Mini vs Full Size Bike for Seniors?

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
I am wondering if a mini bike (e.g., RadMini, Lectric XP, Juiced Scorpion) would be safer for seniors than a full size bike (RadCity step thru, Aventon 500 step thru, etc). It seems like the 20 inch bikes are more maneuverable, perhaps more flat footable and lower c.g. than the full size bikes.
 

David Berry

Well-Known Member
  • Small wheels aren't able to roll over, or through, obstacles as easily because the angle at which they make contact is steeper.
  • Putting both feet on the ground is determined more by saddle height which shouldn't be linked to wheel size.
As always, try before you buy. I enjoyed my years riding small-wheel bicycles… and miss them now that they're gone! (Or, maybe, just miss being young which is decidedly 'gone'.)
… David
 
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vincent

Well-Known Member
I think that is a good point, unfortunately if you go with a fatter tire like the radmini they weigh as much as the big bikes...

think there are some 2 inch tire step throughs that are lighter
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
Rich, a senior in this case is 75 years old. My balance and strength have noticeably decreased in the last 5 years. Yes, at 67, I was skiing double black diamond and riding aggressive single track, but now, not so much.
With balance issues, you should definitely look at a trike. Lots of choices at https://www.electrictrike.com
It's my opinion that a mini or folding bike is much less stable than a full size bike. Long steerer tube, narrow handlebars.
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
oooh, that hurts! lol, not ready for a trike!!! We've had Dahone foldables for years, when we lived on a our sailboat, and had no problem whatsoever with stability. In fact, our experience with many road, mountain, foldable, hybird and the Dahones, is what prompted my question. We currently have 7 bikes between us, including a Terratrike, but am selling all and moving to e bikes, because we hate the hills. You will too, when you hit 75, lol. Have you ever tried a 20 inch mini bike, or or you just speculating from what you have heard?
 
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vincent

Well-Known Member
I take it you live in Phoenix Arizona? I have a haibike radius tour which is a 20 inch x 2.1 bike if you want to test ride it, it’s not for sale but you’re welcome to ride it and see what you think

It’s honestly a different type of 20 inch than most, it’s not a folder

I will be in Phoenix working this weekend And can bring it with me if you want to try it

Also there is that rental place in Phoenix that has all the rad power bikes I think so you could go test ride those
Not sure when rad power is going to release these latest models or how soon they will have them are

Pretty sure that place is called phat Bikes, but not positive

I can find it if you can’t , Think it comes up on Google searches for ebike rentals in Phoenix
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
Thanks Vincent, very generous of you to offer. We have just moved to Prescott (because Phoenis is too hot ... need to change my name I guess), AZ, which is very hilly. My wife and I both are avid bikers, but have come to hate the hills as we get older, so no doubt we are moving on to e bikes. And yes, we rented several Rad bikes at PhatRide in Scottsdale. I guess my memory is confused by the contrast in experience between some of our "twitchy" but fast and fun road bikes and the "easy riding and balance" of our Dahone, 20 inch foldables. The 20 inch bikes (not fat tires) just seemed so much more approachable and easy maneuvering in town, but not quite so great for commuting/distance riding.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
Well as you can tell I work all over the state because probably Monday or Tuesday-whenever the snow leaves up there - am going to be working around Prescott Valley so could meet you somewhere and you’re welcome to ride the haibike , I don’t feel like its super twitchy but Have only ridden it on the pavement

I have had a few 20 inch small tire and 4 inch fat and think they’re different but did not classify them as twitchy....
But I ride slow and mild so maybe that makes a difference

would like to add one folding 4 inch fat to my bike stable but they all weigh 65 pounds and up, that’s the only thing keeping me from buying one
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
Come to think of it you should also ride my step through bagibike, the thing is crazy heavy -65/67lbs?? but it has 3 inch tires and is super super stable on any terrain
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
Wow, I had not heard of the bagibike, but I like that 80nm torque! Maybe we can hook up after the holidays, if the offer still stands, thanks so much.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
Sure, send me a PM with your email or phone number and will contact you when I know which day I’m going to work that area, it’s no problem to bring the bikes, two of them are in the van all the time
 

OrTrek

Member
Agree with Vincent on the Radius. I also have the Haibike Radius Tour. Not "wobbly" or "twitchy", just agile and quick. Plus I actually don't have a problem riding it 20+ miles. Ride it on bikeways, streets, roads and some dirt single track. Really like this little bike.

I also have a Radmini. It rides folded in my Jeep and I use it on forest roads and on the beach. In fact I rode it today on the Oregon coast, where we literally have hundreds of miles of open beaches as all of our beaches are public. I also like this bike but for different reasons and uses.
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
Small wheels aren't able to roll over, or through, obstacles as easily because the angle at which they make contact is steeper.

Putting both feet on the ground is determined more by saddle height which shouldn't be linked to wheel size.

As always, try before you buy. I enjoyed my years riding small-wheel bicycles… and miss them now that they're gone! (Or, maybe, just miss being young which is decidedly 'gone'.)
… David
David, I'm not so sure about saddle height being the predominant factor. I generally have a 33 inch distance from the bottom of my pedal to the top of the seat, for any frame size, or any wheel size. A 20 inch wheel vs a 28.5 inch wheel, will be 4.25 inches closer to the ground. Subjectively, I feel it is confirmed by experience. My 20 inch Dahone (2.2 inch tires) is much easier to flat foot when stopped, than my 28.5 (2.2 inch tires) inch MTB, with both set to a 33 inch seat height, just mho.
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
oooh, that hurts! lol, not ready for a trike!!! We've had Dahone foldables for years, when we lived on a our sailboat, and had no problem whatsoever with stability. In fact, our experience with many road, mountain, foldable, hybird and the Dahones, is what prompted my question. We currently have 7 bikes between us, including a Terratrike, but am selling all and moving to e bikes, because we hate the hills. You will too, when you hit 75, lol. Have you ever tried a 20 inch mini bike, or or you just speculating from what you have heard?
I have 5 ebikes and 1 e trike. My trike hits about 24mph, has 4" fat tires, and is a recumbent tadpole. It's far from an old man trike. My speculation is based on watching the reviews on this site. Watch a bunch. I think you'll see a comment about stability in a good percentage of them.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
since you guys are pretty serious bike riders you may like the haibike radius, will probably give the most natural feel power assist and the Yamaha motor climbs great
and I do think this frame is more sturdy than most folding 20 inch bikes- don't know if the folding matters to you or not


if you will be off road much bagibike makes this 20 inch step thru folder like the radmini but with a little better components, hydraulic brakes, turn signals and brake light plus the front light all integrated and running off the main battery
the motor etc is probably the same as the one in my big bagibike step thru
weighs in at 67 with the battery installed though- I will probably buy one of these in the spring or summer just to have one 4 inch fat tire in the group

tern is also making ebike folders with 2 inch? tires
tern also has a similar bike to the radius tour with a small frame but not folding, there is a tern shop in phx
last time I was in there he did not have any ebikes in stock but they were remodeling the store and they might now, that was 4-6 weeks ago
this guy was really knowledgable about all his bikes including the ebikes
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
the terns come with Bosch motors or they have some models with the bafang M400 which everyone talked me out of -saying we may not be able to get parts for them in the future
but they had a lot of torque.....

imagine the ones with Bosch motors are super reliable but the power is lower, have no idea how they will climb hills but someone on the forum can chime in on that
I am sure they climb fine just maybe not as powerful as the bafang with the higher torque....
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
A fat tire 20 x4" is about 24" high, whereas a 20 x 1.75 or 20 x2.0" " is truly about 20" high. For 100% pavement, the smaller footprint tire rolls better and feels better under pedal assist. The convential folding bikes are also shorter, lighter, and easier to carry in a vehicle. The smaller frame permits an easier dismount and a smaller turning circle. We have two 20" folders, and my 20" minivello, all electric, and they're good urban bikes. When we take our bikes out of town, we take two of these.

I do have a Ecotric 20" fat tire folding bike purchased this year. It's a good strong bike. Probably nice for a campground bike, but my camping days are in the past. It feels more like a truck compared to the smaller folders. I also have a 26" fat tire bike, electrified too. That is a truck. Sometimes being a truck is good.It stands out on the street and the higher visibility is worth while.