sitting upright and that you can easily get on and off the bike.

Adjust your saddle height so that there is a slight bend in the knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Handlebars

To remove pressure from the wrists and hands, slightly raised handlebars are a great option.

The extra height helps to maintain an upright position on the bike.

Suspension

Once a feature only found on aggressive mountain bikes, front suspension is now common on commuter bikes and bikes made for senior riders.

Just like suspension on vehicles, the suspension on bikes is there to smooth out bumps in the road and can be the difference between attempting some light trail riding.

A good quality suspension system can also be locked easily for riding on smooth roads. This is more efficient and gives better feedback.

Maintenance

We all like a project to get our hands dirty but that doesn’t mean that you want to be constantly fixing and tuning your bike. Less time in the garage means more time actually enjoying the freedom of cycling.

Look for a bike that is low maintenance with good quality, reputable components. Things that move are the most likely to go wrong so you should focus on a good quality drive train and sturdy wheels.

Senior Bikes FAQ

Are Three Wheel Recumbent Bikes Safe?

Apart from relative cost, the perceived safety drawbacks of recumbents are perhaps the main reason you don’t tend to see a lot of them out on the road.

Being seen out on the roads is the most important step to staying safe. Drivers are simply not looking for recumbents and their lower profile can make them harder to see.

How To Start Biking As A Senior?

If you are getting back on the bike after a long absence from the saddle then it is essential that you take things slowly and as with any physical activity it is a good idea to talk to your physician.

Once you have got a suitable bike a good place to gain confidence is to join a local cycling club.

Is 70 Too Old To Start Cycling?

Cycling is an ideal exercise for all ages as it gets your heart rate up whilst being low impact and non-weight bearing.

Whilst everyone has different abilities, take heart from 105-year old Robert Marchand who is still breaking cycling records.

Is Bike Riding Good For Seniors Who Don’t Ride Well?

All the health benefits of bike riding are meaningless if you cannot do it safely. If you are completely new to cycling there is no shame in seeking some lessons.

If you have done that and still don’t feel confident then a tricycle bike, that is one with three-wheels, may be a great option. They provide the same great exercise and freedom without worrying about falling off.

What Kind Of Bike Is Easiest To Ride?

The easiest bike to ride is a tricycle since you do not have to worry about balance and can come to a complete stop without falling over.

In Conclusion

For the health benefits alone, everyone should be trying to get in the saddle as much as possible. Even just getting out in the fresh air and the countryside can give an enormous boost to your mental health.

In some countries, doctors are now even prescribing exercise to patients as a natural way to feel better.

Older riders, in particular, should not be locked out of these benefits, and with the right bike, they don’t have to be.

All the bikes listed here have unique advantages but the Co-op Cycles CTY 2.1 Step-Through Bike is our overall winner as it strikes a great balance between comfort and performance.

Electric bikes are also growing in popularity and are no longer frowned upon by the cycling community (not that this should ever stop you anyway). If you want those extra watts to get you over hills then the Ghost Hybride Square Trekking B1.8 AL Electric Bike is a great all-rounder with the added boost of a motor.

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Mark Whitley
Mark Whitley
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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