I put 7 of the best bikes for seniors through their paces to give you an honest review of them.
As a cyclist and a lover of all things bike-related, I love testing out new bikes for all different types of riders.
Spoiler alert...I rated the Schwinn Discover Hybrid the best bike overall for seniors.
Want to know what else I found? Keep reading!
Table of Contents
Schwinns' focus is on performance and reliability with the Discover.
For seniors this bike is suitable because of its frame design, it has a step-through design so riders should find it more comfortable to mount and dismount. There is also the option for a more traditional frame design if that's your preference.
The durability of the Schwinn Discover frame is also an attractive feature of this bike, it can give you confidence that it's strong and going to give you a good riding experience.
Riders should also find that the handlebar is comfortable as it can be adjusted to allow you to achieve the riding position most suited to you.
One thing I think works well is the drivetrain. It's a 21 speed SRAM gear system so you have plenty of options when it comes to finding the right gear.
A potential downside is that the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike doesn't come with disc brakes, opting for v-brakes instead. Now, this isn't a surprise at this price point, and for many people rim brakes will be perfectly adequate. Disc brakes do give you greater confidence when descending so it's something to consider!
On the flip side of that, the huge upside is the price range and the affordability of the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike.
As far as comfort bikes are concerned, the Discover is well priced and in many ways, cheaper than its competitors, making it an attractive product.
Royce has a good name in the cycling world, their bikes are of good quality and they usually offer something different...which they do with this model too!
The frame itself is a hardtail mountain bike. Whilst I appreciate the color, it may not be of importance to some as it is to others, and I particularly like this one. It's a nice glossy black and silver paint combination.
It stands out, in a good way! Not only that, the double paint job also provides a solid level of protection for the frame from scratches and marks.
I like the fact that it comes with 24-inch wheels, which does give you a great degree of control but they aren't always the most comfortable. However, there is the option to go for a set of 26-inch wheels. You may wish to go for this wheel size if you're quite taller or want a bit more comfort. As with everything in life, there is a compromise and you do lose a bit in the way of handling - though not much if I'm being truthful.
Speaking of comfort, the Royce Union RTT comes with a front suspension fork, this plays a big part in adding to the overall riding experience. Let's face it, nobody wants to be bracing themselves for bumps and uneven surfaces, whatever your age!
You get simple to use trigger shifters, combined with a healthy 21 speed set of gears so you should find hills and challenging terrain to be easier.
For me, the standout feature of this bike is the riding posture it provides. The handlebars are raised slightly and this changed the frame geometry, for the better if you're a senior. The design is there to minimize any shoulder or back pain you may otherwise experience, as a side point, it also allows you to be more stable on the bike!
I have to confess that I'm a bit of a fan of a retro design and the Parker step-thru is beautifully retro, with -quite a big- hint of minimalist touches.
The frame itself is constructed from steel so it's nice and sturdy, perfect for any cyclist. The step-through frame means easy mounting and dismounting is achievable - which is good to know!
This bike is slightly different from those before, it's a single-speed.
[Want to know more about single-speeds?]
If you're after a bike that will be ideal for cruising, then this could be the bike for you. As it's a single-speed, you will be limited to your efforts. There are no gears to help you out.
This may not sound like the perfect bike for seniors in that case but I've included it as it really does provide a good workout and it does mean that it's incredibly easy to get to grips with.
Some of the single-speed design is that you can brake with your feet, in this case, using KT Coaster brake hubs. This not only gives you greater control of the bike (and that feeling that you and your bike are 'one'!), it also means that the bike doesn't have any cables that can ruin the look of bikes.
Despite its affordable price tag, Critical cycles haven't saved on extra features.
The mustache handlebars benefit from leather handgrips so they're super comfy! This style of handlebar means that any strain on your wrists is minimized as you are naturally put into an upright riding position - ideal if you suffer from back pain.
It doesn't stop there with the extra features, the saddle is padded and leather-covered to add that extra bit of style and comfort, working to the benefit of your sit bones too.
A cruiser bike is one of the best bicycles for seniors as it keeps the weight of the bike down.
Recumbent bikes are a good way for seniors to get exercise as they allow you to be sat in a reclined position, this reduces the strain on your neck and back.
You also get a very comfortable seat with recumbent bikes - which isn't always the case with other styles of bikes! As a result of this, it makes them extremely comfortable to ride.
The obvious downside is how low you are on the road. This can take some getting used to and I'd advise staying away from busy roads as you're getting used to your new bike!
What's good about it?
What you may see when you're using a recumbent bike is that your performance increases and so does your speed. This could become more apparent when you're on group rides with other cyclists.
You will also get a superb cardiovascular workout, without any need to strain your body.
The benefit of the Mobo Triton is that you don't need to worry about balancing as you're riding a trike.
Steering is also kept simple and is done using a dual-joystick method - which once you get used to it, it's really good and only requires small hand movements to navigate the adult tricycle.
These adult trikes are perfect for almost any adult as they will fit riders sized 4'2" to 6'3" and has a maximum user weight of up to 250lbs.
The frame itself is constructed from steel so not only does it offer a smooth ride, yet it's also durable.
Another positive thing about these adult trikes is that Mobo Cruiser is a US company, with a customer service team based in the United States so the customer service is excellent.
The reason this bike features on this list is that it's one of the best valued electric bikes on the market - it has some great features!
You may initially think that the build quality isn't the best, however, that isn't true the reviews are very positive.
Another retro, step-through frame in our list but there's nothing else retro about this bike!
The handlebars can be adjusted a lot and that helps to achieve the best riding style for you. However, I would say that the saddle wasn't the most comfortable and could benefit from an upgrade.
This bike is ideal for cruising and for that it's appropriately kitted up with a Shimano 6-speed drivetrain. It provides smooth gear changes.
As for cruiser bikes, you don't often get disc brakes and this is true with this Nakto cruiser bike. Whilst this may be a disappointment but in practice, the traditional brakesperform well.
You get 26" wheels, which is a good size as it means the bike isn't excessively large but you still get good handling from it.
A 250w motor is going to be powerful enough for any bike paths you may wish to venture down and will work well as a commuter bike. The amazing upside to this is that the motor on this electric bike is almost silent! That's quite a rarity for e-bikes.
With this electric bike, you get a rear rack already included, which adds to the already plentiful comfort features.
It gets better...
So how fast can this bike go? It has a top speed of 25mph - which do keep in mind that you're using pull brakes and if you're going down a hill, then your stopping distance may be greater.
An underrated feature in my opinion is a removable battery, being able to charge your battery away from the bike makes things easier.
All being well, you should be able to get a range of 35 miles when using the pedal-assist system.
E-wheels always seem to be at the forefront when it comes to creating environmentally-friendly e-bikes.
This type of bike provides the ultimate experience of leisure riding, it's smooth, it's convenient, it's even got a basket on the front!
It features a front suspension making for a comfortable ride and what's even better is you don't need to pedal if you don't want to!
The 500w motor sounds impressive and it is, but do factor in that this is bike has three wheels and is designed to carry lots of weight so the maximum speed is 15mph.
Strangely, not every electric bike is fully waterproof, though this one is, which means you can take to the city streets to do a spot of shopping, even when it's raining.
The load capacity is 400lbs - though if you do load the bike up to 400lbs, I suspect the total range will be shorter.
Speaking of range, this e-bike can take you up to 20 miles on a single charge. For most people, I feel like that's a good enough range!
For those seniors on the market for an e-bike with a difference, this could be the ride for you.
The Raleigh Detour 2 is unquestionably an attractive hybrid bike. If you're a senior looking for a comfort bicycle, you may well have found your match!
One feature I really like is the comfort saddle, you get plenty of padding with this bicycle so you can be sure of a smooth ride.
The cruiser handlebars style means that whilst you are in an upright position, you are still relaxed and keeping the weight off your back and neck.
You won't be short on gears either, with a 27-speed gearing system, hills shouldn't be too much of an effort, senior citizen or not!
With the Raleigh Detour 2, unfortunately, you don't get hydraulic disc brakes, you get front and rear rim braking systems. It's one of the key features I'd have like to have seen but it certainly doesn't make this bike a bad choice - far from it!
Whilst a lot of bikes are meant for speed, that isn't the best option in your senior years. Comfort becomes a big factor when choosing a bike.
Below I'll look at a few things that are worth considering before picking yourself up a bike.
Generally, you're going to have three types of material to choose from with your frame; carbon fiber, steel, and aluminum.
However, if you're feeling like splashing the cash, you may want to go for a titanium frame.
When it comes to affordability, steel is your answer. You will find that a lot of manufacturers still use steel for their bikes because frankly, it's a great choice! It's sturdy and holds its own when it comes to moisture and some force.
Carbon isn't as strong and is more expensive. You do get a bike that is lightweight though.
Sitting neatly in the middle of the two is alloy. It's not as durable as steel but it is lighter. Heavier than carbon but more durable.
When I talk about the shape of the frame, I mean how easy it is for senior men or women to mount. Losing a degree of mobility is common so mounting a high-top tube is challenging and can take away some of the joy in riding.
For women then you may want to look for a woman-specific bike. The frames on these bikes are designed differently. The design originated from the need for women to ride a bike whilst wearing a skirt and therefore needed a lower top tube...the design has stuck but it's helpful when mounting and dismounting!
Road bikes aren't everyone's cup of tea, and if you fall into that category then it could be worth checking our cruiser bikes or city bikes. One of their key features is that they provide a more relaxed riding position.
Having a good range of gears is something that most bikes have.
It can actually become tricky to know what you should be looking for.
Want to know a secret? 🙂
The important thing is finding what is right for you, not choosing a bike with the most gears.
Think about where you'll be riding - with the terrain be rough, on dirt roads and mountains, or will you mainly be road riding?
Don't forget to consider your health and fitness too - having those extra gears to see you up the more difficult hills when you're not super fit is always useful.
If you're a beginner, you might be tempted by a single-speed - meaning they only have 1 gear. The good thing about this is that the bike is lighter as it isn't being weighed down by extra gears.
Why you should consider going single-speed:
If you venture onto more difficult terrains then you might find that having more gears is going to be better.
Let's say that the terrain varies a lot, then you should probably consider getting a bike that has 7 or 8 gears.
When you're going up or down a hill, you won't have to work as hard.
As a basic rule, the more gears you have on a bicycle, the more flexibility you have with where you can. So if you fancy going where mountain bikes like to go, you're probably going to want to do a few climbs.
Perhaps you live somewhere with a lot of hills? Then you should give some serious thought as to how many gears your new bike has!
Braking is good, I think we can all agree on that.
As far as the type of brakes is concerned on bikes, there are two; rim brakes and disc brakes.
Both do have positives and negatives so here's a brief summary of them both:
Wheel sizes vary, though 24" and 26" are the sizes I'd recommend for a senior rider. They provide a decent amount of handling ability and comfort, whilst not being unwieldy.
The more you mingle with other cyclists the more you may hear the term rolling resistance. Most people want to have good rolling resistance as it makes everything more efficient, resulting in you in having more energy for when you need it!
If your commute has plenty of hills then it's usually a good idea to go for a bike with smaller wheels and the bike is lighter and you get better control - which is useful when you're traveling quickly!
Wider tires and a solid tread pattern are good for mountain bikes, rather than road bikes.
Suspension is designed to reduce any bumpiness you may experience when riding, be that on trails or roads.
When it comes to bikes for seniors, a front suspension is good but a full suspension is likely to be too much and not needed.
Handlebars are vital, obvious, but true. Having the right ones will better your handling, stability, and overall comfort when you're on the bike.
Entry-level bikes tend to come with handlebars made from aluminum alloy. As you go up in the range, you find more bars made using carbon fiber.
Handlebars, much like saddles are a personal choice, what works for me, may not work for you and vice versa.
There are a few things you can ask yourself though...
Cycling is good for people of all ages but senior citizens could see a lot of benefit from getting on a bike.
There are many health benefits from taking up riding so let's take a look at what they are.
We all know that stress isn't good for us, having high-stress levels can lower the quality of your life.
Whilst this is never good at any age and can bring about depression and anxiety, it's even worse when you're in your later years as you may feel more like doing nothing all day.
Even though we know that doing nothing all day is bad for us, depression can be overwhelming and that's why getting into a routine of cycling can help beat any of those feelings.
Cycling allows your body to move in a smooth motion. It doesn't cause any stress on your muscles and unlike running, it's a low-impact activity. Allowing you to give your heart a good workout without stressing out your joints with extra pressure.
Another thing we all know isn't good for us but we can struggle with and that's being overweight.
Being overweight when you're in your senior years can bring about lots of problems; high blood pressure, increased blood glucose, and arthritis - to name but a few. All of these aren't good for your overall health and wellbeing.
A bike can be a great way to manage your weight and keep yourself active.
The more time you spend on your bike, you will find you'll be able to go further, lengthening your exercise time and increasing your weight loss!
Diabetes can lead to further weight issues and can even affect your mood so it's important to try and prevent this. Cycling is a great way to do this!
Heart problems can be a big concern for those in their senior years. Heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes are some of the common problems.
Doctors often recommend cycling as a way to keep any of these illnesses in check. It is a great way to get your body to produce more oxygen.
As riding a bike is low-impact, it does this in a controlled manner and strengths your heart, meaning it can pump blood around your body when it needs to.
Memory loss is a scary thought, to anyone at any age. The older you get, the greater chance you have of ending up with a chronic condition such as Alzheimer's or dementia.
Bike riding makes you work your body harder, your blood pumps around your body more and your brain stays oxygenated.
Cycling isn't a mindless exercise, you need to give thought as to where you're going and what you're doing - it requires you to use your brain and that's a great way to slow down any memory degradation.
Bikes are fairly unique to each individual. Different people find different bikes comfortable.
I would focus on finding the riding style for you and the bike will follow!
A cruiser bike, mountain bike, road bike, or e-bike may be the best for a senior - it all boils down to what they want from a bike.
Bicycles feature different things and are designed to be ridden in different places. Take a read of our guide above and you'll be able to find the right bike for you!
For female seniors, you may want to focus on finding a bike that has a step-thru bicycle frame as this makes mountain and dismounting easier.
Some riders, they will find that a beach cruiser is ideal for cycling. Other riders love to have a step-thru frame.
It comes down to what type of riding you like to do and where you like to do it.
There we have it!
My guide to the best bikes for seniors! How was that?
Key take away - find what style of bike suits you.
Senior riders have different needs and it's important to address those. For me, I find that the Schwinn Discover Hybrid bike ticks almost all of the boxes for most seniors.
It's ideal on the city streets and provides a lot of comfort as you sit in an upright position. You get plenty of gear options with the 21-speed drivetrain so you are able to tackle tricky terrains with ease!
What distance will your bike take you?