Elderly and new to Electric-Bike's

#1
Hi My Many New Friends,

My wife and I are in our youthful 80's and though ever so much slower and less physically fit than when I was in my seventies and even more so, than when in our sixties, we are both quite interested in purchasing electric bike's for ourselves and our family. In fact, though retired I wouldn't mind starting to sell electric bike's as
we are citizens and live in a tiny Caribbean Island where electric bike's are not yet introduced and I believe with my retail background, this could yet be another career for my wife and myself.

Ok, on to the primary subject...and that is, what the heck do we purchase?

I am just under two hundred pounds in weight. And, 5'9. My wife, more diminutive is 5'3 and about 135 in weight. Our island is relative flat. No major hills, and we have no intention of racing. Seriously, none.

However, we would like to be able to get to market and back, post office and back and do some daily cycling too. Not too strenuous, but just to keep the knees from totally freezing up, you know.

There are so many reviews I have watched that I am dizzy from what I have seen and learned. I don't understand much of what I watched as I am of another generation and much of what is spoken of is another new language that I am unfamiliar with...however, I'd bet that there are millions of older men and women 'out there' who would be as excited with the potential of electric bicycle as ourselves, if ONLY there was someone who would take the time and effort to set up a separate forum for us older folks, who know nothing whatsoever about electric bike's but who once, years ago, road bikes' quite often, but who haven't been on a bike, like ourselves, for a couple decades.

Please, if you have the time and wish to have been the good grandchild and have helped your own grandfather and grandmother - introduced safely and wisely to electric bikes, this is YOUR chance to help my wife and myself.

Please, we'd so appreciate your words of wisdom and experience.

With friendship,

Norwin
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I ride a Pedego, and these bikes are marketed to baby boomers, many of whom are retired. I think you will find that their webpage offers easy to understand information for the ebiking beginner. If you decide to try one of their bikes or move on to another brand, I think you will find their web page to be helpful. (By the way, I do not work for Pedego in any capacity--I'm just a happy customer.)

https://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com
This link takes you straight to ebike info. The button on the far right is just what I think you are looking for: https://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/info/

You'll find many stories here of folks in their 80's who have had great benefits from ebiking. I hope that they will chime in!!! There are also ebike retailers on the forum.

Pedego has a dealer model, so related to your question about selling ebikes, you could open a dealership that offers bike rentals to tourists and sales and service to locals.

Ebikes open up our worlds! I'm in my 50's but now commute (and run errands, etc.) by bike, am free from back pain, have fun riding with my teenagers, etc. We are a four-ebike family and our only regret is not getting ebikes sooner than we did!

Have fun considering the possibilities!
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#3
Hi My Many New Friends,

My wife and I are in our youthful 80's and though ever so much slower and less physically fit than when I was in my seventies and even more so, than when in our sixties, we are both quite interested in purchasing electric bike's for ourselves and our family. In fact, though retired I wouldn't mind starting to sell electric bike's as
we are citizens and live in a tiny Caribbean Island where electric bike's are not yet introduced and I believe with my retail background, this could yet be another career for my wife and myself.

Ok, on to the primary subject...and that is, what the heck do we purchase?

I am just under two hundred pounds in weight. And, 5'9. My wife, more diminutive is 5'3 and about 135 in weight. Our island is relative flat. No major hills, and we have no intention of racing. Seriously, none.

However, we would like to be able to get to market and back, post office and back and do some daily cycling too. Not too strenuous, but just to keep the knees from totally freezing up, you know.

There are so many reviews I have watched that I am dizzy from what I have seen and learned. I don't understand much of what I watched as I am of another generation and much of what is spoken of is another new language that I am unfamiliar with...however, I'd bet that there are millions of older men and women 'out there' who would be as excited with the potential of electric bicycle as ourselves, if ONLY there was someone who would take the time and effort to set up a separate forum for us older folks, who know nothing whatsoever about electric bike's but who once, years ago, road bikes' quite often, but who haven't been on a bike, like ourselves, for a couple decades.

Please, if you have the time and wish to have been the good grandchild and have helped your own grandfather and grandmother - introduced safely and wisely to electric bikes, this is YOUR chance to help my wife and myself.

Please, we'd so appreciate your words of wisdom and experience.

With friendship,

Norwin
I am sure you will receive help from experienced folks here on this forum.
This is what I would get my grand parents:

  1. A low-step or step-thru frame for easy mounting and dismounting.
  2. Something with a throttle so they can use it to get started before they feel fully confident of riding using their own power.
  3. Something that has a smooth power delivery so they don't get blindsided by its power.
  4. Can they take care of minor mechanical issues? Like fixing a flat tire or adjusting brakes. if yes, it opens up more options.
You could get a Corolla or a Camry or a Lexus or a Rolls Royce. Just like that, there are different pricepoints and features for an E-bike.
So, before someone can suggest bikes, it would be good to know how much you are willing to spend.

W/o knowing your budget and cycling abilities, it is hard to suggest bikes. So, here are some reading/ research materials for you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You could something like Rad -mini: https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radmini-step-thru

basic bike with good support from an online company

or from a more established company....

Specialized ebikes: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/turbo-como-2-0-low-entry-650b/p/154275?color=234613-154275
Gazelle Easy Flow:https://www.gazellebikes.com/en-us/gazelle-easyflow-v2
BULLS: https://www.bullsebikes.com/product/lacuba-evo-e8-wave-2/

But the issue with bikes that have Bosch, Shimano, Brose motors is that you can not use throttle on them. Given your age, I recommend something with a throttle.

So, here are my recommendations: Magnum UI6 or premium bikes:
https://www.magnumbikes.com/product/magnum-ui6/
https://www.magnumbikes.com/product/magnum-premium-48-low-step/
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
#4
I'm an 80 year old bitten by the ebike bug, good luck in your ebike endeavours. All the advice given above is good, I have a Pedego Interceptor step through and highly recommend the bike as well as Pedego as a company. For someone our age you want a step through with 26 inch wheels, probably 24 inch for your wife. I have six other eBikes besides the Pedego, if you provided more information regarding budget etc we could perhaps be more specific. An ebike can set you back anywhere from $1000 to $10,000+. Oh well, I'm going snowshoeing until the snows gone and I can do some riding. Good luck.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Wow @Feliz , SEVEN ebikes! You are a collector! Do you ride all of them?

Good point on smaller bike for "Mrs. Norwin". My 4'10" daughter has a 24" Pedego Interceptor Step-thru. At 5'5" I like the 26", but I think for someone 5'3" a 24" wheels would be better.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#6
As you will be riding near the ocean perhaps an ebike with a rust proof belt drive rather than a steel chain, like the Pedego Latch. I loved test riding a Gazelle EasyFlow last summer that has a nice low step that is easy to hop on and off the bike and while Ravi pointed out it is a pedelec with no throttle, it also has an internal geared hub rather than a derailleur so the chain is weather protected in an enclosed chaincase.
 
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Feliz

Well-Known Member
#7
Wow @Feliz , SEVEN ebikes! You are a collector! Do you ride all of them?

Good point on smaller bike for "Mrs. Norwin". My 4'10" daughter has a 24" Pedego Interceptor Step-thru. At 5'5" I like the 26", but I think for someone 5'3" a 24" wheels would be better.
Yes I ride every day weather permitting, I have a variety of bikes......hub drive, mid drive, direct drive etc. As an engineer I think my main interest with eBikes is actually the technology and where it's headed although I love riding. I think the 24" Interceptor is a great bike for a smaller person, I'm trying to get my wife to purchase one.
 

AlanDB

Active Member
#8
As you will be riding near the ocean perhaps an ebike with a rust proof belt drive rather than a steel chain, like the Pedego Latch. I loved test riding a Gazelle EasyFlow last summer that has a nice low step that is easy to hop on and off the bike and while Ravi pointed out it is a pedelec with no throttle, it also has an internal geared hub rather than a derailleur so the chain is weather protected in an enclosed chaincase.
I am a big fan of the internal geared hub like I have on my Gazelle Arroyo because it allows downshifting to the appropriate startup gear while stopped. The down side is that internal geared hub ebike models generally have a mid drive motor and no throttle. A throttle will definitely allow a smooth startup even if you have stopped in too high a gear, giving you a chance to downshift the derailleur to the appropriate gear while in motion.

When I was shopping for an ebike, I wanted the internal geared hub for easy shifting, but also would have liked a throttle for smooth starts without pedaling. But since there are very few ebikes available that have both features, I had to choose which one was most important to me. I ended up going with the Gazelle Arroyo which has the internal hub, but no throttle. So far I have not been sorry for this decision. I am 72 (almost) and so far I don't have any trouble with pedal startups as long as I can downshift to the correct gear. But in another 8 years when I am in my 80's? Who knows? If I am still able to ride, my next bike will probably have a throttle.
 
#9
Hello My New BEST friends,

I am at a loss as to what should be my budget for a introductory E-bike, however, as a preliminary guess I would think somewhere between fifteen hundred USD to twenty five hundred USD as I have to ALSO take into consideration the ADDITIONAL international transit of the bike from the USA or Canada or wherever that the bike shall be sourced to our little island - which is normally a further 7%...and, then the import duty which my government charges to import such items is another 22%.

The rule of thumb is another 30% ADD-ON COST for bike's. And, that makes purchasing a minimum of our two first bikes, a rather risky first, huh?

Of cousse, getting the Mrs. and I into a good bike is the goal.

Therefore, please continue to refine and forward your recommendations and advise. I certainly don't wish to save a few $$$ and then find what I have purchased was a totally bad decision.

And, to whomever suggested the rental idea of bike's to tourists. As well as, sales.

Indeed, a wonderful idea. I would think that there must be one of the e-bike companies who would see the opportunity and want to help in the cost of these multi-unit purchases...as no one in my modest sized island country has yet even seen an E-bike and where better to ride year round' than where there is ONLY year round sunshine. Huh?

Please, dear friends - keep the information coming as I am truly most grateful.

My respects,

Norwin
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
#10
I am a big fan of the internal geared hub like I have on my Gazelle Arroyo because it allows downshifting to the appropriate startup gear while stopped. The down side is that internal geared hub ebike models generally have a mid drive motor and no throttle. A throttle will definitely allow a smooth startup even if you have stopped in too high a gear, giving you a chance to downshift the derailleur to the appropriate gear while in motion.

When I was shopping for an ebike, I wanted the internal geared hub for easy shifting, but also would have liked a throttle for smooth starts without pedaling. But since there are very few ebikes available that have both features, I had to choose which one was most important to me. I ended up going with the Gazelle Arroyo which has the internal hub, but no throttle. So far I have not been sorry for this decision. I am 72 (almost) and so far I don't have any trouble with pedal startups as long as I can downshift to the correct gear. But in another 8 years when I am in my 80's? Who knows? If I am still able to ride, my next bike will probably have a throttle.
Right, I recently purchased an eProdigy Magic Pro which has a powerful mid drive, Shimano Alfine 8 IGH, a Gates carbon belt, and a throttle. Not a bad bike but way overpriced in my opinion. Ironically I nearly bought a Gazelle Arroyo but didn't because I felt it was overpriced and then bought a more overpriced bike. Actually the reason o got the Magic is they made it for me with the Alfine 8 when it usually comes with the gearless variable ratio transmission the name which escapes me now. You're right about being able to change gears at a standstill is nice.
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
#11
Hello My New BEST friends,

I am at a loss as to what should be my budget for a introductory E-bike, however, as a preliminary guess I would think somewhere between fifteen hundred USD to twenty five hundred USD as I have to ALSO take into consideration the ADDITIONAL international transit of the bike from the USA or Canada or wherever that the bike shall be sourced to our little island - which is normally a further 7%...and, then the import duty which my government charges to import such items is another 22%.

The rule of thumb is another 30% ADD-ON COST for bike's. And, that makes purchasing a minimum of our two first bikes, a rather risky first, huh?

Of cousse, getting the Mrs. and I into a good bike is the goal.

Therefore, please continue to refine and forward your recommendations and advise. I certainly don't wish to save a few $$$ and then find what I have purchased was a totally bad decision.

And, to whomever suggested the rental idea of bike's to tourists. As well as, sales.

Indeed, a wonderful idea. I would think that there must be one of the e-bike companies who would see the opportunity and want to help in the cost of these multi-unit purchases...as no one in my modest sized island country has yet even seen an E-bike and where better to ride year round' than where there is ONLY year round sunshine. Huh?

Please, dear friends - keep the information coming as I am truly most grateful.

My respects,

Norwin
Contact Pedego, most of there dealers also rent bikes. My local Pedego dealer is Oyamapedego.
 

indianajo

Active Member
#12
Welcome to the site. A majority of us are retirement age. I'm 68, ride exclusively instead of driving, but found that winds from climate change made some of my trips more tiring than I wanted. When you're out, you can't stop just because you're tired, you have to get home or call a tow truck $$$. So I bought electricity on the bike left. I still ride without power most of the time, which you can do with hub motors.
What hub motors don't do well is start off gently and gradually. Most whap up to PAS0 speed at half the full watts, which can be too much speed. I use the throttle to get over this, but in most jurisdictions these are illegal now.
Bikes that feel natural have torque sensing assist, which means the bike helps you once you spin the pedals. These are mostly mid-drive bikes, which means the rider has to use the electricity at all times. So there is not as much exercise benefit from mid-drives as riding a hub drive bike with the power off will provide. Plus mid-drive bikes do have to be towed home if something fails. A plus, the lower wattage models, 350 to 500, can be quite capable of hill climbs with lower ratio sprockets selected. I climb hills easily, but my direct drive hub is 1000 watts capable.
Read through Cort's reviews of various models to see what thinks about each one. I would say, dimensions of the bike are important to small people like myself, which includes such critical dimensions as minimum seat height, length from seat shaft to handlebar shaft, and height of the crank off the ground. Step over height is important to those like myself that lost our flexibility in our early 60's. My bike left is a step over or "girl's" bike. I'm male, but I deal with it. Ride position matters too. The electrics tend to cruiser style which is vertical back position, but there are lightweight "road" bikes available for those who like to look at the road all the time and minimize their wind drag for maximum speed.
If you're thinking of starting a business, the big six sellers I think are Juiced, Pedego, Trek, Cannondale, Raleigh, and Rad. I expect those to survive the decade. Others, who knows? As far as importing, getting containers direct from the Orient or Europe is the only way to go, IMHO. It takes a certain amount of capital to fill a whole container. And you need a savvy kid to run the service department, you don't want to be turning bikes over on the stand yourself. One who is a little introverted and not steal all your customers next year the way the mechanic did down the street. The one European model that caught my eye, the Gazelle, electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/gazelle/ they were from a very rainy country in a coastal city, and might stand up in a salty atmosphere better.
Have fun invetigating the hobby and maybe the profit opportunities. Some of my more respected friends are 80 & 90 year olds who are physically & mentally active.
 
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MikeDD

Active Member
#13
Have you considered a trike with a throttle? With a trike you do not have to worry about balancing. This is especially important at intersections. Trikes can be tippy if you turn too quick. Most trikes will have a basket to carry things. My wife has a Liberty Trike. The trike has a 750w motor, disc brake, throttle, and coaster brake. It will carry 200lbs no problem. Liberty Trikes are assembled in the USA with the frames made in the USA.

They have been reviewed on this website.
 

Jerry LM

Active Member
#14
In that age group a trike would make sense, a fall at 80 yrs of age can prove devastating and ruin any plans for the future, it is VERY easy to make a slight error in judgment and end up on the ground even at a stand still. A trike would make falling much less of a issue I think, you can still tumble but usually because of speed in excess which would not apply in your cases. JMO
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#15
Good hobby. Lousy business. You'll have to pioneer the legalities, if any, of ebikes on your island. Some clown from the mainlaind could fall over, sue you and wipe you out. Who needs financial woes at 80. Enjoy the sun,
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#16
Electra Bikes has a distributor in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. The Electra Townie Go! ebikes are nice cruisers with rust resistant hardware, and a low saddle foot forward design. Electra’s pedal bikes also include a model the Townie Original 7D which comes in a 24” wheel version which is a good size for short people, you could order an ebike mid drive kit motor and battery and pay a bike shop to convert it for your wife - a Bafang BBS kit motor would come with a throttle you could choose to fit if desired.
https://www.electrabike.com/worldwide-distributors

Or the same shop in Georgetown also appears to carry Trek Bikes (who owns the Electra brand). The Trek Verve+ comes in an XS size that is supposed to fit from 4’9” (again no throttle) https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...es/verve/verve-lowstep/p/25135/?colorCode=red
 
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ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#17
Have you considered a trike with a throttle?
In the hilly area where I live, my local dealer said that if a person can ride a bike, he thinks they are safer on a bike than on a trike, because the tippiness is a real issue with hills and uneven terrain. He spends time 1:1 with elderly buyers showing them how to mount and dismount, adjusting the bike to fit them and practicing starts and stops before they go off on the bike path.

I wonder if @Norwin can get himself-and-wife to a destination-where-there-are-ebikes-and-great-bike-paths so they can try riding and enjoying rental bikes to see what they think? That would resolve so many questions, for sure!!!
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#18
The Electra Townie Go! ebikes are nice cruisers with rust resistant hardware, and a low saddle foot forward design.
These are nice ebikes. They are, I believe, Class 1, which does not have a throttle, which is just fine for folks who live in flat areas and who can always be pedaling. For folks who need help starting on hills or who need to rest, a Class 2 which has a throttle is a good choice. I don't know if Electra makes Class 2 ebikes, but with their user-friendly frame geometry, if they don't, I think they should consider it!!
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
#19
Ravi offers the best advise, devoid of preferences. Not so fit, look to flat foot step through bikes. Like Electra Townie. Maximum pedal assist means you move your leg as if you were pedaling. A good way to stay fluid as we age. Throttles for us oldsters can lead to static legs. The youngsters here will someday understand. But if you’re not into speed a tricycle can be just fine, especially where it’s flat. A trike on Sanibel, for example, at 12 mph would be perfect. Sorry for being negative but to often advise is repeated based on shared opinions. Not necessarily what might work in a specific case.
 
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ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#20
I think our responses reflect our experience, and hopefully all have their value, when we understand that we each bring our own unique perspective that is going to be different from someone else's. I, alas, only have extensive experience with one brand. It's so great to have all of you who have so much more experience than I do. :) It's all a matter of finding a bike that fits the individual and their interests and needs. :) It's great to be able to help @Norwin navigate this new world. All I can do is share my own experience, and I hope that that small sharing that I can do is helpful in its own limited way. :)